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Providing expert support to people affected by neurological problems

Ways to donate

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Telephone or call020 7793 5900

Brain and Spine Information Service guidelines and policies

The Information Service (which includes the Helpline, booklet series and website) aims:

  • to provide up-to-date, impartial information about neurological conditions;
    to give patients and carers more control;
  • to help to dispel uncertainty;
  • to assist informed decision-making;
  • to increase patient choice; and
  • to improve communication between patients and health professionals.

In addition, the services aim to:

  • provide information and support about all aspects of neurological disorders and their treatment for people affected by these disorders, along with their families, friends and professionals working with them;
  • develop access to the Brain and Spine Information Service by offering information and support by variety of means and media including telephone services, letters, online search facilities, publications and information about support groups and other agencies that may be able to help;
  • act as a resource to Brain and Spine Foundation by developing and maintaining up-to-date information, in a variety of media, on a wide range of neurological topics; and
  • develop relations with other organisations providing services to people with brain and spine disorders so as to maximise opportunities for sharing expertise and resources and to contribute to the delivery of comprehensive services.

Brain and Spine Information Service guidelines and policies

The service will:

  • be confidential, enabling the enquirer to have the freedom to discuss their request openly;
  • be impartial, i.e. will not offer information from a solely medical or clinical perspective, nor attempt to promote personal views or opinions;
  • recognise that any individual who contacts the Information Service has the right to information about any aspect of a neurological condition;
  • encourage users to ask questions about and to discuss anything related to a neurological condition, including factual, emotional and social aspects;
  • be available for users to clarify issues and discuss options, enabling them to make decisions about the options open to them and, where appropriate, permit further discussion to take place with the caller’s doctor or other health professionals;
  • be conscious of, and respond appropriately to, varying needs in respect of age, class, gender, ethnic origin, sexuality and degree of mobility;
  • providing advice or recommendations, either general or medical, or making referrals on behalf of enquirers;
  • maintain accurate statistical records of calls;
  • regularly evaluate service provision;
  • not seek to replace or undermine the relationship between users and their doctors;
  • make services as widely available as possible to all sections of the community, by direct contact with all sections of the community, or through other organisations, such as NHS Direct; and
  • adhere to the membership requirements for helplines set out by the Helplines Partnership, of which the Brain and Spine Helpline is a member.


Confidentiality is a fundamental element of the Information Service. It is an expression of respect for the people who contact the service and of their right to privacy. It assures people that the Brain and Spine Helpline is a safe place to express concerns freely.

Maintaining confidentiality means respecting the trust which people place in the service when giving their personal details and information about their situations, by ensuring that all such information remains within the Brain and Spine Foundation. Details may be shared between Information Service staff when necessary for practical reasons or reasons of staff support and this is done with respect. No personal information about people who contact the Information Service is given, or otherwise made available, to anyone outside Brain and Spine Foundation, unless the enquirer has specifically agreed or requested to participate in publicity or other activities relating to their condition or circumstances.