BACKGROUND & INFORMATION ABOUT REFERRALS

Background

Since 2020 TID has been able to provide a limited number of medico-legal reports for asylum claims. We began with a pilot project of mainly pre-decision cases. In this pilot project we identified a particular need for reports for young people who were struggling to explain what had happened to them. We therefore established a medico-legal report service for young people (unaccompanied asylum seeking children – UASC). We began taking on cases for adults when we had spare capacity. Since 2020 we have continuously evaluated our work and our findings are recorded further down this page.

TID participates in the MRN (Medico-legal Report-writers’ Network) which is a national forum where all the charities and organisations involved in report writing for asylum claims meet to discuss guidance and quality issues. The biggest topic in the last year was implementation of the latest version of the Istanbul Protocol (a UN guide on standards for the documentation of torture). We share learning, materials and build relationships.

Information for legal representatives regarding Referrals for Medico-legal Reports

OUR MEDICO-LEGAL REPORTS SERVICE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED TO REFERRALS FROM FIRMS NOT ALREADY REFERRING TO US. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SEND US A BRIEF EMAIL FOR AN UPDATE ON THIS POSITION AS IT MAY CHANGE. PLEASE DO NOT SEND US ANY PERSONAL CLIENT DETAILS. OTHER AGENCIES MAY HAVE CAPACITY TO PROVIDE REPORTS  – SEE BELOW  (11/01/2024)

 

In order for us to consider a referral there must be a history of human rights abuses and concerns that there are medical findings which need documenting in relation to this.

Reports instructed for by solicitors involve a physical and/or psychological assessment for evidence of ill-treatment.

Recommendations for clinical care are made. Any safeguarding issues and problems with communication are explained.

The reports include a statement of truth and present the clinician’s findings with reference to the Istanbul Protocol (a United Nations guideline on the documentation of torture and other severe forms of harm).

TID reports are usually produced within 28 days of the assessment taking place.

TID currently relies on a small team of clinicians. Please consider the following before sending an email to us:

  • The client must be represented by a legal aid solicitor.
  • The client or the firm must usually be in West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester or Lancashire (travel issues for clinicians).
  • The solicitor must be able to provide a room which is safe and confidential for the assessment (TID does not have its own premises). This room must be risk assessed.
  • The solicitor will have to provide an interpreter, who is qualified and experienced in working in mental health. If the client has preferences about the interpreter, for example their gender, these preferences need to be respected.
  • On-line assessments may be a possibility for psychological opinions (not scarring assessments).
  • Assessments are charged at standard Legal Aid Agency (LAA) rates and the costs depend on the amount of documentation, stage of the asylum claim, type of clinician used and travel time. An estimate can be provided.
  • TID cannot take on fresh claims at this point in time.
  • Please avoid sending us any unprotected client information. TID always communicates electronically using encryption and password protection. If you do not know how to send client information securely, please email us for suggestions.

If your enquiry meets our criteria and we have capacity, we will send a referral form for completion.

Resources to support medico-legal report work

Other possibilities for medico-legal reports

Freedom from Torture Medico-legal reports | Freedom from Torture

The Helen Bamber Foundation Medico-Legal Reports | Helen Bamber

Medical Justice  (for people in detention) Make a referral – Medical Justice

Forrest Medico-legal Services Home – Forrest Medico-Legal Services (forrestmls.org)