The UK Government has formally acknowledged that more needs to be done for brain tumour patients and their families. Health Minister George Freeman MP announced a package of measures at a Westminster Hall debate on Monday 18th April which was prompted by an e-petition launched by the family of Stephen Realf, lost to a brain tumour at the age of 26, and backed by the charity Brain Tumour Research
The Government will:
- Set up a “Task and Finish” working group at the Department of Health looking at areas highlighted by the Petitions Committee report.
- Request the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) produce a national register within a year to examine how public funds are spent on research.
- Seek to improve levels of earlier diagnosis and include brain cancer in the Genomics England programme. Mr Freeman formally accepted the Petitions Committee report which found that patients and their families had been “failed for decades.”
He praised the “extraordinary campaigning” of so many individuals and charities who were: “lifting a torch and joining a magnificent history of people who, through their suffering… drive campaigns and raise awareness, leading to increased funding.” Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Gwynne MP thanked Brain Tumour Research for its support of the petition and in helping MPs better understand issues relating to the disease. He added: “The charity Brain Tumour Research which champions research across the country, has estimated that between £30 million and £35 million a year over 10 years is needed to make a significant impact on brain tumour treatment.”
Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “I am immensely proud that, with the support of thousands of patients, families and activists, the woeful underfunding of this dreadful disease has finally been acknowledged. Our voices have been heard and the work of the past 15 years has not been in vain. “So many of the key issues highlighted in our Invest In a Cure manifesto have been addressed and we will continue to apply pressure to ensure genuine progress is made. We have reached an important milestone on our journey and we will continue with renewed hope and determination.”
For further information please contact Susan Castle-Smith at Brain Tumour Research on 07887 241639 or Susan@braintumourresearch.org