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Provision of medicolegal reports/acting as a medicolegal expert

Post date: 01/08/2017 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 15/08/2019

If you are a doctor and want to practise medicine in the UK, you need to hold GMC registration with a licence to practise. 

Given this requirement, we have carefully considered the appropriate criteria we require of members who produce medicolegal reports and/or act as a medicolegal expert. 

Producing reports from records only

Unless there is an obligation to do so*, doctors producing medicolegal reports purely from records are not usually required by Medical Protection to have a licence to practise, but are expected to:

  • act within the bounds of their competency and specialty, and
  • inform the instructing solicitor whether or not they have a licence to practise and/or intention to maintain it in the future. 

*For example, experts giving evidence to the Family Court are required to have a current licence to practise.

It may well be that possession of a licence to practise in such a situation will lend credibility in the provision of a report, but at present it is not a condition that we require.

Producing reports from direct assessment and/or patient examination

In addition to the requirement to advise the instructing solicitor whether or not you have licence to practise and/or intend to maintain it in the future, we require any doctor directly assessing and/or examining a patient for the purposes of producing a medicolegal report to maintain a licence to practise.

This is required for all condition and prognosis reports, and any other type of medicolegal report where direct assessment and/or examination is required.

Whilst this is not a current, explicit GMC requirement, we believe it is necessary in order to protect the position of the member, should a complaint arise.

We believe these criteria will ensure the best possible protection for members carrying out such work.

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