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Lawyers And Charity Warn Thousands Of Brain Injury Victims Could Be Missing Out On Crucial Support

Accessing Vital Services And Key Advice ‘Should Not be A Battle,’ Say Experts


By Suzanne Rutter

Thousands of parents, carers and brain injury victims who are missing out on crucial services for their children and family members because of a lack of support and guidance have been given a boost by a team of expert lawyers and a leading charity who are campaigning for better access to services.

Specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office have teamed up with the charity Momentum Skills in Grampian to compile a bumper directory of services, contacts and advice for parents, carers and people who are suffering from brain injuries. The free booklet, which is called ‘The Directory of Brain Injury Services – Grampian Area 2013,’ will also be a resource for medical experts and industry professionals such as neurosurgeons, consultants, nurses and occupational therapists.

The 80-page booklet, which has been funded by Irwin Mitchell, will be launched at a special event on Thursday, 25 April 2013 at Momentum Skills in North Silver Street in Aberdeen, where experts will be discussing the difficulties people who suffer from acquired brain injuries, or those who have lived with a brain injury all their lives, face when it comes to accessing rehabilitation, support and community services.

NHS figures show that every year 15,000 people  with head injuries are admitted  to hospitals in Scotland. Further, figures from RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) also show that cases of fatal concussions throughout the UK have risen from just one in 2009/10, to eight in 2010/11 and to 15 in 2011/12.

Elaine Russell, a partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office who specialises in dealing with brain injury cases, said: “Head and brain injuries can have a dramatic and life changing impact on the person injured and for those who are close to them. At Irwin Mitchell we believe our people who have suffered a brain injury deserve the best possible medical care, rehabilitation and specialised support.

“We know from working with clients and their families whose lives have been affected by brain injury how important it is to have contact with the right organisations but the information they need is not always at our fingertips.

“Unless you know exactly what you are looking for, a seemingly simple internet search can turn into a sensory overload of outdated contact details and information and it can often feel like a battle just to get access to what you need.

“We are proud to be working with Momentum Skills to provide a means of quick and easy access to all of the information people need in one booklet. We hope it will help guide patients, families, healthcare professionals and carers in the right direction and empower people to make positive changes in their lives.”

The information booklet will be available from Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office in St Vincent Street and from Momentum Skills. Irwin Mitchell also hope the booklet will be given to hospital patients who have suffered a head injury to make them aware that there are professional services available to help them, and their families, come to terms with their injuries or condition.

The book launch will be attended by medical practitioners, Momentum Skills’ service users and their carers.
Karen Vass, Team Leader at Momentum Skills, said: “The book and our launch event is just the springboard for us to help empower head injury victims, families and carers by providing them with the key contacts and information they need to get the best care possible, whether it’s links to carers, specialist education, access to rehabilitation or support groups and charities like us. We also hope it will be embraced by medical professionals and specialist care providers across Scotland who can help refer people to the services they need at a time when they feel most vulnerable.

“It has been a really exciting project to work on  and we are delighted that Irwin Mitchell have supported this.

The book launch will take place between 4pm and 6pm. For more information call Denise at Momentum Skills or Lorraine Smart at Irwin Mitchell on 0141 300 4305 or email lorraine.smart@irwinmitchell.com