Spinal cord services, Kids Rehab at The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Contact details: 

Phone: (02) 9845 2789
Location: Children's Assessment Centre, Outpatients Building, level 3

The Spinal Cord Clinic, part of Kids Rehab, offers a consultancy and management service for children and adolescents, from birth to school leaving, with acquired spinal cord pathology. This includes injuries sustained as the result of trauma or through disease such as transverse myelitis. Children with Spina Bifida are seen in their own specialist clinic.

The clinic aims to provide ongoing education for the child and their family to prevent and recognise problems before they arise. Some of these issues include bladder and bowel dysfunction, sensory impairment and autonomic abnormalities, weakness, scoliosis and neurosurgical problems. 

Clinic

Referral process

Most children and adolescents are referred to the clinic after their acute inpatient stay. As an inpatient the child is offered an individual program to suit their level of need. This may include input from multidisciplinary team members - medical, nursing, occupational therapy, social worker, physiotherapy, speech pathology, dietetics, hospital school, play therapy, clinical psychology, neuropsychology. Where necessary referrals can be made to other relevant specialists in the hospital such as Urology, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery and Neurology.

Outpatient referrals can be made from any professional or the family themselves. With the family's consent, information from those involved in the child's care is obtained, to assess suitability of the referral. Clinics are held on Fridays. Hospital therapists are available for consultation to the clinic and community therapists are also encouraged to attend with the child and their family. A comprehensive summary of the clinic assessment is sent to the family and with parental consent, to those involved in the child's management.

Spinal Cord Clinics within  Sydney Children's Hospital Networks have close links with the NSW Paediatric Spinal Outreach Service based at Northcott and the therapists from this service are often in attendance at the clinics.  They offer outreach support for both metro and rural clients and provide an expert consultancy service in regards to spinal cord injury and are able to offer training of local therapists, and do home and school visits as required.

Follow up

Families can choose to remain with the service for as long as their child or adolescent remains at school. This may only require an annual appointment in the clinic. Other families may benefit from regular phone contact and ongoing case management including school and home visits.

How to make an appointment

Inpatient referrals are made to the Rehabilitation Registrar, page number 6404. Outpatient referrals should be directed to the Clinical Nurse Consultant by phone on (02) 9845 2814. 

Staff

Dr Antoinette Botman – Head of Spinal Cord Injury Service, Kids Rehab

Julie-Anne Macey – Clinical Nurse Consultant – Inpatient Rehabilitation

Jodie Thompson – Clinical Nurse Consultant – Outpatient Spinal

Pamela Larbalestier - Secretary