Patient information


Paediatric spinal surgery statement

Statement from Consultant Spinal Surgeon and Spinal Clinical Lead Mr Mel Grainger:
Here at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital we are one of the few providers of specialist spinal services for children. This means that we receive referrals from all over the country for many children with complex conditions.

Often, due to the complex additional conditions that children with spinal issues often experience, surgery must be undertaken somewhere with a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). In this way we can make sure we provide safe and effective care for these patients with very specialised needs. We do not have a PICU at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, so we work closely with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where we undertake this kind of surgery. Children can then be cared for in the PICU there. However, there is naturally a limit in the number of beds on this unit, and often the availability can be unpredictable due to the Children’s Hospital’s role in taking care of emergency cases. This makes scheduling complex spinal surgery difficult, and has led to some delays. This is exacerbated by the fact that demand for this service is growing, and there are a limited number of specialists nationally.

We are working hard as an organisation with Birmingham Children’s Hospital and our commissioners and NHS England to reduce these waits.

Mr Mel Grainger
Consultant Spinal Surgeon and Spinal Clinical Lead

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital


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