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Caring for those with Genetic Disorders

To discover that you or any child you have or plan to have may be at risk
of a genetic disorder which could cause disability or a rare condition is
traumatic. People are sometimes shocked and anxious and wonder what the
future might hold. They need as much information and support as possible to
help them cope.

That is why the often unsung work of our Clinical Genetics Team is so
important, providing diagnosis and supporting families when they need it
most.  I am proud to say it is work for which they have just received
national acclaim.

Members of the team, consisting of genetic counsellors, clinical
geneticists and admin staff, are aware that it can be very difficult living
with a genetic condition.  Compassionate and caring, they help people to
deal with this impact by offering understandable information and genetic

Geneticists and genetic counsellors provide up to date information on
genetic disorders and  can help find a diagnosis for people of all ages.
They give them information about how a genetic condition may develop, along
with an assessment on the risk of transmitting that condition to a child.
They help them make informed choices  at any time in their lives and  refer
on to other specialists in the region when appropriate to ensure patients
receive right screening or treatment.

This role of genetics in healthcare is one of the most rapidly expanding
areas of development for Liverpool Women’s. We provide a regional clinical
genetics service based at Alder Hey,  covering a population of around
2.8million people from across Merseyside, Cheshire and the Isle of Man.

The team has recently been accredited as a Practice Development Unit (PDU)
by the University of Leeds for the second time in 5 years. This award
recognises the team’s hard work in providing excellent standards of care
for patients and their families.  In fact, ours is the only Clinical
Genetics Team in the country with this accreditation.   In receiving the
award, they were  described as “truly inspirational” with their phenomenal
level of team working making them “stand out above the best”.

Our patients know they are in safe hands. This patient comment is just one
of many illustrating why the team have received such high acclaim:  “Just a
little note to thank you so very much for your help and kindness during my
gene testing. You were so understanding and reassuring and I really
appreciate everything you have done….”

by Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive