Brain Injury Programme
The National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services to patients who, as a result of an accident, illness or injury, have acquired a physical or cognitive disability and who require specialist medical rehabilitation.
The Consultant led Brain Injury Programme at NRH is backed by experience, clinical expertise and a solid reputation for excellence.
The Interdisciplinary Team within the Brain Injury Programme (also called the Brain Injury Team) provides specialised rehabilitation treatment and care, designed to assist people with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) to:
- Adjust to their injury
- Achieve the safest possible level of physical independence
- Participate socially and in the community
The Brain Injury Team works together with patients and their families and carers to achieve the best possible outcome from the Rehabilitation Programme, which is tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs.
Patients admitted to the Brain Injury Programme at NRH typically have sustained a complex, acquired, non-progressive neurological disability following:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain haemorrhage
- Other neurological condition
The service offers Interdisciplinary rehabilitation to patients ranging from:
- Patients who remain in the near coma state (persistent vegetative state), minimally conscious state and locked-in syndrome
- Patients with major physical and cognitive disability
- Patients who sustain disabling initial head injury but recover the potential to return at least in part to their pre-injury role in society.
The full Brain Injury Programme Scope of Service is detailed in the linked document.
The Brain Injury Team
Patient care and treatment for the Brain Injury Programme is delivered by interdisciplinary teams, with clinical responsibility led by a consultant in rehabilitation medicine under the guidance of the NRH Clinical Director – Dr. Mark Delargy.
Consultants in Rehabilitation Medicine who provide a service to the Brain Injury Programme include:
- Dr. Paul Carroll
- Dr. Mark Delargy
- Dr. Jacqui Stow
- Dr. Jacinta McElligott
- Dr. Raymond Carson
The Brain Injury Programme is led operationally by the Brain Injury Programme Manager – Ms. Valerie Twomey
The NRH is one of the largest rehabilitation hospitals in Europe. A programme to increase the number of Consultants in Rehabilitation Medicine, in line with International best practice, is being actively pursued.
At the NRH, the brain injury service accesses the full complement of support from:
- Nursing and Clinical Support
- Therapy Services
- Administrative Support
- Information Management and Technology Services
- Technical Services
Input is also given from Neuropsychiatry, Liaison Psychiatry, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, Ophthalmology, and ENT.
The Brain Injury Programme of Care
The NRH has developed a full continuum of care for people with ABI. This includes:
- Brain Injury Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Programme
- Brain Injury Outpatient Rehabilitation Programme
- Brain Injury Home and Community Based Rehabilitation Programme
- Brain Injury Vocational Services (the Rehabilitative Training Unit)
- Stroke Specialty Service
This continuum of care ensures that all individuals can receive the most appropriate programme of care based on their injury and their individual rehabilitation needs.
With primary inpatient and outpatient Brain Injury rehabilitation services provided at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the comprehensive Brain Injury Programme includes a consulting service to:
- Beaumont Hospital
- The Mater Hospital
- St. Vincent’s University Hospital
- AMNCH, Tallaght
Additional sessions for continuing rehabilitation for those whose brain injury results in a ‘slow to recover’ process are delivered at:
- Royal Hospital Donnybrook
- Peamount Hospital
The programme aims to discharge all patients after they have achieved their desired rehabilitation goals and have received maximum benefit from the programme.
Patient and Family Information Leaflets
A range of Patient & Family Information Leaflets are available to download.
Acquired Brain Injury Referrals
Each NRH consultant also receives written referrals from regional hospitals, including Cork University Hospital which, along with Beaumont Hospital, is one of the two major neurosciences centres in Ireland.
While early rehabilitation of patients with acquired complex neuro-disability typically starts in the Neurosciences Unit in Beaumont Hospital and Cork University Hospital, a significant percentage of patients do not require neurosurgical intervention and therefore come directly from the acute hospitals throughout the country.
The NRH attracts referrals involving people who have acquired very severe disability such as vegetative state, and is continuing to enhance its skills in providing services to severe complex disability within a wide-ranging Interdisciplinary team.
General Practitioner referrals appear to be increasing and this may reflect the advances in rehabilitation services in recent years which can provide benefits to patients who sustained their disability many years ago. However, the pattern of increasing General Practitioner referrals may also reflect a cohort of new patients discharged from acute hospitals who wish to access further specialist rehabilitation at the NRH.
Improving the quality of patient treatment and improving access for patients on the waiting list is of the highest priority at NRH. Additional Outreach and Community based rehabilitation services are urgently required in order to achieve this aim.
Strategic involvement by NRH Personnel Includes
- Cardiovascular Strategy for Stroke
- National Policy / Strategy for the Provision of Rehabilitation Services