Ipswich Spine Unit

Ipswich Spinal Unit

The Ipswich spinal unit consists of 5 consultant spinal orthopaedic surgeons, 2 rotational registrars and 2 fellows.  The unit is supported by 4 surgical nurse practitioners.  The unit offers a full elective and trauma spinal service and has access to 24/7 MRI facilities.

Surgical Emergency Service

The Ipswich Hospital offers a comprehensive 24/7 on call spinal service.

The spinal surgical unit offers an emergency service to cover all aspects of spinal surgery including:

  • Cauda Equina
  • Spinal Fractures
  • Spinal Infections
  • Metastatic spinal disease including MSCC.

The spinal unit also offers access to an acute spinal clinic that is run by the on-call spinal surgeon weekly. This clinic is accessed via the spinal secretaries.

Referral Guidelines

All GP referrals & A/E referrals should be made to the orthopaedic on call service.

All ward referrals from within Ipswich Hospital should be made via the orthopaedic on-call registrar. The registrar is contactable via The Ipswich Hospital Switchboard (Bleep 300).

The cases can then be discussed after assessment with the spinal on-call team.

It is expected that the orthopaedic registrar on-call overnight will contact the spinal consultant at 0730 each morning to discuss any cases referred &/or admitted overnight, that have not already been discussed.

If an MRI scan is required out of hours. The on-call registrar will assess the patient and discuss directly with the on-call spinal consultant.

Tertiary Referrals (West Suffolk Hospital, Colchester Hospital, Mid-Essex Hospital)

All tertiary referrals in normal working hours (0830 – 1700) are taken by the spinal service on 07467 069656. If the orthopaedic registrar is contacted by another hospital, they should take the details of the referral and forward to the spinal on-call team.

1700 – 0830    Monday to Friday, weekends & bank holiday’s – registrar to registrar referral via switchboard at Ipswich Hospital.

No patient should be transferred to Ipswich Hospital without the agreement of the spinal


All tertiary referrals should also have a Acute Spinal Referral Form completed along with an ASIA Chart.