19th December 2017.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has recently acted on complaints that police forces have breached the Data Protection Act with their demands for and retention of excessive amounts of personal data and medical records. This has become a national issue and the ICO has invited those of us who have issues with our forces to contact them. We are advised that complaints cannot be taken by phone and a form can be downloaded from the ICO web site. The form should be completed, saved and emailed to the ICO.

ICO Web Site.

14th December 2017.

Staffordshire have recently initiated its IOD review programme. In a surprising development, the SMP involved has informed IODPA that he is withdrawing from conducting IOD reviews with immediate effect, citing the highly contentious and stressful nature of the role. For more information on this:- IODPA

24th November 2017.

It has just been announced that, resulting from a Police Federation complaint, the ICO has decided that Northumbria are in breach of the Data Protection Act with their demands for excessive IOD records and data.

Information Commissioners Office Decision - Northumbria

18th November 2017.

Earlier this month David Lock QC, who has been so influential and successful in the defence of IOD pensions and pensioners, shared his views in the this item:

Medical reviews of former police officers on injury pensions: Is there any duty to provide medical records?

This has generated a great deal of interest and today he has posted a further item:

The duty on Medical Authorities to resolve factual issues when making police injury pension decisions.

Staffordshire have embarked on their mass review programme. IODPA are providing information and support for Staffordshire members including local meetings. Please get in touch with IODPA for further information: admin@iodpa.org

4th November 2017.

There are suggestions that more forces may resume reviews in the near future. As we know, Derbyshire are expected to commence reviews soon with Thames Valley and Leicestershire being possible although this has not been substantiated. There are no guarantees that the forces currently not reviewing will not resume at some point.

The legal situation regarding IOD pensions has become more complex with added layers of complexity resulting from the inclusion of Employment and Equality law and Data Protection issues etc. There are a number of cases currently in the pipeline, the latest being a Judicial Review hearing involving a Staffordshire pensioner for which the decision is awaited.

The minutes of the September meeting of the National Wellbeing & Engagement Forum (NWEF) are now available online:-  www.northumbria.police.uk/nwef  and there are a number of issues which have generated debate. We note that PFEW representatives attended the meeting. The attendance of an SMP at this meeting has resulted in deep concerns about the independence and impartiality of SMP’s .

The use of audio recordings was discussed - the recording of reviews and interviews is supported by Pipin in order that an accurate record can be made. There were comments on the disclosure of medical records - IOD’s will be aware of the recent JR and we can see that this is an issue likely to cause some contention. Refusal to complete questionnaires is also something that NWEF are very unhappy with.

Members of our charitable association IODPA can access help advice including the comments of our QC on some of the topics in the NWEF agenda. It goes without saying that our views and those of our legal team may not concur with those of NWEF and the PPA’s.

18th October 2017.

From IODPA: “Northumbria Police has  failed in its attempt to strike out a discrimination claim against a former officer with an injury award.

In perhaps the first judgement in employment law concerning the Police Injury Benefit Regulations, Employment Judge A M Buchanan has ruled that the Regulations are an occupational pension in relation to the Equality Act 2010 (EqA).  Northumbria Police tried to persuade the court to dismiss the claim without a full hearing of all of the evidence on the basis the tribunal had no jurisdiction.

The immediate consequence is that Section 61 EqA is a gateway for discriminatory action in the administration of injury awards to be challenged in an Employment Tribunal”.

The Judgement of the Employment Tribunal.

It is not Reg 37 reviews that we oppose, it is the misuse of Reg 37 reviews. Northumbria has gained notoriety in its administration of IOD pensions over the last decade or so and the protection of Section 61 of the Equality Act 2010 will hopefully be useful in curbing excessive or over zealous pursuit of our colleagues.

1st October 2017.

Today’s IODPA conference was the first to be held since the association gained charity status. The trustees spoke about the aims of the organisation together with aspirations for assisting members and of the various methods being employed or considered for raising the necessary funding. The agenda included the usual range of familiar topics and solicitor Mark Lake spoke at length on certain very interesting legal matters in addition to conducting the Q&A section.

