I was pleased to attend a reception in Parliament for survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI).

Brain injury is a hidden epidemic in the UK affecting over 1 million people, so I went to talk with patients and carers and other interested parties about their experiences, particularly about the need for rehabilitation.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Acquired Brain Injury (APPG on ABI) brought together survivors of ABI and their MPs at a reception in the Palace of Westminster thanks to the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF). UKABIF aims to promote better understanding of all aspects of ABI; to educate, inform and provide networking opportunities for professionals, service providers, planners and policy makers and to campaign for better services in the UK. UKABIF is a membership organisation and charity, established in 1998 by a coalition of organisations working in the field of ABI.

The aim of the event was to raise awareness of ABI and the need for improved neurorehabilitation services across the UK.

An ABI is any injury to the brain which has occurred following birth e.g. Traumatic Brain Injuries such as those caused by trauma (e.g. a blow to the head from a road traffic accident, fall or assault), and non-TBIs related to illness or medical conditions (e.g. encephalitis, meningitis, stroke, substance abuse, brain tumour and hypoxia).

The APPG on ABI was officially launched November 2017. The key objectives of the APPG on ABI are to:

  • Raise awareness of ABI and seek improvements in support and services for people directly affected by ABI and also their families and carers,
  • Provide a voice for those affected by ABI,
  • Be the main forum for ABI in Parliament, raising key issues across health, social care and welfare which all affect people living with ABI in the UK.