Genetics laboratory

COVID-19 buccal swab and saliva sample acceptance update

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have taken the decision to only accept buccal swab and saliva samples in exceptional circumstances where there is urgent clinical need and there was no option to take an alternative sample type.  For non-urgent testing please consider postponing sample collection or taking an alternative sample type.​

West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory

We provide comprehensive genetic testing services (many of which are UKAS ISO 15189:2012 accredited) to NHS patients within the West Midlands region, private consultants and hospitals and other healthcare institutions both nationally and internationally. We currently receive in excess of 55,000 samples from patients every year, and this number is growing all the time.

With more than 200 scientific, technical and support staff, we are the largest genetics laboratory in the UK. Using the most up-to-date technologies and equipment, we are able to bring you accurate answers and we work hard to continually improve our reporting times.

Genetics in medicine is rapidly growing with a focus on the translation of information and techniques from cutting-edge research into robust clinical tests. We work closely with our clinical genetics counselling service so that patients receive suitable advice both before and after testing.

The laboratory is aligned with patient pathways, with two over-arching clinical programmes both of which provide integrated cytogenetic and molecular genetics services:

  • Germline Genetics Programme
  • Cancer Genetics Programme

The laboratory performs a comprehensive range of genetic tests ranging from single gene disorders to whole chromosome aneuploidy. Our Germline Genetics Programme provides testing services including prenatal testing for at-risk pregnancies, postnatal testing for conditions such as developmental delay and infertility, and specific testing for a variety of syndromes and single gene disorders. Our Cancer Genetics Programme testing services include blood and tumour cancer diagnosis and prognostic stratification, monitoring of treatment response and surveillance, and post-transplant chimerism monitoring.


If you are a clinician looking to make a referral to our service, please use our germline genetic test referral form.

To make a request for a DNA sample to be sent to another laboratory please use our DNA sample export form.

If you are a clinician looking to make a referral for cancer studies, please use our cytogenetic referral and molecular referral forms.

Criteria for the rejection of specimens

In order to provide a high standard of testing, we need to ensure that the specimens we receive into the lab are of an optimal quality. Please read our criteria for the rejection of samples that must be met when a referring centre sends samples to the West Midlands Regional Genetics Laboratory for testing.

Please see the controlled document for criteria for rejection of samples.

Contact details

For further information on any of the services provided please email


Find out about genomics in medicine and how the patient pathway in genomics is organised in the NHS with our Clinical Scientist in Genomics Florentina Sava. 

Find out what our staff love about working in Genetics in this video filmed for Healthcare Science Week 2020: