Proposals include fixed fees for obtaining reports and a ban on financial interests in medico-legal companies

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a consultation on independent medical panels for whiplash injuries.

Included in the consultation are proposals for fixed fees of £180 for GPs and physiotherapists and £420 for consultants for providing a report.

In an open letter to stakeholders, Lord Faulks put forward several proposals for consideration relating to:

  • fixed fees for medical examinations and reports for whiplash injuries;
  • providing additional information regarding the accident to medical experts; and
  • the need for independence of the whiplash panels.

Lord Faulks proposed that the current voluntary fixed fee agreement for medical reporting be mandated for all experts providing reports for assessing whiplash through the MoJ portal.

He also proposed that, where details of the accident are materially different, the defendant’s version of the accident be given to the medical expert as well as the claimant’s account.

Another area included in the consultation relates to the independence of medical experts.

Lord Faulks has proposed banning companies from requesting a report from a medical reporting company in which they have a financial interest.

Furthermore, Lord Faulks has also suggested a limit on the amount of reports obtained from specific intermediaries, either through a rota basis or capping the number of reports obtained through a particular medico-legal company at a specified proportion.

Those wishing to respond to the consultation have until 28 May.