Liverpool lawyers shape UK brain injury strategy

Barristers from Exchange Chambers in Liverpool are helping shape the Government’s new national strategy on care and support for those with brain injuries. Tony McDonough reports

Gerard Martin
Gerard Martin QC, a barrister at Exchange Chambers in Liverpool

 

Liverpool-based barristers being asked to help shape the Government’s new national strategy on care and support for people with acquired brain injury (ABI).

ABI refers to brain injury caused by a specific event such as accidents, assaults, strokes, brain tumours and other medical causes. The new strategy has been championed by Labour MP Chris Bryant.

Exchange Chambers in Liverpool has extensive experience of representing people with ABIs. Its response to the strategy is being led by Gerard Martin QC who is also chair of the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) North West and Wales committee.

Mr Martin said: “As a chamber with extensive experience in brain injury cases, it is essential for us to play our part in the development of the Government’s ABI strategy. We share the government’s ambition to achieve a step change in care and support so that people have the chance to regain the fullest possible quality of life.

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“It is a common experience for our members to experience the shortfall in ABI awareness and provision of support systems in personal injury work, criminal justice and education. We particularly recognise the absence of support for the families of those with ABI as a significant gap in provision.”

Exchange is participating in a so-called Call for Evidence process which is focusing on a number of key areas and also asks whether the strategy should also consider other neurological conditions alongside ABI.

The view of lawyers in Exchange Chambers’ personal injury and clinical negligence department is that the Government’s approach should focus solely on ABI to ensure a clear, targeted strategy is developed.

The Minister of State for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan and Chris Bryant co-chair the ABI strategy programme board which first met earlier this year. Ms Keegan, added: “It is absolutely essential people living with acquired brain injury get the best possible care and treatment.

“Together the cross-government programme board and the call for evidence will allow us to deliver a strategy to address issues that matter most to those with acquired brain injuries and other neurological conditions.”

And Mr Bryant also said: “Chris Bryant MP said: “We need people to come forward with ideas and suggestions based on their experience of brain injury as practitioners, patients or family members so we can get this strategy right. I urge everyone to take part if they think they have an insight to offer.”

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