Acting as an Expert Witness

Guidance for healthcare professionals on acting as an expert witness

Sir Norman Williams’ Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare, has been endorsed by the Academy for Healthcare Science, along with nine healthcare professional bodies, on behalf of over 70 separate healthcare professional organisations representing doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, allied health professionals, optometrists and healthcare scientists.

The General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Health and Care Professions Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, General Dental Council and General Chiropractic Council have all confirmed that the advice set out in this guidance is consistent with their standards and guidance as regulatory bodies.

Whilst the guidance was produced in response to the Williams inquiry recommendation there have been concerns about aspects of the role of expert witnesses for some time. Whilst professional bodies cannot act to regulate professional witnesses this guidance, aimed specifically at clinical professionals who provide an expert opinion or act as professional or expert witnesses in courts or tribunals, clearly states what healthcare professional bodies expect of their members in terms of standards, training and behaviour when acting as a witness.

Click here to read the full Guidance document.