A Bad attitude from SMP.

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A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Beachcomber on Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:14 pm

One of the main topics raised by IOD's concerns SMP's. There are  numerous reports of SMP's treating our colleagues in a very poor manner and displaying a bad attitude towards them. I am sure that we have all experienced doctors who are rude or brusque but some SMP's seemed to have gone out of their way to make things difficult and unpleasant for our colleagues. anyone who has attended IOD meetings will have heard some very disturbing reports of SMP's ignoring or downgrading the diagnoses of specialists.  This item from the IODPA web site gives a insight into the thinking of one particular medico:

http://iodpa.org/2016/08/30/shocking-revelations-from-force-doctor-on-injured-officers/

Most of us can probably remember a time when the SMP was a trusted and respected figure within the force. Sadly those days appear to have passed and we are finding that serving officers are increasingly seeking advice from retired IOD organisations and expressing their dissatisfaction with SMP's.

The writer of the emails (Linked above) appears to have a low opinion of IOD's .  I think most IOD's would agree that IOD pensions are not awarded like sweeties to children but are only granted when all other avenues have been explored. The injury must be permanent and that will have been established by considerable medical investigation. If the writer is correct and some of the IOD's he refers to have nothing wrong with them or are shirking, then all the Doctors, specialists, hospitals and other medical facilities that provided the evidence that has resulted in the IOD award must be wrong!   Just a minute....what about those IOD's who tell us have been reviewed by SMP's and their diagnoses have been downgraded ...all those Doctors, specialist, hospitals and other medical facilites that are responsible for the ongoing diagnosis and treatment of the pensioner are wrong too....Gosh, aren't police forces lucky to be able to employ the very best professionals as SMP's.  I bet they are really popular with their colleagues in the medical fraternity!

I think we are all aware that recruitment of SMP's is not easy and there are relatively few who are willing to take up the role. It appears that SMP's are often shared between a number of forces. It would appear that SMP work is not attractive and hence the lack of enthusiasm among Doctors. David Scoffield QC, in his report in Northern Ireland highlights some of the concerns of SMP's . Doctors would probably be OK with the role of SMP if they were allowed to stick to medical matters and to do so in an unfettered independent manner. I expect many are put off by the requirement to establish a level of disability based on earning capacity - it is probably appears too 'dodgy' and puts would be applicants off.  

SMP's will also be aware that their decisions on IODs are going to be challenged. Don't blame the IOD's for this, it isn't our fault. We are defending our pensions against injustice and those that participate in these matters have to expect to justify their decisions, just as we have all had to justify our actions as police officers in Courts of Law. SMP's are supposed to be independent and impartial and it would be a fine thing if that were the case. If SMP's or an SMP acts in the financial interest of a police force and against the pensioner then they are not impartial or independent and if brought to account you can bet your bottom dollar that the police force will drop them like a hot potato citing independence of the SMP - "nothin' to do with us guv"

I really don't like the way the writer of the emails denigrates IOD pensioners as though we are all benefits cheats. I fully expect some form of smearing or attempt to label  pensioners dishonest in some way to become a weapon in reviews or PMAB's. I understand that this sort of tactic intended to reduce the integrity of opponents has been popular in certain sectors for some time.  

On my last review, the SMP looked down at his papers and said, " I don't like what I am being asked to do - I really don't like it at all"  he didn't last long after that..........


If your job requires you to be a Professional Punchbag then you deserve better than the attitude displayed by the writer of the emails.
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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by souplesse on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:20 am

Brilliant post Beachcomber. Extremely well said I agree with you wholeheartedly
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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Beachcomber on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:31 am

Thanks...

its a good job that SMP's can't put us on one of these 'care pathways' - oops, better not give them ideas..
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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Charmstwo on Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:25 pm

This is good evidence that SMP's do not follow even the Hyppocratic Oath let alone the IOD pension rules and regs. There are so many SMP's who lie and offend in reviews. This Bulpitt fellow needs to be struck off just on that one comment!

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by RedDog on Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:29 pm

On the evidence shown in the emails it is patently obvious that this Doctor would not be able to carry out any other reviews into IODs as his attitude is prejudiced against them. It is quite clear to see. In fact I would say that any solicitor could have any reviews he has carried out in the past overturned and a review carried out by a more suitable Doctor who will act independently and true to the values of his profession.

