Medical reporting reprieve
The High Court has overturned a judgment that had threatened to wipe out a large chunk of GPs' medical reporting work.
The Court of Appeal last week ruled that medical reporting agencies can charge administration fees for supplying medical reports and records to insurance companies in claims of less than £10,000.
An earlier ruling to the contrary had threatened to put many agencies, which supply GPs with 90 per cent of their medical reporting work, out of business.
But although the latest judgment secures the future of work provided by agencies, not all GPs have viewed it as a positive step.
Dr Chris Pamplin, editor of the Register of Expert Witnesses, said the original decision had opened the prospect that more solicitors would commission GPs direct. This would simplify the process and end long delays between GPs providing reports and receiving payment, he said.
He advised GPs to keep a close eye on the amount of credit they extended to agencies and cut back on work if a company started to pay late.
Dr Adrian Rogers, a GP in Exeter, said GPs should work directly with solicitors if possible and never agree to receive payment on settlement of the case.