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Brain Injury Rehabilitation

at Princess Alexandra Hospital

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service (BIRS) is a group of 5 interconnected services providing integrated rehabilitation to adults in Queensland, who have experienced an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). They include the inpatient rehabilitation unit, the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit (BIRU), which is based at the PA Hospital.

  • BIRU - offers intensive inpatient rehabilitation during the early recovery stages of injury.
  • Jasmine Unit at Wynnum West - is for clients who will benefit from intensive inpatient rehabilitation for a longer period of time.
  • BIRU Day Hospital - provides outpatient medical and allied health assessment and rehabilitation services.
  • Acquired Brain Injury Transitional Rehabilitation Service (ABI TRS) - provides time-limited community rehabilitation immediately following discharge from hospital.
  • Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service - provides case management, specialist clinical services, and training and consultancy.
  • Skills to Enable People and Communities (STEPS Program) - is a Queensland-wide information and self-management group program for adults with brain injury, their families and support networks.  

Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit - Visitor information

Visiting hours

Visiting hours to the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit (BIRU) are:

  • Weekdays: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Weekends: 11:00am - 8:00pm

We request that visitors are not present during therapy sessions, unless prior permission has been given by the treating therapist or Nurse Unit Manager. This is to avoid distracting patients during therapy.

What to bring

When you are admitted to the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit, please bring:

  • appropriate comfortable clothing (shorts, tracksuits, t-shirts)
  • appropriate sleepwear and underwear
  • appropriate shoes (velcro-fastening shoes are easiest to manage, NO heels and thongs allowed in ward)
  • toiletries (soap, soap container, toothbrush, tooth paste, shaving gear, shampoo, tissues and other personal requirements)
  • laundry bag (patients/family are expected to wash and dry patient clothing)
  • mobile phone, phone card or small change for a public phone.

It is important that all personal property is labeled and kept secure.

Relatives and friends are encouraged to bring in photographs, musical tapes etc. to assist the patient to feel comfortable in the unfamiliar surroundings.

Small private television sets are allowed once they have been checked by the hospitals electricians. TVs must be accompanied by headphones.

Your room

Patients will be designated a room on admission to the ward. Rooms are allocated according to gender balance in the ward. Rooms can either be shared or single. Single rooms are preferable for patients who carry antibiotic resistant organisms or significant behavioural difficulties. Family members are encouraged to bring familiar items such as photographs to put up in the room to allow patients to feel more comfortable in the surroundings.


Meals are served in the Unit dining room during the following times:

  • Breakfast: 7:00am
  • Lunch: 12:00pm
  • Dinner: 5:30pm

Family members and friends are encouraged not to sit at the tables with patients during meals as this can distract them and make eating difficult.

Leaving the ward

BIRU is a locked ward designed to maintain the safety of all patients admitted to the unit. Your ability to leave the ward and visit other areas will be assessed by the team. Initially you may require supervision outside the ward by family and/or friends.

Patients may be allowed to leave the unit (after gaining medical and therapy clearance from the Rehabilitation team) for short periods under constant supervision of a family member or an appropriate friend.

As a patient progresses, the family or friend will be encouraged to take the person home for day or "weekend pass". This provides an opportunity for patients and family to enjoy time together outside the BIRU ward or the hospital environment.

It is a BIRU policy that patients leaving for overnight pass/weekend leave do not do so until after 3pm, and if on overnight pass, return to the ward prior to 9:00am. This is to ensure maximum participation in all aspects of your inpatient program.

It is important to advise nursing staff when you are leaving and returning from pass. A record of patients on pass is kept and patients are required to fill in the pass book at the nursing station. It is also important to let ward staff know of any problems whilst on pass, or any comments about the pass.
If at any time on pass you are concerned about the patient, please contact BIRU on 3176 2736 for information and assistance. For medical emergencies please call 000.

Length of stay

A patient's length of stay in BIRU can range from 4 weeks up to 90 days or sometimes longer. Progress is monitored in relation to goal attainment and is frequently reviewed with patients and significant others to determine a suitable timeframe for continued admission.

Every endeavour is made to plan discharges so that continued care and ongoing therapies can be arranged to aid in a patient's recovery, once discharged from the ward.

Acquired Brain Injury Transitional Rehabilitation Service (ABI TRS)

The Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service ABI TRS provides time limited rehabilitation for individuals with ABI following discharge from hospital. Returning home after hospital, is a critical phase of recovery after brain injury. Transitional rehabilitation is an important part of this. 

Watch the video below to hear of different experiences of returning home after Acquired Brain Injury.

Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service (ABIOS)

Last updated 31 May 2024
Last reviewed 31 May 2024