1. What affect are both the limitations on face-to-face interactions and rehab providers being able to utilise more digital offerings – having on claimants?
I think the rapid shift to upscale the digital tools in our armoury has presented an opportunity to challenge the way we do things. Sometimes, and with every good intention, we can all continue with processes that form part of accepted practice and we stick with what we know works. Including virtual and remote management tools has complemented what we do and how we do it; this has ultimately provided more choice for our clients, many of whom have enjoyed more consistent access to ongoing therapy as a result. A virtual consultation for clients who have time constraints or who are not easily able to attend face to face appointments can make a big difference to establishing regular therapy. I would also say that while we have been able to ‘meet’ new clients and complete the INA following virtual consultation, this is not without challenge. Trust, rapport and confidence are fundamental when establishing the relationship between case manager and client, I think this is made more difficult when a first meeting is not ‘in person’ – the importance of human connection cannot be underestimated; it is unquestionable that some things will be missed without a face to face meeting be they personal, physical, emotional or environmental.
2. The aftercare in a personal injury claim, is often associated with the financial aspect, however many of those involved have had possible life changing injuries. How important is it to consider the human element too and provide a level of care that will best serve your customer?
Great question and I really think considering ‘the human element’ is at the heart of everything we do as case managers! Aftercare is crucial both pre and post settlement. The ongoing impact following personal injury is complex, with a myriad of consequences that can affect every aspect of the individual’s life and the lives of family members. Catastrophic life changing injuries will irrevocably alter each day to day activity and living with those changes requires support, compassion and understanding; in many cases, there will be a requirement for additional professional daily care and ongoing pain management. The short and long term effects of any personal injury should not be underestimated; even injuries which can be successfully managed through a programme of extensive rehabilitation and where functional recovery is possible, will have potential impact on a person’s ability to manage their personal care, to work, to mobilise, to travel, to socialise, and to make plans for the future. The psychological impact of personal injury to an individual and their family is also a hugely important consideration – for many people and families, life will never be the same again; fear, uncertainty, coming to terms with loss and adjusting to altered futures are inevitable challenges.