12 January 2018

Nottingham leads the way with pioneering service to support patients with Brain Metastases across the East Midlands

Nottingham leads the way with pioneering service to support patients with Brain Metastases across the East Midlands

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support have launched a new specialist team to help improve  care for  patients with secondary brain tumours across the East Midlands.

The service is the first of its kind in the region and has been funded by Macmillan who have invested £500K of fundraised income as part of the Macmillan Cancer Partnership in Nottinghamshire.

A specialist brain metastases team including  doctors, nurses and radiographers will meet weekly, to discuss and assess the needs of a patients referred to this service who have been diagnosed with cancer that has spread to the brain. The team will then provide an individual holistic care plan for these patients.

On Wednesday  healthcare professionals and commissioners from across the region attended the launch lunch held at City Hospitals, radiotherapy building.

Judy Christian, Oncology Consultant said: "This new service is part of our evolution in caring for our patients with brain metastases. It is a novel, high quality, multi-disciplinary service, delivering patient-centre care closer to home, for patients in the region. The service will  provide easy access for patients and easy referrals for our partners across the East Midlands, as they refer patients to the team."

There is currently no service within the East Midlands that is solely dedicated to the needs of patients with Brain Metastases, and around 200 patients are expected to benefit from the input of this new multi-disciplinary team by 2019.

Sue Sanderson, Macmillan Partnership Manager for Nottinghamshire, said: "There has been a huge gap in care for people with brain metastases with no dedicated support anywhere in the East Midlands. It's one of the key ambitions of the Macmillan Cancer Partnership in Nottinghamshire to address these gaps. We're so thrilled to be able to say that people affected by secondary brain tumours will now have access to high quality care closer to home."

The Macmillan Cancer Partnership in Nottinghamshire brings together healthcare organisations from across the region including NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the voluntary sector to improve cancer services across Nottinghamshire. So far the charity has invested more than £4 million in new cancer services in Nottinghamshire like this since the partnership launched 3 years ago. Like many other services within the partnership one of the key ambitions of the new brain metastases service is to provide holistic support for the patient and family.

Rebecca Bentley is a Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist and part of the multi-disciplinary team. She said: "My role is to focus entirely on the patient and their needs through their journey from treatment to best supportive care. I work closely with the patients and their family to formulate a plan which addresses their needs and concerns. A large part of this is to ensure the patient follows the correct care pathway appropriate for their needs at the time."

She added: "This partnership is a revolution to patients and their families, having a treatment centre that offers this service at NUH means a population of 2.9 million would be within an hour's drive of a treatment centre."

The team have been able to trial innovative ways of working including virtual clinics and remote appointments on a secure network, which have received positive feedback from patients. Over the next few weeks the MDT are hoping to integrate this video clinic for patients who are unable to travel for their appointment, this will allow patients to speak to a clinician from home, using software similar to skype, provide access to screen sharing for patient results and individualised appointments via email link on any device which has access to 3G and video-call.

NHS Nottingham University Hospitals
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