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Impact of Reviews etc. on Health

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Impact of Reviews etc. on Health

Post by Beachcomber on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:11 am

Over the last decade or so,Injury on Duty pensioners have been forced into a situation where they have to continually defend their pensions by all available means and this can put an intolerable strain on their health and wellbeing.

It has been recently reported that a colleague became very ill whilst giving evidence to an employment tribunal. It concerns me that the authorities appear to have no regard for the effects on IOD pensioners forced to engage in these stressful procedures. This is not just in the course of a Reg 37 review, which is always stressful but also PMAB, employment tribunal or judicial review proceedings etc.

The negative effects on the health and well-being of the pensioner are well known, yet this serious problem seems to be ignored by those who administer the system.  Are they ignoring this or  is it more likely that the authorities are exploiting this in the knowledge that many of the more vulnerable pensioners will be unable or unwilling to undergo such ordeals?  The obvious answer is that if a situation is created which either places the pensioner at a disadvantage or, more seriously, discourages the pensioner into inaction, is in the financial interests of the authorities.

In these circumstances, those who control the system can absolve themselves of any responsibility by simply claiming that it is 'due process' which has nothing to do with them. We have to ask why the  authorities are underhandedly exploiting the situation by forcing pensioners into these sometimes unnecessary highly stressful procedures which wouldn't be necessary if the pensioners didn't have a strong case?

Every SMP and every Legal or HR department will be fully aware that placing the pensioner in such situations can result in exacerbation of an existing condition and possibly induce some new condition. Which poses another important question:

How would an SMP or PPA assess the 'disability' of an IOD pensioner where the index condition has been made worse by having to “jump through the hoops” and “vault the hurdles” placed in their path by the system. In a subsequent review, how would a 'new' condition brought on engaging in these procedures would be assessed and how apportionment would figure!

Any reasonable outsider would expect that an officer forced to retire owing to injury on duty should not have to endure an endless spiral of anxiety and uncertainty that could further impact on their health.  The Regulations providing the framework incorporate the flexibility to determine the correct level of pension by means of  review consideration at suitable intervals.

Any review or procedure is going to cause some anxiety. The Regulations were not formulated to inflict necessary suffering by trapping the recipient into an unfair and untrustworthy review procedure which can have a profound effect on the pensioner, often having a very detrimental effect on their health..  Unfortunately, it is the hijacking of the review process by some of the more unscrupulous police pension authorities that have weighted unfairly against the pensioner.

Many of our colleagues face their demons on a daily basis. The way some forces handle the administration of IOD pensions unleashes more demons – but these demons are more tangible and have names –  and at some point they are likely to be brought to account.

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