The Golden Jubilee Regional Spinal Cord Centre offers a life long follow up service.
As part of this service there are four specialist nurses and a liaison therapist who are based at the centre. Each nurse covers a specific geographical area:
- Carrie Brooks – Wearside and Tyneside
- Lesley Kaid – Teesside
- Kathy Rogstad – Cumbria and Northumberland
- Jess Salvati – County Durham
- Cyndi Dixon – Teesside and County Durham
- Clare Nixon Liaison Therapist – Cumbria and Northumberland
All newly injured patients will be seen within five days of referral by a consultant or one of the specialist nurses. They will assess the patient to ascertain if its appropriate for them to be transferred to the unit.
The nurses work with the multi-specialist team during a patient’s admission, and to plan a smooth and effective discharge from the centre back into the community.
The nurse will then follow the patient up in the community after discharge. All patients will be provided with the contact details of their specialist nurse on discharge.
The specialist nurses are based partly in the community and their primary role is to offer advice to patients and to the healthcare professionals in the community who are responsible for providing care.
The nurses will liaise with district nurses, carers and colleagues as appropriate to assist with concerns or queries.
They are also involved in educating and training carers and other outside professionals on all aspects of caring for individuals with spinal cord damage. This training will hopefully reduce the risk of long term complications and re-admission to hospital.
If a patient is ever admitted to a local hospital for any reason it is helpful for the specialist nurse to be informed. They can then support the patient to ensure their needs are met if needed.
The liaison therapist will work with the patient on discharge to assist with the rehabilitation transition from hospital to the community. They will work alongside community staff addressing areas of equipment and social reintegration. They will be present at specialist clinics, and review clinics at Carlisle and Blyth.
Training and guidance includes:
- Bladder and bowel care
- Skin care and pressure sore management (working jointly with the occupational therapy team who will deal with cushions, seating and general wheelchair assessments).
Specialist nurse and liaison therapist contact details
The specialist nurses can be contacted via mobile phone during office hours. Outside these hours patients are advised to contact their GP or the spinal cord injuries centre on 01642 282644. Please do not hesitate to call them if you have any concerns at all.