a) AMROs Purpose and Commitment to Best Practice

  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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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
    3. 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
    4. An expert witness should make it clear when a particular question or issue falls outside his expertise
    5. 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
    6. 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
    7. 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
  4. Represent the interests of Medical Reporting Organisations (MROs) and Independent Medical Experts using the services of MROs, in their dealing with and meeting the Qualifying Criteria and Standards to provide medico-legal evidence, as set out by the Ministry of Justice and administered by MedCo
  5. This Association will be operated for the benefit of clients and it is of critical importance that Members recognize that their service should conform to the standards set out in this Protocol

b) Medical Reports

  1. All members will 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. The timescale to deliver a medical report, answers to additional questions and their availability for appointments
    2. A fee payable for services as an expert witness
    3. 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)
    1. Basic information such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and date of incident
    2. Questions to be addressed
    3. Whether proceedings have been commenced or are contemplated and updates to the expert as regards relevant Court Orders or other deadlines
    4. Medical Records when requested
  3. Members shall instruct the expert to compile the report in accordance with the following
    1. Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules and the Practice Direction accompanying that Part
    2. The style is to be concise and text is to be arranged in short sentences and paragraphs
    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 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.
  6. Members shall ensure that the experts report complies with the appropriate Legal Protocol from time to time adopted and subject so that it includes the following
    1. The expert’s qualifications
    2. The purpose of the report
    3. Basic information, for example names and dates of birth in a personal injury action
    4. A chronological history of the matter
    5. Details of the documents or any other evidence upon which any aspect of the report is based
    6. Matters of fact and opinion clearly distinguished and kept separate
    7. The source of statements of fact relied upon clearly identified
    8. An indication of whether the report is provisional
  7. 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

c) Rehabilitation

  1. All members will have an agreement with each practitioner clearly stating the terms under which they are expected to work and will include, but not be limited to
    1. The timescale to deliver a treatment and a report and their availability for appointments
    2. A fee payable for services as a rehabilitation provider
    3. Payment terms on which the member will pay the practitioner for services provided
  2. When instructing rehabilitation providers, Members shall give clear instructions providing the following details (as far as available)
    1. Basic information such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and date of incident
    2. Questions to be addressed
    3. Whether proceedings have been commenced or are contemplated and updates to the expert as regards relevant Court Orders or other deadlines
    4. Medical Records when requested
  3. Members shall ensure that in rehabilitation the practitioner 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 practitioner with further information or guidance where appropriate
  4. Members shall ensure that they instruct a rehabilitation provider 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
  5. Members must always retain their professional independence in particular (and withoutlimiting this obligation) payments to a practitioner contingent upon the nature of the given or upon the outcome of a case must not be offered, accepted or made

d) Complaints Procedure

  1. Members of AMRO are required to have a Complaints Procedure to respond positively and quickly to complaints from clients, examiners, instructing parties or third parties

e) Data Protection Act 2018 - implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  1. All AMRO Members are registered under the Act and all information they hold on all parties must be treated in accordance with their registration and the governance of the GDPR

f) Maintenance of MedCo Registration

  1. Members are required, at all times, to maintain Registration with MedCo. Should a member be unable to do so, their membership of AMRO will be reviewed and maybe subject to cessation. Allowances/exceptions may be made during any appropriate appeal/reapplication process with MedCo/MoJ