The IODPA forum is up and running successfully and the  crowdfunding campaign for justice for IOD’s reached it’s one month target in less than one day!

The scope of IOD defence has widened and become more complex and we have to become more sophisticated in our methods and capabilities. With IODPA we have the ability to combat the efforts of well resourced PPA’s.

29th September 2017.

This morning IODPA have announced the launch of it’s crowdfunding campaign to assist in raising funds for the defence of IOD pensioners. A press release accompanies the launch.  This is another important development for us helping to provide the necessary resources required to oppose, challenge and seek justice for IOD pensioners.

Press Release

Justice for Police Officers Injured on Duty Crowdfunding Campaign

Please use the link. above to make your pledge to the campaign.

19th September 2017.

We understand that, in relation to a Northumbria Employment Tribunal a judgement has ruled that “the police injury Regulations are an occupational pension scheme in context of the equality act. A tribunal is an avenue to rectify detriments. It appears that all Northumbria's arguments to strike out were rejected. This particular case can now proceed to full trial” - from IODPA

This is the relevant section of the quality act - Equality Act 2010 Section 61

For more on this development - IOPA.org

8th September 2017.

An IOD pensioner from the Avon and Somerset force has complained to the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) that the force has insisted on holding his medical records from birth which is excessive and unwarranted.

The ICO has decided that “it would appear that the constabulary is excessively processing sensitive personal data about you. It would appear that it is unnecessary for the constabulary to continue to retain information about your medical records, going right back to your birth”. “We have written to the constabulary to inform them of this decision and will continue to liaise with them going forwards to ensure that they have the best data protection practices possible.”

This has been a long running issue and this decision results from an appeal aided by members of our legal team.

There has been considerable concern among IOD’s about forces holding unnecessary and excessive amounts of data, especially medical records which can be misused and, given the track record of maladministration in the administration of IOD pensions, is very likely to be subject to misuse.

This decision provides further clarification on this area of IOD administration and all forces will be aware of this outcome. IODPA can advise on steps you can take to ensure your data is not retained by forces.

1st September 2017.

Today IODPA have announced that the Association has become a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)

Registered Charity Number 1174473

The Association has incorporated and built upon a decade of sterling work from IOD officers to become a truly representative organisation for police officers injured in the course of their duties. IOD officers need to be aware of the threats to their pensions, even if they are not currently affected. Membership of IODPA is the best route to effective defence of your pension. Please contact IODPA to become a member. admin@iodpa.org

31st August 2017.

For those of us who are undergoing or facing Reg. 37 reviews, the new IODPA forum has today posted some cogent observations and considerations from one of our solicitors on how to proceed with our PPA’s. The forum is available to registered IODPA members.

We understand from a Freedom of Information request that the June meeting of the National Wellbeing & Engagement Forum (NWEF) was cancelled apparently due to the lack of availability of members. This scenario is unlikely to be mirrored in the upcoming IODPA conference which is already heavily subscribed.

Anyone wishing to attend the IODPA meeting on 1st October please contact admin@iodpa.org for further information.

20th July 2017.

There has been much concern among IOD’s about the intrusive, often hostile and irrelevant nature of the questionnaires that forces adopt as part of their ‘review’ procedures. Issues surrounding medical records and questionnaires have been in need of clarification and we now report that 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. Please click on the link below for the press release from Haven Solicitors:

 Press Release

Our thanks and gratitude to our legal advisers at Haven Solicitors.

For more comment and information please visit the IODPA web site. IODPA are a charitable organisation run by IOD’s for IOD’s.

13th June 2017.

Many IOD’s will know the recent history of the Avon and Somerset force and it’s stance on conducting IOD reviews. The force has today written to its IOD pensioners informing them that it has decided not to pursue its automatic review programme until such a time that there is new legislation or new guidance from the Home Office. The force says that this is consistent with the policies of other forces.

It was the treatment of IOD pensioners in this force which led to the expansion of the IOD pensioners action groups and the formation of IODPA. IODPA now challenges other forces to follow the lead of A&S.  

For more details please visit our forum or IODPA

7th June 2017.

IODPA are urgently attempting to make contact with Staffordshire IOD’s especially those who had their pensions reduced as a result of HOC46/2004 and may not have had them reinstated.

