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The winner of the Rehabilitation First Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement Award was, as always, the subject of an extremely long debate among the judges. As with any achievement award there was a substantial list of potential winners, many of whom have devoted years to promoting rehabilitation within and beyond the UK insurance industry.
This year's winner, however, has been a constant force for change in the sector for many years, and, although often challenging in his views, has been involved in some way in most of the developments that have taken place. Often controversial, and always hard to ignore, this year's winner was nominated by a host of well-known names from across the insurance and legal profession.
A former insurance claims manager of 25 years standing, Mr Cottington has spent the last decade promoting the cause of rehabilitation. Outside of his day job as managing director of The Injury Care Clinics - which he founded in 1999 - he is 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.
Mr Cottington had been banging the drum for rehabilitation - chairing or being involved in a range of groups that have 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 rehabilition in the wider industry, getting involved in the establishment ofCMS UK, and promoting the awareness and acceptance of the Rehabilitation Code.
He continues to work with BICMA, and the body recently published its own Quality Standards for Rehabilitation Providers, and a mediation service to address rehabilitation disputes.
All in all, Mr Cottington has devoted a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to spreading the word on rehabilitation and its benefits to all - from insurers, to claimants and defendant lawyers - and most importantly, of course, the injured party.
After collecting his award, Norman Cottington said: "I am delighted to accept the rehabilitation award for outstanding individual achievement but in doing so wish to give thanks to both the past and current members of BICMA, without whose support and energy rehabilitation would not be enjoying its current level of awareness, meaning many thousands of people would not be getting the rehabilitation and support they deserve. I am delighted to receive this award and offer my thanks to all of those who were kind enough to nominate me."
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