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Medico legal work

ASLTIP has Speech and Language therapists that are specialists in providing high-quality
speech and language therapy medico-legal and expert witness reports for legal proceedings for children and adults with communication difficulties. Click here to search for Speech Therapists in your area with Medico-legal as a speciality.

What do they do?

They specialise in carrying out and reporting on Legal Assessments including:

  • SENDIST/SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Tribunals
  • Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Medical negligence resulting in speech, language or swallowing difficulties (such as birth injury affecting a child’s development), or trauma (such as a road traffic accident resulting in head injury and communication problems) – cases where the aim is to determine costs for therapy when seeking compensation.
  • Personal injury
  • Determining the ability of a client with speech and language difficulties to be a
    witness in court in addition to extensive clinical experience, medico-legal trained Speech and Language therapists have attended relevant legal training on:
  • Excellence in Report Writing
  • Cross-Examination Day

What does this look like?

  • Review of medical notes and other important documents.
  • Assessment and diagnosis of the client’s speech and language skills (and possibly
    other areas in some instances such as swallowing difficulties) to determine whether
    a problem exists and, if it does, how severe it is.
  • Writing a detailed report of findings, diagnosis, prognosis and recommendations for
    further therapy.
  • In SENDIST cases there is a need for very specific recommendations quantifying the
    amount of ongoing therapy considered necessary.
  • Appearance at Tribunal/Court as an expert witness if applicable.

Speech and language therapists may be involved with other professionals when they are doing medico-legal work depending on the situation. These may include a psychologist, medical staff, an occupational therapist, education staff, a solicitor, etc.

What happens?

  • An initial assessment will be arranged.
  • A detailed report will be submitted.
  • Attendance in court may be requested.
  • Further therapy input will need to be sourced separately.

Questions to ask a therapist when requesting Medico-Legal work:

1. What are your specialist credentials in the area of medico-legal work?
a. What training have you received?
b. How many cases have you been involved with?
c. Can I see an anonymised report?

2. What is your clinical experience of the person’s needs you are asking for?
a. E.g. Autism/dysphasia
b. Children/adults

3. What is your availability?
a. Discuss your timescale for the report
b. Discuss when /where you require the assessment to be carried out?
c. Discuss if you want your therapist to liaise with other professionals

4. What is the fee?
a. Terms of Engagement should be provided to you
b. The fee structure should be clearly set out detailing tasks and timings.

Each case will be different, it is important to discuss specific details which are relevant, so you are confident with the fee, the process and the therapist you have chosen.

Contact the office for more details – office@helpwithtalking.com

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Interested in becoming a member?

ASLTIP’s membership has been growing rapidly since 1989. We are a support organisation run by our members. The executive board is always grateful for new members and new ideas.

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