News » Shutdown ACC’s ‘Sensitive Claims Unit’ – Advocate

Press Release – 8 November 2010:

Last year ACC’s Sensitive Claims Unit (SCU), based in Wellington, implemented its new clinical pathways for claimants suffering from the effects of sexual abuse. It also adopted the so-called “tough love” policy drafted by one of its senior officials, Phil Riley, who set out a strategy on how to exit claimants from the Scheme, including suspending entitlements.

The consequence of these two policies is that the SCU often requires rape victims to undergo multiple physiatrist assessments or risk having entitlements suspended or not provided at all. This heavy handed approach has a re-traumatising effect on victims of sexual abuse.

SCU’s approach is highlighted in a story on stuff.co.nz (8/11/10), where it reports ACC has unlawfully refused to implement a binding review decision directing the corporation to reinstate a rape victim’s entitlements.

“We believe SCU senior and technical staff have consistently demonstrated they are not up to the job, including its senior medical advisor Dr Peter Jansen.” says Mr Wadsworth. “Now it’s time for ACC to shutdown the dysfunctional unit.”

Over the last year Access Support Services has regularly expressed our concerns over the way the SCU manage sexual abuse claims. Now ACC’s claims management business manager, Sue North is defending its refusal to implement a binding review decision.

“ACC’s senior management responsible for adopting Phil Riley’s tough love strategy and implementing the new clinical pathways need to take a good hard look at themselves, even if they are under enormous political pressure from the National-led Government” says Mr Wadsworth. “This is not what the ACC scheme is supposed to be about.”

ENDS.

03 548 6962 or 09 281 4558

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