An injury management consultant is a registered medical practitioner (doctor), approved by SIRA, and experienced in occupational injury and workplace based rehabilitation.
Injury management consultants are facilitators who assist insurers, employers, workers and nominated treating doctors in overcoming barriers to complex return to work and injury management situations.
They assess the nature of the problem and attempt to mediate a solution through discussions with the nominated treating doctor.
An insurer or employer can refer to an injury management consultant when there is a specific return to work or injury management problem such as:
- confused goals
- complexity of injury or workplace environment
- poor communication between insurer, employer and/or nominated treating doctor
- perceived conflict between the nominated treating doctor's recommendations and the workplace requirements
- unexplained changes in work capacity
- disagreement regarding the suitability of duties offered to a worker
- worker is not upgrading at work
The role of the injury management consultant
The role of the injury management consultant is distinctly different from that of the independent medical examiner. An injury management consultant assesses the situation, examines the worker (if necessary) and discusses possible solutions with all parties (particularly the nominated treating doctor).
An injury management consultant does not comment on the appropriateness of treatment or diagnostic procedures, or liability for a workers compensation claim.
The injury management consultant must verbally discuss the worker's capacity for work with the nominated treating doctor. The injury management consultant may discuss the following:
- issues in relation to treatment and diagnosis (if required) and options to overcome barriers to return to work
- capacity to work
- availability of suitable employment
- how the NSW workers compensation system operates
- the importance of timely, safe and durable recovery at/return to work
- obtaining agreement on work capacity, prognosis for recovery, and time frames for the return to work plan
Discussions with the worker may include:
- the worker’s recovery from injury
- the importance of timely, safe and durable return to work and potential impact on the worker’s health caused by absence from work
- relevant aspects of the workers compensation system
- issues and problems at work
- options for their return to work (including a possible teleconference with the nominated treating doctor)
- the worker’s expectations regarding recovery and return to work
The injury management consultant may also liaise with the employer to confirm the availability and appropriateness of identified work and where appropriate, conduct a workplace assessment.
The injury management consultant may liaise with other service providers to assist in determining capacity for work or identifying suitable employment.
The injury management consultant guidelines detail the role of injury management consultants and provide guidance on the referral process, including the formats of referrals and reports.
The Injury Management Consultants Fees Order sets the current maximum fees for injury management consultants.
Becoming an approved injury management consultant
Medical practitioners registered in the specialty of psychiatry are now able to apply to become an approved injury management consultant by completing the application for approval and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIRA is not currently accepting applications for approval from any other medical practitioner specialty.
There are extensive resources on our website. These include: