Two more NHS brain tumour centres obtain Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence status
Excellence status has been awarded to Barts Health and the Liverpool Network, joining nine other UK NHS neuro-centres as Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence.
The centres underwent an extensive assessment process and were assessed on a range of criteria including excellent clinical practice, emphasis on patient quality of life, staff training opportunities and the ability to offer research opportunities to patients. Both centres passed a rigorous review conducted by an expert assessment committee which was discussed during virtual site visits.
brainstrust Chief Executive, Will Jones, said:
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic that has exerted extraordinary pressure on health systems we should congratulate, unreservedly, the teams that have continued to strive for excellence in brain tumour care. It is fantastic that there remains such broad clinical support for this scheme. Even better, that two more NHS centres have achieved Centre of Excellence status. This is a vital programme to improve care, experience and outcomes for our too-long neglected community. We look forward to the day when all centres are Centres of Excellence and at brainstrust we will continue to support clinical teams who are working towards this goal. We need excellence everywhere.
Dimitrios Paraskevopoulos, Neurosurgeon from Barts Health welcomed the announcement and said that:
“We are thrilled that Barts Health has been designated as a TJ Centre of Excellence. This acknowledges the hard work and dedication in our team to provide excellent patient-focussed care to a diverse population. We are able to provide strong links with basic cancer research and access to clinical trials, cutting edge treatment as well as rehabilitation support. We look forward to working with the Tessa Jowell Academy to provide even more opportunities for our patients and share our expertise.”
What does it mean?
The “Excellence” status provides reassurance about the availability of excellent care within the NHS and positive recognition for its staff who, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, continue to go above and beyond for their patients.
Founded in 2018 to lead a new national strategy for brain tumours, the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission has led the national assessment and is committed to help all UK centres achieve “Excellence” status in the future. The 28 of 30 UK Brain Tumour Centres have by now participated in this extensive review; 11 have obtained Excellence status and the remaining centres are currently working hard to obtain this status as soon as possible.
Following recommendations of the assessment committee many previously assessed centres have already made considerable improvements and are expected to obtain excellence status in 2022. Improvements made include increasing access to rehabilitation and psychological support services, recruiting additional staff members, developing pathways for tumour biobanking and widening access to research opportunities for patients. TJBCM stressed that all UK Brain Tumour Centres who participated in the review provide safe and good care, meeting national guidelines.
The Tessa Jowell Academy
Barts Health, Liverpool and the other Centres of Excellence are expected to take a leading role in the Tessa Jowell Academy, which is launching early 2022. The Academy will be a new national learning and networking platform for brain tumour specialists to share cutting edge knowledge between centres, to support the improvement of services. It is hoped that with the support of the Academy more centres will qualify for excellence status in the future, extending the reassurance of excellent NHS care more broadly and ensuring no patient is left behind.
Prof Kate Bushby, who led the assessment said:
“I am thrilled to announce two new Centres of Excellence who each demonstrated unique areas of excellence from which patients benefit. Throughout 2021, we have witnessed first-hand how centres have been increasingly sharing information and are innovating how they provide patient care. I look forward to seeing this upward trajectory continue over the next few years and see how patients and their families will have access to ever improving care”