Rehabilitative Training Unit

Trainees and Team working together in the Rehabilitation Training Unit

Trainees and Team in the RTU

The Next Stage Programme at the NRH

Next Stage is a national rehabilitative training service provider accepting referrals of people with an acquired brain injury (ABI) living throughout Ireland.

The Rehabilitative Training Unit (RTU) delivers two integrated CARF accredited programmes:

    • Home & Community Programme and
    • Vocational Programme.

Allocation to a programme is determined by the trainee’s goals as identified at referral and through the Individual Training Plan (ITP) while on the programme.


What is Next Stage?

The Next Stage Programme is designed to assist people with an acquired brain injury to maximize their functional abilities and achieve their individual desired training goals. Goals may be greater levels of independence and community reintegration and increased personal, life, social, behavioural and practical skills.

The Next Stage Programme also assists persons who have specific goals of returning to work and education by assessing their needs and abilities, improving necessary skills, offering work experience and sampling and then support them to make informed choices regarding future training, educational or vocational options.

The Next Stage Programme also helps link persons to appropriate health, employment, or community services to facilitate and implement these goals.


Rehabilitative Setting

The Next Stage programme can facilitate up to 17 whole time equivalent trainees. The unit has a training resource room, computer room, general office, conference room, kitchen, manager’s office, counselling room, a general office and a spacious reception area.

As Next Stage is a national programme, those living outside commutable distance may avail of accommodation in Corofin Millennium Lodge.



The Corofin Millennium Lodge is an 8-bedded residential facility located in the Rehabilitative Training Unit. The Lodge offers accommodation to persons with all levels of ability. Facilities include twin, single, carer and high dependency rooms. It also has common and quiet areas. All areas including bathrooms and lift are accessible to trainees in wheelchairs or with mobility or visual difficulties.

The lodge is open from Sunday evening to Friday morning.


Programme Duration and Hours

  • Trainees attend up to five days per week (30 hour week)
  • Hours: 9.30 am to 5.00 pm; Monday to Thursday
  • 9.30 am to 1.00 pm; Fridays
  • Closed Saturday
  • Corofin Lodge opens Sunday evenings (5.00 pm)


What is the duration of the Next Stage programme?

The average programme duration is 10 months, with a range of 3-19 months. However, this duration can vary to meet the individual needs and goals of the trainee. Some trainees may not need to avail of all the modules in the programme, or some might require extra training to meet their particular needs and goals. Some trainees will attend on a part-time or graduated basis due to the constraints of their disability or to accommodate relevant work or other training needs.


Admission Criteria:

To be admitted into the Next Stage programme at the NRH, the individual must:

  1. Have one of the following:
    Acquired Brain Injury. ABI is an inclusive category that embraces acute (rapid onset) brain injury of any cause, including:
    i) Trauma – due to head injury or post-surgical damage
    ii) Vascular accident (stroke or subarachnoid haemorrhage)
    iii) Cerebral anoxia
    iv) Other toxic or metabolic insult (such as hypoglycaemia)
    v) Infection (for example, meningitis, encephalitis) or other inflammation (such as vasculitis)
    b. Have medical, cognitive, physical, communicative and, or behavioural needs related to the neurological injury or disease process.
  2. Be aged 18 to 64 years at time of admission.
  3. Have the potential, and level of insight, to develop greater functional independence and to actively participate in group training.
  4. Be able to arrange own transportation to and from the RTU
  5. Be able to co-operate and work with the facilitator’s and other trainees.

Admission to the Next Stage programme is based on the outcome of the initial interview and meeting the programme’s admission criteria. The timing of admission to the programme is approximately 9 months from receipt of referral, but may be influenced by delays in discharge and limited availability of lodge accommodation.


Exclusion Criteria

Persons with ABI are excluded from the Next Stage programme where other needs (such as medical, psychiatric, behavioural, drug and substance misuse), predominate over the potential to benefit from specialised rehabilitative training and the cognitive, physical and psycho-social needs of the patient. In these cases recommendations maybe made to the referring agent regarding other more appropriate services. Additionally, if the person is not independent in their self-care and medication management, they are required to have appropriate supports such as a PA or Carer.


Discharge Criteria

To be discharged from the Next Stage programme at the NRH, one or more of the following must be true:

  1. The person has achieved their identified training goals and is deemed to have received maximum benefit from the programme.
  2. The person has improved to the projected functional level that will allow discharge to another specified environment or service.
  3. The person experiences major intervening surgical, medical and, or psychological problems that precludes further benefit from continuing the training programme.
  4. The person’s ongoing rehabilitation needs can best be met in an alternative environment or service. Relevant services have been contacted and informed and the details provided to the person.
  5. The person is no longer willing to be an active participant in the programme. (The Next Stage programme is strictly voluntary and persons can request to discontinue their programme at any stage).
  6. The person is in breach of or non-compliant with programme services and policies.


Programme Content

The Next Stage programme is delivered on a modular basis. Training takes place in both individual and group formats, depending on the trainee’s needs and goals. There are 25 training modules which are grouped in the following 6 areas:

  • Brain Injury Management
  • Personal and Behavioural Management
  • Life Skills Management
  • Educational Support
  • Information Technology
  • Vocational Assessment, Planning and Exploration


Activity 2019

The Table below shows the Outcomes for 2019.

2019 – Trainees discharged from Next Stage Programme to: 2019
Employment 15%
Education & Training 54%
Community Programme 23%
Community Reintegration* 8%

* Community Reintegration includes Day Services, Community-based Supports and Home Life.


Who can refer?

  • Rehabilitation Consultants
  • Other relevant health service professionals such as GP
  • Persons can also apply directly to the programme
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