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Brain Injury Initiatives to Improve Services


Three new initiatives, developed by the Regional Acquired Brain Injury Implementation Group (RABIIG) have been launched by Health Minister Edwin Poots to improve information and services for parents, carers and service users of brain injury services in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister said: “Brain injury can have a devastating and lifelong impact on those it affects.

“Around 2000 people a year in Northern Ireland sustain and are living with the longterm effects of brain injury. It brings with it countless symptoms and challenges including memory loss, mobility problems, personality changes and behavioural issues. Of course we also have to remember the impact of the brain injury on family members and friends, who will also be living with the effects it has had on their loved one.”

Recognising the need for local, accurate and relevant information, the guide ‘Brain Injury Support in Northern Ireland’ was the first initiative produced by RABIIG’s parents, carers and voluntary organisations. It comprises eight leaflets detailing hospital and support services, family issues, recovery, early rehabilitation and much more.

Service Standards and Quality Indicators were also launched. These set out standards which people of all ages should expect from brain injury services across Northern Ireland. This will help ensure that the care that is delivered will be of the same standard regardless of age or postcode.

Thirdly, three new care pathways have been introduced throughout the health and social care service. These pathways are designed to provide a planned and consistent approach throughout the various stages of assessment, diagnosis and intervention.

Susan Soutar, parent, carer and member of RABIIG said: “The unpredictable and diverse effects of brain injury on family life can be devastating. RABIIG has made excellent progress in improving services and I am delighted to be part of the team.”

Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care and Children, Health and Social Care Board added; “The new initiatives demonstrate how RABIIG has addressed many of the actions identified in the regional Brain Injury Review. The redesigning of services, standards and the producing of an information guide is testament to the work of RABIIG and will provide real benefits for people with a brain injury, their families and carers.”

RABIIG was established in June 2010 to make improvements to health and social care services provided to users and carers of brain injury services. It is jointly managed by the Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency and has membership from the five Health and Social Care Trusts, statutory bodies, voluntary organisations, service users, parents and carers.

For further information about RABIIG please contact Martina McCafferty, Service Improvement Project Manager, tel: 7186 0086 or martina.mccafferty@hscni.net The literature also available on the Health and Social Care Board website www.hscboard.hscni.net/RABIIG/