Jo Evans, MD of Unite Professionals talks about the changes in the World of Case Management and reflects on her journey to form, develop and lead a hugely successful Case Management Company
Has the industry changed drastically since you started working in it?
Unite Professionals Ltd entered the Case Management market place in 2010 and have observed and responded to the commercial landscape changes over this period of time and continue to do so. The interface at which Case Management works has seen its own dramatic changes including; increase in the small claims limit, changes brought about by the MOJ in 2014, the recent discount rate change, revision of the 2015 Rehab code and development of the Serious Injury Guide.
Case Management delivery has needed to remain informed and responsive to the changing requirements of the stakeholders over this period and work closely with all parties to ensure that the role in providing witness of fact commentary and relevant recommendations is delivered in a format that can be quickly dealt with and approved by the funding parties. The changing face of the NHS and social care has also presented challenges for the case manager to navigate and as GDPR approaches these challenges are likely to be exacerbated for case management companies.
What has been the key positive or negative change in your area of the market?
There has been positive change via earlier agreement between litigating parties to progress collaborative working via statutory pathways of health and social care. Emergence of the Trauma Centres and rehabilitation prescription championed by Derek Wade et al are positive developments in the medical management of people following significant trauma or illness with sound clinical evidence of the optimum treatment pathway. Joint referrals can be a very proactive and collaborative way to work providing there is quick authorisation of recommendations made and case management is delivered by an individual or company who are independent of the litigation agenda. There has been an increase in the numbers of Case Managers offering services, whilst this provides a healthy choice in the market place, it also presents the need for a registering body to ensure the quality and competencies of providers. Currently CMSUK are working hard with BABICM and VRA in progressing options for a registration process to reassure a high standard of practice. It is vital that the Case Manager demonstrates a commercial awareness/ respect for the unique position they occupy outside of the litigation. CMSUK has grown as an organisation over the years and offer regular training events for new Case Managers.
Who inspires you and why?
I am always inspired by the NHS front line staff who save lives through providing access to specialist health care where it is needed, their dedication despite huge resource challenges is humbling. The development of the Trauma centres has been critical in ensuring clients have the opportunity to access specialist interdisciplinary teams and give the optimum opportunity for the client to survive and recover.
Have you had/got a mentor? If so, what was the most valuable piece of advice they gave you?
I was privileged to spend a number of years working alongside Professor Bipin Bhakta, Professor of Rehab Medicine, Leeds University who sadly passed away in 2014. He was visionary in his approach to rehabilitation, passionate about interdisciplinary and collaborative working and despite his huge academic achievements and commitment he was selfless in encouraging developing clinicians to be bold and instinctive when exploring effective rehabilitation approaches.
If you were not in your current position, what would you be doing?
I would have liked to have worked within a social enterprise, supporting people who find themselves physically, psychologically or socially excluded could access networking, collaboration and technology to support one other and rebuild their lives to realise their personal goals.