The Days of a Local Psychiatrist Doing All Your Court Reports are Long Gone.

In this day and age, most medical professionals are inundated with work. This is a fact in the mental health field probably more than others. With the increasing awareness and occurrence of mental health issues in the general population – psychiatrist’s workloads on the front line are continually increasing. Back in years gone by, the modus operandi many legal professionals employed was to have a psychiatrist that they could reliably call upon. A simple phone call and the psychiatric report was arranged. Today this is becoming increasingly difficult. A number of factors have led to this. One factor is that psychiatry now has many branches with many specialism’s. Many of our clients find that the psychiatrist that they use regularly lacks the expertise in a particular field and thus cannot provide an opinion upon the patient’s symptoms. Another factor is that many psychiatrists prefer not to do medico legal work as it can be time consuming and complicated – they prefer to focus on their burgeoning workload. For legal professionals finding the right expert can present a significant challenge, especially if time scales are tight. Often legal professionals complain of a lack of response when they approach experts directly. Another bone of contention is that many of the experts that do respond- quote exorbitant fees that are well outside the range that the LAA will pay. We at feel that we have developed a service that can aid legal professionals immeasurably. Firstly, our service is not reliant on one particular consultant. This gives us the ability to match the correct expert to the requirements of the particular circumstances of a case. Secondly, it allows us to ensure the timeframe required by the court for submission of the report is adhered to. Thirdly, we quote competitively – as we have a good number of consultants that are happy to work at legal aid rates. From feedback from both solicitors and psychiatrists, by using our services the burden of communication is much reduced as all details of report production are co-ordinated by us, saving both the legal and medical practitioners’ valuable time. Our service also provides many advantages for experts. We take care of all the communication and guarantee timely payment of their fee. This allows experts to focus on producing a high quality report, rather than juggling admin and credit control along with their main work. Time stands still for no one – it is important to keep up to date with the ever shifting dunes of the medico legal landscape.