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Independent providers setting the standard for brain injury rehabilitation in the UK

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Darunechka

Lesley Pope

Chair of the Independent Neurorehabilitation Providers Alliance (INPA)

Independent providers have come together to innovate, shape and lead recovery and rehabilitation for patients post brain injury.

Better for everyone: life-changing, cost-effective care

The benefits of neurorehabilitation are clear; a focus on relearning skills and developing a person’s independence leads to a better long-term quality of life. Lesley Pope, the Chair of the Independent Neurorehabilitation Providers Alliance (INPA) explains, “Neurorehabilitation should be prioritised by policy makers and funders. Not only does it mean better outcomes for patients, but investing in the initial stages of recovery brings a lifetime of cost savings. People who can return to living independently have fewer care needs, less reliance on NHS and social care and can often return to work.”

Neurorehabilitation provision in the UK

In the UK, the independent sector makes up over half of all neurological rehabilitation services, often providing rehabilitation in areas where there is no NHS provision. From post-injury rehabilitation in specialist hospitals, to nursing and community-based services, INPA members provide 1200 beds for patients living with physical, cognitive, mental health and behavioural conditions.

Pioneering good practice and setting neurorehabilitation standards

Lesley explains that INPA members care about the difference that neurorehabilitation can make to people’s lives; “INPA sets standards for the industry and drives forward understanding of neurorehabilitation amongst those in positions of influence – from healthcare commissioners and social care providers to MPs. We believe everyone has the right to access excellent neurorehabilitation, provided by specialists who care about people’s personal goals.”

Independent and specific innovations

The independent sector has been particularly innovative and responsive to the needs of very specialist aspects of neurorehabilitation with members working together to develop research and best practice. This benefits everyone in the neurorehabilitation sector whether in the NHS or independently.

Recently, INPA supported new guidelines into care for people living in vegetative and minimally conscious states and developed a research project into outcome measures for people living with neurobehavioural disabilities. Damage to certain areas of the brain can result behaviour that can challenge social norms – something that requires careful rehabilitation if people can have chance of returning to life in the community. Understanding the progress someone has made by recording and measuring outcomes is a crucial part of the recovery process for the patient and the rehabilitation team.

Shape the future of neurorehabilitation

Independent providers interested in becoming members are encouraged to attend an INPA meeting find out more. Visit to find out about the Alliance’s priorities for 2020 and beyond – including a commitment to further raising the level of expertise and knowledge within members’ services by developing training opportunities for health care professionals.

INPA’s strength is in its independence. Lesley concludes, “Everyone leaves their provider hat at the door and comes together to talk neurorehabilitation.”

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