James Cook University Hospital - seeking advice

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Hi everyone

I’m posting to find out about people’s experiences with the level of treatment and care from James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. 

Last year in May (2021) my wife (30yo) was diagnosed with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma (the stage down from GBM 4). We currently live on the South Coast and she has been treated mainly at Royal Sussex County Hospital (and Hurstwood Park). The level of care and treatment she has received has been excellent.

However, we are considering moving further north to be closer to family. If we did our closest Neurosurgery unit would be the James Cook University Hospital. 

For those of you who have (or partners/carers of people who have) been treated there. What has your experience been like?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond.



  • You may want to go and see these two doctors before leaving the area. I quote:

    "My NHS consultant was DR Elhadad at QA Hospital Portsmouth but as he wasn’t BUPA approved I was transferred to DR Waqueer Saleem who oversaw my proton beam"

  • Hi Jen

    Sorry to hear of your wife's diagnosis, 

    I fall within the catchment area for James Cook. I am sorry to say that my experience was not positive, though I hope you get more replies with may give more positive news. I don't mind telling you what happened if you want details,  but it resulted in me seeking a second opinion, and I now travel to London (the National hospital in Queens Square).  For my second opinion I was also offered the RVI in Newcastle or Leeds (there is also a neuro centre in Hull) or London, if I did not mind the travel. I opted for London. 

    James Cook is the major trauma hospital for the area, as well as neuro centre, so major surgeries for all kind of injuries and investigations are undertaken there and most people who live in our village and those around us complain on the time it takes to get there (over an hour for a journey of about 25 miles) and the parking (which everyone agrees is awful) not the treatment that you get once you are there. I don't know anyone else who is under their care for a brain tumour so I don't know if my experience is exceptional or more like the norm. 

    Sorry to be negative - I hate to do that here - we want more good and hopeful news - but I cannot, in all honesty say my experience was a good one. Sorry.

  • Hi Jen 

    a warm welcome. That's a good question that you've raised, and it is just a shame that these as the factors you need to consider when you want to re-locate.

    I live north of the border so can't comment fairly on the hospital you mention. In our experience a lot seems to depend on "luck" - do you get a team that you can relate to. I know folk here who rave about the hospital we have been referred through, but I really don't have a good word to say about them. It all comes down to personal experience. I suspect it may also come down to type of cancer/tumour too to an extent.

    if/when you come to relocate, could your wife's current team perhaps make an introduction to the new team and perhaps a joint video consult by way of a handover may smooth the way.  Just a thought.

    I'm sure plenty of other members of the group will offer their words of wisdom here but at the end of the day you need to make up your own mind for what's best for you both when you take the whole situation into consideration.

    sending you both a huge hug and lots of postiive thoughts.

    love n hugs

    Wee Me xx

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