We have detected that you are using Internet Explorer to visit this website. Internet Explorer is now being phased out by Microsoft. As a result, NHS Digital no longer supports any version of Internet Explorer for our web-based products, as it involves considerable extra effort and expense, which cannot be justified from public funds. Some features on this site will not work. You should use a modern browser such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. If you have difficulty installing or accessing a different browser, contact your IT support team.
Hereditary medical conditions
This service allows information about hereditary medical conditions to be passed on to birth relatives who the patient is no longer in contact with.
Where the relative can be found, they will be informed by their doctor about the possibility of having a hereditary condition, and given advice on what to do.
Who this service is for
When a patient is diagnosed with a medical condition which is hereditary (so passed from parents to children), there is a chance that their relatives also have the condition.
Where the patient is not in contact with their birth relatives, due to adoption or other reasons, this service will confidentially inform the doctor of their relative(s), who will then contact them to discuss the condition, what it might mean for them, and arrange any appropriate tests or care.
This is done through professional contact, and does not allow for contact between the applicant and their relatives.
The service can only be used when agreed with the doctors of both parties.
Only information relating to an existing hereditary condition can be passed on.
Using the service
The service is normally requested by the person who has been diagnosed with a hereditary medical condition, or their doctor.
Applications must include a signed letter from the doctor of the person diagnosed, which:
- does not include any personal information about either their patient, or the person being looked for
- has the relevant information about the medical condition
- has the doctor's name, address, postcode, and General Medical Council code
The application must also give as much information as possible about the relative(s) being looked for. This must be separate to the signed letter, or the application will be rejected.
It will be easier to find the right person when more information is provided. Relevant identifying details can include:
- full names, including their name after any adoption
- date of birth where known, or approximate age
- a copy of any birth or adoption certificates
Applications should be sent by post to:
Adoption registration service