Medico legal fees guidance for doctors in Northern Ireland

This guidance is for doctors who are asked to provide medical reports in connection with a legal action and/or attend court to give evidence, which may involve conferences with counsel or other related work.
Location: Northern Ireland
Audience: GPs Consultants
Updated: Thursday 14 November 2019
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Fees under legal aid regulations in Northern Ireland

Important note about these fees

The fees in the fees under Legal Aid Regulations section were neither negotiated nor agreed by the BMA.

Unfortunately the general practitioners committee (Northern Ireland) has, so far, been unsuccessful in negotiations with the Law Society (NI) in obtaining a realistic increase in the fees. In April 1998 GPC (NI) submitted a written case for an uplift in these fees based on evidence drawn from DDRB reports and BMA suggested fee scales for locum practitioners.

All fees should be agreed with solicitors before any work is undertaken.

 

Consultants
Patient condition letter including copy of recent clinical report without exam £55.00
Long case history, specially prepared, without examination £71.50
First or second examination and report First examination - £145.20
Second examination - £145.20
Consultant surgeon's report £145.20
Consultant report in relation to Repetitive Strain Injury £242.00
MRI and CT scans at a cost not exceeding Note: Authority granted only when recommended as responsible by a consultant radiologist or consultant. £451.00
Dermatologist's, psychiatrist's or chest consultant's report and examination £181.50
Attendance at court
Note: Where attendance at court is required for more than one client on the same day, attendance fees and travel expenses should be decided proportionately amongst the clients. The account should be certified accordingly.
Morning or part thereof £203.50
Morning and afternoon or part thereof £297.00
Reading up on file and attendance at consultation on day of hearing or other than day of hearing £82.50
When two cases are dealt with on the same day at the same court an additional fixed fee payable for preparation and/or consultation in connection with that case £75.00
Making arrangements to attend court, on cancellation - with less than 2 days' notice (excluding Saturday and Sunday) £66.00
- with between 2 and 7 days' notice £49.50
Locums
Surgery of 2 hours £66.00
Surgery of 2 hours plus calls £71.50 plus £5.50 per call
All day surgery £143.00 plus £5.50 per call
Access to medical records
Provision of a patient's file by GP £20.00
Photocopy of a patient's file by GP £25.00
Note: It is the BMA's view that this has been superseded by the Data Protection Act 1998 and that a maximum of £50 can be charged for providing access to and copies of medical records. The BMA Northern Ireland office has confirmed this interpretation with the Law Society of Northern Ireland.
A sliding scale of allowances is payable to solicitors to cover the costs of collection and returning patients files from and to general practitioners, as follows:
Flat allowance to cover the cost of collection if the journeys were up to 10 miles and likewise, for returning the papers £15.50
If the journeys for collection were in excess of 10 miles and likewise for returning the papers £26.00
In special cases, if longer journeys were involved but the amount would depend on the total distance necessarily travelled. Over £26.00
Note: It is the BMA's advice that originals of health records should not be provided to third parties unless photocopies are not acceptable (for example because the copy is not legible or the originals are needed for evidential purposes). In such cases assurances should be received from the third party that he or she accepts responsibility for the safe keeping and confidentiality of the record. If the original record is to be supplied, the doctor should keep a photocopy of the most recent notes in order to be able to provide appropriate care to the patient in the period until the records are returned.
Travel time
Consultant (per hour) £33.50
GP (per hour) £24.50

Paternity tests in Northern Ireland

Fees for blood tests for evidence of paternity are established by the Blood Tests (Evidence of Paternity) Regulations 1971 and are not agreed with the BMA.

 

Paternity test fees
For making all necessary arrangements (whether or not samples are taken) £17.40
For making further arrangements (whether or not samples are taken) £17.40
For taking sample:
from first subject £17.40
from each subject after first £8.70
For taking second or subsequent samples from one or more subjects:
one sample £17.40
two samples £26.10
three samples £43.50