Parliamentarians were updated on progress and findings of the Pathway to a Cure inquiry at this morning’s meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT).
The inquiry, which Brain Tumour Research is proud to be providing secretariat, was launched in July 2021 to assess the funding issues for brain tumour research which persist and the barriers which continue to be identified, and to provide recommendations to address these barriers and ensure sustainable funding. Panel members in attendance today included Hilary Benn, Holly Mumby-Croft and Lord Polak.
Our Chief Executive Sue Farrington Smith MBE updated attendees on the inquiry progress made so far, including evidence shared from the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) and National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) which outline the current funding landscape, and provide suggestions for what needs to be done to accelerate brain tumour research.
There was also feedback following a call for written evidence of researchers’ experiences, existing barriers and suggestions for solutions and two oral evidence sessions, with a number of issues identified. These include lack of funding and models which are not fit for purpose, lack of feedback to researchers during application, and a lack of understanding about the unique challenges facing brain tumour researchers. There was an overwhelming agreement that there are significant barriers to building a long-term career in brain tumour research.
Future sessions of the inquiry will include paediatricians, industry, the charity sector and Government funders, and the resulting report will be published in 2023.
The Brain Tumour Charity also presented on the latest national results from its Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys, which have identified some significant gaps and variations in NHS care. Capturing the experiences of almost 1,500 people, the survey has, in particular, identified key issues in access to Clinical Nurse Specialists and the provision of Holistic Needs Assessments to help identify patients’ unique care needs in research participation.
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