This month has seen the release of a report published by the healthcare intelligence provider, Wilmington Healthcare and UKABIF – looking into the numbers of people admitted to hospital after an acquired brain injury in England. The data collected covered the period 2015 to 2016.
How common is brain injury?
The report found that there were 22,246 hospital admission for acquired brain injury, and worryingly this was a 39% increase since 2009/10. The figure amounts to 42 admissions per 100,000 of population. An admission to hospital is likely to correlate to more severe brain injuries, but overall there were around 1.4 million attendances at Emergency Departments
Which age groups have the most brain injuries?
It has been commonly thought that young adult men are most of risk of brain injury – mainly due to lifestyle factors including the risk of assaults and prevalence of road traffic accidents. It certainly seems to be the case that the most severe brain injuries still predominantly affect that group. However, the greatest number of hospital admission for an age group were for the over 75s, with 8,999 admissions. By far the biggest cause of head injury in that group is falls.
The cost of brain injury
Every hospital visit carries with it a cost to the NHS. The report concluded that the total cost of non elective admission to hospital after brain injury was in excess of £56 million. The total cost when elective admissions are included rises to £68 million. Early and effective rehabilitation, available to all regardless of geographical location, is likely to bring these overall costs down. For those who have a legitimate personal injury claim, they are not required to use the NHS and can access private treatment and rehabilitation, and to recover the costs as part of their claim, often being funded at an early stage when an insurer will make an “interim payment” – which is a payment on account of final damages.
Having examined the statistics, the report makes a number of recommendations, the key one probably being to improve service provision, from acute care, through rehabilitation and finally to long term support.
The report also demonstrates the need to raise awareness of acquired brain injury, and the life long impact it can have on individuals and families and carers.
Contact a brain injury lawyer
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