The Psychology Service we at all times endeavour to ensure that
the reports produced consistently offer an accurate and well considered
opinion that meets the Court’s needs in respect to diagnosis,
causation, prognosis and treatment.
is achieved through the quality and thoroughness of investigation
and incorporates the essence of the psychological approach of formulation
with the tradition and universality of the diagnosis, adhering to
DSM-IV and ICD-10 guidelines.
Assurance is maintained through:
recruit only Chartered Clinical Psychologists to undertake medico
legal assessments. They are selected for their experience in appropriate
areas of clinical practise and reporting skills. All consultants
are further trained in issues relevant to the medico-legal field
and additional training is provided regarding Court attendance.
to face interviews
interviews are undertaken face to face for the purposes of medico
legal reports as we consider this the best method of gaining a full
and thorough assessment of client’s problems. This is in respect
to information communicated not only verbally by the client but
also non-verbally. In addition, the face to face interview is considered
to be the most effective in developing a suitable rapport in order
to achieve the thoroughness of investigation required.
records and medical reports
our Consultants review the client’s full medical records and
those medical reports made available to accurately report upon matters
relevant to the case both pre and post incident.
testing is utilised where appropriate in order to offer an additional
source of information from which the Consultant’s opinion
is drawn. This typically uses self-rating questionnaires such as
The Impact of event Scale, The Beck Depression Inventory, The General
Health Questionnaire and any other scale deemed relevant. Self-rating
questionnaires are not used as diagnostic tools.
of relative or close friend
possible, the assessment procedure includes an independent interview
with a relative or close friend in order to offer further clarification
as to the nature of the client’s problems. This helps to confirm
or otherwise information reported during the assessment.
format of report
reports follow a standard format that allows the reader easy access
to the information required. In addition, the standard format ensures
that the reports are compliant with CPR requirements.
and efficient service
endeavour to ensure that, on confirmed instruction, an appointment
is offered within two weeks albeit that the date of the appointment
maybe some 6 to 8 weeks, depending upon the consultants’ availability.
Reports are normally produced within 2 to 4 weeks of assessment,
depending on the availability of all required material.
availability of consultants
endeavour to ensure that three named Consultants are available in
all areas of the country. On enquiry, the waiting list for each
Consultant will be given. Clinic locations are selected in order
to offer the greatest flexibility for the client.
reports are quality checked by the Director for clinical content,
comprehensiveness and reliability of information for the Court.
supervision and training for all consultants
the consultants are offered regular training and supervision in
respect to their medico-legal work. Meetings are usually undertaken
six monthly to update consultants upon any new and relevant issues
in the legal field. In addition, peer support is gained through
discussing complex cases.
the unlikely eventuality that there is any dissatisfaction over
a report prepared by The Psychology Service then this should be
directed toward the Director, Clemency Palmer.