The Government has today committed to producing a strategy to deliver better support to people living with acquired brain injury (ABI), following efforts from MP Chris Bryant and an array of charities and leading figures to force them into action.
In a statement, it was confirmed a strategy will be drafted with a call for evidence being launched early in the new year to help shape its development.
Gillian Keegan MP, Minister for Care and Mental Health, said the development of the strategy would be co-chaired by herself and Mr Bryant, with senior officials in all relevant Government departments invited to join the board.
“Following publication, the strategy will be kept under review and may be revised periodically to ensure that it continues to reflect the priority areas and actions needed to best support people living with ABI and their families,” the statement said.
The move by the Government marks a huge step forward in ABI provision, following years of campaigning from charities and survivors for more support. Mr Bryant recently introduced a Private Members Bill with the aim of forcing the creation of such a strategy, which was due to have its second reading in Parliament tomorrow.
Mr Bryant – chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on ABI and a tireless campaigner for the cause – had called on the Government to take action to ensure a more joined up approach from Government departments in supporting individuals and families affected by brain injury.
Last month, he delivered a letter signed by over 200 MPs, charities, brain injury survivors and other providers to 10 Downing Street, calling on the Prime Minister to take action. Following that, Boris Johnson confirmed in Parliament that the Department for Health and Social Care would be looking at the development of such a strategy.
It has also been supported widely by the public and via social media.
But today’s confirmation is a huge step forward and will ensure the development of an appropriate strategy, with input from families and professionals across the world of ABI.
Announcing the development on Twitter, Mr Bryant said: “ The Government has just announced it will draft a strategy on Acquired Brain Injury, set up an ABI programme board which will be co-chaired by Gillian Keegan and me, and will call for evidence very soon.
“So my ABI Bill won’t be needed. Many thanks to all who’ve helped!”
Charities who have been vocal in their support of Mr Bryant’s Bill were keen to celebrate the move, which comes after years of campaigning.
UKABIF hailed the announcement as “a gift” and the Disabilities Trust said it was “just amazing”.
The Child Brain Injury Trust added: “Fantastic news to hear. A strategy for ABI has been needed for so long. We are thrilled!”
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