Are you sure the report, the one the selected medical practitioner disclosed to you about your permanent disablement and degree of disability, is the only report in existence?
Could there be another report out in the wild? Did the force actually receive the ‘true’ copy?
Maybe this second report was never intended for your eyes to see. This hidden report is how the Human Resources director dreamt it to be. Flawed, corrupted, damaged by the fevers, intoxication, hate and unforgiveness of it’s SMP author. The report you never get to read tells the story of what the doctor truly thinks about your medical condition – how little your earning capacity is affected; how he doubts your symptoms.
Such deviousness has a precedent. In July 2016 The High Court granted insurance company LV= permission to bring committal proceedings against solicitors from a defunct law firm after two contrasting medical reports emerged in a road traffic case they were handling.
Her Honour Judge Karen Walden-Smith, sitting as a High Court judge,described the differences between the two reports – one served on the insurer and the other included in the trial bundle – as “stark”.
The contrast between the two reports is stark. In the report disclosed with the claim, Mr Iqbal had suffered whiplash injuries to the neck and to the wrist, with a 6-8 month recovery period; whereas the report included in the bundle sets out that Mr Iqbal had mild pain and stiffness on the day of the accident but the symptoms, due to a whiplash injury, resolved 1 week from the date of the accident. The diagnosis of a whiplash injury to the wrist does not even make sense.
How does this relate to Police Injury Awards you may well ask?
These minutes from a Thames Valley Federation meeting suggest not only does this practice happen to retired police officers, but a senior HR manager recently resigned because his involvement in this intentionally and consciously performed misdeed was found out.ibb-draft-minutes-010816
On page four there’s this quote:
It remains challenging to secure IHR’s as officers are increasingly asked to explore alternative treatment options. It has come to light that in some cases and at the instruction of the force legal team, that some officers seeking IHR but who have active or potential legal claims against the force, are having detailed capability reports prepared by the SMP, withheld. The force through the CHSS* have indicated that this practice has only been adopted in the last half a dozen cases. The CHSS has provided the full reports upon written request by officers. Haven Solicitors are coordinating the investigation into this practice and JW has made PFEW aware of this practice through the National General Secretary and Martyn Mordecai. Chris Sharp has resigned his position as CHSS, in part on the back of this nonregulatory practice. He will leave us in October.
[*Head of Corporate Health & Support Services]
So just like the contrasting medical reports in the 2016 LV= case, Chris Sharp the Head of Corporate Health and Pensions Manager at Thames Valley police seemingly commissioned and then withheld capability reports, resplendent in greater sensitive medical detail than the ‘other’ report, from the former officers. This was performed with the blessing of the force’s legal services department.
And he has resigned as a consequence.
If this is true then the SMP and Thames Valley may have fallen foul of countless pieces of legislation from the Data Protection act to the Access to Medical Reports Act.
In the LV= court case Counsel was perturbed by the existence of two reports. Counsel was clearly concerned that there was a deliberate alteration of the report to put forward a stronger case for damages.
In The Police Injury Benefit Regulations the qualified medical authority is asked to provide ‘A’ report. Not two. Not a ‘certificate’ A Report. Singular.
Is it the case that Thames Valley has been using the existence of two reports to ‘put forward’ (read bias) the case to reduce the award banding? And by not disclosing the report benefiting by handicapping any future appeal?
No, surely not… it surely can’t be that the administration of injury awards is that rife with corruption! (ahem)