With its effects often hidden and with many symptoms overlapping other complex conditions, diagnosing patients with acquired brain injury and providing suitable treatment and care can be a challenge for GPs. To aid this difficult process, Headway has launched a campaign and created an online resource to help doctors to diagnose, manage and refer patients affected by brain injury.
The free resource is based on our two management and referral factsheets which cover minor brain injury and concussion, as well as other types of moderate to severe acquired brain injury.
"We receive far too many calls to our helpline from people who report to us that their GP either doesn't understand their brain injury symptoms or doesn't have the right tools or information to help them," said Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway.
"The idea behind this project is to help GPs with the complicated task of identifying brain injury symptoms, which can often be confused with mental health issues, and ensure they have detailed information about appropriate treatments and support options to refer patients to.
"We have to reduce the number of people slipping through the net and not receiving the help and support they need. Unless people receive the right help at the right time following brain injury, the damage can be life changing."
Visit the GPs section to find out more and download our resources.
In addition to the downloadable factsheets and referral guides, assessment tools, and useful links, there is also an opportunity for GPs to pledge their support for those affected by brain injury by signing a simple online pledge, with those that do so named Headway GP Champions.
We know that many GPs provide first-rate care to those presenting symptoms of brain injury. The idea behind this campaign is not to criticise those that do not, but rather to help them in this difficult task.
We plan to celebrate and promote best practice by creating GP Champions across the UK. In doing so, and by providing resources and information to assist GPs, we hope to improve the standard of care being provided by doctors across the UK.
Any GPs willing to publically pledge their support can do so here.
How you can help
We need your help to get the message out there to GPs!
We have created bold flyers that people can take to their GPs when they visit them, bringing the resource to their attention and asking them to become Headway GP Champions.
By presenting these flyers directly to GPs, we hope to be able to help more and more doctors to identify the often hidden symptoms of brain injury and then better support those affected.
You can download the flyer and a printer-friendly version in the related resource section.