Two of UK’s leading medico-legal reporting agencies have launched a quality mark for medical experts in a bid to head off criticisms of the current regime.
Coming at the same time as the government’s whiplash consultation, which seeks to introduce independent medical panels, Premex Group and Premier Medical Group have endorsed the newly created Certificate in Medical Reporting (CertMR).
Premex Services and Premier Medical Group estimate that between them they procure 50% of all medical evidence required in personal injury cases in the UK. Over 3,000 practicing NHS medical experts from both companies’ panels are expected to complete the new qualification.
Medical professionals seeking the accreditation must complete one or two modules depending upon their expert speciality. The first module confirms that the expert fully understands part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules (on experts) and the second module confirms their awareness of the latest relevant medical literature regarding whiplash-associated disorder. Once awarded, the CertMR will be on every report from that expert.
Donald Fowler, managing director of Premex Services, said: “The CertMR accreditation will provide added reassurance to all stakeholders in personal injury cases that the doctors who prepare medical reports on behalf of Premex Services and Premier Medical Group and their clients have met a rigorous set of agreed standards.”
“It is important to recognise that there are bad apples in every barrel and as industry leaders we are committed to working with only the best possible medical experts, including only those who take their independence and position as officers of the court very seriously.
“This accreditation, endorsed by our two firms and in part developed by the leading legal training business Bond Solon, will further raise the bar in terms of the quality of the medical evidence used in personal injury cases and set the benchmark for others to reach.”
Stuart Sheehy, managing director at Premier Medical Group, added: “We know the medico-legal experts both our companies use do a great job and uphold the highest standards of professionalism and independence… But with this jointly agreed accreditation we can begin to put in place more formal recognition of their knowledge and expertise.
“In the case of whiplash, we have sought to ensure medical experts on our panels have access to all the latest studies and evidence to help them make informed and objective decisions on injuries. It will help to overcome a growing perception that every claim for whiplash is somehow a fraudulent claim.”