To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what recent guidance he has issued in relation to (a) the recognition of acquired brain injury and (b) the planning of rehabilitation services for those with acquired brain injury;
(2) what plans he has to implement a national education and training programme for NHS staff on the rehabilitation and treatment of individuals with acquired brain injury;
(3) what plans he has to undertake a review of the provision of brain injury rehabilitation services within the United Kingdom.
We have issued no recent guidance on either the recognition of acquired brain injury or the planning of rehabilitation services for those with acquired brain injury.
However, the national service framework (NSF) for long term conditions was announced in February 2001 by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and will have a particular focus on the needs of people with neurological disease and brain and spinal injury. In addition, it is also likely to set general standards of care for people with other long-term conditions or chronic illness that are not already covered by other NSFs. The Health Committee report on head injury rehabilitation will be brought to the attention of the group developing the NSF.
We have also asked the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce a clinical guideline for the initial assessment, management and first referral of patients with head injury. NICE will start work on the guidelines in November 2001.
Provision of brain injury services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for the devolved Assemblies.