Details of the latest Government guidelines re the national lockdown implemented on the 5th January 2021 applying to England can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home. The rules for Wales can be found at https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance.
In both England and Wales a valid reason for leaving home is to attend a medical appointment and as such we are making no changes to our current operating procedures.
Existing appointments booked, will be held as booked i.e. if booked as face to face, will be held as face to face. If booked as remote, will be held as remote.
For new instructions, we continue to ask instructing parties to advise at the point of instruction if a remote appointment is required, otherwise our default position will continue to book face to face appointments.
Please note it is likely there will be an increase in Experts and Claimants wanting to revert to remote appointments or cancelling a F2F appointment altogether until restrictions have eased, which may lead to delays in completing a report.
More detail can be found below.
If a claimant, supported by their legal representative, requires a F2F appointment on a case and deems it necessary and within their local rules then we will continue with any existing F2F booking and for new bookings organise a date and time with a suitable expert at a compliant venue.
We will write to the claimant with details of the appointment together with guidance notes on what to do and what to expect when attending their appointment.
If a claimant requires a remote or F2F appointment, we will obtain consent from the claimant either via text or e-mail and procure medical records, if applicable, before booking an appointment.
Please state on your instruction to us whether a F2F or remote examination is to be provided. If the instructions are not clear, we will initially default to a F2F appointment.
On Non MedCo cases the claimant will no longer be asked to sign and return a formal declaration confirming they understand their obligations and the risks of a F2F appointment. Instead we will simply ask the claimant to consent to the appointment either via text or e-mail. If the claimant doesn’t confirm back to us but still attends the appointment, we will assume this is confirmation of both their and the experts consent.
We would remind you that every effort is being made to ensure the safety of both claimants and experts undertaking a F2F appointment. Detailed information and guidance are given to the claimant and formal declarations are obtained from every expert that their premises are Covid secure. A claimant and/or expert can withdraw from a F2F appointment at any time and opt for a remote appointment, if deemed appropriate by their solicitor, or can delay the F2F appointment to a later date. We will delay any further F2F appointment until after 31 March 2021 to allow a reasonable period to elapse and avoid a sequence of booking, cancelling and rebooking appointments whilst future restrictions remains uncertain.
Claimants will be encouraged to contact Mobile Doctors if they have any concerns about attending a F2F appointment and we will cancel the appointment if we are made aware that any aspect of the guidance cannot be met.
We are advising that Claimants bring the letter confirming their Medico-Legal Appointment with them when they attend a face to face appointment and keep it with them to use as evidence to support their reason for leaving home if challenged.
We have a large number of panel experts who continue to provide F2F appointments in formally declared Covid secure premises. Any panel expert who has previously declared their willingness to provide F2F appointments should contact us immediately if they are no longer able or willing to do so.
Where possible please send all documentation to us electronically and communicate with us via email.
Please continue to use our firstname.lastname@example.org email address for sending us new instructions, AND PLEASE PROVIDE AS MUCH CLAIMANT CONTACT INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE, INCLUDING MOBILE PHONE NUMBERS AND EMAIL ADDRESSES TO PREVENT DELAYS DURING THE AUTHORISATION PROCESS.
Please continue to use our email@example.com email address for specific correspondence on live cases. PLEASE ADD THE UNIQUE 6 DIGIT CASE REFERENCE NUMBER IN THE SUBJECT FIELD OF THE EMAIL IN SQUARE BRACKETS e.g. .
Please note, where this information is not provided, emails may be subject to slight delays in processing.
If you do not have the case reference number, please provide the clients full name and date of birth.
If any of our instructing solicitors have further queries, please contact your relationship manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If any of our panel experts have further queries, please contact any member of our Medical Examiner Liaison Team (MELT) or email email@example.com.