North West Neuro Care Spreading Abroad 

A Salford brain injury charity's work is being replicated by a hospital in China to help rehabilitate people there with acquired brain injury. The Brain and Spinal Injury Centre (BASIC) has been selected by Chinese business investors as a model to be replicated at  Jinan Minzu Hospital, Jinan Province, China. 

The development came following a visit from business investors last year [2017] who were so impressed with the facilities at BASIC's centre they are now planning to establish a facility using the same equipment, virtual reality technology and operating model as the charity's. 

BASIC's CEO, Wendy Edge is one of a party of three from the North West who have been invited to the hospital in China at the end of June. She will be involved in meeting dignitaries and presenting BASIC's model of service to hospital staff and local government officials. 

BASIC's CEO Wendy Edge commented

We are delighted that BASIC's model is being noticed. It has been replicated in the South of England as well as in Osla and now in China. It is a great compliment, especially as we are a small charity with a moderate turnover that is having a far-reaching impact. All of BASIC's services have been developed over the last 30 years from asking patients what is needed on their long journey of recovery but is missing on return home from hospital. The charity has invested in start of the art virtual reality technologies and has a wrap-around service which makes a real and lasting difference to the quality of life for people recovering from brain or spinal injury 

A recent report by Lloyds Bank Foundation, published in June 2018, is championing small local charities and highlighting the work they do to help people overcome complex issues to rebuild their lives. Cuts in statutory funding along with increased demand for services is putting many small/local charities under pressure as there is less funding to go round. 

  • In the UK there are estimated to be 10 million people with a neurological illness or injury.
  • Based on China's population of 1.3 billion, the average number of cases of neurological injury is estimated at 3-4 million. 

Acquired brain injury rehabilitation in the UK is on the move and is a topic being fiercely debated. Below are some opinions of brain injury in the Uk. 

The world health organisation described acquired brain injury as

damage to the brain, which occurs after birth and is not related to a congtential or degenerative diseasse. These impartments may be temporary or permanent and cause aprtial or functional disability of pscholsocial maladjustments.

Often termed as 'invisible disability', with a hidden or evolving pathology after diagnose, the nature and impact of brain injury may not be well appreciated or acknowledged by policy commissioners and the wider community. 

Head injuries are a current hot topic in sport, being focussed on by various governing bodies seeking to draw attention to the risks of both professional and amateur players. Both the football associated and world rugby have highlighted the risk of brain injury to contact sports players, who are more likely to suffer an injury such as concussion that those in other non-contact sports. 

Head injury is the most common cause of death and disability in people up to the age of 40. Each year around 1.4 million people attend emergency departments in England and Wales with a recent head injury. 

Over the last six years, there has been a consistent, year on year, increase in the number of admissions of acquired brain injury - ABI admissions increased by 39% between financial year 2009/10 and financial year 2014/15. During the 2014/15 there are 22,426 coded admissions, translating to 41.6 admissions per 100,000 of the population. An average of 1,869  coded hospital admissions per month, on 61 per day,occurredd during 2014/15. 

Over the last 5 years, we have seen a signitificant increase in the number of older patients as having major trauma. This is not due to the ageing population but rather because of better recognition of what causes major trauma in the older person - the commonest reason is a fall from standing. 

Gustavssn et al (2011) estimated the cost of traumatic brain injury - one type of ABI - was around £4.1 billion a year. Access to rehabilitation and community support may decrease the incidence of prevntable and costly hospitalisation. 

BASIC welcomes charitable donations towards its work which can be made via their website at www.basiccharity.org.uk