The first digital health intervention for families affected by ABI has been launched, with a view to national roll-out in the coming months.
CBIT In Hand has been created to provide immediate, tailored information via a mobile device to families of children and young people who have been affected by concussion and/or acquired brain injury (ABI).
After three years of planning by the Child Brain Injury Trust, the app went live last week when it was launched at their virtual conference, and is being trialed in Alder Hey and Birmingham Children’s Hospital for the next three months.
CBIT in Hand will then be rolled out to 19 hospitals nationally, with more continuing to come on board.
CBIT in Hand, which can be accessed by QR code or downloaded from App stores, is being targeted at A&E departments and major trauma units, to ensure families can find the digital information, resources and support they need instantly during the most difficult early stages of their loved one’s injury.
Statistics show that each year, 500,000 children and young people attend A&E each year with a head injury, for whom the CBIT in Hand app could prove invaluable to give the information they need.
And for the families of the 40,000 children each year who sustain ABI, the app enables them to access information or refer themselves to CBIT for support – a process which previously was usually done via third party referral – and ensures they receive an immediate response from the charity’s team.
CBIT in Hand marks a significant investment for CBIT, with £130,000 already committed – supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and law firm Leigh Day – but a further £400,000 being sought to enable it to continue to scale and support more families nationally.
“Each year, our team supports 1,400 families, which is great, but clearly our resources need to reach further. That was one of the main reasons in creating this app – to reach more families who need us, without diluting the service we provide,” says Lisa Turan, chief executive of the Child Brain Injury Trust.
“By creating CBIT in Hand, we can ensure access is given to personalised resources that are needed without having to wait, and if a family needs to be referred to us, then that process is now much easier and instant. Rather than face the ‘fear factor’ felt by many of having to phone organisations, they can now get in touch with us with a tap of their mobile.
“While there is information out there for families of children with brain injuries, it can be inconsistent. Through creating this instant digital access, we’re taking away some of the burden on the NHS to pass on this information. So if they need advice about aspects of brain injury, on benefits, school support, local services, or how to connect with other families, that can all be accessed via CBIT in Hand.”
Now in pilot, CBIT in Hand has been a huge undertaking for the CBIT team, who have worked closely with families and medical partners along the way.
“We’ve put our heart and soul into creating this, it’s been three years in the planning and we’ve worked alongside Alder Hey and Birmingham Children’s Hospital for over a year to get it right. We’ve done extensive remote testing across the UK with parents of children with ABI, so we are looking forward to rolling it out further after the pilot,” says Lisa.
“The clinicians we’ve worked with have been so helpful, they all carry their phones so will show families our QR code so they can access our resources straight away. There will also be posters up for families to scan the QR code.
“We think this app will be so valuable for many families – for those needing a lighter touch, they may find everything they need there, but for those who need more, they can refer and access our specialist team. We’re so pleased this has been possible – in time, we’d like to build it out further but will need investment to do that. But for now, we’re really looking forward to national roll-out and to extending our support more than ever before.”