Rehabilitation Pathways in Ireland
For people living with an acquired brain injury in Ireland, there is a big difference between the ideal pathway of care and the current reality.
When a brain injury survivor is discharged from hospital, they should have access to the services they need to rebuild their lives and regain their independence, regardless of where they live.
According to the HSE’s ideal model of care, their pathway from hospital to home should be flexible and suited to their individual situation.
If required, they should have the opportunity to move from an acute hospital to a specialised neuro-rehabilitation service, such as the National Rehabilitation Hospital.
To support the survivor to return to more independent living, they should have access to disability services, primary care services and mental health services within the community. They should also have the support of a Case Manager – a single point-of-contact with expertise in brain injury – to help link them and their families with the services and supports they need.
Sadly, the reality is very different, and we understand that this is extremely challenging for brain injury survivors and their families. The rehabilitation pathway in Ireland is under-resourced and under-developed, and there is no clear route to guide brain injury survivors on their journey from hospital to home.
Largely, this is caused by a lack of Government investment in neuro-rehabilitation services, particularly in some areas of Ireland. Even in areas where services like ours are funded, they are often not fully resourced and experience long waiting lists.
Too frequently, the results for survivors and their families are:
- delayed discharges from acute hospitals and the National Rehabilitation Hospital
- inappropriate placement of young brain injury survivors in nursing homes
- survivors forced to return home without support, to families who cannot cope
- an Eircode lottery, where each person’s access to services is different, depending on where they live
- further gaps in support for brain injury survivors under 18 year and over 65 years of age
We believe every brain injury survivor has the right to rehabilitation, that they should have the chance to rebuild their life and live it to the fullest. We will never stop campaigning to make that belief a reality.
If you or your loved one was recently impacted by brain injury, and if you do not know where to turn, we may be able to help by providing information or support.
Our website includes information about brain injury, its causes, and effects. We have also included some tools and strategies to manage the impacts of brain injury.
On our Resources page, you will find a list of other services and supports that may be useful for you or your family.
Family members and carers of those living with an acquired brain injury are also welcome to connect with our On With Life Programme for Families and Carers, which provides a support network.