The West Midlands GMC education team presented the third Intermediate Genomics Access Course in January 2017.

The three day course was run in partnership with our University of Birmingham Genomic Medicine course providers.

The course aims to give nurses and other healthcare professionals who may have no previous or rusty genetics knowledge an introduction to genetics and genomics and access onward to the Genomics Medicine Programme.

Course Content: Building Knowledge and DNA

The interactive course was run on three days over three weeks featuring an introduction to human molecular genetics, application of clinical genetics and gene technologies and their application to healthcare and therapeutics.

Academic insight into the world of molecular genetics was provided by Dr Peter Searle, Senior Lecturer and Lead for the Genomic Medicine Programme at the University of Birmingham, with clinical context provided by Laura Boyes and Pooja Dasani, Genetic counsellors with The West Midlands Clinical Genetics Unit at Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

Short talks were followed by informal interactive exercises to put learning into practice and allow time for questions, including building a scale model of DNA.

To demonstrate the application of genomics, Dr Ana Maria Brasgoldberg spoke about the work being carried out at the West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory, followed by a short tour of the labs lead by the genetic scientist trainees on the Scientist Training Programme.

Putting Genomics into Practice

A total of 18 NHS healthcare professionals attended the course including nurses and midwives, from LDPs across the West Midlands.

All attendees reported that attending the course would be beneficial to their clinical practice or day to day role and a self-rated survey carried out before and after the course indicated an increase in confidence in genetics and genomics knowledge.

The course concluded with an introduction to the Genomic Medicine Programme and confidence among the group to go onto further study was rated highly; with several attendees making plans to enrol in CPPD modules and qualifications with the Programme as well as further self-directed study with the National Genomics Education Programme online courses.

Laura Boyes, Lead Consultant Genetic Counsellor, said: “We certainly enjoying running the course and were excited to be able to share our insights into Genomics and the impact of the 100,000 Genomes project to healthcare both now and in the future.

“We were pleased meet so many of our colleagues working in and around genomics in the West Midlands and be able to inspire and enthuse them to put their new found knowledge into practice.”


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