Co-ordinating early interventions for better patient outcomes

Securing the right intervention at the right time is a crucial part of successful rehabilitation. People who have been seriously injured might be facing a long and challenging recovery and rehabilitation period and they may not be in a position to secure the best possible care for themselves, especially whilst part of the excellent, but complicated, NHS pathways.

The earlier a case manager can get involved with a client’s rehabilitation, the smoother and more successful that process typically is.

Here, Jo Evans, managing director at case management specialists Unite Professionals, explains some of the key factors that can make early intervention so important.

Sometimes, there’s no such thing as too early

For some clients, usually in more complex Personal Injury cases and/or with more serious injuries, the optimal time for a case manager to get involved could be while the client is still in hospital. Doing so will enable the case manager to liaise with the Ward Discharge Coordinator and treating multi-disciplinary team to ensure that the right support is available on discharge including equipment, adaptations to discharge address, support and rehab services – either via statutory or private provision.

Sometimes the right time is a little later

Sometimes the ‘perfect time’ is several months after discharge from hospital. Clients who have been on the NHS pathway for some time might discover they are not recovering as well as expected. It might be that they are not coping as well, physically or psychologically, as they should be, and further intervention is needed but not being offered, or is unavailable.

The NHS is wonderful – but difficult to navigate

Just navigating the NHS system can be fraught with difficulties for people who are not accustomed to doing so, and it is not always clear how the interaction between social services and NHS-funded services works.

Having a case manager who can support them to access the support and care they need (rather than what the statutory budget will allow for) is crucial. This is also helpful for the NHS teams, who are often aware that there is a gap between what would be the very optimum intervention and what they are able to provide after discharge.

Early intervention can help manage different medical teams

A person suffering from a variety of injuries might be under the care of a number of different teams and specialists, receiving, for example, both neurological and orthopaedic care. A case manager can help to take a view of the bigger picture, overseeing the care that a client is receiving.

Taking a view on social factors

For all the incredible care that the NHS provides, it is less likely to be able to take certain social factors into account on discharge.

It is often the case that a client is especially keen to be discharged, while the NHS is under extraordinary pressure to make beds available. These two factors usually mean the necessary checks are rarely made on discharge locations. For example, we have seen a client discharged from hospital with an external frame on his leg and unable to bear weight. What wasn’t checked/discovered was that he had lost his flat-share room while he was in hospital and was effectively discharged to the back seat of his car where he was living prior to Unite Professionals’ involvement.

Case management can help provide what NHS budgets won’t allow

Rarely a day goes by without a major national story breaking about the financial pressure that the NHS is under. Experienced case managers will be able to access the best possible care for their clients, especially when NHS budgets will not stretch far enough.

Early intervention promotes positive thinking

Studies have shown that the injured person’s perception of the severity and impact of their injury actually has a significant bearing on their capacity to return to work. Implementing an early rehabilitation programme, with the guidance of an experienced case manager, can promote positive thinking and get rehabilitation off to the best possible start. It enables a client to take control over their recovery and result in a more likely return to work.

Unite Professionals has a long track record of delivering industry-leading case management within the personal injury industry for solicitors, insurers, private industry and private paying clients. For more information you can contact us here.