Cancer: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Randerson Baroness Randerson Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask His Majesty's Government, in the light of the newly established Children and Young People Cancer Task Force, how they will ensure that there is an integrated and coherent strategy between that and the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Children in child neuro-oncology; how they will ensure that resources are not unnecessarily duplicated; and how their work will be monitored and reported.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department is taking steps to ensure that there is strategic integration and alignment between the newly established Children and Young People Cancer Taskforce and other important cancer initiatives, including the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Children.

The Children and Young People Cancer Taskforce is intended to be a unifying force, driving progress in the research, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers affecting children and young people. The taskforce will be embedded in the landscape of cancer reform, mapping work already underway, identifying opportunities to go further, and ensuring that commitments are delivered, including those from the NHS Long Term Plan.

A vital part of the taskforce’s work will be to engage with initiatives such as the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission. The initiative for the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Children aims to recognise and award paediatric neuro-oncology centres that provide excellent treatment, care and research activities for children with brain tumours, and their families. The programme aims to uncover gaps and best practice through comprehensive data collection and is the first of its kind to understand and assess paediatric brain cancer care across the United Kingdom.

Both the taskforce and the centre will benefit from strategic coordination, senior official engagement and ongoing collaboration to ensure integration, best use of resources, and effective outcomes. While they have different timeframes and scopes, both will be subject to ongoing monitoring and reporting, with ministers being kept informed of progress at every stage.

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