- A new State-funded Spinal Outreach Service opens at Fiona Stanley Hospital
- Consultation and advisory service to include telehealth and a telephone hotline
- Extending care from inpatient rehabilitation into the community, promoting more independent living
A new State-wide service launched by Fiona Stanley Hospital is set to change the lives of more than 1,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in Western Australia.
The Spinal Outreach Service (SOS) is designed to empower and support spinal cord injury patients to return to the community after being discharged from the State Rehabilitation Service Spinal Unit. The service will also support people already living with tetraplegia and paraplegia in the community.
SOS will act as a consultation and advisory service, supporting patients to maintain their functional independence and achieve self-management after the life-changing experience of a spinal injury. It is estimated there are 1,100 Western Australians living with a spinal cord injury.
Initially, patients newly discharged from the State Rehabilitation Service will be part of a short-term community rehabilitation program. Senior nursing and allied health clinicians will collaborate with the person, their families and local service providers to promote independence and provide specialised spinal education and advice.
People will be able to access ongoing support and advice through telehealth and a telephone hotline.
This service is an outcome of an independent review by a team from the Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service commissioned by the North Metropolitan Health Service, and the subsequent development of a model of care designed to suit Western Australia.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"Transitioning from inpatient rehabilitation to the home environment can be a daunting experience for spinal injury patients. The new Spinal Outreach Service will support these patients by assisting them to develop the skills they need to live in the community.
"This will be a life-changing program which promotes self-management. With the support of a multidisciplinary team it will empower patients in the next phase of their recovery and to rebuild their lives.
"The Spinal Outreach Service aims to provide equitable access to people living with a spinal cord injury, regardless of where they live in Western Australia.
"The use of telehealth will allow the person with a spinal cord injury, their family and local service providers to connect with the specialised team in their home or at the local hospital."
Minister's office - 6552 6500