MOJ halts further PI reform
The government has just announced that following implementation of phase one of the whiplash reforms and Official Injury Claims (“OIC”) portal back in June 2021, phase two of the process has been halted, to the surprise of many in the sector.
Phase two of the reform package was due to look deeper into referral sources, develop the rules around qualified one way costs shifting (“QOCS”) and review credit hire and rehabilitation. The announcement from the Ministry of Justice in Part 2 of the Government Response to: Reforming the Soft Tissue Injury (“whiplash”) Claims Process has delivered the message that it is for the market to address these issues.
Fraud and costs issues addressed as part of the 2016 consultation failed to gain overall consensus on a way forward and while some may be concerned that the overall reform package has not been delivered, others will no doubt welcome an opportunity to focus on continued delivery of the OIC portal.
Some of the key areas dropped include extending MedCo to rehabilitation, introducing a fixed tariff for treatment and non-recovery of disbursements.
The personal injury sector has seen significant and continual change over many years and the OIC portal is the most recent of these reforms. It is welcome that there has been acknowledgement of this by the Ministry of Justice, with all stakeholders now able to look ahead as the current process further imbeds over the coming years.
Lyons Davidson continues to be at the forefront of discussions within the sector around protocols and alternative dispute resolution. Now that we have had the long awaited decision from the MOJ we welcome the opportunity to continue those discussions so that we can agree and implement some sensible solutions to ensure we all deliver the best claims journey for customers and policyholders.