The personal and financial benefits of specialist multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation
Rehabilitation A low estimate is that over one million people live in the UK with the effects of an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) at an estimated minimum cost to society of £4.1 billion.
Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, John Holloway, has worked as Medical Director at Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre for 17 years, seeing it develop into a specialist regional neurorehabilitation service for patients with the most complex cognitive and physical difficulties following injury.
"Patients showed a significant reduction in life-long dependency, after a period of sustained rehabilitation."
He says that lack of resources is frustrating, especially given the evidence of significant savings, both human and financial, that can be made for the economy. A recent UK Rehabilitation Outcomes Collaboration (UKROC) report demonstrated that patients showed a significant reduction in dependency after sustained rehabilitation, considerably reducing the cost of ongoing care and repaying the financial outlay in just a few years.
Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre
“When I started at Frenchay, it seemed like the dawn of a new era. A House of Commons’ Select Committee emphasised the need for specialist centres with highly skilled and experienced teams. Government deemed that the funding had to come from existing finances, but when you’re reallocating from already cash-strapped resources, it’s very difficult. The will to increase funding is still not there.
"The realisation of the savings to society, that rehabilitation can provide, has not been followed up."
"The problem is that the funding for specialist rehabilitation comes from Health Budgets but the decades of savings to be made in the future would be accrued normally by Social Care, therefore there is a disconnect.”
The House of Commons emphasised the need for specialist centres, with highly skilled teams
"Discharged too early from acute care, patients may require another 40 years of full-time care."
The savings are not just monetary: “We had one 21 year old encephalitis patient who, after weeks in intensive care, was recovering slowly but suffering from hallucinations and disinhibited behaviour. She may well have ended up needing long-term psychiatric and physical care but, after six months with us and two years of supported rehabilitation back with her family, she is now working, travelling the world, earning money and leading a pretty normal life. Compare that with a young person discharged too early from acute care, needing full-time carers - they may have another 40 years of life in a situation that has immense costs in terms of suffering as well as finances.”
Huntercombe cares for up to 800 patients and residents every day, across more than 25 hospitals and centres. Their award-winning medical teams, therapists and carers are expert at what they do. They’ve chosen to be at Huntercombe because they want to work alongside other professionals who are leaders in their field.