Peninsula Clinical Genetics
Peninsula Clinical Genetics is hosted by the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and covers the whole of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
People are referred to us because they or a family member might have a genetic condition.
More about us
Peninsula Clinical Genetics has a team of consultants, genetic counsellors and nurses and support staff.
We are involved in the diagnosis of genetic conditions. For example, we see children born with congenital anomalies (something that is unusual or different at birth) to see if they have an underlying genetic cause. As other examples, we see people with possibly heritable cancer, neurological and cardiac conditions.
We offer genetic counselling. This involves helping people to understand and adapt to the medical and psychological implications of genetic conditions. It is not the same as standard counselling. Genetic counselling involves taking a full family history and gathering lots of medical details. We then make an assessment of the likelihood of developing that condition and explain what that means.
Where possible, we discuss things people can do to lower their risk, for example, screening in those with an increased chance of developing cancer or a heart condition.
Genetic testing may be offered.
Another part of our service is Cancer Genetics. A small number of cancers are the result of an inherited predisposition. We assess family histories and arrange genetic testing, where indicated, to identify families where there is an increased chance of developing cancer.
It's important to note that although a condition may be genetic, it does not always mean it has been inherited - there may not be anyone else in the family with the same disorder.
The Exeter Genomics Laboratory and the Peninsula Clinical Genetics Service together form the Academic Department of Genomic Medicine.
Services and treatments
Depending on the reason for referral, one or more of the following things might happen:
- You might not need an appointment – the consultant may review your case and provide advice for the referrer.
- You might be sent a family history sheet to complete. Please complete this with as much information as possible and send it back to us. Please don’t worry if you can’t fill it all in.
- If necessary, you will be sent an invitation to make an appointment with the genetic counsellor/nurse or consultant.
- The clinic appointment will be tailored to your situation. Usually you will be asked about your family history and medical history. You might be examined. Sometimes we ask to take photographs (with your permission) for your medical records. Further investigations, including genetic tests, can be offered.
- Usually you will be sent a letter after your appointment summarising what was discussed.
- If appropriate, we will refer you to other specialists for screening, treatment or ongoing management.
- If there is a suitable research study, we will inform you about it and you will have the option to participate. If you choose not to, it will not affect your care in anyway.
Meet the team
Patient Information leaflets - Clinical Genetics and Fetal Medicine
Appointments and clinics
Clinics are held at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Heavitree site. We also hold clinics in the main hospitals across the region, in Plymouth, Truro, Torbay, Barnstaple, and at many community hospitals.
We aim to see people as close to their homes as possible. Your appointment letter will state where the clinic is.
If you are unable to attend your appointment please telephone our Appointment Team on 01392 405729 / 405730 as soon as possible so that we can rearrange your appointment and offer the cancelled slot to another person.
There are a large number of Patient Support Groups for people and families with genetic conditions. Below are links to some.
The Clinical Genetics Consultant or Genetic Counsellor / Nurse will be able to tell you about other specific support groups relevant to your personal circumstances.