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The importance of medico-legal reports and throwing off the shackles of legal aid funding

Posted on 29th July, 2019

An intersting case highlighting the real difficulties lawyers and medical experts face in medico-legal reporting.

 

Solicitors require the best medical opinion available for their clients.  Medical experts undertake medico-legal work outside of and in addition to their NHS and private clinics.  It is overtime work for professionals already working overtime... and yet the legal aid board expect experts to work over overtime at undertime rates that bear no reflection of their expertise.  Oftentimes, they ra egi8ving up pecious family evening and weekend tinemto write these reports.  It is only right that they should be rewarded for their hard work and willingness to assist in these cases.  Innocent victims should have the roght to be availaved of the best medical opinion available to them, especially in cases of catastrophic and loife changing injuries.  Thankfully, the court in AB v Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWHC 1889 (QB) agreed, where an appeal was dismissed in a case where there was a decision to change from legal aid to a pre-LASPO CFA.  It was submitted that the LSC were serioulsy limiting the field of available experts through the imposition of unattractive hourly rates where success hung in the balance and there were difficulties with instructing the preferred experts.  In all the circumstances, the Judge was satisfied that it was reasonable to enter into the CFA and abandon legal aid. 

 

Click here for further reading of the case - 

 

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2019/1889.html

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