How niche care can offer benefits both to patients who get a service that precisely meets their needs and to trainee doctors who can enrich their experience.
People who suffer brain injury often make a good physical recovery but then go on to
suffer from other problems. They may develop challenging behaviour which means they are verbally and physically aggressive to those around them – including healthcare staff – and lose their inhibitions, behaving inappropriately. This can make it
difficult to get them to accept therapy of various kinds and can be difficult for
healthcare workers to deal with. In the last 30 or 40 years, great strideshave been made in recognising this behaviour is linked to the original brain injury, and offering specialist services to aid rehabilitation. St Andrew’s Healthcare set up the world’s first specialist unit to treat people with both brain injury and challenging behaviour in 1979 – it’s now the national brain injury centre and has expanded from 16 beds to 108.