Temporary Arrangements for SMP Appointments

SMP Appointments at Waterside Tower recommenced on 23 June 2020. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency revised temporary arrangements for attendance at SMP appointments have been necessarily put in place for all attendees at Waterside Tower.

Agreed by the Board’s Senior Management Team, these arrangements are primarily designed to keep applicants safe, as well as ensure the safety of Board staff and the medical practitioners attending at Waterside Tower. The dangers associated with Covid-19 (particularly in a medical environment such as IOD/IHR assessments) remain prevalent at this time. The Board has a duty of care to all parties involved and these measures are underpinned by public health and NI Executive guidance.

All applicants will receive written notification of appointment arrangements in advance of attendance. Key points are included below:

  • A triage questionnaire will be conducted by NIPB staff 24 hrs before the appointment date.  (Details of the questions which will be asked are included below). If not already provided, contact details should be provided to NIPB in order that Board staff may conduct the triage call on the day preceding the appointment.
  • Appointments will automatically be cancelled if the triage questionnaire is not completed by the attendee 24 hours in advance.
  • Attendees should present at Waterside Tower as close to appointment times as possible to avoid unnecessary wait times ahead of the appointment.
  • As at the current date, no applicants are permitted to be accompanied at assessment unless there are clear and documented extenuating circumstances as to why they are unable to be assessed alone. Regarding any/all extenuating circumstances, the Board requires a letter from the applicant’s GP. This letter should outline the GP’s opinion to include confirmation as to why the applicant is unable to attend alone.
  • The Board’s offices remain closed to the public and special dispensation has been agreed only in relation to applicants to the Injury on Duty and Ill Health Retirement schemes. The SMP reception has been removed and the attendees will be greeted in person by their doctor in the Board’s reception. This limits face to face interaction with Board staff and ensures only minimal contact for the applicant and doctor.
  • In order to comply with NI Executive guidance on social distancing, any applicant attending with any other individuals outside of their familial home must provide car registration details for both the applicant and their representative in advance of assessment.
  • If the attendee is unhappy or concerned about attendance under the temporary arrangements in place, they retain the option to defer their appointment.

The Board was keen to reinstate the assessment process as it recognised and understood the impact the suspension was having on those waiting assessment or review. It will keep the temporary arrangements under review.

Any queries or questions regarding the above should be directed to: iod.pension@nipolicingboard.org.uk

                                                    TRIAGE QUESTIONNAIRE

1.

Do you have, or have you had a new persistent cough in the last 7 days?

2.

Do you have or have you had a high temperature in the last 7 days?

3.                    

Do you have or have you had a loss or change is your sense of smell (anosmia) or taste?

4.

Has someone in your household had a new persistent cough and/or a high temperature and/or loss or change in smell or taste in the last 14 days