The information on this page is designed for the families, carers and friends of service users at Fen House. 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 offering 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.

If you would like to find out more, we have a wide range of literature available which provides helpful information to those experiencing the physical and emotional trauma of an 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 attain their full potential.

Fen House operates a family support group for relatives of service users to provide education and emotional support, both individually and within a group setting, and has a range of family information and resources available. BIRT offers a nationwide continuum of services for people with an acquired brain injury including post-acute hospital based rehabilitation, assessment and rehabilitation, continuing rehabilitation and community support services. Placements at Fen House are typically between six and 24 months, depending on the service user's level of need and their potential for rehabilitation. A service for those with longer term needs is also available.

service user playing guitar in the recreation room of Fen House

When a service user is admitted to Fen House with an acquired brain injury (ABI) they undergo a comprehensive neurobehavioural assessment to determine their potential for social reintegration and increased independence. This includes:

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

Initial goals are identified with the service user and the first phase of the rehabilitation programme is established. During the assessment period, a meeting is held at which family, funders and other involved parties join our team to discuss the assessment results and plan the next steps of the individual's rehabilitation. This takes into account the aspirations of both the service user and family members. A further period of rehabilitation may be involved and/or a move to a more independent environment.

If a further period of rehabilitation is recommended, the service user will continue to work on their agreed goals. Their individually tailored treatment programme may include group or individual learning and therapy sessions, behavioural management and training in social and domestic skills. Service users are supported to structure their leisure time, to access the community and educational and vocational training placements.

Treatment is focused on specific goals of the individual’s programme, and progress is discussed at review meetings held every 12 weeks, with a view to discharge home or to a more independent environment.

The clinical team at Fen House comprises professionals from a wide range of disciplines, all of whom are recognised in their field as having special expertise in the management of acquired brain injury (ABI). 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.