Spinal Cord Injury Centre expansion will significantly reduce waiting times for patients

Spinal Cord injury Centre ward signage

Construction commenced this week for the expansion of RNOH’s London Spinal Cord Injury Centre (LSCIC) in Stanmore. The service, which is one of only eight centres in the UK and currently provides 34 beds for patients with a spinal cord injury, will be increased to accommodate six additional adult beds.

The LSCIC expansion project will be carried out in two phases; during the first phase a consultation room and new reception area will be built alongside offices to accommodate extra staff. In phase two the wing accommodating the six extra beds will be built and it is anticipated that the service will be in full operation from April 2017.

Michelle Conlon, LSCIC Program Manager, said “With referrals to the RNOH increasing year on year these extra beds are crucial for people with a spinal injury. Current waiting times for a bed can be up to two months meaning that patients are having to wait in hospitals where their needs aren’t being met. The expansion will enable us to significantly reduce waiting times and provide the specialist treatment these patients require much sooner.”

Expansion of the service will also create more jobs within the hospital. Recruitment has already begun for the multidisciplinary team (MDT) with fantastic opportunities for all clinical, nursing, therapies and administrative staff. A full range of current vacancies at the hospital can be found on the NHS Jobs website.

The RNOH Charity raised over £400,000 towards the LSCIC expansion through its innovative crowdfunding platform www.makeitpossible.org.uk; the first ever crowdfunding campaign undertaken by an NHS Charity. The campaign experienced an overwhelming response from patients and staff. Funds raised will be used towards the expansion and purchasing specialist equipment for spinal cord-injured patients.

Rosie Stolarski, Director of Fundraising and Development added “The Make It Possible platform has provided a new and innovative way of sourcing funding for vital facilities like the RNOH’s world-renowned Spinal Cord Injury Centre. The money raised will help rebuild the lives of spinal cord-injured patients and allow the RNOH to extend their life-changing care to many more patients in need. We are so grateful to those who supported this campaign".

Rob Hurd, RNOH Chief Executive said "The expansion of the spinal cord injury centre means the RNOH can continue to deliver the expert care it is renowned for to the patients that need it most. The crowdfunding investment in extra staff and facilities will result in patients getting the specialist care they need quicker, ensuring that their rehabilitation is started as soon as possible. We know this a crucial factor in delivering effective care to spinal cord injury patients. The expanded service and extra highly trained staff means the RNOH will maintain the critical mass of expertise under one roof. This is just one part of the long-term sustainability of world-class musculoskeletal medicine Stanmore that will benefit patients for years to come. Thank you to all the donors and the RNOH Charity for their generous help in making this possible."

Please note: During the expansion project there will be some noise disruption on the ward. It is expected that therapy sessions will run as normal, and so building works will be carried out during the day while most patients are in therapy sessions to minimise disturbance. The LSCIC car park will remain closed until April 2017 with access limited to ambulances, patients, and visitors for drop off only. RNOH patients and transport services have been notified.

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