Support After Brain Injury | Bout Brain Injury and Stroke

Rehabilitation after brain injury

Rehabilitation aims to help the brain learn alternative ways of working (strategies) in order to minimise the long-term impact of the brain injury. Rehabilitation also helps the survivor and the family to cope successfully with any remaining disabilities.

Timescales for recovery and rehabilitation after brain injury

In the first month or two after a severe brain injury it is only possible to guess at the length of time that recovery will take and the likely outcome. The only certainty is that recovery will be a slow process and will take months or years rather than weeks.

Six months after the injury the picture may be clearer, but it is wise to wait until about a year after the accident before making any important decisions regarding the future.

Accessing brain injury rehabilitation services

There are many rehabilitation services across the UK, run by the NHS or private firms. Choosing which rehabilitation service to refer someone with a brain injury to should involve the clinical team, the patient and their family. Once a referral has been made, the rehabilitation service will usually carry out an assessment to make sure their activities are suitable.

Availability and funding for places varies. However, most services, including private ones, accept NHS referrals and will be funded by the NHS. Other possible sources of funding include the local authority, medical insurance, compensation claims and self-funding.

It is important to ensure that whoever is likely to have to fund the rehabilitation is aware that a referral has been made. The rehabilitation service will not be able to accept someone until funding has been authorised.

Taking up a rehabilitation placement is an important commitment and it is wise to explore all the options, visit different rehabilitation settings and ask as many questions as possible, before a placement is confirmed.

Headway Black Country provides a Specialist Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service and other support activities.

What if no rehabilitation has been provided?

If your relative has been discharged home without any access to rehabilitation and you have reason to believe that they would benefit from it, there are still options available.

You are perfectly within your rights to actively seek rehabilitation services, even if you have been told that there are none available or needed. The first thing to do is discuss the matter with your relative’s GP and/or consultant. They may be able to provide a referral. You can also contact rehabilitation services directly.

Further guidance is available from Headway UK’s publication “Caring for someone with a Brain Injury”

Please contact us for further advice and support.