Brain injury case managers easing away from “virtual first” approach to rehabilitation

Brain injury case managers are easing away from a “virtual first” approach to rehabilitation, with the majority set to make referrals to residential based programmes over the next three months.

In its latest research initiative, Calvert Reconnections asked brain injury case managers when they anticipate (due to scientific evidence) being able to refer brain injured clients to residential-based programmes.

10% of case managers said they are making referrals at the moment, 70% said they expect to be making referrals in 1-3 months, 15% said 3-6 months and 5% said 6-12 months. 

Brain injury case managers also recognised the effectiveness virtual rehabilitation has played during the lockdown period, with 84% saying it has been essential to meet the rehabilitation and mental health needs of their brain injured clients.

In other findings, 91% of case managers said that brain injury rehabilitation post Covid-19 is going to be more reliant on the private and charitable sectors due to stretched NHS resources, while 86% anticipate an increase in the use of outdoor activities in rehabilitation plans for brain injured patients.  89% expect the UK to face a “tidal wave” of brain injury rehabilitation need.

In total, Calvert Reconnections received 152 responses from brain injury case managers.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Amy Burns, Clinical Lead at Calvert Reconnections said:

“As the lockdown eases, brain injury case managers are looking beyond virtual rehabilitation. There is considerable support from medical research for the notion that outdoor activity is beneficial to brain injury rehabilitation.”

Said Heather Batey, neuro OT, director of reach and Trustee at The Lake District Calvert Trust:

“While brain injury rehabilitation has been driven to crisis point by Covid-19 and intervention has been adversely affected, there are now positive signs with ‘face to face’ clinical contact returning. The future is looking brighter but we need to ensure best practice continues throughout this pandemic.

“The Government is aware of the need to ensure best practice, and has recently committed to bringing together a task force to discuss issues relating to acquired brain injury at this critical time. The UK has the potential to establish itself as a global leader in brain injury rehabilitation through innovative new residential programmes, based on research outcomes and combining clinical therapies with physical activity in the outdoors. This is an exciting time within this industry.”