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Resources from BISWG

Educating & providing resources to build back lives

Find helpful resources related to the support provided by BISWG

While life after brain injury includes challenges, there can still be life. Rehabilitation should include methods and resources to overcome the emotional and frustrating experiences patients and families may face.

BISWG is committed to sharing information with patients, family members, professionals and the public about brain injury; to educate and provide resources to build back lives.

If you have research or other information that you would like to share through BISWG, please email or call 07501 483989.

Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) sets out important legal principles concerning individuals who lack mental capacity. The act outlines how help can be given so individuals can make decisions for themselves, as well as setting out rules for those who make decisions on someone else’s behalf.

Review the range of resources we have provided on the Mental Capacity Act.

Mental Capacity Assessment Template

Dr Melanie George has produced a template which serves as a guide for those carrying out Mental Capacity Act (2005) assessments with people who have a brain injury (including stroke) or other neurological condition. The template has been developed in accordance with NICE guidance on decision making and mental capacity (2018).

Template for MCA 20 April 19

Frontal Lobe Paradox

You may also like to read the following articles written by Dr George and Dr Gilbert which help to explain the complex issues surrounding mental capacity for people with acquired brain injuries.

Frontal lobe paradox: where people have brain damage, but don’t know it

Mental Capacity Act 2005 assessments

Dr Andy Mantell is a trustee of BISWG and has written a guide for Community Care on this subject. You can read a shortened version of the guide via this link – which also leads to the full guide available for Community Care Subscribers.

The International Social Work Group for Acquired Brain Injury (INSWABI)

Advancing the Social Work contribution to the field of Acquired Brain Injury

A Social Work community of more than 160 members from 11 countries who have a special interest in Acquired Brian Injury (ABI), INSWABI share information such as resources, research, queries, conferences.

Resources from BISWG events

Following BISWG events, we like to share resources made available on the day, for future download.

Please, explore our resources below.

A Changing Legal Landscape: the view from ABI

The Welfare Reform Act and implications for people with brain injury 
Neil Coyle, Disability Rights UK

Growing into a Brain Injury: Key problems faced by children and adolescents while in education
Beth Wicks, Education Consultant

Long Term Prospects after Brain Injury
Dr Simon Fleminger, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Glenside Hospital Emeritus Consultant, SLAM Visiting Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry

Changes in the Legal Market, funding legal aid and the impact of the Legal Services Act on ABI
Des Hudson, Chief Executive, The Law Society

The Benefits Framework and Eligibility
Jamie Popplewell, The Nestor Partnership​

The Workings of the Court of Protection Proceedings – a view from all parties
Emma Stacey, Foot Anstey

Practice Guidance for Social Workers working with people with an acquired brain injury

The Brain Injury Social Work Group (BISWG) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) have developed a piece of practice guidance to assist social workers who may be working with people with an ABI where this is not a presenting problem.

Please, explore our resources below.

ABI Practice Guidance BISWIG

The guidance aims to increase awareness among social workers of the condition and to provide advice about what an acquired brain injury is and how social work intervention can help. It also links to the appropriate level of knowledge and skills as identified in the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and the Knowledge and Skills Statement for adults and child and family social work.

Please click to view the publication. If you would like to order a hard copy please email

British Association of Social Work (BASW)

In March 2019 the British Association of Social Work (BASW) worked with BISWG Trustees, Drs Andy Mantell and Mark Holloway to broadcast a webinar called Understanding People Affected by Brain Injury: Practice Guidance for Social Workers.

We feel that this training and guidance is essential for all social workers given that acquired brain injury is often unidentified yet responsible for long term issues and cognitive difficulties.

The format of the webinar was a 40 minute presentation followed by 40 minutes of questions. The webinar was attended by 131 people and a further 265 have viewed the recorded webinar on YouTube since the event.

The Brain Injury Needs Indicator (BINI)

The BINI was developed at the request of the Department of Health after the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) and local authorities raised concern that people with brain injury can lack insight into their deficits.

It is a free, simple tool you can use alongside your standard assessment to compare information from the person, their support network and health/care professional.

The BINI is referenced in the statutory guidance for the Care Act 2014. It uses brain injury history, level of recovery and level of insight to establish level of risk. There are currently 400+ registered users, mostly LA and NHS.

The BINI has three sections:

  • Section 1: Gathers information about the brain injury history – person’s problems will tend to be based on the nature of the brain injury and the level of recovery
  • Section 2: Asks the person and relatives what problems the person currently has in everyday life (pre-injury/currently)
  • Section 3: Compares perceptions from person and support network and uses results from sections 1 and 2 to estimate the level of risk: High, Medium or Low

To obtain further information or a copy of the BINI please contact or visit the website

Brain Injury and Homelessness: Good practice guidance for frontline services

A new report has been produced for frontline staff with information to support people experiencing homelessness who are known or are suspected to have experienced brain injury.

