Supporting rehabilitation can be successful says John Kenny
' NFU Mutual has actively supported rehabilitation for many years. The rehabilitation programme works on a non-adversarial basis, meaning the reports produced are not part of the adversarial claim and cannot be referred to by any of the adversarial experts. Reports are disclosed to both sides consecutively, " warts and all".In 1999, one of our customers' employees, his son, was hit by a large bale of hay that fell on him from a height. Many months of hospitalisation followed, including a period of rehabilitation. Ultimately, he was told that he would never walk again.As a young man he was extremely determined to work hard at his rehabilitation and through a period when he was mobile in a wheelchair, he then progressed on to elbow crutches and can now walk with the aid of sticks.Living on the farm with his parents, his aim had been to gradually take over the running of the farm and clearly the accident would have convinced many people that was an unrealistic aim.But NFU Mutual, in conjunction with a consultant occupational therapist and an Access to Work officer, developed a plan that would enable the insured's son to effectively run the farm with only limited help from a buddy worker for 21 hours each week.Over a period of time equipment was approved, together with a series of adaptations to the farmyard and buildings to coordinate a package that would enable the insured's son to achieve his objective of running the farm. The aim was to achieve greater mobility for him when running the farm. He is now actively managing the farm with little assistance, largely as a result of his own determination and tenacity, but also through the combined actions of NFU Mutual and the Access to Work scheme. ' John Kenny is claims manager at NFU Mutual
Greater mobility down on the farmA specific model of tractor was chosen for the injured claimant in the above case because it was simple to drive, would allow easy access, and required very light pedal pressures. He also had a quad bike fitted with hand controls and a trailer designed to fit by a bench where equipment is stored to make loading easier without heavy lifting.Doorways into the calf shed were widened and ramps fitted to allow access for a Bobcat loader. A part of the farmyard was converted and fitted with a sheep and cattle management area to enable the employee to handle livestock without being in close contact with them. This would present a high risk to him of being knocked over due to him being unsteady on his feet.