8 April 2022

In December 2021, the government committed to developing an acquired brain injury (ABI) strategy to improve services for people with ABI.

The government has now launched a call for evidence to contribute to the development of the strategy.

The pledge was in a response to a question raised in Prime Minister’s Questions in parliament by Chris Bryant MP, who was bringing forward a Private Member’s Bill on the subject.

The RCSLT is delighted that the government has launched a call for evidence to inform the development of the strategy. Views are welcomed from brain injury survivors and their families as well as charities, researchers and professionals supporting those living with ABI.

The call for evidence is not asking for views on specific proposals. It is a request for ideas that the government can use to start developing an ABI strategy recognising that people living with ABI need support from a range of services.

The call for evidence asks if the strategy should include other neurological conditions alongside ABI.

It also asks what the priorities are to improve support for people living with an acquired brain injury, including but not limited to health and social care, employment support, support for specific groups and better awareness.

Chris Bryant MP said: “The most difficult element for a lot of people is the significant impairment in their ability to speak and communicate. Speech therapists are an essential part of the mix in bringing people back to a degree of independent living after a significant event.

“One worry across the whole of the UK is the shortage of people working in this field, who sometimes do not feel as valued in the team as they might. We need to ensure that speech and language therapy is still available for some time after someone has had their immediate intervention.”

The RCSLT will be formally responding to the consultation and invite members to share their views and ideas with us. Please contact Claire.moser@rcslt.org to get involved.

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