Br J Sports Med 46:1000-1003 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090687
  • Original articles

Current practices in determining return to play following head injury in professional football in the UK

Press Release
  1. Zoe Hudson
  1. Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zoe Hudson, Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Queen Mary University, Mile End Hospital, Bancroft Road, London E1 4DG, UK; z.Hudson{at}
  • Received 27 October 2011
  • Accepted 11 July 2012
  • Published Online First 27 August 2012


Objective To investigate the awareness of English football team doctors of the ‘Consensus in Sport’ (CIS) guidelines for the assessment and management of concussion, and to identify adherence to these internationally accepted recommendations.

Method A questionnaire was sent to Club Medical Officers of all the 92 English Football league teams.

Results The majority (55.6%) of teams in the English Football Association (FA) do not routinely follow the CIS guidelines. Only 21% of teams routinely record an approved preseason cognitive score and only 42% complete a recommended postconcussion assessment. One-third are still using outdated fixed periods of abstinence following a concussion.

Conclusions FA players are not being treated according to the guidelines recommended by International sporting organisations. The endorsement of the CIS guidelines by the English FA would ensure that all medical teams have a sound and safe protocol for managing concussed players and making return to play decisions.