“R-E-S-P-E-C-T!!! Find out what it means to me”― Aretha Franklin
Our straw poll would never receive awards for being scientifically robust, but it provides an overview to the opinion of serving and retired officers towards those doctors (aka force medical advisors) employed by police forces – and that overview certainly seems to be at odds to how doctors are viewed by the public at large.
Generally in the United Kingdom, which has been hit by an unprecedented number of medical scandals and transgressions in recent years, doctors still top the polls as the most trustworthy and hardworking of all professionals. An Ipsos MORI recent polling found that doctors were the most trusted profession, with 90 per cent of respondents trusting them to tell the truth. In contrast, just 16 per cent of respondents trusted politicians and 22 per cent trusted journalists to do likewise.
Our survey (for all it’s faults) had representation from all forces except Lincolnshire (perhaps there is Democratic People’s Republic of Lincolnshire that clamps down on Internet access and purposefully prevents its citizens from communicating with the outside world – or more likely maybe there isn’t an issue with ill-health retirements in this force, so there is no incentive for those to look at related social media).
Only 8% of respondents trust their force medical officer.
|Do you trust your force medical adviser?
|Don’t know him/her
Strip out the ‘don’t knows’ and you can see the stark realism that 89% do not trust their force doctor.
And what forces have least trust in the force doctor and mostly make up the blue “no’s”?And those with the most trust in the force doctor? Due to the low numbers we can show all 34 votes and the vote’s corresponding force individually.
What this all suggests is that police officers at their most vulnerable have no faith in some of these occupational health doctors.
Those clinicians tasked with duties such as promoting healthcare policies and initiatives and advice on medical, health and welfare matters, are neglecting their core duty – to care for people.
There is no sane reason why force medical officers should not have the same high satisfaction rates as their peers in other specialities. However, it seems some have misplaced loyalties to the pleasing of the employer and not the patient or to the furthering of medical excellence.
When they are needed most they are causing deep pain and prolonged suffering . With notable exceptions, some are no longer regarded as the paternalistic figures they once were, but rather as a technical bureaucrat or a gatekeeper with an over-riding deigned reluctance – who begrudges having to deal with those police officers the Job has injured, discarded, disabled and defeated.