Publish date: 25 April 2024

TJ CoE children image.pngThe UCLH and Great Ormond Street Hospital paediatric neuro-oncology service, which treats children with brain cancer, has been designated as one of six new ‘Tessa Jowell Centres of Excellence’. 

Each year, around 420 children are diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK. After a detailed review process across the UK, the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) has announced a new network of 15 brain tumour centres for children, of which six have been designated as excellent, including UCLH and GOSH.

The paediatric neuro-oncology service is run jointly between UCLH and GOSH and was awarded Centre of Excellence designation after a thorough, expert-led review of services.

UCLH paediatric neuro-oncology team.jpg
UCLH paediatric neuro-oncology team

The service met the Tessa Jowell Standards of Excellence in all aspects of treatment, care and research, with many areas of outstanding service provision. Particular areas of excellence included their psychological care and a well-resourced play therapy service. They deliver proactive recovery support and an exemplary commitment to delivering specialist palliative care at home in collaboration with community teams.

UCLH and GOSH also have notable involvement in clinical trials and brain tumour research, leading major funding initiatives and fostering national and international collaborations.

Yen-Ching Chang, Consultant in Clinical Oncology and Clinical Lead for Proton Beam Therapy at UCLH, said:

“It is a great honour for the UCLH and GOSH paediatric neuro-oncology service to be named as a Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Children. We are very proud of the care that we provide to children with brain cancer, not only through the latest medical treatments, but also the therapeutic support provided through play specialists, physiotherapists, clinical nurse specialists and the many others who support children and families through their cancer journey.”

The launch of this brand-new initiative marks the first stage in a national effort to further elevate the treatment, care and research for children with brain tumours. For families and young patients, this recognition will provide confidence in the services delivered by centres in the network. The Mission found remarkable examples in every centre of NHS staff working well beyond what was asked for, to deliver excellent care for their patients.

Dr Nicky Huskens, CEO of the TJBCM, said:

“The outcome of this rigorous process has been re-assuring. Every centre that participated provides good care, with six providing exceptional care. Going forward we will be working with our partners in the charity, public and corporate sectors to provide bespoke centre support and launch new meaningful national initiatives to improve brain tumour treatment and care.”