Bristol Hospital for Brain Injury Patients Launches Development Centre

A Bristol hospital which supports men living with brain injuries has launched a new development centre to help patients gain skills and qualifications.

Cygnet Brunel, on Crow Lane, is run by health and social care company Cygnet Health Care and earlier this week it launched the Bright Minds Development Centre. The aim of the development centre is to centralise all aspects of training and education for both service users and staff. It will provide opportunities for both informal training, along with accredited training courses and provisions.

For service users, the centre will provide ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) accredited courses. ASDAN is a nationally recognised awarding body whose programmes and qualifications offer flexible ways of developing and accrediting personal, social and work-related abilities.

In addition, the centre will support service users to seek out and undertake short and accredited courses at Bristol College in a variety of topics.

Service users will also have the opportunity to devise and deliver training sessions and programmes to staff and their fellow peers. The centre will also support service users to utilise skills, experience and qualifications in order to undertake vocational roles within Cygnet Brunel. It will also provide opportunities to explore and undertake volunteering roles within the wider community.


Stephanie Coxon, Hospital Manager, said: “We are so proud to launch our development centre here at Cygnet Brunel, to deliver our personal and professional development commitment with our service users and staff.

“Reinforcing our community ethos, staff and service users will be learning and training together to achieve their personal development goals.

We want to be able to demonstrate that patients are able to take on employment post-Brunel.”

For staff, the new centre will oversee the induction of new team members. It will also help to raise awareness of the range of apprenticeships, short courses, online courses and accredited courses that are available.


Mandy Blanchard, Cygnet Health Care’s Head of Learning and Development, said: “We’ve got two strands to our development centre, one celebrating what staff can actually do, what they can achieve, where they can go with us as an organisation and how we can develop them both to move into management. Also to develop their clinical skills if that’s a move they want to take.

“Secondly, from a service user perspective, it’s a great opportunity. It allows our service users to grow, to develop, to give them a sense of purpose so they can see by the end of their journey in our services that they can take something with them that they can use as real life skills in the future.”


The launch event was attended by service users and staff at the hospital together with guests from across Cygnet. The centre’s specially commissioned sign was officially unveiled by Raf Hamaizia, Cygnet’s Expert by Experience Lead, and Mandy Blanchard.


Dr Henk Swanepoel, Lead Neuropsychologist at Cygnet Brunel, said: “The Bright Minds Development Centre is taking rehabilitation to a pioneering level where a service user not only receives rehabilitation, but at the end of their model of care, leaves the service with an accredited qualification.

We want to make sure that they are trained in specific skills that they find interesting, that not only will benefit them in future, but is also part of the model of care regarding neuro treatment, neuro rehabilitation, and adding to their quality of life.”


Cygnet Brunel, on Crown Lane, offers an extensive Neuropsychiatric treatment, care and rehabilitation pathway which is unique in its ability to provide a dedicated pathway to meet the complex needs of service users within their care.