Neurorehabilitation is the most cost-effective NHS treatment
A new report, Time for Change: Acquired Brain Injury and Neurorehabilitation, has been published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury. Chris Bryant MP, Chair of the APPG on ABI, said: “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.”
Headway UK contributes to the work of the APPG and its work to improve life after brain injury and to prevent brain injury occurring are two of the key themes in the report.
The report, backed by Headway, includes a number of recommendations to government to strengthen access to timely rehabilitation as well as improving the recognition of ABI. By highlighting the impact of acquired brain injury on people in schools, the criminal justice system, disability benefits and other areas, the APPG is drawing attention to the need for government departments to work together on this issue.
The report also recognises that full use of the rehabilitation prescription (RP) pathway prescribe neurorehab as a treatment could prove very cost-effective for the NHS, and although improvements have been made in the last 17 years, more investment is needed:
“Substantial and robust evidence emphatically supports the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of neurorehabilitation. It is one of the most cost-effective interventions available to the National Health Service (NHS), with positive financial impacts on both health and social care. However, despite these proven benefits, investment in neurorehabilitation, in-patient neurorehabilitation beds and service provision are all inadequate and hugely variable across the United Kingdom (UK). This resource limitation is compounded by the inconsistent and limited use of RPs. These deficiencies reflect a broader neglect of neurorehabilitation. The 2001 Health Select Committee Report ‘Head injury: rehabilitation’ made over 20 recommendations. While significant progress has been made regarding many of the recommendations relating to acute care, the recommendations regarding neurorehabilitation have not been substantially implemented. This limited progress over 17 years has had significant and societal consequences.”
Dr Clare Mills, Public Affairs Manager for Headway, said: “The APPG has done a great job in bringing together experts from education, criminal justice, sport and neurorehabilitation. We’re delighted to see so many MPs taking more interest in the needs of ABI survivors, their families and carers and the many areas of life which are affected when brain injury strikes.
“Alongside our ongoing work with many individual MPs and Peers, the launch of this report is another excellent opportunity to raise awareness of ABI across Westminster and Whitehall.
“We’re very grateful to Chris Bryant MP and Liz Twist MP for their efforts to keep ABI on the parliamentary radar and look forward to continuing to work with the APPG in the coming session.
“We’re calling on all MPs to look at the report and use their influence to being about much needed change to availability of rehabilitation, disability benefits, and in so many other areas, for the benefit of their constituents and the country as a whole.”