Thank you for your request for information about the following:
‘My consultant confirmed that he could confirm that the assumptions made by your expert, which I require their names and medical qualifications for a court hearing if it comes to that. Send me your independents name and proof of medical expertise so I can have them checked before my court case. I require names and qualifications which will be checked for their validity.’
Your request was received on 13th February 2023 and I am dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Names of Assessors
I can confirm that this information is held by the NHSBSA as it is included in the medical report received from the medical assessment supplier. The name of the medical assessor is redacted before this report is disclosed to the claimant or their representative. Given this will allow the medical assessor to be identified and for the same reasons as detailed for the GMC number, this information would not be disclosed under the exemption in section 40 subsections 2 and 3A (a) of the Freedom of Information Act.
The expectation of the medical assessors is that they will remain anonymous and will therefore not be subject to contact or pressure from claimants or campaigning groups. Given the likelihood their name will identify the medical assessor there is a reasonable expectation that this information will not be disclosed under FOI.
Disclosing this information would be unfair and as such this would breach the UK GDPR first data protection principle. With regards to the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS) there have been concerns for the health and safety of medical assessors and staff administering the scheme.
Disclosure of the name and location is likely to result in considerable distress to the medical assessor. Therefore, this information falls under the exemption in section 40 subsections 2 and 3A (a) of the Freedom of Information Act. This is because it would breach the first data protection principle as:
a) it is not fair to disclose medical assessors’ personal details to the world and is likely to cause damage or distress.
b) these details are not of sufficient interest to the public to warrant an intrusion into the privacy of the medical assessor. In addition, the medical assessor has not consented to this disclosure.
Please click the below web link to see the exemption in full.
I am writing to advise you that following a search of our paper and electronic records,
I have established that the information you requested is not held by the NHS Business Services Authority.
We do hold assessors’ GMC number, which may be used to access the qualifications and experience on the GMC public register but they are not downloaded and held by the NHSBSA.
The Supplier contracted by NHSBSA makes their assessment independently of the NHSBSA and undertaking medical assessments is not an NHSBSA core function.
All claims are assessed by the independent medical assessment company with a consistent approach. Each case is considered on its own merits, by an experienced independent medical assessor.
The medical qualifications and experience of the medical assessors are the responsibility of the sub-Processors RTWPlus and Pertemps Medical, who have a contract with the medical assessor. The contract the NHSBSA has with the processor Crawford and Company does not require details of the qualification of the medical assessors or their experience, only that:
• they are registered with the GMC, with a licence to practice.
• with at least 5 years post graduate experience; and
• have experience of the performance of medical and/or disability assessment.