The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling has reassured that the medical panels that will be set in place to assess the injury in whiplash claims will remain independent.
Grayling was responding to concerns raised in a letter from the House of Commons Transport Select Committee Chair, Louise Ellman that medical reporting agencies could form alternative business structures with personal injury law firms.
In his response to the letter he said: “Clearly we have to come up with arrangements that address concerns around independence, particularly where (a medical reporting organisation) is owned by, or associated with an ABS (Alternative Business Structure).
“As a minimum, financial links between organisations involved in the claim process should be open and transparent.”
He went on to insist that measures would be taken to insure that the experts are paid on completion of the report and regardless of the claim’s outcome.
The panel will be set up initially to focus on claims of a value up to £5,000 and the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that a working group has met to begin the process of creating the panels.
It is hoped that proposals for the medical panels will be ready by July 2014.
1. Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Grayling