Brain Tumour Research DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Lord Carlile of BerriewMain Page: Lord Carlile of Berriew (Crossbench - Life peer)
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.
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.