Opportunities for Collaborations and New Joint Initiatives: Linking Up Expertise and Services for Children with ABI on The Island of Ireland



Sarah O'Doherty


Sarah O'Doherty



The island of Ireland has a total population of just 6.5 million citizens. Approximately 4.7 million people live in southern Ireland, an independent republic, while 1.85 million live in Northern Ireland (NI), which forms part of the United Kingdom.

Two separate models of service-delivery for children with ABI have developed and exist independently of each other in the two jurisdictions and there has been little interface or collaboration between them until now. Southern Ireland has a dedicated post-acute rehabilitation service but has no ABI-specific community-based services for children. Conversely, NI has no post-acute rehabilitation facility but has a well-established regional outreach service.

The plan for this symposium, which is hosted jointly by the inter-disciplinary teams from the National Rehabilitation Hospital Dublin and the Children’s Acquired Brain Injury Consultation Service (based at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children), is to first describe our two systems and outline what we can learn from each other in terms of service-provision and follow-up care. To highlight the current differences between our services we will map the journey of individual children with comparable injury histories as they travel through our respective systems and describe the educational, social, emotional, behavioural, cognitive and other therapeutic input they receive. The ultimate goal of this initiative, however, is to showcase our plans for innovative joint therapeutic initiatives which will combine our inter-disciplinary expertise and services to better serve children with ABI on the small island of Ireland.



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