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Number of HATS nurses to double thanks to Big Lottery grant Main Image

Number of HATS nurses to double thanks to Big Lottery grant

Fri 25 Oct 2019

Headway’s Acute Trauma Support (HATS) project will soon be doubling in size, thanks to a significant grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

HATS nurses provide emotional and practical support, information and advice to family members and carers of people in the early stages following an acquired brain injury, especially those in critical care or high dependency units.

In 2015, more than 1,400 individuals and families were supported by the HATS project, providing information and emotional support as well as signposting and accompanying families to medical team meetings about their loved ones.

Brian Clingan, Director of Services at Headway UK, said: "We are delighted that the Big Lottery has recognised the importance of the HATS scheme and the lifeline it offers families in urgent need of support following a brain injury.

"Quite often families find themselves bewildered, isolated and surrounded by medical jargon in the acute stages of brain injury, with no understanding or guidance on how to access appropriate practical and emotional support.

"By doubling the number of HATS nurses in hospitals and trauma centres across the country, our aim is to ensure that more families have access to someone who can explain what is happening and guide them through such a confusing and unimaginably difficult time.

“We are very grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for its generous support.”

What is the role of a HATS nurse?

Headway Acute Trauma Support (HATS) nurses provide emotional and practical support, information and advice to family members and carers of people in the early stages following an acquired brain injury, especially those in critical care or high dependency units.

Key responsibilities may include:

Click here to find out more

Personal stories

Service user Joanne Atkinson (right) opens Headway's Winsford shop with manager Tina Cheswick

Service user Joanne Atkinson said: "When I first sustained my brain injury, I withdrew into myself and felt like I was going crazy. HATS nurse Alex Power was superb in making me feel normal and she helped me realise that I was not alone. I would have been totally lost without her continued support and, even years later, I find it reassuring to keep her number in my phone."

Luke Flavell

"Sue Best was phenomenal," said Mother Jackie Flavell. "We were told three times that my son Luke may not survive even 48 hours and we had so many questions that weren't being answered. Sue became our vital lifeline and guiding hand throughout the whole process.”

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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