The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released a new quality standard for the management of head injuries. The new Quality Standard covers assessment, early management and rehabilitation following head injuries in adults, young people and children. NICE Quality Standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a specific area and are designed support the measurement of improvement.

Each year, almost 1.5 million people attend at their local Accident and Emergency Department with a head injury. On average, 200,000 will be admitted to hospital and a further one in five will then be diagnosed with having suffered a serious brain injury or trauma. How quickly a patient receives treatment following a brain injury really can mean the difference between life and death. It is not uncommon that a person who has suffered a head injury may seem fine at first – the symptoms affecting them hours later after the trauma took place.

The purpose of the new Quality Standard is to emphasise that when it comes to head injuries, time really is of the essence. The majority of people who sustain head injuries recover without the need for any medical intervention. However, others experience long term disabilities; some even die, from complications which could be avoided with early treatment and early diagnosis. Common sense dictates that in any area of medicine, prevention is better than cure so the implementation of these measures can only seek to reduce the number of fatalities in the long term.

The Quality Standard itself is made up of 7 statements that describe the high quality of care that patients with a brain injury should receive. These include a CT scan taking place within one hour for those with a head injury who show signs of the injury having affected their brain. Another Quality Statement then specifies that following a CT scan being performed, the report of the same should be available within 1 hour. Improvements in rehabilitation of those who have suffered a brain injury are also central to the Quality Standard – people who are in hospital after having suffered a brain injury caused problems with their memory, communication and concentration lasting 3 days or more will undergo an assessment to find out if a programme of rehabilitation whilst they are still in hospital will assist in their recovery.

The aim of the Quality Standard is to ensure that the NHS have the necessary processes in place to diagnose and treat head injuries as quickly and efficiently as possible – which in turn, is hoped will save lives.

The impacts of a head injury can be overwhelming on both the patient and their loved ones. Effects of brain injuries can include cognitive difficulties, memory loss and poor concentration. The devastating effects of a head injury can make simple tasks in every day life a struggle for the patient and those around them – which is why it is key to obtain specialist legal advice to lighten the burden and support you in your recovery. Here at Farleys, we have a specialised team who are dedicated to achieving the maximum amount of compensation for you and supporting you on the road to recovery.

If you have suffered a head injury you may be able to claim compensation, for further information please call 0845 050 1958 or email us.