Wed 15 May 2024

Brake's After the Crash Conference 2024

Yesterday, Jenny Dickson and I attended Brake's After the Crash Conference in Manchester. The focus for the conference was to showcase excellence in care for road victims.

The conference provided an opportunity for professionals supporting those bereaved or seriously injured as a result of road crashes to come together and discuss the best ways to offer care and support. 

One of the key messages throughout the day was that we need to tell stories about the work we do, and shout about it. Brake's CEO, Ross Moorlock, and Commander Kyle Gordon of the Metropolitan police spoke about public attitudes towards road safety and the fact that road victims are not treated in the same way as victims of other crimes, such sexual violence and murder. With five people dying on our roads in the UK every day, and someone being killed or seriously injured every 16 minutes, why is it that more is not being done to fund and improve road safety?  If these figures existed for other forms of travel, on trains and airplanes, people would simply not tolerate it.

We heard from brave and inspiring individuals who have lost family members following road collisions, and who have since gone on to campaign and raise awareness to effect change. As a professional who supports road victims, I was encouraged to hear more about how professionals across many sectors are working together to provide the necessary support. This includes the police, those working in the justice sector including lawyers, medical professionals, campaigners and charities, all of whom are committed to providing excellent care. 

Dr Nicola Lester, the clinical consultant for the National Road Victim Service, spoke about the importance of taking a trauma informed approach to support victims. This means taking time to understand and account for the impact of traumatic bereavement when engaging with people to reduce the potential for re-traumatisation and harm. It's also about ensuring those we are supporting are able to benefit from and understand the advice and support being provided.

Brake's National Road Victim Service provides vital support to those who have suffered catastrophic injuries and families who have lost loved ones. We are delighted to be on their Scottish legal panel.  Our team takes a trauma informed approach when advising clients, recognising that no two claims are the same and every client's needs and motivations for taking action are different. Our specialised Personal Injury team work closely with clients to ensure they retain control of their case by being involved in every step of the process.  This way, they receive the advice and support they need and deserve.

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