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To support clinicians who will be requesting whole genome sequencing (WGS), the Genomics Education Programme has developed guides highlighting key points to cover during conversation(s) with patients, based on the statements in the record of discussion. This guide is focused on WGS for cancers.

The guides can be used before or during clinic appointments to aid in discussions about WGS. It is anticipated that healthcare professionals using this document will already have some familiarity with genomics, but may or may not have discussed WGS. Further information to support the guides can be found in our in-depth summary for clinicians.


NHS England is implementing the NHS Genomic Medicine Service (GMS) to provide consistent access to high-quality and cutting-edge genomic testing across the NHS in England. Available tests will be outlined in National Genomic Test Directory, including WGS for certain rare disease indications and cancers, commissioned by NHS England.

WGS in the NHS GMS will involve a ‘patient choice’ consent model, which covers both the clinical implications of a test, as well as an offer to participate in the National Genomic Research Library (NGRL) within the clinical pathway. Patients’ choices will be recorded on nationally standardised record of discussion forms.

Please note that the process of requesting WGS may be adapted for local needs, so make sure you have checked with your Genomics Laboratory Hub, which can assist with queries about using the correct forms, submitting patient clinical information and which family members to include in the testing.


Publication type


NHS Genomic Medicine Service

First published

25th November 2019

Page updated

12th December 2019

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Guide to requesting WGS RD