New statistics have revealed that someone is admitted to a UK hospital with an acquired brain injury (ABI) diagnosis every 90 seconds.
Year on year, the number of people affected by such injuries, which could lead to long-term disability, is increasing – up 10 per cent since 2005-06.
The figures have been released by Headway, the Brain Injury Association, to mark the start of Action For Brain Injury Week, and also reveal the number of women being admitted to UK hospitals with non-superficial head injuries has risen by 24 per cent since 2005-06.
Luke Griggs, Director of Communications at Headway, has described the findings of the study, compiled using hospital admissions information, as ‘uneasy reading’.
“Many of those admitted will face an arduous battle to rebuild their lives and relearn lost skills most of us take for granted, including walking and talking,” he said.
“Even those who make good recoveries are still likely to require some short-term support and information. Such a significant increase in the number of people admitted to hospital with ABI-related diagnoses, coupled with the fact the majority of these people will survive, suggests an ever-increasing demand on support services.”
It is that increasing demand, and a lack of much-needed community support in many areas of the UK, which has inspired brain injury victim Paul Spence to embark on an incredible fundraising challenge this week.
Paul is running four marathons on four consecutive days around the coast of Ibiza. The aim is firstly to inspire others and give hope to those who wonder what life holds in the future for them, as he did himself when the victim of a serious brain injury three years ago.
Importantly though, Paul’s long term goal is to provide greater community support for those like him, as his goal is to open a walk-in support centre for brain injury victims in his home city of Hull.
It is something Paul knows both he, and his close family, would have benefitted hugely from during his recovery. Such support is something Paul passionately wants others to have access to.
Through a partnership with our brain injury team at Neil Hudgell Solicitors, Paul will be helping support our clients going forward.
He’ll be there for them not only a positive role model, but also to offer support during the many difficult days, advice on how best to progress their recovery, and importantly how to remain positive and adapt to a new and extremely challenging way of life.
It’s that kind of support which Headway says is crucial given the latest findings.
“It’s a great shame that at a time when more and more people are in need of help, local authorities are reducing the financial support they are providing,” added Mr Griggs.
“This increased demand for support is evidenced by almost two million page views of the Headway website in 2014, and a 60 per cent increase in calls to the UK-wide helpline in the past five years alone.”
As Paul looks to complete his great challenge, these statistics, and the words of Headway, simply serve to highlight why the work he is doing is so vital, and so deserving of support. It’s why Paul has our support too.
To donate and support Paul’s Ibiza Challenge, go to https://pledgie.com/campaigns/29249