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Clinical Genetics referrals

July 2020 - COVID-19 update

We are pleased to announce that the department is open again to routine as well as urgent referrals as we resume services. GPs and other clinicians can now refer to us.

Thank you for bearing with us over the last few months.

The Genetics Laboratory is accepting routine testing referrals but while we recover from recent disruption, results may take longer than usual to be reported.

If you feel that your patient needs to be seen urgently, please refer them back to us with the referral marked as 'URGENT'.

Please include NHS number, MRN, date of birth, name, address, email, and phone number of the patient (and parent/carer if referring a child).

If you are uncertain about the urgency of the referral, please send a short email to:

marked 'URGENT' describing the situation, and we will get back to you.

We will update our website when normal service is resumed.

COVID-19 risk assessment

British Society for Genetic Medicine / Clinical Genetics Society - COVID-19 Risk Assessment Grid (pdf)

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.

Cancer questionnaire (Word, 278 KB) for cancer referrals only, not general genetics referrals

Oxford Regional Cancer Genetic Service criteria (pdf, 217 KB)

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.

Referral to the Department of Clinical Genetics for Array CGH results with a copy number variant (pdf, 263 KB)

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.

Contact us

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

Department of Clinical Genetics
Churchill Hospital
Oxford OX3 7LE

Tel: 01865 225931

    1. Appointments / enquiries
    2. Medical Secretaries
    3. 100,000 Genomes Project
    4. Cancer Triage Team


Maps and transport information for the Churchill Hospital

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


Maps and transport information for the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Genetics Laboratories

For more information please see the Genetics Laboratories section.

Last reviewed:19 April 2022