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Cardiff Neuro-Oncology Centre Awarded Centre of Excellence Status by Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission


With 12,000 people diagnosed with a brain tumour every year in the UK, there has never been a more important time to recognise the efforts of NHS staff committed to developing and improving brain tumour treatment and care.

  • The Cardiff Neuro-oncology Centre, comprising Velindre Cancer Centre, University Hospital of Wales and Cardiff University has been named as one of six new NHS brain tumour centres to have been awarded Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence status
  • This award has been given following significant service developments and engagement with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission over the last 18 months
  • The total number of Centres of Excellence has now increased to 17, marking an important new milestone in the Mission’s ambition to give all UK patients access to excellent care

27 May 2022 - The Cardiff Neuro-oncology Centre, comprising Velindre Cancer Centre, University Hospital of Wales and Cardiff University, has been awarded the “Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence” status by the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) in recognition of its exemplar commitment to service development and improvement.

The Cardiff Centre is one of six national centres to have been recognised for excellence in treatment, research and care. The Centre of Excellence status acknowledges how the centres have been able to transform their services to elevate their wrap-around patient care, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof Kate Bushby, who led the designation exercise, said: “The award not only celebrates the centres’ hard work to push for excellence but also formalises the teams' commitment to continual service improvement”. 

This initiative is part of TJBCM’s national mission to ensure every patient has access to excellent care, no matter where they live. With the addition of six new centres, there are now 17 Centres of Excellence across the UK. In time, it is the Mission’s aspiration that every brain tumour centre in the UK becomes a Centre of Excellence.

Commenting on the award, James Powell, Neuro-Oncology Consultant at Velindre Cancer Centre and lead clinician for the Centre of Excellence process said: “We are delighted to have been designated a Centre of Excellence in recognition of our ongoing commitment to developing our services to improve patient experience and outcomes. We hope the Centre of Excellence status will give each patient referred into our service greater confidence that they are receiving the highest levels of care available.”

The Cardiff Neuro-oncology Centre was recognised for its exemplar commitment to service development and improvement. The committee recognised the rigour and dedication with which the team took to developing the service following the committee recommendations and the many areas of excellence throughout the pathway. Cardiff was commended for its impressive rehabilitation pathway and the enthusiasm with which it has shared its best practices through the Tessa Jowell Academy for other centres to learn from.

Jess Mills, Tessa Jowell’s daughter and TJBCM’s Special Adviser has hailed this good news and says “we are one step closer to achieving this incredible ambition of excellence for all. The reason we are moving forward at this fast pace is due to the combined efforts and commitment of the doctors, nurses and support staff in each of the hospitals.”

To be considered for this award, centres implemented specific feedback from the Mission and made a range of service improvements over a period of 18 months. Highlights include: better access to biobanking, increased nurse staffing, improved provision of care for low grade tumour patients, new nurse-led clinics, further specialised neurosurgery services, quicker turnaround of key diagnostic tests and improved access to rehabilitation services.

All six centres will continue to share their expertise with staff in other centres through the Tessa Jowell Academy, the Mission’s national learning and networking platform. This will ensure that multidisciplinary teams continue to connect with peer centres across the country and learn from each other’s excellence to support service improvement nationally.

It is hoped that for the 88,000 British people currently living with a brain tumour2, the Excellence status provides reassurance about the availability of excellent care and commitment to improvement in the NHS across the UK. The Mission looks forward to continuing to work with all centres to ensure a culture of commitment to excellence and service improvement.

The list of centres who obtained Excellence status this year include: The East of England service (Cambridge University Hospitals, Norfolk Norwich Hospital and Ipswich Hospital); Oxford University Hospitals; The Bristol Network (North Bristol NHS Trust, United Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust); Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust ; Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; and the Cardiff Neuro-oncology centre (Velindre Cancer Centre and University Hospital Wales).