My Lords, this is the greatest privilege, and one of the most daunting moments of my life—to follow my noble friend, with the eloquence, the care, the compassion and the courage she has shown. She is my noble friend—not by affiliation or values, although we share them—but through a lifelong friendship that has lasted for well over 40 years.
If the House will forgive me, I want to say a word about Tessa—the noble Baroness, Lady Jowell—as a person. We got to know each other when we both chaired our respective social services committee. That is when I saw to begin with her care and compassion, described so well this afternoon. It is a compassion that has overcome the challenges that she faces and those of her family. Yesterday on the “Today” programme, and she said it this afternoon about the community of care, it was not just her own courage that shone through; it was the deep love and affection of her family—David, Jess and Matthew, and her extended family. The care she displayed this afternoon reached out, because it is the caring family and the community around those with cancer who travel on the journey as well. It is the love and hope that they give that reaches out.
Sally, the young mother on the “Today” programme yesterday, as with the experience of the noble Baroness, Lady Rebuck, whose husband Philip I knew well and saw just three days before he died, displayed the search for excellence, for innovation and, above all, for action, that my noble friend has called for this afternoon.
I know absolutely nothing about the ECI—but I will. There is a need to set aside bureaucracy in terms of the experimentation that patients who are on this journey wish to try, to set aside the usual processes and to share the best practice from wherever it comes. Part of the role of family is to enable people to be able to sustain themselves while they seek access to that innovation and that improvement, and to know about where excellence exists here and across the world. Who you know is so often—too often—the telling point when you are seeking the best that exists in scientific development. What my noble friend Lady Jowell, my friend Tessa, has said this afternoon is that this should be available whoever you know, wherever you are and whatever access you have had to other people’s knowledge. The breakthroughs across the world need to be made available as quickly and with as little bureaucracy in our health service as possible.
My noble friend mentioned