NRC Medical Experts regularly provide ongoing clinical supervision and support during legal cases, in addition to providing expert witness reports and testimony. Clinical case supervision is carried out parallel to the legal case and for some time beyond a settlement.
What is Clinical Practice and why is it important?
Neurorehabilitation is a team effort and it has long been accepted that early access to rehabilitation results in better outcomes for individuals. By providing senior medical input to lead a multi-disciplinary team of therapists, health care professionals, the legal team and case managers; individuals can be supported along their rehabilitation journey before a settlement is agreed or after the legal case is concluded. In effect, this support optimises the overall management an individual receives.
Clinical Practice is of particular value when individuals do not meet the criteria for, or are unsuitable for NHS care (local NHS clinicians are unable to visit them at home), but would benefit from neurological rehabilitation – often the aim of the wider legal action.
Our medical experts are ideally placed to review the overall clinical picture, ensuring that individuals are supported to reach their goals with optimised and effective therapeutic interventions and close working with case managers.
Meet Dr Colin Pinder, NRC Medical Expert
Dr Colin Pinder is a medico-legal expert working with NRC Medical Experts. A Consultant in Neurological Rehabilitation, his specialist interests include acquired brain injury, traumatic head injury, management of spasticity and neurological rehabilitation.
We spoke to Dr Pinder about his clinical practice work for NRC Medical Experts and what difference he feels it makes to the legal case, and to the quality of rehabilitation individuals receive.
“The vast majority of people with catastrophic brain injury experience ongoing problems such as seizures, spasticity and pain. Any of the medical complications of brain injury that we see will benefit from ongoing clinical monitoring by a consultant in rehabilitation medicine. The clinical case supervision I carry out cuts out the risk of inappropriate referral or delay to ongoing rehabilitation when a person is discharged from hospital. It provides continuity of care, and a personal approach that really benefits the patient.”
In a time when home visits from an NHS consultant are so rare as to be negligible, Dr Pinder visits people at home, or in their specialist care centre.
“By visiting people in their home or residential service, I can get to know their family and the care, therapy and nursing teams caring from them on a day to day basis.
It removes the stress people feel when coming into hospital for appointments. I can work closely with the team who surround the patient, chatting to a number of professionals I simply wouldn’t be able to if the individual was brought into my outpatients clinic, getting much more detailed information and ability to feedback directly to the most important people.
This close working in an environment where the patient is comfortable leads to quicker interventions and better outcomes.”
This close relationship with the multi-disciplinary team and family leads to a reduction in delays and a greater response to the patient’s needs.
“Recently, a multi-disciplinary team asked me about adjusting medication in light of seizure activity in a patient – a question which the team and GP would have had to refer to an NHS consultant to answer if I didn’t already have this oversight.
This would have led to delay for this patient in receiving the right medication and care. I was then able to offer the team further advice on medication and what they should look out for as the patient progresses along their rehabilitation journey.”
At NRC Medical Experts, we always look for ways in which we can better support legal teams during complex, multi-track cases. Dr Pinder concludes;
“For legal teams, the clinical oversight I provide allows them to feel reassured that the patient is receiving the best care possible. I’m also able to provide greater insight into their progress with regular updates during calls and meetings.
Supporting a patient throughout the case and post-settlement gives individuals the benefit of this ongoing continuity of care.”