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Pushing the Boundaries in Brain Injury – Conference Report

Delegates at the Pushing Boundaries in Brain Injury Conference

On 16th October 2018 we hosted a free CPD-accredited educational event for health professionals titled “Pushing the Boundaries in Brain Injury”. The conference was held at the Hilton Leeds City Hotel and was attended by over 120 delegates.

The aim of the event was to reflect on current brain injury services and also focused on areas of development in the treatment and care for people with a brain injury.

The conference was chaired by Dr Hayley Day, Clinical Psychologist at two of our neuropsychiatric services, Cygnet Grange and The Lodge. Guest speakers included Dr George El-Nimr, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist and Dr David Craufurd, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in Neuropsychiatric Genetics at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

Our conference speakers (from left to right); Dr Srinivas Lanka, Dr George El-Nimr, Pippa Joseph, Dr Hayley Day, Professor Mike Barnes, Dr David Craufurd.
Our conference speakers (from left to right); Dr Srinivas Lanka, Dr George El-Nimr, Pippa Joseph, Dr Hayley Day, Professor Mike Barnes, Dr David Craufurd.

We were especially delighted to welcome as keynote speaker Professor Mike Barnes, Chair of INPA and the ABI Alliance. We were particularly honoured as this was Professor Barnes’s last public speaking event on the subject of brain injury. The conference programme also featured a presentation from Dr Srinivas Lanka, one of our regional medical directors and Pippa Joseph, a speech and language therapist from Cygnet Grange and The Lodge.

After an introduction the first presentation was from Dr El-Nimr who gave a talk on ‘Managing Brain Injury in a Neuropsychiatry Setting: Benefits and Challenges’. One of the themes of Dr El-Nimr’s presentation was the importance of integrating different disciplines and in particular the need to have a common training pathway between neurology and psychiatry. Dr El-Nimr also highlighted the lack of a clear commissioning process leading to the risk of individuals falling between various funding streams.

In the second presentation of the morning Dr Craufurd gave a fascinating talk on the management of Huntington’s Disease. Dr Craufurd focused on how behavioural symptoms are often more distressing for a sufferer than the motor and cognitive components of the disease. He concluded his talk with some interesting developments which could potentially improve treatment and even prevent the onset of symptoms in gene carriers.

After a break for lunch keynote speaker Professor Mike Barnes gave a typically entertaining yet thought provoking talk on ‘The Future Look of Neurorehabilitation Services’. Professor Barnes provided stark figures on how current the NHS and independent sector combined are only able to provide 31% of the demand for neurorehabilitation beds. On a more positive note Professor Barnes concluded his talk with some thoughts on how treatment can be improved in the community, particularly through the use of vertical integration, telemedicine and apps. He also issued a call for there to be more therapy assistants working in neurorehabilitation services.

The conference concluded with two presentations from Cygnet Health Care clinicians. In the first Dr Srinivas Lanka looked at the successful results that Cygnet’s neurorehabilitation services have had with the GAP-Np outcome measurement tool.

The final presentation was by Dr Hayley Day and Pippa Joseph who gave a talk on the success their service have had with the introduction of Lego-based therapy. The pair highlight how Lego-based therapy provides a clear structure for communicating in groups and, through a case study, showed how it has improved one individual’s spatial awareness, communication skills and feelings of positivity.

The conference was a great success and early feedback has been very positive. Thank you to all the delegates who attended and especially to all of our speakers for their knowledge and insight.

For more information on the brain injury services that Cygnet provide please visit our Neuropsychiatric services page.

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