Month: November 2015



‘Put all your eggs in one basket and you get a basket full of rotten eggs’



With acknowledgements to P. G. Wodehouse.

“I say, Jeeves! This egg smells rather whiffy,” said Bertie, wrinkling his nose in a way which the delightful Hermione Berkley-Houndstooth, current object of his affections, had admitted she found desperately appealing.

Jeeves paused momentarily from his accustomed daily task of ironing the morning edition of The Middleshire Racing Bugle to comment wryly, ‘In my experience sir, if something smells whiffy, then it is indeed usually whiffy. Perhaps you might care to refrain from consuming that particular egg sir.’

“Spot on, Jeeves. I say, you are a dashed clever fellow. What would a chap do without you, what?”

“Shall I select another egg for your consumption sir?” enquired the redoubtable Jeeves.

“Not bally likely, Jeeves old snort. Once whiffed, once shy, and that sort of thing. Chuck ’em all in the jolly old bin and toddle out and get some fresh ones, there’s a good chap.”

Jeeves sighed inaudibly, and put down the iron.

“And, Jeeves, when you toddle, be sure to toddle in a novel direction and obtain the said eggs from a different merchant.”

“Very good sir. Discretion would seem to dictate the wisdom of using a different purveyor, but I regret to venture that the results may be no different.”



Here at IODPA HQ we know a lot about rotten eggs, having seen them in the form of various HR managers, bean-counters and SMPs.

There is not much good to be said about a rotten egg. Once rotten, they tend to stay rotten. Their only saving grace is that they are scattered, thankfully fairly thinly at present, throughout the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

Police forces are so numerous because a wise Government, in the days when Government actually was wise, decided that policing was a local job to be done by local citizens, responsible only to the Crown, the law of the land, and the local elected members of the police authority.

Police injury pensions are the law of the land – they are the same for each force – but the administration of these pensions is in the hands, and at the mercy of, local administrators. Due to a change in the law, police authorities, who nominally at least were supposed to exercise some oversight and discretion have been disbanded, and all matters concerning injury pensions have been handed to a new office. Namely, the police pension authority.

Who, jaw-droppingly, is now the Chief Constable of each force. (Other than the City of London)

A moment’s pause for thought brings the name Robert Maxwell to mind. You may well remember that he was the disgraced media proprietor and one-time Member of Parliament, who used hundreds of millions of pounds from his companies’ pension funds to shore up the shares of the Mirror Group, intending to save his companies from bankruptcy.

Chief Constables have been taking a leaf from Maxwell’s book, and have been hungrily eyeing-up the sums of money they have to fork out from their budgets to pay the pensions of former officers who were permanently disabled in the line of duty. They see this money, not as just recompense for injury, but as a potential way of meeting the demands to trim their spending and to deliver more efficient policing.

Instead of selling off luxury cars fitted with discrete blue lights as a tax dodge and bunged to civilians to swan around in. Instead of culling the wasted hours and expense of membership of the largely useless private limited company which is the Association of Chief Constables. Instead of joining together to all buy standard computer systems which allows each force to more easily deal with crime. Instead of using combined purchasing power to secure a lower price on everything from uniforms, equipment and vehicles, to services such as accountancy and public relations, they have targeted the pensions of disabled folk.

“Wait a moment!” I hear the cry from some forces, ‘We are looking to make savings across the board, and injury pensions are just a part of the exercise.”

Sorry, Chiefs, but that just does not wash.

You have come upon this from entirely the wrong direction. IODPA accepts that no person should receive a higher rate of injury pension than appropriate. We also, and we may surprise you here, actually agree that the provision to hold reviews of degree of disablement – at appropriate intervals – is a sensible and necessary provision of the Regulations. You, Chiefs, however, think that all injury pensions are fair game, and that by devious and unlawful manipulations of reviews of degree of disablement your tame HR managers and SMPs will achieve reductions.

Your approach is wrong on all levels. Not least morally, and certainly financially. Parliament, representing the will, and blessing of the people, agreed that officers injured in the line of duty so badly that they could no longer perform the ordinary duties of a constable could be pensioned off. The pension was to be paid at a level which reflected each individual’s loss of capacity to work, and thus earn.

You, Chiefs, see fit to dishonour the sacrifices of the men and women who gave up their health whilst doing a job which is acknowledged as dangerous.

The fact is, Chiefs, that you have taken your eye off the ball. You have been listening to the warped whisperings of the bean-counters and the HR managers. The bean-counters know little, and care less, about injured officers. HR managers know nothing and care nothing about the Regulations which govern injury awards. They, at least, have excuses of misplaced objectives and ignorance.

You, Chiefs, have no such excuses.

We in IODPA hear that some nasty little twerps who frequent the meetings of the National Attendance Management Forum have been lobbying, on the grounds of cost-saving and rationalisation, that all services and administration of police injury pensions should be placed in the hands of a commercial company.

