Personal Injury, Serious Injury & Clinical Negligence

All Party Parliamentary Group on Spinal Cord Injury

An inquiry into the provision of local health services for patients being discharged from Spinal Cord Injury Centres

spinal xray


The All Party Parliamentary Group on Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is launching a special inquiry looking into local health service provision for patients being discharged from Spinal Cord Injuries Centres.  The high quality, bespoke rehabilitation provided by SCI Centres is often undermined by the timeliness and quality of health services provided in the community by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).  Once the SCI patient is ready to be discharged, delays frequently occur in the provision of services such as NHS Continuing Healthcare, joint funded care packages, wheelchair provision and specialist equipment such as ventilators, leading to delayed discharges and bed blocking in the SCI Centres.  These delays in turn may lead to complications for those SCI people waiting to be admitted to an SCI Centre, affecting rehabilitation times and outcomes.  Whilst these issues can affect all SCI people, the situation is most acute in the highest need SCI patients – those with tetraplegia, and particularly those reliant on mechanical ventilation for their breathing.

The APPG is calling for written and oral evidence from a range of interested stakeholders, including spinal cord injured people, charities, clinicians, officials and others.

Terms of reference

The inquiry is particularly interested in hearing evidence, views and experiences relating to the following issues, and any other areas relevant to the subject:

NHS Continuing Healthcare

  • Timeliness of NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments for those in SCI Centres
  • The effects of delayed NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments on SCI people and their discharge
  • Suitability of NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments and packages
  • Variation in practice of assessment process
  • Adoption of SCI Centre advice or assessment by CCGs

Issues affecting ventilated SCI patients

  • Delayed discharge for ventilated SCI people and the associated causes
  • Delayed admission to SCI Centres for ventilated SCI people and the associated effects on their health, well-being and rehabilitation
  • NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments and care packages for ventilated SCI people on discharge from a SCI Centre
  • The provision of ventilator equipment for SCI people on discharge
  • Bed provision in SCI Centres for ventilated patients

Provision of wheelchairs and equipment by local health authorities

  • Adoption of SCI Centre wheelchair advice or assessment by CCGs
  • The suitability of wheelchairs provided by CCGs
  • The relationship between NHS CHC awards and equipment provision
  • The suitability of other equipment provided by the CCG, such as beds, mattresses or bathing equipment

The effects of delayed discharge from SCI Centres

  • Physical and psychological effects on SCI people awaiting admission to SCI Centres
  • The costs of treating secondary conditions, such as pressure ulcers, acquired before admission to an SCI Centre
  • The monetary costs related to delayed discharge from, and extended stays in, SCI Centres
  • The effects on bed capacity and waiting lists in the SCI Centres


If you would like to share your views and experience of these issues (and any other areas relevant to the subject), please do submit it to the Inquiry by no later than 5pm on Friday 19 September 2014.

Please follow this link for a pre-formatted document which should be used for submissions of evidence where possible.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail with the subject “Spinal Cord Injury APPG Inquiry” to

Much of the evidence received by the APPG Inquiry will be made public either as part of oral evidence submissions or in their final written report.  If you wish for your submission or parts of your submission to remain private then please note this in the submission.

If you have any questions regarding the Inquiry, or in relation to any other SCI issues, please contact our Lee Hart on 0345 209 1465 or by email at