There is information about what brain injury is, how it is caused and why people who experience homelessness may be at risk. Most importantly there is information on how to support people with, or suspected to have, brain injury and how to access specialist services.

If you are in a rush and need to know what to do right now, there is also a quick checklist.

Download a copy of the guide now.

Understanding Acquired Brain Injury: Additional resources for seminar and webinar delegates

Below are links to articles and documents that Headway groups may find helpful when seeking funding for services or individuals.

A lot of this will be known to you already but I thought it worthwhile pulling it all together in one place. Some are academic articles some are more accessible reports etc.

There is also links to guidance documents and to legal factsheets. We hope that you find this useful and ask that you do not hesitate to share this document if you think somebody could benefit from the information within.

View the resources below.

Functional skills

The interrelationship of functional skills in individuals living in the community, following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.

This is an academic article that identifies that poor levels of insight are associated with individuals being less likely to achieve more complex tasks that require higher levels of planning and responding to feedback.

Find out more here.

Community case management

Factors influencing community case management and care hours for clients with traumatic brain injury living in the UK

This is an academic article that identifies that issues such as reduced insight and poorer executive skills (planning, decision making etc) are associated with higher use of case management services. For those without access to case management this would indicate that family members or headway services are more likely to spend more time trying to “manage” individuals lives/behaviour if they lack insight/have executive problems

Find out more here.

Long term care needs

Long term care needs following Acquired Brain Injury: Final report

This is a report upon views of services for people with a brain injury, highlighting positive and not so positive experiences.

Find out more

Making the Abstract Real

Making the Abstract Real: Acquired Brain Injury and Mental Capacity. A report making recommendations following the House of Lords Select Committee review of the Mental Capacity Act

This report was in response to the House of Lords report on the Mental Capacity Act, identifying significant difficulties for people with a acquired brain injury with assessment of capacity when difficulties were often missed.

Find out more

Acquired Brain Injury and Neurorehabilitation

Time For Change: All-Party Parliamentary Group On Acquired Brain Injury Report

Recent report to parliament regarding the state of neuro-rehabilitation and the need to look at this, at education, at welfare benefits and sports injuries.

Find out more

Mental Capacity Act (2005) assessments

Mental Capacity Act (2005) assessments: why everyone needs to know about the frontal lobe paradox

This article looks at difficulties that families and people affected by ABI have when mental capacity is affected. It has been recognised that much of ABI is hidden and assessments need to take account of this or else will be inaccurate.

Find out more

Decision Making and Mental Capacity

These NICE guidelines are important as they identify that people with an ABI can be mis-assessed if the assessor just listens to what is said and not what is done by the person with a brain injury. They also note that the assessing person needs knowledge of the condition that they are assessing.

You can therefore insist that brain injury specialists inform the assessment process.

Find out more

Care Act Statutory Guidance

This is an important document if you, your client or your family member is being assessed under the Care Act.

Paragraph 6.3 of the Care Act Statutory Guidance specifically identifies that those undertaking Care Act assessments must have the “right skills and knowledge” to perform this role and paragraph 6.4 notes that assessment may require the input of a number of professionals (specialists in brain injury for example.)

Paragraph 6.28 of the guidance places a duty on Local Authorities to ensure that those undertaking Care Act assessments “have the skills, knowledge and competence to carry out the assessment in question”

Paragraph 6.43 identifies that assessments can be informed by tools such as the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust’s assessment tool, the BINI

You can therefore insist that brain injury specialists inform the assessment process.

Find out more

National Framework

National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care guidance.

If you, your client or your relative is being assessed for “continuing care funding” paragraph 126 states:
“It is important that those contributing to this process have the relevant skills and knowledge. It is best practice that where the individual concerned has, for example a learning disability, or a brain injury, someone with specialist knowledge of this client group is involved in the assessment process”

You can therefore insist that brain injury specialists inform the assessment process.

Find out more

Legal help

Despite you, your client or your relative having rights enshrined in law, sometimes these do not seem to be taken account of and the help of a public lawyer is called for. Legal Aid can be available for this and often one well-worded letter from a legal expert can work wonders.

There are a number of very reputable firms who undertake this work. The link below is to one, it is not a recommendation, there are other firms too, however this organisation has provided template letters and factsheets that you may find helpful. This is free-of charge.

Find out more

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The Brain Injury Social Work Group


Brain Injury Social Work Group Ltd  |  Registered Charity Number 1135891 Registered in England and Wales as a company Number 7095017 Registered office: DB Accountants, The Gables, Yonder Meadow, Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, TQ9 6QE.