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Beachcomber on Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:17 pm

This Doctor thinks we are 'venomous' which is a bit much. We occasionally show a bit of anger but after all that has been done to us over the last few years, it is hardly surprising. I am quite astonished at the level of arrogance in these emails and the writer clearly has a low opinion of IOD's. This attitude surely cannot be squared with the need for independence and impartiality unless such qualities are sacrificed along with social skills and a moral compass if a potential applicant appears to have a medical qualification.

There has to be accountability and if the GMC are the body charged with administering discipline in the medical profession then anyone aggrieved by the actions of conduct of a particular Doctor must be entitled to submit their complaint. The SMP must be accountable. The fact that the role of SMP is not attractive to would be applicant lies not with us, it lies with those who have colluded in policies which have brought disrepute upon some police forces, their IOD policies and, yes, SMPs.

Those police officers who are injured in the course of their duties must have adequate provision and the Regulations exist to make that provision. There appears to be a culture in those who control police service aimed of punishing those who are sick or injured. I am sure many of those who heard solicitor Mark Lake speak on this subject at the National Meeting in February were shocked and dismayed at how some serving officers are being treated. We have seen press reports in the last few days of police using anti terror laws (as well as laws that don;t exist) to gather information in a discipline case against a sick officer. I have no problem with discipline offences but this kind of action cannot be justified and the police service will not benefit from this. The Judge in this particular case was very critical of the lack of knowledge of the law and careless attitude displayed and it reminded me very much of how so many forces have acted in regard to IOD's.

I had a message from an IOD colleague from my force a few days ago. If he hadn't been injured, he could have retired on a full pension and been reasonably well off and able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But he was injured and retired on an IOD pension. Years after being told he would not be reviewed again the force reviewed him and reduced his pension to Band One - and now in his 70th year, despite constant pain, he is forced to work long hours in a very hostile environment spending long periods away from his family - Why is he being punished? Perhaps our Doctor B thinks that is OK?

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by oldandintheway on Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:08 pm

During my last review (2008) the SMP made comments along the lines that my consultant had written a report that gave him no option but to leave me in Band 3 - he seemed quite miffed by that - I left the review feeling quite grateful that he hadn't reduced me as seemed to be his sole desire. He left me with the definite impression that he felt I didn't deserve my award (having by that time been reired for 11 years and having two previous assessments which increased each time within Band 3) and that in some way the consultant was in some way in cahoots with me to obstruct him in his duty which was to drop me by at least one Band. I'm long overdue for my next review and am not looking forward to it.

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Drafty Kilt on Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:38 am

Well said Beachcomber. This Doctor has only his own financial interest at heart and that of the Force that employs him. He has forgotten why he became a doctor or had no intention ever to help people recover from illness and injury. His views (thank God), are not those shared by the vast majority of doctors who have helped us all cope and attempt to recover from the injuries we received in the line of duty,while we were helping others. I wonder if the GMC will sensor this Dr Bulpitt ?

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Urtica on Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:15 am

Bulpitt's beef seems to be that he believes that some injury pensions were not justified, and some were set at too high a level.

He hints that there was some sort of collusion going on, which, by inference, must mean he thinks that SMPs in days past made decisions which were influenced by the force.

You know what, Bully boy? I agree that your theory may have some merit. I understand that the Home Office at one point was putting pressure on Chief Officers to get rid of officers instead of putting them on light duties. I remember clearly from my time in the job that a goodly proportion of office roles were occupied by poor sods who had been injured or had become unfit through illness so they could no longer do front-line police work.

Then came the push for civilianisation - on the grounds that civilian staff were cheaper than sworn officers. Suddenly, long term ill and injured officers were a financial liability.

So, they were retired and in may cases were granted an enhanced ill health pension and/or an injury award.

It is not difficult to think that perhaps SMPs, encouraged by Chief Officers and even Police Authorities, erred on the side of generosity to those officers who were, effectively, being dismissed without any fault of their own.

Now this is where Bulpitt's thinking processes break down. Whatever was the cause of the high numbers of IOD pensioners in Avon and Somerset, it was not the fault of the pensioners. Why then, Bully boy, are you so keen to demonise them and punish them for something they had no hand in? Why is your ctiricism not levelled at the SMPs and the scheme managers, who are the ones responsible for the present situation?

