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Evidence shows need for better spinal injury care, says CSP’s Sue Browning

9 July 2015 - 2:12pm

There is growing evidence to show that the current pressures on health and social care systems are having a major impact on people with spinal cord injury (SCI), said the CSP’s out-going deputy chief executive Sue Browning.

Evidence shows need for better spinal injury care, says CSP’s Sue Browning

In August Ms Browning will take up a new role as chief executive of the Spinal Injuries Association

She was commenting on a report by the all party parliamentary group on SCI published on 23 June. The document identifies a lack of access to high quality specialist rehabilitation for people with SCI.

Titled A Paralysed system, the report found

  • a lack of cohesion and poor communication between different organisations
  • a system which was clogged because of delays in the provision of community services, meaning that people with SCI were unable to leave specialist centres
  • SCI patients experiencing long waits before being transferred from general hospitals because beds in specialist centres were unavailable

In August Ms Browning, who has worked at the CSP for 12 years, will take up a new role as chief executive of the Spinal Injuries Association, the charity which provided the research for the report.

‘There is one example in this document of someone waiting 14 months to get into a specialist centre and it’s shocking that members of this vulnerable group of people should have to wait that long for specialist rehabilitation,’ she said.

The parliamentary group calls on the government to

  • conduct an urgent review to ensure that capacity at SCI specialist treatment and rehabilitation centres meets the demands of patients
  • mandate a prompt start to the assessment process for NHS continuing healthcare of people with SCI
  • monitor the delivery of NHS continuing healthcare by clinical commissioning groups
  • end the postcode lottery of wheelchair provision

Ms Browning described the report as making the case for change and said: ‘What I can see in this document is that there is a strong case – including economic – for timely, specialist support for people with spinal cord injury.

‘There are so many people working in this field – just like physiotherapy – who are completely committed and passionate about getting the right care for SCI people and I am proud to be moving to the Spinal Injuries Association who are supporting the all party group in leading this work.’

She said that while working at the CSP she had found physiotherapists to be a committed and inspiring group of people. In her new role she was looking forward to continuing to work with the physios who treat people with SCI.

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