16/11/2021 By Anu Manda, Solicitor, Neurolaw team
Rhondda MP Chris Bryant is sponsoring the Acquired Brain Injury Bill, the focus of which will be to meet the needs of children and adults with acquired brain injuries.
Currently, support for individuals with acquired brain injuries is primarily provided by support groups and charities such as Headway.
Unfortunately, although these organisations do fantastic work, this support is not complete nor equal for individuals across the country with acquired brain injuries. Obstacles such as funding, geographic availability and communication between government sectors results in adults and children falling through the gaps and failing to receive the support that they desperately require.
This is a significant detriment to those who need support. Brain injuries can result in a wide-ranging combination of difficulties, both physical and psychological. It is therefore important that services are in place to meet their needs, and that those services can address every individual’s unique set of circumstances.
If passed, the Acquired Brain Injury Bill will require the government to prepare a comprehensive strategy to meet the needs of individuals with acquired brain injuries.
When introducing the Bill, Chris Bryant described his goal as a “consistent and tidy arrangement of community neurorehabilitation across the whole country”. The Bill therefore looks to ensure that local authorities, the NHS, Department for Education, Ministry of Defence, Prison Service, Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport all work together to provide cohesive services for individuals with brain injury.
Our Neurolaw department specialises in catastrophic brain injuries. We have seen first-hand through our clients the impact that support and rehabilitation can have on quality of life. We therefore understand how vital it is for this support to be available as soon as possible after an acquired brain injury.
We are also aware of the impact that an acquired brain injury can have on the family of the injured person who may be witnessing their loved one experience personality changes and difficulties tackling everyday tasks. We hope that the proposal of this Bill will result in support not only for the individuals suffering with acquired brain injury, but also for their families.
For this reason, Hugh James is strongly supporting the Acquired Brain Injury Bill. We hope this will result in implementation of extensive and all-inclusive services to meet the needs of individuals with acquired brain injuries and their families.
Our Cari Sowden-Taylor recently attended the UKABIF (UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum) conference in which Chris Bryant provided an update on the Bill’s progression through Parliament. The Bill will have its second reading in the House of Commons on 3 December 2021.
We would request that others lend their support to the Bill by writing to their local MP to encourage their backing.
More information about the Acquired Injury Bill can be found at Back the Acquired Brain Injury Bill.