This edition was issued on 7 July 2022
Welcome to the latest edition of the Personal Injury Commission News.
This edition presents updates on the Commission’s operations, including our new Medical Suites and announces the Commission’s new Acting Deputy President. It also includes information regarding the Motor Accidents systems and District Court listings at the Commission’s premises.
I will be in touch with another edition of Personal Injury Commission News soon.
Judge Gerard Phillips
The Commission's Operations
The Commission is continuing its return to more business-as-usual operations, despite the impacts of the ongoing pandemic conditions and other recent events including the floods and strikes.
Since recommencing in-person proceedings in April, over 130 hearings and mediations have taken place at the Commission’s 1 Oxford Street Darlinghurst premises, with appropriate safety controls in place.
My observation though is that the pandemic and the other adverse conditions mentioned are affecting not only the Commission but also many of the Commission’s users. While these events are putting a strain on everyone’s operations, there will be delays, however I am confident we can work through the challenges cooperatively.
In circumstances where COVID-19 will or is likely to affect a scheduled in-person hearing, the Commission will endeavour to give practitioners as much notice as possible. It is our policy to try and keep hearing dates wherever possible, so we will move cases to other Members or Mediators who are available or we will change the proceeding from in-person to online. It is our preference not to adjourn a proceeding.
Likewise if a practitioner or client is ill and unable to appear in person because they are isolating, practitioners should take all steps possible to obtain substitute representation or to request that the matter be moved to an online or hybrid venue.
In-person medical assessments are proceeding and the Commission is continuing to address the pandemic-related backlog. Practitioners should be aware that in addition to the backlog, new matters requiring medical assessment continue to be filed in very healthy numbers.
If your client is isolating or has COVID and cannot attend an in–person medical assessment, please inform Commission staff as soon as possible. We will reallocate the appointment. As we work through the backlog, every appointment is important, and we do not wish to lose an appointment due to a claimant or worker’s illness or need to isolate. We will endeavour to reschedule such appointments at the earliest date possible. Our Medical Assessors are booked up many months into the future as a result of the increased demand for appointments as we deal with the pandemic delays.
The Commission’s New Medical Suites Operating Well
The Commission’s new onsite Medical Suites, which opened at the beginning of June, are off to a great start. Over 40 assessments were conducted across the Suites in their first month of operation, by eight Medical Assessors who have signed on to work from them.
The feedback from everyone has been extremely positive and there are many things that we learned during the first month that have enabled us to fine-tune the operations. Pleasingly, the COVID-19 controls in place for the Suites have worked seamlessly and as intended. I look forward to the volume of in-person medical assessments conducted at the Suites increasing over the next few months.
The Suites are an innovative step forward for the services the Commission offers to its users and will play a vital role in helping us work through the volume of medical assessments impacted by the pandemic.
Appointment of new Acting Deputy President
The Commission is delighted to announce the appointment of Kylie Nomchong SC as an Acting Deputy President. Kylie was called to the Bar in 1997 after 6 years’ practice as a solicitor. She was appointed Senior Counsel in 2012 and has served on the Bar Council and various Bar Committees over the years. We welcome her to this important role.
No Further Enhancements to Motor Accidents Systems
With the development of the Commission’s new Single Digital Platform underway, the Commission has decided not to invest in any further enhancements to the current Motor Accidents platform and Portals. We will continue to fix issues that arise in the normal course of business and continue conducting system maintenance as required. We anticipate that halting any further development on the platform will also improve system stability while it remains in operation. Our support team will continue providing service to systems users via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please continue contacting them for help should issues arise.
From 24 June 2022, certain District Court matters arising under the Motor Accidents and Workers Compensation legislation may be listed at the President’s Court of 1 Oxford Street Darlinghurst from time to time.
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