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Helen Fernandes: Consultant Neurosurgeon, Cambridge

Helen Fernandes: Consultant Neurosurgeon, Cambridge
Helen Fernandes: Consultant Neurosurgeon, Cambridge

Specialist in the treatment of both adult and paediatric patients with brain and spinal problems including low back pain and sciatica, cervical myelopathy, cervical disc prolapse and hydrocephalus.

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Helen Fernandes was appointed as Consultant Neurosurgeon at the internationally renowned Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in 2002, the first female surgeon to be appointed there.  She specialises in the treatment of both adult and paediatric patients with brain and spinal problems. 

She trained on the Northern Region Neurosurgical Training Programme having graduated from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She supplemented her training with secondments to Great Ormond Street Hospital, London and the Montefiore Hospital, New York.  During her training she also spent two years in research having been awarded the Louis Alexander Research Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons and later a Hunterian Professorship from the same organisation. She gained her doctorate of medicine in 2000 and was then appointed as a Medical Research Council senior lecturer and honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon prior to her move to Cambridge.

Helen offers a wide range of neurosurgical expertise but has a particular interest in spinal neurosurgery, managing sciatica, back and neck pain as well as tumours of the spine. She is one of three complex spinal surgeons in Addenbrooke’s Hospital and also a member of the British Association of Spinal Surgeons, British Cervical Spine Society and the East Anglian Spinal Society.  Her other special interest is paediatric neurosurgery, being Lead Paediatric Neurosurgeon in Addenbrooke’s. She cares for children with hydrocephalus, brain and spinal tumours, following head and spinal injury and those born with congenital spinal and brain disorders such as spina bifida. She is very proud to be a medical advisor to the Association of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Addenbrooke’s is a very busy neurosurgical unit covering a population of over 3 million. Helen sees over 800 outpatients per year, performing over 250 major operative procedures annually.

Helen also has a busy commitment to both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. She is Associate Director of Postgraduate Medical Education in Addenbrooke’s, responsible for the supervision, teaching and assessment of over 80 junior doctors. She also chairs a national body WinS (Women in Surgery), part of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. This group has over 3000 members and works to promote surgery as a career for women with an annual conference, ongoing research, regular publications and close links with the Department of Health. 



Expertise and treatments offered           

  • Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Neck and arm pain
  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Lumbar disc prolapse
  • Cervical disc prolapse
  • Spinal tumour
  • Spinal trauma
  • Paediatric brain tumour
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Neuroendoscopy
  • Spina bifida and spinal dysraphism

Research interests

Helen has published widely with over 30 published papers. Helen currently is a member of the academic sub committee of the British Paediatric Neurosurgical Group and is leading a national registry project for spinal dysraphism (spina bifida). Current topics at Addenbrooke’s include imaging projects looking at the long term effects of treatment for hydrocephalus and tumour in children. 

Professional memberships and affiliations

  • Reviewer for Spinal Cord, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, Acta Neurochirurgica, Cochrane Database, British Journal of Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurology and Psychiatry.
  • Member of Advisers and Surgical Tutors Group, RCS of England
  • Committee Member, Opportunities in Surgery Committee, Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Multiple Choice Writing Group, Intercollegiate Speciality Board      
  • Committee member, Equality and Diversity Group, PMETB
  • Medical advisor, Health Care Commission
  • Chair of WINS

Where can I get treatment?

NHS bases

Addenbrooke’s Hospital
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road

Secretary: Jackie Eden 
Tel:          01223 216 302
Fax:         01223 274 645
Appts:     01223 266 990

Website:  www.cuh.org.uk 

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust
Gayton Road
King’s Lynn
PE30 4ET

Secretary: Annie Bannister 
Tel:         01223 416 393
Fax:        01223 411 223
Appts:    01223 416 393 

Email:      anniebannister@ntlworld.com Website: www.nhs.uk 

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NHS)
Colney Lane

Secretary: Annie Bannister
Tel:         01223 416 393
Fax:        01223 411 223
Appts:    01223 416 393

Email:      anniebannister@ntlworld.com Website: www.nnuh.nhs.uk

Private practice

Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital
30 New Road
CB24 9EL

Secretary: Annie Bannister 
Tel:          01223 416 393
Fax:         01223 411 223
Appts:     01223 416 393

Email:       anniebannister@ntlworld.com
Website:  www.spirehealthcare.com

Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital
4 Trumpington Road

Secretary: Annie Bannister
Tel:          01223 416 393
Fax:         01223 411 223
Appts:     01223 416 393 

Email:       anniebannister@ntlworld.com Website:  www.nuffieldhealth.com


Contact details

Box 166
Addenbrooke’s Hospital
Hills Road

Tel:        01223 216 302
Fax:       01223 274 645

Email:   helen.fernandes@addenbrookes.nhs.uk 

GMC Registration:       3329823         Check this doctor's GMC registration
Date of registration:   14 Aug 1990 

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