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Your views please, is the Ed Psych's invoice reasonable or is he taking the piss?

(12 Posts)
drowninginlaundry Sun 20-Jul-08 22:02:16

We are in the middle of a yet another SENDIST appeal, this time regarding Part 3, where we are asking for direct weekly SALT and OT. DS1 already has a full time (32.5 hrs) LSA in the Statement.

We are paying through the nose, so much that it hurts, for a fantastic lawyer which has been worth every penny as it has taken the burden of fighting this from me. Then we are paying another fortune for expert reports for the appeal, and I flinch every time I open envelopes. I keep thinking that by Christmas it'll all be over, and yes we may not be able to afford presents but at least DS1 will have a good enough Statement and not the piece of shit they tried to flog earlier.

Anyway. We got an independent EP last October to do a report for our previous SENDIST appeal, a well-known man who many parents have used in appeals. He charged £1,000 for the pleasure. In March we were advised to get him in to do an update in time for the case statement deadline. I booked an appointment in the setting for 'a tribunal appeal report'. He visited DS1 in his nursery, I was with him, he took some notes, asked some questions, and left. When we finally got the report, close to the deadline, it was totally inappropriate for the appeal and we couldn't use it - all he sent was a list of observations with times 'at 11.00 DS1 is playing with his key worker...'. He billed us £350 for this 'update'. When our lawyer told him that his report is useless, he said that he needs to come and do another 'consultation'. The report will have to be sent in as late evidence under the late evidence rules and we have to cross our fingers that it'll be accepted. He has now sent us an invoice for this 'consultation', later this week, for £1,050.

Leaving aside the fact that both times we have seen this EP, he has been anything up to 2 hours late for the appointment, and the fact that the appointment date in the new invoice is a different one to the one I agreed on the phone, do you think he is being fair charging us twice for an appointment that he cocked up in the first place?

And do you think we actually need his report - as the items we are arguing in the appeal are to do with therapeutic input (OT & SALT), and as we have the full time LSA hours already. I've got very good independent SALT and OT reports in already.

I just feel so fed up by this ASD industry where I am being fleeced left, right and centre by 'experts' who get rich on the back of desperate parents. That's why we stopped our ABA programme, and that's why I just want to tell this plonker to stuff his report up his bum but I don't know if I am just being unreasonable.

daisy5678 Sun 20-Jul-08 22:37:03

No, you are not!

I would spend the money on a spa day for yourself instead, actually, with all of what you're delaing with.

Doesn't sound worth the money and is kind of irrelevant to what you're arguing for as you have the SALT and OT reports already.

He sounds hmm and I would not bother any more.

misscutandstick Sun 20-Jul-08 22:38:20

I wouldnt have thought he could legally charge YOU for HIM not turning up to one of the appointments hmm

im sure others will give you better advice - but it really doesnt sound right to be charged so much for something that wasnt what you expressly wanted. I can only liken it to going to a restaurant (not that I've done that in years!!!) but you wouldnt pay for a meal that you didnt order, or pay for one that doesnt turn up, or one that tastes disgusting (in essence something that you cant use). Sorry to ramble - its late.

Can thoroughly understand your anger, i really think you have a right to feel so angry.

{{{HUGS}}} XXX

cyberseraphim Mon 21-Jul-08 07:23:39

Was there a written contract ? Even in the absence of specific contractual provision, reasonable skill and care must be used when carrying out his work. What kind of report did you think he would provide?

drowninginlaundry Mon 21-Jul-08 07:32:09

I made an appointment with his secretary for an 'update for a tribunal report'. My solicitor was astonished to see what he had produced, and said that the EP should know that when the report is for a case she is representing, he needs to produce a full report detailing cognitive skills and quantified recommendations for an appropriate educational provision.

Just have to get on the phone again and do some shouting. What I wanted to do this morning was to have a nice few hours out in Tooting Lido paddling pool with DS1, not spend it sorting out this shit sad.

coppertop Mon 21-Jul-08 11:15:54

I don't have any relevant experience but tbh my instinct says that he is taking the piss. I would've thought that if you had requested a tribunal appeal report and he had only produced a list of times and activities etc then you would be entitled to your money back as he hasn't fulfilled his part of the contract/agreement.

I would probably want to do the shoving of the report myself though rather than just settle for telling him where it should go.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 21-Jul-08 11:22:20

I'm stunned he's made such a pigs ear of it. Do you know any other parents you can ask to find out how he was for them?

cyberseraphim Mon 21-Jul-08 14:24:59

It sounds as if the report was not fit for its purpose so you could contest payment but it may be a difficult area if both parties are relying on their own assumptions about what the report was for but not stating them openly (before the report is written). Having said that, I would have thought that a list of activities would not be a reasonable expectation for a tribunal report.

MannyMoeAndJack Mon 21-Jul-08 16:12:08

Did you agree a fee before he started his work? If not, then was there a reason for this? Did he give you any outline of his charges at all? Or didn't you ask him?

I don't know what the etiquette is with this type of situation but I hope you can come to a suitable financial agreement with this guy - and best of luck at the Tribunal too.

jenk1 Mon 21-Jul-08 17:03:05

i think he,s taking the mick tbh.

we have used the same psych for both ds and dd sendist appeals, he does a full report, which includes nursery/school and home visit.conversations on telephone.

it was his report that won us ds tribunal (they dropped out day before) it was very specific.


drowninginlaundry Mon 21-Jul-08 20:21:27

thanks guys
I have been doing some shouting and it might be that his flunkies have got things mixed up. I should not be paying for a new full assessment + report, it was agreed. Apparently we do need the EP report to specify input from specialist advisory teachers, how often & how much, if these teachers are going to spend time with DS1 each visit or just provide input, if the LSA hours are enough to cover preparation and reporting, how much staff training needs to be provided and the time allocated.... bloody hell.

I listen to my friends with NT children faffing about what kind of cupcakes they should bake for their children's birthday parties and I am thinking 'you are stressed? you have no idea love...'

thanks for replying

brere1 Tue 22-Jul-08 07:50:51

I think he is grossly overcharging you, but then they do! I remember paying for expert reports as part of our son's legal case against the North Staffordshire Health Authority, (they caused his brain injuries). These arrogant, over-puffed up so called experts would charge the earth just to sit and look at our son.

Ask him to send you a copy of his charging structure and to itemise his account. Then tell him you are going to refer his charges to the British Psychological Society.


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