Better community rehab 'would cut hospital waiting lists'

There are calls to provide better community rehabilitation services for people with brain injuries, which would also reduce hospital waiting lists.

Around 13,000 people acquire a brain injury each year, but Ireland has the lowest number of rehabilitation consultants in Europe.

A carers' conference today - which will be attended by the Health Minister - will hear how people with brain injuries and their carers do better in community settings if the proper supports are provided.

CEO of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Barbara O'Connell, says moving these patients out of hospital will benefit everyone.

"As part of the ongoing hospital waiting list problem, people with acquired brain injury, who need neurons rehab, they remain in hospital beds for long periods because there's no appropriate step-down services for them

"If we had proper services in the community, these people could be moved out, which would allow people who really need to be in acute hospitals to be in those beds."

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