The expression Selected Medical Practitioner (‘SMP’) is referred to in the following regulations,
- the Police Pension Regulations 1987
- the Police Pension Regulations 2006
- the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006
- the Police Pension Regulations 2015
and is a term synonymous with the role of a “duly qualified medical practitioner” which also appears in all of the aforementioned regulations.
The qualifications of an SMP were defined in HO Circular 21/2003 as follows,
Ideally, the SMP should be a Member or Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (MFOM or FFOM), or EEA equivalent. The minimum requirement should be that he or she is an Associate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (AFOM) or EEA equivalent. Before appointment as SMP the police authority must provide the medical practitioner concerned with an induction programme and other training so that he or she has an understanding of what police service entails.
The Police Pension Regulations 2015 define “duly qualified medical practitioner” as follows,
“duly qualified medical practitioner” means a registered medical practitioner who holds—
(a) the minimum qualification of Associate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine or the equivalent EEA qualification; or
(b) any other equivalent qualification acceptable to the scheme manager;
2 thoughts on “Snippet #5 – The Qualifications Of A Selected Medical Practitioner (‘SMP’)”
I fail to see any sense whatever in the ‘agreed*’ requirement that a SMP ‘should be a Member or Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (MFOM or FFOM), or EEA equivalent. The minimum requirement should be that he or she is an Associate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (AFOM) or EEA equivalent.’
The entire ethos of occupational medicine is based on organisations paying doctors and other medical professionals to help keep their workforce healthy and productive. That’s all well and good, but it does inevitably mean that any doctor who acts in the role of SMP for a police pension authority will instinctively tend to be considering the employer’s interests when assessing or interviewing a police officer or former police officer.
The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations clearly require that an unbiased and independent doctor should make the regulatory decisions.
SMPs should not only BE independent, but should be SEEN TO BE independent.
As things stand, there is very good reason, based on the behaviour of too many SMPs, to believe they find it impossible to free themselves of BIAS.
SMPs should be drawn from a much wider pool of registered doctors and should include specialists in the area of medicine appropriate to the individual.
Serving and former officers are badly served by having the choice of SMP restricted not only to just Occupational Health doctors, but to a single doctor who is on a contract. Forces are thus unable to provide choice and are often stuck with continuing to employ doctors who are not fit for purpose.
* The agreement for the Occ Health qualification was reached between the now defunct Police Negotiating board and the Home Office. Police injury on duty pensioners were nor represented on that body and thus had no say in the agreement.
HO Circular 21/2003……” Before appointment as SMP the police authority must provide the medical practitioner concerned with an induction programme and other training so that he or she has an understanding of what police service entails.”
So we have NAMF and its subsequent incarnation making up the rules. First we had Derbyshire then we had Northumbria take the mantle.
We saw the issues with the HO circular and the fact that half the forces in the country got it wrong. Nicolas Wirz has misrepresented the regs. The cases of Simpson, Crudace, Howarth, Fisher and Curry show that.
If you read those judgements you will find this self proclaimed expert being criticised by the judge.
When I wss IHR my FMA mentioned Wirz. I corrected him and explained the above and how he hot it right.
Wirz and Northumbria must not be allowed to infect the process, many forces didn’t follow and they were right.
Comments are closed.