NGRL history

In 2002 two National Genetic Reference Laboratories were established (in Manchester and Wessex) as part of the UK Government’s investment in genetic healthcare, as described in the White Paper Our Inheritance, Our Future – Realising the potential of genetics in the NHS presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health in June 2003.
The remit of the National Genetic Reference Laboratories was to:
  • Promote and take forward development of genetic laboratory science in the NHS
  • Act as a dedicated resource to support molecular and cytogenetics communities
Each laboratory comprised a team of scientists, technicians and specialists who delivered complementary work programmes to achieve these objectives. 
NGRL Manchester established a strong informatics base as well as carrying out technology assessments and developing quality assurance initiatives to support diagnostic molecular genetics laboratories.

Following a successful bid for a second allocation of core funding from the Department of Health for England in 2007, NGRL Manchester continued to develop resources and expertise in bio- and health informatics for clinical genetics.

Central funding for the National Genetic Reference Laboratories ceased in 2012. NGRL Manchester has continued to provide support to the genetic testing community with independent funding, derived largely from project grants and income generated from the provision of services and resources (in part by introducing subscription fees to its two main online services – the Diagnostic Mutation Database and SNPCheck).