We encourage rapid referral as soon as spinal cord injury is identified. Spinal cord injured patients are admitted for the following conditions:
- Trauma such as car accidents, falls, gunshots, diving accidents, war injuries, etc. Given the primacy of the spinal cord injury as the key diagnostic variable, patients following acute spinal trauma should invariably be referred immediately for advice and admission as soon as practicable
- Ischemia resulting from occlusion of spinal blood vessels, including dissecting aortic aneurisms, emboli, arteriosclerosis
- Transverse myelitis, resulting from spinal cord stroke, inflammation, or other causes
- Vascular malformations, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), dural arteriovenous fistula (AVF), spinal hemangioma, cavernous angioma and aneurysm. However, where there is a supra spinal pathology then assessment is required for suitability.
Referrals from English NHS trusts need to be made through the national Spinal Cord Injury Database (see below for other referrers). Please include as much clinical information as possible in the referral including history of present complaint, past medical history, scan finding, any surgical interventions and current clinical condition.
The Spinal Outreach Team will arrange a visit within five days of referral to assess and advise on care and begin the outreach management of individuals until either admission to the Centre of otherwise.
In the interim period, while the patient is waiting to be transferred, the referring hospital will be given appropriate advice regarding:
- Altered physiology and management
- Mode of transport
- Care during transfer
- Acute nursing needs management
Ventilator dependent spinal cord injury patients. The referral process for patients on ventilators is the same as other patients with spinal cord injury.
All referrals are discussed and fed back to the MDT each Monday. Planning for admission of all new referrals takes place at this meeting. Priority of patient admission is given by date of referral and the specific bed required.
Once accepted to await a spinal rehab bed, ongoing MDT outreach support will continue until the person is admitted.
- Other Referrers
Referrals from non-English NHS trusts, from elsewhere in the UK or abroad should be made via email: firstname.lastname@example.org using the pro forma link below. This form should be used for traumatic and non-traumatic referrals.
- Speaking to families we have helped
Patients and families who are waiting for acute admission, or who are considering the centre for rehabilitation, often want to speak with other patients and families who have been treated at the centre.
To assist with such requests, we have a reference list of patients and families from most North West towns and cities who are willing to speak with other families about their experiences; quality versus distance issues; patient care, family support; and any other questions that prospective families may have.
The reference document in its entirety is confidential but interested patients and families can contact the case management or clinical psychology departments to receive individual references for their local area.
Any former patients or their families who would like to add their names to this list, should the case management or clinical psychology departments on 01704 704333 or 01704 704447.