The point has been made very clearly above, in earlier posts, that all decisions made were made by SMPs who came before you, acting for the then Police Authority.

Do you not see the irony of your self-righteous indignation and exasperation? You have called on the Home Office to change the law so that you can set about reducing injury pension bandings. I see no difference between your sort of bias and the bias which might have existed when the 'preposterous' awards you are so exercised about were granted.

What shines out from your pomposity is the blinding light of realisation that you don't care a damn about the health or welfare of the disabled former officers who have been treated like pawns in some great financial game, and whose lives you now propose to disrupt. For someone who I presume was trained in the art of logic, you sure don't do joined up thinking.

And one more thing, Bully boy - how on earth did you get access to the information which allowed you to form your ill-conceived and biased viewpoint? Your emails are so specific and appear so well informed that the only conclusion which can be drawn is that you have been poking your snout into the sensitive personal information contained in the files on disabled former officers held by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

You have no right to do that. You have breached the Data Protection Act, as has the Constabulary for allowing you to process the data. I hope and trust that all former A&S officers who read this will make formal complaints to the Chief Constable, the PCC, and to the GMC, with a view to this very serious intrusion into people's sensitive personal data being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office.

If Bulpitt continues with his one-sided campaign to 'correct' what he thinks were historic mistakes, then he should be very careful. For, if there is any investigation into this, the actions of the pensioners will be found to be blameless, but the actions of SMPs, scheme managers, the Police Authority and possibly the Home Office, will come under close scrutiny. It could even amount to a criminal conspiracy. And if there was a criminal conspiracy then, do you not think that an enquiry may determine there is a criminal conspiracy now?

If it was wrong to make those 'preposterous' injury awards, then how much more absurd is it for a mere doctor to be concerned about trying to reverse past decisions by the entirely inappropriate means of having a tame, compliant SMP conduct unlawful reviews in a manner removed entirely from the letter, scope and purpose of the Regulations? Why attempt to address something by attacking disabled folk when the real target should be those who were in charge at the time?

Although I tend to agree with Bulpitt's theory that there may have been some doubtful decisions, I utterly reject his proposed solution.

The best thing Dr Bulpitt and the current Chief Constable, and all others concerned, can do is leave the past in the past. Stop the madness of attempting to review all injury pensions, and, if they have the wit and the will for it, work with the pensioners and their representative organisations to develop a new, lawful policy for the administration of police injury awards. Reviews are supposed to be rare events, not a means to an end. You, Doctor, and all concerned, are sailing very close to the wind and unfortunately you don't have a clue about what you are doing. Keep heading in the direction you have set and your entire voyage is going to end on the rocks - and you will be the one without a lifejacket.

Bullpitt, I'm not going to descend into name calling, but I do wonder about your professional abilities and the state of your ethics.

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by RedDog on Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:41 pm

A well written post Urtica! There are thousands of injured former officers that will have suffered by this trend of bullying and unlawful decisions from relevant SMPs guided by their paymasters! It's time that it stopped and the relevant statutory bodies, like the GMC, called these unethical Doctors to account. The Police Forces concerned should also be called to answer to their abysmal behaviour!

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by dumped on Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:37 am

I was a concientious, pro-active officer whose career was wiped out one night. I now exist, rather than live. Although not directed at me personally, his emails condemn me.

What he has written makes me realise that I was the fool - I put myself in harms way, keen to do my job, and serve the public to the best of my ability. I would still have a career and life today, had I chosen to be a 'uniform carrier' who conveniently turned a blind eye to even a hint of conflict on the streets.

Reading this doctor's emails, "Why should I risk it?" is the attitude that he is now promoting amongst serving officers.

A shameful and disappointing viewpoint from a medical professional. If it's reflective of other force medics, I hope they all have the courage of their convictions and stand firm on this. I would rather have my day in court with him and his ilk and risk losing publicly.

The thing is, injured officers like me - who have already lost everything that mattered to them in life - have nothing, absolutely NOTHING more to lose by taking a stand against such a view of me. Yes, those emails have made it personal.

