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Hunter Spinal Cord Injury Service

The Hunter Spinal Cord Injury Service (HSCIS) is a community rehabilitation service for:

  • Adults adjusting to a new spinal cord injury, as well as their family and carers.
  • Adults with an established spinal cord injury who have a health issue or are at risk of going to hospital.

HSCIS can see you at home, out and about in the community, in our dedicated gym or clinic room. HSCIS also offer services over the phone or via telehealth (video call).

About Spinal Cord Injuries

A Spinal Cord Injury occurs when there is damage or pressure on the spinal cord. An injury that occurs in the neck results in loss to the arms, legs and torso (quadriplegia or tetraplegia), where an injury that occurs below the neck results in loss to lower limbs and torso (paraplegia).

A spinal cord injury can be either complete (loss of all feeling and movement) or incomplete (some feeling or movement remains). Some people require a wheelchair to move about after a spinal cord injury, others remain able to walk.

Spinal Cord Injuries can occur from:

Trauma e.g. from a fall or motor vehicle accident

Neurological conditions e.g. stroke, transverse myelitis

Spinal stenosis – where the space around the spinal cord narrows

Infections or Tumours

Spinal cord injuries occur most frequently among people aged 25-34 years from traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents or sports accidents. In older people, falls are a more common cause of spinal cord injuries and age is a risk factor for non-traumatic injuries. Spinal cord injuries are more common among men than women 2017-18.

Who We Are

We are a specialised team of health professionals who work specifically with people with spinal cord injury.

Our team includes:

  • Service Manager
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Registered Nurse
  • Social Worker
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Specialists in Rehabilitation Medicine (GP referral required)
  • Allied Health Assistant
  • Administration Officer

What HSCIS Can Help With

  • Mobility changes or challenges
  • Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD)
  • Pressure injuries
  • Functional changes
  • Bladder issues
  • Bowel issues
  • Sexuality
  • Pain management
  • Spasm / spasticity management
  • Respiratory function
  • Specialist equipment prescription
  • Home modifications
  • Mental health
  • Return to sport and leisure activities
  • Access to services and supports
  • Aging with SCI
  • Fitness and weight management

Where HSCIS Goes

We are based in Newcastle NSW and travel to see people who reside in the Hunter Region.

HSCIS Client Stories

Make a Referral to Hunter Spinal Cord Injury Service

Allied Health and Nursing referrals:

Phone the Referral Information Centre on (02) 4924 2590 or
Complete the Hunter Spinal Cord Injury Service referral form and Email: HNELHD-CNRIC@health.nsw.gov.au or Fax: (02) 4923 6402

Medical Referrals (GP referral required):

Specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine
c/- Hunter Spinal Cord Injury Service
621 Hunter Street, Newcastle West NSW 2302
Email: hnelhd-scis@health.nsw.gov.au or Fax: (02) 4923 6574

Learn more about Community Health Pathways for Spinal Cord Injury in Hunter New England.

Need help in another area?

For SCI services in northern areas of Hunter New England Health District, contact the Rural Spinal Cord Injury Service in Tamworth on: (02) 6767 8392.

Other public services for people living with spinal cord injury in New South Wales are:

NSW Spinal Outreach Service (SOS) | Royal Rehab

Royal North Shore Hospital Spinal Cord Injury Outpatient Services

Prince of Wales Hospital - Spinal Injuries Unit

Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Useful Information, Resources and Contact Us

HSCIS Projects and News

Who HSCIS works with

We are a public health service and treat adults with a spinal cord injury (with or without health insurance) who live within the Hunter Region. We are a member of the NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service and work closely with other organisations to ensure people with spinal cord injury receive the care they need.

We work with participants of funding programs such as:

iCare NSW

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

My Aged Care

We work with participants of registered charities such as:

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA)

Forward Ability Support | Supporting People with Spinal Cord Injury (fas.org.au) (Previously known as Paraquad)

Resources & useful links:

State Spinal Cord Injury Service: Agency of Clinical Innovation (ACI): The NSW State Spinal Cord Injury Service (SSCIS) works to ensure that people with spinal cord injuries in NSW receive the highest quality services. SSCIS publish up-to-date evidence based resources to help clinicians and consumers manage specific issues in spinal cord injury.

Spinal Cord Injury Health Management Plan: This interactive plan has helpful advice for care providers and you can customise it with your personal injury details. Download it to your device and share your copy with the people caring for you to make sure they understand your needs.

Health Maintenance Tool: How to stay healthy and well with a spinal cord injury; a toolkit for consumers from consumers. This Website guides SCI-specific health maintenance in the following five areas: bladder, bowel, skin, pain and autonomic dysreflexia. It also allows you to build care plans for your individual needs.  There is also an app version you can download for your phone follow the link on the website for this.

Autonomic Dysreflexia:  Autonomic dysreflexia is a medical emergency that can occur in people with spinal cord injury at or above the sixth thoracic (T6) level. Click the link for more information and to access the AD treatment algorithm.

Physiotherapy SCI Guidelines: Click the link to access the Australian and New Zealand physiotherapy guidelines for spinal cord injury.

HSCIS Service Brochure: Download our service brochure for more information about Hunter Spinal Cord Injury Service.

Contact Us

Address: Newcastle Community Health Centre, 621 Hunter Street Newcastle West, NSW 2302.

Hunter Spinal Cord Injury Service (HSCIS) – Google My Maps

Phone: (02) 4925 7888
Fax: (02) 4923 6574
Email: hnelhd-scis@health.nsw.gov.au
Service Manager: Janece Vandenberg

Disability parking is available in the carpark via King St (opposite McDonalds) for clients with appointments.

Paid public parking is available at Marketown shopping centre or on the street.

Accessible toilet facilities.