The vast majority of insurers and defence solicitors are now including outdoor activities in their rehabilitation plans for brain injured patients – according to new research by Calvert Reconnections.
The newly opened neurorehabilitation centre polled 112 defence solicitors during June and July 2021, with 81% saying that they include outdoor activities in their rehabilitation plans.
In further findings, 82% of respondents said that funders and referrers face a lack of choice in relation to brain injury rehabilitation options, while 88% highlighted a specific shortage in residential based programmes.
Commenting on the findings, Bill Braithwaite QC, Trustee at the Lake District Calvert Trust and Head of Exchange Chambers said:
“I am delighted to see that so many respondents share our belief that outdoor activities can play an important part in an effective rehabilitation programme. For me, the potential for the patient to enjoy the process is enormously positive because I’ve seen so many clients for whom the rehab has been a nightmare of constant therapy with no enjoyment.
“Many years ago, I represented a young man with a very severe brain injury, who could not work or function in daily society. His salvation was fell walking. Since then, I have seen countless people who have benefitted from some form of outdoor activities.
“Calvert Reconnections actively seeks to incorporate a wide range of outdoor activities into each participant’s rehabilitation programme. This may range from reflective activities such as fishing, bird watching or a nature walk to higher adventure activities such as horse riding, canoeing, rock-climbing and abseiling – all closely assessed and graded to a person’s interests and functional abilities.”
Said Heather Batey, neuro OT, Managing Director of reach and Trustee at The Lake District Calvert Trust:
“There is increasing research available highlighting the benefits of outdoor treatment and activity on mental health, mood and engagement which leads to increased functionality. I’m pleased this message is accepted by decision makers within the litigation process.”
Commenting on the apparent lack of choice for referrers and funders of brain injury rehabilitation, Heather added:
“Although there are a number of facilities, they are often consultant led within a medical model. TBI rehabilitation needs to be all about function.”
Referring to the lack of residential based programmes in the UK, Bill Braithwaite QC said:
“Patients with severe brain injury are almost sure to benefit from good rehabilitation and there is no doubt that a large proportion of those people would benefit from residential rehabilitation. The shortage of units is really quite distressing. The opening of Calvert Reconnections is a huge step in the right direction.”
Calvert Reconnections opened its doors on 21 June 2021, bringing an exciting new dimension to brain injury rehabilitation in the UK.
Located on the outskirts of Keswick in the Lake District, Calvert Reconnections has developed the UK’s first residential brain injury rehabilitation programme combining traditional clinical therapies with physical activity in the outdoors.
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