Brain injury victims suffer savage cuts in services

Welfare budget reforms and the withdrawal of rehabilitation are 'short-sighted', says charity

Savage cuts in rehabilitation services are resulting in thousands of brain injury victims being denied help and ultimately costing the taxpayer more money, according to a new study by the brain injury charity, Headway.

More than a million people with a brain injury living in the UK have been forced to compromise their quality of life because a combination of local authority, NHS funding and welfare budget reforms has resulted in rehabilitation and support services being removed.

"Timely access to rehabilitation and continuing health and social care is needed to help people regain a degree of independence, improve their quality of life and reduce their reliance on more expensive long-term care," according to Colin Shieff, a consultant at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, and a Headway trustee.

More than half of the 500 survivors of brain injury in the survey reported that they had lost access to rehabilitation and support services. The charity warned the cuts were not cost effective, as people might be forced to become dependent on more expensive, long-term state support in the future.

Luke Griggs, of Headway, said that people were being "cut out of society due to lack of access to vital support services. Not only is this morally wrong but it also demonstrates a short-sighted approach. Cutting rehabilitation services or reducing access to them is a false economy, as it reduces the chances of people with brain injury regaining their independence."

Mr Griggs added that reduced specialist support put increasing pressure on survivors' families. "Many who feel unable to continue to care for their loved one may feel they have no option other than resorting to residential care, which can cost thousands of pounds a week."

Nicola Scott sustained a traumatic brain injury when she was knocked down by a car in 2008. After four weeks in intensive care and a further three months in a rehabilitation ward, she was discharged.

Her mother, Susan Osborne, had to leave work to become a full-time carer. "We desperately needed help from specialist brain-injury professionals who could not only help Nicola to understand what had happened, but also to begin the process of relearning the basic life skills that most of us take for granted," Ms Osborne said.

Ms Scott received some temporary help from a neuropsychologist after 18 months, but Ms Osborne believes that rehabilitation, such as speech, language and occupational therapy, would have made her daughter more independent than she is today.

"This would have also meant her being less reliant on state support for the rest of her life," she said.

Brain Injury Awareness week begins on Wednesday.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
Life and Style
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Graduate Pricing Analyst - 6 months / 1 year analytical experience

    £20000 - £25000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

    Trainee Helpdesk Analyst / 1st Line Application Support Analyst

    £18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Senior Management Accountant

    £40000 - £46000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Global publishing and digital bu...

    Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day supply

    £110 - £130 per day + Competitve rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Yea...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits