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Knowledge of brain injury across England has been boosted by a network of events held in January and February. The Brain Injury Needs Indicator (BINI) developed by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) has featured in a series of workshops for social workers organised by BISWG (Brain Injury Social Work Group) and BASW (British Association of Social Workers). The workshops aim to improve understanding of the causes and effects of brain injury and raise awareness of resources like the BINI that can help with assessing people post-brain injury.

The BINI is a free assessment tool designed to find out how well someone has recovered from their brain injury, identify their social care needs associated with the brain injury and determine what sort of support they may need. Traditional social care assessments rely largely on self-reporting and often miss some of the hidden problems that accompany brain injury such as lack of insight. The BINI compares a person’s answers with information from a family member and clinician to produce a clearer picture of an individual’s understanding and needs. Signposting information helps the assessor to decide what to do next, depending on the level of risk identified.

Clinical Director of BIRT, Dr Sue Copstick, who presented the workshops on the BINI, said:

“BISWG have been supporting the BINI since we launched it in 2015, and these workshops have been a great way for BIRT to get out around the country to speak to social workers. Their feedback will help us continue to develop the BINI. We hope to continue working closely with both BISWG and BASW to raise social worker understanding of brain injury.”

Workshops have been held in London and Birmingham and over 100 people have received the training to date. The final workshop will be held in Manchester at the end of February. Though aimed primarily at local authority social workers and others working in social care, the audience has also included case managers, care providers and people working in the third sector.

Professionals working in the field of brain injury can register for their free download of the BINI. Regular free webinar training is also available for registered professionals – the next sessions take place on Tuesday 28h February and Wednesday 22nd March. The BINI is included in BISWG’s practice guidance for social workers and highlighted in the Care Act guidance. More information about the BINI, including a short information video, is available through the Trust’s Brain Injury Library of free resources.

Pictured are Jackie Burt of BISWG, Dr Sue Copstick of BIRT and Joe Godden of BASW.