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Over 90 delegates attended the Firefighters’ and Police pensions ill-health and injury workshop at 18 Smith Square on 19 June 2019. We were delighted to welcome so many colleagues from the sector to the event, to examine the common issues found when running an ill-health process and discuss what can be improved to help best practice.

The morning session was opened by the LGA’s Clair Alcock, who gave an overview of the structure and benefits of ill-health and injury awards in the Firefighters’ and Police schemes. This was followed by an in-depth look at the legislation governing both schemes from Jane Marshall, partner at Weightmans LLP and legal adviser to the Fire Scheme Advisory Board. Jane also took the audience through the appeals process and relevant case law, highlighting common issues than can arise in the process and how to avoid them.

Clair Alcock - LGA   Jane Marshall - Weightmans

Continuing the theme of sharing best practice, Claire Johnson from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service took to the stage to discuss the ill-health retirement process in place at WYFRS, from employee awareness to final outcome and potential appeal. The number of questions received demonstrated how invaluable it is to delegates to hear first-hand the experiences of other authorities.

Following the overview of an FRA’s role and responsibilities, we were pleased to welcome Dr Ian Griffiths, Consultant Occupational Physician and experienced IQMP, who gave a fascinating and often humorous insight into the role of the IQMP and the decision making process. Dr Griffiths covered some further elements of case law, discussing how these may impact on the medical decision.

Claire Johnson - West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service   Dr Ian Griffiths - Nottingham Occupational Health

After lunch we were joined by our LGA colleague Phil Bundy, senior employment law adviser, to talk about mental health in the workplace, with particular reference to the emergency services. Phil outlined the legal framework in place to protect employees, and what employers can do to support staff with mental health conditions.

For the final session of the day, the audience were split into their respective areas of expertise, with a dedicated workshop for each scheme. Clair Alcock led an interactive session for FPS colleagues, using the Sli.do app. Delegates were invited to select randomly from 7 hidden discussion points relating to all aspects of ill-health and injury, and submit questions and comments, in addition to voting in anonymous polls. A list of FAQs based on issues raised will be collated and uploaded here in the coming weeks.

Phil Bundy - LGA   Audience participation

The presentations from the ill-health injury conference on 19 June 2019 can be accessed here. 

To view the full conference in pictures, visit our @LGAWorkforce twitter feed, #LGAfirepensions

We would encourage all delegates to give feedback using the electronic forms provided after the event so we can continue to improve our training events.