Building close relationships with other organisations within the legal, medical and financial industries among many other sectors is extremely important to us and a big part of who we are.
During the claims journey, we work closely with financial advisors, medical professionals and other organisations to ensure our clients are as supported as possible on their journey through personal injury. We work really hard to make sure that all our clients receive not only the financial support they need, but also the medical care and rehabilitation they require following an accident, particularly if they have suffered a serious or life-changing injury.
Following an accident, your solicitor or claims handler will assess your needs and review whether you require extra medical support during your recovery. We will then call on our medical partners and rehabilitation specialists and experts across the relevant medical fields to make sure you get the best support possible.
We caught up with Matthew Hughes, Clinical Services Director at Dorset Orthopaedic, who explains why partnerships like ours are so important…
Minter Law: Who are Dorset Orthopaedic & what services do you specialise in?
Matthew Hughes: Dorset Orthopaedic is an independent provider of prosthetic, orthotic, silicone and rehabilitation services with two full-time clinics plus five satellite clinics across the UK. We were founded in 1989 and over the past three decades, we’ve earned a reputation for our quality and personalised service. Above all else, we prioritise the unique requirements of each patient and our dedicated team delivers an individual, personalised attention. Each of our clinicians is fully trained across prosthetics and orthotics, and many of us have specialisms in certain areas.
Alongside the prosthetics and orthotics, we have an incredible team of people who create some of the best high-definition silicone cosmeses in the world. These act as covers for the prosthetics, and people choose them for their intricate, life-like features as well as having the opportunity to personalise their cosmesis with tattoos or special designs.
In addition, we have led the industry in the development of our Residential Rehabilitation programme. Our clinicians were inspired by the process that takes place at elite military rehabilitation centres like Headley Court which provide intensive programmes of physiotherapy to people who have had a life-changing injury or amputation. Alongside our work directly with patients we also have a department dedicated to legal services. We can provide everything from immediate needs assessments to Expert Witness reports, which is where our partnership with Minster Law comes in.
ML: What are the main benefits of our relationship?
MH: We have been working closely with Minster Law for many years now, more recently providing expert witness reports on over 20 known cases. We keep up regular communication with Minster Law through our dedicated legal services team who are on hand to provide all the latest information and answer any questions as quickly as possible while clients are in the process of a personal injury claim.
We also hold regular events throughout the year to make sure that all of our colleagues in the legal profession have a true understanding of the work that we do and the impact it has on people’s lives. At our annual Case Manager training days we take solicitors and claims handlers through every step of the process with real-life patients, from casting a prosthetic socket to physiotherapy. We find that this hands-on approach is the best way to communicate and gives us the chance to answer any questions the team at Minster Law may have and provide more in-depth explanations.
Our legal conference also takes place every year with a programme of speakers including experts in the field of prosthetics and patients who have directly benefitted from the latest technology. We have a legal newsletter too which is full of real-life stories, features on the most effective and ground-breaking products and services available to our patients, and team profiles so that all of our partners like Minster Law can get to know the experts who are working behind the scenes in the industry.
ML: What has been your greatest achievement when working with a client?
MH: Seeing my patients overcome some of the difficulties that they face, or reaching milestones that they set for themselves gives me the greatest sense of achievement. That can be from the most everyday thing, like getting up the stairs at home, all the way to going back to work, being successful in sport or having the confidence to travel the world.
With some of our patients who have been referred to us by case handlers right at the beginning of their personal injury claim, we see that they have been through a great deal of trauma so watching as they gain confidence and become more hopeful about the future is wonderful.
We’re obviously not involved with the claims process, but it’s always really great to see when our clients receive the settlement they deserve, helping to support and improve lives following their accident. Being more financially supported gives clients more options in terms of what prosthetics and rehabilitation services are available to them, and the opportunity to try out new innovations.
Prosthetics companies are investing constantly in Research and Development, so it’s also always exciting to see which new products are coming out and where improvements are made to existing products, all with the goal to replicate natural movement as closely as possible. As a clinician, I am really passionate about innovations in patient care and the procedures and services that become available.