Operational reminders for Medical Experts
Published: 10 November 2021
To help Medical Experts in using the MedCo system and ensure compliance, we have provided some reminders based on our observations and feedback on how the system is being used.
This communication focuses on:
- MedCo Reference
- Terms and conditions
- First fixed recoverable cost medical reports
Please do read through these reminders as they relate to legal responsibilities and obligations and can result in suspension of accounts if not followed.
Experts are reminded that instructions should not be accepted without a MedCo Reference.
In accordance with the MedCo Rules (updated to ver 3.0 on 6 April 2022), experts should report incidences where they believe they have been instructed to provide a MedCo sourced report without a MedCo reference; and where despite requesting a MedCo reference it has still not been provided.
In cases where instructions are received and a MedCo reference is provided, experts should log on to their MedCo account and check that the case has been allocated to them. If the reference does not appear on their list of references, they must inform MedCo as soon as possible.
MedCo Rules No.44 - Experts should inform MedCo if they believe they have been instructed to provide a MedCo Sourced Report but have not been provided with a MedCo reference after requesting one from the AU.
MedCo Rules No.45 - Upon receipt of a MedCo reference, DMEs should check on the MedCo Database that they have been selected to provide that MedCo Sourced Report. If the reference does not appear on their list of references allocated to them then they must inform MedCo as soon as possible.
Terms and Conditions
DMEs receive instructions direct from authorised users (AU) and as such contract directly with the Authorised User. Therefore, it is essential that DMEs and all experts read and understand the Terms and Conditions being offered before accepting instructions. In addition, experts should refrain from accepting terms and conditions that are contingent on the outcome of the case.
MedCo is unable to assist experts with contractual disputes with authorised users. If you have concerns relating to a Solicitor’s conduct you may wish to consider reporting the matter to the Solicitor Regulation Authority (SRA)
For more information please check our FAQs.
First Fixed Recoverable Cost Medical Reports
First fixed recoverable cost medical reports sourced via MedCo should be prepared by a MedCo accredited expert.
The expert’s duty is to the court to provide an opinion based on their expertise as per the provisions of Part 35(1) of the Civil Procedure Rules.
MedCo has recently become aware of instances where medical experts are not applying their full range of expertise to a first fixed recoverable cost medical report on the basis that they are simply ‘GP MedCo reports’.
There is no such concept as a ‘GP MedCo report’ or a ‘GP first MedCo report’ which is lesser in quality or content depending who has prepared it. The expert can and should comment in their full capacity as far as their expertise and/or specialism allows. Experts should provide an opinion utilising the full range of skills and knowledge possessed.
Whatever the area of expertise or specialism experts register to provide first fixed recoverable cost medical reports and have a duty to the court to provide a report to the best of their knowledge and ability. Therefore, an expert should not deliberately constrain their opinion because they have chosen to accept instructions to provide a first report or for any other reason.
A referral for a second report or to another expert, should only be made if it is required.
For support and information contact: [email protected]