Therapy referrals for brain injuries resume during the pandemic

Brain injury rehabilitation units are beginning to reopen amid the pandemic, a move which has been welcomed by brain injury solicitors including NV Legal.

Calvert Reconnections, a neuro-rehabilitation centre based in the Lake District is taking referrals for its Covid-19 compliant ABI rehabilitation programme combining traditional interdisciplinary therapies with physical activity in the outdoors.

Calvert Reconnections, run by the Lake District Calvert Trust, is a new neuro-rehabilitation, residential centre providing rehabilitation programmes for those who have suffered an acquired brain injury.

The programme is Covid-secure and incorporates social distancing through activities such as rambling, fell walking, fishing, gardening, horse riding, orienteering, cycling, canoeing, and sailing.

In September, Calvert Reconnections asked brain injury case managers when they anticipated being able to refer brain injured clients to residential-based programmes, 10% of case managers said they were already making referrals, 70% said they expect to be making referrals in 1-3 months, 15% said 3-6 months and 5% said 6-12 months.

In other findings, 91% of case managers said that brain injury rehabilitation post Covid-19 is going to be more reliant on the private and charitable sectors due to stretched NHS resources, while 86% anticipate an increase in the use of outdoor activities in rehabilitation plans for brain injured patients.

A worrying 89% expect the UK to face a ‘tidal wave’ of brain injury rehabilitation need. Heather Batey, a neuro-occupational therapist, director of Reach and trustee at The Lake District Calvert Trust, said:

“While brain injury rehabilitation has been driven to crisis point by Covid-19 and intervention has been adversely affected, there are now positive signs with ‘face to face’ clinical contact returning. The future is looking brighter but we need to ensure best practice continues throughout this pandemic.

“The Government is aware of the need to ensure best practice and has recently committed to bringing together a task force to discuss issues relating to acquired brain injury at this critical time. The UK has the potential to establish itself as a global leader in brain injury rehabilitation through innovative new residential programmes, based on research outcomes and combining clinical therapies with physical activity in the outdoors. This is an exciting time within this industry.”

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has gathered support of MPs for its call for the Health Secretary to prioritise rehabilitation for those affected by COVID-19.

An earlier pre COVID-19 report by Calvert Reconnections and barristers at Exchange Chambers also revealed how the recovery prospects of brain injured patients in the UK are being jeopardised by a chronic lack of resources.

NV Legal works closely with clients and their families to arrange for case management and rehabilitation following an accident or brain injury. We believe that early intervention is key to a successful outcome. The news that rehabilitation programmes are restarting is excellent as it provides families and their loved ones the support and respite needed following a traumatic brain injury.

This week there is additional focus on rehabilitation therapists during Occupational Therapy Week 2020. The pandemic has changed the way that health and care services operate, and occupational therapists are on the frontline. We would like to highlight the amazing job therapists do in enabling clients to live an independent life following a life-changing accident or brain injury.

Early involvement in a case is vital for rehabilitation to be successful.  For further information on brain injuries and rehabilitation contact us:

03330 112 732

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