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Cross-party UK parliamentary report calls for action on concussion protocols

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A group of prominent UK politicians have led a damning report on the approaches towards concussion in sport, with many MPs stating that more needs to be done to protect people from serious injuries.

The Concussion can Kill report – led by Labour’s Chris Bryant, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Conservative MPs John Glen and Chris Heaton-Harris and Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington – has called for the British sporting community to stop debating and start taking action on the issue.

The report has criticised rugby union’s Pitchside Suspected Concussion Assessment, calling it "insubstantial", while also calling for different protocols to be introduced covering the issue of heading in football, specifically to protect children.

The politicians have also called for the establishment of a full parliamentary inquiry into the issues surrounding concussion, citing the movements of Barack Obama in the United States – who recently called for a summit on the issue as well as government-led research into the topic – as a positive way of taking measures forward.

To help progress protocols, the report has outlined four main suggestions.

The first calls for the introduction of one set of concussion protocols to be introduced across all sports, allowing for people to interact with the guidelines surrounding the issue, which the report currently believes are often incoherent and filled with jargon.

The second centres on a need for more independent, peer-reviewed research to explore the links between concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease which killed former West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle in 2002.

Thirdly, the report wants to see a larger and more sustained public awareness campaign highlighting the potentially fatal implications of concussion.

The final recommendation calls for greater co-operation between sporting bodies, schools and the NHS.

A full copy of the report can be obtained here.

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A group of prominent UK politicians have led a damning report on the approaches towards concussion in sport, with many MPs stating that more needs to be done to protect people from serious injuries.
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