Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Adults

Click here to read the Standards of Excellence 2020-21 

Click here to read the Application Process 

Click here to provide feedback anonymously on the previous process

With 12,000 people diagnosed with a brain tumour every year, there has never been a more important time to recognise the work of the teams that help patients through their brain tumour journey.

The Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence designation initiative recognises and awards neuro-oncology centres for their excellence in patient treatment and care and research. It aims to enable and encourage as many centres as possible to achieve ‘Centre of Excellence’ designation to collectively raise the bar and set an example across the cancer community on how this type of effort can lead in the treatment of rare cancers.

The TJBCM has worked with the community to set 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. Led by a committee of experts, centres are assessed against these standards by undergoing a rigorous assessment process including an extensive application form, virtual site visit and patient feedback collected by the Brain Tumour Charity.

Centres which meet the Standards 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 which did not obtain Excellence status have three years to develop and improve services in order to re-apply.

The assessment process is merely the start of a journey. The process has been designed to uncover gaps and best practice through comprehensive data collection. The data is used to create bespoke solutions to address the gaps at hospital-level, regionally or nationally. To implement recommendations and solutions, each hospital benefits from individualised support from the TJBCM team and through the Tessa Jowell Academy platform – a digital learning and networking platform – from their peers, regardless of excellence status.

To date, 17 Centres in the UK have been awarded Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for their excellence in clinical practice, patient care and research. These centres stood out for truly embodying the human-centred culture of kindness and compassion that Tessa Jowell advocated for during her lifetime, providing wraparound holistic care that meets a patient where they are.

Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence:

  1. University Hospitals Birmingham
  2. Edinburgh Centre for Neuro-oncology 
  3. King’s Health Partners – King’s College Hospital & Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals 
  4. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  5. Salford Royal Foundation Trust & The Christie 
  6. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  7. Nottingham University Hospitals
  8. St George’s University Hospital, Royal Marsden & Royal Surrey County Hospital
  9. University College Hospital London NHS Foundation Trust
  10.  Liverpool Network (The Walton Centre, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre)
  11. Barts Health 
  12. The East of England service (Cambridge University Hospitals, Norfolk Norwich Hospital and Ipswich Hospital)
  13. Oxford University Hospitals and the Thames Valley Neuro oncology Network
  14. The Bristol Network (North Bristol NHS Trust, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust)
  15. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  16. Cardiff Neuro-oncology centre (Velindre Cancer Centre and University Hospital Wales)
  17. Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Centres which did not obtain Excellence status are good hospitals which provide safe treatment and care, often only missing status by a small margin. The mission is working closely with these centres to ensure the meet the high standards set out by the Tessa Jowell Standards of Excellence. 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.

The TBCM is working closely with the designation committee as well as centres more broadly to prepare for the 2023/24 application round where all centres will be asked to re-apply. The committee will review the Standards of Excellence to determine whether these are still applicable in the current NHS environment and in line with the latest advances in the field.

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.