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Chancellor urged to ‘properly fund’ brain injury support

Open letter raises concerns around lack of funding commitment behind ABI Strategy, and highlights need for action in Autumn Statement

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The Government must make greater financial provision for brain injury survivors and back the impending ABI Strategy with funding to truly deliver impactful support, a group of key charity leaders have said. 

In an open letter to the Chancellor, concerns are raised over the potential of the ABI Strategy without dedicated financial backing, and that community-based rehabilitation services are given more support to deliver life-changing services to brain injury survivors and their families. 

Ahead of the upcoming Autumn Statement, the letter calls for more funding to be allocated to brain injury care and support, and for the Government to “back up its words with positive action”. 

Signed by Luke Griggs, chief executive of Headway; Lisa Turan, chief executive of the Child Brain Injury Trust; Chloe Hayward, executive director of UKABIF; and Irene Sobowale, chief executive of Brainkind, the letter – titled Budget for Brain Injury – highlights the need for more and better support for a condition that sees a hospital admission every 90 seconds.

While praising the development of the ABI Strategy – a much-anticipated, cross-departmental approach to brain injury care to ensure a more jointed-up approach to support in the community – as a “progressive move”, concerns are raised with the absence of a pledge on funding. 

“While we welcome the government’s commitment to the ongoing development of the Strategy, we cannot ignore our concerns regarding the absence of any commitment to supplemental funding,” the leaders state. 

“It is clear that without additional funds, the Strategy will struggle to yield transformative outcomes for those dealing with the aftermath of brain injuries.

“We passionately believe that an ABI Strategy that covers all areas of Government can significantly improve the lives of people living with brain injury in the UK, while reducing the financial burden on local authorities by increasing survivors’ ability to lead independent lives.

“But this can only happen if the Government makes more budget provision for brain injury and backs up its words with positive action.”

Additionally, the burden felt by the community resources which deliver such important interventions at crucial stages of recovery is growing, and also urgently needs financial backing, the letter continues. 

“It is evident that effective interventions as early as possible after brain injury improves the rehabilitation and recovery chances of individuals. Providing services at this early stage also prevents individuals requiring more costly state-funded services in the long term,” it said. 

“We note the Government’s commitment to partnering with community-based rehabilitation organisations for this purpose. Indeed, these organisations will be an essential partner in helping to deliver the Government’s Strategy once published. 

“However, many are currently facing a dire financial situation due to impacts from the cost-of-living increase whilst local authority funding has failed to keep pace with demand.

“We are asking you to use your position as Chancellor to ensure that people living with acquired brain injury receive the services they desperately need.”

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