During your Stay

Your stay at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre – We’re here for you

We strive to make the everyday lives of our patients and their relatives as comfortable as possible. Our services, as well as the information we provide patients with regard to their stay, are designed with this goal in mind.

  • Relatives

    Our ward managers will be happy to provide you with information about services such as meals, participation in patient activities, workshops and courses created exclusively for relatives. Hotel rooms and studios are available at the Hotel Sempachersee, as well as in the Guido A. Zäch Institute (GZI).
    For more information, please call +41 41 939 64 64 or internal extension 6464.

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Friday, 6:30 am – 9 pm
    Saturday, 6:30 am – 5 pm
    Sundays and holidays, 6:30 am – 2 pm

    Art studio

    Our art studio offers patients a welcome change from the everyday routine of rehabilitation. While here, you’re free to explore your creative side without having to worry about time constraints or performance. No registration or doctor’s note is required. More information can be found on the whiteboards located on the wards.

    Opening hours:
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 2 – 6 pm
    Wednesday, 2 – 6 pm, 7 – 9 pm
    Friday to Sunday, 2 – 5 pm

    We can also bring art supplies directly to your room, if you so desire.
    For questions, please dial internal extension 5715.


    Patients can leave the SPC until 10 o’clock in the evening, if agreed upon by their doctors. You will need to get an “excursion pass" from the nursing staff and have it signed by your doctor. Please inform the nursing staff if you will need assistance going to bed after 10 pm.


    You may receive visitors at the following times:
    11 am – 8 pm in your room or the Intensive Care Unit
    11 am – 10 pm outside your room

    Please contact the nursing staff to arrange for visitors to come outside the regular visiting hours.
    Visitors are asked to eat meals in the restaurant, and to use the public toilets at the SPC.

    Therapy dog

    A therapy dog makes regular visits to the centre. This trained dog is happy to be petted, and can understand you even if it is not familiar with your language. For questions, please dial internal extension 5715.


    The GZI library offers a variety of free academic literature and fiction, including audio books (in German, French, Italian, Romanian and Spanish) and games. You’re free to check out the material yourself, or order it by telephone.   
    Please call internal extension 5778.

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Friday, 9 am – 1 pm, 2 – 5 pm
    In addition, every Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, SPC volunteers pass through the wards with a selection of reading materials from the library.

    Library catalogue: https://winmedio.paraplegie.ch


    Hair salon

    For appointments, dial internal extension 5764.

    Opening hours:
    Wednesday to Friday 9 am – 6:30 pm
    Closed Saturday to Tuesday
    All salon services must be paid for by the patient.


    A large selection of everyday items can be found in the shop in the cafeteria.

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Friday, 6:30 am – 10 pm
    Saturday and Sunday, 8 am – 10 pm

    Feedback and complaint management

    We encourage our patients to actively assist us in making improvements to our organisation. Our quality management personnel welcome all suggestions and feedback. We’re driven by a culture of constructive criticism, as this is the key to allowing for the continued development of our clinic. You can provide feedback as follows:

    • by calling Patient Care Services, internal extension 5949
    • by leaving a note in a feedback letterbox
    • by calling the Quality Management Team, internal extension 5760
    • by contacting the ward manager or attending physician

    If possible, please voice all concerns and suggestions during your stay at the clinic.

    Volunteer workers

    Should you need more than that which is provided by our services, we have the possibility of calling upon volunteer workers to offer further support (e.g. visiting service, bedside watch, etc.). Please contact your ward manager if you require additional assistance.

    Free time

    At the SPC, both mobile and immobile patients can enjoy a wide range of recreational activities. Our nursing staff will advise you accordingly. Be sure to also check the whiteboards on the wards.

    Singing for patients, relatives and workers

    Saturdays, 10:30 – 11:45 am
    Quiet room.
    Singing leader, internal extension 5715

    Patient Care Service

    A sympathetic and neutral ear for questions, worries, wishes, feedback and complaints – for personal concerns which seek to find their expression in the everyday life of the clinic. Patients and their relatives can specify exactly what they need.
    Please call internal extension 5949.

    Pastoral care

    SPC pastoral care helps patients and their relatives with questions and concerns, regardless of their culture or religion. It holds rituals and religious services in the quiet room. Communion/the Eucharist can also be performed at your beside, upon request.
    Contact: internal extensions 5843 and 5844. If there is no answer, please contact reception (extension 111).


    A selection of German, French and Italian newspapers can be found in the recreation rooms.

    Therapy schedule

    You will receive a weekly schedule with your individual therapy sessions and rehabilitation meetings with the treatment team. This schedule also contains your anticipated discharge date. Please contact your caregiver with questions, or if you notice any discrepancies.

    Ward rounds

    Ward rounds vary from day to day and across each unit. You will find the exact times in your individual therapy schedule.


