Headway Acute Trauma Support (HATS) Nurse

What is a HATS nurse?

HATS Nurse

The Headway Acute Trauma Support (HATS) Nurse role was launched at James Cook in February 2017 as part of a two-year pilot scheme supported by the Big Lottery Fund.

HATS nurses provide emotional and practical support, information and advice to family members and carers of people in the early stages following an acquired brain injury, especially those in critical care or high dependency units (HDU).

HATS Nurse Kerry Reynolds is based at James Cook to help provide support to patients and a range of teams based at the trust. These include teams in A&E, critical care, HDU, neurosurgery, neuro HDU and neuro rehabilitation.

For more information on how Kerry can support you email her on – Kerry.reynolds@stees.nhs.uk 


Role of the HATS nurse

  • Provide emotional support and practical advice to families
  • Support patients who have suffered major traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury in the early stages post injury and their families
  • Accompany families to hospital meetings
  • Signpost families and patients to other useful service or Headway groups and branches of which there are around 120 across the UK
  • Work as part of the multi-disciplinary team attending regular ward rounds and meetings
  • Provide support in follow-up clinics

Aims and outcomes

  • Families have improved understanding of acquired brain injury and resilience to pressures as a result of being able to make more informed care pathway decisions
  • Families have improved knowledge and confidence to navigate the health and adult social care systems, enabling more efficient acute pathway progress
  • Families are less isolated as a result of the better continuity and more cohesive nature of post-acute care and support
  • The mental wellbeing of families living with acquired brain injury will be improved

About Headway

Headway – the UK’s leading brain injury charity – provides support, services and information tHeadway logoo brain injury survivors, their families and carers, as well as to professionals in the health and legal fields. It has more than 120 groups and branches throughout the UK.

The charity works hard to promote understanding of brain injury and its effects. It has a number of services, including:

  • A nurse-led helpline – 0808 800 2244 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Financial assistance via its Emergency Fund . Any healthcare professional can apply on behalf of patient. The maximum grant is £500
  • A range of award-winning booklets and factsheets designed to help people to understand and cope with the effects of brain injury

Find out more