Mild Head Injury Clinic
The mild head injury clinic is a non-medical outpatient clinic for people who have sustained a mild head injury. The clinic offers specialist assessment and advice. Typical referrals are for people who may have attended their GP or the Emergency Department following a head injury.
For everyone who attends the Emergency Department or has a brief inpatient stay following a head injury, the aim is to offer them at least one appointment at the ‘mild head injury clinic’ within a few weeks of their discharge. For many people there can be a range of unsettling symptoms including fatigue, headaches, dizziness, word finding difficulties, irritability and memory problems, which can persist for some time after the injury; there is evidence that an early brief intervention can reduce the severity of such symptoms several months later. The initial appointment includes information provision about the common consequences of head injury and subsequent recovery, and suggestions about reducing their impact. Such suggestions range from fatigue management and advice about returning to work and other activities, to specific strategies relating to concentration and memory difficulties. For many people the duration and impact of the head injury symptoms are exacerbated by understandable anxiety and frustration relating to these unfamiliar symptoms, and addressing such concerns can be an important element of early intervention.
In addition to the mild head injury clinic providing follow-up for patients who attend hospital, it can be a useful first contact for people even years after a head injury, as it can provide a brief assessment and inform subsequent referrals to appropriate brain injury specialists when required.
There is also a clinic run once a month where the physiotherapist and the psychologist are present. Patients are seen by the physiotherapist to address difficulties primarily with balance and dizziness commonly seen post mild head injury.
Referrals come from a range of sources, including the Emergency Departments, GPs, neurology staff, trauma and orthopaedics staff, and self-referral. Clinic appointments are held at the Outpatients Department at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Tuesday afternoons. The Clinic is run by a specialist Clinical Neuropsychologist who is part of the Brain Injury Team based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.
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