Teams of specialists and other professionals in local NHS organisations would group together ‘to improve the quality of the service by introducing mentoring, supervision and peer review, backed up by a new National Knowledge Service to support the medical expert witness programme’ the report proposes.
It also suggests a checklist to be used by the legal profession ‘to establish the credentials of prospective medical expert witnesses’.
It is hoped that these measures would avoid individual bias, and ‘address difficulties in maintaining an adequate supply of medical expert witnesses’.
Sir Liam said: ‘It has become increasingly difficult for courts to find doctors willing to come forward as expert witnesses.’
The report, Bearing Good Witness: Proposals for reforming the delivery of medical expert evidence in family law case, is out to consultation until 28 February 2007.