Fees

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Fees and allowances for forensic physicians

The fees in this section are agreed between the BMA and the Local Government Joint Negotiating Committee but please note they are intended only as a guide in terms of the budget required by a police force and an idea of possible income for doctors.

Some police forces may pay the fees you will find here, others will have different arrangements.

Either way it is important that you agree the fee before undertaking any work.

Find fees for

  • Retained forensics

    The fee structure under this agreement consists of a flat rate retainer fee plus an attendance fee for work actually undertaken.

    These fees vary according to the nature of the work, the time it takes to complete, and the time of day the work is carried out. Under this agreement, no fee is paid to a forensic physician simply for being available for a given session.

    These attendance fees would also be payable where a doctor who is not a contracted forensic physician agrees to undertake the work.

    Last increase: 1 April 2009
    Allowances: Mileage at 48p per mile

    Retainer fee
    a) Retainer fee (flat rate, ie not dependent on fee income) £3,746.50 pa
    b) Supplementary fee for principal forensic physicians who undertake administrative duties £3,562.50 pa
    c) Retainer fee for deputy forensic physicians £740.50 pa
    d) Supplementary payment for holders of the Diploma in Medical Jurispudence or other recognised qualification in forensic medicine £2,850.00 pa

    Note:
    Continued payment of the retainer fee may be dependent upon attendance at accredited courses.

    Attendance fees
    Time First case in call out Second case in call out
    a) A forensic physician who responds to a call by the police to examine a body, a witness, a detainee or any other person
    Between 0800 hrs and 1900 hrs £52.40 £34.90
    Between 1900 hrs and 0800 hrs and weekends and public holidaysb) £78.60 £52.40
     
    b) A forensic physician who responds to a call by the police to examine a victim of alleged sexual assault or child abuse or a suspect in such a case for whom a comprehensive examination has been requested:
    Between 0800 hrs and 1900 hrs £87.30 £69.80
    Between 1900 hrs and 0800 hrs and weekends and public holidays £131.00 £104.80

    Note:

    1. These fees include the completion and signing of certification documents at the time of the examination.
    2. The time band is determined by the time the forensic physician arrives at the police station or other location.
    3. The fee payable for the first case reflects the travelling time to and from the police station or other location.
    4. The fee payable for a second or subsequent case in a call out applies where that case is at the same location as the first. If subsequent examinations are at a different location then the fee for the first case applies.
    5. If a forensic physician is unable to conduct an examination as a result of the refusal by the individual to cooperate or for any other reason, the appropriate attendance fee shall still be paid.
    Full written report or statement in either of the circumstances in note 2 £38.80

    Note:
    We suggest that witness statements not undertaken as part of a forensic physician's duties should be charged at the doctor's own private rate.

    Additional fees
    Where an examination, including making notes or assisting the police, takes more than 30 minutes
    Time Fee
    Between 0800 hrs and 1900 hrs £21.40 per half hour or part therof
    Between 1900 hrs and 0800 hrs £32.10 per half hour or part thereof

    Note:
    The half-hour period does not include travelling time except when a forensic physician is requested to travel outside his or her agreed district and travelling time from home or surgery to the location exceeds 30 minutes.

     

    Fees for trainers

    Where a trainer and a trainee attend the same call, forces may consider paying a fee to the trainee.

     

    Continuing medical education

    Police forces are encouraged to provide financial assistance in the form of payment for course fees, subsistence, travel and invoiced locum fees where appropriate.

     

    Local flexibility

    While the Joint Negotiating Committee anticipates that this agreement should enable police authorities to recruit and retain forensic physicians there is nothing to prevent individual forces entering into different arrangements should they consider it necessary to do so and this may include use of the retained schedule where appropriate.

    There is nothing in the agreement to prevent individual forces entering into different arrangements should they consider it necessary to do so. For example, they may wish to pay a supplementary retainer fee to forensic physicians whose income from attendance fees falls below a set minimum, or set a higher retainer fee.

  • Sessional forensics 

    How to measure contact time

    A fee for forensic work is based upon 'contact time'.

    Contact time is measured from the time the forensic physician arrives at the police station or other location and thereafter for each subsequent half-hour or part thereof.

    Where a forensic physician has arrived at a police station or other location but is unable to conduct an examination (as a result of a refusal by the individual to cooperate or for any other reason), the contact fee shall be payable.

     

    How to calculate the sessional fee

    Each forensic physician receives a fee per session on-call.

    These fees are calculated locally on the following basis:

    • Identify the total budget for forensic physician payments (having taken away amounts required for any other medical services or training).
    • Using the new rates, calculate the costs of the contact fees, statement fees, mileage costs, fees for other services or visits.

    This will leave a balance from which the new sessional fees will be paid (x).

    Determine the number of forensic physicians required to be 'on-call' and 'on duty' at any given time (y).

    If this varies day or night, or across the week, an average should be taken (this number is likely to be between 3 and 7 for small to medium forces, and between 6 and 12 for larger forces).

