The Chancellor’s Budget announcement that the government would give £5m to establish a National Mesothelioma Centre of Excellence was greeted with surprise by many who work with asbestos disease victims and those campaigners who have sought to raise funding for many years. Mesothelioma research has been underfunded in the past and the governments initiative was welcomed.
However that surprise was compounded when it was discovered that a decision had already been made to allocate the funds to Imperial College without any consultation with the groups most involved and disregarding those medical centres already involved with research into mesothelioma. Imperial College has no known history of involvement with mesothelioma research. Other institutions were not given the opportunity to put forward any case for consideration or to discuss how they would make best use of the funds.
Calls have been made by many interested parties to the government to discuss further the allocation of funds before any final decision is made as to the siting of the National Mesothelioma Centre of Excellence.