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SMP Report

Post by Urtica on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:52 pm

Admin Note: This message is a reply to a previous post which has been removed at the request of the originator.

Hi,

You would benefit from making contact with one or other of the two solicitors who are specialists in IOD matters and come highly recommended. Depending on which force you are in, then you will need either Mark Lake or Ron Thompson. Their contact details were on the old PIPIN site, but if you can't find them, let me know by direct email to xxxxxxx

They will give initial advice free of charge and if legal action is needed then they will obtain funding from the Federation.

I've written the name of the SMP I suspect you have dealt with on a piece of paper, and when you make contact with me direct I will tell you whether I was right or not.


Last edited by Admin on Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:12 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Email address removed)

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Re: SMP Report

Post by edge on Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:37 am

I am watching this one with interest. I have severe and chronic PTSD and I'm about to be assessed on the 25th March 2015. After much wrangling about the fact that I can't travel to the big smoke he has been funded by my department to visit my home. I've heard a lot of stuff through the grapevine and I just wonder if it's the same person being complained of. I'm a Sussex officer but live closer to the Hampshire border than London...
crazy.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Urtica on Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:14 am

Unless things have changed recently, Sussex uses a company called Health Management Limited, Ash House, The Boyle, Ringmer, East Sussex, BN8 5NN. Tel. 08455 041 000

They are a big firm and employ a lot of medical people so I don't know the name of the doctor who acts as selected medical practitioner for Sussex Police. Your HR Department ought to be able (and willing) to tell you in case you want to check him or her out.

Again, so far as I am aware, Sussex does not have a bad reputation concerning its administration of ill health retirement and injury awards.

A word of advice - you should ensure that you have a 'friend' present when the SMP sees you. He or she should be someone who is not emotionally involved (that rules out family members) and be someone who can take notes and interject if you are finding the interview and examination too stressful. Your local Federation rep would be a good choice.

You may consider asking (or even telling) the SMP that you are recording the session. A verbatim transcript of the session can be very useful should there be any reason for you to challenge the SMP's decision.

Very recently someone asked Sussex Police (via www.whatdotheyknow.com) whether they used PEAM in calculating degree of disablement. PEAM is an acronym for Police Earnings Assessment Matrix. Briefly some forces think, wrongly, that they can calculate degree of disablement by comparing what you are theoretically capable of earning, given your experience and qualifications, and then compare that salary with your police salary. It is all very unlawful in my opinion, but will undoubtedly be subject to scrutiny in the High Court in due course.

Degree of disablement is defined in the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 thus:

7-(5) Where it is necessary to determine the degree of a person’s disablement it shall be determined by reference to the degree to which his earning capacity has been affected as a result of an injury received without his own default in the execution of his duty as a member of a police force.

In other words, what is assessed is your capacity to work and thus earn. NOT how much or how little you may earn. A capacity is the available effort which can be put to the purpose of doing work for which you will be paid. It is a purely medical matter, and that is why the Regulations require the question of degree of disablement to be referred to a duly qualified medical practitioner. The SMP should assess and quantify your available mental and physical capacity to work. If on the 25th of March you are totally unable to work, then your degree of disablement should be 100%. The SMP is not permitted to speculate about the future when deciding degree of disablement. He must make his decision in the here and now, and cannot look ahead to a time when you may be feeling better.

Briefly, that is why any system of wage comparison is unlawful, as it is entirely hypothetical and is based on what might happen at some point some time ahead. Note well: the Regulations say 'has been affected' - past tense.

The police pension authority can decide, if it is appropriate, to review your degree of disablement at some point in future. If your disablement improves substantially, then a review might well reduce the percentage degree of disablement and thus the amount of pension. You need to look at schedule 3 of the Regulations to see the detail of the bandings and how they are calculated.

Please let PIPIN know what happens and what results from your assessment.

Should you need any support or legal advice, then the Federation should be your first port of call.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by edge on Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:51 am

Urticaria what a fantastic reply. I know the SMP and we use the same one as the Met. I claim PIP and DWL industrial injury and I'm assessed by them as 60% mentally disabled. My fed rep will be present and we already decided to record the proceedings. The only issue with HML are that they continually ask me to attend the most imposible places for reviews due to my mental state. You'd think that they'd have read the notes at least once in 15 month's. Thank you for your help and advice, I will keep you posted.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Blackmax on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:58 am

It seems to be the same name coming up time and time again.

I know of five officers with PTSD who have issues with this SMP.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Urtica on Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:04 pm

I have to refrain from mentioning the name of this SMP, but I think I know who he is. If I have the right name, then he is a menace. Worse than that, he manages to combine the most overbearing arrogance with the most appaling ignorance of the Regulations and produces decisions which bear no relationship to the facts presented to him.