The arguments for this, which you will no doubt be asked to consider, mask the real intentions of the twerps. What they want to achieve is centralised control, by elements within the Home Office or their nominees, of the selection and training of the ”duly qualified medical practitioners’ who will be tasked with conducting their part in the reviews of individual’s degree of disablement. The twerps want to see SMPs become nothing more than the tools of a for-profit company. The twerps want to see degree of disablement calculated not by reference to medical condition, but to a theoretical figure derived by comparing theoretical wages. The twerps also want to see all injury pensions reviewed on a regular basis, regardless of the absence of any evidence of change in circumstances. The twerps, Chiefs, are doing a Maxwell.

We in IODPA say to you, Chiefs, clean up your HR Departments and sack the incompetent or train the ill-trained. You will save money as a result. Do not listen to your ignorant bean-counters and HR managers who have no concept of the reason, or true value, for there being in place a pension scheme for officers injured in the line of duty. Do not for a moment be fooled by these pygmies into thinking that a centralised administration of injury pensions will save your force money. It will not.

What will result is all the rotten eggs being put in one basket.

And that will create such a stink that you will never be rid of it.

For the Love of Money

For the Love of Money

For the love of money
People will steal from their mother
For the love of money
People will rob their own brother
For the love of money
People can’t even walk the street
Because they never know who in the world they’re gonna beat
For that lean, mean, mean green
Almighty dollar, money
– The O’Jays


Every now and again a search on Google turns up dynamite.

£45,701.50  …  read this figure again out loud.

It transpires that Dr Philip Johnson has been paid £45,701.50 by Avon & Somerset constabulary since the 1st of August 2014 for his role to conduct reviews of Injury on Duty awards.  And this is just for an ‘evaluation’ to see how unlawful their unlawful review program really is.  Heaven knows how much he’ll cost them when he does this for ‘real’.

We know that the minions of the A&S HR department have 3 lists:

1. Those they have ignored for years and want to reduce but have no legally valid idea how to squeeze their pips;

2. The 16 band fours it trampled on in 2014 (most of which still have had no result);

3. Those retired recently (more likely by Johnson) who are due (according to them) a review.

Johnson has barely ‘reviewed’ a double figure number of IODs  and, for this part-time work on top of his salaried job as force medical officer of Dorset, he has been paid a king’s ransom of almost £46,000 in just over 12 months.

That works out at around four and half thousand pounds per person reviewed.  If the farce wants to review all 490 IODs the constabulary will end up paying Johnson a handsome £2,450,000.

Don’t forget that this £2.5 million is not a one off.  Bulpitt (A&S force medical officer) and Johnson are under the delusion that every IOD shall be reviewed every 2 years if they can’t be dropped a band and every 5 years if they are dropped a band.

Do you like their logic here?  Review them more often if they can’t prove substantial change – more bites of the cherry you see; but review them less often if the ‘good’ doctors get their devious way and they are reduced.

It’s like playing snakes and ladders with the board full of grease-covered snakes, with only one ladder … and this ladder is decrepit, riddled with wood-worm and with a suspiciously sawed through rail.

Back to Johnson and his £46K.   As mentioned this is a recurring payment as the constabulary is deluded into thinking they have a positive power to review ‘as and when’ their coffers are running low.  As soon as they are brassic, up steps Johnson, ready to invoice the constabulary more money per IOD than he can ever attempt to unlawfully reduce them by.

Of course, this money per IOD does not include the expense of a Police Medical Appeals Board, the Judicial Review and the Regulation 32 reconsiderations that follows.

Johnson has already cocked up massively.  He has recklessly  and unlawfully given some IODs new certificates with changes to their percentage even though he has written on the same certificate and accompanying report that there is no change (let alone no substantial change) to the IOD’s medical condition or capacity to earn.

IODPA wonders whether Johnson will now invoice A&S for all the time he takes to put together his defence when he is dragged in front of appeal boards.






Mr X

Mr X

“All cruelty springs from weakness.” -Seneca”
Clarissa Wild, Mr. X


If ever you think your former police service has your best intentions at heart when they are minded to ‘review’ your injury pension, then please consider the case of Mr X.

Mr X is a IOD pensioner who was retired from The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Policing is tough over there, but the Regulations concerning Injury on Duty awards across the Irish sea are essentially identical to those in and England & Wales.

Heed the wise words of the Pension Ombudsman:

Those cases have been concerned with the Police Injury Benefit Regulations for England and Wales, but the Northern Ireland Regulations mirror these and, therefore, the same principles can be expected to apply.”

Take note that the horrendous saga of maladministration we recount is not an outlier – similar injustice is happening now to dozens of former officers across the country and has the potential to envelope completely the lives of any person put under ‘review’.

Think on this if you are a Federation Rep or a SMP who is reading these words, perhaps tutting to yourself and thinking that we here at IODPA have the wrong end of the stick; that we are against the ‘system’ and ruining everything for every ‘legitimate IOD’.

