Pension Challenge – The Remedy

Pension Challenge – The Remedy

Some of our members have received letters from their force regarding the Government’s intended remedy to the unlawful discrimination caused by the transitional protections under the Police Pension Scheme 2015 (the 2015 CARE Scheme) following the Court of Appeal decision in the McCloud and Sargeant cases.

At the time of writing this blog, we’ve only seen letters from Hampshire police, but we understand that a number of forces have now contacted their pensioners along similar lines.

All the letters so far have been to pensioners who left with ill-health retirement and were on “transitional protection” (a delayed transfer to the 2015 pension scheme). The letter offers the opportunity to be reassessed at the point of retirement under the 2015 scheme instead of their original scheme (1987).

A (redacted) copy of one of the letters can be found here –



In summary, the recipient of this letter was ill-health retired after 01/04/2015 under the 1987 scheme. The pensioner would have received an enhanced ill-health pension and commutation (if requested) from the 1987 scheme.

The 2015 scheme has, the concept of a lower and upper/enhanced tier for ill-health retirement. The lower tier under this scheme is the default position, unless the Selected Medical Practitioner (‘SMP’) considers that the retiring pensioner would be unable to perform 30 hours or more a week in regular employment at some stage in the future. If this is the considered opinion of the SMP, then the pensioner will also receive the upper tier in addition to the lower tier. We have provided a number of pension calculations over the years and find that this could enhance an ill-health pension by approx 3-4K per annum (depending upon your individual circumstances).

Potentially, this sounds like an attractive proposition, but as always, the devil is in the detail, and the letters poses more questions than they answer in our opinion.

What is not clear is if the pensioner agrees to be assessed for the upper tier under the 2015 scheme, do they at this point agree to be transferred to the scheme regardless of the outcome of this subsequent assessment?

The letter states that if the pensioner is not eligible for the upper tier, they may be reassessed (again) up to 5 years after the date of their retirement (which is built into the 2015 scheme and is not part of the pension remedy). It is not clear, how the pensioner may be reassessed again, at some stage in the future for a scheme that they are not a member of, unless they have, as previously suggested already transferred prior to the initial decision being made?

If you agree to the assessment, and transfer into the new scheme, what date will you transfer to the scheme, the date of your retirement or the date that the scheme started, most likely, it will be the start date, this being 01/04/2015? This variation of date will affect subsequent calculations.

They have not made it clear to you that if you transfer to the 2015 scheme your ill-health pension will need to be recalculated to take into account your transfer date to this scheme, at which point you will have two pension pots. Some people may be be in credit, some may be in debt because of the different contribution rates of each scheme.

Not only will they back calculate your ill-health pension under each scheme, they will also re-calculate any commutation that you may have taken as each scheme has different rules.

If you are in receipt of an injury pension as well as an ill-health pension, then whilst you may receive more for your ill-health pension (which is taxed, and will be now taxed more), this will also result in a lower injury pension (which is not taxed).

Whilst it is true that once you transfer to the 2015 scheme, you may apply for the upper tier (with medical evidence) for a period of 5 years after the initial grant, the force may also choose to reassess you at any time up until Compulsory Retirement Age (‘CRA’) and remove the upper tier from your pension, so your upper tier may be short-lived.

They have stated, that you do not need to provide any further medical information at this stage, but may request this before the reassessment goes ahead, and rather worryingly state that they will store your personal data securely. Personally, we wouldn’t trust any force with our personal data, and would only supply it directly to the nominated SMP who is the only person entitled to see this information. That said, there is NO information as to whom the SMP will be, and regular readers of our blogs will know that not all SMPs are equal.

Finally, as we believe that your choices are not mutually exclusive and some choices have dependencies on other choices, you can only reach a final decision once you have that additional information. This is particularly important as the Home Office has yet to rule on some of the decisions.

So unless you know the actual (financial) benefits of requesting such a move, how can an informed decision be made bearing in mind that this particular force require an answer from you by the 30th April 2023, but state that the rules for how they calculate payments for eligible members are not expected until Summer 2023!?

Is this a case of Hampshire Police putting the cart before the horse? The information that they have put out is certainly lacking.

This is a personal decision for members, but we would advise you to fully understand what you are entering into before you agree, and without figures, we’re not sure how you would assess this?

Speaking to a qualified pensions expert must be the next step for professional advice and guidance.

True to Form

True to Form

In this article, we take a look at the practice of Dr William Cheng in seeking feedback on his performance. Dr Cheng acts in the role of Selected Medical Practitioner (‘SMP’) for a number of police pension forces. He makes decisions affecting the pension entitlements of serving and retired police officers.

We are all aware of the concept of feedback. It seems that almost every time you buy something these days, the seller seeks to get you to rate their product and/or service.

Buy a new widget to fix that broken whatsit and no sooner has it been delivered than you get a request for feedback from the widget seller and, most likely, from the delivery firm as well. ‘How did we do?’ they cry!

It’s easy to see what they get out of your cooperation, feedback is valuable. It helps them improve their products and services. Positive feedback is welcome, but negative feedback is undoubtedly the most useful because it highlights failures and indicates areas which would benefit from improvement.

With that in mind, we have become aware that the ubiquitous Dr William Chung Wing Cheng, GMC registration number 1631726, has been presenting a feedback form to serving and former officers he has medically examined/interviewed with a view, in our opinion, to generating only positive feedback.

We reproduce it here.


Let’s remind ourselves that Dr Cheng is not contracted by the person he medically examines/interviews. That person is not his customer nor his client. He is paid by the police force and we believe that it should be the force which monitors and evaluates his performance. If feedback forms need to be handed out, they should come from the force but only following the conclusion of any decision-making process.

So, just what is the purpose behind the force giving either tacit or direct approval to Dr Cheng to hand out feedback forms?

