Brain injury charity to train prison and probation staff

Headway, the UK’s biggest brain injury charity, has been confirmed as a new provider of training for staff working in the prison and probation service in England. In partnership with NHS England, the initiative complements the training Headway has already provided to police forces across the UK, as well as prosecutors, appropriate adults, liaison and diversion services.

Train the trainer

The ‘train the trainer’ style educational programme will focus on empowering staff to better identify and support people with living with the impact of brain injuries. The training will be delivered on a ‘train the trainer’ format, with additional information and tools being provided to all appropriate officers and staff.

Brain injury identity cards

The NHS England funding will also be allocated to a related initiative – the production of Brain Injury Identity Cards for prisoners on their release from prison. Described by the charity as a ‘ simple solution to a tricky conversation’, the Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is designed to help police officers and staff more easily identify brain injury survivors and ensure that they receive an appropriate response and support.

Carried by individuals, the personalised card explains the effect of brain injury and outlines any support they may need. This might include that the individual may have trouble in processing information, speech impairment or attention and concentrating difficulties.

Speaking about the training initiative, Headway Chief Executive Peter McCabe said,

“Research demonstrates a high prevalence of brain injury within the criminal justice system. But through Headway’s Justice Project, we are working to improve understanding of brain injury to ensure survivors are identified and provided with appropriate support.

“By providing prisoners with access to Headway Brain Injury Identity Cards on their release, we will ensure that survivors will be easier to identify should they have further contact with the criminal justice system.
We want key decision makers to provide appropriate support and take the effects of brain injury into account in reaching their conclusions.”