Our Work

The UKGTN undertakes a wide variety of work in collaboration with healthcare professionals, scientists, commissioners and patient representatives to advise on policy, develop service delivery and provide information resources to all users of NHS genetic testing services. Our main purpose is to promote equity of access to genetic testing for rare conditions while seeking to ensure that the highest possible quality standards in genetic testing are delivered.

The UKGTN has been mentioned on numerous occasions in government reports as an organisation that facilitates change in the NHS.

Some notable areas of our work include:

Influencing Strategy

  • contributed to the Human Genomics Strategy Group (HGSG) report published in January 2012 
  • international collaboration in the European Union about genetic testing in Europe 
  • providing guidance to commissioners to lead change in service provision to improve outcomes for patients and their families
  • collaborating with professional bodies, commissioners, clinical and scientific professionals to develop policies for commissioning

Quality Assurance

  • evaluating laboratories for UKGTN membership to ensure that network members meet the required quality standards for genetic testing
  • co-ordinating UKGTN activities through a network model to ensure quality improvement with multiple professional bodies and organisations

Information Resources

  • providing information to commissioners of NHS services on new technologies and advances in the provision of genetic services
  • providing information resources for patients, clinicians, scientists and commissioners about the availability of genetic testing services in the NHS
  • carrying out reviews to inform access to and availability of genetic testing services

Test Evaluation

  • evaluating new genetic testing services for NHS patients
  • developing testing criteria for new genetic tests to ensure clinically appropriate genetic testing
  • working with National Institute of Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) to ensure there is no duplication in evaluation of genetic tests
  • collaborating with professional bodies to develop criteria for testing
  • working with Royal College of Pathologists on the National Laboratory Medicines Catalogue