Understanding the Neuro-oncology Multi-Disciplinary Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-467/2016
  • Departments: Neurosurgery

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about the Neuro-oncology Multi-Disciplinary Team.  Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

What is the Neuro-oncology Multi-Disciplinary team?

The Neuro-oncology Multi-Disciplinary team consists of a group of health professionals with expert knowledge in the investigation and treatment of patients who may have a tumour in the brain or central nervous system.

There are many members of the team and these include:

  • Neuro-radiologists, who will interpret brain scans.
  • Neurosurgeons, who will give advice and carry out surgery, if required.
  • Neuro-pathologists, who will advise on results from tissue sample biopsies.
  • Neuro-oncologists, who will give advice on tumour treatments, if required.
  • Neurologists who help and advise with symptoms such as seizures.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists, who will be accessible to you, during and after treatment, to help, support and advise you and act as your key worker.
  • Allied Health Professionals, such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Dieticians, who may also act as your key worker.
  • A Clinical Neuro-psychologist, who will look at the cognitive and psychological aspects of your care.

Other health professionals may be invited to the meeting if they have special experience to help you in any way.

Why do we need the Multi-Disciplinary team meeting?

Brain tumours are rare and their management is complex and specialised. In order for your case to be managed in the best possible way, there is a need for it to be discussed by this group of experts. In fact, it is now a national recommendation by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that all patients being investigated or treated for a tumour in the brain or central nervous system, are discussed in a Neuro-oncology Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting and are treated by dedicated specialists. This is to provide you with the best possible care.

When is the Neuro-oncology Multi-Disciplinary meeting?

The members of the team meet weekly to discuss the management of every patient with a suspected brain tumour. They also discuss and review patients who have already had treatment or follow-up scans. The outcome or recommendation of the Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting will be sent to your General Practitioner by fax within 48 hours of the meeting provided all the relevant documentation was available for review.

What happens after the meeting?

Following the meeting you will be contacted by a member of the team to arrange an appointment for you to discuss the outcome. This may mean you will need to have further tests or treatment.

After discussing your case at the meeting, there a few things that may happen:

  • Your referring doctor may discuss your case with the neurosurgical team by telephone and may start you on some medications. (In some cases this can happen before the Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting).
  • You may already have had a scan of your head.
  • You may require further tests to enable us to make the best decision about your treatment.

Key worker

A key worker is a main point of contact for you during and after your treatment, for information, advice and support. (Please note that this does not mean an emergency contact). The key worker is someone who usually has regular contact with you during your treatment and follow-up care, for example, the Neuro-oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist. This may change at varying stages in your care. If at any point either during or after your treatment we feel that a member of your local community healthcare team is more appropriate to be your key worker then this will be discussed with you accordingly (for example this may be a GP, District Nurse, Physiotherapist or Community Macmillan Nurse).

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the Neurosurgical Department on telephone number (01482) 674248, or the Neuro-oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist team on telephone number (01482) 607831.

Further information / useful contacts

For further information / reference contact:

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2006)

Healthcare services for people with brain and other central nervous system tumours – understanding NICE guidance – information for the public: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/csg10/resources/healthcare-services-for-people-with-brain-and-other-central-nervous-system-tumours-2188964701.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.