Leonard Cheshire's Alcohol Related Brain Injury Unit

27/11/2019

We are keen to bring to your immediate attention, an exciting and much needed new service development for people who have alcohol related brain injury (ARBI).


Patients with ARBI present with a spectrum of conditions characterised by prolonged cognitive impairment due to changes in the structure and functioning of their brains, linked to chronic alcohol misuse over a number of years.
 
The need for a network of bespoke services for this patient group is well documented, which should include an assessment and early treatment unit, community ARBI teams and specialist residential facilities. There is evidence that some people require specialist residential settings for two to three years in order to provide rehabilitation.
 
Leonard Cheshire, an international and UK-wide health and welfare charity, is in the advanced stages of developing a specialist 14 bed rehabilitation facility for patients with ARBI that will help bridge the gap between acute hospitals and community placements.
 
The service will be one element in the range of services required to support people with ARBI in NI. It will offer specialist residential rehabilitation for people with ARBI for a period up to 2-3 years.
 
The ARBI facility is initially a sub-regional service that will offer placement for patients from the Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas.
 
How the treatment centre will support people with ARBI?
 
Leonard Cheshire’s ARBI unit will be located at Upper Knockbreda Road, Belfast, and have 14 individual furnished en suite bedrooms as well as communal areas for socialising, eating and relaxing.
 
People who live in the unit will benefit from:
·         24-hour support from highly trained staff
·         Intervention from a Specialist Clinical Team (including, Occupational Therapist, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Speech & Language Therapist & Physiotherapist)
·         A holistic rehabilitation treatment plan
·         A varied activity programme
·         Access to local support groups and community events
·         Access to a purpose-built garden
 
The ARBI unit is now actively seeking referrals from both Trusts in anticipation of receiving the first patients into the new facility in January 2020 and staggering patients over the following two months until they achieve full capacity.
 
We are keen for the Trust to engage with this much needed resource as the numbers of patients presenting with cognitive deficits associated with many years of heavy alcohol misuse across all specialities has increased.
 
To view the referral leaflet, click here