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SMP Degree of Disabiltiy

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SMP Degree of Disabiltiy

Post by Rdwwilson on Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:29 am

I am unsure if anyone has encountered the same set of circumstances as mine. If so, any advice would be gratefully received. I understand I cannot name the particular SMP but those in the Met and some other forces will be able to work out the individual I am dealing with. In brief my circumstances are this. I was seen by the Met MO in July 2013 who recommended I be ill health retired with 5 different permanent physical disabilities, 3 of which were as a direct result of injury on duties. When I saw this SMP in December 2013 he also agreed I was permanently disabled but only in 2 areas, both of which the Met MO stated were not permanent due to on going treatment. He disregarded the other 5 areas of disablement. I appealed his findings and was sent to a PMAB hearing, which was the incorrect forum, as they could only decide the question of permanence, not which conditions were permanent. The Met were awarded costs by this panel as they decided my appeal was frivolous as I was already deemed permanently disabled. With federation funding advice was sought from a QC. As a result proceedings were issued at the High Court which both the Met and the PMAB declined to contest. As a result the costs were met by the MET. The Met finally decided to retire me in February 2015. I have through Mark Lake submitted the paperwork for IOD awards and have received an acknowledgement from the Met. My problem is this, the original SMP is likely to be the same person who examines me for the IOD award. I have detailed reports from a professor and various consultants confirming all of my conditions are permanent. This SMP has had sight of these reports and disagrees with all of the consultants. If the same man is appointed to my assessment , his history indicates he will not under any circumstances change his opinions. Has anyone here been able to insist a different SMP is used with any success? I know some others on this site are collating evidence for a GMC complaint regarding this individual, I , at the end of this process will be also submitting a complaint.


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Re: SMP Degree of Disabiltiy

Post by Urtica on Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:26 pm

There may be two ways of looking at this issue. The SMP you mention is well known to me, and I agree with your assessment of him. However, his flaws make it that much easier for Mark Lake to shoot him down. Would you think it best to put up with appealing his decision and winning, or having a different SMP who was a lot craftier, whose decision would be harder to overturn?

You seem, from your account, to be a very determined person, prepared to face up to lengthy appeal procedings, and I know that the Federation is currently very willing to provide funding in respect to this SMP's bad decisions.

You may be doing a huge service to other injury pensioners, and serving officers about to be retired due to duty injury, if you let the SMP do his usual rubbish job and then have him destroyed in court. Remember, so many injured former officers simply do not have the will or perhaps the ability to handle any sort of challenge.

As to your question about requesting a different SMP, the legal position is that the police pension authority has the right to select whatever 'duly qualified medical practitioner' it thinks fit. There is, however, nothing to stop anyone from making a formal request that a different medic be appointed, but you would need good grounds. You would need to be able to show bias, incompetence, dishonesty - that sort of thing - all hard to prove. SMPs are usually hired on a contractural basis, so a force can't just tell a SMP that he is not wanted any more. Worse, the College of Policing held a training event for SMPs last year when they were told that:

'2.5 What SMPs can take from the Doyle ET [employment Tribunal] judgment is that to justify the removal of the SMP, the SMP must be “guilty” – ie there must be attributed to the SMP some culpable act or omission. Secondly, that culpable act or omission must be persistent and/or unreasonable. Thirdly, the culpable act or omission must be without cause. On any analysis, this is a very high threshold before a PPA will be justified in exercising its discretion to remove an SMP. If this analysis is correct, the discretion would not be appropriate in the following circumstances:

SMP proposes to take any reasonable and necessary step which the PPA disagrees with;

PPA learns that this particular SMP tends to determine a particular issue in a certain way contrary to the preferences of the PPA;

The officer/pensioner and/or the PPA object to a particular view of the law taken by the SMP where that view is tenable;

The officer/pensioner indicates they don’t like the SMP selected;

The officer/pensioner threatens to make a complaint to the GMC against the SMP without good cause;

The officer/pensioner takes exception to a reasonable direction given to them by the SMP

2.6 Should an SMP find themself in a position where they are being un-appointed for a reason, which would not justify that decision, they should consider formally raising the issue. Un-appointing an SMP in these circumstances is likely to be for a reason inconsistent with the statutory scheme and the policy it seeks to promote. This would be particularly relevant when the SMP considers the move may disclose an attempt by the PPA to subvert the statutory process to garner a particular outcome not justified on the facts. In these circumstances there is a strong public interest in formally raising the matter

In other words, the chap who wrote this (and he is a solicitor) seems to be saying that being a SMP is a bit like getting tenure - you have a job for life. (Needless to say, I don't agree with this view).

This particular SMP is on borrowed time. The more complaints that are made about him, to his contracted force, and to the GMC, the more his competence is brought into question. Each and every person who has had this SMP make any decision regarding them ought to seek legal advice as to whether his decisions were lawful or not. I am somewhat surprised that the Federation are not being more pro-active in respect of this medic by checking through all his cases. Where there is evidence of a flawed decision, it should be appealed, if within time, or the PPA should be asked to arrange a regulation 32-(2) reconsideration. Decisions which are thought to be wrong in law, or arrived at by unlawful means can be taken to judicial review.


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Re: SMP Degree of Disabiltiy

Post by Blackmax on Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:45 am

I think we know who we're talking about here and I would support Urtica and urge you to complain to your force and the GMC about this individual.


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Post by Rdwwilson on Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:19 am

Thank you both for your replies. Having considered everything including something I did not put in my original post, I will not be appealing this Doctors participation in my case. Although I was unsuccessful in my original appeal for the reasons outlined above, my representative appointed by Mark Lake and my Fedrep who were both present both heard the panel chair warn the Met, that, if I come back to this panel appealing the Doctors decision on the injury awards aspect, they would not be looked at favorably if they relied on the same medical report provided by their Doctor. This fact was seized upon and forcibly pointed out to me on the day. In effect I have been advised that the SMP report has been viewed by the panel and they dismissed his report out of hand. Those that know me know I will not let this matter drop, no matter how long the process takes me.


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