Jacqueline Webb explain what is commented on in a Care Expert report.

We get asked a lot about the contents of our Expert reports. Most of our Experts are occupational therapists and they comment on the functional abilities of their clients in acute or community care, independent practice or case management. Expert Witnesses do the same, they complete a functional assessment and write a report on their findings. It is clear then that most occupational therapists will have the core skills required to act as an Expert Witness. However, the key difference comes in the detail, so we felt this was a good opportunity to highlight what our Experts actually comment on in a Care Expert Witness report.

Assessment
Our Experts initially conduct a one-off face-to-face assessment usually in the claimant’s own home. This is focused on function and mobility, much the same as in statutory services or independent practice. Our Experts use their findings to comment on all activities of daily living and consider the past, present and future needs for the claimant.

Care
Our Experts have experience in organising personal care often gained in community care and/or case management. They have to use these skills to justify the likely required level of support. This may be simple personal care facilitated by an agency or a more complex 24/7 care package with directly employed care teams. Care tends to be the largest section in our reports, because of the overall complexity and values involved.

Our Experts have experience in organising personal care often gained in community care and/or case management.

Equipment
Our Experts have great freedom to recommend the equipment that is right for the claimant, rather than facing the restrictions often seen in statutory services. Experts can use their knowledge of the latest technological developments to return the claimant to the level of functional independence enjoyed prior to their injury.

Housing
Our Experts are asked to comment on whether a property is suitable, suitable with adaptation or unsuitable for the claimant’s needs. Our Experts will not be expected to comment on the structural changes to a building but will be expected to comment on the adaptations required i.e. level-access wet room or ground floor extension. 

Transport
It is unusual for clinicians to be familiar with a wide range of vehicles and adaptations but it is an essential part of the holistic package our Experts recommend. This highlights the freedom you have to make recommendations without restrictions. We have relationships with all the major providers and offer training and workshops to enhance your knowledge. 

Miscellaneous
Many occupational therapists with a statutory services background will never have had the opportunity to make such broad recommendations before. A truly holistic approach! The miscellaneous section could include leisure and social activities, domestic support, holidays, additional heating costs, further therapies or specialist footwear or clothing.

If you would like to know more about our work or our reports then please visit jwebb.co.uk/webinar for our next ‘What is a Care Expert?’ webinar. This will further explain, with practical examples, the report produced by a Care Expert.

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