Neuro MDT Team
There are a large number of health and social care professionals who will work together to provide integrated treatment and care for those with a brain tumour.
In Northern Ireland, the Regional Neuro-Oncology service is made up of professionals who are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumours and spinal neurological tumours.
This multidisciplinary team (MDT) meet weekly, at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, to discuss patient cases referred from across Northern Ireland.
The MDT will discuss results from investigations and collectively agree and make a decision on the treatment plan. The outcomes of these discussions are shared with the patients at the next appointment or communicated to the patient via the local hospital or their GP.
Your regional neuro-oncology MDT is made up of the core members listed below. You may not meet all of them but they will be involved in your care.
Multidisciplinary Team Co-ordinator
A MDT Co-Ordinator organises the team meetings and discussions and makes sure your records are available to the team.
A Neuro-Radiologist is a doctor who specialises in the use of x-rays and scans to diagnose tumours of the brain and spine.
A Neurosurgeon is a specialist doctor who will discuss the surgical choices you have for your tumour.
A Neuro-Oncologist is a specialist doctor who treats tumours with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
A Neuro-Pathologist is a specialist doctor who examines brain and spinal tissue to identify the type of tumour you have.
Neuro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist
A Neuro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a nurse who specialises in the care of people with brain and spinal tumours. Your CNS can offer specialist advice, information and support to you and your family from diagnosis onwards and refer you to other services if you need them.
Specialist Palliative Care Team
The Specialist Palliative Care Team provides specialist advice on symptoms you may have and offers support to you and your family from diagnosis onwards. The team works closely with everyone involved in your care to meet your needs and the needs of your family. Palliative care is available to everyone affected by tumours and is especially important if your tumour cannot be cured.
You will be allocated a key worker who helps to co-ordinate your care and who can discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan with you. Your key worker will be one of the health professionals listed above and may change throughout your treatment. If so, you will be informed of the name & contact details of your new key worker. Please do not hesitate to contact your key worker if you would like to discuss any aspect of your care.
Other health professionals may join the core Neuro-Oncology MDT from time to time. These include:
A social worker provides social care and support to help you, your family and carers to cope.
A physiotherapist advises on exercises and techniques to help manage your symptoms and increase your independence and quality of life.
An occupational therapist helps you to manage daily activities to increase your independence and quality of life.
Speech and Language Therapist
A speech and language therapist can assess, diagnose and treat you if you are having problems with communication and/or swallowing.
A dietician helps you with any concerns you have about your diet and to manage any dietary problems you are having.
Any member of your MDT can refer you to the following health and social care professionals if you need their support:
A research nurse is a specialist nurse who is involved with you if you are taking part in a clinical trial. If you are having radiotherapy you may see a research radiographer who can offer you information and support.
A clinical psychologist offers psychological and emotional support to you and your family