There is an enormous level of unease felt by the officers and former officers he medically examines and interviews in respect of their pension entitlements. For every individual who has had the courage and ability to complain about him, there are many more who have good grounds to complain but do not.

As to why individuals do not complain, there are numerous factors. An analysis of them all would divert from the focus of this article.

Dr Cheng has taken it upon himself to attempt to generate some feedback.

Could it be the case that his feedback forms are there only so Dr Cheng and his paymasters can wave them and say, ‘Look, everyone loves this guy’? As you would expect, nobody would ever write anything derogatory when their whole future rests in his hands and a decision must be made.

We hear that Dr Cheng is in the habit of producing this feedback form toward the end of the session with individuals and making it clear that the form is completed and handed back to him before the individual leaves the room. Understandably, some would see this as undue influence that the SMP might not write a favourable report without first being rewarded with positive feedback, or as applying pressure on the individual to write only positive comments.

It could be that Dr Cheng is in need of some positive comments. It is a matter of public record that Dr Cheng had 28.3% of his regulatory decisions overturned by way of appeals to police medical appeal boards, over a five year period.

It has to be remembered that Dr Cheng, for a great part of his duties is dealing with vulnerable and damaged individuals – officers who are facing the certainty of premature retirement due to illness of injury and disabled, often traumatised, former officers whose continuing level of injury pension depends on his decisions. It does not take anything more than common sense to know that unwell individuals might think that not completing Dr Cheng’s form and giving him a good review might negatively affect his decisions.

Our advice to any officer or former officer is to take Dr Cheng’s form and stuff it – in your pocket. Fill it out later, or not, as you think fit, and send it, or not, to the police pension authority, not to Dr Cheng. Bear in mind though that by completing Dr Cheng’s form positively you would be potentially writing off the chances of any future complaint being successful.

If you genuinely receive a fair and professional service from Dr Cheng, we have no problem with giving positive feedback. What we object to is a form being presented to vulnerable people immediately after a consultation, and before the quality of the final report is known.

Lloyd Kelly – The Court Of Appeal Confirms That Injury Pensions Should Be Back Dated With Interest

Lloyd Kelly – The Court Of Appeal Confirms That Injury Pensions Should Be Back Dated With Interest

The Court of Appeal today handed down judgment in the case of Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, R (On the Application Of) v Kelly & Anor [2021] EWCA Civ 1699 (19 November 2021)


On the 5th June 2005, Mr Kelly was required to retire as a serving police officer due to permanent disablement from South Yorkshire Police. Whilst Mr Kelly was granted an ill-health pension, the force did not consider whether he was entitled to an injury pension under The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 due to the injury being caused on duty. They also did not inform him that he may make an application.

On the 25th July 2017, Mr Kelly became aware of injury pensions, and made an application, which was subsequently granted. South Yorkshire Police however only agreed to apply the pension from the date of the application rather from the date of retirement, a difference of 12 years worth of back pension.

The matter was heard twice, in the Crown Court, where Mr Kelly was successful. South Yorkshire appealed the matter to the Court of Appeal, who today handed down judgment in favour of Mr Kelly. The judgment agreed that Mr Kelly should be paid from the date of retirement and is also entitled to interest on his money.

GDPR and retention of medical records

GDPR and retention of medical records

Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”

Author Unknown


Today, we are going to relay a story regarding the battle of a police pensioner to make his former force comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR and either return or destroy excessive amounts of personal data that they had no justification in holding.

As is usually the case, the force showed their usual contempt for this injured officer, and would only comply with the law when threatened with legal action.

When are police force going to realise that they are there to uphold the law, they are not the law!

The moral of this story is not to give up.

Here is his story –


In May 2014 after a horrendous journey fueled by the Police I was medically retired  after 28 years service having joined the police at 17 years of age. My medical retirement was due to crippling CPTSD caused by experiences serving as a police officer.

My treatment by the police service during my illness and EIHR process was awful  and made my fragile mental health much worse causing horrendous symptoms incidence including self harm along with suicidal thoughts and planning.

Upon retiring my wife wrote to the police asking for the return of my medical records that they had duped  out of us as part of the EIHR process. The thought of the them retaining my deeply personal information since my birth including information on my dead parents aggravated my PTSD and paranoia. The police replied that their policy was that they could retain my records until “I was dead” or reached the age of 100. At that time I explicitly withdrew my consent for the retention of my medical records.

My wife replied quoting detailed legal information around the DPA and human rights legislation and then strangely the police stopped communicating with us.

We then submitted a complaint to to ICO which was upheld and they wrote to the police force concerned informing them that continued retention of my records was illegal. They also asked the force to conduct a review of their retention policy, strangely again the force ignored this advice and refused to communicate on the matter.

I then took legal advice and was given funding from  the police federation to pursue a claim against the force for the destruction of my medical records as well as compensation for the damage caused  to mental health. What followed was a 3 year legal battle during which the force displayed a level of arrogance that should not have surprised  my but it did.

Finally with the imminent  with the threat of a court case pending the force conceded  and agreed to destroy all my medical records and offered me  a small amount of compensation. This agreement was signed by their legal services and is subject a court order enforcing it. The order also states that with the exception of the SMPs report “no further medical records relating to the claimant are retained by the defendant”

I am pleased this episode is behind my wife and I now and it brings closure to my treatment by a dishonest Organisation. It was a long battle but one I was prepared to see out and not be intimidated by the police that I used to believe in. Up and down the country the police are retaining medical records of veteran cops that they are holding onto illegally and for a variety of bizarre reasons. I would urge anyone reading this to take action against your force and obtain legal orders to stop the police holing onto your deeply personal information now and in the future.

I wish you all the best for the future and try not to be intimidated by the organisations you once served.

Northumbria Police Produce Guidance To SMPs

Northumbria Police Produce Guidance To SMPs

A man who works evil against another works it really against himself, and bad advice is worst for the one who devised it.

— Hesiod  (Greek poet, generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC.)


