Charities and Professional Support
The initial weeks and months following a life-changing injury can be challenging for you and your family. Knowing where to turn for professional support is crucial to a successful rehabilitation, and will make the difference in steering you or a loved one back to better health.
At Hudgell Solicitors we know the main priority for all who suffer an injury – whether it be minor or a serious head or brain injury – is to get their lives back on track as quickly as possible. If you or someone you know has suffered life-changing injuries, the journey ahead can be daunting. But you are not alone.
Here, we offer advice on the support available following a serious injury, and list the charities offering help to those affected — from Back Up Trust and Pace Rehabilitation, to Limbless Association and The Brain Injury Group.
Case Manager Support
After a serious injury, a case manager provides an invaluable lifeline, guiding you and your loved ones through this stressful period. Case managers liaise between the injured person and health and social services, helping individuals get the best treatment and care whilst ensuring their affairs are managed and they’re able to cope with day to day situations.
The appointment of a case manager is not only beneficial to the patient, but will benefit the hospital where they are being treated. With a background in nursing or occupational therapy, case managers are able to smooth the pathway to a successful hospital discharge.
Case managers have a duty to safeguard patient confidentiality, and never to make decisions that you or a loved one is capable of making. It’s important to find a case manager who has experience dealing with this type of injury, has good references, and is fully insured.
At Hudgell Solicitors, we maintain a list of trusted case managers we’ve worked with in the past. Our expert team will help find a case manager you can rely on for care and support throughout your rehabilitation.
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Everyone affected by a life-changing injury will have their way of dealing with a sudden change, and counselling is one such coping method.
Some may find it helpful to seek counselling support early, whilst others may not feel ready until later. As well as the programmes available on the NHS, there are several forms of therapy you may want to consider. These include telephone helpline services organised by local charities, and therapeutic counselling offered by organisations like Moving Minds.
An accident which has caused catastrophic injury may sadly have caused the death of another person. If this is the case for you or a family member, national charity Cruse can provide support for those affected by bereavement. Cruse specialises in helping children deal with grief, and offers tailored advice in its ‘Get Help’ section.
Counselling is a great way to overcome the psychological impact of serious injury, helping patients deal with the trauma of a life-changing accident.
Depending on your injury, there are several charities which can offer guidance and support to you and your family. We’ve listed five organisations doing great work for people with life-changing injuries below.
For people with a brain injury
The Brain Injury Group — This is a professional healthcare network, allowing medical staff to liaise with solicitors to maximise patient care. It also serves as a directory of support for those with a brain injury, and the people who look after them.
For people with a spinal cord injury
Back Up Trust — For 30 years the Back Up charity has supported those affected by spinal-cord injury, inspiring independence and helping people get more from their lives. They hold training sessions such as wheelchair skills, host telephone support lines, and promote outdoor activities that wheelchair users can access.
Brain and Spine Foundation — This charity offers a free neuroscience nurse helpline and several guides to the medical aspects of neurological injury. We’d recommend the head injury guide which you can download here.
Pace Rehabilitation — Pace offers help to those who have suffered limb loss, providing prostheses and other services.
Limbless Association — The Limbless Association provides a directory of NHS and private services to help amputees get access to prostheses, support groups and other services.
Serious Injury Support Services for Children
Support services for children with serious injuries are limited in the UK. This means parents often travel long distances to be with their child in hospital, placing a financial burden on those affected.
The problem is compounded when a child is discharged, with a lack of support services making it difficult to secure the appropriate at-home care required.
A paediatric case manager can co-ordinate a child’s rehabilitation, working with local health and social care trusts to make the process as simple as possible. The main case management organisations CMS UK and BABICM can provide paediatric case managers by region.
Thankfully, the main charities for adult injuries also have provision for children. These include:
Brainline — Brainline offers useful advice for children coping with head injuries, as well as guides for parents and family members on dealing with things like hospital visits and aftercare.
Spinal cord injury
Back Up Trust – With a page dedicated to services for young people and those under 13, the Back Up Trust is a great place for children to learn more about their spinal cord injury.
There are two websites dedicated to children who have suffered amputation. For those with upper limb loss, Reach offers helpful information. For those with lower limb loss, help can be found on the Steps Charity website.
For families looking to provide care for children with ongoing disability, assistance can be found from Snap Childcare, a specialist recruitment agency that engages special needs nannies, enablers, buddies and carers to support babies and children with additional needs.
This website also has a useful resource directory, Snaphub, which contains a wealth of information on topics like toys, equipment, holiday planning, and mobility issues.
Long term package of rehabilitation has Thomas on the road to recovery after life-changing accident
“The support I received has been fantastic. It has helped me to find a new goal in life and given me a career ambition to become an occupational therapist, which I would never have considered before my accident.
“I know I face difficulties and, due to the impact of my injuries, many aspects of my life are uncertain — but I am looking forward now.”
Thomas, Hudgell Solicitors’ client
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