MSP in plea to save brain injuries service

A CITY MSP is demanding a joined-up ­approach to save a vital service for people with brain injuries.

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MSP Bob Doris has criticised the council's decision to withdraw funding for the Momentum Skills and Pathways programmes and said it is "unacceptable" that "there has been no forward planning".

The lifeline schemes have helped hundreds of people return to normal after suffering severe brain trauma or disease over the last decade.

Two months after the Evening Times first reported lifeline services were to be axed, the Glasgow politician put forward a motion in parliament calling for funding to be reinstated.

The motion, supported by 17 other MSPs, stated: "The service provides vital support to people across the city who have acquired a brain injury as a result of strokes, falls, accidents and inherited conditions."

It stated the alternative provided by the council, a programme to help people with mental health problems, "is not particularly appropriate for people with a brain injury".

During an emotional meeting yesterday, seven service users and staff met with Mr Doris to discuss their experiences and ­explain the need for the ­facility to remain.

The MSP now wants to help arrange a meeting ­between council bosses and NHS executives in a bid to save the service from complete closure.

Mr Doris said: "What is happening here is the council and NHS' responsibility.

"There is also an unmet need for people, who are unable to come here because they're postcodes are not within the Glasgow area.

"In the long term this will save the council, NHS and the DWP money as people coming are more likely to need social care if this doesn't exist."

Frank Beattie, 50, a former construction worker, suffered a stroke before being referred to the programme.

He said: "I have come on 90% in the weeks I have come here. When I first started I wouldn't talk to anyone, I needed help with my stammer and I had no confidence but I'm completely different now."

The company running Momentum has now given emergency funding to allow a reduced service to operate for the next six months, which will allow the current service users to complete their programme.

After December the non-profit organisation's funding will dry up and the ­service will disappear completely unless funding is secured from elsewhere.

A council spokesman said: "The outcomes achieved by the programme for users were not satisfactory and services can be delivered more effectively elsewhere."

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