We all receive advice as we progress through life.  Parents, teachers, doctors, financial advisers, police officers, lifestyle coaches, diet experts and many others – they all hand out advice. By all accounts, much of it is then promptly ignored.

Perhaps that reaction can be explained by an instinctive understanding that it can be difficult to spot bad advice, especially when it comes from an authoritative source. Essentially, advice is seen as not to be followed blindly, but to serve only as someone’s point of view, before making up your own mind what to do or not do.

With that in mind, this blog is about some seemingly professional advice issued as ‘guidance’ by Northumbria Police to the doctor or doctors who are tasked to make certain decisions in regard to so-called ‘reviews’ of the degree of disablement of former officers of Northumbria Police. 

The guidance is reproduced in full, below –


We should explain, for new readers, that officers who are injured on duty and as a result become disabled to a degree which prevents them continuing to perform the full range of ordinary duties of a police officer are retired, with an injury pension. The old phrase used for this involuntary retirement was that the individual was ‘cast from the force’. 

The amount of injury pension paid is tied, in part, to the ‘degree of disablement’ which is the extent to which an individual’s capacity to do paid work has been eroded by the disablement.

It is accepted there is a possibility the degree of disablement present at the point of retirement may alter at some later stage. The injury pension Regulations allow, therefore, for a police pension authority to consider, ‘at such intervals as may be suitable’ whether an individual’s degree of disablement has altered. If it has altered substantially, then the amount of pension paid can be revised. This process, of medical assessment and decision is commonly known as a ‘review’.

The Regulations require that the scheme manager, who holds the office of Police Pension Authority (‘PPA’), shall select a ‘duly qualified medical practitioner’ to decide whether there has been any alteration, and if there has been, decide the extent of the alteration. This doctor is known commonly as the Selected Medical Practitioner, or the SMP. The guidance issued by Northumbria Police is to those doctors. 

We understand the guidance has been widely circulated and has not been confined to only Northumbria’s SMPs. Thus, its influence, and potential impact, has spread far and wide, across many of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.

Can guidance from such an authoritative, seemingly professional source, be trusted? We suggest not. Northumbria has a long history of misunderstanding the Regulations. We need hardly remind ourselves of the disgraceful actions of Northumbria’s resident SMP, Dr Broome in reducing, at the stoke of his pen, the pensions of some 70 disabled pensioners.

We believe that Dr Broome, who describes himself as a ‘consultant occupational physician’ was undoubtedly guided in his actions by Northumbria’s resident solicitor, Mr Wirz.

An appeal, by way of judicial review, was made by several of the affected pensioners. They won their case. Here is what the court report has to say:

Dr Broome, the SMP, dealt with all 70 cases on the same day – 20th February 2009. In each case he reduced the degree of disablement to Band 1. In Mr Crudace’s case his reasons were expressed in a letter of that date which reads:

I am advised that the Pensioner has reached State Retirement Age and therefore, in accordance with the Regulations, the Pensioner “no longer has an earning capacity for the purposes of the Police Injury Benefit Regulations”.  Northumbria Police has also determined that there is no “cogent reason” why the Pensioner should not, therefore, be considered to have 0% loss of earnings capacity and as a consequence of their injury, and should be placed in the 0-25% Degree of Disablement banding. I confirm that the above recommendations are consistent with the Regulations and I attach a revised Statement of Injury


Dr Broome should have weighed more carefully whatever guidance was directed his way. For his part, and in our humble opinion, solicitor Wirz would have in turn relied on guidance issued by none other than the Home Office.

That guidance, contained in Home Office circular 46/2004, which one would think should  have been beyond critical appraisal given its source, was declared to be unlawful later and the Home Office withdrew significant parts of it.

It is worth nothing that both Dr Broome and Mr Wirz have had several other unsuccessful ventures in the appeal courts.  Indeed, it is hard to find any record of a successful outcome in the law courts for these two.

Yet they both continue to be employed by Northumbria Police, despite all the above.
The rub is, Dr Broome, being paid by Northumbria Police, can hardly be classed as impartial. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

It is all very well that Northumbria’s Chief Constable and the local Police and Crime Commissioner are content to have Dr Broome and Mr Wirz on the books. Perhaps their shortcomings are compensated for by excellence in other aspects of their duties. However, when bad advice is more than likely circulated by Northumbria to other forces – forces who may be blissfully unaware of the track records of Mr Wirz and Dr Broome. These forces may be tempted to take the guidance as sound, valid and watertight, and might recommend it to their own SMPs.

They would be wrong to do so.

The motives of Mr Wirz remain known only to him, but glimpses of his thinking can be caught from reading the guidance. It can be read on two levels – the visible and the unstated. For those who have knowledge of the history of police injury pension maladministration, the unstated theme of the guidance is obvious. It is, in our view, a cynical attempt to manipulate SMPs into applying the regulations in an unlawful manner.

We don’t propose to present a detailed critique of the Northumbria guidance, for that would take up too much space. Instead we suggest to any other force, and any other SMPs who might be tempted to adopt this guidance, that they would do well to treat it with circumspection and a healthy level of suspicion. 

It may though be helpful to sample the guidance at its start, in the middle, and at its end. A sample is all that is needed to demonstrate just how badly flawed is the entire guidance, and how any SMP or police pension authority who chose to rely on it could expect the certainty of successful legal challenge.

It is laughably ironic that the guidance warns, at the outset, that SMPs should not rely on Home Office guidance. The very guidance which Dr Broome and Northumbria Police failed to identify as flawed and unlawful back in 2009.

Although the Home Office withdrew parts of the guidance (46/2004 circular) they left virtually intact and in circulation a hugely more detailed and lengthy guidance which was composed by the same person. 

So, Northumbria is right to warn SMPs conducting reviews that,

. . . case law confirms that the approach to this issue contained in historic Home Office Guidance should not be relied upon.


