The information on this page is designed for the families, carers and friends of service users at 1101 Bristol Road. It will give you an insight into what we do, together with an overview of the assessment and rehabilitation process. At the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) we aim to guide service users through the entire process of rehabilitation, as well as offer support, education and continuing help to their families, carers and friends. We actively promote the involvement of families in the rehabilitation process, and home leave is encouraged wherever possible.

We have a wide range of literature available, which provides helpful information to people experiencing the physical and emotional trauma of acquired brain injury (ABI), as well as support and guidance for their families, friends and loved ones. The Disabilities Trust is committed to developing person centred plans to maximise service users' independence and encourage them to reach their full potential. 1101 Bristol Road offers family support for relatives of service users to provide education and emotional support, both individually, informally and as part of the review process. We also have a range of family information and resources available. Family members are always invited to social gatherings and events.

Traditionally, most of our admissions come from our nearby sister unit, West Heath House. We can also accept referrals from other sources, particularly for service users who are advanced in their rehabilitation or who need more independence than their current placement offers. Before a service user is admitted they will typically have undergone a neurobehavioural assessment at West Heath House to determine their potential for social reintegration and increased independence. This includes assessments of:

service user in arts and crafts session with support worker in Bristol Road

  • cognitive skills
  • the ability to engage with the community
  • the ability to complete daily tasks
  • the nature and frequency of any challenging behaviour

At the end of the assessment period, a meeting is held with family, funders and other involved parties to discuss the results. This helps the team identify any barriers to recovery and link these with a course of rehabilitation and support, while also taking into account the aspirations of the service user and family members.

If a formal course of rehabilitation is recommended, the service user begins an individualised treatment programme. This includes learning and therapeutic sessions, personal, social and domestic skills, guided leisure time, community access, behavioural management and vocational training and support. Service users are actively involved in reviewing their progress against pre-agreed outcomes. The average length of a residential placement varies depending on an individual's needs, with many of our service users moving on to live in a more independent supported environment in the community.

1101 Bristol Road is staffed by qualified rehabilitation support workers, overseen by a full time service manager, a deputy manager and an assistant psychologist. The service is also supported by the clinical team at our other West Midlands service, West Heath House.

The clinical team at West Heath House comprises professionals from a wide range of disciplines, who are all recognised in their field as having special expertise in the management of brain injury. The team is led by a consultant in neuropsychology and rehabilitation and includes clinical psychologists, a speech and language therapist, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and rehabilitation support workers.

Clinical practice is based on a neurobehavioural approach and focuses on a combination of social and behavioural interventions to aid recovery of independence. The emphasis of assessment is on a systematic and structured observation of behaviour and skills in everyday situations and tasks. Clinical governance is promoted through BIRT's Clinical Executive, a national forum comprising consultants in neuropsychology and rehabilitation from across BIRT's services. Led by Dr Sue Copstick, the Clinical Executive is committed to promoting clinical governance, training and research, as well as developing and reviewing clinical policies and procedures.

BIRT offers a nationwide continuum of services for people with an ABI, including post-acute hospital-based rehabilitation, assessment and rehabilitation, continuing rehabilitation and community support services. The duration of placements at 1101 Bristol Road varies, depending on the service user's level of need and their potential for rehabilitation.