Sue Copstick presenting at the BISIWG

In the Trust

Our third seminar on the Brain Injury Needs Indicator (BINI) took place in Manchester at the end of the February. Co-organised by BISWG and BASW, the events were aimed at developing social workers’ knowledge of brain injury and introducing them to the BINI, our free resource for use in an adult social care assessment. Dr Sue Copstick (pictured) presented at the three events. We look forward to collaborating with both organisations in the future.

It was very encouraging to hear of the formation of a new APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) looking at Assistive Technology. Continuing to develop our use of assistive technology is one of the Trust’s ‘Big Ambitions’ over the next few years following the success of our recent ConnectAbility work. APPGs are cross-party groups formed of MPs and Lords. We have already made contact with the group via Twitter and will be contacting all of the members individually in the near future to offer our support.

Consultations

As the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, we responded to the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee proposals on changing the commissioning of neurorehabilitation in Wales. Our response emphasised the need to ensure services operated by the third sector, such as our Tŷ Aberdafen in Llanelli, are included within rehabilitation pathways. We regularly support patients who would be excluded under the new proposals due to their co-existing conditions and we are very concerned that these patients would not receive the care they need.

We responded to the CQC’s consultation on changes to registering new residential services with more than six beds for adults with learning disabilities and autism. We sought assurances that the new guidelines will not be retroactively applied to existing services as this could have a significant impact on the people we support. VODG (of which the Trust is a member) also submitted a response.

We have been collaborating with colleagues in CJABIIG (Criminal Justice Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group), a group formed of academics, politicians, and clinicians and policy experts from charities, to create a response to the Government’s recent prison reform white paper. We feel that the paper gave little consideration to health, particularly acquired brain injury which has a high prevalence rate in the prison system and can affect a prisoner’s ability to engage in offender-focused rehabilitation.

If you would like to read any of our consultation responses do get in touch.

In the news

Following sustained pressure from Conservative backbench MPs, MPs and Lords from other parties, charities and senior figures in the health services and local government, the Chancellor Philip Hammond promised increased funding for social care in the Spring Budget. English local authorities will receive an additional £2 billion over the next three years including £1 billion in 2017-18.

Though this is a welcome boost, many within the sector are concerned that this will not cover the existing funding gap which the Communities and Local Government Select Committee recently estimated may be as high as £1.9 billion next year alone.

The Chancellor also confirmed that a green paper on the long-term sustainability of health and social care will be published later in the year. We will monitor this development to ensure the needs of people with disabilities are taken into full account.

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Sarah Rufrancos - Policy and Campaigns Manager

campaigns@thedtgroup.org