Editor's comment

Welcome to the latest edition of NR Times - your digital, monthly magazine covering neuro-rehab from every angle.

NR Times has always strived to be global in outlook from our UK base – with readers from 96 countries at the last monthly count. But political events at home have of course caught our attention.

With a new government in place after 14 years, what does this mean for neuro-rehab and its many challenges?

Political analysts tell us that the early days of office are when the most radical moves are made, with the mandate at its freshest.

As a relatively small and underfunded field fighting for attention from policy makers versus other healthcare challenges, neuro-rehab is perhaps unlikely to grab headlines in these formative days of the new UK government.

But in the longer term, armed with an ABI strategy which concisely and evocatively makes clear the challenges facing neuro-rehab, will the field receive more attention from Whitehall?

Certainly there is a long list of demands for any MP willing to listen and respond to brain and spinal professionals – as Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhondda and Ogmore and now the minister of state in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has long done.

We asked some prominent neuro-rehab organisations what they would like to see from the new government. Addressing lack of access to services for spinal cord injury survivors, more funding for social care and getting more OTs into community settings were among the points made. See more in our news section here.

Our cover story this edition, meanwhile, lays bare one of the overriding challenges facing neuro-rehab in the UK – and indeed everywhere.

With their ability to reach into heart of communities where health services perhaps can’t, and a relentless drive that often comes from passionate founders with personal experience of brain or spinal conditions, charities are a vital part of neuro-rehab. But many are dangerously close to the financial edge. Read Natalie Mackenzie’s piece on the issue and what the future holds.

This month’s insight features include an interview with Dr Brian Dickie MBE, director of research and development at the MND Association. He tells us about his radical plan to improve access to MND clinical trials in the search for a cure.

We also speak to the creators of a new brainwave analysis solution aiming to transform the way we measure the effects of different medicines on the brain. Other insights include those on bedside FEES Assessments, patient journeys and the interplay between brain injury and mental health.  

Finally, we wanted to share a short update form NR Times. If you’ve been with us a while, you may remember our days as a quarterly print magazine - and are hopefully aware that in the years since COVID we've shifted entirely online, with a digital magazine, daily news, podcasts and webinars.

However this November we're launching an annual printed yearbook, which will take stock of developments, concerns and opportunities in the NR field every year.

We're doing it 100% sustainably; and its main motivation is because so many rehab professionals have told us that they miss the ability to share NR ideas and insights with staff and clients face-to-face, which the magazine provided.

The yearbook will complement our daily news site and now-monthly digital magazine.

Read more details about this and the memberships that fund our work to provide the NR field with quality journalism and a louder voice among other healthcare disciplines, here.

Until next time, we hope you enjoy our latest edition. And don’t forget to send your story or opinion suggestions to editor@aspectpublishing.co.uk.

Andrew Mernin, editorial director, NR Times


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