NHS newly published Long Term Plan - implications for brain tumour patients

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The long-awaited NHS Long Term Plan was today (7th January 2018) published outlining the Government’s long-term vision for the NHS.

A number of priorities are set out in the 138-page document, including a big focus on cancer.

Key announcements relevant to brain tumour patients include:

  • Confirmation that 5-amino levulinic acid (5-ALA) – known as The Pink Drink – will be available in every neurological centre in England. Patients take 5-ALA prior to surgery and as a result tumour cells glow pink under ultra violet light, which can assist neurosurgeons in identifying which areas of the brain are cancerous and which are healthy.
  • The completion of a £130 million upgrade of radiotherapy machines across England, including the establishment of two NHS proton beam therapy centres in London and Manchester.

The Plan also makes a commitment that by 2021, all cancer patients will have access to a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and where appropriate, access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support.

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