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On 12th November Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT), Dr Ivan Pitman, joined other professionals of the field in a meeting with the Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, to discuss next steps for the recently launched parliamentary report on acquired brain injury.

Providing invaluable support based on clinical and academic experience and bringing together the areas in which the presence of brain injury needs addressing – criminal justice, education, health and sport - Dr Ivan Pitman was joined by Dr Emily Bennett, the Clinical Psychologist in Paediatric Neuropsychology at Nottingham University, Diane Playford, a Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation and Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, and Chloe Hayward, a representative of the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF).

The meeting was organised by Chris Bryant MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury, to highlight the effects of brain injury, and the scale of the issues that occur if acquired brain injury is not recognised, and to gain momentum in building governmental understanding of this important subject. The attendees shared that with the correct rehabilitation in place, the government could save billions.

By the end, a ministerial level meeting on the subject was promised by David Lidington and the attendees were reassured that the government will be responsive from the message he has heard.

The All-Party Parliamentary group report on acquired brain injury, Time for Change, was originally launched in October. The report outlines the critical role of neurorehabilitation in the acquired brain injury care pathway. In the report, the BIRT made recommendations to the Government on four areas relating to brain injury, including offending:

  • Brain injury screening is included in health assessments on entry to prison or probation services
  • Prison and probation staff are trained in brain injury awareness
  • There is specialist brain injury support in prisons and associated settings
  • Support provided for prisoners is gender informed

Dr Ivan Pitman was pleased with the outcome of the meeting. He said “It really emphasised the importance of recognising hidden disability and it was reassuring to find out the government is acting responsively. I look forward to seeing what action will be taken from the ministerial level meeting soon.”

Copies of the report can be obtained from: www.ukabif.org.uk/campaigns/appg-report. For more information on our research on brain injury and offending click here.

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