Rugby Premiership Outlines New Concussion Measures

Sports Law Experts Back Measures That Makes Head Injury Care Top Priority

08.10.2015

Organisers of the highest level of domestic rugby in England have once again committed to improving the way head injuries and concussion are dealt with in the sport.

At the launch of the new season the Premiership confirmed that all players at teams in the top league in England will have access to facilities at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health in University College London and at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

Corin Palmer, the Head of Rugby Operations at Premiership Rugby, said the new measures will ensure players have access to a dedicated service that can provide treatment for those suffering from repeated concussions, as well as individual case management from assessment to discharge.

The organisation also announced a mandatory concussion education programme, a pitchside concussion management programme and a launched a campaign to change the culture of rugby on the subject of concussion.

The mandatory training programme will be made available for players, management, support staff and match officials across Aviva Premiership Rugby, Green King IPA Championship and England representative teams including the women's side and 7s.

Head injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell have backed the new measures that will ensure concussion and the way head injuries are dealt with are seen a top priority for everyone operating within the professional game in England.

Mr Palmer added that there has been confusion surrounding the pitchside head injury assessment but he explained that any player suspected to have suffered a concussion will now be replaced immediately. Video technology will also be used to assess head injuries to assist medical staff in making decisions to remove players from the game.

Stephen Nye, an expert serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who has experience of representing those who have suffered serious head injuries, said:

Expert Opinion
These new measures highlighted by Premiership Rugby are extremely welcome and will hopefully lead to improvements in the way head injuries and concussion is dealt with in the game.

“All too often we have seen players who have suffered a serious head injury continue to play on, which can lead to more serious injury. Much of this is down to the culture in professional sport and the desire to carry on. We are glad Premiership Rugby has reiterated its desire to tackle and change this cultural problem in the game and to express to players, management and support staff that safety should always be the first priority.

“We hope that these new initiatives will lead to increased knowledge within the game about the potential long-term impact of head injuries and concussion, which will filter down to lower levels of the game and ensure everyone who plays rugby is given the treatment and support they require following collisions on the field.
Stephen Nye, Partner