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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Acting Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Palaszczuk Government supports $14.6M brain injuries transition trial


    Acting Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, September 27, 2017

    Palaszczuk Government supports $14.6M brain injuries transition trial

    A $14.6 million Queensland Government pilot project to assist people with acquired brain injuries transition back into the routine of home life home has been officially launched today.

    Acting Premier and Treasurer Curtis Pitt toured one of four apartments that will be used as part of the Acquired Brain Injury Transitional Rehabilitation Service (ABI TRS) operating from Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

    “This five-year trial is the first of its type in Queensland and will help patients from regional and rural centres with an acquired brain injury return to their own communities,” Mr Pitt said.

    “Funding for the trial has been provided by the government’s Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), the body responsible for overseeing Queensland’s compulsory third party vehicle insurance scheme.

    “This investment will support a trial aimed at having patients with an acquired brain injury regain skills and adjust to living independently.

    “The creation of this specialised service is the most significant development in the sector in our state in the past decade or more.

    “Until now there has been no service like it in Queensland and it represents an enormous step forward for patients with brain injuries who come from all parts of Queensland.

    “More than one in 12 Queenslanders are affected by acquired brain injury which is often called the ‘silent epidemic’ as many changes that occur due to damage to the brain are unseen to the eye — such as changes to the way an injured person behaves, thinks, and communicates. 

    “The expected benefits of the service are not only for injured individuals and their families, but also for the broader community by helping patients re-establish their lives, reduce their stay in hospital, and potentially even return to employment.”

    The trial will be operated and evaluated within the existing brain injury rehabilitation services operated by the Division of Rehabilitation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

    Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick, said the services would include intensive therapy over an eight to 12 week period, at home immediately following discharge from hospital rehabilitation.

    “The establishment of an ABI TRS at the Princess Alexandra Hospital will be a key component of the rehabilitation continuum, and bridge the gap between inpatient and community services,” Mr Dick said.

    “The service has four therapy apartments to help clients who live outside the greater Brisbane area transition from hospital to home.”

    Areti Kennedy, Manager ABI TRS, said the transition from hospital to home after an acquired brain injury was a difficult process of adjustment and adaptation.

    “During this period we often see a decline in psychosocial functioning, including emotional and psychological distress for both individuals with acquired brain injury and their family caregivers, and difficulties with meaningful activities of daily living,” Ms Kennedy said.

    “Access to post-discharge support is critical.”

    Ms Kennedy said the ABI Transitional Rehabilitation Service pilot project would provide seamless rehabilitation from a multidisciplinary team to 500 to 600 patients over five years.

    “Most importantly we want to make therapy meaningful to our patient’s lives and help them adjust to what their new ‘normal’ is,” she said.

    Shane Daley from Belmont had a traumatic brain injury following a motorised skateboarding accident in October.

    The 30-year-old was one of the first participants of the new ABI TRS, and has made significant progress since being at home.

    “I would have been lost without the service. At first I didn’t think I needed it. I was getting out of hospital and that was me winning,” he said.

    “But I didn’t consider the little things I’d have to relearn, or the things I’d take for granted. I didn’t want to be a burden on my wife. I wouldn’t know where I’d be today without the service.”

    Media contacts: 

    Acting Premier’s Office     Lindsay Marshall        0447 316 432

    Minister Dick's Office       Annika Hume             0447 320 039

    Metro South Health                                         07 3176 7899