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Health Secretary urged to end GPs’ charging for legal aid ‘domestic violence’ letters

Guardian reports call from 16 police and crime commissioners

The Guardian reports that the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has been urged to end the "callous, insensitive and unjust" practice of general practitioners charging victims of domestic violence for a medical letter which they can produce in order to prove their abuse.

Under LASPO applicants in private family law cases are eligible for legal aid only if they can adduce evidence that they are the victims of domestic violence. An acceptable form of evidence is 'a letter or report from a health professional who has access to the medical records of A [the applicant for legal aid] confirming that that professional, or another health professional—
(i)has examined A in person within the sixty month period immediately preceding the date of the application for civil legal service; and
(ii)was satisfied following that examination that A had injuries or a condition consistent with those of a victim of domestic violence'.

According to The Guardian, a letter signed by 16 police and crime commissioners tells the Health Secretary that some GPs are charging the fees for a such a letter.

For the full story in The Guardian, click here.