“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
― L.M. Montgomery
Here’s the problem. A force brainwashed SMP won’t say a medical examination has occurred without seeing the former officer stagger into the office with bulging* Lidl bag (other supermarkets are available) with papers sticking out of it. *Note: More than likely the physical carrying of such bag will be used as sly evidence of substantial change.
We don’t know if it had the words ‘all my medical records ever, since birth’ written in Magic Marker on the side of the bag. Anyway, a little later, the SMP says a mild bout of flu when 6 years old is the real cause of the missing limb and subsequent PTSD, and causation is revisited.
Later again, surprise is expressed that the SMP had been able to get through with his primitive bag of tricks. In this new-age we are continually exhorted by HR minions such as Staffordshire’s Andrew Colley that it’s not the force that wants the medical records, it’s the SMP. Always the SMP. ‘Our hands are tied!’ says Colley, the doctor is a doctor, he can ask for whatever he likes. Don’t shoot the messenger … nothing to do with the PPA (honest ‘guv).
We are told to be vigilant on disclosure of sensitive personal information, so why wasn’t the SMP told he can’t have what he’s not entitled to? Did nobody think it looked a bit suspicious? That the question of what happened prior to the last decision is time-barred and irrelevant. What maybe reasonable to a nice and pleasant doctor is not lawful in the world of the Regulations where nice and pleasant doctors are as rare as unicorn droppings.
We have the feeling we know the answer to that. Just think of the howl-round, the furore, if the SMP decided to say the person should not have an injury award in the first place or said the previous decision wrong. This would be a clear breach of Law Court of Appeal in Metropolitan Police Authority v Laws and the PMAB  EWCA Civ 1099, in which it was held that the SMP was not entitled when conducting a review under regulation 37 to re-open clinical judgements as to causation or apportionment made in earlier decisions under the 2006 Regulations, and had merely to consider whether the degree of disablement had substantially altered.
But by demanding full medical records from birth, this is exactly where we are, right now. Pinned to our seats by perceived medical decision immunity, as the train enters the darkness of the tunnel of the Laws case law, next stop a zero percent band one.
Forces like Staffordshire are trying to bypass Laws and revisit causation by pointing the finger at Dr Vivian by proclaiming that it’s not them (the police pension authority, PPA) that is demanding full medical records, it’s Vivian – and Vivian is a doctor, and all doctors are nice and pleasant and wouldn’t breach the law. The flaw in this is the SMP, as a delegated decision maker, is synonymous with the PPA. They are not two separate entities … one is culpable for the other. What the PPA can’t do, the SMP can’t do.
But the “let’s look at full medical records from birth” is when the SMP brings in other illnesses even when there are no said illness – such as age! (We aren’t joking here, this recently happened). And the reduction is formalised behind the mask of so-called expert medical opinion.
Where did this process of radicalisation start, and what has had done to counter it? Our blogs shine a light and the narrative is clear: the Regulations do not support the interpretation that is placed upon them by police forces. They get it wrong and that’s why they continually lose in judicial reviews.
The National Well Being & Attendance Forum sets its people apart from the rest and, in all too many cases, this apartness leads to a hatred of the function of the Regulations: to provide those injured on duty with an injury award.
NWEF prefers to think the Regulations as a means to stop those injured on duty from getting an injury award.
The NWEF September 1st 2017 minutes are a case in point. The minions in attendance obviously, quite rightly, have the willies about consent because they get the consent issue so wrong it hurts. They talked about being GDPR ready (the GPDR is the new General Data Protection Regulations and is the new legal framework for data protection coming into force in 2018) but just prior they chat about the SMP can have anything the SMP asks for. NWEF says:
The general view was that it is the SMPs process so it is up to the SMP to direct what information or evidence they require,
We’ve read the GPDR and having ‘everything’ ever, because ‘everything’ is asked for, and not giving ‘everything’ will be seen as non-compliance and dealt with by punitive action, doesn’t seem to fit. Actually enough faux understatement, let’s not beat around the bush; it’s unlawful.
And the questionnaire! Oh my, the questionnaire. Even though a 2017 consent order against Merseyside touched on this as well as full medical records from birth, NWEF still thinks a questionnaire is a legitimate means to fulfil the comparison test.
3) Refusing to complete a questionnaire for the purposes of Reg 37(1)
It was felt the exchange of information between the pensioner and SMP is essential to identify substantial change.
There was comment that the case of Laws set the principle that a case cannot be referred for degree of disablement to be reviewed without evidence of substantial change; the questionnaire assists with the gathering of evidence.
Let us quickly mention that the purpose of a review is never to fish for change to find evidence for a reduction and that a questionnaire is an invented device and is outside the statutory framework. But let us roll with the juxtaposition of the Laws judgement and whether the questionnaire assists with the gathering of evidence.
Surely for the questionnaire to be a tool in the way NWEF suggests, there will have to be two questionnaires. One completed on a previous date, and one completed in the present day. And then the answer to the questions could be balanced against the previous answer.
But no … there is only ever one questionnaire. So tying to mask this unlawful device as permitted by Laws is just probably the worse thing ever written about anything to do with the Regulations. Ever.
Feel free to read the rest of the September minutes. Have your tutting hat on. You will be doing a lot of tutting!