Arriving at rehabilitation for an acquired brain injury
This section looks at how a child might start rehabilitation at a specialist centre.A referral is when a healthcare professional requests that someone is treated at a different place, usually with specialist services. An example of this would be if you went to see your GP with pains in your kidneys. Your doctor might refer you to a kidney specialist (a nephrologist). A care plan may have referred a child to some form of specialist rehabilitation service. Children can be referred to a rehabilitation service by a clinician at the hospital, by their GP, a social worker, or a specialist such as a neuropsychologist.
People warned us not to take it personally if you get turned down, but how can you not? It’s your child and you’re bound to want the best for them, whatever it takes, or however much they don’t know.."Parent's experienceThere is nothing wrong in seeking a second opinion if you feel a child would benefit from these kinds of services. If a child meets certain criteria set out by NHS England, meaning they require specialised neurorehabilitation for children with highly complex needs, they maybe eligible for National Specialised Commissioning. In this case funding would come from NHS England rather than having to wait for approval for local funding by the Clinical Commisioning Group.
Rehabilitation centres come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
They can be run by the NHS, private firms, or charities such as The Children’s Trust.
They might be residential – where the child lives at the centre as they undergo their therapy in the long or short term - or they might offer day services.
Choosing a unit will usually involve the clinical team and the family of the child.
Where the child goes will depend on factors such as the kind of treatment they need and where in the country they live.
Going to a specialist centre
Before any child can take up a place at a specialist centre, that place has to be paid for.
This money can come from different places.
- The NHS, at a local or national level
- A local authority (such as a county council, or borough council if you’re in London)
- Medical insurance
- Compensation claims (even if a claim hasn’t been resolved, some interim payments may be made).1
- The place might be funded by an embassy if the child is from a different country
Here is an example of the ‘journey’ a family might experience:
- A child is referred to a clinical centre.
- Clinical staff from the centre will meet with the child and parents. This may take place in hospital, at home or at the centre (if the child is able to travel there). The aim is to ensure the centre is able to meet the child’s needs.
- The assessment findings are reported back to an admissions team at the centre, and recommendations are made.
- An assessment report then sets out the kind of programme a child needs.
- The centre may then approach the funding authority to fund an assessment (or placement). They may advise on an alternative placement if the centre isn’t deemed the right place for the child.
- The report then goes to the funding authority, the parents and the referrer.
- The centre will keep track of the funding process until a decision is made to either approve or decline the funding.
- Parents are informed of the decision – possibly by the centre itself.