The CoR regularly receives requests from solicitors seeking to contact members who are willing, trained and able to act as an ‘expert witness’ in medico-legal cases, where a civil claim for negligence has been made by or on behalf of a client. There are also requests for experts to review documentation for fitness to practise cases and other cases relating to radiography or ultrasound practice.
It is important for patients, the NHS and the profession that we have members who are able to offer an objective opinion on any particular case within their scope of practice. Being an expert witness is a challenging, but fulfilling role, during which you will develop many transferable skills which can be recorded within your continuing professional development portfolio. It can also help towards evidencing your level of clinical practice and professional involvement for advanced or consultant level practice accreditation.
The CoR holds a list of expert witnesses and sends requests to members on that list when new cases are shared by solicitors or agencies working on behalf of solicitors. There is no requirement to take on a case if you do not wish to do so or if it is outside your scope of practice.
Expert witnesses work independently of the CoR and must ensure they have the appropriate skills, experience and knowledge to be able to comment on a specific case and meet the requirements of the Guidelines of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. They should also have professional indemnity insurance to cover them for their work as an expert witness.
The CoR will be holding an on-line training event in October 2022, for those new to the role and who have submitted an application to join the expert witness list.
The event is run by Bond Solon, with input from two experienced members on the expert witness list. Numbers are limited, as this will be an interactive webinar.
Learn more about the role and submit an application to join the list on the CoR’s website ‘Expert Witnesses and the CoR List’
It is an expectation that anyone accepted onto the list has attended, as a minimum, the introductory study day and completed the elearning for healthcare module ‘The imaging practitioner as an expert witness.’
Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (2019) Acting as an expert or professional witness: Guidance for healthcare professionals
General Medical Council (2013) Acting as a witness in legal proceedings
Medical Defence Union (2013) Acting as a medical expert witness
Pantin, G (2007) Medical experts in the dock: expectations of and advice for witnesses Guidelines in Practice
For additional information about the expert witness list or the role, please contact [email protected]