Brain injury nurse specialists could save the NHS £3.6m per year

  • Investing in advanced practice nurses (APN) for brain injury recovery could save health service millions by helping younger people who have suffered stroke rehabilitate more effectively
  • RCN Foundation enabled by Emilia Clarke’s brain injury recovery charity SameYou is funding a new programme to educate more APNs across the UK
  • A new report shows training more specialist nurses to help young people who have experienced brain injury could save the NHS millions of pounds.

With brain injury affecting more than two million people in the UK, a new report shows training more specialist nurses to help young people who have experienced brain injury could result in significant cost savings for the NHS. One in three people will have an acquired brain injury at some point in their life, which is almost double the number of people that will develop dementia.[1]

Research from the London School of Economics and Political Science commissioned by the charity the RCN Foundation reveals that the costs of educating Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) providing specialist care to young people who have suffered stroke or an acute brain injury (ABI) are dwarfed by the overwhelming benefits to health and care services and patients.

The report, “Exploring the economic case for investing in advanced practice nurse training” says that if there were more neuro rehabilitation APNs, people who have suffered a brain injury could receive more tailored, effective rehabilitation which would remove the need for years of costly and limiting inpatient care or care within communities.

It’s predicted that the NHS could save up to £3.6 million annually in the on-going cost of care. It could also save younger people who have had a stroke or other brain injury over £500 a week in care costs, and about £650,000 over their lifetime.

The report shows that APNs could prove the difference between young people leading a full, independent life, or a more dependent life.

APNs are nursing’s highly trained professionals and some undertake a three and a half year Masters’ Degree in their chosen clinical field, followed by further on the job training. Whilst it costs £16,000 on average to train an APN, it still represents just 2% of the savings that the NHS would gain from this investment.

The research comes as the Foundation, enabled by Emilia Clarke’s brain injury recovery charity SameYou, launches a funded programme to educate more APNs specialising in neuro-rehabilitation. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and The University of Nottingham will jointly deliver the training in a pilot scheme that begins in September, which coincides with the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

Deepa Korea, RCN Foundation Director, said:

“It is clear from this new research that investing in advanced practice education for nurses in neuro-rehabilitation can lead to significant savings for the NHS. Therefore developing a programme such as this not only has the potential to make savings to the public purse, but also provides an opportunity to develop a new generation of nurse leaders.

“We are delighted to be working with SameYou to develop this first of its kind education programme. We know the achievements of this specialist education programme will make a tangible difference to the care patients receive when recovering from an acute brain injury or stroke”.


Notes to Editors

  1. For images, interviews and further information, please contact the RCN Foundation on 020 7647 3645 or rcnfoundation@rcn.org.uk

  2. The RCN Foundation is a charity and grant-maker that is committed to supporting and strengthening nursing to improve the health and wellbeing of the public. More information about the charity is available on their website: www.rcnfoundation.org.uk

  3. SameYou is a brain injury recovery charity founded by Emilia Clarke in March 2019. Its aim include supporting leading neurorehabilitation initiatives,evidencing of the benefits of increased neurorehabilitation, and funding new clinical research. More information can be found on their website: www.sameyou.org

Further information

  1. The report undertaken by the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at the London School of Economics, “Exploring the economic case for investing in advanced practice nurse training: an innovative nursing role to support the delivery of specialist coordinated neuro-rehabilitation services for young adults following a stroke” can be read here




[1] Seshadri Et al 2017; Frost et al 2013