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If you think you may have sustained a concussion or have unmanageable symptoms please seek medical advice from your GP or the Emergency Department at Wellington Regional Hospital.

However, if you are still experiencing persistent concussion symptoms 2-3 weeks after your accident that are affecting your ability to engage in work, household roles, leisure or sport you should contact your GP and discuss a referral to the concussion service. These symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, poor concentration or reduced memory.

The concussion service:

  • provides education, assessment and treatment to help you independently manage your symptoms
  • is available to people from the age of 16 who have a suspected or confirmed concussion within the last 12 months (at time of referral). Referrals for those under 16 can be discussed with your ACC case manager. The service also sees people over the age of 65.
  • is fully funded by ACC and available to people from across the Wellington and Hutt region.

What we do

Assessment

At your first appointment, we’ll assess your symptoms. This usually takes 60-90 minutes. We’ll also:

  • do a general concussion assessment so we can determine how your injury has affected you
  • discuss your goals with you and a create a treatment plan

If further assessment by the team is required, we’ll a send a report to your ACC case manager. You may then be booked in for further appointments.

Further assessments by staff with specialist knowledge in brain injury recovery could include:

  • assessment by a doctor to help with managing symptoms such as trouble sleeping or headaches
  • neuropsychological staff assessing difficulties with processing information, attention and memory. Neuropsychologists can also help you manage any mood changes following accidents
  • dizziness, nausea, visual and balance assessments by a physiotherapist

Treatment/Care

The concussion service provides education and support to help you manage your concussion symptoms as independently as possible. The frequency and intensity of treatment will depend on your needs.

Our team work together to ensure you receive the best care and meet regularly to discuss your treatment plan.Your key worker will contact you to schedule appointments as required.

Your keyworker will work with ACC and any other professionals involved in your care (including GPs, and vocational therapists). They’ll also work with other DHB services such as mental health, addiction services and intellectual disability services (MHAIDS) or neurology to provide joint care programmes.

At the time of discharge from the service you may still experience some mild on-going symptoms. However, the team will be confident that you have the skills to continue to manage your recovery independently.

Referrals

You need to be referred to our service by a medical doctor – Your GP will usually do this.

Your GP should refer you using an ACC883 referral form. This form will then be sent directly to ACC. Your GP can specify if you would prefer to be seen by the CCDHB Concussion Service.

Once referrals are approved by ACC you will usually be seen by the Concussion Service within one week.

For questions or queries please contact the Concussion Service Coordinator on (04) 918 6743 or email concussionservice@ccdhb.org.nz

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it be until I am fully recovered?

Everybody’s recovery process is unique to them, and dependent on individual lifestyle factors. However, the average length of time patients work with the service is 2-3 months. Implementing recommendations from the concussion service, as well as managing stress and fatigue appropriately can improve your recovery timeframe.

Do I need to see everyone in the service? And how often are appointments?

During your initial assessment with our occupational therapist/keyworker, they will decide if further assessment is required from other team members. You may find that you will have 1-2 appointments per week with our service for the first fortnight as the team completes their assessments. Appointments will then be less frequent. Throughout your recovery, your key worker will remain in contact until you have achieved your goals.

Do I need to bring anything?

No, our service will have access to your medical records if your accident was in the Wellington region. Please ensure you bring your glasses or hearing aids if required. You are welcome to bring a family/whānau member with you to your appointment. We also have access to sign language and language interpreters if this is required. Please let us know if you need these when you make your initial booking.

What does a Neuropsychologist do?

A neuropsychologist assesses the brain’s behavior following a brain injury. During your treatment, a neuropsychologist may complete cognitive testing and advise you on managing activities such as work, school or driving. They can also help you manage any emotional changes that you may experience following your injury.

Consent

We will ask for your consent during your initial assessment to share information with ACC, your GP and other health providers if required.

Team

  • Coordinator
  • Physician with interest in rehabilitation
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Neuro Occupational Therapists
  • Neuro/Vestibular Physiotherapist
  • Administrative support
  • Access to a wider community of health professionals such as nurses, geriatricians, social workers, dietitians, musculoskeletal physiotherapists and speech-language therapists.

Contact us

We are located in the Ewart Building, 2B Coromandel St, Newtown.

Phone (04) 918 6743 or email concussionservice@ccdhb.org.nz

Last updated 6 May 2019.