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NSW workers’ comp scheme acts to stop ‘revolving door’

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WorkCover NSW will consult with scheme agents and their case managers to improve processes, a spokesman has told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Injured workers have “raised concerns about what some describe as a revolving door of case managers and a lack of uniformity in the way their cases are handled”, he says.

“The Government is focused on putting the customer at the centre of the workers’ compensation process, and to that end is examining the processes currently in place and how they can be improved. A part of that involves better and ongoing interaction and consultation with scheme agents.”

Feedback will feature in a final engagement report, which will include input from key industry groups including business and workers.

The scheme agents in NSW are Allianz Australia Workers’ Compensation, CGU Workers’ Compensation, Employers Mutual, GIO General and QBE Workers’ Compensation.

The Government has released early results from a survey of injured workers, which shows quick resolution of queries is the biggest driver of satisfaction with insurers. Others are the ability to understand workers’ claims, professional and courteous service, and ability to provide information on next steps.

Finance, Services and Property Minister Dominic Perrottet says the survey shows lack of case-manager support and access to information are key concerns for injured workers.

“While some injured workers have had positive experiences… many are concerned about better information and timely communication, financial support for medical services and retraining, and being supported by their employer and insurer.”

The minister has published a video online that shows him consulting with injured workers, one of whom had up to 15 case managers in a year.

In the video he says more consistency is needed on case management.

“I think that would help these people in terms of their outlook and in terms of their return to work.

“Whether it’s reskilling and education, better access to information, better interaction with scheme agents or improved access to transition benefits, it is clear the NSW Government has a lot more work to do in this space.”

The full results of the survey will be available next month.

Mr Perrottet declined to comment on recent reports that WorkCover NSW will be split into three separate authorities, to resolve conflicts of interest and tackle perceptions it is “pro-employer”.