Back Up, Aspire and SIA work together to improve health and care services for people with spinal cord injury.

Back Up, Aspire and the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) have a long history of working together. We are currently undertaking a joint project, with the help of Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS), that aims to improve health and care services used by spinal cord injured people.

NCS was founded as a collaboration between three charities to support and challenge health and care service commissioning. As part of their remit to ensure that service users and the voluntary sector have a voice in decisions that are made about health and care services, NCS have taken on a mentoring and support role to a small number of other charities in England, including our spinal cord injury group. The Department of Health is funding this mentoring support.

Together with our colleagues at Aspire and SIA, we have researched spinal cord injured people's experiences of health and social care services in Cornwall and Greater Manchester through a survey and focus groups. In both areas, concerns with general hospitals were raised as a priority issue; many people had been admitted to hospital, often on an emergency basis for preventable spinal cord injury related causes, and gone on to develop further complications. We were told that a lack of staff understanding of spinal cord injury played a major role in the problems encountered. But it wasn’t just hospitals that were discussed, with all NHS services from dentists to community nurses and mental health teams to GPs coming in for praise and/or criticism.

The findings of this research can be seen in our Cornwall Report and in our Manchester Report.

Armed with this research we have now approached the commissioners in both areas and will be keen to work with them to reduce avoidable costs and ensure a better service for those with spinal cord injury in their area. 

For more information about this work, please contact Stef our Head of Services on 020 8875 6745 or on email.