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NEW CENTRE FOR BRAIN INJURED PATIENTS

August 20, 2003 3:52 PM

An innovative new service designed to assist people who have experienced a brain injury to become independent at home and in their community will be previewed at 10am on Thursday, August 21 in advance of the official launch on Friday, August 22. 

The Community Treatment Centre for Brain Injury – which is the first dedicated service of its kind in Scotland - will help people who have a brain injury engage in meaningful and productive activity in home, social, work or education settings and to re-establish relationships with family and friends.

Brain damage can occur in a number of ways, for example, from an infection such as meningitis or as the result of a brain haemorrhage. Others may suffer a lack of oxygen to the brain as can occur from a heart attack or drug overdose. The most common cause of brain injury however, is a traumatic brain injury that occurs from a direct blow to the head through a fall, an assault or a car accident.

Whilst some people who sustain a brain injury have physical impairments, others may have less visible impairments, such as poor memory and concentration, difficulty making decisions, poor planning skills, and problems with speech and language. In addition, people can also experience emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression and poor anger control. Such difficulties can severely affect the person's ability to maintain relationships, to work or study and even to engage in seemingly simple activities which prevent them returning to their previous lifestyle.

The Centre aims to give people with a brain injury the necessary skills to lead as full a life as possible, by providing client focused rehabilitation and treatment to reduce the disability and handicap associated with brain injury.

The service works in close partnership with colleagues across NHS Greater Glasgow and local authorities, and referrals are accepted from acute hospitals, GPs and other social and health services.  Both clients and carers/family members are invited to the centre for an initial assessment, and goals are set thereafter for their individual rehabilitation programme.

Staff at the Centre will provide treatment on an individual and a group basis and will address issues such as information about brain injury; social skills (including communication and assertiveness); strategies to cope with cognitive difficulties such as memory problems and poor problem solving; stress/anxiety management; daily living skills; anger management and social skills.  A group for carers/family will also be available to enable families/carers to learn more about the consequences of brain injury and to discuss their own experience of caring for someone.

Rehabilitation programmes will be carried out within the Centre and in people's own homes and communities, where they will be assisted in re-developing the kind of skills most people take for granted, such as shopping, socialising and using public transport.

Staff at the Centre include clinical neuropsychologists (who focus on the cognitive and psychological consequences of brain injury); occupational therapists (who work in areas such as personal care, activities of daily living, education, employment, leisure and recreation); speech and language therapists (who work with clients to communicate more effectively in day to day situations); rehabilitation assistants (who work with clients in their own communities to help them practice newly learned skills) and clerical support staff.

Deputy Health Minister Tom McCabe said: "I greatly welcome this innovative and imaginative development. This Treatment Centre brings together a number of professional skills from the NHS and local authority. It is a very good example of partnership working at community level across Glasgow. I am sure it will bring significant benefits for people who have experienced a brain injury and for their families and carers."

Pauline Linn, the Scotland Development Manager of Headway - the brain injury association -  said:  "This specialist provision is long overdue and at long last a comprehensive range of support is available to people with brain injury.  Headway is delighted to welcome this new service and looks forward to working closely with the new Community Treatment Centre staff in the future."

Dr Denyse Kersall, Clinical Director, added:  "We are pleased to launch this innovative new service, which is a much needed development in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of people with brain injury.  We want to reduce the obstacles facing people with brain injury and to help them return to as normal and as full as life as possible within their own homes and communities."

ENDS

 

For further information, contact: Vicky Brown-0141 211  3862                                                   

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Recent research has indicated that every year in Glasgow around 3000 people are admitted to hospital following a traumatic brain injury. Of these more than 40% (approximately 1400 people) were disabled one year after injury.

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