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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.


"We need to harness the power of brain plasticity for treating children and young people with brain injury. Stressful experiences alter brain development of a child, especially at the key ages of 0-3 and at ages 10-16"
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
"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"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
"Rehabilitation interventions can lead to positive outcomes for children and their families if delivered in the familiar home environment and applied to everyday situations"
Cerebra; United Kingdom
"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
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab centres. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Families and professionals spend time focusing on the negative aspects of ABI. Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA

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