2019 Private Healthcare Awards

12 GHP / 2019 Private Healthcare Awards , Genetics London Genetics London: Best Genetic Healthcare Provider 2019 - UK Genetics London is an innovative clinic dedicated to supporting people with concerns about a genetic disorder. We invited DrMelita Irving to tell usmore about the practice and the range of services it has to offer. Melita’s twenty year experience as a clinical geneticist helping a range of patients across a variety of genetic disorders means Genetics London is ideally placed to support many different people in understanding their condition and gain the advice they need, as Melita highlights. “Genetics London sees a wide range of patients who have or who might have a medical condition that could be genetic. This includes both children and adults. People ask to come to the clinic for lots of different reasons, for example to discuss whether they or their child might have a genetic disorder. Some request an assessment to see if they have a rare disease, to talk about genetic test results, and to receive genetic counselling advice based on these or their family history. The prospect of being affected by a genetic condition can be extremely worrying. Genetics London is pleased to provide people access to this expertise quickly and conveniently. “Thanks to my extensive experi- ence, I can offer services across a wide range of genetic situations. These include chromosome problems, single gene disorders, direct to consumer test results, genetic aspects of infertility, carrier testing prior to conception and diagnostic testing for rare diseases. I can help people to understand the results of tests they may have had elsewhere. Assessing children with complex issues involving their health and development is also offered, along with appropriate genetic analysis. Couples who wish to look into their chances of having children with genetic issues before they start their family also come to me for advice. Pregnant women come to the clinic as well, if there are concerns that their baby might have a genetic disorder. All of these patients receive the same exceptional support that they need to make informed decisions about their health and their family.” Supporting patients and providing them with expert advice and guidance is central to Genetics London’s work, as Melita explains. “At Genetics London, the focus is to give people access to medical expertise quickly and efficiently. They can communicate with the doctor directly, before and after the consultation. We offer appointments at different sites, depending on the patient’s requirements, and can even conduct telephone consultations, if that is preferable. The service is supported by a fully comprehen- sive genetic testing directory, with access to world-wide laboratories. Genetics London informs patients how genetic analysis may or may not help them in their own situation, providing advice about which could be the appropriate test for them. Genetics can seem mind-blowingly complicated and expert guidance in navigating this seeming minefield is essential. The aim is to give access to the expertise needed for every patient we have the privilege to work with, so that they can feel informed and knowledgeable about their particular situation.” Operating within such a fast- paced speciality, staying ahead of emerging developments is crucial for Genetics London. Melita discusses the latest changes the field has seen and how the clinic is adapting constantly to ensure that patients receive cutting-edge support at all times. “There are constantly new developments in this area; it is so exciting what can be achieved these days. There are many new ways to perform genetic analysis, a number of which patients can arrange for themselves from the comfort of their own homes, but they can seem very complex to the uninitiated. Even other healthcare professionals can feel daunted by the complexity of genetic testing. For example, direct to consumer genetic tests, like those offered through 23&Me and Ancestry DNA, can turn up unexpected results that are difficult to explain. The multitude of tests offered through gene panels and sequencing of the whole genetic code can raise more questions than answers sometimes. Conflicting information about whether genetic testing is the right thing to do or not can be also be confusing. Genetics London is perfectly placed to oversee the testing process and to interpret the results. What’s over the horizon in clinical genetics? New treatments for rare diseases are starting to emerge, for example in rare bone diseases, such as achondroplasia, a genetic form of dwarfism. By remaining appraised of these new develop- ments, Genetics London can help patients and clients understand their genetic health and often that of their family too, benefitting from scientific discovery. “To ensure that we remain engaged with these emerging developments, with an academic partner I conduct clinical trials in rare diseases. This means that the parents or prospective participants often request to see me in my private practice to find out more about these studies and how it might one day make a difference to their own child’s condition.” Looking ahead, Melita foresees even greater need for Genetics London’s services, which the clinic is perfectly positioned to meet. “Ultimately, genetics touches the lives of nearly everyone and so the need for expert support and advice is growing. The world of rare diseases is expanding too and there are new treatments becoming available for some of these, so getting to the correct diagnosis quickly is essential Gene editing and reproductive technology is currently a hot topic and people will be questioning what this could mean for them and their children in the future. Genetics London can help steer patients through this complex world and provide advice individualised to their needs, and as such the clinic is perfectly placed to support the increasing number of patients we expect to see over the coming years.” Contact Details: Genetics London Name: Melita Irving Address: 6th Floor, HCA Shard Medical Centre, St Thomas’ Street, London SE1 9BS Telephone Number: +44 7496 556253

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