Clinician Connect

State Spinal Cord Injury Service

17 Dec 2021 Reading time approximately

Occupational therapy for people with spinal cord injury

A new digital resource is now available to support occupational therapists working outside of spinal cord injury units and in the community.

Clinicians will find information and guidance in the resource to:

  1. assess and manage the complex needs of a person with a spinal cord injury
  2. make recommendations for equipment and home modifications to assist them.

The guide is now available on the ACI website.

A model of care for improved access to specialist support

The NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service (SSCIS) is developing a proposed ‘hub and spoke model of care’ to provide timely and appropriate access to specialist interdisciplinary care and support for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) across NSW.

The model of care will provide value-based care for people with SCI across the continuum of care and enhance outcomes at the patient and system level.

It will coordinate prehospital admission, emergency department and specialist care to enable triage to the right unit and care closer to home, where possible. Timely access to specialist interdisciplinary acute and rehabilitation care will be improved through:

  • direct admission to spinal cord injury units (SCIUs)
  • timely referral to SCIUs
  • support provided to non-specialist ‘spoke’ units by SCIU hubs.

Specialist guided care and usual care will be provided to patients triaged to management outside the hub and spoke system. This will lead to improved outcomes, quality of care and equity for patients.

The model of care is being developed by:

  1. consulting with stakeholders across ambulance services, major trauma centres and specialist spinal cord injury hospitals, to understand barriers people with SCI face and ensure they receive appropriate care
  2. conducting thematic analysis from the consultations
  3. drafting an evidence-based stratified model of care aiming to enhance outcomes at the patient, clinician and health system levels.

We are currently receiving final feedback on the model from stakeholders and exploring dynamic simulation modelling to analyse different scenarios, which will help determine the impact on patient flow and access to specialist care.

Learn more and contact the State Spinal Cord Injury Service.

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