Constitution & Protocol

A: AMRO's Purposes

AMRO's Purposes are to:

1. Promote professional standards in medical reporting and maintain good practice in the presentation and use of medical reports.

2. Ensure that the conduct of medical experts in the context of legal proceedings is in accordance with the overriding objective of enabling the Court to deal with cases justly and in accordance with the duties and responsibilities of expert witnesses as set out in Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules, recognising that the expert's duty is to help the Court in matters within his or her own expertise and that this duty is paramount and overrides any relationship with those from whom instructions are received or by whom he or she is paid.

(a) Expert evidence presented to the Court should be, and should be seen to be, the independent product of the expert uninfluenced as to form or content by the exigencies of litigation;

(b) An expert witness should provide independent assistance to the Court by way of objective, unbiased opinion in relation to matters within his expertise. An expert witness in the High Court should never assume the role of an advocate;

(c) An expert witness should state the facts or assumptions upon which his opinion is based. He should not omit to consider material facts which could detract from his concluded opinion;

(d) An expert witness should make it clear when a particular question or issue falls outside his expertise;

(e) If an expert's opinion is not properly researched because he considers that insufficient data is available, then this must be stated, with an indication that the opinion is no more than a provisional one. In cases where an expert witness who has prepared a report could not assert that the report contained the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth without some qualification, that qualification should be stated in the report;

(f) If, after exchange of reports, an expert witness changes his view on a material matter having read the other side’s report or for any other reason, such change of view should be communicated (through legal representatives) to the other side without delay and, when appropriate, to the Court

(g) Where expert evidence refers to photographs, plans, calculations,. analyses, measurements, survey reports or other similar documents, these must be provided to the opposite party at the same time as the exchange of reports

3.Keep under review Court procedure in relation to the conduct of medical experts in the context of legal proceedings;

This Association will be operated for the benefit of clients and it is of critical importance that Members recognise that their service should conform to the standards set out in this Protocol

B: AMRO Membership

AMRO members agree to:

1. Adhere to the principle and obligations laid out in the Associations protocol, constitution and code of best practice.

C: Protocol with Experts

1. All members will endeavour to have an agreement with each expert clearly stating the terms under which they are expected to work and will include, but not be limited to : -

1.1 The timescale to deliver a medical report, answers to additional questions and their availability for appointments.

2.1 A fee payable for services as an expert witness.

3.1 Payment terms on which the member will pay the expert for services provided.

2. When instructing experts, Members shall give clear instructions providing the following details (as far as available):

2.1 Basic information such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and date of incident.

2.2 Questions to be addressed.

2.3 Whether proceedings have been commenced or are contemplated and updates to the expert as regards relevant Court Orders or other deadlines.

2.4 Medical Records when requested.

3. Members shall instruct the expert to compile the report in accordance with the following:-

3.1 Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules and the Practice Direction accompanying that Part.

3.2 The style is to be concise and text is to be arranged in short sentences and paragraphs.

3.2 The style is to be concise and text is to be arranged in short sentences and paragraphs.

3.3 All reports will include a declaration to the court.

4. Members shall ensure that in compiling the report the expert has not expressed an opinion outside the scope of his/her competence and has identified any unfamiliar aspects of the instruction (if necessary). Members shall endeavour to provide the expert with further information or guidance where appropriate.

5. Members shall ensure that they instruct an expert who has the knowledge, experience, academic qualifications, or professional training appropriate for the assignment and has the resources to complete the matter within the timescale and to the standard required for the assignment

6. Members shall ensure that they instruct an expert who has the relevant expertise, knowledge, experience, academic qualifications and professional training appropriate for the assignment and has the resources to complete the matter within the timescale and to the standard required for the assignment as per Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

7. Members shall ensure that the experts report complies with the Road Traffic Act Protocol from time to time adopted and the Personal Injury Protocol from time to time adopted and subject so that it includes the following:

7.1 The expert's qualifications.

7.2 The purpose of the report.

7.3 Basic information, for example names and dates of birth in a personal injury action.

7.4 A chronological history of the matter.

7.5 Details of the documents or any other evidence upon which any aspect of the report is based.

7.6 Matters of fact and opinion clearly distinguished and kept separate.

7.7 The source of statements of fact relied upon clearly identified.

7.8 An indication of whether the report is provisional.

8. Members must always retain their professional independence in particular (and without limiting this obligation) payments to an expert witness contingent upon the nature of the evidence given or upon the outcome of a case must not be offered, accepted or made;

