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Paediatric Oncology

Paediatric Oncology


The Child Health Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU) at Northampton General Hospital Trust (NGHT) provides shared care for children and young people (CYP) with cancer in Northampton Town, South Northamptonshire, Daventry and Wellingborough areas.

The service operates as a Level 3 Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU) sharing care with the Principal Treatment Centre (PTC) at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham (QMC) as part of the East Midlands Children’s and Young Persons’ Integrated Cancer Service (CYPICS). Bone tumour and soft tissue sarcoma surgery is provided by the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Woodlands, Birmingham. Patients with retinoblastoma are referred to the national retinoblastoma service at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The POSCU also works alongside John Radcliffe Hospital (JRH), Oxford to provide shared care for any patient who happened to reside in Northamptonshire but had their initial diagnostic work-up done in Oxford. Children residing in the north of the county are given primary treatment at Leicester University Hospitals but these children get their continuing community support from the POSCU.

The Child Health POSCU ensures that appropriate elements of treatment and supportive care can be given close to the patient’s home.

Services provided include:

  • Inpatient supportive care including care of children with febrile neutropenia
  • Outpatient care/Outpatient oral chemotherapy/• Outpatient bolus intravenous chemotherapy
  •  Day case chemotherapy
  •  Inpatient 24-hour chemotherapy
  • Intrathecal chemotherapy
  • Clinical and imaging surveillance monitoring of disease
  • Long-term late effects care
  • Palliative & terminal care
  • Bereavement support
  • Psychosocial support for patients, their parents or carers, and their siblings

Definitive diagnosis, determination of treatment plan, and recruitment to clinical trials is undertaken at the PTC. POSCU does not administer high-dose methotrexate, myeloablative treatment with autologous stem cell rescue, or radical radiotherapy for patients less than 16 years old. These treatments, where indicated, are administered by the PTC.

Our Team

Lead Paediatric Oncology consultant: Dr Bindu Koodiyedath

Deputy Paediatric Oncology consultant: Dr Richard Breene

Secretary to consultants: Jo Needham: 01604545521

Children's Macmillan Lead Nurse: Sheila Fox

Senior McMillan Staff Nurses/Oncology key workers: Helen Carroll, Gemma Stockton, Natasha Winchurch, Rachael Turner.

Ward Oncology nurses: Lisa Hubble, Ruth Turner, Linda Greenwood, Sally Anne Balding, Gloria Ramirez, Lauren Owen, Nick Penny.

Paediatric Psychologist: Dr. Savina Watcher

Education outreach: Judy Skuce and Helen Butcher

Play Specialist Lead: Sue Faulkner


Paediatric Oncology Community services

We offer a community nurse service during the day to provide supportive care like flushing lines and taking bloods.

Visits can be offered at school so your child’s education is not interrupted too much. We also provide guidance for the school during your child illness and will arrange school meetings before their return to education.

Every child has a named Key worker who will be one of the Senior Staff Nurses listed above.

We are contactable between 8am and 5pm via our office 01604 544984 or our community mobile 8am-5pm 07789926619.

Disney Ward (Area M)

Disney Ward is the designated Paediatric Oncology ward. Patients are given open access on a 24/7 bases to Disney Ward for any problems and illnesses. There will be someone to answer any queries day or night.

Inpatient chemotherapy and Intrathecal chemotherapy are given in designated areas within the Disney Ward

Telephone number: 01604 545518 or 01604 545318

Children's Oncology Outpatients clinic (area K).

We run a weekly outpatients clinic on Wednesdays in the Children’s outpatient’s department, This runs separately to the main Childrens outpatients and is run by the Children’s oncology team.

Outpatient chemotherapy is given here, as well as routine blood taking.

Play Specialist

The play specialists are an integral part of our team. They play specialist works closely with us to promote the best hospital experience for you during your time with us.

They support with treatments and procedures by providing preparation, distraction and help with coping strategies.

NGH is enrolled with the Beads of Courage programme. Beads and record cards are available from the play team on the wards and in the clinic. At the end of treatment child will ring a bell in oncology clinic and will be presented with a certificate.

Paediatric psychology

The Clinical Psychologists are part of the Oncology team. They specialise in working with children, young people and families around coping, adjustment, and living with a medical condition and/or its treatment. We believe medical and psychological care go hand in hand. We have 8 weekly Psychosocial MDT where we identify any child or siblings needing psychological support. They are referred to Dr Watcher and we involve Psychologist

Service offered:

To help with all sorts of things, such as:

  • Coping with treatments you may be worried about, for example dealing with needles and blood tests
  • Offering support and ways to cope with feelings around the diagnosis e.g. shock, sadness, worry, anger, and stress.
  • Support with managing difficulties faced by the whole family including parents, brothers and sisters. 
  • Worries about how cancer may affect your life at school, at home, or with family and friends.

Education outreach team

The school team are available Monday to Friday between 9.00 and 12.00 during term time.

They will provide appropriate education and engagement activities for your child, liaising with your child’s own school to ensure continuity of education where possible. They are also able to offer advice for any concerns regarding school.

CLIC Sergeant

The team from Leicester joins our Psychosocial MDT and help us support social issues our patients!!

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