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About the Rural Spinal Cord Injury Service and How to Access It

The NSW Spinal Outreach Service offers Medical Specialist and Multidisciplinary clinics (including Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Social Work) for people who have sustained a Spinal Cord Injury living in rural areas. Medical specialists attend from the Spinal Units of the Prince of Wales Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and Royal Rehabilitation Centre, in addition to the Spinal Outreach Service, and are funded by the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program (MSOAP). The Spinal Outreach Service also provides consultative support and education to rural clinicians caring for patients with spinal cord injury.

People with Spinal Cord Injury frequently present to major hospitals for both planned and unplanned admissions consuming intense resources, often occupying many bed days. People with spinal cord injury also present frequently to General Practitioners and community health agencies for ongoing, and in many instances, avoidable health problems. Access to specialist spinal advice and support may assist in the prevention of more complex health events and may also assist in supporting a health maintenance/health promotion approach.

During 2007 the service assessed over 100 patients with spinal cord injury throughout 10 centres across the state (Coffs Harbour, Walgett, Goulburn, Pambula, Ballina, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Dubbo, Orange and Tamworth). The NSW Spinal Outreach Service will be implementing a similar program in 2008 (with visits to Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Bathurst, Ballina, Moruya, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga and Griffith and Dubbo).

Whilst we promote the service widely, including directly to clients, we do ask that the patient have a GP referral and up to date diagnostic tests if possible. Spinal specialist physicians and the Spinal Outreach Service clinicians are available to provide support to implement recommendations made as a result of patient clinic assessments.

Should you wish to make a direct referral to the clinics regarding any of your patients with Spinal Cord Injury, or wish to seek medical or multidisciplinary advice, please contact the Spinal Outreach Service on 02 9808 9666 and speak to the Rural Spinal Cord Injury Service Manager or email rscis@royalrehab.com.au.

Rural Spinal Cord Injury (Spinal Outreach) Service Visits 2019