Medco have appointed a new executive chairman who will be responsible for the new strategic direction of the personal injury portal.

Martin Heskins, formerly general manager of Medco, will replace Lorraine Rogerson after she stepped down in December 2016 following two years in the role. The change in management is the latest development from Medco following the amendment to their rules in October 2016.

A qualifying criteria was established by the Ministry of Justice in an attempt to quash four 'tier-one' providers from exploiting the online system. It was found Medical Reporting Organisations were creating "shell" companies in order to place them more frequently in the 'random' allocated expert search.

The qualifying criteria:

  • Defines an MRO as "an organisation whose principle function is to provide medico-legal reporting services";
  • Requires all aspiring MROs to provide documentation to prove they are independent, properly staffed and resourced, and directly responsible for all work associated with receiving instructions;
  • Put forward a 'financial instrument' of £20,000 to show they have sufficient fund available to remunerate medical experts commissioned to write reports. Top-tier firms must have a financial instrument of £100,000; and
  • Have a minimum of £1m for professional indemnity insurance and £3m for public liability insurance.

Failure to meet the qualifying criteria will "result in removal from the MedCo system for registered MROs and the rejection of applications from new MROs attempting to register".

The qualifying criteria is currently in place for new applicants to the MedCo system and existing "shell" companies with 134 "shell" companies being suspended since its implementation in November 2016. However it will only be in place for all other MROs on 25 January 2017.

Due to the number of problems Medco have faced in the last year robust policing of the new rules is required and it is hoped that the new management team will drive this forward. With the anticipated whiplash reforms expected to hit soon, further development is likely to emerge, for example, the possible roll out of the Medco system to include rehabilitation providers.