Spotlight on rehabilitation

Did you know that around 40,000 children experience a brain injury every year? That’s one every 15 minutes.

These injuries can be caused by an inflammatory disease like encephalitis, or by an accident or fall, as you can see below. Though some children may be affected mildly or moderately, severe brain injury can be life-changing and children need to relearn everyday things, like eating, walking and talking.

Rehabilitation stats

Step 1 – referral

The Children’s Trust is recognised by the NHS, local healthcare trusts and councils as a specialist in rehabilitation for children who have the most complex needs following a brain injury.

When children are ready to leave hospital, they are referred to our national specialist centre, to benefit from our dedicated facilities and support. They come from all over the UK and have severe physical, cognitive and/or communicative disabilities and challenging behaviours . We welcome some children with moderate to severe needs too.

By working with our highly skilled teams, these children and young people have the opportunity to access therapy which enables them to relearn skills they have lost.

Step 2 – assessment and goal setting

We assess each child and talk to them and their family about the goals they want to achieve. You can see some of these in this cog diagram – as well as the physical things you might expect, there are personal ambitions too, which could be as simple as seeing friends or being able to make a cup of tea.




Step 3 – intensive rehabilitation

We build a programme of coordinated support around each child. It involves at least four therapies which could include physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, music therapy and aquatic therapy, plus psychological support alongside education.

Rehabilitation takes place every day as part of a child’s daily routine, so that everything they do is focused on reaching their goals.


Is rehabilitation successful?

Of the children here in 2018-2019

  • 90%

    returned home to live with their families (they often needed to adapt their homes)

  • 30

    children returned to mainstream school

  • 15

    children moved onto special education

What happens in the long run?

We make sure that children and families have support around them when they return home. For 90% of them, we set up a meeting to bring together all the local services who are providing ongoing support. The remaining 10% move on to long-stay and attend our specialist school, or move onto long-stay residential facilities.

To find out more at

Rehabilitation – Q&A

What is rehabilitation?

It aims to give a child their very best chance at making improvements through different therapies or treatments, following a brain injury.

Q Why do you call rehabilitation ‘intensive’?

A It’s not about attending weekly physio sessions, like we may experience following an operation or injury. Our rehabilitation is part of a child’s everyday routine, helping them to retrain paths in their brain, often through small, repetitive steps.

Q How many children receive rehabilitation at Tadworth?

A 96 children received intensive rehabilitation at our national specialist centre last year.

Q How long does rehabilitation usually last?

A 93 nights was the average length of rehabilitation programmes.

Q What’s the most important factor in rehabilitation?

A Children are children, and having fun is the key. When children feel happy they are motivated to work harder (whether they realise it or not!)