How do you match a few hundred respiratory specialists with hundreds of thousands of claims without drawing the process out for years? Adrian Maurice explained at our conference
Last March the deadline expired for miners with respiratory injuries to lodge claims with the Department for Trade and Industry. In total, 570,000 people registered, making it Britain's largest personal injury claims project ever.
So the challenges as suppliers to this scheme was to produce an industry-scale medical assessment process that mimics the court process. The claims handling agreement set that out.
And the core of this is the respiratory specialists who actually examine the miners to determine the extent of their respiratory damage, and these are scarce. So what we had to do was to make sure that the relevant medical and other information required to assess the claim was presented to the respiratory specialist at the right time, along with all the equipment and so forth that's required to enable them to do their job.
The process had to be repeatable and accessible. Remember we are dealing with many old and injured people who can not travel far to be assessed.
We came up with a plan for mobile scanning units using specially adapted caravans and Land Rovers. But before we let the original 30 Land Rover Defenders and 20 caravans roll, there was a huge exercise in talking to the record holders - the GPs, DWP and others. We said we needed several hundred records a week. Their jaws dropped to the floor. They had been supplying under a hundred a year.
Five years down the line, we have been through 107 Land Rovers.
Part of the success of the project was designing a paperless workflow system. Documents were available on web-enabled systems so everyone involed in the project in all parts of the supply chain could be linked up.
We've now collected 240,000 sets of medical records. That's 750,000-1 million records in total since 2000. And now we are processing claims at a rate of 8,000 per month.