Yes, that’s how too many Fed think:

‘play along to get along’;

‘don’t rock the boat’;

‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’;

‘You’ve had a good innings’;

‘Just give the doctor whatever he wants’ .

We don’t know which is worse, these pathetic cringing words of advice, or the more usual absence of any useful advice at all.

Well, Fed Reps,SMPs and all IOD pensioners, let us tell you about the 6 years and counting of legal hell suffered by Mr X just because he has an IOD award? Something similar is what all IOD pensioners risk facing if ever their HR Department comes calling with the intent of reviewing their injury pension.

PO-7548 1 Ombudsman’s Determination

Applicant Mr X Scheme Police Injury Benefit Scheme (Northern Ireland) Respondent(s) Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB)

Read the determination yourself here.

Mr X was retired in 1999.  His degree of disablement has been reviewed in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2012.  Mr X has needed to complain about gross maladministration to the Pension Ombudsman 3 times and has had determinations made in his favour three times – in April 2013, April 2014 and September 2015.

It is horrific that any police pension authority could get things atrociously wrong again and again.

There is no such thing as a benign review – it rips people apart.

Consider for a moment, if you will, how this man has had what should have been a peaceful retirement shattered.  Over the past 16 years he has been summoned again and again to dance to the tune of the HR department only to be rolled over again and again by the unfeeling, deeply flawed machine of bureaucracy.

Shamefully, he has had to find the strength all by himself, alone, unaided, to undo the wrong visited upon him.  This struggle dominated his days and eroded what remained of his health.

We at IODPA reflect with sorrow that Mr X is a rarity. Very few IOD pensioners have the strength, determination and knowledge to make and follow through any sort of complaint. Alarmingly, we believe that the vast majority of IOD pensioners do not even realise there has been maladministration. Mr X is not a rarity in that respect. He is just one example of the victimisation and maltreatment – we would call it abuse – of former officers who were injured in the line of duty.

The reviews Mr X faced in 2009 and 2012 were found by the Pensions Ombudsman to have been unsound and Mr X was restored to the banding he was on in 2007.

In 2014 Mr X met the SMP, a Dr ‘D’, who apologised to Mr X for the errors the doctor had made and subsequently wrote to the police pension authority to state that in 2011 he had determined that Mr X was 100% disabled in relation to earning capacity.  Dr D said no apportionment should have been applied for either musculoskeletal problems or constitutional psychological factors.

In May 2014 Mr X then wrote to the police pension authority to demand a Regulatory reconsideration process to undo the errors.  His award has been bounced down and up but it has not been backdated for the periods he was unlawfully reduced. The money unlawfully taken from him had not been repaid. This person has been blighted by years of unlawful guff, things written about him, occupation health records appended to with ‘this and that’ of things that should be excluded and so  Mr X wanted to wipe the slate clean.  All those years wasted when he should have been on the correct banding from 2010 – 3 years after the 2007 review as scheduled by the police pension authority.

Now we get into the bizarre world of legal services and dark recess of the minds of those employed in HR departments.  The application of Mr X for a reconsideration was refused on the grounds that the Northern Ireland Police Board (NIPB) viewed that as the Pension Ombudsman had set aside or quashed the 2009 and 2012 decision there was nothing to reconsider and that Mr X should just have another review !

Do you detect a position of attrition here?  A strategy of belligerent attempts to win by wearing down the IOD to the point of collapse.  Delay, obfuscate and confuse rather than just do the right thing.  Even after the stages of the internal dispute resolution procedures, the NIPB repeatedly sought to avoid the opportunity to redeem itself.

Mr X can no more think another review will be performed without error than look out his window and see pink elephants taking to the skies.  The best thing for the NIPB would had been to allow Dr D to perform a reconsideration and to give Mr X the back dated payments he deserves.  But no – it took a third finding by the Pension Ombudsman to force the NIPB to begrudgingly start to do the right thing.

This is what a review can do to a person.  For every Fed Rep or NARPO Rep who thinks their force is kind and benevolent to their IODs, they need to read the case of Mr X.  Any IOD, anywhere, can find themselves caught up in the same unending nightmare.

Let’s not forget the large question mark which hovers over the matter of why Mr X has been reviewed so frequently since 1999.  Is he a criminal who has to attend meetings with his probation officer?  Does someone think he does not deserve his pension? Is he secretly earning a vast salary working for an International conglomerate? No. None of these things. He spends his days bravely trying to deal with his disability. So why is he treated like a criminal or an unworthy pauper petitioner to be hauled in to account for his sinful way of life to the local Watch Committee?

Mr X understandably has no confidence now in any review procedure. Thanks only to his determination and to the Pension Ombudsman he will now have his reconsideration.

After this he should be left alone to live his life in peace.

We sincerely hope that will be the case.