Medicolegal instructions are welcome from solicitors acting both on behalf of claimants and defendants in personal injury and clinical negligence claims.
Patients for personal injury claims are seen for examination at The Priory Hospital. The routine waiting time is two months but urgent cases can normally be accommodated. We aim to issue the report within 4 to 6 weeks of the appointment but this can always be accelerated if there is a court timetable requirement.
Because of difficulties with bankruptcies of medical reporting agencies we do not accept instructions via reporting agencies unless the solicitor concerned gives a personal assurance that the fee will be covered in the event of the insolvency of the reporting agency.
There is a standard fee for an examination and report, including examination of medical records, assuming that the bundle is available at the time of dictation and it is of reasonable size, less than 3cm thick.
80%-90% of reports are carried out for this standard fee. Exceptional reports, with very thick bundles of records or medically complex reports running to more than ten pages are charged at a higher rate.
Home visits are charged at half day rate for the visit and additional dictation time .
Additional perusals of records which arrive after the main report has been written are charged as either:
A small bundle, a few pages or some radiology reports.
A medium bundle, 1-2cm thick or records plus x-rays.
A large bundle, over 3cm or encrypted multiple x-ray CDs.
Answers to Part 35 questions are charged as a medium bundle or as a large bundle, if the Part 35 questions are multiple and complex and particularly if they require reperusal of the records.
Joint statements are normally conducted with other orthopaedic surgeons by telephone in the evening. These statements are charged at a standard fee unless there is an exceptional number of questions to be answered. 80% of joint statements are charged at the standard fee.
Court appearances are charged at a standard half day rate.
Within the National Health Service consultants are expected to give six weeks notice for annual leave however, annual leave is not normally booked for court cases as the majority of cases settle prior to trial.
At The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital there is an agreement that if consultants take leave at short notice this is regarded as annual leave but the consultant is responsible for reproviding the clinic or operating session so that the NHS patients are not inconvenienced. The maximum possible notice of trial dates and early notice of settlements is therefore appreciated.
Cancellation fees are not charged unless the circumstances have forced me to book annual leave and the case settles but the leave cannot be cancelled. This is quite unusual. Under these circumstances a 50% reduction in the court fee attendance is payable.
For further details of costings please contact my office.
Andrew MC Thomas FRCS.
13th May 2017