North of England – Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle
The Paediatric Neuro-Oncology Service at the Great North Children’s Hospital is the Principal Treatment Centre for the Northern Region. It covers a very large geographical area, extending up to the Scottish borders, across to Northern Cumbria, and south to Teeside. Currently approximately 110 patients are seen each year by the clinical psychologist, for the neuropsychological assessment and therapy.
These are a mixture of newly diagnosed patients (around 35 per year) as well as those in long-term follow up. Approximately 70 percent are survivors five years post treatment. Whilst some children make recovery, many others also have a complex array of behavioural, emotional and learning difficulties, as well as other medical sequelae, which require ongoing treatment. Patients continue to be followed up by the service for at least ten years post treatment.
The Clinical Psychology Service has been in place for 12 years and over that time a great deal of experience and knowledge has been developed. There are a wide range of innovations that we would like to progress and evaluate, given the appropriate resources. This centre could then develop a model of best practice that could be shared with other hospitals.