First UK Government concussion guidance released
Return2Play welcomes the release of the Government’s “UK Concussion Guidelines for Non-Elite (Grassroots) Sport” published today. The guidance recognises the need for greater awareness about the risk of head injury and a need for improved management. These include the need for medical review followed by a gradual, personalised return to normal life and sport with minimum “stand-down periods”. These are things we have championed since the launch of our Head Injury & Concussion Care service in 2016. We are proud to have been at the forefront of delivering expert care and to have helped our partner schools & clubs achieve what is now being recommended long before this announcement.
Following the new Government guidance, it is likely that we will see a change in sporting Governing Body return to sport protocols following a concussion or suspected concussion. These new protocols may be in place for September 2023.
While the timeframe to return to unrestricted sporting activity (eg matches) is unlikely to change, it is possible that we will now be looking to introduce low-risk light physical activity much earlier in the symptom free person. Latest research has showed this is likely to aid recovery and, of course, has benefits to wider physical and mental wellbeing.
It is important to note that the changes outlined in this announcement will still need to be adopted by governing bodies. We will be keeping a close eye on emerging guidance from government and sporting governing bodies. If current guidance does change as expected, we will update our partner schools and clubs and will have resources available to explain the changes and how medical assessments will fit into the new timeframes.