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

York House operates family support services for relatives of service users to provide education and emotional support, both individually and within a group setting. We also provide education and emotional support to individual families as required and have a wide range of family information and resources available. We offer a continuum of rehabilitation and care for people with acquired brain injury, challenging behaviour and / or complex needs. The Dales, The Moors and The Wolds, all wards within York House, offer different levels of clinical input, nursing care and rehabilitation support to meet individual needs.

When a service user is admitted they undergo a comprehensive week neurobehavioural assessment to determine their potential for social reintegration and increased independence. This includes assessments of cognitive skills, the nature and frequency of any challenging behaviour and the 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 programme is established.

music therapy session at York House

Assessment and intensive rehabilitation usually takes place in The Dales; following this it may be appropriate for service users to move to The Moors and eventually The Wolds, depending on their assessed and changing needs. Service users can be discharged from any of the wards at York House, some undergoing rehabilitation in only one or two of the wards.

During the assessment period, a meeting is held at which the family, funders and other involved parties join our team to discuss the assessment results and plan the next steps in the individual’s rehabilitation. This takes into account the aspirations of both the service user and family members and may involve a further period of rehabilitation or move to a more independent environment.

89% of service users feel that staff treat them with dignity and respect.

If a further period of rehabilitation is recommended, the service user will continue to work on their agreed goals. Their personalised treatment programme may include group or individual learning and therapy sessions, behavioural management, personal social and domestic skills training, support to structure leisure time, community access and vocational training and support. Treatment is focused on the specific goals of the programme, and progress is discussed at review meetings held every 12 weeks, with a view to transfer to a more independent environment where possible.

The rehabilitation model at York House is based on a neurobehavioural approach. Programmes are interdisciplinary and focus on a combination of social and behavioural interventions to aid recovery of independence including mobility and cognition skills. Our high ratio of nursing staff to service users also enables us to manage more complex medical conditions such as unstable diabetes and epilepsy, or dual diagnosis with mental health. Rehabilitation programmes are supervised by 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).

Music therapy session at York House

Our highly skilled clinical team includes neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, nurses, a psychiatrist, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, a family therapist, rehabilitation support workers and a social worker.

Clinical governance is promoted through our 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 acquired brain injury including post-acute hospital based rehabilitation, assessment and neurorehabilitation, continuing rehabilitation and community support services.

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.