Training snag hits MedCo whiplash initiative

Topics: Personal injury & clinical negligence,Government & politics

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The government has been warned that the centrepiece of its scheme for reducing whiplash fraud will not be ready to begin work as scheduled next month.

Under the accreditation arrangements for the MedCo scheme, medical practitioners must complete training before 6 April if they want to be part of independent panels of experts allowed to diagnose soft tissue injuries.

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But following an overhaul of accreditation training, those yet to complete it were told last week they must go back to the beginning and start again.

A MedCo spokesman said 132 experts have completed training, but the Gazette understands up to 900 more now face a race against time.

A source involved in the accreditation process said the scheme could face a ‘dearth’ of people ready to diagnose whiplash injuries after 6 April.

‘One thing is for certain, doctors are going to have a busy Easter trying to cram in this training in time,’ he said.

The potential shortage also raises questions about top-tier providers, who are required to have at least 250 accredited experts to retain that status.

MedCo confirmed last week it had made the ‘difficult decision’ to bring accreditation training in-house. It is understood there are no plans to extend the 6 April date.

In a statement, MedCo said: ‘The original training model, which allowed for separate training providers, does not enable MedCo the speed and flexibility required to be able to update the accreditation training as necessary in order to ensure a current, robust, resilient and consistent programme.’

Those doctors who had not completed all five training modules will now have to start again and pass nine modules of the new course.

MedCo was founded on the principle that experts should be independently accredited and have no financial link to lawyers instructing them. But the government-backed scheme has already faced accusations that it limits claimant choice.

Readers' comments (15)

  • And in other shocking news that none of us could possibly have predicted, Donald Trump has said something controversial at a campaign rally.

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  • The communication from Medco states "Medical Experts currently undertaking accreditation training with third party suppliers will receive a direct communication from MedCo and their current training provider, outlining their route to completing their accreditation by April 6th 2016."

    Can't see anything that says doctors who have completed part of the course have to start again form the beginning.

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  • Medco is an unmitigated disaster and should be put out of its misery. I don't know of anyone who uses it who thinks it is any good. the amount of complaints I have to deal with from clients about appointments /reports etc has jumped ten fold. I also take considerable pleasure in telling medical experts that their onerous standard terms which they think they can now impose are not agreed and simply re instruct someone else. An utter waste of time.

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  • Comedy gold - 900 to go, plus possibly 132 more to start again, in about 15 working days. Do the maths, no date extension, so its 1032 / 15 - busy times, big rooms, fast talkers !. No words to add........

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  • This is a 100% cover up.
    Nothing has changed in the course material since November. There can be no need to bring it in house so close to the deadline.

    Why would MedCo choose to take it in house 4 weeks prior to the completion date?
    Why would MedCo tell experts they cant complete the Docslot course 4 weeks before the deadline?
    Why would an expert who has done 4 modules of the Docslot course have to do the whole Bond Solon Course.

    MedCo awarded the course to an owner and company with 2 Tier 1 and 10 Tier 2 (Shell MROs) who sat on the Education subcommittee responsible for the course, which had no track record in expert education, who undercut Bond Solon by £345, who days later reduced the cost to £95, whose director retrospectively resigned from the Docslot board (Companies house filing September, but dated July), who still engages in communication which links him to the course.

    MedCo should own up and the board member responsible for failing to listen to the advice and protestations made by Bond Solon and others in the industry should resign from the board for a grave error of misjudgment. They should then consider whether the representations made to them require them to report the probity of those they dealt with to the relevant regulatory authority.

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  • Already qualified doctors rushing to be qualified to diagnose an injury which the government has announced they will ban people from claiming for.

    You couldn't make it up!

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  • Anon 2:29pm

    Covering up what exactly?

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  • There's a surprise - a system that makes it difficult for Claimants and their solicitors to cherry-pick the medical report that suits them is accused of "limiting Claimant choice"...

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  • well as a newly signed up provider, MedCo have been a great help. I don't see an issue bringing the training in-house if it allows the training to be better refreshed. I always find anonymous posting difficult. if people feel so concerned maybe they should come out from behind the wall of invisibility and speak up. it all helps the debate and it may then sound like constructive criticism and a way to improve the service and less like a rant.

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  • People continually go on about others' shedding the mantle of anonymity or stepping out from behind the invisible wall [Shome mishtake ...?] but there are myriad good reasons why folk mightn't necessarily want to be identified.

    In any case, nothing wrong with a rant every now and again.

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