Clinics are based in all the main hospitals and several of the smaller hospitals across Wales. We might also be asked to see a patient while they are in hospital.
Over the last couple of years, to improve the patient experience and acknowledge that traveling to a hospital can be difficult, we have embraced innovative ways of conducting our appointments. This means you may be offered a telephone or video call appointment. This is done according to the individual needs of our patients.
These types of appointments are not suitable for all patients, especially if the patient needs to be examined. For phone appointments, we will often ring using a private/anonymous hospital number. If you have blocked private calls, we might not be able to contact you by phone.
We regularly contact patients prior to an appointment. This might be a phone call from one of our family history coordinators. They will gather information about the family and draw up a family tree. Alternatively you may be contacted by a genetic counsellor. The purpose of this contact might include:
To explain about the service
To identify your questions and concerns
To discuss what you feel we will be able to offer you as a service
If needed, draw up a family tree from the information you have given us
To identify further relevant family medical history that will help us assess whether there is an inherited condition within your family. Sometimes we may ask you to contact one or more of your relatives to obtain their permission for us to review their medical records. We will never directly approach a relative without prior consent.
The genetic counsellor may be able to deal with all of your questions and manage your genetic care. Alternatively, you might be offered an appointment with a genetics doctor and/or your genetic counsellor at a later date.
The route is slightly different for patients with a family history of cancer or if a close relative is pregnant, as it could have implications for the pregnancy.
We will try and give you at least two weeks notice for an appointment. Your appointment will last between 30 minutes and an hour.
If you are driving to the appointment please allow plenty of time to find somewhere to park as hospitals can be very busy and car parking spaces can be in short supply. We are increasingly offering patients who would prefer virtual online appointments (details of which you can find enclosed within your appointment letter).
Please note, a referral to the AWMGS often only requires one appointment, however for some conditions on-going follow-up with the service or another specialist team may be required.
During the clinic appointment we will:
Spend time discussing your particular concerns, options available to you and answer any questions that you may have
Assess how likely it is that the condition within your family is inherited and what this means for you and your family
Sometimes the doctor may feel that it would be helpful to take photographs of you, or your children, or both, but this will never be done without first giving you the reason, and asking for your agreement and consent
We may need to take a blood sample and possibly organise further investigations such as X-Rays. Some tests may be carried out on the day of your clinic, while other may be arranged for a future date.
Following your clinic appointment you will receive a letter that goes over the points discussed in clinic, so you do not need to worry if you cannot remember everything that was discussed. We will also write to the doctor who referred you and, if you agree, to your GP.
If you have any further questions about your appointment, please contact us. We have also compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you.