Appointment information

Genetics AppointmentBefore you can make an appointment you must be referred to us by your family doctor, a hospital specialist or other health professional such as your midwife or health visitor. 

We are based in Southampton but many of our clinics are held in hospitals throughout Hampshire, Dorset, south Wiltshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands, and also some GP practices. To find genetic services outside of our area visit www.bsgm.org.uk

Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to move or cancel your appointment by calling the booking team on 023 8120 8537 or online at www.uhs.nhs.uk/cancel.

Before your appointment

It may be useful if you find out some information about your close relatives before your appointment, such as any illnesses and cause and age of death. We may contact you prior to your appointment to discuss your family history and the reason for your referral. 

If you are seeing us because of concern about a family history of cancer, we will ask for a completed family history questionnaire to be sent to us at the time of your referral. In some cases this may give us enough information to deal with your concerns without you needing an appointment. 

Netcall Outpatient Reminder Service

This service is an automated telephone system that will contact you seven days in advance of your appointment. The call will enable you to confirm if you will be attending your appointment or it will offer you the opportunity to rebook or cancel. This will also be followed up by a text message two days prior to the appointment. If you don’t wish to receive a reminder call or text please advise the department.

The pre-clinic work up team (PCWU)

When referrals are received, the pre-clinic work-up (PCWU) team gather important information on behalf of our consultants and counsellors.

This normally starts with the drawing of a three generation family tree (pedigree) and this is often done before the appointment date. If you, or a family member that you are the parent or guardian of, have been referred to our service, you may receive a phone call asking for further details to enable us to create a pedigree. If your referral is regarding a personal or a relative’s cancer, you may be sent a family history questionnaire (FHQ) in the post to complete and return to us as soon as possible. You may have already done this.

The person who has been referred to us is known as the 'proband'. We usually ask for information about this person’s children as well as their siblings, nieces, nephews, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It's useful for us to know the names, dates of birth and basic medical history of these family members. We do, however, appreciate that you may not have all the answers but it really helps if we can gather as much information as possible. Even if everyone else in the family is healthy, it's still important for us to know about them so that our clinicians can make an informed assessment regarding the likelihood of an underlying genetic disorder and whether there are any implications for relatives.

The PCWU team can be contacted by emailing uhs.geneticspcwu@nhs.net

Please note that emails may not be secure if you are not using a secure network. With this in mind, personal identifiable information should be kept to a minimum in these cases.

During your appointment

Most appointments last about 40 minutes, so you should not feel rushed. You will be encouraged to ask questions and you may bring relatives if you wish. 

During your appointment you will see either a doctor, genetic counsellor or specialist nurse. 

Your appointment may include:

  • drawing a family tree with peoples' health details (if this has not been done before the appointment)
  • a detailed discussion about the problem that has brought you to the clinic
  • a physical examination
  • a full discussion of the options open to you
  • taking a blood sample for testing.

At the end of your appointment we will agree a plan for getting any further information or tests that might be needed, and decide whether or not you need another appointment. 

We will usually write to you with a summary of what was discussed and agreed.