Organizational culture is a hard thing to measure and describe. ACC has worked over the years to generate an image of them being helpful and compassionate over the years; their logo even says, “Prevention, Care Recovery.”
However as all who have dealt with ACC recently know, for sensitive claims or indeed any claim, the culture and their attitudes have changed. This disturbing document published via the Labour party is both shocking and revolting in what it reveals about the attitude and culture of those who are paid by compulsory levy to help the most vulnerable of New Zealander’s:
“The reports, prepared for the new ACC board last year, say ACC had ‘moved too far towards customer focus’ and needed to begin ‘tightening the gateway by reducing the level and costs of treatment provided – especially rationalising the range of services available’.
“Perhaps the most disturbing example of the callous new approach however is the phrase used in the Morrison Low report to the ACC board which talks about the need to ‘significantly cut back to essential and core (services) – effectively draining the swamp.”
Draining the swamp. Prevention, Care, Recovery? I hope they find this guy when they try to drain the swamp:
So this is how those making changes at ACC view the long term, most vulnerable and most injured clients. And their stated plan is to remove clients from entitlements, in fact the documents also reveal plans to incentivise staff to reduce the number of accepted claims. Yet despite this the Sensitive Claims Unit keep banging the same old drum, just this week from the Christchurch Press:
“ACC senior medical adviser Peter Jansen said the review was not about cost-cutting, but about improving services… …”We are not trying to withdraw things… …The point of having this plan is to make the service better”
So let’s look at some facts.
A recent snap poll of providers, completed by yours truly shows that of the claims filed since the new pathway, only 6% are being accepted; 44% require “further information,” and 36% are declined outright, with 14% no response or delayed. (n=128).
I’d hate to imagine what would happen if they were actually trying to withdraw services.
Furthermore over 60% of the claims counted by this survey are adult presentations of child abuse. This reflects the anecdotal stories that we who oppose these changes are hearing, claims are no longer being accepted, and in particular adults claiming for childhood abuse. The growing trend is that ACC are able to justify this by stating variations on the theme that too much time had elapsed, so therefore it’s likely to have been other stressors. Ergo: child abuse is not the cause, and no funding required.
Anyone who has ever worked with these clients, or even read the literarature knows this is clinically absurd, and furthermore legally unreasonable.
So who’s making these decisions? I hoped you might ask that. Here’s a list of those on the Multi Disciplinary Assessment Panel: (drum roll)
Dr Kristine Fernando (Registered Clinical Psychologist).
Mr Christoph Huelsmann (Registered Clinical Psychologist).
Mr Thomas Neser (Registered Clinical Psychologist).
Dr Peter Jansen (Registered Medical Practitioner).
Dr Darryl Lee Prince (Registered Medical Practitioner).
Michael Watson, Stephanie Bennett, Rachael Stephenson and Shelley Mills in their roles as team managers.
James Du Plessis, Manager, Jeanie Robinson and Allanah Andrews, Technical Claims Managers.
The regional Traige Psychologists are: (tense silence)
Dr Frances Brinn (Registered Clinical Psychologist)
Dr Gillian Pow (Registered Clinical Psychologist)
Dr Barry Kirker (Registered Clinical Psychologist)
ACC refused to tell me if any of these clinicians had specific training or experience in sexual abuse and trauma. Apparently that’s private. But I figured those of you out there who are still reading my irregular outpourings might know. If you do, let me know here.
Also if you are aware of any psychologists or psychiatrists who may have lost their contracts’, or their referrals have dried up for DATA due to protesting or complaining about these changes, could you also let me know here? I’ve heard rumours…