The Brain Injury Social Work Group (BISWG) was established in the early 1980s by a small group social workers who felt that peer group support as well as specialist educational and networking opportunities were needed. The number of people with acquired brain injury who had very complex needs was increasing as was expectations of the quality and range of services available to them. Families also needed support.
Alongside these developments, and driven by the lack of suitable service provision, specialist brain injury social work posts emerged. They were able to work within multi-disciplinary teams and co-ordinate the needs of people with brain injury.
Initially BISWG met informally to discuss cases with an invited clinical speaker. The focus was – and remains – on improving practice and service development. As the meetings became larger the group very quickly gained a reputation for producing affordable and high quality conferences and workshops featuring the latest information and practice guidelines delivered by leaders in the field from the UK and overseas.
BISWG was registered as a charity on 11th May 2010. Its objects are:
To advance the education of the public in particular people with a brain injury, their families and carers and professionals working within the field of brain injury, by the provision of seminars, conferences and forums and the provision of grants to attend educational courses on the subject of brain injury and by any other means as the trustees may determine.
Board of Management - officers
Jackie Burt - Chair
Jackie qualified as a Social Worker in 1985 and began her career with the Mental Health team in Moorhaven Hospital near Plymouth. She later joined the Neurology Team at Derriford Hospital where a strong multi disciplinary approach was important when working with people diagnosed with neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease , Brain Tumours, Parkinson’s Disease , Huntington’s Disease, Epilepsy and Acquired Brain Injury of all kinds.
Over the years Jackie has worked extensively with OT’s Physios, Speech and Language Therapists, Psychologists, Doctors and Commissioners. She has extensive experience of Local Authority Social Work in a Neuro Rehabilitation setting, involving arranging complex discharge packages for patients who have experienced life changing events and supporting families.
Having developed a special interest in Acquired Brain Injury Jackie joined the BISWG committee in 2007 and when BISWG gained charity status in 2009 she became a Trustee.
Jackie set up and runs a BISWG South West Support Group for professionals working in the field .She now works as a Case Manager in the South West and remains committed to raising the profile of the needs and concerns of those living with Brain Injury.
Robert heads up the Clinical Negligence, Personal Injury and Mental Capacity Team at Foot Anstey LLP.
He is a specialist in clinical negligence litigation, representing patients injured as a result of medical accidents and is accredited with the Law Society and APIL.
Robert’s particular interest is in birth injury claims and those with complex quantum issues.
He manages a team of 42 fee earners, having grown the team considerably over the past 3 years. Foot Anstey now have the largest claimant practice in the South West. In addition to being Trustee of BISWG, Robert is also a Trustee of Plymouth Headway and Heartswell.
Stuart Brazington is one of the key partners at Withy King LLP’s Personal Injury team. He specialises in claims for complex brain and catastrophic injuries and leads the firm’s Brain Injury Team which helps clients who have been catastrophically injured and have multi-million pound claims.
Stuart qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and has been a partner at Withy King LLP since 2007. He has specialised in brain and
catastrophic injury from the start of his career and also has a special interest in paediatric acquired brain injury work. Throughout his career, Stuart has obtained over £40m in compensation awards for his clients.
Dr Andy Mantel is a social work academic at London South Bank University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate students in health and social care, but primarily psychiatric nurses. He qualified from Edinburgh University in 1991 and has worked in a range of social work settings, specialising in hospital social work. His particular interests are in adult social care; caring, safeguarding, mental capacity, mental health and neuro-disability.
He has contributed to a number of publications and presented at national and international conferences. As well as being a trustee for BISWG, he is a committee member for INSWABI.
Erika is a qualified Social Worker registered with the General Social Care Council. She has 10 years post qualifying experience in both Australia and the UK, gained within varied roles, including children and adults, with an emphasis on risk assessments, court work and crisis intervention. Erika is a qualified project manager with experience implementing social policy at a central government level as well as quality assurance and review roles in Australia and the UK.
Erika graduated in 1995 and has extensive experience safeguarding and assessing risk for children (aged 0 – 18 years) and adult clients, with acquired brain injury, physical disability, learning difficulties and various other medical conditions. Erika has experience working in multi-disciplinary teams using a solution focused approach to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients whether intervention is statutory or non-statutory.
Erika is a member of the British Society of Brain Injury Case Managers (BABICM) and the Brain Injury Social Work Group (BISWG).
Dr Mark Holloway BA (Hons) DipSW MA DSW is a UK qualified and HCPC registered social worker with over 25 years experience of working with people with an acquired brain injury. He is a brain injury case manager, expert witness and post-doctoral researcher. His research interests include the neuro-functional approach to rehabilitation and support, family response to and experience of brain injury, the use of motivational interviewing and the impact of executive impairment and reduced insight upon functioning.
He has provided evidence for the UK House of Commons and House of Lords regarding the impact of brain injury. He is an advanced member of the British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers, is a National Institute of Health Research School for Social Care Research Fellow and a member of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines writing committee in relation to supported decision making.
Akudo Amadiegwu is a registered social worker having graduated from the University of Kent with an MA Social Work (Distinction). She also holds an MA (Early Years) from Canterbury Christ Church University as part of the New Leaders in Early Years programme where she also achieved the Early Years Professional Status. She joined BISWG and BABICM as a student. Her research interest is Brain Injury.
David qualified in Social Work in 2014. Before joining Surrey County Council as a Registered Social Worker, he worked in residential management. He was CQC Registered Manager at an adults’ service specialising in Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and substance misuse and was then House Manager at a specialist residential school for children and young people with complex neuro-disabilities and ABI.
David joined BISWG when he was a Student at London South Bank University and is a Trustee.
Patrick began his social work career working for a local authority in the North-East of England and has worked as a brain injury case manager for CCMS Ltd since 2016. He specialises in supporting individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury, and he is the Safeguarding Lead for the organization.
Patrick is passionate about acquired brain injury (ABI) and social work education. His work involves supporting individuals with an ABI and their families through the rehabilitation process, meeting their needs, promoting access to services, and maximising their quality of life.
Patrick is a visiting lecturer in Social Work at Teesside University, working with both undergraduate and postgraduate students, raising the profile of acquired brain injury and associated issues. He is registered with Social Work England and is a member of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), the British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers (BABICM), the International Social Work Group for Acquired Brain Injury (INSWABI) and is a Trustee of Headway Teesside. He joined the board of Trustees of BISWG in 2021.