Key messages

  • Specialist services work closely with local admitted and non-admitted rehabilitation.
  • Austin Health and Alfred Health are service providers for spinal cord injury.
  • Caulfield Health and Austin Health are service providers for acquired brain injury.
  • The Royal Children’s Hospital is a service provider for paediatric rehabilitation.

There are Level 5 rehabilitation services in each of the statewide service specialisations. These are burns, traumatic spinal cord injury, non-traumatic spinal cord injury, severe acquired brain injury services and admitted paediatric rehabilitation.

The specialist services work closely with local admitted and non-admitted rehabilitation services to facilitate timely and supported continuity of care as close as possible to the patient’s home.

The statewide services have multidisciplinary specialist teams. They conduct primary treatment of severe cases and play a secondary advisory role for other Level 3 and 4 rehabilitation services.

Spinal cord injury

The Victorian Spinal Cord Service, located at Austin Health, is the primary service provider for people with a traumatic spinal cord injury.

Alfred Health is the other service provider predominantly focusing on non-traumatic spinal cord injury.

Patients with a spinal cord injury have complex high-care needs. The majority require access to specialist rehabilitation, equipment, home modifications and attendant care packages funded through an individual support package for long-term care needs.

Acquired brain injury

Acquired brain injury (ABI) encompasses a wide spectrum of brain injuries acquired from traumatic and non-traumatic causes such as road trauma, bashing, suicide attempts and strokes.

A small but significant group of patients with severe ABI's require specialist subacute services to meet their rehabilitation needs. These include intensive nursing and/or managing complex behavioural issues as well as specialist allied health services.

There are two services that care for people with moderate to severe ABI: Caulfield Hospital at Alfred Health and Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre at Austin Health.

Progressive neurological disorders

Calvary Health Care Bethlehem specialises in the rehabilitation and management of people suffering from progressive neurological disorders (PND) including motor neurone disease and Huntington's disease.

As a Level 5 specialist service provider, Calvary provides on-site admitted rehabilitation, assessment and management for local patients and the more complex cases that require the face-to-face expertise of the Calvary team. They also provide secondary consultation and liaison services to generalist rehabilitation services across the state to assist with the management of people with PNDs.

Victorian Paediatrics Rehabilitation Service 

The Victorian Paediatrics Rehabilitation Service (VPRS) specifically caters for children and adolescents who, as a result of injury, medical or surgical intervention or functional impairment, will benefit from a program of developmentally appropriate, time-limited, goal-focused multidisciplinary rehabilitation. This includes children and adolescents with congenital, developmental or acquired conditions that are amenable to rehabilitation.

The VPRS builds on and integrates with existing paediatric and rehabilitation service platforms. Monash Health and The Royal Children's Hospital provide admitted rehabilitation to children that require admitted care. They liaise closely with other VPRS ambulatory services on discharge to facilitate continuity of care.

Location of services

Specialist rehabilitation services are located at the following metropolitan health services:

  • Alfred Health
  • Austin Health
  • Calvary Health Care Bethlehem
  • The Royal Children’s Hospital
  • Monash Health.