Opening of the Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence for Children Designation Round

Press Release

Published 26th May 2023

Opening today, the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) is inviting all UK centres treating children with brain tumours to apply to the Centre of Excellence for Children Initiative.

The Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Children initiative aims to recognise paediatric neuro-oncology centres that provide excellent treatment, care and research activities for patients with brain tumours and their families. All NHS paediatric neuro-oncology centres are invited to apply to be considered for the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence award.

The initiative is led by Dr Stephen Lowis together with a committee of NHS neuro-oncology experts. The committee have spent a year exploring paediatric brain tumour care, outlining the key challenges and strengths in current NHS care. These insights have been validated with patient representatives, charity organisations and national guidelines, and are published in our Evidence Base. Based on this, the committee created Standards of Excellence which go beyond today’s existing guidelines, covering the entire patient care pathway. Applicant centres are asked to complete an Application Form, participate in virtual site visits, and undergo an in-depth assessment of their service against the Standards of Excellence.

The outcome of the first designation round will be announced in December 2023. For patients, the Centre of Excellence programme will provide confidence and clarity that they are receiving the best possible brain tumour treatment and care in today’s NHS. For centres, striving for this status encourages ongoing service improvement and raises treatment, care and research standards over time.

Following the first application round, TJBCM will work closely will all centres to showcase excellence and address areas for improvement to collectively improve treatment, care and research and foster innovation throughout. The data gathered through this process will be used to create bespoke solutions to address the gaps at hospital-level, regionally or nationally. To implement recommendations and solutions, each hospital will benefit from individualised support from the TJBCM team and through an invitation to join the Tessa Jowell Academy, a free digital learning and networking platform.

Dr Nicky Huskens, CEO, Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission said: “We are delighted to have been offered the opportunity to launch a Children’s Centre of Excellence programme in the UK alongside the adult programme that we have run for the last three years. We carefully developed this Children’s programme over the last 18 months and have documented our findings in the extensive Evidence Base that we are publishing today. This programme offers a unique opportunity for us to collect high quality data over the summer and turn this into actionable objectives in the months to come”.

About The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission

The TJBCM is a Community Interest Company which delivers a national portfolio of eight transformational programmes in the areas of brain tumour research, trials, training and patient care.

The TJBCM is supported by the Department of Health and Social Care and brings together leading clinicians, academics, and charities including Brain Tumour Research, Cancer Research UK, The Brain Tumour Charity, Brainstrust, Brain Tumour Support, The Minderoo Foundation, The Tessa Jowell Foundation, Act for Cancer and the National Cancer Research Institute, amongst others.