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Copy of post Re Medical Records-General IOD Discussions

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Copy of post Re Medical Records-General IOD Discussions

Post by Defender on Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:06 pm

For the benefit of Northumbria IOD's the following post has been copied from General IOD Discussions in relation to a question Re Medical Records the full post thread can be seen there:

I have been dealing with a single continuous review since 2006 and you may be interested in my little story concerning medical records. I did post this subject on the old original forum which is now locked and I have copied & pasted the majority of it below. Do keep reading to the end as there important and very recent updates on this very long saga.
“I was medically retired from Northumbria Police in 1999 with a high injury banding after 14yrs service. My first and current ongoing review started in 2006, when I was contacted by NP asking for my full medical records to be released to the SMP. I duly made an appointment with my GP in order to view my medical records prior to releasing them to the SMP. I discovered that there was reference in my records to a close family member, this is known as a ‘third party identifier’ these entries were very historic from the late 1960’s when I was 4 & 5 yrs. of age. Never the less I did not have the legal authority to release information relating to another individual without their express consent. I contacted both the PA and the SMP explaining my situation and that I was able to consent to a partial release of my medical records and that I was happy to attend for a physical medical examination with the SMP. Many months of written correspondence then ensued between myself and the PA who remained completely intransigent and continued to demand the full release of my medical records stating that unless they received the full records then I was effectively guilty of Reg 33 of Police (Injury Benefit) Regs 2006 “ Refusal to be medically examined” despite the fact I was continually asking for a physical examination! After many months I eventually received a reply from the SMP who did offer to discuss the situation with my GP to see if any progress could be made into this situation. However the PA were having none of this and they withdrew all of my injury banding payment on the grounds of Reg 33 above. A few days later I received a legal letter from the PA alleging overpayment of one month’s injury pension and demanding that if this amount was not repaid to them within 7 days they would commence legal action against me and they kindly explained in the letter the consequences of a County Court judgement being made against me etc.
I refused to repay the amount demanded from me on the grounds that ‘the debt’ had been instigated by the PA themselves unlawfully. I received legal assistance via branch board just in the nick of time! From RJW who managed to get the debt proceedings swiftly stopped. RJW began a long drawn out correspondence period with the PA which after approx. 18 months had not made any progress as a result in April 2008 I attended a permission hearing for a full judicial review at the High Court in London. The judge ordered that the only medical records that were relevant in this case were from my adult years onwards and only those should be released and that the SMP should conduct a physical medical examination. The PA did not have a good day out in London! I insisted with RJW that by injury pension be fully restored with back pay or it would be necessary for a full judicial review to clarify on exactly what legal grounds the PA had to stop the payment in the first place. The PA clearly did not want to risk a full JR hearing and therefore my injury pension after nearly 3 years of having been stopped was fully restored with back pay pending the medical examination by the SMP. I eventually had my long awaited medical with the SMP in 2010 however shortly afterwards HOC46/2004 was declared unlawful and reviews were suspended”
I heard nothing more from the force until late 2014 when I was informed they were in a position to ‘resume my incomplete Reg 37(1) review’ and in May this year my injury pension was reduced. I lodged an appeal to the PMAB with the assistance of Ron Thompson solicitors Tadcaster. At this point I best introduce Health Management Ltd they are yet another private health company currently contracted by the Home Office to provide the ‘services’ of the PMAB. And of course they are ‘an independent body’ I will refer to them as HML. After initial paperwork was sent to HML as instructed I was contacted by them for a general consent form. This was to grant permission for a clinical examination/interview and for a report to be complied for the Home Office etc. All part of the due process and of course I consented and signed the form. There was NEVER any mention of full GP records and there was NEVER any request from HML for full GP records. That was two weeks ago……this week my solicitors received a copy of a letter from HML to Northumbria Force Solicitor stating that unless the appellant (myself) did not comply with full GP record release the board would consider that…..and I quote ‘ the appellant is being vexatious and attempting to interfere with natural justice’ We have since obtained another copy of a letter this time from the Force Solicitor to HML applying for a ‘Case Management Order’ on the grounds I was in ‘breach of the rules of natural justice’ and the force solicitor was applying to the chair of the board to ‘direct me to provide full GP records and if I did not do so the appellant’s appeal should be deemed to be withdrawn’ The Northumbria Force Solicitor concerned is the very same solicitor who had personal involvement in my application for a Judicial Review back in 2008.
In effect this solicitor has approached the PMAB (who we are informed are independent of course) and despite this solicitor being in possession of the written agreement regarding access to my GP records at the termination of the Judicial Review process. Took it upon himself to interfere, influence, and deliberately misrepresent the actual facts. The result being that as far as I am concerned he his actions has prejudiced the entire proceedings before I even get to the hearing.
At this point I would like to highly commend Ron Thompson solicitors we have an excellent legal team in place to fight our corner. To give an example I was exchanging emails with Ron at 10pm last night! This situation is evolving day by day and whilst I cannot for obvious reasons provide a running commentary our solicitors are currently involved in providing a robust response.
So in response to the post by Stayalive what can we learn from my own ‘true life and practical’ 9 yr battle with medical records:
1) Despite the inconvenient fact you may have no legal authority to release your full GP records a force may withdraw your entire injury pension until you hand over the records. Causing in my case 3 yrs of financial hardship to the entire family.
2) A force may have no regard to the distress caused to any family member involved in the release of your GP records.
3) A force solicitor may contact the PMAB and interfere and mislead the board before your appeal hearing even starts.
Granted our solicitors describe Northumbria as ‘most extreme and impossible to negotiate with’ one reason why their legal bill for the force is so high! One point I would make is to regard some advice you read with caution dealing with the practical consequences are a completely different ball game… me I’ve spent the past 9 yrs. doing so. I would certainly advise against any misconception that what you may read will protect you when the rabied wolf is clawing at your doorstep. Since the withdrawal of HOC46/2004 forces are on a ‘go it alone’ approach with regard to reviews. You are therefore entirely at the mercy of your local force solicitor (and believe me these guys play a far bigger role in reviews than you may imagine) and of course the SMP. Together (and many do work VERY closely together) you are at the mercy of whatever vivid and creative imagination they can conjure up with regard to the Regs. With news of more forces starting mass reviews and yet more police budget cuts ahead the writing is on the wall folks…..difficult times indeed lie ahead.
If you disagree with aspects of this post that’s fine, with the daily crap I have to deal with at the moment I’ll manage to live with that. But no arguments online please we must work together for the common good. PM me if you wish.
I’ll close with an apology to Stayalive for being unable to answer your question despite 9 yrs of trying………at least not quite yet!


