Alex’s story

I had nearly completed my full thirty years but one event put paid to that followed by a complete breakdown which ensured that I never entered my police station again as a serving officer.

After twelve months on sick leave, the force decided to grant me early ill health requirement after the SMP recommended it for various physical injuries, depression and anxiety.

My own GP, who I had seen regularly over the twelve months told me that he thought that I was suffering from PTSD but couldn’t give me a definitive diagnosis. Being confused and not in a great position to understand what was required by the regulations, I was told by a friend to contact IODPA.

From the moment that I contacted them, I was supported and guided. I felt like I had a genuine friend who was always there and never left my side. (I still have regular contact now and eternally grateful for that support).

I was directed to get a proper diagnosis of PTSD from a consultant psychiatrist and approached my local official body asking them if they could assist with an injury on duty application. They told me in no uncertain terms that I wouldn’t get anything for a psychological injury. Initially I believed this to be the case, but took this info back to IODPA for their thoughts.

With the support of IODPA and a bit of (gentle) persuasion, my application was submitted and not long after that I received an IOD award. IODPA were right in that my PTSD was most definitely an IOD.

Without the support of IODPA, I would not have received what I was entitled to.  I would urge any retired injured officers who are going through the “process” to contact IODPA as the support and advice is second to none.


21 thoughts on “Alex

  • 2020-05-03 at 2:03 pm

    I was lucky, I had a great fed rep to look after me. One of the best things he advised me to do, to get more moral and peer support, was to look up this group called IODPA. I can only thank my rep for this as it is one of the best things I have done since leaving my much loved job. I now have the chance of keeping in contact with people who suffer like me, advice is second to none, the information we are given is second to none and I am proud to be a member. Thank you for giving me my life back and making me feel like I belong again.

  • 2020-05-03 at 2:02 pm

    I feel sorry for the advice you were given Alex. Some people would have taken this as gospel. Thank god you had the good fortune of finding IODPA.

  • 2020-05-03 at 1:40 pm

    My sergeant told me I would never get an extra pension for my mental health injuries when I went off sick. I think jealousy plays a big part of it. Thankfully I never listened to him and went ahead with the application. I was awarded a band four for my severe disability, so just goes to show what my former skipper knew. Listen to nobody but those who are there to genuinely look after you. Pleased that you found IODPA Alex, and that you got your award.

  • 2020-05-03 at 1:35 pm

    Great news that Alex found IODPA and there was a happy ending, all be it that PTSD has a terrible affect on everyone’s life’s around the sufferer and the sufferer themselves.
    I think the federation and in fact anyone who has dealings with ill health and iod awards should have a better awareness of mental health and it’s affects. There will be many more Alex’s that have been fobbed off by the federation and forces and have not been awarded what they are entitled to I hope that eventually these wrongs can be put right.

  • 2020-05-03 at 1:35 pm

    Well done IODPA, another sterling job from yourselves.

  • 2020-05-03 at 1:33 pm

    There are a number of federation representatives who are a credit to the organisation. They fight tooth and nail for the rights of their officers, in all aspects, whether it be discipline offences, misconduct or pension issues. Like all big organisations, there will always be one or two bad apples. We saw it every day when we were in the job. Officers who should never be allowed to join for whatever reason and was a disgrace to the uniform.
    The federation has been incredibly helpful to so many of us with funding cases etc and I will be eternally grateful and thankful for this. I am also an IODPA member. One of the things that would give me much relief and hope would be to see the federation work in tandem with and recognise IODPA just like they do with other Police charities out there. This small charity is just as relevant and just as important. They give us hope where in times gone by, there were none. They give us a voice where there never has been any. They ensure we are not the forgotten officers, that our service really did matter and we were never just a number.

    • 2020-05-04 at 6:41 pm

      Unfortunately there is at least one member of the Federations’ National Board whose attitude when I was suffering mental ill health (stress and depression) was, “If you don’t like it, get another job, we can’t afford for you to be off sick!!!” Said to me in my own Home.

      That Individual treated me like a POS, despite the fact that it was the situation that their Peer had put me in which greatly contributed to my illness. So unfortunately, I justifiably have no Trust in the Federation anymore. In fact, I have no idea why that Individual is even part of the Federation because they appear to have no interest in helping Members (unless the member happens to be one of their friends/colleagues. I know this as I know another IOD who was treated completely the opposite by the same person to the way I was.)

      In fact, I have been told that the Federation are wary of IODPA – I guess because IODPA are showing them up for what they have become: hand in glove with the Forces rather than fighting for the best outcome for the Federation member. So don’t hold your breath and expect the Federation to back IODPA any time soon folks – goes against what they nowadays appear to stand for, £300 a year for a diary – brilliant!!

  • 2020-05-03 at 1:24 pm

    Another sad tale of how someone was let down and badly advised. Is there no complaint system when someone has been so ill informed and could potentially missed out on a vast number of years of pension payment? It could have gone so wrong.

    I can only feel relief that Alex found IODPA and justice was given. Thank you for sharing your story, it has made me smile today.

  • 2020-05-03 at 1:20 pm

    I was lucky, I had a great fed rep to look after me. One of the best things he advised me to do, to get more moral and peer support, was to look up this group called IODPA. I can only thank my rep for this as it is one of the best things I have done since leaving my much loved job. I now have the chance of keeping in contact with people who suffer like me, advice is second to none, the information we are given is second to none and I am proud to be a member. Thank you for giving me my life back and making me feel like I belong again.

