Liam was a 38 year old, married, father of three who worked as a plasterer and dry liner. He enjoyed family time and playing in a local five-a-side football team.
He contacted us following a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in his left foot and ankle. His claim was being dealt with by a large, national law firm. He told us that the solicitor representing him had little or no understanding of his condition and that he felt he was being put under pressure to settle his claim quickly.
When we took over Liam’s claim, it was a mess; a classic example of lazy representation. Medical records had not been reviewed and a medical agency had been used to instruct supposed medical ‘experts’ who, unsurprisingly, had produced woefully inadequate medical reports. In essence, Liam had been processed, not represented.
This had all contributed to little or no thought at all being given to the most essential issue – treatment. It is generally accepted that the earlier that treatment is available, the better the longer term outcome.
Liam had already been referred to an outpatient pain management service at his local hospital. However, the consultant in pain medicine instructed by us believed that Liam’s best possible hope lay in an urgent referral to a residential pain management programme at the Bath Centre for Pain Services (BCPS). The BCPS is the national centre of excellence for the treatment and rehabilitation of people suffering chronic pain. Although they form part of an NHS Trust, the BCPS also accept private referrals onto their treatment programmes.
Following their assessment of him, the BCPS agreed that Liam was a suitable candidate for their residential CRPS programme.
Although initially resistant to funding the treatment, we were able to persuade the Defendant’s insurance company to release funds and Liam was able to attend the programme by way of a private referral. The results are perhaps best summed up in Liam’s own words:
“It took me a few days to get my head around it, but I went there with an open mind as I really felt it was the last chance saloon for me. The staff are absolutely brilliant. They don’t give you an easy time but they’re there to encourage and push you. I’m still in pain, but then they keep reminding you that they’re not there to cure the pain. Overall, the change has been amazing and I’m now walking a lot further. I’m down to one crutch most of the time and sometimes no crutches at all if I’m just walking a short distance indoors. And my mind is in a far better place than it was. I’m definitely feeling far more positive. The best thing is I’ve got myself a job. It’s only part-time at the moment, but I’m hoping to build the hours up. After over two years of staring at four walls this has given me such a boost.”