Please contact IODPA    admin@iodpa.org

17th May 2017.

IODPA are embarking on new initiatives to protect IOD pensions and are engaging in fundraising ventures to provide additional funding. Once again Pipin is urging IOD’s or others affected by IOD issues to become involved, either by becoming a member (which really is essential for any IOD) or making a donation to IODPA. Donations can be made via the IODPA web site using credit or debit cards or by PayPal.

4th May 2017.

A number of Metropolitan Police officers and IOD’s have raised concerns that the force intends to transfer occupational health records to a private company named Optima Health. We understand that the force has asked for written consent from the individuals concerned and that some have declined to allow for their records to be transferred.

The next IODPA National Meeting is to be held on 1st October 2017 at a convenient location in the Midlands. Members of the legal team will be available as usual and there will also be an leading equality act solicitor attending. Please contact IODPA for further details and membership information.

21st April 2017.

Staffordshire have now contacted IOD pensioners informing them of their intentions to commence reviews of all IOD pensioners except those pensioners aged 72 and over, pensioners who have been diagnosed as terminally ill, pensioners who have received their Injury Award within the last 3 years unless the Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) had recommended that their case be reviewed within a shorter period, pensioners who have been reassessed within the last three years and pensioners on Band 1 unless they declare that their disablement has got substantially worse.

Those IOD’s who are not already aware that help and advice is available can contact IODPA. As details become known they will be appraised by our legal representatives.

Staffordshire Police Web Site IOD Information

Staffordshire Police IOD Questionnaire

4th April 2017.

Derbyshire Narpo Annual Report for 2016 which has just been distributed to members contains a short update on the IOD review situation. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, namely the death of the SMP, the force has not been in a position to proceed with a programme of injury award reviews.  The force intends to proceed with reviews in the new financial year and will develop a strategy and communication plan during April/May 2017. The strategy has yet to be decided”.

The resumption of IOD reviews has been expected for some time and Derbyshire IOD’s are urged to contact Pipin and IODPA.  The review situation in various forces is very confused and disjointed and our legal team will closely examine Derbyshire’s ‘strategy’ when the forces intentions become clearer

12th  March 2017.

The third national meeting of IODPA took place today.The upbeat and well attended meeting covered a number of IOD related issues together with presentations from guest speakers. Solicitors Ron Thompson and Mark Lake were in attendance throughout, addressing the meeting with updates and answering many questions from the floor. Stan Fisher spoke about his eleven year battle with his force which culminated in success at his recent Judicial Review. There were updates on the IOD situation in a number of force areas and various discussions on a variety of legal issues including data transfer, medical records and issues concerning Regulation (32, 33, 37). We were also informed that we now have the support of a number of Members of Parliament.

IODPA hope to achieve full Charity Commission status soon and are in the process of organising a welfare assistance fund. IODPA continues to gain strength and is developing into the properly constituted organisation that IOD’s need and will continue to to need for as long as police forces continue to interpret regulations in a self serving way.

Once again, all IOD’s are urged to become members of IODPA (membership is subscription based). Donations are also very welcome.

9th March 2017.

The decision of an important Judicial Review in the case of ‘Fisher v Chief Constable of Northumbria and PMAB’ will be available online later today. This is an important case involving clarification of a number of issues including police pay comparator / uninjured earning capacity, suitable alternative roles and back dating of pension reductions.  Two of the four points failed but the other important two points were successful and we are once again indebted to our legal team for arguing on behalf of IOD’s to bringing this significant case to an overall successful conclusion. More details will be available later.

Update:  Fisher v Chief Constable of Northumbria and PMAB

25th February 2017.

After a relatively quiet period, there appears to be a upsurge in activity on the IOD front. We are informed that some forces, such as Northumbria, are starting to review IOD’s and that other forces, notably Merseyside, have started or are in the process of conducting reviews. Concerns have been raised among IOD’s that reviews may not be conducted in compliance with Regulations. Ex officers who may not have been involved previously and are now receiving letters and questionnaires from their forces might be surprised if they receive an indifferent or negative response from our ‘official’ representatives. However, help and advice is available from IODPA which, for those who don’t already know, is our own rapidly developing self help organisation. IODPA incorporates many very knowledgeable experienced IOD’s who have been opposing unfair and unlawful attempts to reduce IOD pensions for a decade or more backed by our own very experienced and successful legal team.

