Steve Brine took part in a special debate in the Commons on Monday 13th May as the government announced the roll-out of a surgical intervention in the form of a drug given to patients with certain types high grade malignant brain tumours ahead of surgery.
Also known as the ‘Pink Drink’, the treatment was backed strongly by the late Dame Tessa Jowell, and Mr Brine was keen to highlight her work on this during the debate.
He recalled the debate last April, when Dame Jowell was present in the last weeks of her life, and in addressing the Health Secretary, said: “I wonder whether the Secretary of State will agree that the exciting new frontier in cancer is not only allowing people to survive it, and more people are doing that for longer than ever before, but to live really well after treatment, because it’s no good surviving cancer if it’s a rubbish time after that. Isn’t that the real promise of this?”
Matt Hancock MP said: “Well my honourable friend and former colleague and dependable minister, is completely right and I regret not mentioning him in my opening speech and the work that he did and of course when the honourable member on the front bench opposite said that, my predecessor as Secretary of State and he worked together on this, of course the person who did the hard yards was the Member for Winchester and I pay tribute to him as well.
“He’s completely right that it isn’t just about surviving cancer, it’s about living well, both with and after cancer, and making sure that we learn that lesson, and put the needs of the patient at the heart of the process, both their medical needs, but also their non-medical, their social needs.”