Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Adults

Click here to read the Evidence Base 2024

Click here to read about the 2024 process, including sample application form, Standards of Excellence and FAQs

Applications for the 2024 Centre of Excellence for Adults designation closed on 8th May 2024.

Since launching in 2020, the Centre of Excellence programme has drawn together experts from across the UK to define excellence in all aspects of brain tumour treatment, care and research. In 2020–2022, data were collected from 28/30 adult neuro-oncology centres, and through a thorough review process, 17 centres with a total catchment area of 40 million people were awarded Centre of Excellence status. A similar process was launched in paediatrics in 2023, and following the success of both programmes a new adult Centre of Excellence designation is launching in 2024.

Purpose: The Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence designation recognises and awards adult neuro-oncology centres that provide excellent treatment, care and research opportunities for patients with brain tumours and provides targeted support to centres to improve and develop services. The initiative aims to enable and encourage as many centres as possible to achieve ‘Centre of Excellence’ designation to encourage ongoing service improvement and collectively raise standards. It recognises NHS staff going above and beyond and allows patients and their families to feel confident that they are receiving the best possible care currently available in the NHS.

Expert-led, evidence-based process: The TJBCM has brought together a diverse committee of experts to outline the current challenges and areas of excellence. These have been collated in an Evidence Base. Based on this, the committee has created Standards of Excellence which go beyond today’s existing guidelines, covering clinical practice, patient care, staff training opportunities, access to clinical trials and research opportunities.

Process: All centres are asked to reapply in 2024; current Centres of Excellence are invited to demonstrate that they have maintained their standards, while centres that were not designated in 2020–2022 will be assessed to see how they have developed. Centres that did not apply in 2020–2022 are also invited to be assessed.

Centres are assessed through their answers in an extensive application form, patient feedback collected by the Brain Tumour Charity, and a virtual site visit. Centres meeting the Standards of Excellence are awarded Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for three years. After this, they are asked to re-apply to ensure centres continue to maintain and improve their services. Centres that did not obtain Excellence status have three years to develop and improve services in order to re-apply, with targeted support from TJBCM through sharing of best practice in the Tessa Jowell Academy, provision of benchmarking data and letter writing support. See here for more information on the application process.

The 2020–2022 Centre of Excellence Designation collected the largest dataset on NHS brain tumour treatment, care and research ever produced, and began many national and local improvements in neuro-oncology centres. You can read the results of this process in TJBCM’s Does it Matter Where You Are Treated? report, which provided landmark recommendations to improve brain tumour treatment, care and research at a national and local level. The data collected in 2024 will continue to be the bedrock of TJBCM’s activities supporting the entire brain cancer community.

Click the links above to access the latest Standards of Excellence and our brand new Evidence Base, which summarises the programme, application process and evidence behind each Standard.

Cally Palmer, NHS England national cancer director, said: This award is a fitting tribute to Tessa Jowell and her dedication to excellence in cancer care, as well as to all the NHS staff who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to continue to provide life-saving cancer services, and it is great to see NHS hospitals across the country being recognised as centres of excellence.

Neuro-Oncology Centres awarded Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence in 2020-2022:

University Hospitals Birmingham; Edinburgh Centre for Neuro-oncology; King’s Health Partners (King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals and Kent Cancer Centre); Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Salford Royal Foundation Trust & The Christie; Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Nottingham University Hospitals; St George’s University Hospital, Royal Marsden & Royal Surrey County Hospital; University College Hospital London NHS Foundation TrustLiverpool Network (The Walton Centre, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre); Barts Health; The East of England service (Cambridge University HospitalsNorfolk Norwich Hospital and Ipswich Hospital); Oxford University Hospitals and the Thames Valley Neuro-oncology Network; The Bristol Network (North Bristol NHS Trust, University Hospitals Bristol NHS TrustGloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustRoyal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust); Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Cardiff Neuro-oncology centre (Velindre Cancer Centre and University Hospital Wales); Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust