Genetic Counselling, Ethics, Nursing, Society

Genetic counsellors and genetic nurses work at the coal face, delivering genomic information to patients. We contribute to policy, ethics and education that supports genetic counselling practice

Four members of the Engagement and Society group are genetic counsellors (Anna Middleton, Chris Patch, Jon Roberts and Sasha Henriques); having experience working directly with patients in the NHS has a significant impact on the strategic direction of our group. We are interested in the genetic counselling process and the evidence base behind practice; we are also interested in how families communicate about genetics and how we can create evidence-based tools to support this.

Anna was chair of the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors in the UK and Ireland (2017-2019) and through this role has facilitated numerous educational and policy activities to support the practice of genetic counsellors. She co-created the Genomic Practice for Genetic Counsellors 2 day course at the Wellcome Genome Campus. She also co-created the World Congress of Genetic Counselling, 3 day conference for international genetic counsellors (one of the only international conferences designed and delivered by genetic counsellors for the genetic counselling profession). She supported the Global Genomics Nursing Alliance (G2NA) to achieve funding for a 3 day retreat at the Wellcome Genome Campus on creating a road map to deliver genomics into nursing practice, curricula and policy worldwide.

As part of our co-design and delivery of the Counselling Skills for Genomics master's level module on the University of Cambridge MSt Genomic Medicine, we have created 6 films that cover a fictional role play between genetic counsellor and patient.

Sasha is currently on the Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors committee and brings her specific expertise on EDI to the Engagement and Society group.