Spinal cord injury and disease, 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 Spinal Cord service offers consultancy and specialised rehabilitation care for children and young people that have a functional impairment and/or complex healthcare needs due to acquired spinal cord pathology. This includes injuries sustained as the result of trauma or through disease such as transverse myelitis. 

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, autonomic abnormalities, scoliosis and neurosurgical problems. 

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.

Clinic information

Clinic processes

Most children and adolescents are referred to the clinic after their acute inpatient stay, where they received a coordinated and goal-directed inpatient (or ambulatory) rehabilitation program. This may include input from the multidisciplinary team (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 such as urology, orthopaedics and neurosurgery.

Outpatient referrals can be made by any medical professional. Hospital therapists are available for consultation to the clinic and community therapists are also encouraged to attend with the child and their family. We have close links with the NSW Paediatric Spinal Outreach Service (PSOS) and the therapists from this service are often in attendance at the clinic. They offer outreach support for both metro and rural clients and provide an expert consultancy service regarding spinal cord injury and are able to offer training of local therapists, and do home and school visits as required.

Follow up

The Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder 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.

Last updated Tuesday 21st May 2024

Patient and family support

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