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Health: Genomic Medicine

Volume 715: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

Statement

My honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Gillian Merron) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to announce that the Government’s response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee genomic medicine inquiry report has been laid before Parliament. The Select Committee’s report on the rapid developments in human genetics is extremely timely.

Since the genetics White Paper 2003 Our Inheritance, Our Future, the Government have invested over £80 million to fund a broad-based programme of work that has put in place a framework for the National Health Service (NHS) genetics services today. These investments have already provided new levels of genetic knowledge, skills and services within the NHS. Following the review of the White Paper in 2008, the Government have been taking forward a series of actions to:

to strengthen specialised genetic services;

position genetic services into the mainstream diagnostic pathway;

promote understanding across the NHS; and

generate new knowledge and applications.

In addition to this, the Medical Research Council and other research councils collectively invested over £45 million in genomic medicine in 2007-08.

The government response reinforces our commitment to genetics research and aims to maintain our position as world leader in associated health research, development and innovation. It clearly sets out how we will continue to ensure the NHS is ready for future developments and that new technologies are properly developed and translated into clinical practice.