D: Protocol with Clients

Members will:-

1. Comply with agreed service levels.

2. Be polite, courteous and punctual

E: Complaints Procedure

Members of AMRO are required to respond positively and quickly to complaints from clients, examiner or third parties. The following procedure is to be followed by every Member, unless a complaints procedure has already been adopted by the Member but it is envisaged that the matter will be dealt with in the following manner:

1. Complaints received are to be acknowledged by the Chairman within 21 days

2. Complaints will be logged centrally

3. Complaints are to be forwarded to the designated contact within a member company/organisation

4. The member will have 21 days to provide a response to the complainant and copy the Chairman who will log the response against the central log

5. The chairman will write to the complainant following a response having been sent to enquire that they are satisfied and therefore close the complaint on the central log

6. Any complaint that is deemed to not have had a satisfactory resolution will be discussed by the executive members at the next regular meeting and a recommendation will be made to the member organisation (the above process will be followed again).

F: Amendment of Protocol

The AMRO Protocol may be amended from time to time by the executive committee following full discussion.

Constitution

1. Objectives

The objectives of AMRO are:-

1.1 To provide effective representation for the interests of medical reporting organisations at all levels of the legislative and regulatory process.

1.2 To establish and provide information and advice to Members as to Best Practice.

1.3 To provide good public relations and communications on behalf of Members to government, public and others.

1.4 To establish codes of practice to enable Members to demonstrate good practice with their consumers and to set industry wide standards.

1.5 To establish a cost effective and impartial dispute resolution service for disputes between AMRO Members and the public and between AMRO Members.

1.6 To assist in the negotiation of industry wide terms and conditions.

1.7 To do all such other things as may, in the opinion of the Executive Committee Members, be in the interests of AMRO Members as a whole from time to time.

2. Membership

2.1 The Membership of AMRO shall comprise of two categories of Members. Executive Committee Members (of which there should be a maximum of 10 at any time) and Ordinary Members.

Executive Committee Members

2.2 The initial Executive Committee Members shall comprise the following organisations which are existing Members of AMRO i.e.: -

1. Mobile Doctors Limited, PO Box 6334 Basildon SS14 0GW (DX: 141020 Wanstead 3)

2. Doctors Chambers Limited, Crown House, William Street, Windsor SL4 1AT (DX: 154580 Windsor 6)

3. Premier Medical Group, Premier House, Eco Business Park, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1ES

4. Premex Group, Futura Park, Middlebrook, Bolton BL6 6SX (DX: 723660 Horwich 2)

5. UK Independent Medical Services Limited, Indigo House, Belmont Business Park, Durham DH1 1TW (DX: 60214 Durham)

6. Speed Medical Examination Services, Speed Medical House, Matrix Park, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 7NA

2.3 An Ordinary Member of AMRO may apply to become an Executive Committee Member after having been an Ordinary Member for a period of not less than 12 months prior to any such application. Any such application will be referred to the Executive Committee Members and shall be determined by a vote of the Executive Committee Members (as hereinafter provided) and the decision whether or not to admit the Ordinary Member as an Executive Committee Member shall be in the absolute discretion of the Executive Committee Members. In the event that the application is rejected the Executive Committee Members shall not be required to provide any reasons for doing so.

2.4 If the Executive Committee Members vote to admit the Ordinary Member as an Executive Committee Member, the Ordinary Member shall become an Executive Committee Member with effect from the first Annual General Meeting of AMRO following such decision.

Removal of an Executive Committee Member

2.5 An Executive Committee Member may be removed upon a resolution to that effect being proposed by an Executive Committee Member and seconded by another Executive Committee Member. Such resolution should be the subject of a vote at the next meeting of the Executive Committee Members to take place not less than 14 days after written notice of the intention to seek such a resolution shall have been given in writing by the Chairman or the Vice Chairman to all Executive Committee Members. The resolution should be the subject of a vote at which all Executive Committee Members, including the Executive Committee Member who is the subject of the proposed resolution, shall be entitled to vote.

Ordinary Members

2.6 Any organisation which has as its principal (or one of his principal) functions the provision of medical reporting services may apply for Ordinary Membership of AMRO. AMRO will from time to time set out the requirements for Ordinary Membership and in particular will provide a prescribed form of application and shall be entitled to request such other information as it considers appropriate as it may from time to time require to enable it to consider any such application. Applicants for Ordinary Membership will be required to complete a declaration confirming that they will abide by the Constitution of AMRO from time to time in force and will also comply with any Code of Practice of AMRO from time to time in force.

