Clinical medicine has changed significantly over the past 10 years. In the past there has been a fundamentally ‘intuitive’ approach towards diagnosis and treatment, but new tools and techniques are available to allow more accurate diagnosis and precision treatment to be tailored to an individual patient.

ARCH recognises the importance of this because people differ in the way they respond to a medicine.

Precision medicine combines the use of new tools allowing more accurate diagnosis of disease with the tailored selection and use of therapeutics to have maximum benefit and minimal side effects for an individual patient. The main objective of this ‘precision medicine’ approach is to provide the right drug at the right dose to the right patient at the right time.

It means applying technology and know-how to making the right diagnosis and selecting the right treatment for an individual patient, at the first attempt.

Precision and Personalised medicine provides the opportunity to revolutionise patient care by translating molecular diagnostics and big data informatics to inform and to deliver sophisticated personalised management for care. The ARCH Programme is collaborating with global experts in this industry, placing the NHS in South West Wales and its population of nearly a million people at the pioneering centre of excellence of this transformation of medicine and the treatment of diseases such as cancer, our ambition is to be a locus of innovation and world-class research in this field that others will follow.

Statement of Intent for Genomics & Precision Medicine by Health & Social Care Minister Mark Drakeford:
crowd.jpg

The fields of genetics and genomics are rapidly evolving, with new technologies driving down the costs and increasing the speed of DNA and RNA sequencing.  This is already revolutionising medicine and public health by providing more accurate, rapid and cost-effective genetic tests.

Wales is well positioned to take advantage of these developments with a single provider of NHS laboratory and clinical genetics services, a universal and powerful health informatics capability and strong links with internationally renowned genetics and genomics research at Welsh universities.  

Genomics studies are increasingly becoming a global endeavour.  With the ability to delve deeper into DNA, the likelihood of identifying variation of unknown significance increases.  Understanding the potential clinical significance of such variants requires global collaboration and we must ensure that our genetics and genomics services are able fully to participate within global networks.  Moreover, in order fully to exploit its potential to be a major international force in genomics and precision medicine, Wales needs to establish strong strategic partnerships within the United Kingdom and across the world.

In order to prepare for the future, and capitalise on recent developments in the UK and beyond, it is vital that we now develop as a national priority a strategy for genomics and precision medicine in Wales.  To prepare for this, over the last 10 weeks a Welsh Government-led Genomics Taskforce has developed a Statement of Intent.  The statement of intent outlines the work that will be undertaken to progress the strategy and recommends four key priority areas for development:

  • Clinical and laboratory services
  • Research and Innovation
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Workforce

Through the strategy, we aim to create a sustainable, internationally-competitive environment for genomics and precision medicine to support the delivery of prudent healthcare for the population of Wales.  This will:

  • be based on all-Wales NHS genetics and genomics laboratory and clinical services, working to internationally-recognised standards, as part of an integrated clinical and academic infrastructure for translational genomic medicine
  • be flexible and able to adapt to rapid change and new technologies, building on excellent relationships, within and beyond Wales, to capitalise on the potential of collaborative working between the NHS, public health in Wales, academia, industry and the citizens of Wales
  • contain plans to develop the NHS workforce to support the delivery of precision medicine
  • create a framework to forge new strategic research / industry partnerships, to maximise and accelerate health and economic benefits
  • outline our ambition to be a major contributor to the UK genomics capacity, working collaboratively across borders to obtain the maximum benefit and value for money from developments in genomic technologies
  • capture the potential of genomic data for R&D through supporting Wales’ involvement in world-leading clinical research and trials.

The strategy will bring many benefits for patients, families and the population of Wales, including:

  • a more efficient and prudent healthcare service, directing resources to where they are most effective and needed
  • earlier, more accurate diagnosis, supporting early intervention and better targeted treatments, resulting in better responses to treatment, fewer side effects and quicker recovery from illness
  • better infection prevention and control strategies and more effective management of infectious diseases in healthcare settings and the community
  • patients will be empowered through more detailed information, appropriately communicated, allowing them to have a greater understanding of, and take greater responsibility for, their own health
  • patients will have greater opportunities to take part in clinical trials and other innovative research studies and contribute to future discoveries that will improve health and healthcare.

