The information on this page is designed for the families, carers and friends of service users at the BIRT Centre for Wales. It will give you an insight into what BIRT does, 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.

About the BIRT Centre for Wales

We provide assessment and rehabilitation, continuing rehabilitation and a range of transitional living options to support those progressing to greater independence.

When a service user is admitted to the BIRT Centre for Wales they undergo an in-depth neurobehavioural assessment to determine their potential for social reintegration and increased independence.

This includes assessments of, for example, cognitive skills, the nature and frequency of any challenging behaviour and the service user's ability to engage with the community and complete functional daily tasks.

At the end of the assessment period, a meeting is held at which family, funders and other involved parties join the team to discuss the results.

This will enable the team to identify any barriers to recovery and link these with a course of rehabilitation and support, while taking into account the aspirations of the service user and family members.

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.

The Clinical Team

The clinical team at Ty Aberdafen comprises professionals from a wide range of disciplines, all of whom are recognised in their field as having special expertise in the management of brain injury. The team isled by a consultant clinical neuropsychologist and includes clinical psychologists, a speech and language therapist, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and rehabilitation support workers.

Clinical practice is based on a neurobehavioural approach to rehabilitation 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's (BIRT) Clinical Executive, a national forum comprising consultant clinical neuropsychologists 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.

About BIRT

service user and support worker in Ty Aberdafen

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

service user and support workers in Ty Aberdafen

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.

For more information: