If you, your child or another family member has complex health needs arising from negligent care, when funding is available, we can help you to manage these needs by appointing and working with a case manager.
We asked Christine Anderson, an experienced case manager with CA Therapy Ltd with whom we work closely, some questions about her role.
What do case managers do?
A case manager will work closely with an individual to understand what is important to them now and what they would like to achieve in the future.
At the initial meeting a case manager will complete an assessment with the individual and identify their goals and how these can be achieved. We also identify whether any other professionals could help them achieve their goals, for example, a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist or speech and language therapist. The case manager is then responsible for liaising with each professional and ensuring all therapists work to meet the individual’s goals.
If the individual needs assistance on a day to day basis, for example with getting dressed or accessing community facilities, the case manager is responsible for sourcing and managing the support/care.
The case manager is responsible for ensuring all professionals and support staff work together. It is vital that the case manager develops and maintains a trusting relationship with the individual and their families.
What are the most common difficulties you find that families experience?
I find that families are not aware of what is available to them. There is no manual that tells them how to manage and who to contact. They are left with very little information. Families often welcome the opportunity to talk about aspects of their claim with me in an informal setting, enabling them to check they have understood or better come to terms with the information they have received from their solicitor.
When I first meet families, they are often struggling with day to day life, they feel isolated from friends and extended family. The life they had been so familiar with is now non-existent. They no longer have a life of their own and everything revolves around their loved one.
How can a case manager help an injured individual or their family find support?
A case manager can liaise with social services and private therapists to identify a package of support. Communication with the family throughout the process keeps families at the centre of decision making for their loved ones.
A case manager can provide support to know who and what to ask to get the information they need.
A case manager can spend time with the family in their own home, listening to their concerns and work out ways to provide long term support which they find acceptable.
What are the key skills you think it is important for case managers to have?
A case manager should have at least five years in a relevant clinical setting. They should be effective at problem-solving and decision making. Case managers should be able to work as part of a team and on their own. The nature of case management means you work closely with families, other professionals and the legal team. It is therefore vital that they have excellent communication skills and can be flexible in their communication style. In any day a case manager must call on many of these skills. It is important that they can work flexibly and respond to situations as they arise.
What is a typical day like for you as a case manager?
There is no typical day for a case manager. Some days can be filled with client meetings where we set goals and review progress. Other days could include professional meetings or supervision with the support team. Keeping records and report writing is a daily demand as it is vital to ensure information is documented accurately.
A case manager often manages several important events in one day. They must keep a level head and ensure they are consistent and pay attention to the individual they are with at the time, regardless of other events.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
I usually meet families when they are experiencing a traumatic life event. Building a relationship and supporting them through that very challenging time is very special.
I am lucky to be supporting individuals and their families who are constantly working towards goals. Acknowledging those achievements with the individual and their family is very rewarding.
If you or a member of your family have been seriously injured as a result of negligence and would like to find out more about making a claim, contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.