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What do we know about local provision?

Currently, the local NHS patient pathway for paediatric brain injury is as follows:

  • Traumatic brain injury patients are admitted to either James Cook University Hospital or The Great North Children’s Hospital (formerly known as the RVI Newcastle)
  • Atraumatic acquired brain injury – the majority go to the Great North Children’s Hospital but also to James Cook University Hospital as well as district hospitals
  • After initial stabilisation and acute care, children receive intense in-patient neuro-rehabilitation
  • Multidisciplinary – physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, neurophsychologist, play therapist, ward teacher, paediatrician/neurologist
  • There is goal setting and assessment
  • Rehabilitation only tends to focus on mobility, improving speech/communication, swallowing, activities of daily living and self care
  • Discharge to home with ongoing rehabilitation in the community eg physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, neuropsychologist
  • Educational psychologist and special educational needs coordinator

Problems with current community provision across a range of sectors and professions:

  • No common goal setting
  • Uncoordinated
  • Infrequent – it is not enough
  • An unfamiliarity with the challenges of acquired brain injury

What do children and young people need for better outcomes?

  • Well coordinated, integrated community neuro-rehabilitation – managed by a Case Manager taking on the child’s individual specific needs
  • Increased access to community based therapy which is intensive, individualised and supplements and compliments existing services
  • Individualised education support which starts at home and then integrates into school
  • Ongoing education, advocacy and practical support for families aimed at reducing parental burden and improving individual health and wellbeing

We know that this cannot be achieved from a distance!

Being integral to local public, private and third sector networks is essential to maximise the benefits of local resources to get the best possible outcomes for children, young people and their families; especially in times of austerity.

This is why MATRIX Neurological has been formed.  We use ‘the lived experience’ to drive change, build partnerships, pool resources and save money; thus do more-for-less.


"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we delivery neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
Caron Gan; Canada
"Poor parenting styles affects children's behavior; increased their learning disability; and had a negative impact on emotions; anxiety; anger management post brain injury"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Our 10 year study proves that family-led home-based neuro-rehab interventions deliver the best outcomes for children and young people"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"New parenting support intervention showed how parenting style is related to executive dysfunction in children and young people post brain injury. With support parents cope better so the child has a better recovery"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"Too often children and young people with ABI are discharged from hospital without specialist brain support that they and their families need to overcome lifelong challenges"
Andrew Ross; former Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"Participation in teen sports and normal activities leads to improved quality of life for children and young people post brain injury and helps to maximise outcomes"
Claire Willis; Australia
"When someone has a brain injury, early access to local, specialist rehabilitation is crucial to ensure the maximum recovery and make significant savings to the state in health costs"
Headway; United Kingdom
"Brain development is complex and prolonged. Brain plasticity is influenced by a range of factors. Plasticity provides a base for neuro-rehab therapies and treatment"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada

OUR MISSION: To work to remove (health) inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Lottery Funded