Headway Acute Trauma Support

Headway Acute Trauma Support (HATS) nurses provide vital assistance and support to families whose loved ones are in hospital following a brain injury. 

HATS nurses can provide support to families from the point of admission, providing continuity through to discharge and in outpatient clinics. 

How HATS nurses help

"Everything I didn't understand, our HATS nurse would explain. If she hadn't been there, I don't know what I would have done." - Sue McIntyreHATS nurses play a vital role in ensuring acquired brain injury patients and their families receive the best possible support, advice and information from the point of admission to hospital, complementing and strengthening the care provided by clinical teams. 

Support to clinical staff

HATS nurses can: 

  • Provide emotional and practical support and information to patients and families
  • Act as a link between the family and staff by explaining terminology, treatment options, and care pathways
  • Improve families' understanding of brain injury, helping them to cope with the next stages of care, such as PTA or critical step-down
  • Become an integral part of the multidisciplinary team, attending ward rounds and MDT meetings, and assisting in early identification of issues to ensure families are supported from the outset
  • Support discharge planning and signposting into local Headway support
  • Support and run out-patient clinics and provide post-discharge telephone support, identifying issues, advising on ongoing symptom management, and making referrals as required

Support to families and patients

HATS nurses can:

  • Be a 'listening ear' and source of support
  • Provide Headway booklets and factsheets covering all aspects of life after brain injury, while signposting people to the charity's free-to-access information library
  • Provide information on how to apply for benefits and/or compensation
  • Signpost to additional Headway services, such as the Emergency Fund, nurse-led helpline, the Approved Provider scheme, and Headway ID cards
  • Help families utilise I'm calling about Chris, a website that makes it easy to keep others informed of your loved one's condition
  • Continue supporting you for as long as possible, and put you in touch with other organisations that may be of help
  • Accompany you to meetings with hospital staff

We support. We listen. We inform. We care. 

Get in touch

North East

(Based at the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough)

Kerry Reynolds
Tel: 07827 911 690
Email: hats-ne@headway.org.uk

North West

(Based at The Walton Centre, Aintree Hospital, Salford Royal Hospital and The Royal Preston Hospital)

Alex Power
Tel: 07833 365 858
Email: hats-nw@headway.org.uk

West Midlands

(Based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham)

Caroline Hill
Tel: 07887 998 166
Email: hats-wm@headway.org.uk

Can't find a nurse near you? Contact our helpline to discuss how Headway can support you.

My story

Kerry Reynolds

"I'm able to give one-on-one support to family members all along the brain injury pathway."

Read story