For people with brain cancer, the current proposals within the NHS People Plan are not adequate, and will not solve current issues regarding waiting times and care.
What we know
1. Now that we have more accurate data we now know that there are nearly 70,000 people living with a brain tumour. Brain cancer needs specialist services so the services provided need to match the demand. This number is greater than anyone imagined and doesn’t take into account people living with brain metastases – where cancer has spread to the brain from another part of the body.
2. For too long we have had huge shortages in the specialist services that people living with a brain tumour need – the shortfall in neuroradiologists means that people are waiting too long for scan results, which creates anxiety and stress. We know that neuro-rehabilitation is severely underfunded. We know too that the psychological distress caused by the diagnosis and ongoing challenges of living with a brain tumour is not resourced with only 43% of centres having access to the services the community needs.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we need to get it right. Our role is to ensure that the brain cancer community’s voice is represented. Working with our community we are in the privileged position of having the view from the bridge – we know what it is people living with a brain tumour need so that they can live their lives as people and not patients. This insight enables us to ensure that the services match the need.