A new clinical nurse specialist role has been created at one of the largest acute trusts in England to offer “vital support” for brain tumour patients as part of an innovative charity initiative.
Kelly Dawson has been appointed as Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s first low grade glioma CNS.
“My primary focus is in delivering high quality compassionate patient-centred care”
She will provide patients with a single point of contact throughout their treatment and aftercare.
Ms Dawson will be the second to take up the low grade glioma CNS role funded by The Brain Tumour Charity, following the recruitment of Charlotte Robinson at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust last year, as previously reported by Nursing Times.
The charity described the latest appointment as a “landmark development” in its strategy to improve quality of life care for those affected by the “devastating disease”.
It follows previous research from the charity in 2016, which identified the lack of patients receiving care from a CNS as well as the benefits of having such a point of contact.
For the past five years Ms Dawson has been working in Nottingham University Hospitals’ neuro-oncology clinical nurse specialist service.
She believes the new post will be vital for helping those with a brain tumour who have “uncertainties” of the diagnosis.
“Having a single point of contact from diagnosis is essential in reducing the burden of symptoms”
She described her new role as a “fantastic opportunity to be part of a pioneering scheme”.
Ms Dawson added: “My primary focus is in delivering high quality compassionate patient-centred care.
“Low grade patients require practical, emotional and psychological support, developing this new role and service will enable all low grade tumour patients access to the vital CNS support, advice and guidance that they require from point of diagnosis and throughout their brain tumour journey,” she said.
After qualifying from The University of Nottingham in 2011, aged 27, Ms Dawson began her nursing career within the neurosciences department the Nottingham University Hospitals as a newly qualified nurse.
In 2013 she began working at the neuro-oncology clinical nurse specialist service.
Stuart Smith, clinical associate professor of neurosurgery at Nottingham University Hospitals, said: “The specialist low grade glioma nurse will provide vital support for this group of patients facing complex life changing decisions regarding the therapy for their brain tumour.”
He said the post would help to facilitate vital liaison with other services that patients needed, including neurology, neuro-psychology and neuro-rehabilitation.
“We also hope that Kelly will help as a catalyst for research studies”
“We also hope that Kelly will help as a catalyst for research studies involving low grade glioma patients in this novel and much appreciated post,” he added.
Sue Airey, head of engagement at The Brain Tumour Charity, said it was “delighted” to have Ms Dawson as the second CNS recruited as part of the scheme.
“For those diagnosed with a low grade tumour, who live with the sustained and significant consequences and impact of this, they often miss out even on the essential services because they have not been given a cancer diagnosis,” said Ms Airey.
“This second CNS post will focus on providing a dedicated service to those diagnosed with a low grade brain tumour,” she said.
“Having a single point of contact from diagnosis is essential in reducing the burden of symptoms, including the emotional and mental health difficulties that often result from the diagnosis,” she added.