“It is better to tell the truth and face the punishment, than to lie and face the consequences.”
Hard to spell, difficult to pronounce for some but still pleasing to the ear even though it is full of vowels , the word contemporaneous is drilled into you as a probationer. The time during or immediately after an event has to be captured otherwise the memory is undermined. Court cases have been lost to due the absence of strictly contemporaneous note taking.
Important advice to a police officer, and indispensable to a doctor. The health industry is rich in unstructured data which exists to record the well being, progress and medical interventions of patients. Unstructured data which consists largely of notes made by the clinician contemporaneously.
One of our well-placed sources in Avon and Somerset constabulary has informed us that there are murmurings that Johnson is not a happy bunny. (I don’t like to dignify him with the title of ‘doctor’ as I don’t think he deserves it.) Most of those injury pensioners reviewed by him back in November and December 2014, (and who still have not had a decision over 8 months later), have submitted subject access requests under the Data Protection Act for the handwritten notes they saw Johnson make during his face-to-face assessments with them during the course of a review. He was seen to make notes throughout each session, including when he was pouring over former officers’ medical records, familiarising himself with the contents of the file provided by HR and Occupational Health, and during the face to face interrogation and his summary closing the session.
During the review the Johnson invariably held a pen and had an A4 pad in front of him. This jotting pad wasn’t for him to doodle or add up his fees whilst the person being reviewed was wilting under his less than desirable bedside manner. The jotting pad was there to record in writing what was being said together with the SMP’s thoughts, reactions, observations, etc.
After the review it seems to be common sense to say that the SMP is duty bound to summarise what was said, so that he can refer back to his notes when he writes the formal report.
But, according to Johnson he made no notes. He seems to have no record of the sessions other than his memory, which must be remarkable, given that some sessions lasted an hour and a half. If he wrote up the sessions later, then when did he do this? The longer after the session, the less they could be relied upon to be accurate.
He’s answered some of the subject access requests with a curt reply along the lines of, “I did not take any notes”.
This poorly conceived and ill-thought out response by Johnson shows either that he is lying or he is admitting to not making any contemporaneous records. The former is bad enough – the data is not his to withhold – but it is terrifying to contemplate the lack of professional integrity required to be deliberately deceptive so as to conceal what appears to be the fact that notes were written months after the event, only when it was not possible to maintain the lie that no notes were made.
Why would a doctor not make notes? Let’s run with the face value that no notes were actually taken. According to this version of reality, Johnson read through the individuals’ occupational health files, and did not take notes. He then read through the letters and specialist reports sent by the former officers’ medical specialists, and did not take notes. He then sat for an hour or more and conducted a face to face review with the former officers, and did not take notes. He then collated his thoughts immediately after the review finished, and did not take notes. Then in all the months from the review up to the present day, not once did Johnson put pen to paper and jot down anything concerning the individual?
Perhaps the organisations which oversee the fitness for doctors to practise medicine would like to hear about this lackadaisical approach to record keeping.
Our secret source, whose insider guidance is continuing the exposure of incompetence that was first revealed with Freedom of Information Act requests, has also shone a light on the content of the those few handwritten notes that Johnson has released. Yes, that’s right! Johnson, when backed into a corner and under pressure of contemplation of the very large fines the Information Commissioner’s Office can hand out, has suddenly discovered that he has written notes on some, and not others. His consistency is rather lapse. Could it be due to the fact he has written some things he does not want to disclose so he says no notes were taken?
Nah, can’t be that, can it?
Does Johnson not know that each and every review he conducted was recorded in high definition audio sampled at 256 Kbps? Our very own ‘Deep Throat‘ has confirmed to us that the force knows this. But given what Johnson has been writing it seems that this information has by-passed him.
For the benefit of the Police Pension Authority who has to defend the decision of Johnson – A SMP can not revisit the original diagnosis. So, if that is what he is doing – writing up notes some time after the sessions, in such a way as to try to justify his part in what were all unlawfully held reviews, then he is essentially and effectively revisiting his decision. He can’t be recorded as stating that he, ‘sees no change’ in an individual’s degree of disablement then make notes some time later which contradict that decision. If this goes to a PMAB or to judicial review, then he will look very silly indeed.
Also, the merits or otherwise of a previous diagnosis are out of bounds. The earlier decision on the duty injury and its causation is a final decision and cannot be revisited. There is no point in a SMP doing anything other than accept the earlier decision and he should not be going anywhere near thinking that the original decision was not one he would have come to. This legal impediment doesn’t stop our flexible unfriendly medic. He was quite willing to put in undated handwritten notes of one session that in his view the original diagnosis of duty injury was wrong. You could not make this stuff up. Just how limp is Johnson’s grasp of the Regulations and associated case law?
A police officer’s pocket book entry kept in the same manner would be ridiculed in a court of law. Johnson will similarly be demolished should this go to a police medical appeals board. The Board does not suffer fools gladly.
Perhaps, instead of spending time making up notes months after the event, Johnson ought to read the appeal court case of LAWS:
Metropolitan Police Authority
– and –
– and –
Police Medical Appeals Board
Regulation 37(1) then provides for periodic reviews at which the authority is to consider “whether the degree of the pensioner’s disablement has altered”. On the judge’s approach this does not allow the SMP or the Board to redetermine the merits of any earlier decision of either
repeated by Simpson:
THE QUEEN on the application of SIMPSON
– and –
(1) POLICE MEDICAL APPEAL BOARD
(2) SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE
(3) NORTHUMBRIAN POLICE AUTHORITY
It is not open to the SMP/PMAB to reach a different decision in relation to the fact of disablement, whether the disablement is likely to be permanent or whether the disablement resulted from a duty injury
It’s your choice, Johnson. Salvage what is left of your professional reputation by telling the truth now, about how you have been taken for a ride and how, once you jumped on the gravy train that was promised to you – namely several hundred cut and dried reviews of compliant sheep-like former officers at several hundred pounds a pop – you could not jump off the train without breaking your reputation.
Or you can continue to lie and make things up as you go along, in which case circumstances will rapidly spiral beyond your control and the consequences will be very severe indeed.