Medical reporting organisations are continuing to ignore warnings and register multiple entries for the whiplash diagnosis scheme.
MedCo, the independent scheme set up by the government last year, today issued a statement saying it continues to receive ‘multiple’ registration applications for inclusion on the panel.
The MoJ has already set out plans to combat attempts to register ‘shell companies’ that restrict lawyers’ choice when choosing a medical expert. Those plans are expected to be implemented within weeks, but it appears some medical reporting organisations are continuing to try to circumvent the system.
MedCo said it reinforces its earlier notifications stating all ‘multiple registered’ MROs will be made non-operational and removed from the system. Any registration fees will not be refunded.
The scheme has been beset by problems since it was launched by former justice secretary Chris Grayling last year.
The problems of multiple registration were identified within weeks of the system going live.
A government review of the system was brought forward last year and prompted the changes proposed in March by the MoJ. Following the review, the MoJ said expert searches will now come up with a choice of two tier-one MROs and 10 from tier two.
New criteria will cover the definition of an MRO to establish the core roles and functions of each one, with a wider application of minimum service standards.
The government said the behaviour of some MROs had the potential to undermine the policy objectives of MedCo and public confidence in the scheme.
Meanwhile, MedCo has confirmed 21 medical organisations have been restored to the system, having been suspended over concerns they were attempting to manipulate the search results.
Those 21 MROs and experts have been ‘formally warned’ about their conduct and will be subject to further audits.