2.7 An application for Ordinary Membership will be considered at the next meeting of the Executive Committee Members held after the application in the prescribed form and with such other information as may have been requested by AMRO has been received. The Executive Committee Members shall be entitled in their absolute discretion to accept or reject any such Application and shall not be obliged to provide any reason for their decision. The decision of the Executive Committee Members will be communicated to the applicant within 14 days of the meeting or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.

2.8 In the event that the application for Ordinary Membership is successful the applicant shall pay to AMRO such annual Membership fee as may be prescribed from time to time. Payment shall be made within 14 days of the notification of acceptance (time to be of the essence), failure to make payment within that period shall mean that the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn and the organisation will not be admitted as a Member.

3. Meetings And Appointment of Officers

3.1 Meetings of the Executive Committee Members will be held from time to time throughout the year in London. Each Executive Committee Member shall be entitled to appoint one delegate to attend at each such meeting to act and vote on its behalf.

3.2 The business of the meetings of Executive Committee Members shall be determined by the Chairman and in the event that a vote is required on any matter each Executive Committee Member shall be entitled to one vote to be exercised by its delegate. All votes shall be determined by a simple majority. In the event of a tie the Chairman shall have the casting vote. Any Executive Committee Member which is unable to provide a delegate to attend at a meeting may nevertheless exercise a proxy vote on any subject which will form part of the business at a meeting provided that that proxy vote is given in writing to the Chairman not less than 3 working days before the intended date of the meeting.

3.3 At any meeting of the Executive Committee Members a quorum of not less than 50% of the Executive Committee Members from time to time of AMRO shall be required to conduct any business. For this purpose only those Executive Committee Members actually attending the meeting by delegate will be counted as a quorum.

3.4 AMRO shall hold a Annual General Meeting annually at which all Members, both Executive and Ordinary shall be entitled to a vote on any resolution proposed. In the event of a tie the Chairman shall have the casting vote. The Annual General Meeting shall take place at such time and at such place as the Executive Committee Members shall from time to time determine provided always that not less than 28 days notice of the AGM shall be given to Members. The Executive Committee Members shall determine the business to be conducted at the AGM and may from time to time issue rules regarding how and when notice of any proposed resolution is to be given.

4. Executive Officers

4.1 The Executive Committee Members shall appoint a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer (“the Executive Officers”). The Executive Committee Members may from time to time determine that there should either be more or less Executive Officers and determine their roles.

The Chairman

4.2 The Chairman will:-

4.2.1 Run the Committee Meetings;

4.2.2 Produce and circulate Executive Committee Meetings and Agendas;

4.2.3 Arrange for minutes of the meetings to be recorded;

4.2.4 Either to circulate the minutes or a summary thereof to Ordinary Members;

4.2.5 Enhance the standing of AMRO with the outside world;

4.2.6 Communicate with stakeholders the strategic focus and objectives of AMRO;

4.2.7 Receive information and recommendations from stakeholders and ensure that they are properly represented to the Executive Committee Members Meetings;

4.2.8 Ensure that the industry wide agreement for Medical Reporting Organisations is reviewed regularly;

4.2.9 Maintain Membership lists and contact details;

4.2.10 Make arrangements for the AGM to be held annually;

4.2.11 To carry out all such other functions as the Chairman may reasonably consider necessary to promote the objectives of AMRO.

4.3 The Chairman shall, unless otherwise agreed by the Executive Committee Members, utilise the resources of his own organisation for the general administration of AMRO and shall only be reimbursed such expenses as may from time to time be authorised by the Executive Committee Members in that regard.

The Vice-Chairman

4.4 The Vice-Chairman shall:-

4.4.1 Assist the Chairman in the performance of his duties;

4.4.2 Deputise for the Chairman at any time when he is unavailable.

The Treasurer

4.5 The Treasurer shall have overall responsibility of the finances of AMRO which include:-

4.5.1 Preparing budgets;

4.5.2 Overseeing all financial transactions;

4.5.3 Pay approved bills;

4.5.4 Keep accurate records of all income and expenditure of AMRO;

4.5.5 Prepare and distribute regular financial statements of Executive Committee Members and as appropriate to the Ordinary Members;

4.5.6 Organise the preparation of AMRO’s annual accounts;

4.5.7 Present the annual account to the Annual General Meeting.

4.6 The Executive Officers shall be appointed for a 2 year term of office and shall remain in office until the AGM next following the expiry of the 2 year term. At that AGM all Members shall be entitled to vote on the appointment of the Executive Officers and the existing Executive Officers shall be entitled to offer themselves for re-election but shall not be obliged to do so.

