A perfect storm: brain injury rehabilitation sector sees extreme disruption due to COVID-19

Following on from the recent report by The British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine into the impact of COVID-19 on neurorehabilitation services,a poll by brain injury charity Calvert Reconnections and barristers Exchange Chambers has revealed the sector has been driven to ‘crisis point’.

In a recent poll of 161 of the UK’s most senior brain injury solicitors, 89% of brain injury specialists believe rehabilitation standards have dropped as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 92% saying that brain injury rehabilitation is going to be more reliant than ever on the private and charitable sectors moving forward.

Alarmingly, 70% of respondents believe that charities are being forced to cut back on support measures for brain injured patients as a result of financially related Covid-19 pressures.

NRC Medical Expert’s Chair of Clinical Governance, Professor Mike Barnes suggested that the sector has suffered due to:

“social distancing, shielding requirements, lack of specialist support and funding.”

While virtual rehabilitation has become commonplace in recent months, there are doubts over its long-term viability, with 63% expressing concerns over its effectiveness.

Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers and Trustee at Calvert Reconnections said,

“The NHS is overwhelmed and charities are under severe financial pressure. It is the perfect storm. While virtual rehabilitation has plugged the gap, it is not a long-term solution.”

The research also revealed that 26% of brain injury solicitors said that the other side have used Covid-19 as a tactic to stall the litigation process – despite best practice guidance suggesting the parties take a consensual approach.

At NRC Medical Experts, we’re doing all we can to ensure to your legal cases keep moving despite the impact of quarantine and social distancing. From pre-instruction conversations to desktop reporting, our medical expert witnesses are continuing to support the justice system.

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