How does it work?
The Landmark Chambers ‘Who Pays?’ Expert Determination Service is intended to assist local authorities, NHS bodies and patients/service users achieve clarity about which public body is required to fund healthcare, social care and educational services for an individual who has eligible needs. We have divided the process into seven stages as follows:
Stage 1: Initial Inquiry
The Landmark Practice Managers are approached by an NHS body or a local authority or someone acting on their behalf to seek assistance with resolving a question about which public body is required to fund healthcare, social care or educational services for a particular individual who has eligible needs. The Practice Manager will send out a letter to the proposed parties explaining the nature of the service, who is available to act as an expert, the timetable and the costs.
The parties can receive a copy of the standard contract on request from Richard Bolton firstname.lastname@example.org. A separate letter will be sent by the Practice Manager to the public bodies for forwarding to the individual service user or their family to enable them to take part in the proposed process.
Stage 2: The parties sign the referral agreement and nominate the expert
The parties and the expert sign the Expert Determination Agreement and the timetable for the process commences. The Practice Manager will send all parties and the Service User or their representative a copy of the Expert Determination Agreement. The Practice Manager will also send out a letter explaining what happens next and inviting evidence submissions within four weeks.
The Practice Manager will also send out a letter to the Service User or their family to explain the process and to invite them to send any representations or evidence within four weeks.
Stage 3: Evidence Submissions
Within four weeks, the parties send the expert, the other party and the service user of their family a single lever arch file of copy documents (not originals) to a maximum amount of 300 pages (double sided copied) which constitute the evidence and representations to support their case. There may also be evidence from the individual or their family, but the form of that material is for the individual service user or the family. A party is entitled to submit additional evidence but this will result in an additional fee payable by that party (see below).
Stage 4: Response
The parties and the service user or their family have 14 days to respond to the material provided by the other party.
Stage 5: Initial Review by expert
Within the next 14 days, the expert conducts an initial review of the papers and either:
- Decides that he or she has sufficient relevant materials to write a report; or
- Writes to the parties to invite them to provide any missing parts of the evidence by an agreed date (which may depend on the nature of the evidence but would not normally be more than two weeks).
At this point the expert also decides whether there is sufficient material to reach a conclusion on paper or, exceptionally, that he or she considers that it is necessary to hold an oral hearing to hear submissions or hear evidence on disputed facts (in which case the arrangements will need to be made for that hearing).
Stage 6: Determination writing
The expert considers the papers, identifies the relevant legal framework, resolves factual issues (usually on the papers) and writes the determination (with a target of doing so within a further two weeks). The expert can reach such conclusions as appear appropriate to the expert from the papers and can resolve factual conflicts if, on the balance of probabilities, the papers suggest any facts are more likely than not to be correct.
Stage 7: End stages
The Determination is provided to the parties and the Practice Manager sends out fee notes of sums owing to the expert (with no separate fee charted by chambers) as a result of the process.