Brain tumour patients benefit from improved NHS collaborations

Date: 07 June 2023

Brain Tumour Pathway news

NHS Trusts across the North West are working together to improve the process for people diagnosed and treated for a brain tumour following a visit to A&E.

Staff at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Whiston Hospital in Prescot identified gaps in treatment for patients who attend A&E and receive a potential or confirmed diagnosis of brain tumour.

Most brain tumour patients first present with symptoms at an A&E and there are often delays in obtaining appropriate imaging necessitating inpatient stays.

The neuro-oncology team at The Walton Centre and the Acute Oncology Nursing Team at Whiston Hospital in Prescot developed an improved pathway for patients at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Foundation Trust to receive the most appropriate treatment and/or support as quickly as possible.

After a successful pilot, the team at The Walton Centre is looking to embed the pathway and has since rolled it out at Warrington Hospital and Arrowe Park Hospital and are speaking to other hospitals in the region as well as national groups.

Mr Andy Brodbelt, Consultant Neurosurgeon and the lead for neuro-oncology at The Walton Centre, said, “Patients diagnosed with a brain tumour in an A&E are often admitted for further tests, which can sometimes take some time, delaying their review at The Walton Centre. Each hospital works differently, and it is important that effective communication occurs within each hospital before patients are seen in our specialist centre.

“Working with colleagues at Whiston Hospital A&E, we advised on the optimal and immediate pathway for diagnosis of a brain tumour. This can include early MRI, the need for CT scanning and commencement of appropriate medication.

“This should put patients in a much better position ahead of their first appointment at the specialist centre and will hopefully lead to much better outcomes.”

Mr Brodbelt said collaboration was key to the successful pilot and it was now encouraging to be able to roll out across the region. 

“We want to ensure that all patients diagnosed with a brain tumour across Cheshire and Merseyside have a clear initial management, rapid access to the appropriate imaging in their local Trust preferably as an outpatient, leading to a complete referral and review expedited at The Walton Centre. Working with busy colleagues across the region’s A&Es, we hope to be able to offer our expertise and specialist knowledge at The Walton Centre to provide a way forward.”





Pictured, from left: Divisional Manager for Neurosurgery, Sam Holman, Consultant Neurosurgeon Mr Andrew Brodbelt and Nurse Specialist Emma Wilby 

Notes to editors

Further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact the Communications Team at The Walton Centre on 0151 556 3397 or

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust is the only hospital trust in the UK specialising in neurology, neurosurgery and pain services. Although the majority of patients come from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, for some specialist treatments of complex disorders we see patients from all parts of the country, referred by their GPs or other neurologists, neurosurgeons and pain clinicians.

The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. The independent regulator of all health and social care services in England published its rating on Friday 21 October 2016, following announced and unannounced inspection visits to the Trust in April 2016.

For more information please visit: or follow the Trust on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.


The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Fazakerley, Liverpool L9 7LJ
0151 525 3611

  • Summary:

    NHS Trusts across the North West are working together to improve the process for people diagnosed and treated for a brain tumour following a visit to A&E.