But Northumbria is being partisan by omitting to caution that case law equally confirms that, given its track record, the approach to most issues of injury pension law by Northumbria police pension authority should not be relied upon.

Further into the guidance, speaking about reviews, it advises,

The SMP must establish, relying on admissible evidence, whether the pensioner remains disabled, and if so, whether the disablement caused by the qualifying medical condition is permanent.


This is not at all what ‘case law confirms’. The SMP is required to accept the previously-decided degree of disablement, and with that as the starting point, must then determine whether there has been any alteration from that level. 

We note the guidance neglects to cite the ‘case law’ it relies upon. We can put the matter straight by quoting from the case report of  Haworth and Northumbria Police Authority [2012] EWHC 1225 (Admin).

At paragraph 24, we see the court’s opinion:

Upon any such review the starting point on disablement has to be taken as that reached by any previous review as a matter of substance and a new review cannot lawfully seek to re-open questions on disablement, and in particular on causation, already determined by earlier decisions of the material medical authority.


Given that this was a judicial review case involving Northumbria, it seems all the more suspect that its Guidance to SMPs is so much at variance with the decision of a court and that it relies on unidentified legal authority here.

Moving to the bottom of the guidance it can be seen that SMPs are being advised directly to divest themselves of a legal duty in certain circumstances.

Those circumstances are currently the subject of an ongoing legal case involving Staffordshire’s police pension authority, so we can’t comment in detail. Suffice to say that the issues revolve around the data protection rights of private citizens and the limits of authority of a Police Pension Authority in making decisions concerning degree of disablement.

We can point out though that the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 place a duty on the SMP to make a decision. Regulation 30 states, very clearly a police pension authority. ‘. . . shall refer for decision to a duly qualified medical practitioner selected by them . . .’ certain decisions.

The Northumbria guidance, in complete contradiction, says this:

As SMP you should avoid attempting to make a determination in the absence of information which you, in your professional judgement, consider necessary in order to complete the determination.


It is IODPA’s informed understanding that a SMP must make a decision. The regulations offer no option where the SMP can decline to decide. There is a duty on the SMP to make a decision. If there is no evidence, for whatever reason, of substantial alteration in degree of disablement, then the decision of the SMP can only be, and should only be to declare there is no evidence of alteration.

The importance of Northumbria’s guidance on this point is that, if a SMP declines to make a decision, claiming certain information is not available, then an aggressive police pension authority might be tempted to claim the pensioner had wilfully or negligently refused to be medically examined. Thus allowing the police pension authority to turn to regulation 33 and make the decision itself.

That is the very crux of the litigation which is currently engulfing Staffordshire police pension authority.

Whilst that case is ongoing IODPA cautions all SMPs to be very careful in respect of the totality of the guidance issued by Northumbria. The guidance is adversarial in tone, emanates from a source with a record of losses at judicial review and is most probably penned by an individual who has an axe to grind.

We have said it before and we repeat it again. Forces need to ensure they, and their SMPs conduct reviews rigorously within the regulations, utterly fairly, without bias, and with the welfare of the disabled former officer firmly in mind in all that they do.

Post Summer Update

Post Summer Update

Now that Summer is slowly grinding to an end and we will soon be reaching the start of Autumn, our thoughts turn to the start of a new charitable year, which commenced on 1st September. IODPA, concludes, in our view, a second successful year.

The IODPA Trustees sincerely hope that our readers have had a good and peaceful summer; it doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that the children were breaking up for the holidays and the weeks lay blissfully ahead.

Normality resumes this week as the children go back to school and although things have been quiet publically, we have continued to be kept busy behind the scenes.

Reviews, on the whole, have quietened down at present.  We have two epicentres where the main problems seem to be centred; Northumbria and Staffordshire.  As our readers will know, there is a significant judicial review impending for seventeen injured police pensioners from Staffordshire, regarding the production of full medical notes at a review. The varying issues are now heading towards a court hearing so we will not be discussing any more of this case, suffice to say, once we are permitted to report anything in the public forum, we will do so.

We believe that many forces are waiting upon the same aforementioned judicial review before looking at whether or not to commence reviews of their own. We hope that all forces will do their own research rather than be blindly led by others who claim to be the font of all knowledge where Police Injury Benefit Regulations are concerned. There are other ways of doing reviews without causing extreme stress and pain to retired officers, that these two forces think is acceptable. Hopefully, the gentle approach to reviews will become the norm soon, similar to what we believe is happening in Thames Valley.

We will be here, always ready and waiting to support those pensioners who need assistance, should that day come for them.  As we have continued to say so many times previously; we have no problem with forces conducting reviews. They have a right to review, should they decide that there has been a ‘suitable interval’. What we ask for, is that those reviews are conducted lawfully, compassionately and abides by all relevant case law and not be just a cynical vehicle for saving money from those who gave so much.

There is also a growing need to support our serving colleagues who have had the misfortune of being injured whilst on duty. These disabled and vulnerable officers have to deal with an adversarial ill health retirement process, more often than not, alone with no support network in place. Often provided with misinformation, or not informed at all of their rights, we are referring more and more of them to legal support in the aim of them receiving a fair and equitable result at a time when many are having to leave the service they love, due to their duty injuries.

Fortunately, officers are now finding us and we are pleased to say that word of mouth regarding IODPA is spreading more and more within police forces around the country. We are assisting these injured officers and signposting where necessary. We are always very grateful for the help that Mark Lake of Taylor Law and Ron Thompson and Mark Botham of Havens Solicitors give to those who need their specialist knowledge.

As our third charitable year commences and we collate all we have achieved to date, we hope that this new year continues to show IODPA as a growing and improving organisation.

As well as hoping the year brings resolution for some of the issues we have faced over the last few years and new opportunities to help our growing membership, we will continue to support all those who need us, as well as those new members who have joined us over the last twelve months. We anticipate our membership growth will continue in this new charity year and as a result, we will be seeking to collaborative with other organisations to further our help and support for all injured officers.

