Concerns have been raised over a potential conflict of interest following Norwich Union's recent acquisition of Rehabilitation UK.

One source said: "This is a massive conflict of interest - will claimants be told that Rehabilitation UK belongs to Norwich Union? There appears to be murky waters between NU and its rehab provider."

NU hit back and remains adamant that it will be driven by an evidence- based approach. The service is delivered by Norwich Union Occupational Health, a separate organisation to NU insurance.

Dr Martin Strudley, director of rehabilitation, Norwich Union Occupational Health, said: "We will be driven by the experts and research evidence, not what we want to do as an organisation. We will go with the evidence that's out there, even, for example, if it's to the detriment to NU costs."

Fraser Whitehead, partner at Russell Jones & Walker said mistrust stemmed from a long history of dubious behaviour by liability insurers. He added that the independence of Rehabiliatation UK would not cause a conflict of interest.