Premier Medical considers ditching Amro as personal injury reporting colleagues cease trading

Premier Medical Group, one of the UK’s largest medico-legal reporting agencies, has threatened to walk away from the Association of Medical Reporting Organisations (Amro).

PMG said Amro should do more to promote medical reporting. It is also concerned that three medical reporting agencies – E-Reporting Group, IMS and Trauma Claims Consultancy – have gone into administration in the past two years. PMG took over the operations of E-Reporting.

“We’re definitely considering whether we want to be involved in Amro going forward and we are pushing Amro and its members to look at ways in which Amro can have a much better regulatory position within the marketplace,” Jason Powell, chief executive at PMG, told Insurance Times.

But Amro chairman Ian Medforth, also managing director of UK Independent Medical, said Amro played a strong role. “Amro is always on hand to support its members and the wider PI (personal injury) marketplace, to ensure that the highest levels of independence and professionalism are used by those providing medical evidence in PI claims.”

However, Medforth said Amro did have “strong concerns” about the number of members and had been looking at how to increase its profile. Amro has six members compared with 12 three years ago, although this is in large part due to consolidation.

Medico-reporting agencies are considered the “nucleus” of the personal injury claims process – they sit between the insurer, solicitor, claimant and doctor and ensure that a doctor produces a medico-legal report to a certain standard. An insurer or solicitor instructs the agency which, in turn, instructs the doctor.

Amro played an active part in ensuring a fixed-fee agreement between medical reporting agencies and insurers two years ago. Medforth said the focus now was on playing a key part in the Minstry of Justice’s personal injury reforms.

Andrew Wigmore, policy director of the Claims Standards Council, said how Amro performed in the reforms would be the “real test”.

He said: “Two years ago Amro might have considered itself just part of the process. But now it’s crucial to the process . . . as the market has changed, so has the significance of Amro.”