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Commons Leader Promises To Raise Head Injury Issue

Lansley To Raise Issue Of Concussions With Government In Coming Weeks

14.03.2014

Conservative politician and House of Commons leader Andrew Lansley, has announced he will raise the issue of concussion within sport with the coalition government.

Although Mr Lansley did not go as far as some had requested in ordering a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into the dangers of concussions, the MP stated he will raise concerns with the Department of Health, as well as ministers for Culture, Media and Sport.

Chris Bryant, a Labour shadow minister, criticised Mr Lansley for not calling a full inquiry, stating that lives would be lost if the issue was not taken seriously, reports BBC Sport.

Mr Bryant added that the Football Association and Rugby Football Association are not paying attention to research that shows concussions are dangerous and could be caused by tackling or heading the ball.

Concussions have regularly been in the news over the last few months after a number of incidents involving athletes caused concern among campaigners.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was injured following a heavy collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku in a Premiership game last year, but was allowed to keep playing by his team's medical staff.

Headway, a charity that campaigns for greater awareness of brain injuries, called this decision irresponsible and pledged to fight for more to be done in helping athletes with both long and short-term brain injuries.

Snowboarder Rowan Cheshire was also in the papers recently after suffering a concussion in a training session before she was due to compete at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Responding to a letter on the subject of head injuries, Mr Lansley said: "I recognise the problem, indeed with my health interests over many years I can remember a number of occasions neurologists describing to me some of the difficulties and some of those doctors have been at the forefront of making the case to some of the sporting bodies you're talking about."

Expert Opinion
Considering the spate of injuries which have put this issue in the spotlight in recent months, it is welcome to see MPs discussing this topic in the House of Commons and considering what can be done to address the consequences that concussion and head injuries in sport can have on victims.

"It is vital that work continues along these lines to not only boost awareness of the dangers of concussion, but also consider whether more can be done to protect sportspeople from the risk of such injuries.

"The effect of concussion should never be underestimated and it is vital that work to tackle this issue continues."
Stephen Nye, Partner

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