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Homelessness and Brain Injury

Delighted to see a great article about homelessness and brain injury in the Guardian recently. This was written by Steph Grant (who led the homelessness and brain injury research in Sheffield recently), Ste Weatherhead and Rebecca Forrester (both clinical psychologists in Liverpool). The article cites a short film ‘Not My First Rodeo’ which has been entered into the UKABIF Short Film Award. The winners of the award will be announced at the UKABIF Conference on 14th November 2016


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Advert for research regarding Work Capability Assessments and TBI

Work Capability Assessments:

The experiences of individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
My name is Rebecca Potts and I am carrying out this project as part of a Clinical Psychology Doctorate based at Lancaster University.
I would like to invite you to take part in my research project, which involves interviewing you about your experience of the Work Capability Assessment.

The Work Capability Assessment is a checklist introduced by the government to assess whether somebody is able to work, and therefore whether they should receive disability

benefits. This study aims to gather the views of people with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on what it is like to take part in a Work Capability Assessment, whether that is completing the ESA-50 form or going on to attend a face to face assessment.

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Childhood head injury linked to higher risk of adult mental illness and poorer life chances

A new paper published on 24th August by Oxford University indicates far-reaching and long term consequences of head injury.

An Oxford University-led research team, in the UK, US and Sweden, funded by Wellcome, analysed data from more than a million Swedes born between 1973 and 1985 to examine the long-term impact of having a traumatic brain injury before the age of 25.
As the data only included hospital admissions for head injury, and therefore didn’t take into account less severe accidents many children have that go unrecorded, these are likely conservative estimates of the scale of the problem.

Further information about the study is available here:

The paper, Long-Term Outcomes Associated with Traumatic Brain Injury in Childhood and Adolescence: A Nationwide Swedish Cohort Study of a Wide Range of Medical and Social Outcomes, is published open access in PLOS Medicine (doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002103).

Neurology and primary care

A new report published by the Neurological Alliance has found that GPs in England lack confidence in the primary care pathway for people with neurological conditions. New polling of GPs across the country shows low levels of confidence in the ability of local services and systems to manage neurology patients effectively, and widespread concern over unnecessary delays. It also suggests that GPs feel they would benefit from more support to manage people presenting with suspected neurological symptoms.

The Neurology and primary care report, available at http://bit.ly/2bfLdkh, presents the results of a survey of 1,001 regionally representative GPs from across the UK (England, n=831) and an expert workshop convened in December 2015. The report focuses primarily on England but additional UK-wide findings are included in the appendix. The report finds that:

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Have you had a family member or friend admitted to hospital with a traumatic brain injury?

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Brain Injury Healthcare Technology Co-operative (HTC) is delivered in partnership by Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University Cambridge, and is based at Addenbrooke’s hospital.

The NIHR Brain Injury HTC is committed to ‘Patient and Carer Inspired Innovation’ to ensure that all perspectives of the care pathway are heard. A recent initiative focused on hearing from the patients directly (find link below), which highlighted the need to hear from families and friends of those who have cared for someone admitted to hospital with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

First of all, if you are a family member or friend of someone who has been admitted to hospital with TBI, the HTC asks that you kindly complete a short survey about your experience. This will give you the opportunity to tell us about your experiences, both the ups and the downs, with the choice of anonymity. The survey findings will provide the HTC with enough details to inform the next phase.

The online survey can be found here: https://addenbrookes.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/htc-family-carer-tbi

‘My Head’ wins best radio programme

A Radio programme entitled ‘My Head’ broadcast last May has won the prestigious Royal Society Radio Prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast.The programme is about UKABIF’s Ambassador, James Piercy and follows the path of his acquired brain injury with James interviewing the people involved in saving his life and helping on his path to recovery. You can listen to the programme here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05w3xpk. UKABIF have been working with James for several years and two years ago he was made an ambassador for the charity. Well done James – UKABIF are very proud of the work you do to raise awareness of acquired brain injury.

Team: Writer and presenter: James Piercy. Producer: Toby Murcott. My Head. Pier Production for BBC Radio 4 and World Service. First broadcast 06/05/2015. You can find our more about the awards here: http://www.absw.org.uk/absw-awards/awards.html

Last few days left!!! Early bird rates for UKABIF’S 8th Annual Conference 2016 finish on 31st Of July

From Surviving to Thriving with Brain Injury

Monday 14th November 2016
The Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole St, London W1G 0AE


The programme will look at the consequences of increased survival after acquired brain injury over the past decade. It will take delegates on a journey through emergency medicine and trauma care to new rehabilitation techniques dealing with the very specific long term effects of brain injury.

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New Research Calculates cost of Traumatic Brain Injury at £15 billion a year

Traumatic brain injury costs a total of £15 billion nationally every year and puts young people at higher risk of poor mental health and offending, according to research published on 12 July by Centre for Mental Health. Traumatic Brain Injury and offending: an economic analysis finds that head injuries (in which the brain is damaged by impact, such as from a fall, a road accident or violence) double a person’s risk of later mental illness. These injuries dramatically increase the risk of earlier death, and can play a significant role in increasing the risk of future offending – by up to 50% according to some studies. The report is funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, which also supported an evaluation of the Disabilities Trust’s brain injury linkworker service at a young offender institution as part of its Transition to Adulthood (T2A) programme.

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UKABIF encourages brain injury survivors to participate in patient experience survey

The Neurological Alliance has launched its second neurological patient experience survey. The survey aims to collect vital information about the experiences of care received by people affected by neurological conditions and help us to understand how much progress has been made in improving neurological services. The survey is open until September 30th and the Alliance welcomes responses from anyone with a neurological condition living in England. They will be using the survey findings to feed into a report early next year. The report will set out a comprehensive picture of what is happening in relation to neurological services and make recommendations about how care can be improved. This is without doubt a timely and exciting opportunity for the neurological community.

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Life After Encephalitis: A Narrative Approach by Dr Ava Easton

This is a new book in the Psychology Press series, ‘After Brain Injury: Survivor Stories’ edited by Barbara Wilson. Life After Encephalitis starts with a chapter about what encephalitis is and what it does. It then moves on to explaining the history and the value of using narratives in medicine in placing the patient in a central role in their healthcare. The remaining chapters explore the effect of encephalitis on the survivors themselves and members of their family. Ava makes the hard science of encephalitis accessible for all readers. The personal stories convey the trauma of the illness and the struggle of dealing with on-going health issues and authorities for continued support. Well worth a read whether you are a clinician, carer, someone who has suffered from encephalitis or just interested in how people deal with devastating illness.

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UKABIF welcomes enquiries from the media. We are able to provide information about all aspects of acquired brain injury as well as experts in the field to talk about topical issues. Please call 0845 6080788 or 07903887655.