But Transport Select Committee remains concerned that not enough thought has gone into the process

Independent whiplash panels could be up and running by early next year, according to a report published today by the Transport Select Committee (TSC).

The report details the government and the ABI’s response to the TSC’s report into the state of the motor insurance market, in which it called for more details on the Ministry of Justice consultation into whiplash reforms.

A consultation is currently underway into how the second wave of reforms can be implemented, including an IT hub, MedCo, which will manage medical expert accreditation and the assignment of medical reports for whiplash injuries.

In its response to the TSC, the government wrote: “The government expects the new system – assuring independent and high-quality medical evidence – to be in place by early in the new year.”

But Transport Select Committee chair Louise Ellman MP told Insurance Times she was “concerned” that the panels were being set up too quickly.

“We’re very pleased that the notion of independent medical panels has been accepted but we need to make sure that they are set up properly,” she said. “We wanted more thought given to how they’re actually going to operate and how they might be assessed.

“We want to see independent panels who don’t have allegiance to either claimant or defendants …  and we don’t know just yet if that’s going to be done.”

Ellman also raised concerns about insurance pre-med offers.

“I’m still concerned that if people feel there are pre-med offers then that’s an encouragement to exaggeration and that has to be a big question mark.”

In the report the government also confirmed that medical experts who are not doctors could also be included in the MedCo system if they met the accreditation requirements.