What is the Head Injury Therapy Unit?
The Head Injury Therapy Unit (HITU) is a rehabilitation service for people who have had a traumatic brain injury. We are based at the Frenchay Beckspool Building in Bristol.
We see clients at our base in Frenchay, at home, at work, or in community facilities. Where we see you will depend on your own needs and abilities.
Brain injury can result in physical, thinking, emotional, and communication difficulties. Some of these difficulties may not always be obvious but can affect a person’s ability to return to their work, social and family life, and reduce participation in their community.
The aim of rehabilitation is to help you lead a life that is as full and independent as possible.
We see people who have recently been discharged from hospital, as well as people who may have had their brain injury many years ago but are in need of further support from a specialist team.
The HITU offers: brain injury education; individual and group sessions; specialist brain injury assessment and rehabilitation and support and advice to family, friends, and carers.
Who will I see and how often?
You will be given a timetable each month with your appointments for that month. We will try as best we can to consider days and times that work best for you. The number of appointments you have and who you see will be guided by your rehabilitation needs and goals.
The length of time we see you will be guided by your own personal rehabilitation goals.
You will meet regularly with your keyworker to review progress. This is a member of the therapy team who will be your ‘go to’ person for any questions or concerns you have.
Depending on your needs and goals for rehabilitation you may see all, or only some of the therapists:
- Physiotherapy supports with physical difficulties and mobility.
- Support workers carry out rehabilitation programmes along with therapists.
- Speech and Language Therapy support with communication and swallowing difficulties.
- Occupational therapy support with everyday activities, domestic skills, community skills, and employment.
- Assistant psychologists carry out assessments and support the psychologist.
- Neuropsychology/Psychology support with emotional, thinking, and behavioural difficulties.
What happens now?
You have been invited in for an initial appointment at the unit.
This is so we can get to know you and understand the difficulties that you are having. This will help us identify whether we are the correct service for you.
If we are the right service for you, we will:
- Identify the members of the team that you need to see.
- Arrange assessment sessions with the therapists.
- Write a report based on the assessment period.
- Meet with you and your significant others to discuss the outcome of the assessments and make a plan for rehabilitation.
- Help you set and work towards your goals.
What are goals?
Goals are set in the discussion with yourself and the team.
They are central to the rehabilitation process.
Goals will be reviewed at 10 week intervals.
Goals are set around things that are important to you.
- Improving your ability to concentrate or remember things.
- Increasing abilities and/or independence around the home.
- Increasing knowledge about your brain injury.
- Returning to work or leisure/social activities.
- Finding ways to manage communication and swallowing difficulties.
- Supporting emotional adjustment after brain injury.
- Improving your mobility or physical fitness.
What we need from you
- Motivation and willingness to participate in sessions.
- To practice and apply what you have done in sessions between our visits.
- To let us know as far in advance as possible if you are unable to attend sessions.
Limited or non-attendance to sessions will lead to a client being discharged from the service.
Your first appointment
Please complete the information and consent forms we have sent you with your appointment letter and bring them with you.
If you have problems completing the forms, we can do it with you during your appointment.
Please bring a family member, carer, or friend to support you.
Please bring your reading glasses and/or hearing aid if you use them.
People who have attended the service have said:
“I am really grateful for all the support I’ve had from HITU. The holistic approach to recovery and input from every angle is a very large part of me being able to be the person I am again. Thank you so much!”
“I found the care and support offered by HITU incredibly valuable to my recovery.”
“The groups and individual sessions have been very informative and have enabled me to learn and practice new coping strategies and I will use these in the future.”
“I have been encouraged and practically helped by a very professional team at HITU.”
“All of you have been absolutely incredible.”
How to find us at the HITU
By car – The postcode for HITU does not always come up with the correct location. If you enter Frenchay Village Museum on your navigation it will take you to our car park.
By bus – there are regular buses to Frenchay from all around Bristol. You can use the First Bus Journey Planner to help you a route.
By train – Bristol Parkway is the closest train station to HITU. Buses run from there regularly and taxis are available at the
Press the buzzer on the outside of the building to let us know you have arrived.
For more information about how to find the HITU please visit:
How to contact us
Head Injury Therapy Unit (HITU)
Frenchay Beckspool Building
Frenchay Park Road
0117 414 3280
Mon - Fri, 8.30am - 4.30pm
© North Bristol NHS Trust. This edition published January 2024. Review due January 2027. NBT003280