Evaluations of the Medico-legal reports service

It is not easy to evaluate medico-legal work. TID keeps data on process (such as referrals, time to report production, hours spent on case etc) and the nature of cases referred. Feedback from clients and health-services is sought but difficult to obtain. The legal outcome of cases is often very delayed and we are reliant on legal representatives informing us of any developments.

Trends

In 2022-23 there has been a drop in referrals for medico-legal reports. From discussions with legal representatives we are aware that the likely cause is that there are fewer taking on asylum work and that legal representatives who do take cases are waiting to see what recent changes in processing of claims mean for their clients. Cases referred are now less likely to be pre-decision reports. They are more likely to be adult cases who have been refused by the Home Office where a report on medical conditions is felt to be necessary at appeal stage.

These appeal stage cases are often complex with large amounts of legal documentation. The entire GP record is now also added to the information to be considered and this adds a considerable amount of time to the report preparation (and the fee charged to the Legal Aid Agency). As a result our report writers are recording an increase in time spent on individual reports and are less able to accept other referrals.

We have started  to receive further instructions legal representatives to respond to challenges from the Home Office about TID reports which have been written for Tribunal appeals, prior to the hearing taking place. These again increases the work and legal aid costs needed for one asylum claim.

Medico -legal reports for young people and adults (ongoing)

Our ongoing medico-legal work is being monitored but not evaluated in depth. 

Figures will be available in our annual reports.

Evaluation of the pilot medico-legal reports project (closed in 2021)

THE PILOT PROJECT

The TortureID pilot project was the organisation’s first piece of work and took place between May 2019 and January 2021 (extended due to COVID-19 and difficulties conducting in-person assessments safely) in West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.  The aim of the pilot project was to offer specialist health assessments to 30 survivors of human rights abuses and to produce concise medical reports in a short timescale to aid their rehabilitation.  A further aim was to offer training to GPs and health teams on identifying, assessing and documenting survivors of international human rights abuses. The pilot project has been independently evaluated.