Chris Evans MP for Islwyn has today backed a new report that could save the NHS £5 billion a year through its recommendations of wide-ranging reform of the way brain injury is treated in hospitals, schools, sports grounds in Islwyn.
With a hospital admission for a brain injury occurring every 90 seconds on average across the uk, Chris Evans joined the All Party Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury today to launch their new report, ‘Time for Change’ in Parliament.
The report recommends a range of substantial reforms to improve outcomes for people suffering from brain injuries in Islwyn, improve attainment in schools, reduce reoffending and save money for the government. Recommendations in the report and from the group include:
– For the first time, all teachers, teaching assistants and school sports coaches in Islwyn and nationally to have mandatory training on how to spot, treat and manage brain injuries/concussion in children.
– With prevalence rates for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as high as 60% among prisoners, brain injury screening should be automatically done for everyone entering the criminal justice system and, if identified, appropriate interventions planned and implemented by a trained team.
– All benefits assessors should be trained to understand the problems that affect individuals with an Acquired Brain Injury and re-assessment for welfare benefits for people with Acquired Brain Injury should only take place every five years.
– ‘Rehabilitation Prescriptions’ to be made available for the first time to all individuals with an Acquired Brain Injury on discharge from acute care, held by the individual with copies made available to their GP.
– Current NHS provision is failing the clinical needs of athletes with Sports Related Concussion. The government should act to ensure all sports coaches have mandatory training on how to spot, treat and manage brain injuries, and the NHS and professional clinical bodies must urgently work with sporting groups and athletes to improve knowledge and treatment for amateur and professional sportspeople.
The report was written after four round tables in Parliament with experts and individuals living with brain injuries about the issues with ABI in the UK. They found that 1.3 million people live with the effects of brain injury at a cost to the UK economy of £15 billion per annum, and that having a head injury doubles an individual’s risk of later mental health problems, even if the person had no prior history of mental ill-health. Despite this, there is currently no centralised recording of the average cost of treating an acquired brain injury, the funding set aside for it or the number of prescriptions given, and no mandatory training for teachers, benefits assessors, sports teachers or prison officers on what it is or how to manage it.
Acquired brain injuries are defined as any injury to the brain which has occurred following birth. It includes Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), such as those caused by trauma e.g. from a road traffic accident, sporting concussion and non-TBIs related to other medical conditions, e.g. meningitis, stroke, brain tumour etc.
Chris Evans MP for Islwyn said:
“Brain injury is a hidden epidemic and too many people in Islwyn just aren’t getting the help and support they need.
“This needs action now. If the government listen to this report we can improve lives and outcomes for people in Islwyn and save the taxpayer money.”