Often, after a brain injury, various input is needed to help your child achieve the maximum recovery possible. This takes a lot of organisation and management.
Romilly Houghton from Irvings Law takes a look at case management and how it can help your child and your family.
Paediatric Case Management is the planning and coordination of therapeutic, medical, and social care to promote your child’s recovery and comprehensive management of their needs, Case management brings together the various specialities needed to achieve the best possible outcome for your child’s recovery such as
Case managers are trained healthcare professionals such as paediatric nurses, OT and social workers.
Choosing a paediatric case manager is just as important as choosing the right nursery or the right school for your child; after all, this is someone who will be working with you and representing you and your child.
A brain injury or complex conditions case manager should be a registered health professional and ideally an advanced member of the association of Brain Injury Case Managers (BABICM) They should have sufficient expertise and experience and receive regular clinical supervision.
If you are pursuing a compensation claim on behalf of your child, your solicitor will look to appoint a case manager as soon as possible. They should suggest local case managers for you to consider. It is important that the case manager has sufficient time to devote to your child and your family and you can form a good working relationship with them. This is very important as it is the case manager that will be representing you and your child’s needs on a day-to-day basis so do not be afraid to reject the proposed case manager and ask your solicitor to keep looking!
Case managers will initially carry out a thorough assessment of your child’s needs and make recommendations to manage neurological conditions The case manager will work with your family to identify and facilitate goals to promote independence and the achieve the best outcome. A case manager will recruit appropriate specialist therapists and clinicians and monitor the goals set in order to deliver the best possible care.
Once a case manager has identified what your child needs; they will prepare an ‘Initial Needs Assessment’ report for your solicitor. This will set out what input your child needs; make recommendations as to the appropriate bodies to deliver those needs; and set out the costs of putting it all in place.
If you are pursuing a compensation claim, your solicitor will use this report to ask the opposing insurers for an ‘interim payment’ to cover the cost of all the recommendations. If the opposing insurers refuse to pay, then it is open to your solicitor to make an application to the Court forcing them to pay.
Your solicitor and your Case Manager will then work together to ensure that the recommendations are put into place as soon as possible so that your child’s recovery can get kickstarted!
Once all the recommendations are in place, your case manager will co-ordinate and manage all the input for your child and hold regular meetings to make sure you and your family know what the goals are for your child and how the team are planning to achieve those goals.
Case managers charge for their time at an hourly rate. As you can imagine, this can get fairly expensive, fairly quickly.
If you are pursuing a compensation claim on behalf of your child, your appointed solicitor will usually recommend the instruction of a case manager, the costs of which are included within the claim brought.
Case managers’ fees are usually funded by way of interim payments from the opponent’s insurers at various points during the course of the compensation claim; often before the claim has been settled.
The answer to this is really, how long is a piece of string? You can continue working with your child’s case manager for as long as you need to; even long after your child’s compensation claim has been settled.
Your solicitor will often factor in the cost of your child continuing to require a case manager (if that is appropriate) after settlement and ensure the cost of the case manager is covered by the opponent’s insurers either in the final settlement figure or by subsequent payments made by them later down the line.
OP was an infant suffering from encephalopathy after a hypoglycemic incident, an admission of breach of duty was secured from the Defendant Trust and a case manager appointed.The case manager was instructed to prepare an immediate needs assessment report . Once agreement was obtained from the family, the case manager was appointed to act and Irvings Law obtained interim payments to fund the recommendations made regarding rehabilitation.
The Case manager appointed a treating physiotherapist, psychologist and Occupational Therapist and arranged regular meetings to review OP’s progress and update goals. Irvings made sure interim payments were available to fund rehabilitation and pay for the case manager’s fee.
The OT attended OP’s school and gave training to his teachers about OP’s brain and ophthalmic injuries and the way in which these affected OP in an educational setting. A sloping board and various pieces of equipment were introduced into the classroom to support OP including a Bambach chair.
The psychologist instructed has worked with OP and his family to provide support to OP to address his specific needs and proactively anticipate future problems and introduce strategies to help OP and his family.
The physiotherapist has introduced a fun programme including trampolining to improve core strength and improve a left sided weakness.
The Care Support Package arranged by the case manager is continuing, and OP and his family continue to receive real benefits from it.
SMART goals are reviewed at each quarterly meeting to ensure they remain appropriate and to review the benefits received from ongoing therapeutic and case management input.
If you have any questions about case managers and whether your current case manager is right for your child then Romilly Houghton at Irvings Law can offer you a free, confidential and ‘no strings attached’ discussion.
Romilly Houghton is the head of the Child Brain Injury Department at Irvings Law and is a specialist solicitor representing children and their families in claims for compensation arising out of clinical negligence and accidents.
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