Genetic testing can be used to diagnose certain conditions and to indicate the likelihood of an individual developing a specific inherited condition. It is also used to test for Down’s syndrome and other conditions during pregnancy.

Most genetic tests usually involve a simple blood test that is analysed in one of our modern laboratories.

Why you might need it

Genetic testing is used for a variety of purposes. Your doctor may recommend you have a test based on your medical history or if you have certain symptoms. Often this will be to rule out specific conditions such as cystic fibrosis or Huntingdon's chorea. If the test is positive it can ensure you or your child receive appropriate treatment at an early stage.

Some people decide to have a genetic test if several members of their family had a particular condition. For example, a test can give a woman with a family history of breast cancer some idea of how likely she is to develop the condition. For some conditions, testing can allow the individual, after discussions with their doctors, to take preventive action following a positive result if they wish.

Pregnant women are also offered a test to screen for Down’s syndrome and other conditions early in their pregnancy. This test, known as nuchal testing, combines both ultrasound and a blood test.

The tests, even when conducted on well people, can produce results that could be upsetting. It's important you've discussed the implications of all the possible outcomes with your doctor and that you have support from family or friends if needed. Some genetic testing will require genetic counselling before any tests are performed, so you may be asked to see a specialist genetic counsellor before you make your appointment.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-speciality surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

If you have concerns about particular symptoms or your family medical history, you may wish to see one of our healthcare professionals before booking a test. This will be a formal consultation with the consultant of your choice.

During this time you'll be able to explain your medical history and any concerns you might have.

Some genetic testing will require genetic counselling before any tests are performed, so you may be asked to see a specialist genetic counselor before you make your appointment.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

Some medications and food can affect the results of certain genetic tests. Make sure you’ve discussed with your doctor whether this applies to the test you are having.

The procedure

Most genetic tests require one blood sample.

If this is the case with your test, one of our experienced and dedicated nurses will take a blood sample, usually from a vein in your arm.

You’ll be able to leave immediately after the test. A few people faint or feel faint during a blood test. If this happens to you, we’ll make sure you have recovered before leaving.


We’ll quickly send the results to your NHS doctor or book you an appointment to see your Spire expert consultant at a time convenient to you.

When you get the results it is important you discuss them thoroughly with your doctor and that you have any necessary emotional support from a friend or relative.

We take an integrated approach so we can organise any other care that you may need should your test results show something abnormal.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price (1) so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner (2) you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

(1) Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

(2) Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.