Construction has commenced for the expansion of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital’s London Spinal Cord Injury Centre (LSCIC) in Stanmore. The service, which is one of only eight centres in the UK and currently provides 34 beds for patients with a spinal cord injury, will be increased to accommodate six additional adult beds.
The LSCIC expansion project will be carried out in two phases; during the first phase a consultation room and new reception area will be built alongside offices to accommodate extra staff. In phase two the wing accommodating the six extra beds will be built and it is anticipated that the service will be in full operation from April 2017.
Michelle Conlon, LSCIC program manager, said “With referrals to the RNOH increasing year on year these extra beds are crucial for people with a spinal injury. Current waiting times for a bed can be up to two months meaning that patients are having to wait in hospitals where their needs aren’t being met. The expansion will enable us to significantly reduce waiting times and provide the specialist treatment these patients require much sooner.”
The RNOH Charity raised over £400,000 towards the LSCIC expansion through its innovative crowdfunding platform www.makeitpossible.org.uk; the first ever crowdfunding campaign undertaken by an NHS Charity. The campaign experienced an overwhelming response from patients and staff. Funds raised will be used towards the expansion and purchasing specialist equipment for spinal cord-injured patients.
Rob Hurd, RNOH chief executive said “The expansion of the spinal cord injury centre means the RNOH can continue to deliver the expert care it is renowned for to the patients that need it most. The crowdfunding investment in extra staff and facilities will result in patients getting the specialist care they need quicker, ensuring that their rehabilitation is started as soon as possible.”