The Poison Chalice

I’m pretty optimistic by nature, so forgive my spin on this one. Maybe it’s also just my need to feel like we are actually making a difference. But I honestly believe we are.

It seems ACC are unable to find a “reviewer” for the new clinical pathway. Rumours are two have been approached, and turned it down flat. So how is this a victory? First some background:

Over six months ago now, I started an online petition. Many of you signed it, and with the support of Lynne Pillay MP and the Labour party I took it to parliament and it was thrown at Nick Smith’s feet. (Not literally of course, but it makes a nice story.) His response was classic, throw ‘em off the scent politicking, namely promise a review, at some stage in the future. I say politicking because, hey presto, the news story went away almost overnight.

And so since then we have all had to battle on under this abusive new pathway and beleaguered but far from worn out, here we all are at the six month mark.

First problem: ACC are quick to qualify, the review was to take place after six months. OK, so when exactly?  Not sure.  And what’s the terms of reference? No one knows. And the reviewers? Sorry, can’t find any.

This part is a victory because thanks to all of you and your sustained political pressure on ACC and the National Government, this issue has not gone away. And from the point of view of a potential reviewer, it most certainly is a poison chalice. To take it as a political appointment would be career suicide, because to find anything other than this pathway has been an abject failure would be an absolute sham. But to publicly make those findings, well it would be unlikely you’d ever get hired again, at least until there is a change of government.

Just one small example. This table details the number of sensitive claims approved by ACC since January 1st, 2010. It makes for very sober reading.  This is not a pathway that is “working,” unless you’re funding it.

So it’s time to put the pressure back on Dr. Peter Jansen (Senior Clinical Director), Graham Bashford (“Director of Operations” and Peter Jansen’s boss) and the Hon. Nick Smith.

We were promised an independent review at the six month mark, and it is essential that this be an open and fair process, and more importantly that it actually happen.

So let’s get emailing, and letter writing. We haven’t collected all this data for nothing!

Peter.Jansen@acc.co.nz

Graham.Bashford@acc.co.nz

nick4nelson@parliament.govt.nz

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