By: 21 January 2020
Standards of excellence for spine patients

The recently created accreditation programme, Surgical Spine Centres of Excellence (SSCoE), is an attestation to EUROSPINE’s interest in promoting excellence in spine care around the world. This certification offers patients a guarantee of quality care, no matter where they live or what kind of healthcare system they have in their respective countries

The EU community seeks to promote excellent healthcare across all member states. This is in spite of differences in the various national healthcare systems. Patients need to know that they will receive the best care available, no matter where in Europe they happen to be. In response, EUROSPINE developed a certification programme for spine centres in hospitals throughout Europe. This is taking a step further from educating spine surgeons. EUROSPINE believes that quality, satisfaction and value in spine care goes beyond the qualifications and the treatment chosen by the spine surgeon. It will involve the complete delivery of spinal services to the patient.

Certifying centres of excellence

Last year, in collaboration with the EUROSPINE Foundation and German Spine Society (DWG), EUROSPINE launched an accreditation programme to certify spine centres across Europe who meet pre-defined standards of excellence, with the goal of enhancing the overall quality of treatment in spine surgery.  The term ‘centre’ basically characterises a highly specialised institution which has exceptional equipment, highly qualified personnel, experience and competence in its field. Suitable ‘hospitals’ hosting the centres provide 24/7 care with the possibility to perform emergency surgeries on the spine at any time. Centres that perform conservative treatment only, such as pain clinics or rehabilitation clinics, are not intended to be certified under those parameters. It is planned to establish a certification process for EUROSPINE Conservative Spine Centres of Excellence (CSCoE) in the future.

The certification process is carried out by CERTiQ, an independent certification organisation selected through tendering, based on pre-defined guidelines and criteria. After undergoing an exhaustive audit procedure, the first 12 hospitals received certification in the course of 2019:

  • Clinique Saint Pierre, Ottignies, Belgium
  • Krajska nemocnice Liberec a.s. , Liberec, Czech Republic
  • Polyclinique Bordeaux Nord Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France
  • BGU Hospital Frankfurt, Germany
  • Schön Klinik Eilbek, Hamburg, Germany
  • Istituto Ortopedico Galleazzi, Milano, Italy
  • Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • University Medical Center UMC, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway
  • Centro Hospitalar de São João, EPE, Porto, Portugal
  • Inselspital, University Bern, Switzerland
  • Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Why should a centre be certified?

The programme is open to spine centres in Europe that wish to be accredited and recognised as providing a high standard of care. It is an opportunity to establish continuous internal quality control, optimise processes, establish multidisciplinary teamwork and eventually receive external and independent quality control.

Applications can be made via the EUROSPINE website. The Michael Ogon Grant was installed to enable funding for hospitals in less affluent countries to apply for certification free of charge. Please visit for further information.