Memorandum by Headway Cambridgeshire (H28A)
We have over 20 years experience of serving
people with brain injuries across a wide geographic area covering
all of Cambridgeshire, north west Essex, north Hertfordshire and
parts of Suffolk and Norfolkthe population would be approaching
the one million mark. With one in 800 people suffering a brain
injury requiring medical treatment, this means there is substantial
need in our area.
There are two points we would like to make to
the Select Committee on Health:
1. Recognising brain injury as a disability
in its own right
Currently, many of our members have to go round
several loops and sources of funding and support simply because
brain injury is not classified separately and has no dedicated
resources. This means that they are often "lumped" with
other disabilities, which at best, are inappropriate or, at worst,
are detrimental to their rehabilitation.
We understand that the European Parliament now
recognises brain injury as a distinct disability and we urge our
Members of Parliament to take this important step too.
2. Joined up funding
A somewhat farcical situation has arisen locally.
Our landlorda NHS Trustwill be charging us a commercial
rent of c. £40,000 from April 2002; previously, a peppercorn
rent had been the agreement. Our day care provision is funded
on a service contract basis by Social Services and so we have
built this new rent charge in to new fee levels. To afford this
increase, it now transpires that Social Services will be seeking
to recharge some costs to the Health Authority in respect of Cognitive
Therapy cases as distinct from welfare care which we provide.
This financial merry go-round has absorbed considerable
time in each of the three organisations and it is surely possible
to approach it on a more sensible basis of joint funding that
enables us to focus on delivering effective services to a very
vulnerable group of people.