The first paediatric patient has been treated during October. The Children’s Gamma Knife Centre is a joint enterprise between 2 of the most high-profile NHS Trusts in the country – University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) – along with the Queen Square Radiosurgery Centre (QSRC). This unique arrangement allows children requiring Gamma Knife treatment combined care from a team of recognised experts in both stereotactic radiosurgery and paediatric neurosurgery.
The Centre is one of 2 centres approved for paediatric Gamma Knife treatment (along with Sheffield) by NHS England and covers the southern half of the country.
Children referred for treatment are discussed in the appropriate multidisciplinary meeting (neurovascular or neuro-oncology) at GOSH, followed by review in the joint Gamma Knife MDT at UCLH.
We meet families and children to discuss treatment in the child-friendly consulting rooms at GOSH in a joint clinic held by Mr Greg James, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Lead for Paediatric SRS (GOSH), and Mr Neil Kitchen, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Lead for SRS (UCLH). We take time to explain the nature, course, intended benefits and potential risks of Gamma Knife treatment, tailored to each individual child.
For those families who opt for treatment, we have a specially designed pathway between the 2 institutions to ensure a child-friendly and clinically safe environment throughout. Children are admitted to GOSH and are looked after throughout their journey by a dedicated paediatric anaesthesia and neuroradiology team. The planning and treatment are carried out by Mr James and Mr Kitchen working together. Following treatment, children are recovered at GOSH and have a 1 night stay on Koala Ward before discharge.
This unique set up allows children with intracranial lesions such as vascular malformations and certain tumours to access both the long stereotactic radiosurgery experience at UCLH and the paediatric expertise of GOSH. The tenets of the service are surgical excellence, active research and education and open and honest communications with families and children throughout their journeys.
Referrals to the service can be made directly to either Mr Kitchen at UCLH or Mr James at GOSH.