Welfare for those who have served is still very limited and in some cases, non existent, so developing the charity in these areas will also be explored. It is sobering to think that from just a small group of former officers, who came together in one force area, IODPA has grown rapidly to cover the whole of the UK, with a large membership and it underlines the fact that there is still a large number of serving and retired officers who are in need of support.

So, to finish. If anyone knows of a retired officer who maybe in need, or if you are a serving or served officer with an injury sustained on duty, then please contact us.

2018 – A Year of Progress, Growth and Achievement

2018 – A Year of Progress, Growth and Achievement

This is the time when we look back over the past year and its events and achievements and forward to the New Year and the challenges and successes which lay ahead.

2018 saw Essex Police commence reviews to a large number of injured pensioners, all, we believe, to be on band four. Letters were sent to them with the Regulation 33 paragraph enclosed. Sadly, someone from within Essex Police had disingenuously given the impression the quoted regulation allowed pensions to be reduced to band one if a questionnaire was not completed. The questionnaire required personal financial information and the pensioners’ signed permission for the force to access HMRC and DWP records, and consent for the force to access full medical records.

IODPA, along with Essex branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers (‘NARPO’), wrote letters to the Chief Constable in his role of Police Pension Authority (‘PPA’), and we were pleased to blog his reply to us.

Reviews in Essex were soon halted and we still await their next move.

Staffordshire Police have continued with their review process, bringing a number of pensioners in front of various Selected Medical Practitioners (‘SMP’). All three SMPs used have all subsequently ended their contract with Staffordshire for various reasons. We believe that a new SMP is currently being sought to take up what must be regarded in the medical profession as a poisoned chalice.

2018 ended, as many of you will recall, with seventeen pensioners having their injury pensions reduced summarily by Chief Constable Gareth Morgan, acting as PPA. The reason cited was that failure by IOD pensioners to allow access to their medical records amounted to a failure to attend a medical interview or examination. This was another example of an abuse of regulation 33.

All seventeen had willingly attended their review appointments, many of whom attended twice. IODPA solicitors acting for the seventeen pensioners immediately sought clarification from the police pension authority of its use of regulation 33.

Mr Morgan then promised to give his individual reasons for each decision to reduce and has meanwhile postponed the reductions.

We await the next stage in this legal fight but suffice to say, we wish everyone the very best of luck. You have one of the best legal teams behind you.

2018 has been a year of continuing growth for IODPA, We now have members from every one of the forty three forces in England and Wales plus Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

We are very proud to say that our membership has increased over the last twelve months by a third from the previous year. We will continue to welcome new members on board, after all, there are over 13,000 IODs out there!!

We are still a small charity, but we exert an influence and achieve results that are well above what might be expected. IODPA is uniquely placed to provide a quality of service to our members which cannot be found elsewhere. We focus entirely on the needs of former officers with varying degrees of disablement resulting from duty injury, and officers still serving but about to be retired because of ill health or injury on duty.

With our tight focus, IODPA  provides moral and practical support in the most effective manner. Members have the facility to be in easy contact with each other, no matter where they live. Through that contact they reach out to anyone who needs comfort. They help each other. They exchange experiences and knowledge – and we have some very knowledgeable members. Together our membership can call on hundreds of years of experience and skills for the benefit of all. Sometimes just knowing that you are not alone, that someone else is there to talk to is enough. When more is needed, we provide extensive in-depth advice and guidance on all aspects of police injury pensions.

IODPA has continued to hold regular meetings throughout 2018, all over the UK. We recognise the need to support those who are undergoing reviews. It is a highly anxious and stressful time, but particular so for those with mental health injuries.

IODPA campaigns to raise awareness and promote understanding of the correct application of The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 so that those retired with injury awards receive fair and lawful treatment, respect, equality and inclusion. Our core aims are to:


Expose and challenge all aspects of illegality, unfair practices and improper conduct at all levels of injury award administration.

Share information about good practices and support individuals to effect actions for themselves to achieve lawful and fair outcomes.

To develop a wider awareness and acceptance that the continued use of unlawful policies and frameworks for the administration of injury on duty awards is failing everyone.

Provision of unconditional confidentiality and our promise of keeping everything between us. It is fundamental to our core aims that no-one outside of IODPA will know what members have confided.

To provide a secure support network and forum for retired injured officers.


Time was devoted to developing a deep working understanding of the new General Data Protection Regulations, which came into force in April 2018. IODPA had become aware that many forces have been lax to the point of illegality in their retention and processing of personal information concerning former police officers. We report below on an example of how the GDPR has been used to protect the legal rights of members.

Our excellent legal team have been kept busy too. We thank them all for their efforts, and congratulate them on their many successes. IODPA would prefer that police pension authorities never gave us cause to go to litigation, but it remains a sad fact that in some areas there is an unfortunate confluence of insufficient knowledge and understanding of the various pension regulations, a lack of training, and sometimes even a certain amount of ill-will towards disabled former officers. Perhaps worse of all though is the almost universal inability in some forces of anyone at any level to admit mistakes or to show any degree of willingness to work towards ensuring the lawful rights of pensioners.

Over the past year, we have continued to maintain our excellent professional relationships with Ron Thompson and Mark Lake.

We also have been working with Lawrence Davies, a solicitor who specialises in Equality Law, and whom is based in London. He has been instrumental in leading Employment Tribunal  test cases involving pensioners.

The public face of IODPA is presented via our own web site, and through Facebook and Twitter, where we post news, provide a portal to obtaining membership, present information and discussion on aspects of pension administration, and in so doing hopefully help to inform and educate employees in HR and Occupational Health departments how to avoid falling into error.  The web site underwent a complete renovation early in the past year, with a new look, new and enlarged content and a new dynamic. It has been met with approval by hundreds of people, and is now a point of reference for Federation reps.

