Mother holding the hand of her newborn baby

New genomics resources for health visitors

A series of iterative documents is now available to develop health visitors’ knowledge and understanding of genomics

Health visitors are often the first healthcare professionals to observe areas of concern in children and are a vital point of contact for parents and families.

As genomics continues to be integrated into mainstream healthcare, health visitors will play an increasingly vital role, including supporting families through genomic testing and picking up on ‘red flags’ for conditions that could have a genomic cause.

In response to this learning need, the Genomics Education Programme has collaborated with the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) and frontline practitioners to develop a series of genomics resources for health visitors.

Good practice points for health visitors

The series of five Good Practice Points resources, called Genomics GPP eXtra, has been designed to enhance health visitors’ understanding of genomics and explain how it impacts on their role and practice.

The new resources will also explore how health visitors can support children and families and are listed under five practical headings:

  1. An introduction to genomics for health visitors
  2. The role of health visitors in genomics
  3. Supporting families through the ‘diagnostic odyssey
  4. Communicating about genomics
  5. Talking about genomics

Each resource complements the next, building understanding as learners progress through the series, and helpful links signpost to additional genomics resources, advice and support.

‘Understanding Genomics’ webinars

As part of the development process, a group of health visitors and practitioners reviewed Genomics GPP eXtra prior to publication. They provided feedback that more information was needed to support individual health visitors and those working at strategic levels.

To support this further learning, the iHV has developed and will host a series of three genomics webinars:

  • Webinar 1: What does genomics mean for health visitors? Thursday 16 December 2021 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm
  • Webinar 2: What does genomics mean for families? Thursday 27 January 2022 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm
  • Webinar 3: How can we develop our knowledge of genomics? Thursday 24 February | 2:00pm – 3:30pm

For more information or to book your place, please visit the IHV website. You can also read more about how the GPPs were developed in a blog from iHV professional development officer, Sally Shillaker.