Genetic Services of WA

Genetic Services of WA (GSWA) provides a comprehensive statewide diagnostic and confidential counselling service in clinical genetics.

GSWA consists of 3 subspecialty sections:

  • Genetic Paediatric Services
  • Familial Cancer Program
  • Obstetrics and General Genetic Services.

Clients are primarily referred to GSWA by GPs, specialists, or hospital inpatient/outpatient wards or departments. Self-referrals may be accepted in some instances.

GSWA offers a full range of programs relevant to the modern practice of medical genetics. Services are provided by clinical geneticists and genetic counsellors working closely with molecular and cytogenetic laboratories and associated disciplines, such as diagnostic imaging and obstetrics.

The protocols and procedures accord with the Human Genetic Society of Australasia (external site) Guidelines for Genetic Service.

Indications for referral

Genetic Paediatric Services

  • A child with features suggestive of a specific genetic disorder.
  • Unexplained congenital abnormalities or childhood disabilities affecting intellectual development, hearing or vision. Please note that there are strict criteria around referrals for hearing – clinicians are advised to read the referral guidelines.
  • A child with a known family history of a genetic disorder who needs assessment
  • Counselling for families/carers following a genetic diagnosis in a child regarding adjustment and coping; talking with children/family/friends/school; pregnancy planning and decision-making.

Familial Cancer Program

  • Familial clustering of a specific cancer, for example bowel or breast, particularly with 2 or more affected first degree relatives with a young age of onset (less than 50 for colorectal or ovarian, less than 40 for breast cancer).
  • Relatives with more than 1 separate primary cancer.
  • Family history of a known pathogenic cancer causing gene change.

Obstetrics and General Genetic Services

  • A family history of a specific genetic disorder, particularly when considering pregnancy.
  • An adult with features suggestive of a specific genetic disorder.
  • Fetal anomaly diagnosis and counselling.
  • Increased risk on prenatal screening tests.
  • Maternal age of 40 or greater at estimated date of delivery. We recommend consideration of the first trimester screening test prior to referral to GSWA.
  • Planning or confirmed pregnancy between close relatives (first cousins).

Referral exclusions

We do not see patients for the following reasons:

  • multiple miscarriage (unless there is a known genetic cause such as a translocation)
  • paternity testing
  • MTHFR gene testing or the presence of polymorphisms haemochromatosis testing
  • isolated sagittal craniosynostosis.
  • We do not see patients for exposure to known teratogens (drug category D or X) during pregnancy. Patients should be referred to the Obstetric Medicines Information Service – phone 6458 2723, 8.30am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.”

Unless the patient is pregnant, we do not see carriers of:

  • haemoglobinopathy
  • cystic fibrosis.

Referrals

A referral letter or consult request should be sent to GSWA specifying the reason for referral and referring doctor’s name and address.

Include the following patient information:

  • full name (including maiden name if relevant)
  • current address and contact details
  • date of birth
  • relevant personal or family history
  • other medical information that may be relevant
  • copies of relevant test results.

Please make sure the patient completes the family history questionnaire (PDF 261KB).

Please ensure that the client is informed of the referral to GSWA. Once the referral has been received, a genetic counsellor will contact the client to obtain further details and arrange an appointment.

If you are considering a referral, please read the referral guidelines for clinicians.

GSWA consent forms can also be filled out prior to the client’s appointment:

More information

  • Genetic Services of Western Australia
    King Edward Memorial Hospital
    Level 4 Agnes Walsh House
    374 Bagot Road
    Subiaco 6008
  • Obstetric and General Genetic Services
    Front desk phone: 6458 1525
    Referring clinicians: 6458 1242
    Fax: 6458 1678
  • Genetic Paediatric Services
    Front desk phone: 6458 1625
    Referring clinicians: 6458 1625
    Fax: 6458 1685
  • Familial Cancer Program
    Front desk phone: 6458 1603
    Referring clinicians: 6458 1683
    Fax: 6458 1683
    Address: Level 3 Agnes Walsh House
  • Familial Cancer Registry
    Phone: 6458 1713
    Fax: 6458 1725
    Address: Level 3 Agnes Walsh House
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Genetic Services of WA