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Improved service for traumatic brain injuries

18 June 2008

ACC improves service for those suffering traumatic brain injuries

People with traumatic brain injuries will now receive improved service, due to a new ‘Centre of Excellence’ being launched in Auckland today.

The Philip Wrightson Centre of Excellence was created to develop, promote and monitor National Standards in Rehabilitation of people who have had a traumatic brain injury.

ACC, which is responsible for the new service model, said that around three people suffer a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury every day in New Zealand. ``Brain injuries are a very real consequence of many accidents,’’ says ACC National Manager for Rehabilitation Service Development, Anne O’Connell. ``If a traumatic brain injury isn’t picked up early, the full benefit of rehabilitation is limited. This new system will be based on internationally supported best practice and a collaboration with the provider sector. The Centre of Excellence can then help providers meet these standards resulting in better outcomes for our clients.’’

ACC’s aim in creating the new Centre of Excellence is to improve outcomes for its clients, and ultimately to increase the likelihood of clients achieving their goals of returning to work and participating in community life. This will be achieved by those with traumatic brain injuries having quick and easy access to appropriate early intervention rehabilitation that is of a consistently high standard.

The Philip Wrightson Centre of Excellence will operate as a not-for-profit, charitable trust. Although ACC is providing the initial funding for the centre, it is expected that the centre will become self-sustaining over time.

Mr Philip Wrightson, the namesake for the Centre, is a highly respected neurosurgeon who is recognised as a pioneer in the treatment of, and research into, traumatic brain injury in New Zealand. Mr Wrightson continues to play a role in the field, and is based in Auckland.


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