Forces and their pensions administrators have now started the process of deducting ESA from injury pensions and, in some cases, appear to be making unwarranted deductions where the ex officer is not actually eligible for ESA. As with the review letters and questionnaires (above), many recipients find the tone of the ESA letters rather intimidating or threatening.

NAMF have now been renamed NWEF ( National Wellbeing & Engagement Forum). Please click on the link for the minutes from their December meeting. There are a few points of interest to us including the Home Office update regarding IOD regulations. There is an interesting section on SMP services : “The Chair highlighted that there is a reducing number of SMP’s able and willing to undertake SMP duties” Perhaps potential SMP’s recognise the distasteful nature of what they are being required to do and that their decisions will be subject to independent scrutiny - maybe these are reasons why the role of SMP has become so unattractive?

Elsewhere, an independent report into allegations of inappropriate medical examinations by a former Avon and Somerset police doctor has been published. This is not directly an IOD issue but some IOD’s were involved and have supplied evidence to the enquiry.

It is now only two weeks until the National IODPA meeting. There is much to discuss and this promises to be the biggest event to date. Members of the legal team will be in attendance. For further information please contact IODPA.

3rd February 2017.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published its findings from its investigation into the compensation paid by government to those that retired from the Police and Firefighters’ Pension Schemes between 2001 and 2006 without receiving their full pension entitlement. These payments were made following the Pensions Ombudsman’s finding of maladministration in the Government Actuary’s Department’s (GAD) handling of the administration of the factors that were used to convert annual pension entitlements to lump sum payments…………

Press Release Investigation into Police and Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Commutation factors

January 24th 2017.

The Employment and Support Allowance (Consequential Amendment) (Police Injury Benefit) Regulations 2017 come in to effect on 10th February 2017.

“These Regulations amend the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 to insert a reference to the employment and support allowance paid under sections 1(2)(a) or 1B of the Welfare Reform Act 2007. This means that the amount of injury benefit pension received by a person who is also entitled to employment and support allowance must be reduced by the amount of employment and support allowance to which they are entitled.”

The Regulations.

Explanatory Memorandum

January 15th 2017.

Some of our Avon and Somerset colleagues have received review letters despite being reviewed just two years ago. Perhaps these new reviews will provide the long awaited opportunity to clarify the legality of some aspects of the review process.

Members of IODPA are reminded of the up coming IODPA National Meeting which will be held, as usual, at a convenient location in the Midlands.

For membership information and further details please contact IODPA   

January 1st 2017

Last year was relatively quiet with some forces conducting reviews while others didn’t, some indicated that they would start reviews and others said they would cease them. In short it was a continuation of the confused post code lottery that we have endured in recent years. Issues requiring clarification are still unresolved and we await the opportunity to contest these issues in the courts.

Distrust, not only of the system generally, but especially of SMP’s remains high and this was highlighted with the revelations of the attitude of one doctor toward injured police officers. If such hostile attitudes are officially tolerated then it does tend to further confirm that the whole system remains seriously unfit for purpose and IOD’s are right to question the impartiality or independence of the selected medical practitioner. It is unlikely that anyone subjected to a review by this individual would expect to be treated in a fair and just manner. IOD’s might be persuaded to place more trust in the SMP if they were to be more independently accountable for their decisions.

Development of IODPA has progressed during the past year with two national conferences being held in that period and another planned for early 2017. IODPA, membership of which is subscription based, is also now recognised as a charity by HMRC. Backed by the same legal team, the organisation continues and expands upon from the sterling work of IOD’s who responded so successfully to HOC46/2004. IODPA assists not just retired IOD’s but receives many approaches from serving officers which is an indication that support within police forces for injured officers is now seriously lacking. If you are an IOD please help both yourself and others by joining and subscribing to IODPA.

Pipin wishes all our colleagues a successful New Year.