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Re: Copy of post Re Medical Records-General IOD Discussions

Post by Urtica on Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:36 pm

Thanks are due to Defender for letting us all hear in good detail about his lengthy fight for justice. I call on every registered member on PIPIN to pm Defender and offer your moral support.

Although it shines through I must point out that Defender was being satirical when he describes what a force may do. A force has no legal authority to do any of the things he describes.

In particular, IOD pensioners need to have it emphasised that there is absolutely no legal authority for reducing or suspending an injury pension. Only if an individual can be proved to have acted wilfully or negligently in the matter of failing to present himself for such medical examinations or interviews as the 'medical authority' (the SMP) may consider necessary in order to enable a decision to be made, can the police pension authority consider making a decision on such evidence as is in their discretion is thought necessary.

A decision here means not about whther to continue paying an in injury pension, but any of the regulatory decisions concerning grant or review, etc. of injury awards/pensions. In Defender's case there was only one decision which could be considered, and that was degree of disablement.

Note well, there is no obligation for the PPA to make a decision. If they do, then they had better make it a reasonable (in the legal sense) decision or they woud be JR'd very promptly.

Suspending Defender's injury pension was an act of spite. It was not a lawful action. I should not be surprised, for we have seen that some forces are prepared to ignore the law, and hold it in contempt.

It has to be emphasised that failing to allow full access to medical records is not in any way an 'offence' or 'contrary to Regulations.' Defender had a perfectly good reason to refuse full disclosure, and could not, in fact, give the full consent the force insisted on as the GP records contained sensitive personal information identifying third parties.

If Ron Thompson is not already doing something about it, I suggest that Defender asks him to look into breaches of the Data Protection Act committed by Northumbria police pension authority and certain mamed individuals.

Speaking of which, we all know who this particular solicitor is, and what his track record is. I will refrain from saying what I think of him, for although it would be the truth, he is the sort who would try to make out it was defamatory. I would love to see him in court attempting to bring a slander action but I see no point on wasting my time on mere cogs in the wheel of extensive injury pension maladministration. The fact that he is still employed and allowed to continue to practice his profession speaks volumes of the moral bankruptcy of his employers and colleagues.

There are lessons for us all in this heart-sinking account. The main one is that argument is fruitless with those whose reaction to any complaint of maladministration is to retreat into complete po-faced intransigence and adopt the junior school playground stance of 'I'm right, you're wrong, so there!' Therefore, don't waste time looking for any ready admission of fault or swift offer of correcting error. Instead get yourself an excellent solicitor like Ron Thompson.


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