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Dr Bashir Qureshi. Expert Witness in Cultural, Religious & Ethnic issues in Litigation and also in GP Clinical Negligence, London.

 

Expert Witness Blog

Psychological legacy of scarring must be considered in damages

Psychological legacy of scarring must be considered in damages

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The press – and indeed the public – have been occupied recently with a sudden and huge increase in the number of so-called acid attacks, where a corrosive substance is thrown or squirted onto the victim, in particular the face. From being isolated cases, often where the victim is known to the perpetrator – who deliberately aims to disfigure – they now appear to be the weapon of choice of mugging gangs who are more and more likely to be caught if they carry other weapons.

A quick response is essential on the part of bystanders, as is the correct response. The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons has launched a campaign to educate the public, around the slogan Report, Remove, Rinse.

In addition to the burns and disfigurement, such attacks can leave lasting scars. Living with those scars can have profound and debilitating psychological consequences in addition to the physical legacy. Indeed, scarring from any source, whether inflicted deliberately or the consequence of negligence or carelessness, can carry long-term psychological consequences.

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Expert Witness News

Conference unites health and legal sectors to improve quality of life for the seriously injured

Conference unites health and legal sectors to improve quality of life for the seriously injured

Thursday, 24 August 2017

More than 200 health and legal professionals gathered in Nottingham to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of people who have overcome significant injury and to learn about cutting edge research and developments in the rehabilitation sector.

The ‘Back in the Game’ conference, hosted by the UK’s largest provider of expert witness, assessment and case management services Bush & Company, was held at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel on 6 July, showcasing speakers from the world of sport, prosthetics and law.

Helen Jackson, Managing Director at Bush & Company, explained: “This was a unique opportunity to improve services through knowledge sharing and networking, with so many health and legal professionals all under one roof.

“Though each speaker considered a different element of rehabilitation, the day was built around a theme of understanding and empathy, reminding us that there is a person at the heart of the legal process during claims and settlements, whose relationships and self-esteem will be significantly impacted by a serious injury.

 

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Expert Witness Legal News

Lawyers council caution in discount rate reforms

Lawyers council caution in discount rate reforms

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Law Society has responded to the new discount rate policy, announced by the Ministry of Justice on 7 September.

The MoJ claims the reforms will make sure personal injury victims get the right compensation and could also see significant savings for the NHS – as well as for motorists through lower car insurance premiums.

Changes mean the rate would be set by reference to ‘low risk’ rather than ‘very low risk’ investments as at present, better reflecting evidence of the actual investment habits of claimants, the MoJ says.

The rate will also be reviewed at least every three years – and the expertise available to the Lord Chancellor in carrying out the reviews will be extended by the creation of a role for an independent expert panel in the process.

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Expert Witness : Environment

Environmental professionals warn over future outlook

Environmental professionals warn over future outlook

Monday, 19 June 2017

Experts from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) have expressed concern about the future implementation of European environmental standards following the UK’s secession from the EU, particularly given the uncertainty thrown up by the election result.

IEMA’s chief policy advisor, Martin Baxter (pictured), said: “The outcome of the general election raises significant challenges, from forming a government to developing and implementing a legislative programme: all against a backdrop of the UK’s Article 50 notification to leave the EU.”

“IEMA members expressed significant concern in the run up to the election on a wide range of sustainability issues including air quality, climate change and circular economy. It is vital that the short-term uncertainties are quickly resolved so that long-term challenges can be properly addressed.”

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Expert Witness : Criminal

Jail terms for dodgy meds sellers

Jail terms for dodgy meds sellers

Friday, 15 September 2017

Two prosecutions in as many days have seen jail terms imposed for the selling of unlicensed medicines.

On 8 September a man from Southall was jailed at Isleworth Crown Court on eight counts of possession and supply of significant quantities of unauthorised and unlicensed medication.

Investigators from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) raided a property belonging to Gurinder Bharaj in Ealing, where more than 100,000 individual doses of unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines worth more than £30,000 were uncovered and seized. A smaller quantity of prescription medication was also seized.

Following an initial hearing Mr Bharaj pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment with immediate effect (concurrent to all counts). He was also ordered to pay a £75 victim surcharge.