We published twenty four blogs on our web site over the year which highlighted questionable tactics of various police forces around the UK in their treatment of injured officers. The blogs have been met with good interaction from the public, who are able to post their own comments on the site. As is the way of things, the comments were generally not at all complimentary to certain forces. However, IODPA firmly believes that the vast majority of employees who are involved in police pension administration are honest, decent and well intentioned. We applaud them and are sorry to see their reputations tarnished by the wrongdoings of the minority.

A  most important responsibility for the lawful administration of police injury pensions rests in the hands of the doctors employed by forces to make certain vital decisions required by the regulations. Medicine is a profession which demands high ethical standards. Acting as the SMP for a police pension authority requires not only a wide medical knowledge but also a deep understanding of the police pension regulations and other aspects of law. Sadly, some SMPs have shown themselves to be deficient in some or all areas.

IODPA looks to police pension authorities to correct this situation by ensuring that SMPs are all allowed to perform their task without influence or interference. Their decisions and opinions should be free of bias, arrived at from only relevant facts and be fully in compliance with the regulations and other law.

We have accompanied a number of pensioners to their reviews during the past year. We feel that this has had a positive impact, not only on the individuals subject to SMP decisions but on the SMPs themselves. When SMPs have been subjected to misleading information and training the presence of someone knowledgeable can help the SMP to avoid making mistakes which could result in damage to reputation, complaint or an appearance as a respondent in the Administrative Court.

In early spring of 2017, we championed the way for submitting complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office, regarding breaches of data protection law.

In 2018 we concentrated particularly on pushing forward with a complaint regarding Avon and Somerset Police holding on to medical records indefinitely. This was pursued over a number of months and eventually the ICO give compelling advice that A & S should give back medical notes.

The ICO has also issued a decision concerning Essex Police which clearly sets out the limited amount of personal information any force is entitled to retain in respect of discharging its duties under the police injury benefit regulations.

This was in addition to a previous decision concerning Northumbria Police which advised them that asking for medical records from birth is excessive and in breach of the DPA.

These three decisions, together, were a huge achievement, as they open the way for many other pensioners to start pursuing the same issue with their own former forces, and  believe they will provide some much needed clarity for data protection managers within all forces.

We have had over seventy letters of thanks during our first year, which means a great deal to us. It’s endorsing that we are doing a satisfactory job and that we are having a significant impact on people’s lives.

During 2018 we made contact with a number of organisations and we intend on building those links over the coming years.

We met with the Executive board of NARPO in their HQ at Wakefield. Chief Executive Steve Edwards was present as was Alan Lees the Deputy Chief Executive, Brian Bardus, President, and Richard Critchley, Deputy President.

We shared honest views with each other and agreed we were all able to work together in the future for the benefit of all members of both organisations.

IODPA also attended the NARPO conference in September, which was over an enjoyable two days.

We will continue to work harmoniously with NARPO branches and look to doing similar with any others who wish to form links with IODPA.

We are also working together with some local Federation branches, which again, is excellent for all our members. We are stronger working together and welcome contact from other branches if we can assist you to advise your members.

Another connection we made during our first year, was with a Social Enterprise called Upledger UK. They specialise in treatment called Cranial Sacral Therapy and which is used successfully to treat people with PTSD and physical injuries,. The treatment originates from America and has been used on hundreds of army veterans.

Between Upledger and IODPA, we managed to facilitate a week’s therapy exclusively for our members in November 2017. It was gratis for our members to attend because of funds raised. All members who attended reported that the week’s treatment was life changing. One member who attended the course vowed to  raise funds so that others could have the chance of such brilliant treatment. He announced he was going to raise money by doing, ‘a little bike ride’ – from John O’Groats to Lands End.

In May 2018, after months of training, he set off from John O’Groats together with a large support team plus his son and another pensioner, who would do parts of the journey with him.

On Sat 9th June 2018, he cycled into Lands End, having pedalled over 920 miles. He raised £12,000 for the charity – a magnificent achievement which is applauded with gratitude by all members and Trustees.

Fundraising is now firmly on the agenda. Various initiatives throughout the year, always well supported by our members and their families and friends, brought in a steady stream of funds. IODPA also benefited from individual donations.

We are very proud and delighted to announce that in June of 2018 we welcomed our first patron of the charity.

Pete Conway, better known as father of Robbie Williams, agreed to be our patron. He is a big supporter of injured police officers, having been a police officer In Staffordshire in a previous life. He has been active in supporting the charity and its aims, he has lent his support to us throughout the year by attending functions where he can, he also advertises our fundraisers on his Twitter account, which is helpful as he reaches a large audience around the world. Pete is a kind, generous, approachable and big hearted man and we look forward to working alongside him in the coming year.

Since IODPA became a registered charity it has achieved a huge amount of success throughout the past year.

We anticipate some pivotal legal challenges in the New Year, not least with Staffordshire’s police pension authority which seems intent on testing its own peculiar interpretation of an important aspect of the injury benefit regulations. We are more than prepared for that contest and are fully supportive of our members.

So, to all our members, friends and supporters, and to all people of good will we wish a very Happy New Year.

The only way is not Essex

The only way is not Essex

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
 Cool Hand Luke (1967)

It seems there has been a rush of blood to the heads of certain people in the higher echelons of Essex Police. For reasons as yet unknown to the Police Pension Authority, which is an office vested in none other than the sole personage of the Chief Constable, Steven Kavanagh (pictured), has decided to commence a programme of reviews.

For anyone who has not kept up with ongoing events in the long drawn out and sorry saga of police injury pension maladministration which has blighted the lives of far too many disabled former officers, here is a brief recap.

A ‘review’ is shorthand for what happens when a Police Pension Authority (PPA) exercises a power of discretion conferred on it by Regulation 37 of The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006. A PPA decides to check whether the degree of disablement of an officer, retired with an injury pension, has altered.

