National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

Neurosurgery in London - An overview

This page aims to try and answer some common questions about having surgery in London.

Who does the surgery?

Neurosurgery is performed by an experienced functional neurosurgery team at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. The National Hospital is allied with the Division of Neurosurgery at University College London (UCL).

Neurosurgeons include Professor Ludvic Zrinzo and Mr Harith Akram (Consultant Neurosurgeon).

Where am I admitted to?

Admission takes place to the Hughlings Jackson Ward in Queen Square. This is a specialist inpatient ward for neuropsychiatry. Key personnel include Professor Eileen Joyce (Consultant Psychiatrist) and Lesley Morton (Ward Manager).

If surgery is in London, how do I get there?

The exact arrangements will be discussed with you, your family, and your local team as part of the pathway planning. Depending on where you live, your particular needs, and your preferences, AIS nursing staff will accompany you to London to ensure a smooth handover and they may also help with the transfer back home.

For people who don't live in Scotland, it may be easier for them to travel to and from London without the input from the AIS.

How long am I in London for?

People will need to travel to London for about two days before surgery. This ensures enough time for pre-operative assessments including MRI scanning.

Recovery from surgery is quick. Most people are on their feet and recovering from the anaesthetic by the afternoon of surgery. It is common for people to stay in the hospital for about three days after surgery, but this is flexible according to particular need.

Overall, most people would only be in hospital in London for 5-7 days.

How has COVID-19 affected inpatient pathways?

There are two key changes that have occurred.

  • First, people undergoing surgery will need to self-isolate in a hotel in London for either three days for 14 days prior to surgery. The length of time depends on the individual risk from developing COVID-19. For those that would struggle to self-isolate, there may be options that would involve testing prior to travel, and shortly after admission. Until they have a negative test, they would be restricted to their own room in London and would be unable to move about.

  • Second, and in order to minimise unnecessary travel, AIS staff may be involved in supporting the admission remotely. With videoconferencing it is possible for AIS staff to liaise with the team in London to ensure a regular flow of information and to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.


[Image credit: Montano336 / CC BY-SA (]