Information and support for people affected by acquired brain injury

At the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) we understand that head injury and acquired brain injury can affect the whole family. Our services take everyone's needs into account. Here you will find information to help you understand acquired brain injury (ABI) and how it can affect you or your family. To find out whether the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust could provide rehabilitation for your family member or a friend:

  • Check which of our services are nearest to you and what they offer. Find your nearest Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust service.
  • Ask a professional whether BIRT is an appropriate option for your family member or friend. The person could be a G.P., a hospital doctor or clinician, or a solicitor / case manager (if a medico-legal compensation claim is involved)

It does not matter if the injury was recent or a long time ago, or whether the person has had rehabilitation before.The professional can then contact the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) service direct to determine whether we can provide the appropriate services.


service user and support worker in Ty Aberdafen

Formal referrals to BIRT services are usually made by professionals because:

  • They can provide access to the medical records and reports that help us determine whether we can provide a suitable service
  • The professional will need to support an application for funding, to pay for the rehabilitation.

Professionals can use our online referral form here. It does not matter if the injury was recent or a long time ago, or whether the person has had rehabilitation before.

Funding rehabilitation at BIRT services

The professional who makes the referral to our service may not be responsible for arranging or authorising the funding. Rehabilitation in Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) services can be funded from a combination of the following sources:

  • The NHS usually funds the services delivered in our independent hospitals or the intensive assessment and rehabilitation service in our neurobehavioural centres.
  • Social services funds are used solely, or in conjunction with, NHS funding for our continuing rehabilitation services. transitional living services or our community services.
  • Medico-legal / compensation claims (or other private sources) can fund any of our services

We are happy to provide any fee information that might be needed by the professionals involved in the referral or funding.

If your friend or relative is admitted to a BIRT service you are welcome to visit regularly. Our goal is to understand their unique needs and create a programme that will give them the best possible chance of rehabilitation.

Information about concussion

Concussion is not always obvious and can be difficult to diagnose. We want to ensure a better prognosis for people (including rugby and football players) who sustain these injuries, and to highlight the role that friends and family can play in identifying concussion symptoms. With this in mind the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust has also offered its neurobehavioural expertise to both the Rugby Football Union and the Football Association.

Read the Disabilities Trust's statement on concussion to find out more.

The Brain Injury Needs Indicator

The Brain Injury Needs Indicator (BINI) is a free tool we have developed to help identify the deficits of people with a suspected or diagnosed acquired brain injury (ABI). This tool has been developed at the request of the Department of Health for use by social workers and professionals during adult social care assessments.

Advice and support

If you would like advice and support about an aspect of living with brain injury, you may wish to contact Headway. Headway’s Freephone Helpline 0808 800 2244 is run by a team of trained nurses and non-clinical staff. They have a network of support groups across the country, for people with brain injury and their families and carers.

Useful books

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