St Luke’s Cancer Centre at Royal Surrey is one of just nine neuro-centres in the country to become a centre of excellence for brain tumour treatment and research. The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission recognised the centre’s achievement last week after a rigorous, expert-led assessment.
The Mission was set up after the death of politician Dame Tessa Jowell, who was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2017. In the last year of her life, Tessa campaigned to improve brain tumour treatment and research and to help patients receive the best possible care.
Rachel McArthur, Lead Neuro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, was a driving force behind St Luke’s becoming a Centre of Excellence, together with Dr Anthonia Creak, a former consultant at the Trust.
Rachel said: “I am extremely proud of our achievement in receiving this award on behalf of the team. It means a lot, as it not only recognises us for our excellence in brain tumour treatment and research but for delivering a specialist, multi-professional approach through a culture of kindness and compassion.
“This is a very complex tumour group, affecting around 12,000 people in the UK each year. It is a devastating, life-limiting disease from the day of diagnosis, so both the medical support and multi-professional support needed for patient and family is massive.
“The Brain Cancer Centre of Excellence Award is very special and shows that we’re at the forefront of putting our patients at the centre of everything we do.”
Vicki Mumford, Divisional Head of Nursing, said: “I am incredibly proud of the team for achieving this recognition. This is a huge achievement and testament to the hard work and dedication of the team, alongside always remaining patient and carer focused.”
The award also recognises the strength of the Trust’s close collaboration with St George’s University Hospital and the Royal Marsden Hospital. Rachel said: “The panel praised the Trust, saying they were astonished that with such a diverse catchment area and three hospitals working together, we had achieved real collaborative working and were particularly effective in our multi-disciplinary team approach.”
Louise Stead, Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our care and treatment for brain tumour patients has been recognised with this prestigious award.
“It’s a fantastic tribute to the dedication and care of staff in St Luke’s and the multi-disciplinary teamwork and collaboration between St George’s, the Royal Marsden and Royal Surrey. Congratulations to all those involved and thank you for going above and beyond to improve our patients’ quality of life.”
The Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence Award plaque is located in the reception area of St Luke’s Cancer Centre.