With the results of the General Election now in, we have a new Government starting work on December 16th 2019. This is another opportunity for UKABIF members to lobby their newly elected or returned MPs about the importance of neurorehabilitation and what we are trying to achieve through our Time for Change report.
We need to ensure that our MPs are aware of what they can do within this new Parliament, such as join our All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Acquired Brain Injury. We are therefore asking you, either as an individual, as part of your organisation, or as both, to write to your local MP asking them to join the APPG and to take up the five key points outlined below.
We would like them to recognise and take neurorehabilitation seriously as a discipline that can not only save billions of pounds but which can transform the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people each year who have an acquired brain injury. Please ask your MP for a personal commitment to this agenda.
If you are unsure of who your MP is and how to contact them please go to this page and type in your postcode.
We have drafted a template letter for you to use - please click here to view the letter. You can of course adapt the letter but please make sure you include your full name and address, as MPs will only respond to people from their constituency.
Further, if you are a clinician or service provider, this is an excellent opportunity to invite your MP to see what you do and start building a relationship with them. MPs are generalists and appreciate this kind of detailed knowledge about what is going on in their patch.
And if you write to your MP, get a response or have one come and visit your workplace, let us know! UKABIF is a membership organisation and we want to know what our members are doing. Please use this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org for all your correspondence.
The five key points we would like MPs to raise within Parliament are:
1. A national review of neurorehabilitation is required to ensure service provision is comprehensive and consistent throughout the UK with a view to ensuring that every trauma centre has a consultant in rehabilitation medicine. A full and ongoing programme of neurorehabilitation must also be available to everyone with an acquired brain injury.
2. Acquired Brain Injury should be included in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice and all education professionals should have a minimum level of awareness of and training in acquired brain injury.
3. Criminal justice procedures and processes need to be reformed to take into account the needs of individuals with an acquired brain injury and appropriate training for service professionals in all areas of the criminal justice system is required. In addition, brain injury screening for those entering the Criminal Justice System should be introduced.
4. Research is urgently needed into the long-term risks and effects of sport-related concussion, together with an extensive awareness-raising campaign throughout all levels and types of sport, particularly in schools, so that concussion can be properly identified and treated.
5. All benefits assessors should be trained to understand the problems that affect individuals with an acquired brain injury and re-assessment for benefits for such individuals should only take place every five years.