A solicitor and chairman of a brain injury charity in Sunderland has travelled to Westminster today as a new report on how to improve treatment for patients.
Paul Brown of Burnetts is in the capital for the launch of a new report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) in his role as the Secretary of the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF).
Entitled Time for Change, the report has taken evidence from a range of medical and other experts and makes 20 key recommendations for action to improve outcomes for those suffering ABI, whether from major incidents such as car crashes through to those associated with sport-related concussion.
The report also highlights the scale of the problem with 956 hospital admissions related to ABI every day (one every 90 seconds) and 1.3 million people living with traumatic brain injury-related disabilities at a cost of £15 billion per annum to the UK.
As secretary of the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum and its Northern England equivalent, the Northern Acquired Brain Injury Forum, Paul has been involved in the production of the report and in lobbying for cross-party support to make improvements happen.
With his experience as a solicitor and voluntary work as chairman of Headway Wearside, Paul says he has seen the results of delayed treatment and low levels of awareness of brain injury for many years.
He said: “Acquired Brain Injury is a chronic condition causing hidden disabilities and life-long consequences, but these problems can be minimised with early recognition of ABI and appropriate neurorehabilitation treatments in the first few months after an incident.
"The recommendations in Time for Change are all about improving education in schools, sport and the criminal justice system so that ABI is recognised immediately.
"The report then insists that Rehabilitation Prescriptions of specialist neurorehabilitation treatments should be issued consistently and investments made in neurorehabilitation facilities across the UK.”
“There is a lot of evidence, much of it included in this report, that early treatment can reduce longer-term needs and associated costs to the wider economy so we need to show MPs and other decision makers that this early response is a worthwhile investment that will save money in the long term.”
Paul is in Westminster today along with Liz Twist, MP for Blaydon, and with brain injury survivors across the country who talk about their own personal journey following brain injury.
“The evidence in this report is clear – that we need to take early action to improve the chances of those with Acquired Brain Injury to give them the best chance of recovery,” said Ms Twist.
“We need to turn these recommendations into action. It really is “Time for Change” for people with Acquired Brain Injuries.”