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Minister welcomes sensitive claims clinical review

Minister welcomes sensitive claims clinical review

ACC Minister Nick Smith is urging ACC to adopt the recommendations of an independent clinical review into the sensitive claims pathway released today.

“I initiated this review because I was concerned about the claims process for sensitive claimants but wanted expert independent clinical advice,” Dr Smith said. “The Sensitive Claims Pathway Review Panel has done a good job and I am confident that with the changes underway and those recommended, survivors of sexual abuse will receive timely and best possible clinical support.

“While I acknowledge that managing sensitive claims is very challenging, I am not satisfied with ACC’s handling of this issue. There are important lessons for ACC to learn from this report. As recommended, I will be implementing an independent monitoring group to ensure ACC delivers on the report’s recommendations.”

Chair of the Panel Dr Barbara Disley said it had heard from about 50 survivors of sexual abuse, 30 organisations representing psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors, received nearly 180 written submissions, and met all the relevant key government agencies.

“Virtually everyone who made their views known to us told us of the major difficulties that have been caused by the Pathway,” Dr Disley said.

The report proposes some initial changes and gives a series of recommendations that ACC will need to carefully work through with stakeholders.

“I am heartened that ACC has listened to our early concerns and made initial changes” Dr Disley said. “As a result, survivors who make a new claim or have a claim already in the system now have 16 hours with a treatment provider available to them immediately. This has been welcomed by many people.”

The Panel’s proposals cover the thorny question of how ACC should make sure it operates within the law while still making certain that survivors can get ready access to high quality support and treatment that meet their individual needs. There are recommendations aimed at improving how ACC involves stakeholders and communicates with clients and with treatment providers.

The report also recommends that attention is paid to quality at all levels including the practitioners who deliver treatment and assessment services, the appropriateness of the type and length of treatments, and the timeliness and responsiveness of ACC’s own systems.

To access the report click here: Review of the ACC Sensitive Claims Clinical Pathway

ENDS

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