Appendix 2: Claimants' suggestions for improvements

Accident Compensation Corporation: Using a case management approach to rehabilitation.

The ACC claimants we spoke with shared their perceptions of ACC's case management process, their perceived experiences of ACC's service delivery, and their perceptions of improvements that ACC could make to improve case management and service delivery more generally.

We are grateful for the help of these claimants and their willingness to speak with us.

This Appendix describes the improvements that these claimants have suggested.

We provide this information in the interests of transparency and supporting service improvement. Perceptions are important because they influence how claimants behave and how they think about, and respond to, ACC's services. Perceptions also influence how claimants describe ACC to other people.

Suggestions about changing policy fall outside our mandate to comment on.

It is important to note that the information in this Appendix is based on in-depth qualitative interviews and is not necessarily representative of all claimants.

We acknowledge Colmar Brunton's help in interviewing ACC claimants on behalf of our Office.

Area for improvementSpecific changes suggested
  • are carried out by independent assessors who are focused on the claimant's best interests;
  • are accurate, tailored, and result in effective support;
  • (for vocational assessments) provide realistic occupational choices;
  • involve the claimant being fully informed about the role of the assessment and what the claimant is being assessed on;
  • always involve an assessor meeting a claimant and, therefore, are not based solely on a claimant's records; and
  • are not as frequent, particularly for claimants with conditions that do not change.
Case managers
  • greater continuity of case managers who know a claimant's history, or improved handovers between case managers;
  • case managers who are upfront, honest, empathetic, supportive, and genuinely interested in a claimant's case;
  • case managers who do not focus on disentitling a claimant;
  • case managers who listen to treatment providers' recommendations and take these into consideration;
  • improved understanding of complex injuries (for example, head injuries and chronic pain); and
  • recognising that an injury can affect a whole family and not just the claimant, and that the family may also need support.
  • ensure that claimants are fully informed about their entitlements, how to access those entitlements, ACC's processes and systems, ACC's rationale for decisions, and ACC's rationale for repeated assessments;
  • ensure that claimants receive consistent information about entitlements;
  • less generic communications tailored to claimants' individual circumstances; and
  • ensure that a range of communication channels are available, including a face-to-face option.
Claimant information
  • ensure that information is correctly filed – especially for claimants with multiple claim numbers – and that claimants with multiple claim numbers have a master file;
  • ensure that claimants have access to all their records and information;
  • ensure that records are accurate;
  • ensure that information about decisions/outcomes is transparent; and
  • ensure that claimants have the opportunity to correct inaccuracies.
Legislation and governance
  • increase accountability by appointing an ACC Ombudsman or independent board to review ACC's practices.
Organisational culture
  • change the culture so that it is not focused on disentitlement, but is instead claimant-focused; and
  • ensure that a claimant-focused culture permeates ACC.
Reviews and appeals
  • ensure that the review process is independent by appointing a review body outside ACC that is not accountable to it; and
  • • ensure that the appeal process is independent and allows time for claimants to respond to evidence against them.

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