Neuropsychiatry experts

We provide neuropsychiatry expert witnesses and court reports

What is a neuropsychiatry expert witness?

A psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of mental disorders. Psychiatrists can subspecialise in several areas, one of which is neuropsychiatry. 

Neuropsychiatrists have experience in psychiatric symptoms arising in the context of recognised neurological disorders such as epilepsy, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. They also support individuals with functional neurological disorders and dissociative disorders, and those with psychiatric symptoms due to an underlying neurological process such as encephalitis or systemic lupus erythematosus.

neuropsychiatry expert witness

How specialist is a neuropsychiatry expert?

All psychiatrists will have completed an average of five years of training at medical school before two years of foundation training, gaining a basis in different medical specialities. There is no specific training path to become a consultant in neuropsychiatry. A typical route into this subspecialty would be completing core training in both neurology and psychiatry, during which examinations to join the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Medicine take place. Following this, there are a few competitive higher training posts in neuropsychiatry. This takes on average a further three to four years. Some specialists in neuropsychiatry choose to complete higher training in liaison psychiatry, a psychiatric speciality with significant overlap with physical health care, ideally in specialist neuroscience centres. 

Thus, the training to be considered an expert in neuropsychiatry can be significantly longer and more specialist than in other subspecialities. 

Why might you need to instruct a neuropsychiatry expert witness?

Neuropsychiatry expert witnesses may typically be instructed for an expert opinion in cases involving a complex presentation of both psychiatric and neurological symptoms. A common example of this is traumatic or acquired brain injury. This can arise via different causes including accidental or violent trauma and reduced oxygen (hypoxia). A case during which the expert evidence of a neuropsychiatrist assisted the court involved a client who attended a routine medical procedure for chronic back pain, however during the procedure his vital signs were not adequately monitored, and he had to be resuscitated after a significant period of time with reduced oxygen. This left him with a hypoxic brain injury leading to significant cognitive and communication deficits requiring full-time care. In a case such as this, it may be appropriate to instruct a neuropsychiatrist expert witness to establish the extent of harm, and whether this was caused by clinical negligence. 

In criminal cases, neuropsychiatrists are often instructed to give expert evidence to the court in cases where the defendant has a complex neurological or psychiatric condition which may impact on the case. For example, in a case where the defendant has Huntingdon’s disease and has been charged with a violent offence, a neuropsychiatrist expert witness may be needed to assess fitness to plead, and capacity to form intent to commit the offence. 

Neuropsychiatrist expert witnesses may also be asked to provide expert evidence to aid the court where a defence of automatism is being considered, for example where the defendant has an underlying diagnosis of epilepsy or a sleep disorder. 

Incidences where a neuropsychiatry expert may be instructed include:

  • Clinical negligence 
  • Capacity assessments 
  • Automatism defences
  • Traumatic or acquired brain injury
  • Cognitive impairments including dementia
  • Psychiatric symptoms of Parkinson’s disease 
  • Huntingdon’s disease 
  • Functional neurological disorders 
  • Fitness to plead assessments 
  • Expert opinions on psychiatric defences including diminished responsibility and the insanity plea
  • Expert opinions on sentencing including Hospital Orders. 
  • Capacity assessments including
    • Litigation capacity
    • Testamentary capacity
    • Capacity when appointing lasting powers of attorney 

What experts does Expert Court Reports have?

We have two highly experienced and well-respected neuropsychiatry experts witnesses on our panel, Dr Geraldine D’Souza and Dr Hesham Elnazer.

Dr D’Souza has over 12 years of experience working as a consultant psychiatrist. Her particular area of expertise is in brain injury and dementia. Dr D’Souza is a medical member of the first-tier tribunal health education and social care chamber and a specialist member of the parole board.

Dr D’Souza has experience in assessing and treating a wide range of mental disorders; she has expertise in assessing and treating individuals with neuropsychiatric and cognitive difficulties such as brain injury, memory Impairment and dementia. She has undertaken medico-legal work since 2010. Dr D’Souza has undertaken assessments and provided reports in relation to litigation capacity, assessment of mental capacity for wills and probates, lasting power of attorney and court of protection, parole board assessments and fitness to plead. She has also provided independent reports for mental health tribunals. She has had training in expert witness report writing and giving oral evidence. 

Dr Hesham Elnazer is an experienced neuropsychiatrist. He undertakes assessments on patients with neuropsychiatric disorders (including neurodegenerative conditions and patients with brain injury) and psychiatric disorders comorbidly existing with physical health issues. He has previously trained in a recognised neuropsychiatry training post at the Atkinson Morley Neuroscience Centre, St George’s Hospital, London. Dr Elnazer has worked as a consultant neuropsychiatrist at Kemsley National Centre for Brain Injury Rehabilitation, St Andrew’s Hospital, Northampton and at the Hampshire Neuropsychiatry Rehabilitation Service (KITE).

Dr Elnazer’s area of clinical interest and expertise is assessment of disability and management. He specialises in assessment of disability and prognosis of people following traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurodegenerative illnesses and functional neurological disorders. 

Why use Expert Court Reports?

A good neuropsychiatry expert witness should come with years of clinical experience as well as specific competencies to act as an expert witness.  Look for someone who has established expert witness experience.  Our neuropsychiatry experts, Dr D’Souza and Dr Elnazer, have many years of clinical practice and established experience of acting as expert witnesses.  

How quickly can you provide a report?

At Expert Court Reports Ltd, we understand the pressures of the legal profession.  We recognise that litigation is subject to defined timescales and for this reason, we will be as flexible and accommodating as we are able to be.  However, we pride ourselves on not promising work that cannot be reliably delivered within a given timescale.  The quality of the evidence which is provided by our experts is subject to review and scrutiny.  All expert reports are subject to a detailed and robust proofreading process to ensure that our expert evidence is accurate and expertly formatted.

Instructing an expert witness

If you would like to find out more about how our neuropsychiatric expert witness could assist you, please call us on 01865 587865, email office@expertcourtreports.co.uk, or request a quote by completing our online form.

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