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Liverpool and North Wales Network awarded Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence Status

The Liverpool Network, including The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre, has been awarded Centre of Excellence status after rigorous assessments led by experts from the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM).

The Walton Centre’s Consultant Neurosurgeon Professor Michael Jenkinson led application, he said: “We are delighted to have been recognised as a TJBCM centre of excellence. The entire team works extremely hard to deliver the best possible wrap-around care for all the 500 brain tumour patients and their families treated at The Walton Centre each year. We are dedicated to providing high quality, compassionate and holistic care as well as offering clinical trials and research opportunities to patients - without whom, new and better treatments would not be possible." 

With more than 12,000 people diagnosed every year with a primary brain tumour in the UK, the award has been introduced to recognise hospitals for their excellence in patient care. Led by a committee of experts in the field and virtual site visits, the assessments were backed up by patient feedback about the care they received. This award is one of two to be awarded this in the UK this year, 11 centres have been given the status to date. Barts Health NHS Trust was also awarded the status.

The TJBCM assessors were impressed by how closely the three members of the Liverpool Network work together to make sure people with brain cancer receive seamless care throughout what can be a very complex treatment journey involving diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Dr Shaveta Mehta, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said: “We are very proud that our patient-centred approach and the high standard of care with close collaboration between different teams in Liverpool and North Wales has been recognised. Being a designated Centre of Excellence and part of the new Tessa Jowell Academy will be a fantastic opportunity to share expertise and learn from other centres, further improving the standard of care and experience of people with brain cancer right across the UK.”

The “Excellence” status provides reassurance about the availability of excellent care within the NHS, and positive recognition for our staff who continue to go the extra mile for patients, despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Dr Win Soe, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre, said: “The North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre is extremely proud to be part of the team awarded the prestigious Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence status. It reflects the hard work and commitment of staff at all levels in providing a comprehensive yet individualised plan of care for patients with brain tumours. In particular, the award comments on the ‘demonstrated excellence and leadership along the treatment pathway’. The fact this award has been received despite the challenges faced throughout the Covid Pandemic is a huge testament to the whole team.”

The report by the TJBCM describes that the team “demonstrated excellence and leadership along the treatment pathway” and is “proud to have you as an ambassador to the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence network”.

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 family will have access to ever improving care.”

Three years ago, Baroness Tessa Jowell gave her powerful speech in the House of Lords recognising the need to improve brain tumour treatment, care and survival for all patients. Since then the TJBCM, with Professor Katie Bushby as programme lead, has been leading on the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence designation initiative – an exercise designed to recognise and award neuro-oncology centres for their excellence in patient care.

For more information on the Mission, go to:   

Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence:

  1. University Hospitals Birmingham
  2. Edinburgh Centre for Neuro-oncology
  3. King’s Health Partners of King’s College Hospital & Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals in London
  4. Leeds teaching hospitals NHS Trust (Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s Hospital)
  5. Salford Royal Foundation Trust and The Christie (Manchester)
  6. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  7. Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust
  8. St George’s University Hospital, Royal Marsden Hospital and Royal Surrey County Hospital
  9. University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  10. The ‘Liverpool Network’ (including The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre)
  11. Barts Health NHS Trust