The following information is designed for families, carers and friends of residential brain injury rehabilitation service users at The Woodmill. It will give you an insight into what we do, together with an overview of the assessment and brain injury rehabilitation process. At the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) we aim to guide service users through the entire process of brain injury 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 brain injury rehabilitation process, home leave is encouraged wherever possible.​

About The Woodmill

The Woodmill provides education and emotional support to individual families as required and has a wide range of family information and resources available. Our new family room is designed to offer a welcoming, attractive and safe environment for brain injury rehabilitation service users and their families. It is a place for recreation, learning, sharing and supporting people with brain injury and their families.

When someone is admitted to The Woodmill for brain injury rehabilitation they undergo a comprehensive neurobehavioural assessment to determine their potential for social reintegration and increased independence.

This includes assessments of physical and cognitive skills, the nature and frequency of any challenging behaviour and the service user's ability to engage with the community and undertake functional daily tasks. Initial goals are identified with the service user and the first phase of the rehabilitation treatment programme is established.

About brain injury rehabilitation

If a further period of brain injury rehabilitation is recommended, service users will continue to work on their agreed goals. Their personalised 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, so they can access the community and educational and vocational training and placements.

During the initial brain injury rehabilitation period, a review meeting is held with the service user, family, funders and other involved parties to discuss progress and plan the next steps in the individual's rehabilitation.

This is based around the goals set with the service user. In some cases the focus is on discharge planning and liaison with local services. For others, a further period of rehabilitation may be involved in order to meet the service user's goals before an appropriate discharge plan can be put in place.

Treatment is focused on the specific goals of the brain injury rehabilitation programme. Progress is discussed at regular review meetings, with a view to discharge home or to a more independent environment, for example, one of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust’s (BIRT) nearby transitional living facilities or community houses.

The clinical team

The clinical team at The Woodmill residential brain injury rehabilitation centre in the South West of England comprises professionals from a wide range of disciplines. They are all 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 brain injury 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 the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (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.

Woodmill-22 edit.jpg

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

The Woodmill has developed a new, flexible outreach service for people in the South West of England who would benefit from structured brain injury rehabilitation, to help them gain independence after a brain injury, but who do not need this to be delivered within a residential care setting.

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 brain injury, 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. We operate 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.

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 hospitals or the intensive assessment and rehabilitation 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.

Useful books

Close up of The Woodmill service user Kerry

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.

Road Peace is an organisation for relatives of people involved in road traffic accidents: 020 8964 1021

For more information: