Physiotherapist Scott Hodder went into case management because he wanted to make the most of his rehabilitation skills. Now he’s up for a prestigious award.
Why did you move from physiotherapy into case management?
I had been doing physiotherapy in a rehab centre and in my own private practice in Bristol. An occupational therapist friend, who’d just started work as a case manager, told me about it and I was interested. I’d always enjoyed carrying out assessments and supporting clients through their rehab process and I felt this would put the knowledge I have built up working in hospitals, with GPs, rehab clinics and private practices to good use.
What does your work involve?
Case management is usually initiated following a personal injury or medical negligence claim. Most of my work is with amputees who have sustained traumatic injuries. My aim is to support them in achieving their rehab potential and enable them to resume, as far as possible, their former lives.
The process will start with a detailed assessment, outlining recommendations and cost summaries for the client’s immediate rehab needs, usually spanning six months.
I also make recommendations on the support needed for longer-term rehab. My recommendations have to be clinically justified, cost-effective and linked to clear goals to ensure any ongoing rehab is planned and properly funded. I work closely with clients and their families, instructing and liaising with therapists, requesting specialist reports for housing, equipment and vehicle needs, liaising with employers to support a return to work and co-ordinating all the different services that are needed to make this happen. I usually have a caseload of between 12 and 16 clients at any one time. Some have been with me for as long as five years.
What is the biggest challenge?
I try to help clients be realistic about the time it takes to rehabilitate fully after such a serious life-changing incident and understand the impact on their wider lives and family. They need to focus on realistic goals while coming to terms with the permanent changes to their lives. Supporting clients who are experiencing psychological trauma that affects their wider engagement in rehab is often challenging.
And the greatest reward?
When I start with clients, they have often had a mixed experience of care. Excellent initial care may be followed by much patchier rehab. To be able to work with a client and make recommendations for the level of rehab they really need and then get it funded is amazing. This could involve attending a residential rehab programme, receiving state-of-the-art prosthetics or having a carer to provide support. It’s especially rewarding when clients achieve goals such as returning to work or sport, going on holiday with their family, being able to garden or simply walk around the shops independently.
Does being a physio equip you well for case management work?
Definitely. My training as a physio instilled in me the importance of clinical reasoning and justification for all treatment. I have transferred this to case management. I am constantly seeking clinical justification for all rehab treatment because at the end of the day I have to show how the rehab package I’m proposing will support clients’ ability to return to the quality of life they were enjoying before the incident.
You also need a sound understanding of the litigation process and an ability to communicate effectively with everyone involved with your client’s rehab.
How does it feel to be up for the Case Management Society UK case manager of the year award?
I was extremely pleased to be nominated and to receive positive feedback and testimonials from clients, solicitors, barristers, therapists and colleagues.
Are you taking time off at Christmas?
Yes. One of the good things about being a case manager is that you can be self-employed which gives you great flexibility. I’ll be spending time with my family, getting out to the Brecon Beacons with our dog Jackson, checking out some live music and then catching up with friends at New Year.
- Scott Hodder works with Bush & Company Rehabilitation
AuthorFrontline and Scott Hodder
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