Neurology at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick

Contact details

Neurology

Enquiries: (02) 9382 1549
Fax: (02) 9382 1580

Neuromuscular

Enquiries: (02) 9382 1845
Fax: (02) 9382 1208

About the Neurology Department

The Department of Neurology comprises a caring and dedicated multidisciplinary team working with families to provide the highest level of care for infants, children and adolescents with neurological conditions. These can comprise disorders of the brain, nerves and muscles or neurodevelopmental disorders.

The department has specialist interests in epilepsy, neuromuscular conditions, brain tumours, neurometabolic and neurogenetic conditions, and headache.  

We aim for excellence in outpatient and inpatient services for the diagnosis and management of neurological disorders and to thereby improve the health and wellbeing of children through clinical care, research, education and advocacy. As a department, we value collaboration with other health services and practitioners, and aim to empower patients and families through better understanding and management of their / their child's condition.

Referrals

All Neurology appointments require a referral addressed to a specific Doctor before an appointment is made. As in many specialised areas there is a waiting list. We encourage General Practitioners to consider referral to a Paediatrician as the first point of call. General Paediatricians are very experienced in all aspects of paediatric care. The Paediatrician may want a neurological opinion subsequently and a process of shared care established. This has many benefits for patient care. It is understood in certain circumstances a direct referral to the Neurologist is appropriate. The Neurologist may discuss the referral with your GP or write to them with further advice regarding the process. For an urgent appointment the on-call Fellow or Paediatric Neurologist should be contacted via switch (02) 9382 1111.

All Paediatric Neurologists accept general neurology referrals (see attached document Referring Neurologists). Their specific areas of expertise are:

  • Dr Ian Andrews - Atypical Headache, Neuroimmunology
  • Assoc. Professor Annie Bye - Epilepsy
  • Dr Michael Cardamone - Epilepsy and Neurometabolic Disorders
  • Dr Michelle Farrar - Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Dr John Lawson - Epilepsy
  • Dr Hugo Sampaio - Neuromuscular Disease
  • Dr Alex Johnson – General Neurology
  • Dr Sekhar Pillai - Epilepsy, Neuroimmunology
  • Dr Tejaswi Kandula – General Neurology
  • Dr Hooi Teoh - General Neurology

Appointments for each Neurologist’s outpatient or outreach clinic are made through their respective secretaries or Nurse Consultant. Appointments for Wagga Wagga and Wollongong are made through the respective clinic rooms. Please refer to phone number listed below under Clinics and Outreach. Fax referrals to SCH Neurology (02) 9382 1580, unless indicated otherwise.

Outpatient Clinics

The following neurology clinics are held in the hospital's Outpatients Department:

Neurologist Phone Clinic details
Dr Ian Andrews (02) 9382 8205 General Neurology and specialisation in Atypical Headache, Neuroimmunology
Assoc Prof Annie Bye (02) 9382 1549 General Neurology and specialisation in Epilepsy
Dr Michael Cardamone (02) 9382 1658 General Neurology and specialisation in Epilepsy and Neurometabolic Disorders
Dr Michelle Farrar (02) 9382 1549 Specialisation in Neuromuscular Disorders
Dr John Lawson (02) 9382 1658 General Neurology and specialisation in Epilepsy
Dr Hugo Sampaio (02) 9382 1547 General Neurology and specialisation in Neuromuscular Disorders
Dr Tej Kandula (02) 9382 1549 General Neurology
Dr Alexandra Johnson (02) 9382 1549 General Neurology and Brain tumours
Dr Sekhar Pillai (02) 9382 1658 General Neurology and Neuroimmunology, Epilepsy
Dr Hooi Teoh (02) 9382 1547 General Neurology

Multidisciplinary Clinics

The following Multidisciplinary Neurology Clinics are held at the Sydney Children's Hospital, either in the outpatient department or in the medical day unit.

Tuberous Sclerosis (TS) Clinic

The TS clinic comprises a TSC speciality team, comprised of a neurologist, nephrologist, geneticist, genetics CNC, dermatologist and developmental paediatrician with an extensive knowledge of tuberous sclerosis and its complications. Current research interests include mTOR inhibitors and specialist anti-epileptics including canabinoid derivatives.

For referrals, phone (02) 9382 1821

Neuromuscular Clinic

The neuromuscular service is an active multidisciplinary team consisting of neurologists, neuromuscular CNCs, geneticists, genetics CNCs, respiratory physician, clinical psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, dietitian, orthotist, cardiologist with strong links to the orthopaedic, endocrinology and sleep medicine teams. Active research interests include SMA with newer therapies such as nusinersen.

For referrals, phone (02) 9382 1845

Epilepsy Clinics

Epilepsy clinics are supported by the Epilepsy Clinical Nurse Consultant and Epilepsy Educator. Adolescent epilepsy clinics are held throughout the year in the Bright Alliance Adolescent facility. Clinic appointments should be booked through the secretary for each neurologist.

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet service includes a multidisciplinary team with neurologists, clinical nurse consultant and dietician. Referral is from neurologists to Dr Michael Cardamone and Dr Tej Kandula but requires a GP referral as well (download Ketogenic Diet Referral).

Further information about ketogenic diet see pennsw.com.au

Epilepsy Surgery

The complex epilepsy service comprises neurologists, neurosurgeons, clinical nurse consultant, neuroradiologist and neuroimaging experts working in conjunction with telemetry staff and nuclear medicine specialists (PET and SPECT) to consider whether a patient may be suitable for epilepsy surgery. This can stop or significantly reduce seizures when the right operation is done for the right patient. Careful consideration and discussion of cases is promoted through close links with the complex epilepsy network around Sydney. Referral is through the paediatric neurology department.

