17 Jul 2012

ACC 'must do more' for vulnerable, cultural groups

10:38 pm on 17 July 2012

A progress report on the Accident Compensation Corporation says it must do more to help vulnerable people and those from Maori and Pacific backgrounds.

The review comes 18 months after an independent panel made 14 recommendations to improve the way ACC handles special claims.

The report says there has been slow progress in meeting the needs of Maori and Pacific people and ACC must improve the way it works with these groups.

It also identifies more must be done to help those with sensitive claims, mental illness and drug and alcohol problems.

The report recommends the successful model used to support children and young people should now be used for other vulnerable groups.

It also highlights a need for more good quality counsellors. ACC says it increased its budget on counsellors by 20% in the last year.

The report recommends ongoing monitoring to ensure ACC meets the need of its clients in future.

The corporation says it's confident there will be better treatment and services for cultural groups and vulnerable claimants in the future.

Review head confident of future

Review head Barbara Disley says she is confident ACC will not go back to how it was before she put her 14 recommendations in place.

"They have in the last 18 months worked to get the changes required in the child and adolescent area and they have developed much more effective working relationships with the provider sector," she says.

"Those sorts of changes have headed ACC in a more appropriate direction, and it would be my expectation they would continue to build on those changes."

ACC general manager Denise Cosgrove says the corporation is confident it is working towards better services for cultural minorities and vulnerable claimants.