Today marks the 70th birthday of the National Health Service and The Brain Tumour Charity would like to celebrate all that it has done for our community
Aneurin Bevan, then Health Minister under Clement Attlee’s Labour Government, spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service, which was launched on 5 July 1948.
At its heart resided three core principles; that it met the needs of everyone, that it be free at the point of delivery and that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.
For Bevan, ‘No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means’.
Here at The Brain Tumour Charity, we recognise the efforts of those who have made the service what it is today and continue to deliver the best possible care for all people suffering with a brain tumour.
Brain tumour funding
We welcome the Government funding announcement of £20bn a year until 2023 for the NHS, but more must be done to ensure patients with a brain tumour see this invested in healthcare improvement and research.
Brain tumour patient experience and care consistently ranks as one of the lowest of all cancers types across all national healthcare services.
Alongside this, over £500m a year is spent on cancer research in the UK, yet less than 2% is spent on brain tumours.
102,000 children and adults are currently estimated to be living with a brain tumour in the UK, with over 5,000 people losing their lives to the disease.
We will continue to work with the NHS, healthcare professionals and the wider health sector so that we improve brain tumour diagnosis, care and patient experience so that a brain tumour diagnosis doesn’t mean a death sentence and those living with the disease are afforded the best quality of life possible.
With news circulating last week the NHS England is to stop ‘ineffective’ treatments, we are continuing to fight to safeguard brain tumour treatments and diagnosis mechanisms.
There are plans to discontinue or restrict a list of 17 ‘unnecessary’ procedures, including varicose vein surgery and injections for back pain, as many of these problems can get better without the need for treatment.
NHS England plans to consult the public on proposals until 28 September, with changes expected to be implemented in 2019-20.
One potential procedure which has been proposed is restricting brain scans for people suffering with migraines.
Misdiagnosis is common in the brain tumour community where one in three people needing to visit a medical professional five times or more before they receive an accurate diagnosis of a brain tumour.
Headaches are a common symptom of a brain tumour and healthcare professionals must always remain vigilant when presented with signs and symptoms of the disease.
As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, The Brain Tumour Charity will continue to fight for the preservation of one of its core principles – to meet the health needs of the British people – and we will ensure the brain tumour community are not left behind in this endeavour.
Together, as a community, we will make brain tumours history.