Neuroimmunology Clinic

Neuroimmunology Clinic will be a quarterly clinic with referrals from paediatricians, paediatric neurologists. Referrals should be sent to Dr Pillai's secretary ((02) 9382 1658).

Complex Movement Disorders

Movement Disorder Clinic is run through a partnership between neurology (Dr Michael Cardamone) and rehabilitation (Dr Maria Kyriagas). Referrals are collated by the rehabilitation department

Outreach Clinics

The following Neurology Outreach Clinics are held in Canberra, Lismore, Liverpool Hospital, St George Hospital, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong:

Location Outreach Clinic type Specialist  Contact Phone Frequency Address
Canberra General Neurology Dr Hugo Sampaio (02) 9382 1547 Monthly Woden Hospital, Canberra
Canberra Epilepsy Dr John Lawson (02) 9382 1658 Quarterly Woden Hospital, Canberra
Canberra Neuromuscular Dr Hugo Sampaio (02) 9382 1845 Bi-annual Woden Hospital, Canberra
Liverpool General Neurology Dr John Lawson (02) 9382 1658 Quarterly Liverpool Hospital
Liverpool General Neurology A/Prof Annie Bye (02) 9382 1549 Quarterly Liverpool Hospital
Liverpool General Neurology Dr Michael Cardamone (02) 9382 1658 Quarterly Liverpool Hospital
Wagga Wagga General Neurology Dr John Lawson (02) 6925 0210 Quarterly Dr Preddy's rooms, Wagga Wagga
Wollongong General Neurology Dr Ian Andrews (02) 4229 5925 Fortnightly

Wollongong rooms, 93 Smith St, Wollongong; Paediatrician referral only

 Other health services also have paediatric neurology clinics within NSW and Sydney Metropolitan area, which are not run through Sydney Children's Hospital Network, and these services should be contacted for bookings.

Neurological Investigations

The Neurology Department provide a neurophysiology service conducted as a shared service with the adult service at Prince of Wales Hospital. Prolonged EEG / Ambulatory EEG / Telemetry are conducted from the telemetry service located on the neurology ward at SCH. Inpatient telemetry can require an admission from 24 hours to 5 days. This requires discussion with the relevant neurologist (Dr Lawson, A/Prof Bye, Dr Michael Cardamone, Dr Sekhar Pillai).

Please find the contact details below:

Investigation Phone Location Referral
Routine EEG (02)93822211 Neurophysiology Level 2, Prince of Wales Hospital fax to (02) 93822860
Ambulatory EEG/video EEG (Telemetry) (02)93821801 Level 2, Sydney Children's Hospital Booked by neurologist, fax to (02) 93821580
Nerve conduction studies /EMG   Neurophysiology Level 2, Prince of Wales Hospital Booked by referral to Dr Sampaio, Dr Farrar and Dr Kandula

Neuroimaging studies, such as MRI, are booked through the radiology department (shared service with Prince of Wales Hospital)

Information and explanation regarding these investigations can be found at the above links.

Staff

Name Position Profile  Research 
A/Prof Annie Bye Consultant Neurologist and Epileptologist UNSW profile  
Dr John Lawson Consultant Neurologist and Epileptologist UNSW profile  
Dr Ian Andrews Constultant Neurologist and Neuroimmunologist UNSW profile  
Dr Hugo Sampaio Consultant Neurologist and Neuromuscular physician UNSW profile  
Dr Michael Cardamone Consultant Neurologist and Epileptologist UNSW profile  
Dr Michelle Farrar Consultant Neurologist and Neuromuscular physician UNSW profile  Research
Dr Alexandra Johnson Consultant Neurologist UNSW profile  
Dr Sekhar Pillai Consultant Neurologist and Neuroimmunologist UNSW profile  
Dr Tej Kandula Consultant Neurologist    
Dr Hooi Teoh Consultant Neurologist    
Erin Beavis Clinical Nurse Consultant – Epilepsy    
Margot Morrison Clinical Nurse Consultant – Neuromuscular    
Sandra Holland Clinical Nurse Consultant – Neuromuscular    

The team also comprises telemetry staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, speech therapists, educators, administrative officers, social workers. We welcome collaboration with other medical teams and allied health staff.

Teaching

University: Sydney Children's Hospital is a teaching hospital, and the neurology team welcome students from the University of New South Wales. Co-ordination is through the School of Women's and Children's Health.

Symposium: The neurology team are ongoing proud contributors to the Annual Course in Paediatrics each year, with an epilepsy symposium held in conjunction bi-annually.

March 2018 - 35th annual course program

March 2017 - 34th annual course program

Ongoing education: The SCH neurology department have been integral in putting together an epilepsy education website (paediatric epilepsy network of NSW) and an epilepsy app (EpApp) to contribute to the education of patients, families and clinicians.

In the Media, Highlights, Awards

SMA: We have been excited to watch the story unfold around Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) through the hard work and dedication of Dr Michelle Farrar and Dr Hugo Sampaio, who have been highlighted in the media regarding pre-conception screening and gene therapy for this condition.

ABC 1st March 2018 - Pre-conception screening for SMA (Mackenzie's mission)

ABC 29 January 2017SMH 2 September 2017 - Nusinersen for SMA

Canabinoids: As the lead investigator in the NSW trial into medical marijuana for severe paediatric epilepsy, Dr John Lawson and the team have been hopeful this will be a breakthrough for some of our patients with intractable epilepsy.

Medical Journal of Australia January 2018 - Medicinal cannabis in intractable epilepsy (podcast)

Sydney Morning Herald March 2015 ; ABC August 2016 - Medical Marijuana in paediatric epilepsy

Awards:

Dr Michelle Farrar - Leonard Cox Award 2017

A/Prof Annie Bye - Medal of Order of Australia

Neuromuscular

Muscular Dystrophy Association