This paper discusses spatial trends in referral patterns to a cancer genetics service. It presents a literature review outlining the paucity of existing research, a preliminary analysis at the Unitary Authority level in Wales and advances a programme of further research to be conducted at a more detailed spatial level. The preliminary analysis shows a weak negative relationship between referral rates from primary care and social deprivation by Unitary Authority (Spearman rank correlation coefficient, sigma = -0.38). There is also a weak positive relationship between average settlement size and referral rates (sigma = +0.28), which taken together may indicate that primary care practices in affluent urban areas are more likely to refer than those in poorer rural areas. Future research will be conducted at a finer spatial scale, and will take into account characteristics of primary care practices and the patients being referred, amongst other variables.