PPCS - Psychiatric & Psychological Consultant Services

Medico-Legal Assessment

Assessments for the purpose of Expert Witness Testimony may include:

Forensic assessment
A forensic assessment may be required of an individual who has been charged with a crime to establish whether the person has the capacity (in legal terms) to stand trial. If a person with a mental illness is convicted of an offence, a forensic report may be required to inform the Court's sentencing decision, as a mental illness at the time of the offence may be a mitigating factor. A forensic assessment may also take the form of a risk assessment, to comment on the relationship between the person's mental illness and the risk of further offenses.

Medico-legal assessment
A medico-legal psychiatric assessment is required when a psychiatric report is used as evidence in civil litigation; for example in relation to compensation for work-related stress or after a traumatic event such as an accident. The psychiatric assessment may be requested in order to establish a link between the trauma and the victim's psychological condition, or to determine the extent of psychological harm and the amount of compensation to be awarded to the victim.

Medico-legal psychiatric assessments are also utilised in the context of child safety and child protection services. A child psychiatrist's assessment can provide information on the psychological impact of abuse or neglect on a child. A child psychiatrist can carry out an assessment of parenting capacity, taking into consideration the mental state of both the child and the parents, and this may be used by child protective services to decide whether a child should be placed in an alternative care arrangement (such as foster care).

Psychological and Neuropsychological Assesssment
Similarly, specialist clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists can prepare expert witness reports and testimony in appropriate cases, typically forensic issues and brain injury.

For further information or to make a referral please call Deborah Young on 020 7935 0640.