The Brainbow Service
In 2013 we created the Brainbow service through a charitable partnership at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Brainbow supports all children 16 and under in the East of England who have been previously diagnosed with a brain tumour before October 2013 and those newly diagnosed. This is a unique service and the first of its kind within an NHS UK hospital.
The aim of the Brainbow service is to meet every child and family soon after their initial admission to Addenbrooke’s Hospital upon diagnosis of a brain tumour, providing a joined-up, coordinated approach to their care and support. The service ensures clear communication between all the different professionals involved in the care of children with brain tumours, coordinating the transition process between the hospital and their community teams who may continue offering support once that child goes home.
The aim is also to help improve the access to a more standardised and coordinated rehabilitation approach that can be tailored for all childhood brain tumour patients across the region. Currently access to rehabilitation for children with brain tumours has varied significantly and the approaches to rehabilitation are inconsistent across the UK.
The Brainbow service will contribute towards research on improving the future planning and provision of specialist care for children who have been treated for brain tumours. The service will also provide valuable evidence to support further work on the impact of neuro-rehabilitation on outcomes for children, an area of provision that is still in its infancy.
The Brainbow team consists of:
• Clinical Psychology provision (Tom’s Trust funded)
• Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy & Speech and Language Therapy
• Project Co-ordination
The Brainbow service has been set up with two other regional charity partners, Anna’s Hope and Camille’s Appeal, who provide funding for the other posts within the service.
Early assessment and intervention by our specialist Clinical Psychologists and the Brainbow team enables a ‘rehabilitation prescription’ to be drawn up and gives the child the greatest opportunity for recovery and rehabilitation ensuring that they are able to reach their full potential. The rehabilitation prescription will set clear goals.
The Clinical Psychologist working so closely with the other therapists in the team is a unique approach and one which we are pioneering. The Clinical Psychologists are able to feed the correct information about the emotional and physical needs of the child to the other therapists allowing maximum and informed support.
This will mean that the children who are being treated will receive psychological support from the day of diagnosis onwards, throughout treatment and after treatment helping the child slowly back to their schools and lives. In the case that a family tragically loses their child to this terrible disease, the Clinical Psychologist will support the family and siblings for at least a year after their bereavement.