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Stoke Bloke on Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:39 pm

RedDog wrote:On the evidence shown in the emails it is patently obvious that this Doctor  would not be able to carry out any other reviews into IODs as his attitude is prejudiced against them. It is quite clear to see. In fact I would say that any solicitor could have any reviews he has carried out in the past overturned and a review carried out by a more suitable Doctor who will act independently and true to the values of his profession.


Indeed RedDog, I completely agree, perhaps I would go as far to say that this GP, should be reported to the GMC and struck off. Quite clearly this is not of the code of conduct you would expect from any GP.

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Re: A Bad attitude from SMP.

Post by Beachcomber on Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:14 pm

This topic has quite rightly.created a lot of interest and comment. I note that the correspondence that started this emanates from the same force area that revealed the appalling attitude of the PCC towards IOD's a couple of years ago.

I recall seeing a report some time ago which indicated that a very high proportion of injuries on duty (something like 95% if my memory serves me correctly) are actually caused whilst dealing with incidents (if anyone has knowledge of this, or similar reports, could they please supply a link). Injuries are often received whilst the officer is acting in the best traditions of the police service. Of course there are many kinds of injury which can be caused in many ways in the conduct of police duties. Policing is, by it's very nature, dangerous and unfortunately the risk of injury is always going to be there and, as we all know, there is the potential of injury on every call and on every shift for an operational police officer. Police officers are fully aware of the dangers. That is how it is and the Regulations recognise that simple fact. When a high profile event occurs in which officers are injured and, on occasions, lose their lives, we have the 'great and the good', the Chief Officers and politician lining up in front of the TV cameras to pay their respects and speak about the wonderful job that police officers do, dedication to duty, great sacrifices and the debt that society owes to police officers............  But, as we all know, the reality is quite different and 'the thin blue line' consists of cannon fodder which, once permanently injured becomes nothing more than a liability.

We all remember how, some years ago a number of Police Authorities accepted unlawful guidance that slashed the IOD pensions of older pensioners. This heinous act ruined the lives of many pensioners and resulted in an enormous amount of anxiety and distress. Pensioners fought back in a long legal battle which resulted in the illegal guidance being withdrawn but police forces are still intent on attacking IOD pensions.

IOD pensioners live every day of their lives with the consequences of their injuries, you might have retired from the service but you cannot retire from your injuries!  Many IOD's are vulnerable and the way that IOD pensions are now being administered is adding anxiety and stress to what is often fragile health. We all know that the Regs include the provision for review and, at the best of times, this causes great anxiety.  It would appear from the emails that this doctor thinks we are a venomous bunch, perhaps he would prefer it if we just rolled over and died, after all, he is a doctor, so he must be right!

It is an unfortunate fact indicated by a recent poll carried out by IODPA that the majority of IOD's do not trust their SMP's which is a complete reversal of the way it used to be. It is not only retired IOD's that distrust the SMP's or the system and the majority of approaches to IODPA now come from serving officers.  There is something seriously wrong with the police service and if operational officers are aware that injured officers are treated badly then it will make them less willing to risk injury and this cannot do other than seriously downgrade the effectiveness of the service generally.

It seems that the whole IOD system is rotten to the core and SMPs are just part of it. Reports from IOD's being reviewed indicate that some SMP's are unwilling to accept the reports from other doctors and specialists, applying their own diagnoses. It appears that the whole system is aimed at intimidating the pensioner, regardless of their vulnerabilities. If SMP's care, then they can do something about it - they should do something about it!  Another example of intimidation is the questionnaires sent out as part of the review process. Some of these seek unwarranted information to which they are not legally entitled. Furthermore, some forces demand the completion and return of these questionnaires within short time frames accompanied by empty threats to slash the IOD pension should the pensioner fail to comply. This is intimidation - bullying....

A venomous lot.....I don't think so.....I know a lot of IOD's, decent people who are still displaying the qualities that made them police officers, people who put themselves in harms way to serve and protect the public - and paid the price. They have defended their pensions in a long list of High Court Decisions and Pensions Ombudsman determinations which have repeatedly shown maladministration within police forces and authorities - it seems to be endemic or institutionalised maladministration where IOD pensions are concerned.

One doesn't have to be a detective to see who the real villains are...
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