"Leave the Medical Process Alone!" - Donna Scully
08 November 2023
Like many others, we recently submitted our response to the MOJ consultation on the medical reporting process. The consultation demonstrates the divergence between the MOJ’s assessment of its creation, and the reality.
The review of medical fees is welcome, if many years overdue, although the failure to address the cap on experts’ fees on the small claims track, which now accounts for more than 80% of injury claims, is a glaring omission.
The suggestion that additional delay should be built into the process will alarm many in the industry.
Insisting that the medical report should not be commissioned until the insurer responds, in case the insurer wants an input to the first report, will add additional delay to an already hopelessly inefficient system. No doubt it will be supported by those who cry “fraud“ on every case, but it would provide limited benefit on a tiny proportion of cases, and will unnecessarily delay the overwhelming majority of customer claims without adding any benefit.
The suggestion that the represented and underrepresented (litigants in person) processes should be aligned, because the latter works better, is again based on the MOJ’s assessment of what it has delivered, rather than reality. Firstly the OICP data significantly overstates the number of genuine litigants-in-person, and does not capture “unrepresented” claimants being assisted by the third party insurer. The result is that the consultation does not compare like-with-like. It fails to reflect the different represented and unreprepresented claim profiles. It also fails to recognise that unrepresented claims have been pursued on the web-based system that has broadly worked, whereas represented claimants have been forced to use a system that has not worked.
We can only hope that the recent Justice Select Committee report will help drag the MOJ away from marking its own homework, and into the real world.
Donna Scully, Director