Spinal Injuries: Health Services

Health written question – answered on 15th October 2008.

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Photo of Ian Lucas Ian Lucas PPS (Mr Liam Byrne, Minister of State), Home Office, Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what estimate he has made of the number of spinal cord injury patients who are being managed by people without specialist skills relating to the condition;

(2) what assessment he has made of whether the number of beds and other resources available in spinal cord injury centres are sufficient to meet the specialist needs of all spinal cord injury patients promptly and appropriately; and how many beds there were in the designated specialist spinal cord injury centres in the latest period for which figures are available;

(3) what mechanisms are in place for the collection of national data on spinal cord injury patients, their management and the outcomes of their care; and what steps he is taking to improve such mechanisms.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health Services), Department of Health

No estimate has been made of the number of spinal injury cord patients who are being managed by health professionals without specialist skills relating to this condition.

No assessment has been made on whether the number of beds and other resources in spinal injury centres is sufficient to meet the needs of those with spinal injuries. It is the responsibility of the individual centres, and regional commissioners, to ensure that they are able to meet the anticipated needs of the regional population they serve. Information on the number of beds provided at such centres is not collected centrally.

There are no existing mechanisms, or plans, to collect national data specifically on spinal cord injury patients.

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