Concussion in elite sport is a major issue. There are concerns in regard to its accurate identification, initial on site management and the return to play from the acute injury as well as the possible longer term effects of repeat head impacts.
Governing bodies and medical professionals create very clear guidelines on how concussion should be assessed and managed. These are typically based on the Consensus statements from the Concussion in Sport group.
Despite improvements in defining clinical pathways for management there remains a distinct lack of specialised clinical centres with multidisciplinary teams which can service the very specific needs of elite sport in the UK.
Elite Sport Concussion MDT Clinic at the ISEH
In late 2015 a working group was created to develop a dedicated concussion service for elite sport. This was led by Neurosurgeon Peter Hamlyn and included the medical leads at the FA (Dr Ian Beasley) and RFU (Dr Simon Kemp), neurologists at the National Hospital of Neurology (Dr Richard Sylvester),as well as neuroradiologists and Sports and Exercise physicians from various sports.
This group created a unique multidisciplinary service for the management of concussion in elite athletes. This service is staffed by nationally renowned specialists in concussion management, who understand the demands and regulations of professional sport. They are able to guide the player and referrer through the management and treatment pathways to a safe return to play.
The significant advantages of the new ISEH clinic are that it:
- Uses a single point of access for ease of referral
- Reduces the time taken to access all necessary treatments
- Improves communication between specialists
- Improves opportunities for research and education
- Improves treatment pathways
- Allows better monitoring of outcomes
- Gives sports specific advice
Elite sport pathway
The FA's concussion guidelines
The RFU's guide to concussion