The genomics taskforce, on which ARCH is represented by Professor Kathryn Davies,  will now move to develop the full strategy based on these key principles and priorities.  It will be chaired by Dr Andrew Goodall, Chief Executive NHS Wales and aims to report back to Welsh Ministers on progress in September 2016, following engagement with key stakeholders, across Wales and beyond.

  1. News Image:Swansea Bay City region to see benefit from City Deal projects' business rates

    Swansea Bay City region to see benefit from City Deal projects' business rates

    23

    Published 23rd Apr, 2018

    Local authorities in Swansea Bay City region to benefit from City Deal projects' business rates

    Read More
  2. News Image:Therapies and Health Sciences IMPACT Conference 2018

    Therapies and Health Sciences IMPACT Conference 2018

    20

    Published 20th Mar, 2018

    Read More
  3. News Image:Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Swansea University drive forward collaboration at BioWales 2018

    Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Swansea University drive forward collaboration at BioWales 2018

    7

    Published 7th Mar, 2018

    Read More
  4. News Image:Custom-made non-surgical cancer plan for region unveiled

    Custom-made non-surgical cancer plan for region unveiled

    12

    Published 12th Feb, 2018

    Health leaders in South West Wales are unveiling the first custom-made cancer services plan for people across the entire region.

    Read More
  5. News Image:Successful career’s gathering for Physician Associate students at Medical School

    Successful career’s gathering for Physician Associate students at Medical School

    6

    Published 6th Feb, 2018

    Swansea University Medical School has held a well attended careers event for its Physician Associate Studies (PA) students.

    Read More
  6. News Image:Architects appointed to develop Bridgend Wellness Village

    Architects appointed to develop Bridgend Wellness Village

    6

    Published 6th Feb, 2018

    Architects Austin Smith Lord have been appointed to develop designs for an innovative Wellness Village in Bridgend

    Read More
  7. News Image:VIDEO: Wellness Garden project build will help brain injury patients

    VIDEO: Wellness Garden project build will help brain injury patients

    5

    Published 5th Feb, 2018

    Patients from across the ARCH region help out at project to create Wellness Garden at Health & Wellbeing Academy

    Read More
  8. News Image:Calls for transformation in NHS

    Calls for transformation in NHS

    4

    Published 4th Feb, 2018

    Swansea University-hosted Bevan Commission launches a new model for health & care in Wales

    Read More
  9. News Image:UK Science Park Association Annual Conference held in Swansea

    UK Science Park Association Annual Conference held in Swansea

    27

    Published 27th Jan, 2018

    UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) delegates hear of ARCH projects within the Swansea Bay City Region City Deal at their annual conference held in Swansea.

    Read More
  10. News Image:Health & Wellbeing Academy creates

    Health & Wellbeing Academy creates "wellness" garden

    1

    Published 1st Jan, 2018

    Swansea University's Health & Wellbeing Academy is working with Down to Earth - a not for profit organisation and ABMU Health Board on a renovation project to build inspirational wellbeing garden.

    Read More
  11. News Image:Three top prizes for ABMU-linked projects at 2017 MediWales Awards

    Three top prizes for ABMU-linked projects at 2017 MediWales Awards

    21

    Published 21st Dec, 2017

    ABM University Health Board flew the flag for Welsh health boards at this year’s MediWales Innovation Awards, scooping three prizes for trail-blazing projects which all involved ABMU.

    Read More
  12. News Image:Plans for 19 new health and wellness centres across Wales announced

    Plans for 19 new health and wellness centres across Wales announced

    17

    Published 17th Dec, 2017

    Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced plans to deliver 19 new integrated health and care centres across Wales by 2021

    Read More