Spina bifida, The Children's Hospital at Westmead


Phone: (02) 7825 0833

Email: SCHN-CHW-KidsRehab@health.nsw.gov.au

Location: Children's Assessment Centre, Level 3 Outpatients, The Children's Hospital at Westmead

About our service

The Spina Bifida service offers consultancy and specialised rehabilitation care for children and young people that have a functional impairment and/or complex healthcare needs due to a Neural Tube Defect such as Spina Bifida (myelomeningocele) or a Tethered Cord. 

The service 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, lower limb weakness and sensory impairment, scoliosis, and cognitive difficulties. 

Our team includes a rehabilitation physician, clinical nurse consultant, social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, clinical psychologist and various subspecialty surgeons. We provide antenatal counselling, inpatient management of newborns with Spina Bifida, developmental assessments, home visits and school liaison, and coordinated transition to adult health care services. 

All clients in the Spina Bifida service are periodically seen for a multidisciplinary rehabilitation assessment to review their progress at home and school. 

Referral information and eligibility criteria

This service is a part of Kids Rehab, The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

See Kids Rehab for referral and eligibility information.

New referrals will be assessed against the eligibility guidelines and prioritised according to medical need.

Urgent referrals (antenatal consultation) must always be discussed with the Spina Bifida clinic consultant / registrar on call before a referral is sent. 

Clinic information

The Spina Bifida clinic runs each Friday (all day) in the Children’s Assessment Centre on Level 3. Appointments last approximately 1 hour. Medical imaging (x-ray, ultrasounds, MRI etc) required to complete the review may need to be completed on a separate day prior to the clinic visit.

Parents and carers are asked to attend the clinic with their child and bring any relevant medical, therapy and school reports with them as well as all their child’s usual walking aids or splints.

Spina bifida handbook

Learn more about diagnosis, management and support for families and children with Spina bifida.

Last updated Tuesday 21st May 2024

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