9 Dec 2021

Online hui first step as ACC seeks feedback on handling of sensitive claims

5:07 pm on 9 December 2021

ACC is to consult with sexual abuse survivors and therapists in a bid improve its sensitive claims service.

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File pic Photo: RNZ/Vinay Ranchhod

The consultation has been prompted by RNZ stories highlighting concerns about the way sensitive claims, which relate to sexual abuse, are managed, amid pressure from the ACC Minister to improve the service.

It will start with an online hui with key service providers next week with a series of engagements planned for 2022, but the consultation process was expected to take "a couple of years", ACC said in a statement.

"We are going to be taking time to listen and fully understand the challenges and benefits of the current ISSC [integrated Services for Sensitive Claims] service and engage closely with survivors and providers and the wider sector.

"Our goal is to gain a joint understanding of the issues and solutions to progress over the next couple of years."

These issues included designing Kaupapa Māori sensitive claim services and addressing the shortage of counsellors and therapists.

The ACC Minister will receive a progress report in April.

It comes as an independent privacy review into how ACC manages and shares client information, headed by lawyer Linda Clark, is underway, prompted by the revelation that ACC call centre staff shared client details.

Concerns have also been raised about staff having inappropriate access to sensitive claim files.

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