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Headway ‘anger’ at decision to close renowned brain injury rehabilitation centre Main Image

Headway ‘anger’ at decision to close renowned brain injury rehabilitation centre

Fri 20 May 2022

The decision to close the Oliver Zangwill Centre – a specialist neurological rehabilitation hub in Cambridgeshire – has been met with frustration and anger by the UK’s leading brain injury charity.

Headway responded to the consultation run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG earlier this year when the future of the neuro centre in Ely was brought into question.

The consultation began just a month after the Prime Minister announced a pan-departmental government strategy for acquired brain injury (ABI). Headway believes a key priority for this strategy should be the equitable access to specialist neurological rehabilitation and support services – a concept completely undermined by the decision to close the Oliver Zangwill Centre.

On hearing the local health commissioners’ decision is to close the Oliver Zangwill Centre, Peter McCabe, the charity’s Chief Executive, said: “At a time when the government is in the process of putting together a ground-breaking pan-departmental ABI strategy to better support people living with an acquired brain injury, we should be looking at creating more of these centres of excellence, not closing them.

“Each year around 350,000 people are admitted to UK hospitals with an acquired brain injury. For many patients, early access to specialist neurological rehabilitation will significantly increase their chances of making a meaningful recovery. And yet currently access to specialist care such as that provided by the respected Oliver Zangwill Centre varies significantly across the country.

“Rather than improve lives, ultimately the cost of this move will largely be paid by brain injury survivors and families unable to get the help and support they deserve and need.

“Whilst hugely disappointed, this strengthens our resolve to make sure the ABI strategy is strong enough and robust enough, so that every survivor has the best chance at a meaningful and fulfilled life after brain injury.”

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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