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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.



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

Download the Review of Police Injury Award Arrangements – Final Report of the Review Panel

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

How to Contact Us:

By Email:

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
Castle Buildings

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