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Local NHS Trusts are working together to improve the treatment process for people with brain tumours

1 year ago

Local NHS Trusts are working together to improve the treatment process for people with brain tumours

NHS Trusts across the North West are working together to improve the process for people diagnosed and treated for a brain tumour following a visit to A&E.

Staff at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Whiston Hospital in Prescot identified gaps in treatment for patients who attend A&E and receive a potential or confirmed diagnosis of brain tumour.

Most brain tumour patients first present with symptoms at an A&E and there are often delays in obtaining appropriate imaging necessitating inpatient stays.

The neuro-oncology team at The Walton Centre and the Acute Oncology Nursing Team at Whiston Hospital in Prescot developed an improved pathway for patients at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Foundation Trust to receive the most appropriate treatment and/or support as quickly as possible.

After a successful pilot, the team at The Walton Centre is looking to embed the pathway and has since rolled it out at Warrington Hospital and Arrowe Park Hospital and are speaking to other hospitals in the region as well as national groups.

The Walton Centre

Mr Andy Brodbelt, Consultant Neurosurgeon and the lead for neuro-oncology at The Walton Centre, said:

“Patients diagnosed with a brain tumour in an A&E are often admitted for further tests, which can sometimes take some time, delaying their review at The Walton Centre. Each hospital works differently, and it is important that effective communication occurs within each hospital before patients are seen in our specialist centre.

“Working with colleagues at Whiston Hospital A&E, we advised on the optimal and immediate pathway for diagnosis of a brain tumour. This can include early MRI, the need for CT scanning and commencement of appropriate medication.

“This should put patients in a much better position ahead of their first appointment at the specialist centre and will hopefully lead to much better outcomes.”

Mr Brodbelt said collaboration was key to the successful pilot and it was now encouraging to be able to roll out across the region. 

“We want to ensure that all patients diagnosed with a brain tumour across Cheshire and Merseyside have a clear initial management, rapid access to the appropriate imaging in their local Trust preferably as an outpatient, leading to a complete referral and review expedited at The Walton Centre. Working with busy colleagues across the region’s A&Es, we hope to be able to offer our expertise and specialist knowledge at The Walton Centre to provide a way forward.”

Visit the The Walton Centre website here or the Whiston Hospital website here.

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