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.