Figures released by Headway, the brain injury charity, show that the north-east had a higher number of admissions for head injuries last year than any other district in the country, yet nationwide funding cuts are leaving many in the region with an insufficient level of care.
The figures show that over 16,000 people from the north-east were admitted to hospital in 2014, showing head injury incidents to be far more numerous than previously estimated.
Types of Head Injuries
Admissions for head injuries in the north-east were down to a variety of causes. These included blows to the head, tumours, strokes, infections, traffic accidents, slips, trips, assaults and sporting injury. The figures concern personal injuries that required support or rehabilitation, with some cases continuing to require care once hospital treatment had been completed.
Cuts to Services
Although these findings show incidents of head injuries to be rising, they coincide with national cuts to vital healthcare services, leaving many people in the locale unable to access the kind of support they need after leaving hospital. With head injury rehabilitation being highly specialist and often requiring support tailored to the individual, such cuts could be devastating to those affected, as well as the greater society in the north-east. If individuals are unable to make a full recovery due to a lack of direct support services, a greater reliance on state help may appear the only option.
Surveys produced by Headway, The Brain Injury Association, brought together the views of individuals who have experienced brain injuries, together with those from brain injury charities involved in support and rehabilitation. 85% of regional Headway organisations were found to be concerned about long-term survival due to local authority cuts, with 89% forced to use reserves or additional charity funds in order to survive. Almost half of the country’s brain injury survivors had lost out on services they were entitled to following the cuts.
The findings are a genuine concern for the north-east, as they suggest that, despite the issue of brain injuries actually growing in the region, such funding cuts are being made to services when increased investment is what is actually required.
“It is very sad to hear that people with brain injuries are being faced with fewer sources of support and the cuts to funding are having such a drastic impact. Headway is a fantastic source of support for those affected by brain injury, a number of staff are active members of Headway groups in the North East. TLW can provide care and rehabilitation navigators as part of the service to our seriously injured clients. The navigators are there to support clients to deal with a complicated and stretched care system . Our specialist solicitors ensure that our clients can fund any gaps there maybe in statutory service provision.”
TLW have a local heritage, providing specialist legal services to people for over 15 years in the region. With extensive specialist training, we work alongside experienced care and rehabilitation specialists to ensure our clients receive the very best professional advice and are able to access the support they require.