Epilepsy Surgery

The Northern Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service (NorCESS) is a joint service between Alder Hey and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (Central Manchester Foundation Trust). It makes up one of just four national centres offering an epilepsy surgery service.

Our team has a great deal of experience in treating children with neurological conditions, and whilst an epilepsy surgery service is fairly new, it’s proven to be very successful. We operate on the brain to try to reduce seizures or even cure your child’s epilepsy, and generally, we see these results in 50-75% of patients. This service combines medical, surgical and diagnostic expertise, ensuring all patients get the very best care.

Why you might be referred to our service

We believe that surgery can be an excellent option for many epilepsy patients and we want to help as many children as possible. Your Paediatrician may refer your child to us when:

  • An MRI scan shows something that shouldn’t be there – we call this a ‘focal abnormality’
  • Initial treatment doesn’t result in a seizure-free period of six months


Tim Martland, Clinical Director & Consultant Neurologist (RMCH)

Andrea McClaren, Lead Nurse Specialist (AHCH)

Consultant Neurosurgeons

Jon Ellenbogen, Consultant Neurosurgeon (RMCH/AHCH)

John Kitchen, Consultant Neurosurgeon (RMCH/AHCH)

Sasha Burn, Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon (AHCH)

Vivek Josan, Consultant Neurosurgeon (RMCH)

Consultant Neurologists

Majid Aziz,  Consultant Neurologist (RMCH)

Anand Iyer, Consultant Neurologist (AHCH)

Tim Martland, Consultant Neurologist (RMCH)

Rachel Kneen, Consultant Neurologist (AHCH)

Jeen Tan, Consultant Neurologist (RMCH)

Nina Swiderska, Consultant Neurologist (RMCH)

Derivasumathy Muthugovindan, Consultant Neurologist (RMCH)

Consultant Neuro Physiologists

Sona Janackova, Consultant Neuro Physiologist (AHCH)

Athi Ponnusamy, Consultant Neuro Physiologist (RMCH)

Consultant Clinical Psychologists

Vicky Gray, Consultant Clinical Psychologist (AHCH)

Stewart Rust, Consultant Paediatric Psychologist (RMCH)

Clinical Psychologist

Rebecca Bromley, Clinical Psychologist (RMCH)

Daniel Weisberg, Clinical Psychologist (RMCH)

Sian Trenchard, Clinical Psychologist (RMCH)

Ailsa Munroe, Clinical Psychologist (RMCH)

Highly Specialist Physiologists

Lucy Willans, Clinical Physiologist (RMCH)

Alison Sudlow, Clinical Physiologist (AHCH)

Teresa Preston, Clinical Physiologist (AHCH)

Tamarin Foy, Clinical Physiologist (RMCH)

Sarah Doyle, Clinical Physiologist (RMCH)

Consultant Psychiatrists

Lakshmi Ramasubramanian, Consultant Psychiatrist (AHCH)

Hilary Lloyd, Consultant Psychiatrist (RMCH)

Consultant Neuroradiologists

Shivaram Avula, Consultant Neuroradiologist (AHCH)

Stavros Stivaros, Consultant Neuroradiologist (RMCH)

Lead Nurse Specialist

Andrea McLaren, Lead Nurse Specialist

Nurse Specialist

Ben Cooper, Nurse Specialist (AHCH)

Kay Hall, Nurse Specialist (RMCH)

Network Co-ordinator

Emily Tolno, Network Co-ordinator

Bethan Brady, Network Co-ordinator NORCESS


The Core Members of Network Meeting:

  • Chair – Clinical Lead
  • Network Manager
  • Epilepsy Surgeon*
  • Lead Nurse
  • Senior Manager*- representation from each Trust
  • EEG* representation from each Trust
  • Finance Representation* (Q) – representation from each Trust
  • Commissioners (Q)*representation from each Trust
  • Q = quarterly attendance

Scope of the Work

The scope of the Group is to improve communication, collaboration and standards of care within the service delivered in the North West. The Group will make recommendations to those who commission services (as per listed above) for their consideration. 

The Group will coordinate services for the North West (i.e. Cheshire & Mersey, Greater Manchester, Cumbria & Lancashire, North Wales, Isle of Man, Stoke) and wider northern patients i.e. North East.

The Group will aim to ensure consistency in the quality and access to services across the Network and to work in partnership with health and non-heath organisations (multidisciplinary/ multi-agency teams). In addition, the Group will engage with patients and their carers and associated networks.

Specific Responsibilities

The role of the Group is to review all aspects of the services within their remit within the North West.  The specific responsibilities of the Group are outlined below and will be focused around the patient pathway:

  • To promote the appropriate standards of care across the North West, to take account of relevant national standards and other best practice. The aim will be to achieve consistency in standards across all service providers.
  • To promote the involvement of patients and their carers within the planning of care across the North West.
  • To ensure that the regional centres provide annual audit data as appropriate.
  • Monitor local provision and performance of care against local and national standards identifying where gaps/pressures exist and make recommendations to commissioners. This includes monitoring:
  • Annual workplan
  • Activity Profiles / waiting times
  • KPIs
  • Finance (I&E)
  • Incidents
  • To promote the development of integrated patient pathways and to develop service planning and prioritisation by liaising with primary and secondary care colleagues and associated adult networks.
  • To improve communication within relevant services within the North.
  • To communicate and share information regularly with relevant partners
  • To support the development and maintenance of relevant guidelines to be used within the services.