The purpose-built Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit for Scotland was opened in 1992. It is adjacent to the Institute of Neurology within the sixty five acre Southern General Hospital campus which will be the site of the new 1100-bedded South Glasgow University Teaching Hospital. QENSIU is directly funded (£6.47M) by the National Services Division of the Scottish Government and is solely responsible for the acute management and life long care of patients in Scotland with a traumatic spinal cord injury. The unit admits around one hundred new neurologically injured patients per year from a referral population of 5.6 million, often within twelve hours of injury and maintains a comprehensive database of its activities. The unit has six core consultant medical staff covering rehabilitation, respiratory medicine, neurosurgery and orthopaedics assisted by twenty five consultant sessions in other relevant medical disciplines. There are dedicated nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work, psychology and adaptive technology teams as part of the multidisciplinary environment.
The service has developed an upper-limb tetraplegia service which led to the Scottish National Brachial Plexus Service and its complementary clinical and research activities. Quality assurance, clinical governance and accountability are incorporated within clinical practice. QENSIU obtained a Charter Mark Award in 2000 and 2005, which is current.
QENSIU sustains an active clinical research programme which attracted, and is fully integrated with, the development of academic research. Cross-speciality and multi-disciplinary work is encouraged and has been published in the areas of anatomy, bacteriology, clinical governance, thrombo-prophylaxis, orthopaedics and neurosciences in addition to spinal cord injury and the work of the research partnership. Special areas of interest are the assessment and initial management of spinal cord injury, the use of repetitive training in recovery and repair and the psychological response to loss.