Police Medical Appeals
What is a medical appeal?
When the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) is considering whether you will be retired on grounds of ill health or whether to grant an injury on duty award they must refer your case to the Selected Medical practitioner (SMP).
If you are dissatisfied with the SMP’s medical decision, you can appeal to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Your appeal will be heard by Independent Medical Practitioners.
Under the regulations, you have a right of appeal against the decision of the Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) on any of the medical questions referred to him
It is important to note that your appeal will only look at the medical conditions that the SMP has already considered.
If you have evidence regarding new conditions the SMP will re-examine your case and your appeal will be held in abeyance.
Who are we?
We are the Medical Appeals Section within the Department of Justice. We provide the administrative support to the Independent Medical Referee (IMR), who will hear your appeal.
When you appeal to the NIPB they forward your appeal to the SMP and ask them to reconsider your case. If the decision is not changed the appeal papers will be sent to the DOJ. We are independent from the NIPB and the SMP.
What do we do?
- Issue the relevant appeal papers to all parties;
- Arrange the date, place and time of the appointments;
- Provide support and guidance on procedures to you and the IMR;
- Arrange to have reports and any required certificates completed;
- Quality assure the reports and certificates;
- Issue reports and certificates to all relevant parties;
- Securely handle and dispose of any confidential personal and medical documents used during your appeal.
- Claimants Guidance on Police Medical Appeals Process (PDF 317 KB)
- Guidance to Independent Medical Referee (PDF 397 KB)
- PSNI and PSNI Reserve (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006
- The Police Pension (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2009
Review of Injury on Duty
The Minister initiated a review of the Injury on Duty in May 2010 in response to concerns that were raised about the efficacy and efficiency of the process.
The Review team, jointly chaired by the Department of Justice and the Northern Ireland Policing Board made a number of recommendations to improve the whole injury on duty process. They include:
- A minimum five year period before review in all cases.
- Reviews to be set aside for those who are suffering from the most severe psychological conditions.
- Improving time taken for an appeal.
- Successful appeals against review decisions to be backdated to the date the award was reduced.
- A pool of doctors will be available to act as Selected Medical Practitioners (SMP).
- Individuals will have the option to have their review carried out by a different SMP from initial assessment.
- Further work to be carried out on the possibility of a two person appeal panel, chaired by an Occupational Health Specialist
Home Office Guidance on Reviews – what can be considered at review?
If you are awarded an Injury on Duty pension, the NI Policing Board has the right to review your case and consider if the degree of your disablement has altered substantially. This will normally be after 5 years. If the Board find that your disablement has altered, your pension will be revised.
You have the right to apply for a review before the five year period if you believe your position has materially changed.
Recent Court Rulings
- Recent Court Over 65's Ruling (PDF 12 KB)
- Letter to Chief Constable and Policing Board re Police Injury Benefit Regulations 2006 Reviews of Injury Awards (PDF 77 KB)
- Signed letter to all Independent Medical Referees for former officers aged 60-64 Ashe figures (PDF 31 KB)
- To all IMRS calculation of percentage Disablement Award for over 65s including Ashe figures 2011 (PDF 75 KB)
- Withdrawal of Annex A of the Department of Justice's Circular (PDF 26 KB)
How to Contact Us:
By Email: IODMailbox@dojni.x.gsi.gov.uk
By Phone: 028 9052 3224 or 028 9052 8356
By Fax: 028 9052 0063
By letter:The Medical Appeal Co-ordinator
Department of Justice
Police HR Policy Branch
Level 4, Block A
Other useful links:
- Northern Ireland Policing Board
Tel: 028 9040 8500
- Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust
Tel: 028 9042 7788
- Northern Ireland Police Fund
Tel: 028 9039 3556
- Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers Association
Tel: 028 9039 3568
- Disabled Police Officers Association
Tel: 028 9039 3575
- PTR Gratuity
Tel:0800 1313 389
- Police Survivors' Support Scheme
Tel: 0808 1757 712