All our CNSs are experienced in neurosurgical and oncology care. Once you have been diagnosed with a brain tumour you will have access to a clinical nurse specialist or a support worker attached to that team.

They will support you through this time and help navigate you through the journey which is known as a brain tumour pathway. Throughout your pathway they will be a single point of contact for you and your family should you have questions about your diagnosis, issues with your condition or queries about your medication. They will also be able to provide you with information (written and verbal) about your diagnosis and treatment. They will also be able to offer you advice and support or direct you to other support agencies. The CNS works closely with your team and can be contacted outside of your clinic appointments.

The CNS service can provide support with many aspects of living with a brain tumour such as physical, emotional, social and financial needs.

Your CNS may use a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA). This is a process designed to enable you to share information with your team which is important to the treatment and care you receive. You do not have to have a HNA but many people find it opens up discussions with their team about their concerns which may not be otherwise raised.

If you feel a HNA would be helpful please talk to your CNS.

Orla qualified as a registered nurse in 1993 and has worked in many specialist areas of neurosciences since 1993. She has experience as a ward sister for 7 years looking after a variety of patients with brain and spinal issues. She has specialised as a clinical nurse specialist in both benign and malignant brain tumours since 2008.

"I enjoy working within a multidisciplinary team who focus on the complex needs of this group of patients."

thumbnail_Image.jpgGretchen is a triple board certified nurse (Philippines, USA, and UK) with over 12 years of direct patient care experience. Her neuro-intensive care background has provided her with invaluable neuroscience knowledge and skills as a Neuro Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist.

She is heavily involved not just in direct clinical care of Brain Tumour patients but also in leading a team of neuro-oncology nurse specialists at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN).

Her role involves provision and betterment of support for brain tumour patients at the NHNN by benchmarking services and institutes in order to streamline care for patients.

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Pauline has a BSC (Hons) Open from Open University. She has worked at Barts Health NHS Trust from 2002 to 2007, where she was able to achieve Neurosurgical and Neuromedical Nursing, Contemporary Nursing and Midwifery, and High Dependency Nursing from City University. She has a Diploma in Tropical Nursing from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Certificate in Managing Care & Certificate in Working for Health from Open University. 

From 2008 to date, Pauline has been working in Neurosurgery wards at NHNN and Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre. Pauline was appointed into the current CNS role in 2019.

Pauline works with patients on the Skull Base Pathway as well as Neuro -Oncology pathway, supporting them and their families to navigate through their different pathways. 


Over the years, Dafina has gained significant amount of experience caring for patients with various neurosurgical needs. Her interest in caring for this group of patients instigated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

As a result, she continued to work at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery to gain further knowledge and experience for a total of 12 years before becoming a Neuro Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Her current role includes supporting high-grade brain tumour patients through their radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

thumbnail_Image2.jpgCristina gained her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in Zaragoza, Spain in 2015. She initially worked with epileptic patients in one of the biggest hospitals in her city before moving to London.

She started working as a neurorugery/neurology nurse at King’s College Hospital in 2016 and later on joined the Medication Safety Team as a specialist nurse in 2021.

Her undying passion for neurosurgery made her join the Neuro Oncology Team at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and is currently a point of contact for patients with brain tumours.

Her current role includes supporting high-grade brain tumour patients through their radiotherapy and chemotherapy.