Any member of the patient's support team can recommend a referral to an independent consultant. All referrals to an independent consultant should be arranged by the insurer who completes the independent consultant referral form.
Allied health practitioners may recommend the referral of an independent consultant by contacting the insurer directly, or noting their request and rationale in the space provided on the Allied Health Recovery Request (AHRR).
If an NTD wishes to make a referral, the request and rationale for an independent consultant can be included in the certificate of capacity or via direct contact with the insurer.
When to refer to an independent consultant
As an allied health practitioner, you're encouraged to request involvement of an independent consultant when you think an independent opinion and/or expert advice will be beneficial to the management of a work-related injury, and there’s evidence of barriers to:
- recovery progress
- return to work
- active participation
icare supports the proactive involvement of independent consultants to achieve the best outcome for the patient.
Insurers referring to independent consultants
The insurer will consider a referral to an independent consultant where an allied health practitioner requests treatment that continues beyond 16 sessions.
They may also consider referral after discussion with the treating allied health practitioner, if there is concern about:
- the treatment duration, frequency and/or whether treatment is reasonably necessary
- treatment that has continued for an extended period without any improvement in functional outcomes, particularly in relation to a worker’s capacity
- the treatment approach most likely to achieve positive work outcomes for the worker
- barriers to recovery at work and/or psychosocial risk factors for delayed recovery and work loss
Who can be an independent consultant
An independent consultant for the review of physical treatment must be registered as either a:
An independent consultant for the review of psychological treatment must be a registered psychologist.
All independent consultants must be experienced in the assessment, treatment and management of workplace injuries, and must be approved by SIRA.