Announcing the appointment of our second Clinical Nurse Specialist for brain tumour patients

Thursday 6 December 2018

Kelly Dawson's appointment at Nottingham University Hospitals is part of our landmark strategy of improving the quality for all those diagnosed

Kelly qualified from The University of Nottingham in 2011 aged 27, and was employed as a newly qualified staff nurse within the Neurosciences department at Nottingham University Hospitals.

In 2013 she was appointed to the Neuro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist service. Now, with five years' experience she will take up the CNS brain tumour role

Kelly said: ”The Low Grade Glioma CNS role is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a pioneering scheme funded by The Brain Tumour Charity.

“My Primary focus is in delivering high quality compassionate patient-centred care. Low grade patients require practical, emotional and psychological support, developing this new role and service will enable all low grade tumour patients access to the vital CNS support, advice and guidance that they require from point of diagnosis and throughout their brain tumour journey.

“The CNS post will be vital for helping patients with the uncertainties of a diagnosis and living with the outcomes. Their psychological needs, the stress of ongoing scans, help with preparing for surgery, especially awake surgery and importance of an easy point of contact will greatly support them.

“We are all very excited about the Low Grade Tumour Service at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and look forward to working collaboratively with The Brain Tumour Charity.”

Kelly follows our appointment last year, of our first funded low grade glioma CNS post in the UK, Charlotte, who joined the Neuro-Oncology team at King's College.

Kelly's appointment marks a landmark development in our drive to improve the quality of life care for all those affected by this devastating disease and its own research has shown the benefits of having such a one point of contact throughout their treatment and aftercare.

In our report, Finding Myself in your Hands: The Reality of Brain Treatment and Care (2016), only 53% of people diagnosed with a low grade tumour said that they had access to this single point of contact.

This compared to 76% of those diagnosed with a high grade brain tumour.

When people do have access to a clinical nurse specialist, 74% say they are satisfied with the care they provide.

However, those without a CNS or other single point of contact were:

  • 1.5 times more likely to report a high symptom burden (43.6% compared with 29.1%)
  • 1.6 times more likely to say that their brain tumour had severely affected their emotional or mental health (30.7% compared with 19.6%)
  • 2.7 times more likely to disagree they had good access to information on managing symptoms (46.1% compared with 17.1%)
  • 4.7 times more likely to disagree that that the healthcare professionals they dealt with understood brain tumours (44% compared with 9.4%)

Stuart Smith, Clinical Associate Professor Neurosurgery at Nottingham University Hospitals said: “The Specialist Low Grade Glioma Nurse will provide vital support for this group of patients facing complex life changing decisions regarding the therapy for their brain tumour.

“The new post funded by The Brain Tumour Charity will allow far more focused input and facilitate vital liaison with the other services needed by these patients and their families such as neurology, neuro-psychology and Neuro-Rehabilitation.

“We also hope that Kelly will help as a catalyst for research studies involving low grade glioma patients in this novel and much appreciated post.”

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