Executive Chair's Update - 25 May 2021
Published: 25 May 2021
With just under a week to go until the Whiplash Reforms go live for accidents on or after 31 May 2021, I am writing to provide a summary and a checklist of key changes and actions to take in readiness for implementation.
Since the release of the rules by the Ministry of Justice at the end of February 2021, focus has been on the auditing of Direct Medical Experts (DMEs) and Medical Reporting Organisations (MROs) that wish to opt-in to accept and receive work from unrepresented claimants via the new system, Official Injury Claims, and online training for all medical experts.
To date over 150 applications have been received by DMEs and MROs wanting to opt-in with 25 approved and many more in progress. If as a DME or MRO you would like to consider opting in please refer to the information published on 10 March 2021
- User Agreements / Declaration of Financial Links
To incorporate the new rules, changes to the scope of MedCo and the new financial links declaration updated user agreements have been introduced for all users. Formal notice was sent out on 5 May 2021 with a deadline to accept the new agreements and declare financial links by 4 June 2021. It is important you review and accept the new agreements and financial links to avoid being suspended from the service. Information on how to click to accept the user agreements can be found here.
- Search and Selections
The key change for authorised users is the addition of a new field that will enable you to carry out searches for non-soft tissue injury claims/non-whiplash claims. Further information relating to the change can be found here.
- CPD and Accreditation
All medical experts must complete the new Whiplash Reforms course. This is a mandatory course and must be completed by close of business on 31 May 2021. If this is not completed by that deadline an expert’s access to medco will be suspended. To lift the suspension, the expert will need to complete the course.
In addition to the new module, all medical experts must have completed their annual 6 hours CPD by 31 May 2021. Whilst this is not specific to the Whiplash Reforms the deadline remains set at 31 May 2021. To check the CPD hours have been completed, experts must log in to their training account, select My CPD and check the number of hours to complete shows as zero.
- Case Data Uploads
For DMEs and MROs, additional injury types have been added when uploading case data. The additional injury types can be used for both soft tissue/whiplash cases and non-soft tissue /non-whiplash cases. More detailed information relating to the new fields can be found here.
- Opt-in applications
For those that have been successful in their audit to opt-in it is important to take steps to ensure that you are ready to take enquiries from unrepresented claimants as early as 31 May 2021. Please also note the availability of the Official Injury Claims MedCo training Pack.
For those users that have opted in but have not yet received notification of the outcome of their audits, the team are continuing to work through the applications and will continue to do so until they are all completed.
When will the MedCo changes go live?
The changes will be implemented on the evening of Friday 28 May 2021, meaning the MedCo system will be ready in advance of Monday 31 May 2021.
For DMEs and MROs that have been approved via audit to accept work from unrepresented claimants, please note Official Injury Claims will not be switched on until 31 May 2021.