NSW Spinal Outreach Service

The Royal Rehab Spinal Cord Injury services are dedicated to providing specialist rehabilitation services to people who have sustained a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). 

NSW Spinal Outreach Service

Through a skilled team of specialist rehabilitation doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, SOS addresses the ongoing and complex needs of people with SCI following discharge from hospital with the aim of keeping people well and informed about their health, and building the capacity of local clinicians so they can provide the best possible care to clients in their communities.

The service is based at Royal Rehab in Ryde and works closely with the spinal units at Royal North Shore and Prince of Wales Hospitals. The SOS service models vary according to the location of the client.

NSW Metropolitan Spinal Outreach Service

The metropolitan service provides multidisciplinary goal-based support, education and clinical interventions for up to 12 months post discharge from a spinal unit. The service has a strong health promotion focus, and it aims to support clients to maintain their health and re-integrate back into their community through linkages with other service providers and networks.

Services are available at client’s homes in line with their needs and goals. It is a requirement of the service that a spinal specialist is involved in the client’s care.

Who can access the Metropolitan Spinal Outreach service?

  • People with recent SCI who are being discharged from NSW spinal units and who live with the area bounded by the Southern Highlands, Wyong and Lithgow.
  • People with a previous SCI who’ve been re-admitted to a spinal injury unit.
  • Those with a SCI moving from paediatric services.

NSW Rural Spinal Outreach Service

The Rural Spinal Cord Injury Service (RSCIS) links people living in regional and rural NSW with the Sydney-based spinal cord injury units post discharge by providing rural clients with access to a specialist medical and multidisciplinary team review close to where they live. The rural service has an extensive reach, visiting locations across six local health districts as well as providing follow-up phone and in-person support by the rural spinal cord injury coordinators across NSW.

The RSCIS comprises a metropolitan based specialist multidisciplinary team operating out of Royal Rehab. The RSCIS is available for a person living outside of metropolitan Sydney (apart from the Port Kembla/Illawarra  and Hunter region) who have a diagnosed SCI. They may be referred to the service via their rural spinal coordinator or directly to RSCIS.

The service primarily consists of nine specialist medical and multidisciplinary clinics to regional centres for people with SCI. Regional centres include, but are not limited to, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Ballina, Tamworth, Armidale, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Orange, Bathurst, Bega and Moruya.

In addition to clinics, RSCIS provide educational opportunities for clinicians and service providers in regional centres, in addition to clinical support and consultancy for rural clinicians working with complex cases.

Who can access the Rural Spinal Outreach service?

  • Rural people living in the community with a diagnosed spinal cord injury (whether or not they have been admitted to a spinal cord injury unit).
  • Rural people with SCI who need specialist medical and multi-disciplinary clinic reviews.
  • Rural clinicians and service providers requiring specialist spinal education, clinical support and advice.

Please note that clinic numbers may be limited in some areas. Clinic reviews are prioritised according to need. A GP referral and diagnostic review may be required prior to clinic attendance. For further information on SOS, phone 02 9808 9666.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights sets out the fundamental principles of healthcare. You can download a copy of the charter here.

The charter is available to everyone in the healthcare system. It allows patients, consumers, families, carers and providers to share an understanding of the rights of people receiving health care.

Patients, consumers, healthcare providers and health service organisations all have an important part to play in achieving healthcare rights and contributing to a safe and high-quality healthcare system.