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What is a case manager?

What is a case manager?

Unique characteristics and complexities of catastrophic and serious injuries often require care involving different specialists operating from different facilities. A dedicated case manager will coordinate all the relevant health, social, and legal professionals to ensure client needs are met and costs are managed.

Possessing the specialised skills of a social worker, registered nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, sports rehabilitation professional or other healthcare professional, a case manager is equipped with the clinical knowledge to plan, implement, and monitor the resources involved in a person’s rehabilitation and the communication skills needed to collaborate with multi-disciplinary stakeholders.

The role of a case manager

Case managers are specialists in certain clinical areas and although their role involves more coordination and assessment than administering clinical care, the environment they work in and duties they are required to do will depend on their area of expertise and the needs of the client.

Each client requires a tailored rehabilitation plan, but the common responsibilities of a case manager would include:

  • Engaging a holistic view of a client’s life and needs
  • Assessing the client’s needs, identifying a suitable rehabilitation plan, and finding the right clinical specialists and resources
  • Monitoring continually to safeguard appropriate treatment
  • Coordinating with the multi-disciplinary team as well as instructing parties throughout the course of the rehabilitation
  • Advocating for the client when communicating with stakeholders
  • Safeguarding the best outcome for the client and their family

Case managers can also provide job seeking support and help in discussions with potential employers to help clients in a position to return to work. In cases where a client’s home or equipment needs to be adapted, a case manager can liaise with an architect and specialists capable of understanding patient needs to ensure full access to their home and garden and full use of the facilities.

Case Management Services

Key skills of case manager

Often working with clients that have a long-term or chronic injury or illness, case managers specialise in a variety of clinical disciplines including major trauma, children and young people, spinal injury, brain injury, or traumatic amputation. It is therefore imperative they possess the clinical skills in the relevant area to effectively manage a case.

It is also necessary for a case manager to possess empathy and understanding when dealing with clients and their families, many of whom have gone through traumatic and often life-changing experiences. The ability to recognise and manage psychological concepts such as projection and transference will help a case manager successfully navigate complex environments and maintain healthy relationships and good clinical boundaries.

Guidelines for case managers

At present there is no framework for practitioners to be formally qualified as a case manager, nor is there an accreditation process. However, it is widely expected among those instructing case managers that they hold some formal qualification as a healthcare practitioner and are registered with an appropriate professional body.

In practice, case managers follow guidelines published by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) which provide evidence-based recommendations for the care of patients with specific injuries or illnesses.

In future, case managers will have effective Standards of Practice set by the Institute of Registered Case Managers (IRCM), which combines the expertise of Case Management Society UK (CMSUK), the Vocational Rehabilitation Association UK (VRA UK) and the British Association of Brain Injury Case Managers (BABICM). These can be used by case managers and commissioners to always ensure appropriate provision of client care.

Bush & Co case management

Case management services from Bush & Co support children from birth, young people, and adults who have suffered catastrophic injuries through personal injury or clinical negligence.

  • Expertise – a team of more than 115 clinical specialists across the UK with an average of 16 and a minimum of 7 years experience
  • Professional – established relationships across the medico-legal sector enabling flexible commercial terms and efficient response times
  • Client-focused – we are proud to have a 97% overall client satisfaction rate
  • Added Value – access to services including vocational rehabilitation, pain management programmes, and employment support services

Contact a member of our team on 01327 876210 or at for further details of our Case Management and Rehabilitation services. Alternatively, click the image below to visit our services guides on Case Management and Rehabilitation.