Fears over closure of neuro rehabilitation unit at the Min in Bath
There is national concern at plans to close a highly regarded service for people with head injuries in Bath.
The neurological rehabilitation service provided at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases is to be scrapped next year after its income fell by 50 per cent in the past two years.
After a review, the board that runs the hospital popularly known as The Min last week decided to stop providing the service, which offers specialist assessment and rehabilitation to people aged 16 and over who have had a brain injury as a result of an accident or illness.
This decision has concerned the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum, which aims to improve services for people with brain injuries which they were not born with.
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UKABIF chair Professor Michael Barnes said: “People with an acquired brain injury need access to local, specialist rehabilitation – the meurological rehabilitation unit at the RNHRD has a very skilled and specialist team who are able to provide the types of services which ensure a better long term outcome for people.
“UKABIF and the South West Regional Acquired Brain Injury Forum are very concerned that the unit’s closure will mean people with ABI are less able to access the services they need, or will have to use services many miles from their homes.”
More than a million people in the UK live with an acquired brain injury.
UKABIF’s campaign Life after Brain Injury demands acute and early access to specialist local neurological services.
Chair of Headway Bath and District Laura Merry is also concerned about the closure.
She said: “The neurological unit at the RNHRD is an extremely specialised unit pro- viding expertise in post- acute care following brain injury.
“In particular their specialist skills in intensive rehabilitation at the key developmental transition from adolescence to adulthood is well recognised.
“If the closure goes ahead then this will directly impact on both current patients and future patients suffering a severe brain injury and their families. I appreciate that high quality specialist care is by its very nature expensive.
“But what price can be put on acute rehabilitation that may allow a brain injury survivor to communicate with their family, or to effectively control epilepsy reducing care needs of that individual?”