Brain and Central Nervous System

Our brain and central nervous system cancer service provides surgery, oncology (chemotherapy/radiotherapy) and palliative treatments for people with brain and spinal cord cancers. The team also provide surgical treatment for patients from Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust and Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

University Hospitals employs a multidisciplinary team who will treat and care for you throughout your journey. The team consists of neurosurgeons, neurologists, oncologists, cancer nurse specialists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Having the input of staff from a variety of clinical backgrounds helps give a rounded, complete view of each patient's case, and therefore results in better care.

We understand the complex emotions and pressures that come with a cancer diagnoses and the subsequent treatment. We therefore take every measure possible to ensure you are made comfortable during your treatment, including quiet rooms to enable you to speak in peace, away from the business of the wards.

At your diagnosis you will have the opportunity to concentrate properly on what is being said to you and discuss sensitive matters in private with your clinician and specialist nurse. A consultant will sit with you and explain your diagnosis, along with possible treatment options. They will be accompanied by a cancer nurse specialist, who is there to support you and talk to you about your feelings.

Your treatment pathway

Before any treatment is given you will meet with the neurosurgeon treating you and usually with a specialist nurse and a relative or friend for your support.  They will then discuss your condition and treatment plan with you. This may involve an operation to remove or biopsy the tumour. Sometimes certain tumours are best managed without surgery if that is considered more appropriate.

After the specimen report has been received from the laboratory, they will meet with you again and discuss the results with you in more detail, with the further treatment plan. Some tumour types will not need further treatment, but others will need radiotherapy, chemotherapy or both. You will need to be referred to an oncologist if further treatment is necessary. You will then receive brain scans for several years.

Multi-disciplinary Team (MDT)

Neurosurgeons

Mr H Brydon (Clinical Lead for brain tumours)

Ms E Albanese (brain tumours)

Mr R Price (spinal and brain tumours)

Mr N Tzerakis and Mr R Price (spinal tumours)

Mr Shaw (skull base tumours)

Neurologists: Dr J Partridge and Dr M Mockova

Oncologists: Dr S Joseph

Cancer Nurse Specialist: Catharine James and Support Tumour Nurse Louise Montgomery

As well as Neuro-psychologists, Radiologist, physios and OTs


Our Clinical Nurse Specialists

The role is to provide support to each patient as they progress through their care pathway. They will walk you through each step of your journey and are dedicated to providing you with a personal service, to be your named Key Worker.

You may be offered a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA). Many patients find having an assessment helpful as it can help to identify what help is available. A HNA will be offered at certain times during your care, this may include:Around time of diagnosis or start of your treatment, The end of your treatment - when your surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy has been completed, Any time that you ask for one

You can contact your Clinical Nurse Specialist if you have any issues you wish to discuss.​

Your specialist nurses are also there to provide you with Patient Information Leaflets: These are available for you to take, and contain information on your type of cancer, the treatments available, and advice on benefits and support groups/useful contacts. To answer any questions you may have. The specialist nurses work in partnership with ward staff to ensure that, where appropriate, referrals to other services, such as local community cancer and palliative care teams, are made.

 As your key worker they can provide the following: Up to date clinical information, for example through discussion, or through distribution of Patient Information Prescription, which is individual to your needs. You can also discuss a variety of issues (depending on their relevancy to you) including:

•Practical advice and answers to your questions

•Emotional support

•Referral to other services, such as to Support groups

•Advice on how to obtain a wig

•Surgery

•Radiotherapy and chemotherapy

•Benefits/financial entitlement

•Other support services including social services, home and hospice care

•Emotional and psychological support and counselling

•Symptom management

•Fatigue management

•Employment

•Driving and holiday travel

•Help with adaptations for the home/environmental aids

•Medications

•Local and national support groups

•Contact point for other member so the team

The Clinical nurses specialist work from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Monday to Friday and are available to speak to either by phone or in person. An answer machine service is available for when they are not in the office. If you leave a message they will return your call as soon as possible (this may not be the same day).

Contact details: Catharine James and Louise Montgomery: 01782 675272

Neurosurgical Ward 228: 01782676228

Further information and support

The Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centre will: Listen to how cancer is affecting your life. Provide a wide range of free booklets and other written information. Put you in touch with other sources of support such as local counselling services, benefits advisers and support groups. The centre is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The address is: The Macmillan Cancer Support and Information Centre, University Hospitals of North Midlands, Ground Floor, Main Building, Newcastle Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 6QG. Call us on 01782 676333 or e-mail us at macmillancentre@uhns.nhs.uk

Please note, the information centre is unrelated to the local Douglas Macmillan Hospice, despite the word Macmillan in both our names.

If you are making a special journey, please ring to make an appointment so you are not kept waiting

Other Information and support group information

Brain Tumour Support has joined with the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust to establish a support group in Staffordshire.

The groups are open to anyone who has been affected by a brain tumour, whether you are a patient, a family member, a friend or a carer. 

Meetings are held at The Carer's Centre, North Staffs Carer's Association, 1 Duke Street, Fenton, Stoke on Trent  ST4 3NR. The meeting is normally on the third Thursday of the month, at 1.30pm – 3.30pm and are held bi-monthly at the Hamar Centre Therapy Room, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, North Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury SY3 8XQ and are normally on the second Monday of the month, at 11.00am – 12.30pm.

For more details of the group and other support available please contact Christine Bettson, Brain Tumour Support Worker for Staffordshire and Shropshire

Mobile: 07711 597169. Email: christine@braintumoursupport.co.uk.  Support Services Line: 01454 422701​