He is clearly on a mission. His work is greatly appreciated by the forces he works for. One HR manager has sung his praises for being 'robust'. He claims he wins most of the cases which go to PMAB, but I believe when we can get to find out the figures this will be shown not to be the case. His demeanour is that he is always right. He never admits any error, and no wonder - an appeal means another fee for him regardless of the outcome.

One former officer is collating details of his maladministration with a view to co-ordinating efforts to have him brought to account, either with the GMC or in the courts. A solicitor who deals with some of the wreckage he causes says he is so awful that it makes it easy to get his decisions overturned. Unfortunately, HR denizens and this SMP combine to frighten off many people who would otherwise have grounds for appeal.

At some point all his cases will have to be re-examined and the forces who use him will come to realise that far from saving them money by putting people on lower bands than the circumstances dictate, he will cost forces huge amounts in appeals and judicial reviews, resulting in repayment of pensions unlawfully reduced.

I would appreciate a short private message from anyone affected by this SMP and would, with permission, like to put you in touch with the IOD pensioner who is collating his misdeeds. Together, all affected could take actions which will remove this parasite and see lawful application of the Regulations restored.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Blackmax on Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:20 pm

You have to ask does the SMP conform with GMC code of ethics:

A Doctor takes the HYPOCRATIC OATH.

In the past FMA's and SMP's tried to say that they were NOT classed as your Doctor as they were NOT your GP - wrong the GMC have stated / agreed / accepted that even if it is only a Medical Examination taking place they are still classed as your Doctor.

So if a Doctor takes on the roll of an FMA or SMP - they are classed as your DOCTOR / GP and as such the Doctor Patient Relationship exsists - therefore your Doctor must NOT do anything that would cause you (their patient) any harm - so I suppose the first question to an FMA or SMP is do they accept that you are their patient!!!

Access to Medical Reports Act - your Doctor (FMA / SMP) should provide you with a copy of any report he has prepared on you prior to it being provided to a third party (PPA) if you are NOT happy with that report ( incorrect in some way) you can tell him that you want it amended - the Doctor SHOULD amend it accordingly - if the Doctor causes you any harm you can make a complaint to the GMC!!!

I'll let you make your own mind up if you think this is unbiased and weighted towards no IOD or low banding.


Last edited by Beachcomber on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edited following discussion of content by moderators.)

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Beachcomber on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:45 pm

Please PM Urtica if you think that you feel you have been wronged by this, or any other, SMP.
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Re: SMP Report

Post by wpcbunty on Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:09 pm

This is all very interesting.

My Banding was calculated based on 3 job advertisements in a newspaper which the SMP thought I could do. I didn't live in the area, having had to move away due to my PTSD.

Some financial calculation which if I went up into the loft and dug out the paperwork I could find. But that is a dark area I don't tend to visit very often. And I don't mean the loft. The boxes and the memories.

I've pm'd Urtica.






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Re: SMP Report

Post by Urtica on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:36 am

A recent development is that some SMPs will now 'refer' the individual to another doctor for an opinion. The other doctor is supposedly a specialist in the area of medicine covering the individual's injury/condition.

This is a matter for some concern. A referral can not take place without the individual's informed consent. Vulnerable, injured people who are going through the trauma of loosing their job due to duty injury usually know nothing of the Regulations or relevant case law and will believe that a referral is a normal part of the process. It is not. It is a new departure. Some might call it a cunning ploy.

The individual should refuse to see the specialist the SMP wants to use and instead tell the SMP to contact their own GP. It would then be up to the GP to arrange a specialist.

If the SMP does not feel competent to make his statutory decisions unaided, then there is nothing in the Regulations which gives him the authority to make a referral. Equally, there is nothing in the Regulations which says he can not make a referral. If a SMP thinks a referral is necessary, then it should be done in conjunction with the individual's own GP. The choice of specialist should be the individual's choice, made in conjunction with his or her GP, not the SMP's choice. I do not think there is any justification for a SMP thinking he has the right to make a referal to a specialist of his choice.

There is some suggestion that SMP's could refer people to specialists who they know will produce a report which is, shall we say, not entirely unbiased and independent. After all, the content and nature of the report will be entirely reliant on what the commissioning SMP tells the specialist is the purpose of the referral and what is required.

Thinking about this further as I write - and it is an area which needs some discussion - I do not believe that the Regulations actually implicitly allow a SMP to make a referral to a specialist. The Regulations say that the police pension authority shall refer for decision certain questions to a 'duly qualified medical practitioner'. By making a referral, the SMP is admitting that he is not 'duly qualified' in that particular instance. He is saying, in effect, that he lacks the skills. knowledge and experience to make a decision on that particular injury.

On that reading of the Regulations, it would seem that the proper course of action would be for the police pension authority to appoint as SMP for each case a doctor who was 'duly qualified' to make the statutory decisions required. In other words, there should not be just one SMP who is paid to simply shift the work on to another doctor - the police pension authority should appoint an appropriately qualified doctor on a case by case basis.

