Community Brain Injury Service (CBIS)
CBIS is a specialist service aimed at meeting the needs of those with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) as well as their families and carers. Our focus is on rehabilitation and community reintegration. We can provide information, advice, guidance and support to other services to help promote independence and integration for people with an ABI.
Who are CBIS?
The Community Brain Injury Service (CBIS) is an interdisciplinary team working across the Western Health and Social Care Trust with people and their families & friends that have been affected by a brain injury. Staff meets 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.
What is ABI?
ABI is defined as an injury to the brain caused by an identifiable event such as:
- Trauma – Road collision, Falls, Assault or Sports injury
- Damage to brain tissue – Non-progressive brain tumour or brain surgery
- Hypoxia – lack of oxygen to the brain from cardiac arrest
- Metabolic disorders – unstable diabetes
- Infection – encephalitis /meningitis
The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or induced by birth trauma. It also does not include progressive brain disorders and those that are acquired over time due to alcohol and drug misuse. Though stroke is classified as an acquired brain injury, there are services and the development of separate standards/guidelines for stroke survivors.
How common are ABIs?
There are approximately 250 people per 100,000 of the population who acquire a moderate – severe ABI each year. Young adults and those over 65 are most at risk with males 2-3 times more at risk than females. Having an acquired brain injury means many aspects of day to day living can become a challenge. An ABI not only consists of a physical component but can also affect a person cognitively, emotionally, behaviourally and socially.
- Must be resident in Western Health & Social Care Trust catchment area
- Over 18 years old (we will consult on referrals for 16-17 year olds)
- Have an ABI as the primary problem
- Have a need for specialist interdisciplinary rehabilitation
- The person is medically and mentally able to engage in goal-directed rehabilitation (on-going drug and/or alcohol misuse may prevent a person being accepted into the service)
- It is deemed that the person will achieve benefits from the CBIS that cannot be provided elsewhere
- The person has new identifiable and achievable goals (if previously they have been in receipt of brain injury rehabilitation)
What does CBIS offer?
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, and personality changes. 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.
- We support individuals to live their lives how they want to, make choices about what’s important to them and enable them to prioritise their use of time, energy and skills
- We empower people to be as independent as possible, by ensuring they have the appropriate equipment , environment, strategies and support
- By providing input into clients’ own homes and unobtrusive support within their local areas, we ensure that individuals are able to stay involved in things that they enjoy in the community
- The CBIS involves carers and families in the care and treatment of the service user, unless requested not to (either by the service user or the family).
Where can you find us?
CBIS work across the Western Health and Social Care Trust. CBIS delivers intervention and rehabilitation programmes both in the community and at a number of bases including Enniskillen, Omagh and Derry/Londonderry. We try to offer most of your appointments as close to your home as possible.
What can you expect when you meet us?
You should receive a letter from our team letting you know where and when your appointment is. Usually people are seen for their first appointment at an office location near them in Enniskillen, Omagh or Derry/Londonderry. If for any reason, you have difficulty making it to our office you can call us on the numbers shown below and let us know.
Your first appointment usually lasts around an hour and, if possible, we encourage people to attend with a family member or friend who know 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 any vision or hearing aids if you need them).
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)/Concussion
Our mTBI pathway offers information and support to people who have had a head injury and have concussion-type symptoms or have been diagnosed with concussion. This pathway works on a triage system: an initial advice and information leaflet sent in the post can be followed up if appropriate by a telephone assessment and/or clinic appointment. We accept referrals from GP’s /Emergency Departments/ Hospital professionals. 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 Downloadable Resources section.
Will I ever get back to “normal”?
ABI is a lifelong condition and every injury is specific to the individual. Some clients recover quicker than others. Those with a mild traumatic brain injury usually return to leading their pre-injury life. While those with moderate and severe injuries can also learn to live with their brain injury, some require on-going rehabilitation to aid them in living the life they choose. Ultimately, with the aid of family and friends, and with input from a range of healthcare professionals many people lead an active and full life and can establish a new “normal” for them.
Regional Brain Injury Support Leaflets
Referrals to the Community Brain Injury Service can be made by anyone and sent to any of the contact details below.