Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre

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Level 2 neuro-rehabilitation service now open

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Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre

Frenchay Park Road,
Bristol BS16 1UU

Tel: 0117 956 2697

Fax: 0117 956 9941

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Some bed availability

Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre

Frenchay, known locally as BIRU, specialises in the treatment of patients, from 16 years and upwards, who have severe physical and/ or cognitive problems resulting from a brain injury.  We work together with North Bristol NHS Trust, the regional major trauma and neurosurgical centre for the South West Region.

Most of our patients come to Frenchay BIRU because of a traumatic brain injury, for example, following a road traffic accident.  Other patients have acquired a brain injury through illness such as a brain tumour or infection.  They usually arrive here after a stay in an acute hospital once their condition has stabilised.

We’re extremely proud of our success and Frenchay has been officially recognised as one of the best performing brain injury rehabilitation centres in the country.  Our Patient Outcome Report shows just how well patients do with us: Patient Outcomes Frenchay Patient Outcomes Report

There are two buildings on our Frenchay site: Frenchay BIRU South and Frenchay BIRU North.

We’ve assembled a medical team with an outstanding depth of expertise who work across both buildings.
The centre is led by a consultant neuropsychiatrist who is supported by two consultants in rehabilitation medicine and another consultant neuropsychiatrist.
They work with a team of psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses and support workers with decades of experience in neuro-rehabilitation.
The team members work hand-in-hand, bringing their expertise together to focus on achievable goals for the patient.



Getting here

  • We’re located in the grounds of the former Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, The best entrance to use is on Begbrook Park.

  • By road, we're just off the M32 close to both the M5 and M4 motorways.

  • Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads railway stations are both about a 10-minute drive away

  • Bristol Airport is 12 miles away

  • On site parking

What's here

  • 52 bedrooms, all en-suite and two Independent living flats

  • Eight-bed high dependency unit

  • Two gyms, two accessible therapy kitchens, hydrotherapy pool

  • A pretty landscaped garden with special outdoor physiotherapy area

While you're here

  • Access to facilities in neuroscience directorate at North Bristol NHS Trust, for example, MRI and CT scans

  • Access to other external specialist services, for example, seating, video fluoroscopy, assistive technology

  • Two Minibuses and a car for outings and appointments

Care at Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre

Specialist Rehabilitation

This is sometimes referred to as "level 1" or "regional care" and this is a service for people with the most severe brain injuries. It is for patients, who need a short but intensive period of rehabilitation, which may involve two to three hours of therapy, five days a week.

Patients arriving at Frenchay BIRU are often in the very early stages of recovery from a brain injury.

When they get here, patients may have great trouble moving or understanding what is happening to them. Sometimes a brain injury causes people to develop a psychiatric disorder or to display confused or aggressive behaviour.
We realise that progress can be difficult at first. Brain injuries often cause people to get tired very quickly, which means we may have to take thing slowly to begin with.
Recovery is a step-by-step process. But we work with the brain’s natural ability to adapt and change with time.
Our specialist team works with one aim in mind: to return our patients to the best life possible.

Slow-Stream Rehabilitation

This is also known as "Level 2" rehabilitation and is suitable for patients who have either completed a period of Level 1 rehabilitation and have ongoing active therapy needs, or who have been assessed on referral to BIRU as having less complex rehabilitation and care requirements. In either situation, patients have the potential to improve further to either enable a return home or to a community setting with reduced future care needs.

Who we treat

The conditions we treat include: traumatic injury (e.g. a road accident), anoxic brain injury, subarachnoid haemorrhage, infection such as meningitis or encephalitis or complex stroke or brain tumour.

Some patients at Frenchay BIRU have been detained under the Mental Health Act or are here under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) order.

We accept patients with tracheostomies, nasogastric tubes and PEGs.

We also accept patients who appear not to be responding to the outside world (sometimes described as being in a “low state of arousal” or in a “vegetative state”). We assess patients using the “SMART” tool – the Sensory Modality Assessment Rehabilitation Technique.

What people say about us

Reviews of our approach and how we've helped our patients

I just wanted to say thank you for providing teaching and opportunities for skills development and practice for our LD nurse students.  All four of your staff members were fantastic... Read more >

Senior Lecturer

Just a little note to say thank you for the amazing care you have given our relative throughout her time with you.  You really are a wonderful team and we couldn't have asked for better. ... Read more >


To each and every one of you that has contributed to my progress to this day when I'm going home. Thanks for everything.


Thank you so much for the amazing care that my mum received, and than you to the whole team as well.  She made such incredible progress at BIRU and exceeded all expectations and it's... Read more >


Firstly I would like to thank team BIRU for making me feel welcome during my last placement. A special thank you to my mentors Susie and Jason who have been there for me every step... Read more >

Student on placement

I would like to explicitly thank you and all your team for your support in helping the Bristol system cope with the fallout from a major incident. I understand that some of your... Read more >


I just wanted to say I think you are all superstars for all your work this last weekend – thanks to all the team.

Case Manager

I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the unit and the professional way in which patients are admitted and cared for.  It is a complete eye opener for me.  I was highly impressed... Read more >

Family member

To all the staff, just a note to say how much I appreciate all the care, compassion and dedication you have given our son while he has been in hospital.  Without all your help he would... Read more >

Family member

I just wanted to express my thanks and appreciation for the wonderful treatment, care and love you have showed my sister.  You all rock!!


A massive thank you for your care and help during the past few months.  You all do a good job so keep up the good work!  Thank you especially to my Rehabilitation Assistants, you... Read more >

Former patient

I cannot tell you how much I shall miss BIRU. The support has been fantastic and I cannot thank you enough!


My husband has been treated with extreme kindness and the expertise of the therapists is second to none. I have been impressed with how caring everyone has been and how enthusiastic.

Family member

To say a really huge thank you for your part in helping him on his long road to recovery.  You have been amazing and inspiring and he truly wouldn't be where he is today without all... Read more >


Lovely people that work here! It's a nice safety bubble until I go home. The staff have all been brilliant, friendly and supportive. I have always felt safe here, critical when one... Read more >


Advice and Support

Individual independence

There are plenty of opportunities to bring your own personal touches to day to day life here at Frenchay. We encourage our patients to be as independent as possible. We like it when families are actively involved in a loved one’s care, helping us to set the right goals for a patient each step of the way.

The Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre team

We’re very proud of the team at Frenchay. The medical team is led by consultant psychiatrist Dr John Holloway and Dr Angus Graham, consultant in rehabilitation medicine.

Who we work with

We work in partnership with North Bristol Trust but also have affiliations with INPA, Headway and University of West of England.