Brain Tumour Research

Lord Carlile of Berriew Excerpts
Thursday 19th November 2020

(2 months ago)

Lords Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, I am extremely grateful for a briefing given by Professor Richard Gilbertson earlier today on the specific question raised by my noble friend, which is grants for brain tumours in children. The NIHR system is a gold standard that is envied by the world and does not necessarily need to be broken and restarted. However, the point made by my noble friend is a good one and we are looking at ways of ensuring that more and better recommendations for grants go into the system in the first place so that, basically, we can spend the money more quickly.

Lord Carlile of Berriew Portrait Lord Carlile of Berriew (CB) [V]
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My Lords, on 6 November this year, the Government spoke of developing quality research and funding through a successful partnership and sustainable alignment with the charity sector. When can we expect to see some results from that initiative, with work and funding to achieve those goals?

Lord Bethell Portrait Lord Bethell (Con)
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My Lords, the work of the charity sector in medical research is absolutely fundamental to national progress in this area. However, it too has been hit incredibly hard by Covid. We are having a number of dialogues with medical research sector representatives on how we can help. There will need to be a short, medium and long-term approach to getting back to where we were at the beginning of the year. How we bridge the current funding gap is a source of enormous concern to the department and the NHS. I cannot guarantee that we can necessarily embark on exactly the same framework that we envisaged at the beginning of the year, but I can reassure the noble Lord that we are very committed to the research community and we engage with it regularly on how we can help.