Looking at the financial aspects of this, with the contracted force SMP getting paid about £500 and any specialist he then says he needs costing about £750 to £1,000 I can only conclude that the police pension authority considers it money well spent. The inference being that this sort of arrangement results in people being put on lower bandings than would otherwise be the case.

There is, of course, a way for any IOD pensioner or any serving officer who is applying for an injury award to avoid the referral ploy. That is to ensure that their GP obtains reports from specialists agreed upon by the individual before he or she sees the SMP. That way, a SMP would find it hard to justify making a referal as expert specialist reports would already be in hand and could be released to the SMP should he thinks he is not competent to make the statutory decisions without expert opionion to assist.

This forum would benefit from any accounts from anyone who has been through the referral routine.


Last edited by Urtica on Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Blackmax on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:41 am

Hi Urtica,
I have emailed you about this very same issue with two we'll know characters. I wondered if you'd been made aware of any more IOD's in the same situation?

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Urtica on Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:47 pm

Personally, no. But then I am just an individual and don't have the facilities to identify, reach out and encourage all people who have had dealings with SMPs whose performance and ethics are questionable to mount a challenge.

This is a national problem and needs to be researched and dealt with on a national basis. Step forward NARPO and the Federation?

SMPs are no longer 'selected' by a police pension authority - they come, for the most part, from a list of medics compiled by the National Attendance Management Forum. Of course, the NAMF say that it does not chose these medics and they get to be on the list by making known their interest in doing SMP work. In much the same way as fairies buy their magic dust from Sainsburys.

And the fact that the College of Policing, which at present is a private limited company whose sole shareholder is the Home Secretary, has provided training for the medics on the list is not far removed from giving the local poacher the gamekeeper's job. Especially when you know that the training was devised and presented by those two upstanding luminaries of the legal and medical professions, Mr Nicholas Wirz and Dr David Broome. Their little escapade in Northumbria where some 70 disabled former officers had their pensions reduced to band one unlawfully was no hindrance to their suitability to be trainers of SMPs.

Thus, when a police pension authority needs a SMP, the HR person puts their hand up and says, 'Please sir, I know someone.' that someone will be one of the medics on the NAMF list, trained by two people who have a proven inability to apply the Regulations correctly. It seems to me then, that the PPA has not actually selected the 'duly qualified medical practitioner' who will act in the role of SMP. He or she has been selected by the NAMF.

Frankly, it is about time that the Federation and NARPO HQ woke up to this and began to do something about it. There should be a specialist unit set up jointly by both organisations which would monitor all activity on police injury awards, ensure that any individual who needs help or advice would get it, and which would have ready access to top tier legal support. If the Federation and NARPO are unwiling or unable to do this, then inevitably some new organisation will emerge (and may already be emerging) which will be dedicated to the single issue of protecting the rights of police injury award pensioners.

Behind the backs of the Federation and NARPO, forces have perhaps unwittingly had their statutory duty to select duly qualified medical practitioners to act as SMPs taken out of their hands and placed in the hands of the NAMF and the College of Policing.

If you think that is sinister enough, then read the thoughts of Chairman Wirz, whose training for SMPs included this:

2.5 What SMPs can take from the Doyle ET 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
etc

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. Potential venues to ventilate these concerns include:

The Police and Crime Commissioner (and London equivalents);
The Independent Police Complaints Commissions
An MP
etc.


No doubt you will see the influence of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' at work here, with particular reference to the Mad Hatter's reverse view of the world. The Hatter says, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”

For example, a 'PPA learns that this particular SMP tends to determine a particular issue in a certain way contrary to the preferences of the PPA' - by perhaps making decisions that are unlawful and non-compliant with the scope and intentions of the Regulations, then the PPA is powerless to ask him or her to depart.

In other words, the SMP is now not just agreeably independent, but is, according to Wirz, able to act in any way without fear of having his or her contract torn up. The College of Policing/Wirz/NAMF model SMP is raised to status of an untouchable demi-god who can rain thunderbolts and lightening on disabled folk, order them about, make unreasonable demands but call them reasonable, call in their own cronies to act as specialists, and generally tell the PPA to take a flying flummox if they don't like it.

If you have been affected by maladministration, malpractice, kept in the dark, been treated with disdain, or just have that uncomfortable feeling that something in Injurypensionland is not quite what it should be then please send me a pm and I will put you in touch with others who can help.

Remember, at the end of the story, Alice realises that her tormentors are just a pack of cards and she wakes up from her nightmare.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Yesrhi on Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:16 pm

Just a quick one in relation to a comment a few up, we dealt with the SMP in question and took with us to the appointment 2 separate, independant psych reports from top guys in London. The Dr completely disregarded these reports as he felt they couldn't be independant. Therefore a referral to his buddy psychologist was made. Our reports said chronic PTSD, the referred psych disagreed and said that it would all go away and there was no real issue. SMP agreed with this and completely ignored mental health disability on his report.
I've just deleted the word ive called him but I'll leave that to your imagination!!

