Chief Nurse – North Thames Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (GMSA)
5 January 2021
As part of NHS England’s strategy to establish a national genomics medicine service, building on the 100,000 Genomes Project, which will ensure the NHS fully benefits from advances in genomics, NHSE has commissioned seven genomic laboratory hubs (GLHs) who will work as a national network. Genomic Medicine Service Alliances (GMSA) (covering the same geography as the GLHs – see appendix) will shortly be appointed to mainstream genomics. Together GLHs and GMSAs comprise the new Genomic Medicine Service which will:
- Address variations in genetic testing quality and access across the country
- Enhance the quality of information e.g. the cost and type of tests performed
- Broaden understanding of the causes of disease and the effectiveness of interventions
The NHS Genomic Medicine Service Alliances will have a critical role in facilitating strong collaborations across large geographies, working with all healthcare providers, patients and the public to build trust in genomics, and providing clinical leadership to enable the multi-professional workforce to use genomics safely, effectively and efficiently. Potential improvements in care for patients include better, quicker diagnosis of rare conditions, personalising treatments and care for patients with inherited conditions and cancer, and a better understanding of the underlying cause of many conditions. The NHS Genomic Medicine Service will work to uniform standards and a national test directory and the Alliances will help embed this new technology, reduce unwarranted variation with commitments to make demonstrable improvements to outcomes for our patients and the populations we serve.
By taking this approach, the NHS will become the first health service in the world to systematically embed genomics into routine care and make significant strides to create a system focused on improving health, not just treating illness, with the ability to predict accurately disease and tailor treatments. However, it will only be possible to secure the benefits if everyone, including, patients, the whole multi-professional team across the care system – medics, nurses, midwifes, allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, pharmacists – and academics are able to actively contribute and make this vision a reality.
The GLH and GMSA covering North London, and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire, is called North Thames. The North Thames Genomic Medicine Service Alliance will be hosted at UCLPartners. Key roles in the GMSA will be leads for pharmacy, nursing, midwifery and community physicians including general practice who will support the GMSA in mainstreaming genomic medicine.
Close working between the GMSA, the GLH, clinical genetics services and all other healthcare providers is expected and will aim to make ordering nationally commissioned Genomic Tests accessible to all clinicians in the North Thames Geography. Genomic testing will become available for most specialities including general physicians and community paediatricians during 2021.
Delivering a new NHS Genomic Medicine Service brings together exciting opportunities with new detailed understanding about peoples’ underlying genetic profiles. The development of novel and revolutionary medical treatments will result in personalised medicines which are better suited and tailored to treat the underlying cause with improved outcomes for patients.
Delivering this world-class revolutionary service will require new ways of working for the professions. Nurses, midwives and care staff form the largest workforce in the NHS and are well placed to optimise the potential contributions of genomics for improving health. The senior leadership of these professions, in steering the workforce, will be critical to the success of the NHS GMS for patients in England.
We aim to appoint a Chief Nurse who will provide leadership of the nursing activity including mainstreaming genomics through transformation projects and representation of North Thames GMSA at a National Level. The Chief Nurse will be accountable to the GMSA Clinical Director.
The Chief Nurse will be actively involved in the formation and progress of the GMS Alliance, and will work with the GMSA Clinical Director, co-chairing the NT GMSA Clinical and Scientific Directorate and support any appointments to lead nursing and other senior roles as required. This is an exciting opportunity to work collaboratively with the Chief Midwife, positioning strong leadership in nursing and midwifery to support the development of genomics in healthcare and delivery of the nursing & midwifery transformation projects.
Close links between the GMS Alliance and regional integrated care system (ICS) nursing and midwifery networks will ensure systematic implementation of genomics into workforce plans in end-to-end clinical pathways of care with equitable access for patients. Nurses and midwives have a crucial role in supporting the mainstreaming of genomics into clinical practice.
The Chief Nurse will work with the Chief Midwife to supervise and support the nursing and midwifery clinical leads in the execution of their responsibilities and will be co-chair of the Executive Team and Clinical and Scientific Directorate with the Clinical Director.
Please note: This is a part time role at .4 WTE, 2 days/week. The duration for the post is for three years initially. The applicant should be working for an employer within the North Thames GMSA and will remain employed with their substantive employer for the duration of this role. This role reports into the GMSA Clinical Director.