Dr Saal Seneviratne Expert Witness in Psychiatry

MPS Guide to writing expert reports

  • The document  can be found here

  • These are general but helpful guidelines from a medical protection society.
  • Click for The CPS  Guidelines
  • Click here for the Civil Rules
  • The document you provided is a guide from the Medical Protection Society (MPS) on writing expert reports, particularly for medical professionals. It provides a detailed outline of what a good report should include, the legal and regulatory requirements, and advice on how to avoid legal risks.

    Here are some key points from the document:

    1. **What a Good Report Should Include**: A good report should be free-standing, meaning the reader can understand the key issues in the case, the available evidence, and the range of expert opinion without needing to look at any other document. The report should include a title page, numbered pages and paragraphs, appropriate subheadings, the expert’s personal details and experience, the opinion they’ve been asked to provide, a list of documentation considered, a chronology and summary of relevant evidence, details of any examination or investigation undertaken, the expert’s opinion, and a concluding paragraph.

    2. **Legal and Regulatory Requirements**: Experts preparing reports for civil litigation in Northern Ireland should be familiar with Practice Direction No. 1 of 2015 (Expert Evidence) and sign the ‘Experts Declaration’ as contained within Practice Direction No. 7 of 2014. Experts in clinical negligence cases should be aware of the Court Protocol for Clinical Negligence Litigation, particularly paragraphs 17-19 which relate to expert reports. The General Medical Council (GMC) also provides guidance on giving evidence, emphasizing honesty, trustworthiness, and working within the limits of one’s competence.

    3. **Medical Protection Advice**: Following the Supreme Court decision in Jones v Kaney, expert witnesses are now exposed to the risk of being sued in respect of evidence given in court. To rebut allegations of negligence, experts should follow the GMC’s guidance and relevant Practice Directions from the Court. Experts should also keep the MPS informed about the type of professional work they are doing to ensure they have access to the appropriate indemnity at all times.

    4. **Further Information**: The document also provides links to additional resources, including a Medical Protection factsheet on giving evidence in court, GMC guidance on acting as a witness in legal proceedings, and Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service Practice Directions.

    Please note that this is a summary and the actual document contains more detailed information and guidance.

Further information