In the Trust
It has been a busy few weeks politically in Westminster and in the Trust. New Prime Minster Theresa May announced her Cabinet. Jeremy Hunt remains Secretary of State for Health, with Philip Dunne the new Minister of State for Community and Social Care. The new Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions is Damian Green, and Penny Mordaunt is now the Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health. The Trust will be making contact with politicians to welcome them to their new roles.
BIRT service Redford Court recently hosted constituency MP Louise Ellman for a visit, and Tŷ Aberdafen was toured by local Welsh Assembly Member Lee Waters. Full details of the visits will be included in the next Policy and Campaigns update. We are grateful to both politicians for taking the time to visit us to meet the people we support and discuss brain injury. We ask elected officials who visit Trust services to engage in activities that will improve the lives of the people we support, such as providing introductions to local stakeholders or publically supporting the Trust’s work. Working with politicians is an important aspect of the Trust’s Policy and Campaigns remit and has helped us to build better relationships with referrers and commissioners.
Representatives from the Disabilities Trust Foundation met with the Ministry of Justice to discuss brain injury and offending, including an evaluation of the Trust’s prison linkworker service carried out by Barrow Cadbury. The evaluation was launched to coincide with findings by the Centre for Mental Health that Traumatic Brain Injury costs the UK £15 billion annually (see below for story), and recommends further adoption of linkworker type services within custodial settings. Details of BIRT’s new linkworker service are available here.
BIRT’s Dr Brian O’Neill, Consultant in Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation at Graham Anderson House, contributed to a recent report commissioned by the Scottish Government Justice Committee into brain injury and offending. We hope that the evidence presented in both of these reports will continue to raise awareness amongst policy-makers and commissioners of the need for appropriate support for offenders with a history of brain injury.
In the news
The Trust is not currently responding to any consultations.
The Health Select Committee report into the Impact of the Spending Review on Health and Social Care has found that Ministers misrepresented the amount of funding that would be allocated to the NHS as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review of November 2015. It also found that increasing numbers of people with social care needs are not receiving the support they need because of a lack of resources. The Trust submitted written evidence to the inquiry in January 2016 and our response can be read here.