Nigel Huddleston – 2021 Statement on Concussion in Sport

The statement made by Nigel Huddleston, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in the House of Commons on 10 December 2021.

I wish to inform the House that the Government have today published their response to the report by the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee into concussion in sport.

Sport is a central part of our national identity and culture. The welfare and safety of everybody taking part in sport is of paramount importance, and the Government are committed to taking action to reduce the risks involved. The actions set out in this report do not represent the final word on the subject and we recognise there is more work to do to continue to make sport as safe as possible for all those who participate in it.

The Government are grateful to the DCMS Select Committee for undertaking its extensive inquiry into concussion in sport. The Committee’s report has reinforced the importance of the topic and provided valuable insights that have helped inform the Government’s thinking.

Our response outlines the Government’s approach to reducing the risks associated with concussion and head injuries in sport. This will involve working with partners from across the sport, health, education, academic and technology sectors.

A full response to each of the Committee’s recommendations is also provided in a separate annex to the report.

Within the report, the Government have committed to:

Commission a set of shared high-level protocols around concussion in sport across the UK.

Write to UK Sport and Sport England to explore ensuring funded bodies make use of these shared protocols.

Work across Departments to improve the protocols and pathways for use in treating concussion in sport injuries in NHS A&E settings.

Direct sports to work with Player Associations on training protocols for players’ long-term welfare.

Convene a sports concussion research forum of experts to identify the priority research questions and improve the coordination with research funding bodies.

Write to National Governing Bodies to emphasise the importance of player welfare (including concussion) when formulating their governance procedures.

A copy of the Government response to the DCMS Select Committee report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.