    If you wish, you can pay to have your clothes washed and ironed in the SPC laundry room. Simply place your dirty clothes in a plastic bag (available on the ward), and then drop the bag off in the laundry room. Please observe the information found on the separate leaflet.

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Friday, 7 – 11:45 am, 12:30 – 4 pm

    Weekends at the SPC

    Weekends begin on Friday at 4 pm and end on Sunday at 10 pm. If you wish to leave the centre, you will need to get an “excursion pass" from the nursing staff and have it signed by your doctor. Special rules apply to long weekends and public holidays.

  • Plants and flowers

    Cut flowers are a nice way to brighten up your room. For hygienic reasons, orchids, cacti and potted plants (in dirt or hydroponic) are not permitted.


    You room will be much easier to clean if it is tidy. Patients are responsible for storing their own personal belongings. If this is not possible, the nursing staff will be happy to help.

    Quiet times

    A resting period is held at lunchtime, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm. At night, quiet time begins at 10 pm on the wards, and at 10:30 pm in the meeting hall.


    For hygienic reasons, pets are not permitted in the clinic. Assistance dogs clearly identified as such are allowed. If you rely on an assistance dog, please contact us in time.


    You are encouraged to make your surroundings as cosy as possible. Hygiene and safety regulations, however, must be respected at all times.

  • Escape routes/emergency exits

    In the event of a fire, the ward balconies are to be used as emergency exits. Patients are therefore prohibited from placing flowerpots or other objects on the balcony in front of the rooms. Escape routes and emergency exits must be kept clear of obstacles at all times.


    Our safety manager will be happy to help with any safety-related questions you may have. If you wish to get in touch with him, please contact the nurse who is on duty.

    Money and valuables

    We recommend bringing only a small amount of money for your stay. There is an ATM on the ground floor. You are free to keep jewellery and other valuables in your bedside table, which can be locked. Ask the nursing staff for a key. The SPC accepts no liability for loss. If you have taken all the necessary precautions but find that your property has still been stolen, please inform the nursing staff at once.


    You will be responsible for any costs incurred as a result of damage to furniture or other equipment, or of the activating of a fire alarm due to failure to observe the house rules regarding smoking products, candles and personal electrical equipment.

    Electric devices

    Patients are prohibited from bringing their own therapeutic or medical equipment. The only devices which will be tolerated are razors, mobile phones, radios, MP3 players, laptops, tablets and small TV games consoles.


    We have a duty of care to our patients, visitors, guests and staff to keep the risk of fire as low as possible. As a consequence, the lighting of candles is forbidden in all buildings on the Nottwil campus, except at the candle table in the SPC’s quiet room.

    Use of narcotics

    As per Swiss law, the SPC does not tolerate the consumption or trafficking of any kind of narcotics in any of its buildings or facilities.


    Smoking and drug use are prohibited in every building on the Nottwil campus. Bed-bound patients are also prohibited from smoking. Any instructions and orders coming from the medical/nursing staff with regard to smoking and drug use are binding, and must be respected. A smoking area is available in front of the main entrance.

    What to do in the case of a fire

    If you happen upon dense smoke or an open fire, please alert the on-site fire brigade at once by:

    • pushing one of the buttons in the corridors near the fire-extinguisher stations
    • or calling a nurse or internal extension 118 from your room.
  • Selection and ordering

    The SPC kitchen staff offers patients a wonderful selection of dishes. The full menu, which is also available in French, Italian and English, is published weekly and delivered to each of the patient rooms. Please contact Hospitality Services if you wish to receive your menu in English. Orders can be placed with Hospitality Services or the nursing staff up until 1:30 pm on the day before a meal.

    Meals and service

    Breakfast is served in the common room. Lunch and dinner are served in the "Casino".
    Breakfast: weekdays 7:30 – 9:30 am
    Sundays and holidays 8:30 – 9:30 am
    Sunday brunch from 10 am
    Lunch 12 – 12:45 pm
    Supper 6 – 6:45 pm
    Meals can be served in a patient’s room, if necessary (e.g. for medical reasons).

    Cakes, party platters and pre-dinner gatherings

    Would you like to order a cake or party platter for a special occasion, or organise a small pre-dinner get-together? Please dial internal extension 5699 or send us an email at bestellungen-gastronomie@paraplegie.ch, and we'll do our best to accommodate your request. Please contact us with the request at least 48 hours before your event.


    Hospitality service workers will attend to you in our “Casinos”, offering counselling services and assistance during meals.

    Meals for visitors to the ward

    Visitors can eat in the SPC restaurant (only cash accepted), or take a meal on the ward and be billed for it later. Orders can be placed with Hospitality Services up until 1:30 pm on the day before the meal.

    Nutritional counselling

    Please contact our certified nutritionist for any nutritional questions you may have during your stay. She will provide you with personalised advice and support, and work out, with your doctors, just the right diet for your needs. If you wish to make an appointment with our nutritionist, please consult your doctor.


