Project information

Neurosurgical & Spinal Theatres and Research Suite

To create enhanced surgical facilities including a specialist spinal operating and research suite and a dedicated daycare suite for neurological patients.

April 2013 - April 2014

Charity information

The National Brain Appeal

The National Brain Appeal logo
  • Need


    Spinal cases relate to 29% of all neurological work at Queen Square and 39% of this is complex spine (each year we are seeing a 20% rise in these cases). The current facilities cannot accommodate the advanced equipment that is now available.

    In addition, improvements in surgical techniques and anaesthesia mean it is now possible (and preferable) for patients to be operated on and discharged within 24 hours but currently we do not have sufficient facilities to enable this.


    Spinal patients would benefit hugely from a state of the art theatre with bespoke facilities that would also enable us to undertake more research in this area and would be additional to the current theatre space.

    The project will also enable the creation of an additional operating theatre and recovery area dedicated to the vast number of procedures which can now be dealt with within a 24 hour facility.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve outcomes for patients undergoing complex surgery & undertake spinal cord repair research.


    » Create a new spinal operating theatre
    » Carry out translational research in spinal repair and spinal tumours and to re-implant ruptured nerve roots
    » Invest in a state of the art cell culture facility designed to produce human cells for use in nerve repair operations

    Success will be improved mobility for patients and a body of research work leading to new treatments

    Aim 2

    Increase the numbers of patients able to undergo day case neurosurgery at The National Hospital


    » Create a dedicated day care and 24 hour admission/recovery suite allowing more patients to be treated and discharged.

    Success will be a 30% increase in day case patients by the end of 2015.

    Aim 3

    To increase overall the number of patients undergoing neurosurgery at The National.


    » Specialist facilities for day case and spinal surgery will enable the existing four theatres to increase capacity.
    » The creation of additional anaesthetic rooms will improve efficiency.

    Success will be a 20% increase overall by 2015.

  • Impact


    Success will be reduced waiting times for neurosurgery, shorter discharge times (where appropriate) and new technques and treatments for neurosurgical and spinal patients.


    A short term reduction in the number of patients treated while the project is underway. This has been dealt with by careful phasing to ensure that the current level of service is maintained throughout.


    Donors will receive bi-annual reports detailing project developments and longer term goals.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,000,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,500,000 Capital costs Construction of new surgical theatres
      £500,000 Equipment costs Provision of specialist operating tables etc
  • Background


    The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. NHNN is at the forefront of delivering excellent clinical care along with neurological research and is responsible for major advances in the treatment of conditions such as brain and spinal cancer, epilepsy, brain haemorrhages, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, muscular dystrophy and motor neurone disease. These advances are directly channelled into the care and treatment of patients.


    Patients are referred to The National from across the UK and internationally.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The National Brain Appeal is dedicated to raising essential funds for The National Hospital and has funded the latest technology and equipment crucial in this fast-moving field.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Francis Abela

    Theatres Manager

    Ian Appleby

    Associate Clinical Director for Theatres/Anaesthesia

    Joan Grieve

    Associate Clinical Director for Neurosurgery

“These new operating theatres are essential if we are to stay at the forefront of brain surgery in this country.”

Joan Grieve, neurosurgeon and Asosociate Clinical Director for Neurosurgery at The National Hospital