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Administrative Process

The reassessment process has been the subject of consultation by Staffordshire Police with representatives of the local branches of the Police Federation and the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO).

The reassessment process is with the following parameters:

a) injury pensioners will not be reassessed if they have reached the age of 72, or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or are within three years of their last assessment (unless an earlier assessment has been recommended by the SMP);

b) injury pensioners currently on Band 1 will not be reassessed unless they indicate that their disablement has substantially altered for the worse;

c) in all other cases arrangements will be made for injury pensioners' degree of disablement to be reassessed by the SMP.

Administration of the reassessment process will be managed by an experienced member of the HR Support Section of the People Services Department.  HR Support will correspond directly with individuals and be available to deal with their queries.  HR Support will not have access to medical records.  HR Support will inform individuals of the process, outcome and rights of appeal if they are dissatisfied with the decision of the SMP.  They will liaise with the Payroll and Pensions Section in the event of an individual's Injury Benefit Banding being changed.  In turn they will inform the pension administrators (Kier) who will make any adjustments necessary to the individual's Injury Benefit. 

The Occupational Health Department will liaise with individuals being reassessed to arrange their appointment with the SMP, obtain their medical records from their General Practitioner with their written consent, and ensure that they receive a copy of the SMP's report.

Injury pensioners to be assessed are being sent a letter from the Deputy Chief Constable, in his capacity as Chair of Staffordshire Police Pension Board.  The letter advises that their injury pensions will be reviewed under a programme overseen by the Police Pension Board.  The letter is not being sent to those already aged 72 and over.

An initial letter will be sent to injury pensioners (in batches of eight), advising them that a reassessment programme is underway.  The letter will have attached information in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions sheet and information on factors which can affect the SMP's reassessment of the injury award.  They will be asked to complete a Reassessment Questionnaire and Medical Consent Form to be returned in a prepaid envelope also supplied.

If no response has been received after 21 days, a reminder letter will be sent.  After 28 days a final reminder letter will be sent.  Individuals who do not respond, or who refuse to participate will be referred to Occupational Health for an SMP appointment.

If any information is received that the individual is unwell or incapable of responding, their case will be considered sympathetically.

The SMP will decide whether examination or interview is needed.  If travelling is impracticable for the individual, the SMP will arrange to interview them by Skype.  Occupational Health will send a copy of the full SMP's Reassessment Report to the individual.  The summary report will be sent to HR Support for processing. 

If an individual fails to submit to medical examination or fails to attend the SMP appointment, the matter will be reported to the Police Pension Authority (PPA) for a determination under Regulation 33 (*see legal background below).    

HR Support will write to the individual, informing them of the outcome and of their rights of appeal.  Any adjustment to the individual's injury pension as a result of a change to their Injury Benefit Banding will be with effect from the date of the SMP's report.

Documents relating to the individual's reassessment will be kept on their Injury Benefit file, securely stored at Police Headquarters. Electronic copies will also be securely stored on Staffordshire Police's computer files, with very restricted access.  The SMP's report and any related medical correspondence will be securely stored separately in the Occupational Health Department.

Staffordshire Police will not provide individuals with copies of the Regulations, case law or Home Office Circulars, all of which are available in the public domain.  

The reassessment process will be reported at half-yearly intervals to Staffordshire Police Pension Board.  Individual details will not be disclosed to the Board.  Individual cases will not be discussed with representatives of the Police Federation or NARPO without the express written consent of the individual.