    Tea and mineral water are available free of charge. Other non-alcoholic drinks can be obtained from Hospitality Services during the morning or afternoon rounds, but you will be charged for these. You can also order your favourite soft drink at lunch or supper in the Casino.
    We are not against patients enjoying alcohol if it is consumed in moderation. Alcohol will only be served to patients who are of legal drinking age. Please consult your doctor before mixing alcohol with your medication.

    Hospitality Services

    Hospitality Services provides information on the various hospitality options available at the SPC. During your stay, the Hospitality Services team will be happy to help you choose and order meals and drinks. Ultimately, however, you are responsible for ordering food. Please place your food order with Hospitality Services a day in advance, and no later than 1:30 pm. If you are unable to place your order before 1:30 pm, you will be served a default menu on the following day. Hospitality Services accepts orders from:
    9:30 am – 12 pm on your ward
    12 – 1:30 pm in the Casino
    4:30 – 6 pm on your ward
    6 – 7:30 pm in the Casino
    If you benefit from a special insurance plan ("Privat” or “Halbprivat"), then you will receive more information about our ancillary services. These services are listed in a separate brochure.

    Kitchen philosophy

    Our kitchen team strives to create spontaneous cuisine that is traditional yet modern, and captivate guests with creative recipes which contribute to their wellbeing.

    Public restaurant at the SPC

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Friday 6:30 am – 10 pm
    Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 8 am – 10 pm

    On offer:

    • two different menus per day
    • Salad and vegetable buffet
    • A variety of snacks in the evening
    • Dessert buffet on Sundays

    As we are a self-service restaurant, we kindly request guests not to "picnic”. Thank you for your understanding.

    Aurora Restaurant at the GZI

    The Aurora Restaurant at the GZI is used to serve breakfast to hotel guests, as well as meals to people attending various hotel events (registration required). You can also take advantage of this restaurant. Please dial internal extension 2323 to make a reservation.

    Special occasions

    In Casinos 1 and 2, we allow guests to use private cooking facilities for special occasions from 1 – 5 pm and 7 – 9:30 pm.
    To reserve these facilities, please dial internal extension 5699 (Mon – Fri). You will be responsible for leaving the facilities as clean and tidy as you found them. Refrigerators with lockable compartments are available if you need to store food. You may call the ward at any time for assistance.
    We shall accept no liability for the cleanliness of food that guests bring, store or prepare in the facilities, nor for any accidents which occur while guests are inside the facilities.

  • Fax

    For information on how to send and receive personal documents by fax, please dial internal extension 111 (Fax +41 41 939 54 40)


    The Casinos contain PC workstations with Internet connections and printers, which you can use free of charge. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire centre. Each bedroom is also equipped with a free Internet connection.



    A TV/radio is built into the bedside table, allowing you to enjoy a number of different programmes. Please keep the volume of audio equipment on low, or else use headphones.


    Upon admission, you will be assigned your own telephone number which will be valid for the entire duration of your stay. To get an outside line, first dial 0 and then the desired number. For internal calls, simply dial the number of the person to whom you wish to speak. Internal calls are free, while outside calls are charged at Swisscom rates (without surcharges). Please ask the nursing staff for a guide to using the phone. Phone boxes (card and coin-operated) are located near the Information desk at the main entrance. Phone charges are to be settled every month with your patient bill.


    JAMES environmental control unit

    Please ask the Occupational Therapy Department for help installing JAMES (infra-red control unit). Guests may not bring their own environmental control devices. With JAMES, it is not possible to control your bed.

  • Cars

    We recommend that you leave your car at home. The SPC has a limited number of parking spaces, and cars may not be parked permanently on the street. Furthermore, you will have to pay to park your car on the premises.


    Rail and bus

    The Nottwil SBB railway station is located around 700 metres from the SPC, and is wheelchair accessible. The bus (Sursee – Nottwil – Buttisholz – Ruswil – Wolhusen line) stops right in front of the main entrance to the centre. Buses run every hour and are wheelchair accessible. Ask for a public transport timetable at reception.



    Tixi Taxi Sursee, Tel: +41 848 849 477 (Monday to Friday, 8 am – 12 pm), offers transport with vehicles that are specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs. To book a taxi at short notice over the weekend, please call reception on internal extension 111.
    All excursions must be organised and paid for by the patients themselves. However, transport may be organised by your doctor if it is to be undertaken for reasons that are medical in nature.

The following may also be of interest to you

Map of the Swiss Paraplegic Centre (in German)

Become a member
Become a member

Become a member and receive CHF 250,000 in the event of an emergency.

Become a member

Donate now and support our projects in favor of people affected by spinal cord injuries.

Swiss Paraplegic Centre
Guido A. Zäch-Strasse 1
6207 Nottwil

T +41 41 939 54 54
F +41 41 939 54 40