If you have a spinal cord injury you will spend some time in a specialist spinal cord injury centre. Your length of stay can vary from 3 months to 9 months. You can also access a specialist rehabilitation facility such as STEPS once you are medically stable and able to be transferred from the spinal injuries unit to continue your rehabilitation in a non hospital environment.

Your stay at STEPS can be funded by your local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, or you might have an insurance claim if your injury is the result of an accident. If you have a claim, your case manager can make a referral to STEPS and then a member of our clinical team will arrange for an assessment to be carried out either at STEPS or in the spinal injuries unit. If you are unsure if you have a claim we can advise you.


STEPS work closely with the spinal injury unit making the referral to STEPS and also the case manager and family of the client.

Admission criteria:

  • To be able to engage fully with the recommended package of rehabilitation following assessment
  • To be medically stable
  • Clients from the age of 16
  • The individual (or if they lack the capacity, the person with lasting power of attorney) provides consent to admission
  • Access to funding is confirmed
  • Provisional plans have been agreed for discharge from STEPS
  • We are able to care for people with PEG tubes in situ. These and any other additional care needs will be considered as part of the pre-admission assessment

Facilities at STEPS:

  • Individual ensuite fully accessible rooms with ceiling hoist if required in 18 rooms
  • Transitional Living Unit
  • Supported / Independent Living Apartment
  • Airflow mattresses if required
  • Fully accessible Hydrotherapy Pool
  • Fully equipped gym with equipment such as FES motomed bike, electric standing frame, tilt table, Saebo equipment and more
  • Therapy kitchens
  • Games and music room
  • Accessible café and garden areas

STEPS Care and Therapy team:

  • 24-hour nursing team to provide all support as needed including pressure care, bladder and bowel management Social Worker to support with benefits, checklist, DST and more….
  • 24-hour rehabilitation assistant team to provide care and therapy providing continuity across all therapeutic and care needs.
  • Full team of therapists including Physio, OT, SLT and neurologic music therapy
  • Psychology Support provided by our psychology team
  • Medical support and reviews as required from our Rehabilitation Medicine Consultants and Spinal Injuries Consultant
  • Pain management
  • Access to STEPS Prosthetics for assessment for orthotics
  • Nutrition and dietary advice provided by our skilled team of chefs

Mr Pradeep Thumbikat, specialist consultant in spinal cord injury rehabilitation, will oversee your medical care during your residential stay at STEPS. STEPS have an Interdisciplinary approach to rehabilitation with specialist expertise in to provide the care and rehabilitation, and every client is allocated a named nurse and therapy key worker. The key workers are the main point of contact for the client, family and team. Regular goal setting and Interdisciplinary meetings are held to review a client’s progress. Reports from these meeting can be provided to the funder as required.

Due to the close proximity to the Sheffield Spinal Injuries Unit any tests, investigations or reviews can be easily supported. STEPS have an agreement with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and BMI Thornbury Hospital to allow seamless access to a variety of scans and tests. We have regular visits from the spinal injuries association peer support officers (SIA) and The Back Up trust.

STEPS admissions lead Katy will visit clients in the Spinal Injuries Unit and provide an assessment and costing and arrange a seamless transition for the next stage of a client’s rehabilitation journey, and prepare them for discharge back home. During the current lockdown situation we are carrying out all assessments via video.

All packages of rehabilitation include:

  • Accommodation and meals
  • Laundry
  • Medical (GP and Rehabilitation Medicine Consultants) and nursing care
  • Access to multiple group activities
  • A 24-hour approach to rehabilitation through all care and support that is provided by our team of rehabilitation assistants and nurses
  • An individually designed therapy programme from all members of the IDT as appropriate

Symptoms will vary from person to person, even those with the same level of injury may have different symptoms, so at STEPS we provide an individual goal directed rehabilitation programme for each client and this will focus on movement and learning new skills in movement as well as strength and conditioning programmes to help prevention of secondary conditions and promote independence.

You might like to read a few of our case studies on clients with a spinal cord injury: