National Acquired Brain Injury Strategy

Fact finding tour to help shape Acquired Brain Injury strategy

Chris Bryant MP has visited three very different facilities offering neurorehabilitation services across the country to gather information for the new Government wide Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Strategy.

Chris Bryant is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for ABI and the Co-Chair of the ABI Strategy Programme Board and secured the Government’s commitment to the ABI Strategy after proposing a Private Members Bill last year.

He visited Walkergate Park in Newcastle with UKABIF’s Chief Executive, Chloe Hayward, who is also the Co-Chair of the Strategy’s Patient and Public Voice Reference Group. The Tyneside Centre provides neurorehabilitation and neuropsychiatry services for adults with a disability caused by injury or disease affecting the brain or spinal cord.

There they met with both staff and patients as they were shown around the 64 bed Centre, learning about the different rehabilitation services provided and the equipment and technology available to help people affected by an ABI to live as independently as possible.

In Sheffield they visited Steps Rehabilitation Centre which provides 23 rooms for residential rehabilitation for those aged over 16 years. Everything from hydrotherapy to music therapy is used along with the latest technology to offer a range of rehabilitation to patients. There Chris and Chloe met with staff and patients to hear their thoughts on what resources are currently available and what is needed.

Finally a trip to Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital to see what rehabilitation services are available for children. Chris met with staff, patients and families on a tour of the city centre hospital and also spoke with The Child Brain Injury Trust on the visit.

At each location staff and patients were given the opportunity to say what they thought was needed to improve the lives of those living with acquired brain injuries.

Being able to see and speak to both staff and patients means we have real life experiences from people. As Co-Chair of the Strategy’s Patient and Public Voice Reference Group I want to make sure patients’ views are taken into consideration when the Strategy is being established.

Chloe Hayward, Executive Director of UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF)

Chris Bryant MP said: “These visits have been hugely helpful as we look to gather information and first hand views from people working in ABI neurorehabilitation. If the ABI Strategy is to be fit for purpose we need to know what is currently working but perhaps more importantly what isn’t working in order to ensure the needs of people with an ABI are properly addressed.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone we met for sharing their experiences for us to consider as we take the Strategy forward.”