Brain injury case managers easing away from virtual rehabilitation

August 5, 2020

Brain injury case managers are easing away from a “virtual first” approach to rehabilitation, with the majority set to make referrals to residential based programmes over the next three months.

Calvert Reconnections asked brain injury case managers when they anticipate, due to scientific evidence, being able to refer brain injured clients to residential-based programmes.

10% of case managers said they are making referrals at the moment, 70% said they expect to be making referrals in 1-3 months, 15% said 3-6 months and 5% said 6-12 months.

The findings follow on from earlier research by Exchange Chambers and Calvert Reconnections in which 89% of 161 senior brain injury solicitors said that rehabilitation standards have dropped as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 92% saying that brain injury rehabilitation is going to be more reliant than ever on the private and charitable sectors moving forward.  However, 70% of respondents believed that charities are being forced to cut back on support measures for brain injured patients as a result of financially-related Covid-19 pressures.

Commenting on the findings, Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers and Trustee at the Lake District Calvert Trust said:

“The lockdown must have been an even greater nightmare for brain injured families than it has been for everyone else, and surely many of them will now be desperate for some form of respite, whether that is a full rehabilitation service, or a shorter period away from home to allow family and carers a break.”

Continued Bill:

“Claimant lawyers should, in my opinion, take active steps right now to see whether our clients with ABI, and their families, need help. That means a pro-active exploration with the family, and with the case manager, about how they’re coping with distancing and behaviours, and specifically whether the injured person is standing still, or going backwards.

“It may be necessary to encourage the case manager to be active, because many of them have been furloughed, and we can’t wait for the return of normality.

“Litigation in interlocutory areas seems to be functioning moderately well at present, so that interim payment applications should be straightforward. Of course, the easiest way to get money for rehabilitation is to demonstrate to the insurer, with good evidence, that rehabilitation is worthwhile, not only for quality of life but also because it should reduce dependence and cost. That presentation needs to be well-supported by evidence and can be presented either directly to the defence, or indirectly through ADR – evaluation, determination, mediation or settlement meeting.”