  • 2020-05-03 at 11:25 am

    IODPA are a total lifeline, it was as a none member reading FB posts I realised I had a right to challenge my IOD award, I soon discovered my original had been fiddled, I’m still on with getting things put right with the invaluable help if Haven Solicitors. I’m now a paid member of IODPA and the support is excellent.
    Far too many injured officers have horrible stories of poor treatment from their force once they are injured beyond full recovery, together we are working to change that by holding the organisations to account for fair just pensions.

  • 2020-05-03 at 10:27 am

    Well done Alex! It’s good to know that there was justice for you in the end.

    Unfortunately, there are many more “Alex’s” out there who are still suffering. They don’t know that they were treated badly & are not aware of the help available via IODPA.

    If you read this and know of a former police officer who is suffering, then, (although it may be difficult), try to let them know help is available.

  • 2020-05-02 at 7:31 pm

    Well done Alex on finding IODPA and obtaining the best advice going. I think we know that nowadays the Federation are not what they used to be. Thank goodness that IODPA are doing the job that once the Federation did -namely actually caring for Individual Officers and giving them the CORRECT advice. This is Injured Officers Lives and Futures at stake here after all.
    Isn’t it ironic that those Persons providing this service do it for nothing, as opposed to having their salaries boosted by one ranks’ pay scale to more often than not help the Force rather than do what is best for the Individual. Shameful state of affairs.
    I am sure there are some good & decent Individual Federations, I can only speak as I find – failed by my own and then a second one (which I am sure was influenced by the first)

  • 2020-04-29 at 2:46 pm

    This should have been the case many years ago and may open the flood gates as many were diagnosed with ‘anxiety and depression’ after having near death experiences.

    Little recognition then and very little now is given to the correct mental health treatment. I wish my brain could switch off from the devastation and deprivation that some members of society can inflict on others.

    In one Force, they would only medically retire you with one condition, which had to be physical injury, no consideration at all to the mental health issues that had arisen and then thrown into the bewildering humiliating world of community mental health and in general, they do not fully understand .

    I am so relieved that PTSD is now recognised. If it had been 25 years ago and I had received the right treatment I may not be so reliant on medication to this day.

  • 2020-04-29 at 2:28 pm

    Well done for your perseverance and in contacting them . It makes me think how we get advised and told by people who we believe know this to be the case then this happens with this support . Keep safe and look after yourself because even after that service your still a number and will be replace so quickly .

  • 2020-04-29 at 1:19 pm

    These are great people keeping us informed. I am very grateful to them and feel that at last we have somebody on our side. It is awful the way we are sometimes treated . Again thank you IODPA.

  • 2020-04-29 at 1:18 pm

    I had exactly the same experience, the so called iod federation advisor told me that I would not get an ill health retirement for my ptsd and as such not be able to apply for an iod
    In fact I was told just to culinarily retire from the force and take my pension.
    Thankfully I did not and contacted IODPA who gave me excellent advice which I followed and WAS ill health retired and successfully granted an iod pension.
    Just goes to show that the advice injured officers are being given by the police federations elected to advise and support them under very emotional and stressful situations.
    Thanks to IODPA and members we are now updated on cases / the law and procedures to adopt.
    Thanks to all and shame on the police federation!

  • 2020-04-29 at 12:39 pm

    ‘They told me in no uncertain terms that I wouldn’t get anything for a psychological injury.’
    It really is time that all ‘local official bodies’ (eg Federation) reps were fully aware of the regulations and of the types of injuries covered.
    Had this person not had the knowledge or opportunity to contact IODPA he/she would probably have taken the horrendous advice regarding psychological injury as being the truth and not pursued the case, thereby missing out on their entitlement whilst always having that nagging doubt at the back of their mind.
    Thank God for IODPA and I would urge anyone with doubts about their own position to make contact with them. They are extremely friendly, helpful and, above all, they are on your side!
    Well done Alex and best wishes for the future.

  • 2020-04-29 at 12:27 pm

    Well done IODPA the moral is never give up and don’t accept NO as an answer. I didn’t and I am so glad I persevered . That was 21 years ago!!!

  • 2020-04-29 at 12:22 pm

    I’m so pleased to read that you found IODPA Alex and that you have been so well supported by the Trustees.
    Those who don’t go through the trauma of an injury can never begin to understand the impact, unless they share a home with the person going through it.
    I wish you well for the future and a welcome to the IODPA family.

  • 2020-04-29 at 11:55 am

    Hi Alex,
    I was told by my inspector that the force would never retire me due to injuries and PTSD. He was a rep and despite my worries with this advice I went ahead. The process took four months, but the SMP looked at all the issues, including talking to my wife and promptly recommended expedited ill health retirement. I’m over 6 years in now, the injuries (physical and mental) remain-but it’s easier to manage now I’m not trying to juggle the job too. Stay strong and remember there is a lot of support out here.

  • 2020-04-29 at 11:35 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you have been through. I was medically discharged with PTSD for which I receive IOD.

    IODPA are such an amazing organisation knowing you can have support from people who understand you.

    I wish you all the best.

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