Obituary: Norman Cottington, industry mourns rehab 'trailblazer'

Norman Cottington

Norman Cottington, a revolutionary in the field of rehabilitation and case management in the personal injury sector, passed away suddenly on 11 April.

A former insurance claims manager of 25 years standing, Cottington spent much of his career promoting the cause of rehabilitation.

Outside of his day job as managing director of The Injury Care Clinics - which he founded in 1999 - he was also a member of the International Underwriting Association/Association of British Insurers’ Rehabilitation Working Party, president of the Bodily Injury Claims Management Association, and a founding director of the Case Management Society UK.

Cottington brought defendant, insurer and claimant representatives together - for a number of years, before the second UK Bodily Injury Award Study was published in the autumn of 1999, which was seized upon by Post as the foundation for its profile-raising Rehabilitation First campaign.

Although he left insurance in 1999 and developed his own treatment and rehabilitation provider, he continued to work for the development of rehabilitation in the wider industry, getting involved in the establishment of The Case Management Society of the UK, where he remained on the board until his retirement from the industry, and promoting the awareness and acceptance of the Rehabilitation Code.

He also worked with The Bodily Injury Claims Management Company, and helped to published its own Quality Standards for Rehabilitation Providers, and a mediation service to address rehabilitation disputes.

Cottington received the Rehabilitation First Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement Award in 2007. At the time the judges although often controversial had been a constant force for change in the sector for many years, and, although often challenging in his views, was involved in some way in most of the developments that have taken place.

Ian Fulton, chairman of Proclaim Care, said: “I was very sad to learn of Norman’s death. I principally got to know Norman through CMS UK. Norman was always a very sincere and dedicated professional. He was truly one of the ‘trailblazers’ for rehabilitation in the UK and was responsible for several of the initiatives that spawned the development and establishment of personal injury rehabilitation appealing to both insurers and claimant solicitors. We had many good chats both professionally and personally. At all times he was affable and cheery.”

Carole Chantler, director of Carole Chantler Ltd, added: “Norman was a great innovator and able to think outside of the box on how to solve a problem. He was one of the first claims managers in insurance to really take on the idea of the value of rehab for claimants. While always being aware of the commercial advantages of getting in early to enhance recovery he did have a very real desire to get the best functional recovery for claimants.”

Deborah Edwards, director of RTW Plus, said: “I have known Norman since about 1993 when he started what I would term as a revolution in the field of rehabilitation and particularly in the area of case management intervention for people who were injured as a result of someone’s else’s  liability.  He brokered a formal relationship with Case Management Society of America to facilitate the launch of the CMS UK

“This was an instrumental step, which went on to encourage claimant solicitors and insurers to work together to help support injured parties.  For the rest of his working career and beyond he worked to this end and without his efforts case management would not be as widely used to the effect the much needed change in the UK has  today. I personally enjoyed working with Norman and was sadden to hear he had passed and know that the rehab community thanks him for his efforts.” 


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