Terms and Conditions
Litigation concerning General Practitioner negligence
I would confirm that I am willing to advise both claimants and defendants on the General Practice issues arising in actions involving medical negligence and in particular give an opinion on whether the General Practice management was in accord with reasonable and common practice at the time. The only exception to this would be cases involving general practitioners local to me, that is those in Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire, or those who I know or am acquainted with. I am also willing and able to attend Conference with Counsel, and Court as and when required in cases that I have been instructed in.
My qualifications to comment
I am a medical practitioner fully registered with the General Medical Council and on the General Practitioner specialist register. I hold a licence to practice (GMC 2371410). I am on the NHS Hertfordshire and South Midlands Area Team list of General Medical Practitioners, and was a partner in an eight doctor teaching practice until standing down as Senior Partner in the Practice in November 2014. I remain in clinical practice doing locum and sessional work as a portfolio GP as well as consultancy work. I am approved to provide Child Health Surveillance, Minor Surgery, Obstetric care (antenatal) and Family Planning advice by Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group.
I was an approved General Practice Trainer for ten years, and was General Practice Tutor to Watford Postgraduate Centre and Watford and Three Rivers Primary Care Trust for four years during which time I was an approved General Practitioner appraiser for the Primary Care Trust. I was then a Senior Clinical Fellow and Medical Lead to the National Practitioner Programme at the Postgraduate Medical School, University of Hertfordshire for three years.
My formal qualifications are as follows:
- M.B.,B.S. Bachelor of Medicine and of Surgery (London University)
- F.R.C.G.P. Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners
- F.A.E. Fellow Academy Experts
- F.E.W.I Fellow of the Expert Witness Institute
- D.R.C.O.G. Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- D.F.F.P Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning
I was a founder member of both the Academy of Experts, and the Expert Witness Institute and I am on the Law Society and Action for Victims of Medical Accidents panels of experts. I have in the past been involved as an expert witness in both the benzodiazepine and steroid group litigations as well as in many general medical negligence cases. I have acted as an external assessor for the Health Service Commissioner for England (Ombudsman) for General Practice complaints, as well as being instructed as an expert by several of Her Majesty’s Coroners, Police Authorities and the General Medical Council. I have also received training as a single joint expert.
I am the author of the General Practice volume in the Medicine for Lawyers series published by Cavendish Press (1996) and contributor of chapters on Risk Management and the Duties and Responsibilities of Medical Experts in ‘Clinical Negligence for General Practitioners’ published by Radcliffe Publications (June 2000).
Preparation of reports
In general there would not be a need for me to meet with your client in order to prepare the liability report, as I will be guided in this by your instructions and the proof of evidence obtained, and will be reviewing the General Practitioner management in the case rather than offering an opinion on present condition, damage or prognosis. Should you require a report on present condition then I will be happy to see the claimant in order to prepare this.
Because I do not need to meet your client for liability reports my reports can be prepared within four weeks of receiving the necessary papers, or sooner should this be necessary and your time constraints are indicated to me when the papers are forwarded.
There are occasions when a brief overview is required to assess the viability of a claim, and whilst this can never be a substitute for a full analysis of the case I am willing to advise with a brief initial report (taking about one and a half to two hours of time and at a total cost of about £240 to £320) where this is helpful, and I am always willing to discuss cases by telephone prior to instruction and without charge.
Content of reports
Initially I would prepare an Advice to those instructing me to assist in forming the claim, and once the matter progresses (and in particular once the defendants witness statements and the defence are available) would amend this into a Medical Report addressed to the Court. The preliminary advice can either be a full analysis of the case, or if more appropriate a brief overview advice to assess the viability of the claim within a limited time (and at low cost).
In either case my opinion would be prepared after perusal of your instructions, your clients proof of evidence, the notes and records, and any other relevant papers (including Consultant reports and counsel’s opinions which would not, of course, be referred to) I would comment on the General Practice aspects of patient management and upon the relevance of any particular allegations in the case, concentrating on liability rather than causation. My report will summarise the particular circumstances of the matter as detailed in your instructions and your clients proof of evidence, and then relate these to the medical records available. In my report the general state of knowledge at the time and contemporaneous management will be detailed and used as the baseline, with comment as to whether there was a responsible body of general practitioners would have regarded the management as proper. I would be happy to address and comment upon any other aspects as detailed in your instructions. In general references to contemporaneous literature will be used to back any criticisms I make. My report would be prepared in a form compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules and in particular Practice Direction 35 with an appropriate ‘Declaration’.
Please note that I do not need to see original X-rays or scans.
My fees for preparation of reports and any other associated matters would be based on the actual time spent in perusing case papers and other relevant documents and in the preparation of my report. Generally reports take between three and four hours to compile. From 1 January 2014 my fees have been based on an hourly rate of £160 plus any expenses and VAT (this is at the lower range of the last B.M.A. recommended scale which was £135 to £188 per hour) Whilst generally my fee for a full report is less than £900, should the work seem likely to lead to a fee exceeding this I would consult with you before commencing the work.
Attendance at conference with Counsel or at Court would be chargeable at £640 per half day or £1280 per day plus travel expenses and VAT
Payment is requested within 90 days of invoice, and I would add any costs in pursuing late account to the fee as well as interest at a rate of 8% per annum. I regret that I am not willing to agree to my fee being subject to reduction after taxation. However if this time scale presents difficulties to instructing solicitors I am willing to extend it by prior agreement.
The above (home) address should generally be used for correspondence, and I can be contacted on the above number where messages can be left. I can also be contacted at my surgery 01923 225128, or on my mobile 07525 021189.
You can also E-mail me at email@example.com
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