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Staff at Graham Anderson House, the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust’s (BIRT) independent hospital for people with complex brain injury, were delighted to welcome Jamie Hepburn MSP, Scottish Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health on a visit to the service on the 19th of January.

Mr Hepburn was invited to attend to learn more about BIRT’s neurobehavioural rehabilitation approach, which enables people with brain injury to regain as much independence as possible. The visit was hosted by Service Manager Sandra Wylie, Director of BIRT Ann Buckler, and the Deputy Chair of the Scottish Independent Hospitals Association, David Grierson.

During his visit Mr Hepburn met people who live at the service and saw the modern bungalows recently opened as part of the centre’s Eastfields development by Bailie Allan Stewart. Eastfields has expanded the capacity of Graham Anderson House from 25 beds to 41 and provides a continuum of care for people with nursing needs, and for those preparing to return to the community.

Following the tour, Mr Hepburn said he was very impressed with the facilities and expertise at the centre, particularly the way that families are involved during the rehabilitation process. As Minister for Sport, he was interested to learn about the Trust’s work in England with the Rugby Football Union, and its liaison with the Football Association on the neurobehavioural aspects of sports concussion. He was also keen to hear about BIRT’s parent charity The Disabilities Trust and its Foundation’s research findings that almost half of homeless people and adult male prisoners report a history of traumatic brain injury.

Sandra Wylie, Service Manager, commented: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister to our service as an example of the great work performed in Scottish independent hospitals. At Graham Anderson House we provide rehabilitation and support to people all across Scotland, as inpatients and through our outpatient programme, and it is gratifying to have the work we do recognised by the Scottish Government. We hope to continue to work with Mr Hepburn's office to ensure that everyone in Scotland affected by brain injury receives the support they need.”