In 2002, as part of an investment programme in genetic services,
the Department of Health established two National Genetics Reference
Laboratories in Manchester & Wessex.
The laboratories are based in England but are encouraged to work
closely with genetic service providers in all of the UK home countries.
The laboratories evolved from Regional Genetics Laboratories providing
general diagnostic services for their populations. They are well
placed to evaluate technologies and systems that are close to service
or in service and assess their applicability to the National Health
The specific remit of the laboratories includes:
- Health Technology Assessment
- Development of new External Quality Systems
- Development of reference reagents and controls
- Advice to government and other bodies
This remit has been translated into the agreed initial work programmes
of the two laboratories which are largely complementary. The laboratories
will work closely together and will consult with the service providers
on their needs and encourage their feedback.
NGRL News November 2005