The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new draft guideline, focused on rehabilitation after traumatic injury.

The draft recommendations advise that the rehabilitation needs of an injured person should be assessed and discussed with the person and their family at an early stage.

The injured person should also be encouraged to consider rehabilitation goals which can be used to inform medical or surgical treatment options, with short-term and long-term goals to be agreed between the injured person, their family or carers and healthcare professionals.

According to NICE, a traumatic injury includes any injury that requires admission to hospital at the time of injury. This could include musculoskeletal injuries, nerve injuries, soft tissue damage and limb loss. In England, 45,000 people are affected by very sever or major trauma each year.

As well as recommending that an injured person’s goals should be review regularly and should be flexible, the guideline recommends that healthcare professionals should assess te impact of a traumatic injury using a person-centred and individualised approach.

Also included in the guideline is how to develop a rehabilitation plan and how to monitor progress against the plan.

“Improved survival rates following major trauma has led to an increased need for rehabilitation services. Traumatic injury can cause huge disruption to people’s lives, but effective rehabilitation can really help them to get back to the best possible level of function and independence,” said Paul Chrisp, director of NICE’s centre for guidelines.

“Whatever the injured person’s goals, if that means being able to go back to work or play their favourite sport again, or to be able to share a meal with their family, it’s important that the right support is in place to allow them to achieve these aims,” he added.