The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) has launched the Brain Injury Needs Indicator (BINI) as part of a free package to help social workers identify the support needs of people with brain injury.

The pioneering BINI tool was unveiled at BIRT’s biennial conference by the Trust’s Clinical Director Dr Sue Copstick on 1st October to a select audience of clinicians and brain injury professionals.

Aimed at social workers and developed at the request of the Department of Health, the BINI is a simple questionnaire which:

  • gathers information about someone’s history of brain injury,
  • captures any problems they are having with day–to–day tasks and relationships
  • compares an individual’s answers with information from a family member and clinician; and
  • identifies the person’s lack of insight into their needs - which in turn highlights the level of risk.

The BINI results will help assessors to clearly establish the hidden deficits a person with a brain injury faces - and signposting information helps the assessor to decide what to do next, depending on the level of risk.

Sarah Clifford, BIRT’s Director of Communications whose team developed the tool with BIRT Clinical Director Sue Copstick, said:

“We created the BINI in response to demand from local authorities, who highlighted to the Department of Health that people with brain injury can have hidden deficits which are not captured through traditional assessment methods.

“This mirrored the experience of the men and women we support, whose brain injuries can lead to lifechanging problems with memory, judgement, emotions and behaviour which local authorities struggle to identify.

“As highlighted in the Care Act 2014’s guidance, to which BIRT contributed, people with brain injury can also be highly vulnerable if the lack of insight caused by their brain injury is not recognised, and the BINI helps local authorities to ensure any social care assessment accurately captures these deficits.

“Social workers or equivalent assessors need to register for their free download of the BINI at www.birt.co.uk/bini and will also have access to free training and information resources.”

As part of the wider BINI toolkit, short films about brain injury and the BINI have been produced and can be viewed at www.birt.co.uk/bini or for more details about access to the BINI, email bini@thedtgroup.org; free brain injury webinars for social workers who have registered will be held in November and December 2015 and face to face training (at minimal cost) will be available to local authorities from January 2016.