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Blackmax on Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:46 pm

Hi Yesrhi,
Yes we all know who we're talking about and there's another two from my force who've had the misfortune of their expert opinion. Once my process is up a complaint will be winging its way over to the GMC and the force.  

It's worth submitting a Freedom of Information request to see what process your force have used within the Regulations to select this psychiatrist. If you look on the What do they know website, you can do this. PM me for guidance.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Blackmax on Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:53 pm

Urtica's last response is spot on, there are enough of us who've now suffered at the hands of these two to push the fed and/or NARPO to act.

Urtica,
According to a FOI request the psychiatrist is getting paid £550 a go to do this.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by RedDog on Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:23 pm

Yesrhi wrote:  The Dr completely disregarded these reports as he felt they couldn't be independant.


So, your reports are not independent but his are! Yeah, right! Bloke' s talking out the back of his head!

I've had a similar thing happen twice in my long dealings with this pension lark. Once, at the CICB and another at my third review. Their opinions were over ruled on both occasions with the Board Chairman and SMP at Med Appeal coming down firmly on our side! cheers

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Re: SMP Report

Post by watzyvoo on Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:31 pm

It was pointed out to us today that if conducting a mental assessment then a mental health safety/risk questionare should be completed prior to assessment to deduce if the patient is well enough to continue. This SMP didn't do this. The assessment was conducted in our home. we have seen a gp, psychologist, mental health practitioner and psychiatrist. All have deemed his conduct to have worsened hubby's condition including him now being scared of letting officials (bad people) come to the house. I am speaking via pm to admin and others on this site.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Blackmax on Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:59 am

The risk assessment is an intersting thing and all the cases I know of where Pol Pot has been the SMP have resulted in the IOD becoming worse because of it.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by wpcbunty on Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:16 pm

Having been sent from pillar to post 150 miles from home for various assessments, I can't begin to describe the worsening I experienced. My point all along was that I was a vulnerable adult and as such should have had the same courtesy's (legal rights) extended to me as was extended to people in custody or victims with mental health issues.


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Re: SMP Report

Post by Blackmax on Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:35 pm

Hi Bunty,
Yes, you're quite right, this sort of behaviour is outrageous. If you have murdered or raped someone you would have been treated a lot better! Please can you PM me with the circumstances?

Thanks BM

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Beachcomber on Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:22 am

I have copied this from another section of the forum just in case anyone has missed it.

SHUK McD wrote:My query relates to EIHR - apologies; i know Pipin is for issues around IOD. Has anyone challenged an SMP who does not adhere to Police Regulations and PNB guidance when making determinations on permanent disability (aside from the usual appeal process). For example, professional negligence resulting in loss of earnings, complaint to a medical board, perhaps one responsible for Occupational health practitioners etc? Many thanks, Claire - Safe Horizon UK

http://www.safehorizon.co.uk/
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Re: SMP Report

Post by watzyvoo on Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:21 pm

If hubby just retires can he then still put in for personal injury pension. I don't know how much more of this smp we can take. His report was inaccurate and we have provided additional independent reports, reports from combat stress and gp still he says we have to see his specialist. We have refused but he already told us if we don't he won't take this matter any further. This has really affected hubby's health

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Re: SMP Report

Post by Adversity on Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:30 pm

Urtica, ref your comment 27 Mar 2015, I have recently come across the following interesting (disturbing?) document-

Police negotiating board BMD circular 10/4-”At the meeting of the Police Negotiating Board on 15 April 2010 authority to formally agree revised joint guidance for police authorities and senior force managers on the key areas of managing ill-health (to take account of the procedures in the New Police Pension Scheme 2006) …......This agreement requires no amendment to police regulations or specific authorisation by home department circular”.

Paragraph 26 states “The PNB has agreed that in exceptional circumstances the function of the SMP should be carried out by a board of two or more doctors. It will be for the police authority to decide whether to do this, but it will look to the FMA in the first place to draw attention to whether the number or complexity of the medical issues in a case makes such a course worth considering”.

This seems to make it permissible for onward referral to another specialist?

http://www.local.gov.uk/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=d1622fb7-ed63-450d-8a1c-94212aaf4f93&groupId=10180

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Re: SMP Report

Post by watzyvoo on Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:51 pm

Ah my understanding is that it is 2 smps that it can be refered to. The reasons for referring to his specialist are completely negated by the reports on the file.

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Re: SMP Report

Post by watzyvoo on Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:58 pm

And it isn't complex. There are 4 psychiatric reports stating he is seriously unwell can not work as a police officer.

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Re: SMP Report

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