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Allied health update November 2017

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WorkCover Queensland hosted our quarterly meeting with allied health associations on 29 November 2017. Associations in attendance included Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA), Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA), Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association (ARPA), Hand Therapy Association Australia (HTAA), Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC), Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia (RCAA) and Chiropractors' Association.

Agenda items included:

  • recent WorkCover updates including:
    • our Cairns Board meeting and stakeholder event
    • Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis legislative changes
    • the LeadingWell Queensland initiative
    • the Be healthy, be safe, be well whole-of-Government framework
    • our ongoing partnership with the Office of Industrial Relations
    • and the publication of the 2016–2017 annual report
  • an update on our Recovery Blueprint partnership with Monash University
  • an update on our partnership with the University of Queensland looking at improving understanding of people’s experience of the common law process
  • discussion about the upcoming review of the allied health table of costs
  • a return to work services panel update
  • a discussion about new technologies and their role in injured workers’ recoveries
  • updates from each of the associations in attendance.

Below is a summary of what was discussed.

Cairns WorkCover Board meeting and stakeholder event

We held our first regional board meeting in Cairns in October 2017. We took the opportunity to host an information session for our customers and stakeholders on the prior evening. We provided our guests with an update on WorkCover’s achievements over the past year and what strategic projects we’ll be focusing on over the coming 12 months. The session also gave our board members a chance to speak directly with our customers and stakeholders and gather firsthand any feedback, which was generally positive. A number of locally-based providers were able to attend the session.

Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis legislative changes

The WCRA (Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 was passed with the date of assent 31 August 2017. We have established a specialised team that manages all latent onset claims. This will include managing the new Coal Health Screening applications which were added as part of the amendments.

LeadingWell Queensland

LeadingWell Queensland is a collaboration between WorkCover, the Office of Industrial Relations and SuperFriend Mental Health Promotion Foundation. The collaboration was officially launched on Monday 7 August 2017.

The LeadingWell Queensland Collaboration is about engaging senior business and industry leaders through various leadership forums and events.

WorkCover recently facilitated a retail industry mentally healthy workplaces forum on 15 November 2017 with 65 in attendance. This session was a coordinated effort between WorkCover, Office of Industrial Relations, SuperFriend and included a case study by The Reject Shop. The session was filmed, with the presentations and videos now available on our website.

The next major LeadingWell Queensland breakfast event is scheduled for February 2018 in Mackay plus local workshops in Mackay and Brisbane to be confirmed.

Be healthy, be safe, be well framework

As part of a wider focus on integrating health, safety and wellbeing across the Queensland Public Service, the Be healthy, be safe, be well framework was developed and launched across Government in September 2017. The framework provides an integrated and proactive approach to health, safety and wellbeing across the Queensland public sector.

WorkCover’s annual report

Our 2016–2017 annual report is now available on our website.

Recovery Blueprint

WorkCover is partnering with researchers at Monash University to design and test an evidence-based approach to identifying and supporting injured workers who are at risk of poor return to work outcomes and/or pursuing a common law claim against their employer.

The nine-month project, which started in July 2017, will investigate barriers and enablers of return to work, factors influencing a claim outcome and innovative claim management strategies to address these barriers. So far, the project team has conducted a literature review of current research including why workers proceed to common law, spent time working closely with people from across the organisation gathering insights on how we manage claims, and understanding our practices and processes, our customers and their injuries.  WorkCover is running workshops, an opportunity to discuss current research on the risk factors for delayed return to work. Following this, the focus will be about the next steps for the research project.

Common law

WorkCover and the University of Queensland are working together on a project to better understand people’s experiences of the common law process, in order to generate possibilities and alternatives that might improve those experiences in the future. We have recently held workshops and interviews with customers and stakeholders including injured workers, employers, unions, industry associations and lawyers.

Allied health table of costs review

WorkCover will shortly be commencing the consultation process with associations ahead of the 2018–2019 table of costs review. As part of this process, we will conduct research into fee models that will deliver better return to work outcomes for injured workers while balancing costs for employers.

Return to work services panel update

WorkCover has extended the tender agreement for our return to work services panel for a further two years. The panel of 37 providers was appointed in February 2015 for a three-year term, with the option of a two-year extension at WorkCover’s discretion. We have chosen to exercise the two-year extension, and tender agreements with existing panel providers will be extended until February 2020.

In that respect, we have committed to reviewing the existing outcome reporting in place for the panel and have approached providers for feedback on what they feel are important factors in measuring success

New technology

A discussion was held regarding new technologies such as smartphone apps and telehealth services and their role in injured workers’ treatment and recovery. Going forward, WorkCover will liaise with associations regarding these emerging technologies.

Association updates

OTA raised an agenda item regarding the upcoming table of costs review and WorkCover agreed to consult with all relevant stakeholders when determining an appropriate fee model.

OTA also shared an update regarding recent staff appointments in their Qld/NT branch.

HTAA shared an update on the new accreditation process for hand therapists.

The APA shared an update on their recent national conference.

Last updated
06 December 2017