4.7 Any person wishing to offer them self to be appointed as an Executive Officer at an AGM shall give notice in writing of such intention to the Chairman not less than 28 days before the AGM. In the case of any person who is not an existing Executive Officer offering themselves for re-election that notice shall state the full name, address and date of birth of the person applying and confirm that the applicant is a representative of a named Member of AMRO and that that Member supports the application.

4.8 In the event that there is more than one person offering themselves for a position as an Executive Officer a vote shall be held at the AGM to determine the appointment and each Member shall be entitled to one vote. In the event of a tie the incumbent Chairman shall have a casting vote save if that vote shall be in relation to the re-appointment of that person as Chairman in which case the casting vote shall be with the Vice-Chairman.

5. Subscriptions, Income and Expenditure

5.1 Every Member shall pay to AMRO an annual subscription at such times and according to such scales as from time to time shall be determined by the Executive Committee Members.

5.2 The Executive Committee Members may also require a special levy on Members from time to time as may be in the reasonable opinion of the Executive Committee Members required.

5.3 In the event that a Member shall fail to pay its subscription or any special levy within 21 days of the same becoming due, an Executive Committee Member or Executive Officer may give notice in writing to the Member requiring payment within 14 days. If the payment is not received within that period the Member shall forfeit its Membership and be removed from the role of Members forthwith.

5.4 Any Member removed from the role of Members in accordance with clause 5.3 may apply for re-admission but shall only be entitled to re-admission to Membership upon payment of all arrears and also re-admissions shall be in the absolute discretion of the Executive Committee Members.

5.5 The Executive Committee Members may, in their absolute discretion, appoint:-

5.5.1 Auditors, accountants, solicitors and other professional advisors as they shall deem necessary or desirable on such terms as they may, in their absolute discretion, approve;

5.5.2 Such other person or persons as the Executive Committee Members may, in their absolution discretion, think appropriate to assist the Executive Officers in the performance of their duties upon such terms and conditions as the Executive Committee Members may in their absolute discretion think fit.

5.6 The Treasurer shall keep an account of all monies paid and received. A bank account shall be held in the name of AMRO and withdrawals shall only be made on the signature of Executive Officers in accordance with the mandate from time to time agreed by the Executive Officers.

Conduct of AMRO Members

5.7 The Executive Committee Members may from time to time issue guidelines prescribing how an AMRO Member shall conduct itself and its business in order to comply with the objectives and standards required by AMRO. The Executive Committee Members may also issue a Complaints Procedure to enable any person dealing with an AMRO Member to complain to AMRO in the event that that person is dissatisfied with the service or conduct of the AMRO Member. The Complaints Procedure may empower AMRO to make a non-binding recommendation to the AMRO Member as to the resolution of any such complaint.

6. Expulsion of Members

6.1 The Executive Committee Members may by majority vote at any time resolve to terminate the Membership of any Member in their absolute discretion if the continued Membership of that Member shall be detrimental or prejudicial to the interests of AMRO or where any AMRO Member fails to comply with any code of conduct published from time to time by AMRO or fails to comply with a recommendation made by AMRO for the resolution of a complaint under any Complaints Procedure from time to time. Prior to any such vote being taken the Member concerned shall be given not less than 14 days notice in writing of the intention of the Executive Committee Members to consider such a resolution and if the Member wishes to make representations before the Executive Committee Members vote on such resolution the Executive Committee Members shall decide in their absolute discretion whether to permit those representations to be made orally or in writing in their absence.

7. Use of Logo and Name

7.1 All Members of AMRO shall be entitled to use on their stationary any logo adopted by AMRO from time to time and may indicate on their stationary that they are Members of AMRO. Any other use or confirmation of AMRO Membership shall require the prior written consent of the Executive Committee.

8. Costs

8.1 Any costs of and incidental to preparation and execution of this Constitution and any other documents necessary to carry it into effect shall be paid out of the subscription monies and joining fees.

9. No Liability and Indemnity

9.1 By applying to become a Member of AMRO each Member agrees that neither the Executive Committee Members nor their representatives nor any Executive Officer shall incur any liability whatsoever to the other Members or applicants for Membership arising out of or in connection with their role as Members or Officers (as the case may be) of AMRO and by applying for Membership each applicant shall agree to keep the Executive Committee Members, their representatives and the Executive Officers fully indemnified from and against all claims, costs liability and expenses whatsoever arising out any such claim made by them.