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Expert Witness : Medico Legal

Mixed response to prescribing errors initiative

Mixed response to prescribing errors initiative

Friday, 15 September 2017

Confirmation that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to launch an initiative to reduce prescribing and medication errors in the NHS was met with a mixed response from bodies representing the pharmacy sector.

The move was confirmed by Pharmacy Minister Steve Brine MP in his speech to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s annual conference in September. Mr Brine said that studies currently indicate that up to 8% of prescriptions have a mistake in dosage level, course length or medication type.

He said: “Patient education and safe management of information will be at the heart of our efforts to tackle this serious issue. For example, we will need to improve how we use electronic prescribing, as well as how we transfer information about medicines between care settings, where there is significant scope for errors.”

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Expert Witness : Technology

Smart phones becoming more common in evidence gathering

Smart phones becoming more common in evidence gathering

Friday, 15 September 2017

In the last issue of Your Expert Witness we reported on the setting up of websites by police to allow witnesses to upload pictures and videos of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. The actions demonstrate the embracing by police of people’s digital lives and the increasing importance of technology in evidence gathering.

The moves follow a statement last year by then-Home Secretary Theresa May on the subject. She said: “Citizens increasingly capture what is happening around them on video, generating potential evidence of crimes. Policing has not yet caught up.

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Expert Witness : Building and Property

Conveyancers in firing line over ground rents

Conveyancers in firing line over ground rents

Friday, 15 September 2017

In recent weeks there has been a deal of press and public indignation over ground rents that can double or more overnight. It is an issue that may be harbouring an avalanche of negligence claims against solicitors, according to Joshua Munro, a barrister at Hailsham Chambers.

He writes: “Purchasers of long-leasehold interests in property may regard themselves as the ‘owners’ of the property. However, many thousands have discovered that they are subject to covenants in favour of freeholders.

“When the true position is found out as to increasing ground rent liabilities, it is very likely that the long-leasehold owners will want to make claims. The problems are often remediable, via leasehold enfranchaisement and acquisition of a share of freehold, or an extension of the long lease’s term with reduction of ground rent to a peppercorn.

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Expert Witness : Animal & Farming

Slaughterhouse CCTV proposals to extend to Scotland

Slaughterhouse CCTV proposals to extend to Scotland

Friday, 15 September 2017

With consultation on CCTV in slaughterhouses closing on 22 September, the Scottish Government has announced plans to introduce a similar consultation as part of its Government Programme for Scotland 2017/18.

The decision has been widely welcomed by the veterinary profession and follows campaigning to include the measure in Scotland alongside the model for England announced by Michael Gove in August.

Melissa Donald, president of the Scottish branch of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said: “We’re delighted that the Scottish Government is looking seriously at introducing mandatory CCTV in abattoirs.

Although a high percentage of abattoirs in Scotland already have CCTV, there are no rules governing how the footage is used or kept, and it is essential that Official Veterinarians have unrestricted access so they can fully monitor animal health and welfare throughout the slaughterhouse.

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Parliament, Legislation And Public Sector

Psychoactive Substances Act: one year on

Psychoactive Substances Act: one year on

Friday, 16 June 2017

In May last year the Psychoactive Substances Act came into force. One year on there have been a number of articles published reflecting on the Act and its effectiveness, particularly with reference to the availability of new psychoactive substances, or so-called ‘legal highs’ as they were termed prior to the Act.

In April Home Office Minister Sarah Newton (pictured) reacted to criticism from some quarters of the legislation.

“We have known about the devastating consequences of Spice for some time,” she wrote, “and we have acted to give police the powers they need to take action, making third generation synthetic cannabinoids Class B drugs on a par with ketamine and amphetamines. We will continue to monitor its impact and if we need to do more, we will.”

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Expert Witness : World News

GDC stance on tooth whitening gets European backing

GDC stance on tooth whitening gets European backing

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

In recent issues of Your Expert Witness we have highlighted the on-going issue of unqualified people carrying out illegal tooth whitening – and the efforts being made by the General Dental Council (GDC) to bring offenders to book. Since the last issue highlighted a case in Wales there have been prosecutions in Orpington, Salford and London.

At the end of last year the legal position on tooth whitening of the GDC received the backing of the organisation that brings together all European dental regulators. FEDCAR – the Federation of European Dental Competent Authorities and Regulators – published a statement endorsing its approach as the one to be used across Europe.

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Your Expert Witness Issue 42

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