Excerpts from report (pg 26 & 28):
48.The Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors were “extremely concerned that there will not be enough genetic counsellors trained in the UK through the current training routes to meet the growing demands and developments in genomic medicine”.144 The standard training route for genetic counsellors in England had 15 enrolled in 2016–17 and was due to have just 10 for 2017–18.145 The Association found in 2017 that 16 out of 23 existing UK regional genomics centres would need more genetic counsellors in future, and 17 centres currently had difficulties filling such posts.146
53.Lord O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, told us that the Genomics Education Programme would receive £1m a year to continue beyond March 2018, compared to the £20m it was awarded for the period 2014–2018.159 The Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors expressed concern at reports of “reducing budgets for continuing professional development for health professionals, including genetic counsellors”.160 The Minister told us that the decrease in the Programme’s annual funding was due to the ‘up-front’ training required at the beginning of the initiative, and the CMO explained that preparing coursework and online modules also had to be paid for up front.161 Health Education England told us that “the programme costs for 2018–19 and 2019–20 have yet to be agreed and are under discussion with the Department of Health and Social Care”.162
144 Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (GEN0027)
145 Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (GEN0027)
146 Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (GNH0027)
160 Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors (AGNC) in the UK and Republic of Ireland (GEN0037)
Parliament. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. 20 April 2018. Genomics and genome editing in the NHS Third report of session 2017-19 . HC 349. London: The Stationary Office. Reference 144-146, 60, pg 26, 28.