Brain Tumour Research contributes to Welsh cancer inquiry

2 min read
Brain Tumour Research has provided recommendations to an inquiry into inequalities and cancer in Wales.

The Cross-Party Group on Cancer in Wales launched the inquiry to understand the impact that inequalities, and particularly deprivation, have on patient experience, access to cancer services, cancer incidence and cancer outcomes in Wales, in order to provide recommendations to the Welsh Government, NHS Wales and other public bodies to tackle inequalities across the cancer pathway.

Brain Tumour Research conducted a survey of brain tumour patients and those with lived experience of the disease in Wales. It found that most respondents experienced a “general lack of support” which, in some cases, exacerbated the effect of deprivation. 

Concerns highlighted included the lack of specialist services “close to home” and how access to specialist services hugely varies across Wales, with a widespread sentiment that regional inequalities should be high up on the political agenda.

Barriers to brain tumour patients accessing services included the cost-of-living crisis, a postcode lottery and the impact of COVID-19 on cancer services. Where services are available, patients faced long waits, poor signposting and lack of availability.

Brain Tumour Research has compiled the responses to provide its recommendations, including:

  • A quicker and easier way for cancer patients to access support they are entitled to, including financial support, for instance through a purpose-built benefits system for cancer patients
  • UK Governments working together to speed up access to better treatments by stimulating further increases in the national investment into brain tumour research to £30-£35 million per year – to achieve parity with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia
  • Continued support to aid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic which caused major disruptions to the cancer pathway
  • A better Government understanding of the health inequalities faced by people affected by brain tumours through enhanced data and insight, including addressing the inequalities in health research participation for brain tumour patients

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