Brain Injury Service

The Brain Injury Team looks after the needs of individuals who have suffered brain injury, their families and carers. Staff see individuals who have suffered brain injury at all stages of the rehabilitation and re-integration process. Priority is given to new injuries, but people with older injuries are also eligible for the service. The Team aims to give information, to help co-ordinate and enhance other services, and to promote independence and integration.

Who Are We?

The Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team (ABIRT) is a community interdisciplinary team working across the Southern Health and Social Care Trust with service users and their families & friends that have been affected by a brain injury.

What is a Brain Injury?

We work with service users who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (e.g. as a result of a car accident, fall or assault) or acquired brain injury (e.g. brain damage because of a lack of oxygen to the brain or infection such as encephalitis, hydrocephalus or meningitis).

Concussion

Our concussion pathway offers information and support to people who have had a concussion. We accept referrals from GP’s and Emergency Departments. If you are concerned about symptoms related to concussion, please talk to your GP and ask them to refer to us if you think that would be helpful. You will also find useful information about concussion in our Resources Section.

What do We do?

We work with people affected by brain injury to help them understand and compensate for difficulties following brain injury such as reduced memory, fatigue, difficulties getting back to work, personality changes and/or communication problems. We also provide psychological and emotional support to help a person’s support network to adjust to life following brain injury. We support people to increase their physical abilities, strength, balance and stamina; build their independence and roles in everyday life; and to help them to return to education or employment where possible.

Where are we?

ABIRT work across the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. We try to offer most of your appointments as close to your home as possible. Usually, your first appointment with the team will be in Portadown. Here is a helpful map with directions to our office in Portadown. If you are offered an appointment anywhere else in the Southern Trust, our team will make sure they give you directions beforehand.

Before your first appointment

You should have received a letter from our team secretary letting you know where and when your appointment is.  Usually people are seen for their first appointment at our office in Portadown (see directions). If for any reason, you have difficulty making it to our office, you can call us at 02838398350 and let us know. You should complete the contact details sheet before your appointment and give that to the team when you get here.

Your first appointment usually lasts between 45-60 minutes and if possible we encourage people to attend with a family member or friend who knows them very well.  We will ask you some questions about how you are finding things and also ask you to complete a couple of questionnaires (so please make sure you bring and sight or hearing aids if you need them). If don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, we will check with you what feels OK on the day.

Goal Plan

We work with you on goals and values that are important to you. If you are involved with our team, you will receive a goal plan explaining what we are helping you to work towards. This goal plan is an important document to help take note of the progress you are making and where you want to be in the future. Here is an example goal plan.