Rehabilitation and return to work plans for psychological injuries
Julia Bunn, Queensland President of the Australian Rehabilitation Providers’ Association (ARPA), will consider practical strategies to assist insurers to develop effective rehabilitation and return to work (RRTW) plans for primary and secondary psychological claims.
Although psychological claims can be typically more complex and longer in duration, with a person-centred approach and effective planning with the help of an expert health provider, a successful return to work outcome can be achieved for the benefit of the injured worker and employer.
In her presentation, Julia will discuss primary and secondary psychological injuries and the health benefits of good work, Superfriend’s ‘Taking Action’ best practice framework for the management of psychological claims, and why early intervention and support is crucial for psychological injuries, and how to capture this in a RRTW plan.
Julia will also look at the roles of various stakeholders who should be involved in RRTW planning, including the injured worker, the insurer, the employer/rehabilitation and return to work coordinator supporting recovery at work, and treating health providers. She will discuss:
- how a suitable duties program sits within a RRTW plan
- when and why it may be necessary to refer assessment of RRTW needs
- what makes a case complex
- when to seek expert health provider assistance
- what support you can expect to receive from a workplace rehabilitation provider
- ways the RRTW plan facilitates effective collaboration between all stakeholders.
Julia’s presentation will align with the soon to be released Rehabilitation and return to work plan guideline – for insurers and the Accredited rehabilitation and return to work program guideline – for insurers.
Key learning outcomes:
- Best practice RRTW planning is person-centred, takes a biopsychosocial approach, considers barriers/enablers to RRTW, is goal-directed and is documented (a written plan).
- While documenting a RRTW plan it is the insurer’s responsibility; an effective plan is a collaboration between the injured worker, the insurer, the employer supporting recovery at work, and treating health providers.
- There is no ‘one size fits all’ RRTW plan. The level of detail will depend on the complexity of the worker’s injury and their individual rehabilitation needs.
- Early intervention and support are crucial to achieving better RRTW outcomes for workers experiencing a psychological injury.
- Workplace rehabilitation providers can support you with complex cases.