It sounds simple, and it is simple. All a PPA has to do is follow the Regulations and be familiar with the ample case law which provides clarity should explanation be needed. Or, if they fancy a lighter but no less helpful read, HR managers could do no better than study the blogs which IODPA has thoughtfully provided to help educate them.

Yet despite this ready access to information PPAs have consistently managed to muck things up. You would think they were doing it deliberately.

In Essex, it is almost as though everyone who has had a hand in setting up this programme of reviews has been secured in a bubble, kept separate from the rest of the world, so they have no idea whatsoever about recent events.

Events such as the disaster in Avon and Somerset, where much public money was wasted in attempting to hold a review programme, which in our opinion was unlawful.

Events such as the Information Commissioner’s advising that Avon and Somerset and Northumbria had no right to continue to hold excessive historical personal information about retired officers.

Events such as the binding opinion of the Honourable Mr Justice Supperstone in the 2012 case of Simpson v. Northumbria Police Authority and others, where he made it very clear that,

‘The statutory scheme requires an assessment as to whether there has been an alteration in the degree of disablement first. A further quantum decision on the present degree of disablement is only permissible if the police authority, acting by the SMP, have first decided that there is a substantial alteration in the former officer’s degree of disablement.’

So, what is going on in Essex? What has prompted the idea to review batches of injured pensioners? And why has nobody – absolutely nobody – in management had the common sense and nous to look at the regulations and case law to see why their plan is likely to spectacularly fail.

It is indeed a failure to communicate on an epic scale.

More than a failure of communication, it is a failure of awareness, a failure of reason, a failure of professional competence, a failure of decency, a failure of knowledge and a total failure to treat disabled former officers with respect and consideration. There is so much wrong with what Essex is doing that in the space of this blog it won’t be possible to cover all aspects. We can, however, focus on a few elements which demand special attention due to their sheer crassness.

Let’s look at the letter and questionnaire which Kevin Kirby, Head of Pension Governance & Compliance has sent to the first of the injury pensioners who have been selected to undergo a ‘review’. Just who does he think he is, and just who does he think he is talking to?

He writes,

‘We will require a full update on your medical status since your retirement which requires you giving consent for release of your GP records.’

No, you can’t do that Mr Kirby. A review must only determine if there has been any alteration in the specific disabling effect of the recorded duty injury or injuries. One’s ‘medical status’ does not come into it. And neither does the record of a pensioner’s health since retirement.

He writes,

‘Please observe that the pension authority has full powers under the above regulations to undertake this review. It requires openness and transparency concerning your requirement to provide the pension authority with your consent and accurate information.’

Wrong again Mr Kirby. What are you talking about? The PPA has ‘full powers’? What do you think the PPA is – the dictator of some backward country bogged down in the Middle Ages? The only, very limited, power a PPA has, under regulation 37, is to ‘consider whether the degree of the pensioner’s disablement has altered.’ Where is the individual consideration in your sending out of letters and questionnaires to multiple recipients, all of whom are in the highest bands and thus represent the best prospect for the PPA to make reductions?

You can’t have your SMP make any assessment until you have carefully considered, in each individual case, whether a suitable interval has passed which will give good reason for the PPA to think a review is appropriate. You have not done that. Instead, you have gone straight to a process which is obviously intended to allow an unspecified someone to decide whether there has been an alteration in degree of disablement, largely on evidence of employment and earnings.

We do not think you have an inkling what degree of disablement is, or how any alteration is to be determined. Here is a clue for you. It is a medical matter, not a financial matter.

IODPA suspects that pensioners will be all too familiar with the authoritarian tone of a man who thinks he is in a position to order people to do his bidding. Pensioners, however, will know that he has no such authority. He has no power whatsoever to require anything of any private citizen, which is what all former officers are. He can ‘draw attention’ to the police pension regulations as much as he likes but even the most detailed reading of the regulations will not reveal anything which confers on a PPA the power to ‘require’ a single thing from any injury pensioner.

The questionnaire runs to six pages. IODPA will return to this most ill-intentioned document in full later. But for now, be amazed at how misguided the man is who thinks it is his business, his right, to ask you for details of your earnings, and then, astoundingly, requires you to sign consent to let him have HM Revenue hand over all details of your tax position, earnings and employment – since the date you retired.

To bolster up his empty demands for information, Mr Kirby then sees fit to issue what is an all too familiar nasty, and equally empty threat. He provides an Appendix A with his letter in which he seeks to tie his demands for information with a blatant but totally erroneous indication that failure to comply with all of his requirements will result in your pension being dropped to band one.

So, let’s round this up. We know that we are wasting our breath in trying to shock Mr Kirby into realising that he is just so very wrong in so many respects. He will, like all his colleagues across the country who have trodden this rocky road, go automatically into full defensive intransigent position at the first signs of any questioning of his plans. The only thing which will move Mr Kirby is when the PPA and SMP are ‘required’ to attend as respondents in a judicial review. And as sure as eggs are eggs that’s where Mr Kirby is taking his PPA and SMP.

Instead of trying to educate those who are deaf to reason and blind to accurate information, let’s close this by advising all injury on duty pensioners in Essex to file away Mr Kirby’s letter, questionnaire, and Appendix A for future reference. On no account complete the questionnaire. On no account give signed permission for the PPA to obtain medical or financial information.

A Year Under Review

A Year Under Review

Coming together is a beginning: keeping together is progress; working together is success
 Henry Ford

As 2017 draws to a close we at IODPA have been reflecting on events over the last year.

Before we summarise what has been a most busy, productive and successful year for all involved with IODPA, we pause to salute all IOD pensioners who have joined IODPA. Some have bravely fought individual battles with wayward HR departments and Chief Constables.

For Many of you 2017 has been intensely stressful. We pledge to work tirelessly to help ensure all IOD pensioners are not Scrooged by their respective police pension authorities.

