When the competence-based genetics education framework for nurses and midwives (Fit for Practice in the Genetics Era) was launched in 2004, we said then that it should be reviewed in 5 years or so. Last Thursday (February 25th) at Birmingham, we met with 30 stakeholders (including patients and carers, nurse educators, practitioners, representatives from the NMC and RCN, and genetic counsellors) from across the UK to do just that.

Staff from the Centre (including Maggie and Emma) joined with colleagues Marcus Longley, Kevin McDonald and Heather Skirton in planning for what was a positive and successful day. Another colleague from the Faculty of Health, Sport and Science, Ian Mansell, joined us to represent the RCN Learning Disability Forum. Jimby also came to lend support once again, and I was pleased to see him wearing his Wales badge!

We used real life stories (from Telling Stories)to form the basis of group discussions that considered the patient/family needs and the knowledge and skills needed by nurses to meet those needs. Through an iterative process, each group was able to comment on the issues identified by the other groups. In a plenary afternoon session, we then fed back on the group discussions, and used electronic voting to capture views.

It was a very busy and lively meeting and I was impressed with the level of commitment that people showed in engaging with the ‘business’ of the day – we had to shoo people away from the group work so that they could go and enjoy the lunch available!

Over the next few months, we will be refreshing the framework, based on the discussions held. What I hope will result is a framework that is fit for the genetics and genomics era.