The United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) is a coalition of organisations aiming to promote all aspects of an acquired brain injury (ABI). To help promote, educate and improve the services to those affected UKABIF has launched a campaign ‘Life after Brain Injury? Improve Services Now’.

An ABI is brain damage caused by a traumatic or non traumatic event after birth rather than as a result of a genetic or congenital disorder. Serious brain injuries can cause permanent physical, emotional, cognitive or behavioural impairments. Over one million people in the UK are living with an ABI and early access to specialist rehabilitation services is essential to ensure optimal recovery.

The campaign launched on 3 July highlights the need for improvements in the provision of services for people with an ABI. The campaigns manifesto ‘Life after Brain Injury – A Way Forward’ calls for a host of practical improvements that will make a real difference to the lives of those with ABI and to their families. All the suggestions will ultimately save the state money because it will save in long term care costs. They include: comprehensive care plans for people leaving hospital; individual assessments of victims in a location suitable to their needs; and a national audit of rehabilitation services and for the reporting of accurate data on incidence, prevalence and severity of newly acquired brain injuries to be made compulsory throughout a patient’s recovery.

People with an acquired brain injury need access to specialist rehabilitation

Professor Michael Barnes, chair of UKABIF, said: “We’re demanding immediate action on a local and national level to force change. People with an acquired brain injury need access to specialist rehabilitation but these services vary considerably around the UK and this is having a detrimental impact on how well patients ultimately recover”.

The campaign hopes to gain support from MPs, clinical commissioning groups and the general public to improve services for people with an ABI, their family members and carers. Supporters of the campaign are being urged to contact their MP to ask them to sign Early Day Motion 292.

A brain injury specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Early and specialist treatment for people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) both in hospital and in the community should be the priority. It helps to prevent complications, reduce hospital stays and minimises hospital readmissions, but in some areas of the country services vary hugely and patients are suffering as a result. More needs to be done to improve services, awareness and knowledge for people living with an ABI."

“The campaign by UKABIF has brought together leading brain injury groups and organisations towards a common aim, this can hopefully result in much needed changes in our brain injury services. Having more "joined up" services will hopefully not only improve the lives of those people with acquired brain injury but also ensure that finite resources are spent much better.”