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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Clinical Genetics referrals

How to refer a family

Referrals can be made by writing to the Unit. For urgent advice, please contact us directly.

We may need more information before seeing the patient in the clinic, so we may contact the referring doctor or the patient. Patients referred for a family history of cancer will generally be asked to complete the questionnaire prior to being offered a clinical genetics appointment.

Cancer referrals

For a non-urgent appointment patients are asked to complete a questionnaire before being offered a Clinical Genetics appointment. GPs' referral letters must include this completed questionnaire. A copy of the questionnaire together with the referral guidelines can be downloaded by following the links below.

We do not need a completed family history questionnaire if the patient, or a close relative of the patient, has previously been referred to us regarding their cancer risk. We will already have the relevant family history information from the previous referral.

For urgent appointments, sometimes the Triage Team will contact patients directly.

If you have a query about storing DNA from a critically-ill patient, please contact us.

Array referrals

When you refer a child for assessment of an array abnormality, please supply recent clinical correspondence about the child. Please check if you are being asked to take a repeat blood sample from the child. We will arrange parental blood samples. Please supply their details with your referral letter.

General referrals

If you are referring a patient for testing for a known genetic condition in the family, please supply as much information as possible about the affected individual.

Cancer questionnaires are not needed for non-cancer referrals.

Urgent referrals

For urgent advice, (e.g. during pregnancy or ward referrals) please contact us directly by email or phone.

We run an 'on-call' service so that urgent families can be seen within a few days. This will usually be in Oxford, but it may be possible to see people in our peripheral clinics, nearer to where a family lives.

We do not accept referrals for Hypercholesterolemia or Hyperlipidaemia. Please refer to Prof Karpe's Lipid Clinic in OCDEM.


It is possible to arrange the services of a professional interpreter for many languages including British Sign Language. Please let us know in your referral letter if you require this service for your patient.

Where the family can be seen

General and cancer genetic clinics are held on a regular basis in Oxford hospitals (Churchill, John Radcliffe, Eye Hospital, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre) and at hospitals throughout the region.

We cover:

  • Oxfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Wiltshire.

We aim to run clinics near where patients live. Many of these clinics are held monthly. Initially we aim to see patients in the clinic nearest to their home; at times we may book them into another clinic to avoid delay in seeing them.

If you would like your patient to see a particular clinician (because of a known specialist interest) please make this clear in the referral letter. It is more likely that the patient will be offered an appointment in Oxford in this instance.

Telephone/email advice

We offer telephone/email advice for professional colleagues 9.00am - 5.00pm on weekdays.

If a clinician or genetic counsellor is not immediately available, we will return your call as soon as possible.

  • Tel: 01865 225931
    • 1 - Appointments / enquiries
    • 2 - Medical Secretaries
    • 3 - 100,000 Genomes Project
    • 4 - Cancer Triage Team

There is an answerphone out of office hours.

When to offer a family a genetics appointment

The most appropriate time for offering and giving genetic information will vary from family to family. This may be when the family is ready to take decisions about the future, when a diagnosis is needed or when advice is needed for a pregnancy.

It is best if the referral can be made before a pregnancy is planned, as other family members may need to be examined, or specialised tests performed. Some carrier detection tests are not accurate during pregnancy.

Training opportunities

Formal training opportunities are available within the Clinical Genetics Department for Genetic Counselling students and Specialist Registrars.

Contact us

  • Tel: 01865 225931
    • 1 - Appointments / enquiries
    • 2 - Medical Secretaries
    • 3 - 100,000 Genomes Project
    • 4 - Cancer Triage Team


  • Oxford Centre for Genomic Medicine
    ACE building
    Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
    Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Windmill Road
    Oxford OX3 7HE
  • Tel: 01865 225931
    • 1 - Appointments / enquiries
    • 2 - Medical Secretaries
    • 3 - 100,000 Genomes Project
    • 4 - Cancer Triage Team

Genetics Laboratories

For more information please see the Genetics Laboratories section.