“Acquired Brain Injury is an invisible epidemic, and we need to ensure that the neurorehabilitation services required following a brain injury are ‘fit for purpose’ throughout the UK” said Chris Bryant MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury (APPG on ABI) speaking on October 11th in London at the launch of a report ‘Time for Change: Acquired Brain Injury and Neurorehabilitation’.
There are more than 1.3 million people living with the effects of brain injury at a cost to the UK economy of £15 billion per annum or 10% of the National Health Service (NHS) budget. The excellent advances in emergency and acute medicine mean that many more children, young people and adults now survive with an ABI, however, many of these individuals require early and continued access to neurorehabilitation to optimise all aspects of their physical, cognitive, behavioural and psychosocial recovery, and to maximise their long-term potential.
Neurorehabilitation is one of the most cost-effective interventions available on the NHS, but there are large variations in the provision and access to neurorehabilitation services across the UK.
The report outlines the critical role of neurorehabilitation in the ABI care pathway, and the need for Rehabilitation Prescriptions for all brain injury survivors following discharge from acute care so they know what neurorehabilitation they need. The report reviews the implications for children and young people with ABI when most of their neurorehabilitation takes place in the education system. The high incidence of ABI amongst offenders is discussed, as is the impact of neurorehabilitation on behavioural change and reoffending. The current issues in sport-related concussion are outlined as well as the need for an improved welfare system that is easily accessible.
The report summarises the key issues and makes a number of crucial recommendations. Chris Bryant concluded
ABI impacts on many government departments so a task force is required to address the issues and recommendations as a matter of urgency. The APPG on ABI intends to unite all the departments involved in order to drive change for brain injury survivors.
Copies of the report can be obtained from: https://www.ukabif.org.uk/campaigns/appg-report/
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury (APPG on ABI) was officially launched in November 2017. Chaired by Chris Bryant (Labour MP for Rhondda), there are five Vice-Chairs; Carolyn Harris MP (Labour MP for Swansea East), Chris Evans MP (Labour MP for Islwyn), Paul Flynn MP (Labour MP for Newport West), Stephen Hammond (Conservative MP for Wimbledon), Kevin Barron (Labour MP for Rother Valley) and the Treasurer is Lord Ramsbotham. The Secretariat is provided by the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) and Chris Bryant’s office.
The key objectives of the APPG on ABI are to:
- Raise awareness of ABI and seek improvements in support and services for people directly affected by ABI and also their families and carers
- Provide a voice for those who are not always heard by Ministers and MPs
- Be the main forum for ABI in Parliament, raising key issues across health, social care and welfare which all affect people living with ABI in the UK
The Secretariat is provided by the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) and Chris Bryant’s office.
UKABIF aims to promote better understanding of all aspects of ABI; to educate, inform and provide networking opportunities for professionals, service providers, planners and policy makers and to campaign for better services in the UK. It is a membership organisation and charity, established in 1998 by a coalition of organisations working in the field of ABI. http://www.ukabif.org.uk