FTS can indemnify against testing costs for publicly funded work

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No prior authority required

In line with the 26 week deadline for care proceedings, a new strategy has been introduced to help speed up the process. Obtaining quotes for prior authority creates a lot of work and leads to delays in the process and increased costs, but now thankfully, this is no longer necessary.Furthermore, the LAA have not placed any funding restrictions on testing.

“It is not necessary to apply for prior authority for drug and alcohol tests provided that the tests carried out reflect what has been directed in the Court Order”.

(Drug and Alcohol Testing – page 13) LAA remuneration-of-expert-witnesses-guidance

FTS can indemnify against testing costs for publicly funded work

Where a court order has already been issued and testing is instructed, then all FTS require is a copy of the order and the test profile quoted for will be specifically designed to meet the court order requirements. In the unlikely event that the LAA do not reimburse the full cost of the testing then FTS will provide the supporting information for submission to the LAA to justify the costs and to ensure full payment is received, however if there remains a shortfall in the testing costs then FTS will credit the balance. To date the LSC/LAA have fully reimbursed all FTS invoices since 2010.

FTS offer a unique approach to improve profit in each care case

Obtaining clear and reliable evidence on substance misuse is complex and time consuming and this has a cost, however if the wrong testing profile is requested, funding is wasted, more costs are incurred and the 26 week time scale cannot always be achieved. FTS can help to get this right by providing expert advice and consultation at any point during the pre-proceedings or proceedings process. FTS offer a detailed recommendation for inclusion in the court order at no cost.

This recommendation can form part of the ‘Experts Response to Preliminary Enquiries’ to comply with paragraph 8.1 of the practice direction accompanying Part 25 of the FPR 2010: PD25B ‘The Duties of an Expert’. In paragraph 5.1 it states:

The court is under a duty to restrict expert evidence to that which in the opinion of the court is necessary to assist the court to resolve the proceedings.”

In the case of drug and alcohol testing, the costs can only be deemed necessary if the resulting report can reliably answer the question as to whether drugs or alcohol are a factor in the case and are likely to have compromised a parents ability to provide a safe environment for the child.

The FTS process of recommendation, advice and subsequent opinions in the report (not just results), adds value to every case and provides the best opportunity to answer the questions so the right decisions can be made and LAA reimbursement can be secured.

FTS don’t add to cash flow issues in publicly funded care cases

FTS do not expect payment for the reports until reimbursement has been received from the LAA.

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