The Northern Brainwave Appeal was established in May 1988 to raise funds for medical technology for the advanced care of patients in the Regional Neurosciences Centre at Newcastle General Hospital.

The Directorate of Neurosciences is now based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne’s city centre and cares for patients from all over the North of England.

Mrs Margaret Cowen was the inspiration behind Northern Brainwave Appeal. She decided to raise funds after her husband, Gerry, became a patient who was treated there. 

Both Margaret and Gerry Cowen have now passed away but it was their wish that the Trustees continue with the charity.

image of Margaret and Gerry Cowen at the Northern Brainwave Appeal fundraising stand.
Margaret & Gerry Cowen at their Brainwave stall, Regional Neurosciences Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, 2002.
image of photos of the Regional Neurosciences Centre at Newcastle General Hospital, supported by Northern Brainwave Appeal
High Dependency Unit,
Regional Neurosciences Centre, Newcastle General Hospital, 2002

The Neuroscience High Dependency Unit was first opened in 1987.

It aimed to meet the need for continuous monitoring of severely ill head injured patients as well as those with stroke, brain tumours and other conditions that follow neurosurgery.

The appeal continues to raise funds for new research and for the incorporation of these new techniques into clinical practice.

In partnership with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, NBA has introduced sophisticated image guidance and electrophysiological monitoring equipment into the Neurosurgery operating theatres.

Trustees of the Northern Brainwave AppealDate of appointment
Dr Christopher James Andrew Cowie26 May 2022
Pamela Crerar07 February 2021
Chee Gan07 February 2021
Damian Holliman04 November 2013
Dr Mohammed Akbar Hussain26 May 2022
Andrew Mountain26 May 2022
Michaila Patterson07 June 2021
Professor A D Mendelow08 May 1988