We also offer our best wishes and seasonal greetings to all in HR departments across this fair land who have continued to actively oppose the scope and purposes of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006.

We anticipate that 2018 will be the year when you all come to your senses, recover your moral core and pledge to act not only lawfully but with care and compassion for disabled former officers. IODPA to you is the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. Watch and learn. Absorb and change.

2017 saw IODPA and individuals achieve many successes in various areas in the arena of police injury pension maladministration: a significant judicial review won; one force abruptly stopped their mass review programme whilst another one started them up; IODPA became an official charity and continues to grow at a rate of knots; our membership base grew rapidly; we arrived firmly on the radar of all forces, and we know that our blogs are read and circulated widely.

Let’s look at the year now closing and review all it has produced for us.

2017 began extremely well with the first judicial review (JR) of the year. In FEBRUARY, former Police Constable Stanley Fisher took his former force, Northumbria, to Leeds Admin Court, and won the two main points his legal team, Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors and David Lock QC, put forward.

Mr Fisher’s successful JR addressed highly important issues with universal application and has huge implications for all Injured on Duty Pensioners.

We admire Mr Fisher’s strength in continuing his fight with his former force. The so-called regulation 37 review of his degree of disablement by Northumbria was one of the longest ‘reviews’ to have been conducted, stretching eleven years in total.

Wirz loses High Court challenge

APRIL saw Staffordshire drop a bombshell announcement on their pensioners that they were rolling out a mass review programme.

This had the effect of IODPA increasing membership numbers hugely as Staffordshire pensioners, concerned at what lay ahead of them, joined in their droves.

In JUNE, the next big news to hit us was the unexpected announcement by Avon and Somerset Constabulary that they were stopping their review programme. They had spent the previous three years unlawfully reviewing a cynically selected handful of pensioners, who are predominantly all band fours and under the age of fifty. (No prizes for working out why this particular group of people were picked on.)

Newsflash: Avon & Somerset Stops Reviews

The news from A&S was welcomed by all their pensioners. However, there was a lot of disgust at how some pensioners who had been in the review process for over three years have never received any any apology for the distress the force had caused.

In JULY, Ron Thompson gave a press release which revealed how Merseyside Constabulary had agreed to a Consent Order regarding the issue pensioners receiving demands to provide full lifetime medical notes to the police pension authority and SMP, and the issuing of intrusive and threatening questionnaires.

A pensioner had had his IOD pension taken away from him as what appeared to be an extra-regulatory punishment for not providing the said documents.

Mr Thompson’s services was engaged and very soon after, Merseyside signed the order and the pensioner’s money was reimbursed and payment of his pension recommenced.

Breaking News: The Tyranny Of The Questionnaire Ends

The summer saw IODPA launch their first Crowdfunding campaign. With the generosity of the public, we raised over £4,200. The funds have already helped to support a number of pensioners, who have expressed their grateful thanks.

In SEPTEMBER, IODPA became a registered charity. This was the highlight of our year. It marks years of dedication to supporting Injured pensioners and serving officers and it was wonderful to be acknowledged as a charity.

Also in SEPTEMBER, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) gave advice to an IODPA member regarding his former force retaining full medical notes ‘just in case’ they might be needed The ICO advised that this was excessive retention of sensitive personal data and Avon and Somerset Constabulary was asked to return all medical notes back to the pensioner.

This was an instance of the ICO looking at the full facts and giving reasonable and advice, which should in theory apply to all forces. The ICO’s advice gave hope to a number of former officers that they could also ask for their personal and sensitive data to be returned to them. Sadly, many pensioners are still in dispute with their former forces over this issue.

3 Big Data Myths: Busted

NOVEMBER saw IODPA’s first collaboration with another charity, Upledger. Five IODPA members who suffer with PTSD went on an intensive five day therapy course which has helped them to develop ways of living with their mental injury. All who attended report that the course was extremely beneficial and has helped them immensely moving forward.

IODPA was able to financially help the members to attend the course of which we are very proud of.

NOVEMBER also saw eminent QC Mr David Lock, write two very relevant comment pieces on his Linkedin page, in relation to IOD reviews and the processes surrounding them.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, they were read by thousands of people, showing that this issue concerns a vast number of the public.

When David Lock QC Speaks the World Listens

In DECEMBER, Northumbrian Federation Rep, Inspector Adrian Smiles, released ICO advice, again, regarding the subject of medical notes. This time, it was about Northumbria (and other forces) demanding pensioners full medical notes on review. Once again, the ICO stated that this was excessive and that Northumbria were potentially breaching the Data Protection Act.

Northumbria Police Federation Wins ICO Assessment Notice

Also in DECEMBER, we were able to break the news that Dr Vivian, the chosen SMP for Staffordshire, had abruptly withdrew from conducting reviews, citing that doing them was proving too stressful and burdensome. This was indeed hot news, particularly as Dr Vivian notified IODPA direct to inform us.

Icarus – Injury reviews, too hot to handle.

Leading on from Dr Vivian’s abrupt departure, just before Christmas, Chief Constable Gareth Morgan of Staffordshire Police, released an open letter astoundingly stating that he believe reviews were being conducted lawfully. He went on to claim, with no evidence or explanation that there was a campaign by a small number of individuals which was trying to ‘besmirch’ the reputation of Staffordshire Police.

His letter was felt to be intimidating and threatening by many and stands as a remarkable insight into the peculiar defensive and negative mindset of this individual. It brought the year to a close and stiffened our resolve to stand up for the rights of IOD pensioners and to deflate the enormous egos of all bullies who think they are above the law.

Chief Constable Morgan’s open letter

We in IODPA look forward to what 2018 might bring. We are confident that it will be twelve months of continuing success and growth.

Advocating a 100% Fresh Assessment in All but Name

Advocating a 100% Fresh Assessment in All but Name

“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 [2010] 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!