    Divide the balance (x) by the number of forensic physicians 'on duty' (y).

    Divide that figure by 365 to calculate a 'daily rate'.

    Subsequent calculations for day or night sessions, as well as bank holidays and weekends can then be made according to the established formulae.

     

    Important note

    A key point is that past data, principally the number of contacts (or call outs), is applied to the new rates in the model. The item of service fee is reduced, so that it represents only a proportion of the remuneration, with a second element deriving from the sessional fee. The money to pay for this sessional fee is derived chiefly from the new lower rates paid per contact.

    So the calculations in the model must be done using past data but applied to the new rates - to arrive at the correct figure for the sessional fee.

    The financial baseline to be used should be the current agreed budget, while data for number of contacts, mileage etc should be for the latest 12 months available.

     

    Fees for sessional forensic physicians

    Allowances Mileage at 38 pence per mile
    a) Supplementary fee for principal forensic physicians who undertake administrative duties £3,562.50 pa
    b) Supplementary fee for forensic physicians who have passed Part 1 of the Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence (DMJ) or other recognised qualification (equivalent to Part One of the DMJ) in forensic medicine and approved by the police authority £1,425.50 pa
    c) Supplementary fee for forensic physicians who hold the Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence (DMJ) or other recognised qualification in forensic medicine approved by the police authority £2,850.00 pa

    Item of service fees

    Note: read the section on measuring contact time to find out how it is calculated

    a) Each item of service, ie, a contact episode with the detainee lasting up to 30 minutes , except those covered by c) £26.00
    b) For each extra 30 minutes (or part thereof) worked on a contact episode £26.00
    c) For travel outside a forensic physician's agreed district (where the outward and return journey time exceeds one hour in total)

    £26.00

    Total travelling time
    (sum of outward and return journeys)
    Amount payable

    Note: an additional £25.50 is paid for each additional 30 minutes of travel time after the first hour as set out below.

    1 hour £26.00
    1 hour 30 minutes £52.00
    2 hours £78.00
    2 hrs 30 minutes £104.00
    3 hours £130.00
    3 hours 30 minutes £156.00
    4 hours £182.00

    d) Where a forensic physician is called to examine a victim or suspect in connection with charges relating to murder, attempted murder, sexual offences or child protection and is required to complete a comprehensive physical examination:

    Time of examination Fee
    Between 0800 hrs and 1900 hrs £84.50

    Between 1900 hrs and 0800 hrs
    weekends and public holidays

    £127.00

    Note: where a contact exceeds 30 minutes in duration an additional fee is paid per additional 30 minutes or part thereof beyond the 30 minutes

    Between 0800 and 1900 £23.00
    Between 1900 and 0800 £34.50

    Note: Item of service fee payments include the provision of any statement required at the time of the visit:

    Statement fee

    a) For a statement or report required at a later date (except in those cases listed in b below) £33.30
    b) For a statement or report required at a later date where a forensic physician is called to examine a victim or a suspect in connection with charges relating to murder, attempted murder, sexual offences or child protection and is required to complete a comprehensive clinical examination £79.00
    Sessional fee

    A fee is paid to each forensic physician required to be on-call for a session.

    The sessional fee shall be a matter for local determination. The value of these fees would be calculated locally, using the last 12 months data available. (see Calculating the sessional fee).

    Local flexibility

    While the Joint Negotiating Committee anticipates that this agreement should enable police authorities to recruit and retain forensic physicians, there is nothing to prevent individual forces entering into different arrangements should they consider it necessary to do so and this may include use of the retained schedule as a starting point where appropriate.

  • Specialist forensics

    This agreement provides for the payment of specialist forensic physicians who are retained in order to carry out specific specialist work eg child protection or sexual abuse cases.

    These attendance fees would also be payable where a doctor who is not a contracted forensic physician agrees to undertake the work.

    Last increase: 1 April 2009
    Allowances: Mileage at 48p per mile

    Retainer fee
    a) Minimum retainer fee £3,746.50 pa
    b) Supplementary fee for holders of the Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence or other recognised qualification in forensic medicine £2,850.00 pa
    c) Supplementary fee for holders of Part 1 of the Diploma of Medical Jurisprudence £1,425.20
    Attendance fees
    a) Where a specialist is called to examine a victim or a suspect:
    Time Fee
    Between 0800 and 1900 £86.00
    Between 1900 and 0800 and weekends and public holidays £129.00

    Notes:

    • These fees include the completion and signing of certification documents at the time of the examination.
    • The appropriate time band is determined by reference to the time at which the specialist arrives at the police station or any other location.
    b) Where the contact exceeds 30 minutes in duration an additional fee shall be paid for each additional 30 minutes or part thereof beyond the 30 minutes
    Between 0800 hrs and 1900 hrs £22.50
    Between 19000 hrs and 0800 hrs and weekends and public holidays £34.00
    Statement fee
    Where a statement or report is later required £77.50