Building connections to better care

Anna Crofton, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist at The Walton Centre, Liverpool, runs a holistic needs clinic.

Every day we work with healthcare professionals all over the UK who provide innovative, high quality care for those affected. We know that we can only drive improvement for patients if we share knowledge and expertise at each opportunity, so we build connections wherever we can. Read our Q&A with Anna Crofton below, who runs a holistic needs clinic at The Walton Centre, the UK's only specialist neurosciences NHS Trust.

What does 'holistic needs' mean and what does your clinic do?

Living with a brain tumour can be very traumatic. Not knowing what to expect, dealing with symptoms daily and not understanding the physical and psychological feelings can cause distress. Holistic needs assessment is designed to make sure all aspects of the patient's life are considered, not just the clinical side. It helps people identify their individual concerns about all sorts of aspects of living with a brain tumour and allows healthcare professionals to guide and signpost to the right level of support.

In our holistic needs clinic, we cover physical, emotional, job and money worries along with treatment issues, practical issues, spirituality and family matters.

How does your holistic needs clinic make a difference?

Our clinic has been well-received by patients. Sometimes its role is to explain that many symptoms, such as fatigue, are normal.

These types of symptoms can feel alien and just to know that it is okay to feel fatigued can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Why is it important to share expertise?

The sharing of experience and best practice between healthcare professionals is at the heart of improving patient experience.