We were sad to read that a criminal prosecution was put in jeopardy because dozens of medical experts declined to give advice about the defendant’s fitness to stand trial after cuts in their legal aid fees.
Until December 2013, Neurologists were being paid about £90 an hour but fees have now been reduced to £72 an hour with no travelling expenses. Medical consultants can charge more than £200 an hour for private work.
Nicola Hill, president of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association, was quoted as saying: “This is another sign of the damaging impact of the Ministry of Justice knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Expert witnesses, with highly specialised medical knowledge, are crucial in many complex cases”.