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UK’s Head-On Approach To Concussion

Concussion Sport UK

UK’s Head-On Approach To Concussion

The UK government has announced a 10-point action plan to combat concussion in sport.

UK Sports Minister, Nigel Huddleston, said: “Working with the sports industry, it is right that we do all we can to ensure that people are as protected as possible, and the risk of head injuries is minimised.”

The plan will include concussion protocols which will be enforced across all sports within the UK.

“That’s why we’re taking steps to reduce this risk and developing new, gold-standard industry protocols and focusing on emerging tech that can help build a fuller picture of the risks involved,” Huddleston said.

The plan comes after an inquiry by the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee’s (DCMS) into concussion in sport conduct found failures in concussion management and prevention.

Headway chief executive, Peter McCabe, said: “We are pleased to see the government has accepted most of the committee’s recommendations and that its involvement is needed to ensure sport adopts a cohesive, consistent approach to concussion in sport.”

The government will work with the English Premier League (EPL) to ensure player welfare and health will be included within the governance of their organisation.

However, McCabe said he believes more needs to be done to tackle the issue.

“Nonetheless, this response is a little underwhelming in terms of the urgency and level of government involvement,” McCabe said.

“Immediate action is required to build on the progress we’ve made to date – particularly at grassroots level where we need an evolution of attitude when it comes to head injuries in sport,” he said.

The news follows a recent announcement from the EPL, the Football Association (FA), the English Football League (EFL), and the Professional Footballers’ Association in the UK of a concussion diagnosis trial involving a saliva test.

The saliva test uses salivary biomarkers to diagnose concussions and will be used throughout the EPL with players to provide baseline swab tests, then following a concussive injury.

Elsewhere, the FA and FIFA are partnering on the BrainHOPE study next year analysing the deterioration of cognitive function in former players, as well as the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby to expand the Advanced Brain Health Clinic to include retired athletes.

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