South East GMSA and GLH: Medical Director and Clinical Director appointments


Dear Colleagues,

Following a successful recruitment process, we are delighted to announce that Prof Sean Whittaker has been appointed as the new Medical Director of the NHS South East Genomic Laboratory Hub and South East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance, and Dr Frances Elmslie will take up the post of Clinical Director of the NHS South East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance.

The new South East Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (GMSA) was established in December 2020 as part of a network of seven GMSAs commissioned by NHSE/I to support the systematic embedding of genomics into mainstream healthcare. The GMSAs follow on from the successful work of the Genomic Medicine Centres in delivering the 100k Genome Project and the 2018 commissioning of the Genomic Laboratory Hubs (GLH) to deliver equitable access to genomic testing. 

The South East GMSA and South East GLH will work in close alignment to deliver equitable and consistent access to genomic testing and end-to-end care pathways across South London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Our GLH and GMSA have ambitious agendas for the coming year, including the introduction of whole genome sequencing and the collaborative redesign of care pathways to support the embedding of genomics in to routine care in cancer, cardiovascular, neurology, renal and paediatric services. 

The Medical Director and Clinical Director appointments will provide critical leadership in the mobilisation of our new GMSA. Colleagues from across our partner organisations have already been working with us to develop our transformational agenda and further opportunities to contribute will follow shortly as we build our clinical leadership team to deliver this important change programme.

For more information about the new GMSA or the GLH you can browse the South East Genomics website or get in touch with the South East Genomics team.


Best regards,

Ian Abbs (Chief Executive & Chief Medical Officer, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust),

Jacqueline Totterdell (Chief Executive, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust),

Leonie Penna (Chief Medical Officer, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

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With any Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) test ordered, a Record of Discussion (RoD) form will also need to be submitted. This document is to record the patient’s consent for genomic testing and their choice on taking part in research. Guidance on the patient choice conversation can be found here
This RoD form will be available for clinicians to download from this webpage. Once completed with the patient, it can be send to the lab with the corresponding test order form and sample.
Tests available to order will be listed in the National Genomic Test Directory. A test order form will soon be made available for clinicians on this webpage to download and complete. This form will include the address of the laboratory that the appropriate sample and completed form needs to be sent to.
Until the new Genomic Laboratory Service goes live, please continue to follow existing test order processes.
Later this year, the online test ordering tool for Whole Genome Sequencing will be integrated into the National Genomics Informatics System (NGIS) and clinicians will be able to search or filter to find a clinical indication, confirm eligibility criteria and start the test request process for their patient.