“I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said ‘I want to be let alone!’ There is all the difference.”
― Greta Garbo,
Kent Police has a fair policy when it comes to the administration of Injury Awards. Their policy is that they will perform a review only when a pensioner reports to them a ‘material change’ in their medical condition.
In terms of periodic injury award reviews the Pension Authority have discretion as to whether they wish to review any injury awards. We do not undertake periodic reviews. Where pensioners seek a review due to change of medical circumstances we will review. It is important to appreciate there must be a material change in medical circumstances for a review to be conducted.
Kent doesn’t seek to reduce their financial commitments, they don’t use a clerk to perform the job of the medical authority; Kent does not perform mass, blanket and unlawful reviews with preordained and manic zeal only to reduce as many IOD awards as it can, and to increase not one.
There are no HR drones driving policy in Kent Police thinking that by asking daft questions about earnings, driving, etc. that they can arrive at a conclusion about alteration.
Kent realises that the Regulatory requirement is based on medical evidence, that salary alone is immaterial, and they understand the implicitness in the Regulations that the Police Pension Authority must have a duly qualified medical practitioner inform that consideration.
Even though this constabulary has a relatively high number of former officers with injury awards, it treats them with respect.
All in all, Kent seem to be a shining example of the right way to do things right.
Avon & Somerset, Merseyside, Northumbria and their ilk are actually the outliers. It is Kent and others like them are the silent majority who understand the need to respect former officers as well as possessing knowledge of the Regulations and particularly that
Regulation 37 creates three stages.
- The need to identify that a suitable interval has passed since the time of the last final decision on degree of disablement. That should be an individual process and not one governed by timetable or schedule, or pressure on the force budget, or any wrong-headed ideas about a duty to review. A suitable interval can only be interpreted to mean an interval which takes into account the likelihood of any alteration in degree of disablement. Reviews should be rare events, triggered only by a relevant change in relevant circumstances.
- After the consideration, there comes the decision, of which there can only be two. Either the consideration produces some good reason to believe that the degree of the pensioners level of disablement has altered, or it produces no reason to think so.
- Where there is good reason to think there has been an alteration, the PPA is then in a position where it is considering whether to revise the injury pension payment, and it must then refer for decision to a duly qualified medical practitioner the question of degree of disablement – which we know means the SMP looks to see if there has been any alteration, and only if it is a substantial alteration can he so report, and this report obligates the PPA to revise the pension.
Any deviation from these stages is unlawful. Such illegality has been exposed on this blog including Merseyside HR clerks, such as Peter Owens, who foolishly believes they have hegemony over the actual PPA and often shirks the lawful requirement demanded by the Regulations to refer the relevant questions to a duly qualified medical practitioner; or Nicholas Wirz standing over the shoulder of Dr Broome as he directed the pliable doctor to reduce over 70 people to band 1 in a single afternoon, or CFO Julian Kern blatantly overriding the outcome in the SMP report.
Despite all the bad news, forces like Kent need to be acknowledged for doing it right.