Rehabilitation can be defined as the process of assisting an individual to maximise their independence and function after an injury or illness. Neurorehabilitation is the area of rehabilitation medicine that treats conditions that affect the nervous system: for example, multiple sclerosis, stroke and certain infections or brain tumours. Far and away the most common condition however is traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury is the commonest cause of death and disability in young people and children. An estimated million head injuries occur each year in the UK and over 100000 people are admitted to hospital each year after head injury. Most are discharged within 24 hours and make a full recovery.

However a small number of individuals will suffer longer term problems. The aim of neurorehabilitation is therefore to minimise these residual problems, to promote recovery from brain injury and to compensate for any permanent alterations that are suffered.

Brain injury can have a marked effect on a number of functions:-

  • Physical function, eg mobility, balance, weakness or decreased control of muscles
  • Cognitive function – these are essentially thinking functions, such as memory, speech and use of language, concentration, attention
  • Behavioural changes – eg mood, impulsivity, irritability, aggression

Such changes clearly affect an individual’s lifestyle and aspirations, but they also affect family and friends quite dramatically.

Input from a rehabilitation team can help with recovery and has been shown to affect the long term outcome for family as well as for individuals suffering injury.

Osborn 4 is a 14-bedded neurorehabilitation ward at the Northern General Hospital.


Referral to the Unit is made from a number of sources and we have particularly strong links to Neurosciences. All potential referrals are discussed and a short period of inpatient rehabilitation offered when the Unit feels that an individual would benefit from such treatment. A short period of assessment is followed by appropriate treatment during which any remaining medical issues, tests or treatment can also be finalised. The aim is to increase an individual’s independence; this is done by using goals set by the individual and staff working in unison.

Regular review meetings are held for feedback to family and relatives, to set any further goals and to plan for discharge.

Each patient is given a timetable for their therapy sessions.

The most important phase of rehabilitation is in the community and at home and therefore, a period of inpatient stay should be as short as possible.

Planning for discharge begins on admission and by the time of first review, a decision on discharge destination would be made. Most individuals will return home with support from family or a small amount of carer support. In a few cases, a decision to seek appropriate nursing or residential home will be made by family and this process is started to ensure timely discharge. At the time of discharge we will arrange appropriate follow up by the relevant community rehabilitation service. Medical staff will continue to follow up patients in Outpatient Clinic

We welcome any visits by relatives or by people who wish to look at the Unit.

For information please contact write to

The Princess Royal Spinal & Neurorehabilitation Centre
Osborn Building
Northern General Hospital
Herries Road
S5 7AU

Key Contacts
Adrian Jones Charge Nurse
John Kirkland Charge Nurse
Rajiv Singh Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
Ramesh Munjal Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
Siva Nair Consultant Neurologist with interest in Neurorehabilitation
Ward phone number

0114 2715976

Specific patient and service queries to:

Dr Rajiv Singh
Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
The Princess Royal Spinal & Neurorehabilitation Centre
Osborn Building
Northern General Hospital
Herries Road
S5 7AU

Telephone: 0114 2715651.

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