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BMA oppose £180 cap on fees for whiplash reports



Plans to cap the amount GPs can charge for producing initial whiplash reports at £180 is a ‘false economy’ and will lead to more cases going to court, says the BMA.

The plans by the Ministry of Justice will come into effect in October and are part of a crackdown on whiplash claims and insurance fraud.

But the BMA contest that the cap doesn’t accurately reflect the work involved in producing a report and say doctors will be discouraged from undertaking the work.

They advocate a range of fixed fees for each part of compiling the a whiplash report, which requires a doctor to interview and examine claimants, produce a study of GP and hospital notes, and dictate and correct the final report.

In a joint letter to the MoJ, BMA medico-legal committee chair Jan Wise and Deborah Evans, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, say a robust reporting system will combat fraud and save money and court time.

They argue for a range of fixed fees for each part of compiling a whiplash report, which requires a doctor to interview and examine claimants, produce a study of GP and hospital notes, and dictate and correct the final report.

They write: ‘We would advise against sacrificing quality for false economy.’

‘There are several factors to consider when setting a fixed fee and this should include time to review the GP record of the patient, examination of the patient, writing the report, dealing with written and phone enquiries and running costs.’  

‘The £180 fee does not provide the expert sufficient time to carry all of the above duties.’