Neurorehabilitation is a process which aims to aid recovery and work towards independence following a brain injury or as a result of a stroke or long-term neurological condition. It brings together different kinds of therapies and interventions in order to develop people’s skills and adapt to a new way of living.
Neurorehabilitation should be outcome focussed and person-centred and be delivered by specialist rehabilitation professionals, which may include including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists, speech and language therapist and other rehabilitation professionals.
Early access leads to long term benefits
When someone has a brain injury, early access to local, specialist rehabilitation is crucial. This early access is vital for the individual as it can maximise their recovery and prospects for rehabilitation.
It can also, in the longer-term, save costs for those who commission neurorehabilitation and longer-term care for individuals affected by traumatic and acquired brain injury and people with long-term neurological conditions. Putting in place the right rehabilitation, as close to home as possible and as specialist as possible, can enhance the outcome of rehabilitation for an individual, therefore cutting costs of the care and support they might require going forward.
There is now good evidence to suggest that multidisciplinary rehabilitation programmes are effective in promoting quick, efficient recovery from acquired brain injury.
However, rehabilitation services for people with acquired brain injury in the UK are often not good enough – there can often be a lack of beds available in specialist settings, they are not spread evenly geographically. This makes it difficult for people who need them to access them quickly enough.
Without rehabilitation the need for on-going care or access to crisis management increases. To reduce costs, relieve the burden on health, social and prison services and to provide the best quality of life for thousands of people, the DoH and the NHS must ensure that brain injury rehabilitation is commissioned as a specialist service by people who have knowledge of this area and are working to provide coordinated services.
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