Merseyside police have abandoned an attempt to force a former police officer to disclose medical records and fill in a capacity questionnaire in advance of a police injury pension review.

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Merseyside police have abandoned an attempt to force a former police officer to disclose medical records and fill in a capacity questionnaire in advance of a police injury pension review.

Post by Beachcomber on Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:56 pm

:From Haven Solicitors.


   HAVEN SOLICITORS LTD
   Right against Might
   Commer House
   Tadcaster Enterprise Park
   Station Rd, LS24 9JF
   DD: 01937 837 708
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   Merseyside police abandon unlawful suspension of former officer's police injury pension, reinstate the pension and pay out legal costs.

 
Merseyside police have abandoned an attempt to force a former police officer to disclose medical records and fill in a capacity questionnaire in advance of a police injury pension review.

   The former PC had agreed to be examined by an SMP and give limited disclosure of relevant medical records to the SMP but refused to hand over all his medical records to the Force or fill in a questionnaire about his health for the Force to review in advance of an SMP referral.

   He pointed out that the Force had no legal authority to demand copies of any of his medical records or force him to complete a Force questionnaire.

   The Mersey Force refused to back down, claiming they had discussed this approach nationally, and had support ( we assume from the National Attendance Management Forum) to do this. The force then suspended the former officer's entire police injury pension to try to put pressure on him to disclose medical records and fill in their questionnaire.

   The former officer, with Police Federation support, also refused to back down. He instructed specialist solicitor, Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors LTD. Mr Thompson instructed Landmark barristers David Lock QC and Richard Clarke, who promptly drafted Judicial Review proceedings to challenge this unlawful suspension.

   The result was that, just before the Chief Constable was due to file his "Defence", he backed down and lifted the suspension, The Chief Constable will also pay all the former officer's legal costs, meaning that the episode will not result in any cost to the former officer or the Police Federation.

   Ron Thompson commented on the outcome saying:

   "This was an unnecessary and totally avoidable dispute. All the Chief Constable's staff had to do was to read the wording of the Regulations to see that they had no power to force former officers to hand over medical notes or fill in questionnaires, particularly in advance of any decision to make a referral to the SMP.

   The lesson from this episode for Forces is that no amount of misguided "advice" from the National Attendance Management Forum can change the meaning of the words of the Regulations.

   Any other Force that tries this tactic can expect to be served with the same type of
   legal challenge"
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Re: Merseyside police have abandoned an attempt to force a former police officer to disclose medical records and fill in a capacity questionnaire in advance of a police injury pension review.

Post by Beachcomber on Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:14 am

It beggars belief that this situation arose at all. We have seen police forces threaten to suspend IOD pensions if the recipient does not comply fully with their demands in completing their questionnaire but this force actually went ahead and carried out the threat despite there being no legal power or justification for doing so. An IOD has to attend a 'review' and the IOD in this case had agreed to do so as well as agreeing to supply limited medical records, presumably the records relating to the period since the last review which all seems to be perfectly reasonable on his part.

Many of the questions in the questionnaire relate to information which is already on the file so why do they ask? I think the simple answer is that the force and their HR minions think that because you have an IOD pension then they have a hold over you and they like to exert their powers. Because IODs are prepared to defend their pensions to which they are entitled they are treated as pariahs. The 'powers that be' who cannot see that their own attempts to use the regulated IOD pension review procedure as a way to make cost savings resent IOD's and see them as an enemy. and that is why the system has become so negative. It is my personal opinion that forces intentionally use aspects of the review procedure in attempts to bully and intimidate IOD pensioners, perhaps to induce fear or to get the pensioner to acquiesce to their demands or be afraid to question or oppose their plans. Hence we see the unwarranted demands made for information and also the way that IOD's are treated by the SMP's etc. Many IOD's have reported that SMP's have been very unpleasant towards them and in some cases are ignoring their established medical backgrounds and diagnoses to achieve a disability banding that suits the force's finances.

For the last decade or so, we have been defending our IOD pensions. There have been numerous court decisions and PO decisions, yet the police forces, their HR departments and their SMP's appear to have learned nothing.

Furthermore, the whole review process is very stressful for the pensioner and can often have a detrimental effect on the health of the pensioner. This is well known, yet still they press on with the same 'dodgy' methods and unprofessional standards.

This is just one case of many and there are other issues to be clarified. Ultimately the responsibility lies with Chief Constables who are the PPA for their forces and it is disgraceful how loyal ex officers are being treated by their forces. If it were criminal who were treated in such a way, and it were the criminal law that was being manipulated and distorted, then surely a Chief Constable's position would be untenable?
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