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handl Group: New reach Personal Injury Service Launch


handl Group: New reach Personal Injury Service Launch

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handl Group’s portfolio brand, neuro rehab specialist reach Personal Injury Services Ltd, launches ground breaking new service to spot early warning signs in head trauma cases

handl Group’s latest acquisition, Reach Personal Injury, reach, market leaders in brain injury rehabilitation, today launch Headlight – a unique assessment programme designed to detect and treat symptoms caused by milder head traumas before they escalate.

Headlight is designed to fill a gap in available assessment and treatment programmes which has meant that warning signs of future health problems for people who have suffered mild head trauma could be missed, leading to longer-term health issues.

The low-cost, tech-based triage system means that insurers and lawyers can act quickly to ensure the best outcome for the claimant and reduce the risk of cases escalating over long periods due to lack of early intervention and treatment.

The launch of Headlight follows a successful pilot of the system, working with leading insurer Aviva, held earlier this year. Experience from the pilot informed fine-tuning of the assessment process, as well as ensuring that the appropriate range of clinical tools and onward referral options were included.

“There was a real gap for this kind of service, and we’ve had positive feedback from insurers and lawyers who are very keen to see it filled,” said Heather Batey, MD of reach, which is now the largest private sector organisation dedicated solely to the provision of brain injury rehabilitation at home, and was bought by portfolio management company handl Group in December last year.

“It’s been scientifically established that the earlier head trauma cases receive assistance, the less likely it is that ongoing symptoms will escalate into longer term difficulties requiring clinical management,” said Batey. “Headlight allows claims handlers and lawyers to take appropriate action at a very early stage in the claim.

“Someone may have a minor bump to the head, rather than suffering traumatic brain injury in a more serious incident, but that bump may still have caused symptoms that are not immediately apparent. If these are not spotted early and go untreated, they can lead to longer-term difficulties that could be avoided with early intervention.”

A real example that brings the benefits of Headlight to life is that of a male Aviva customer who sustained a head trauma in October last year after being involved in a road traffic accident while cycling home from work. He attended hospital and remained under observation as an in-patient for 2 days.

He returned to work as a teacher after 3 weeks but was experiencing difficulty managing his role, and had not resumed his previous leisure activities.

A Headlight screening assessment carried out in January, highlighting ongoing cognitive fatigue, possible executive skills deficits, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and emotional adjustment difficulties.

As a result, recommendations were made for a full post-concussion syndrome (PCS) assessment to identify cognitive rehabilitation needs, and for counselling and CBT to address the trauma issues. Five 1.5 hour remote rehabilitation sessions were also recommended – these are currently in progress and are already having a very positive outcome.

 Sue Reeve, Rehabilitation Claims Manager from Aviva said: “The Headlight pilot shows real potential in getting injured people the correct and specifically targeted treatment they need at the earliest opportunity.”

 How Headlight works:

  • Cases involving minor head trauma are referred to reach by insurers/lawyers
  • reach carry out a remote video screening assessment with the patient – around two hours of qualitative and quantitative questioning, designed to identify any “red flags” indicating underlying symptoms caused by the trauma
  • They produce a report of the findings, with actions and recommendations based around three possible outcomes:
    • No action to be taken (no indication of underlying problems).
    • Light touch (minor issues detected) – support offered to the patient can include directing them to local support services or specialist therapy apps, or referral to their GP, CBT, or physiotherapy services.
    • Full post-concussive syndrome assessment required (more significant issues detected) – assessment is carried out; further appropriate treatment recommended.

About reach:

  • reach was established in 1994 to provide a unique home and community-based rehabilitation service for child and adult survivors of moderate and severe traumatic brain injury.
  • It is now the largest private sector organisation dedicated solely to the provision of brain injury rehabilitation at home.
  • Our mission is to provide a high-quality, cost effective service to enable individuals to attain their full potential, optimising the use of all sectors – statutory, voluntary, educational, vocational and independent – offering huge advantages to the client and the funding of, possibly, life-long care.
  • reach is a national company employing regionally based Programme Managers. These guide locally based Personal Programme Assistants who deliver the one-to-one programmes which are tailored to the client’s individual needs.

About handl Group:

  • handl Group is a mixture of exciting start-ups and established market leaders, all united by the idea of improving and evolving the way our markets operate. At its heart is a deep understanding of the legal, insurance and healthcare sectors, and a forward-thinking viewpoint that seeks to innovate, disrupt, add value, and ultimately lead as strategic partners for its clients.
  • The Group has expanded from 6 businesses in 2019 to 13 active, trading businesses in 2021, experiencing significant and rapid growth.
  • “We handl things differently. We add value, we innovate, and we maintain the highest standards, creating disruptive ideas that shape markets. It’s handl Group’s vision to transform its customers into the market-leading organisations of tomorrow.” – Graham Pulford, Chief Executive Officer


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