QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF|
|(1) THE CITY OF LONDON POLICE AUTHORITY|
|(2) THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE FOR THE CITY OF LONDON||(CLAIMANTS)|
|THE MEDICAL REFEREE UNDER THE POLICE PENSIONS REGULATIONS 1987|
|(DR P L BIDSTRUP)||(DEFENDANT)|
|(1) MRS GURBAKSHO GALVIN|
|(2) THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT||(INTERESTED PARTIES)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
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THE DEFENDANT DID NOT APPEAR AND WAS NOT REPRESENTED
Friday, 14 February 2003
Crown Copyright ©
"The decision of the medical referee shall, if he disagrees with any part of the certificate of the selected medical practitioner, be expressed in the form of a certificate of his decision on any of the questions referred to the selected medical practitioner on which he disagrees with the latter's decision, and the decision of the medical referee shall, subject to the provisions of Regulation H(3), be final."
The questions referred to the selected medical practitioner are the four questions to which I have already referred.
" ... in order to reach a firm conclusion on prognosis, it would be appropriate and indeed essential, for Mrs Galvin to be referred for intensive psychotherapy and cognitive therapy probably over a period of several months after which the application for Disablement Pension could be reviewed."
The certificate which she was invited to sign enabled her to certify that:
"1 The appellant is/is not disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a member of the police force.
"2 The disablement is/is not likely be permanent.
"3 The appellant is permanently disabled in respect of the following conditions.
"4 The condition(s) at 3 above is/is not the result of an injury received in the execution of duty."
Dr Bidstrup answered none of those questions and gave no certificate about any of those issues. Instead, having crossed out question 4, she said:
"If, as Mrs Galvin told me, she has had no psychotherapy or cognitive therapy for her anxiety and depression and is on no treatment now -- anti-depressants having been discontinued during the pregnancy -- it would be appropriate for her to be referred for intensive psycho and cognitive therapy probably over a period of several months, after which the application for Disablement Pension could be reviewed. Should she be unwilling to cooperate fully with this proposal the Decision of 30 May 2001 should be confirmed."
"Having reviewed the documents made available prior to the hearing of the appeal on 13 March, 2002, the evidence taken at the hearing (report dated 20 March, 2002) and my reply to your letter of 30 April, 2002, I enclose an amended certificate.
"On the evidence available to me on 13 March, 2002, Mrs Galvin was disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a member of the Police Force and unlikely to be able to resume these duties."
A certificate was enclosed which said:
"1 The appellant is disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a member of the police force.
"2 The disablement is likely to be permanent.
"3 The appellant is permanently disabled in respect of the following condition(s): anxiety and depression.
"4 The condition(s) at 3 above is the result of an injury received in the execution of duty."
" ... it seems unlikely that there will ever be a substantive hearing in this case."
His forecast proved to be correct because, in due course, Mrs Galvin made it clear, in a letter of 25 November 2002, that she no longer wished to pursue the matter. Dr Bidstrup, in a letter of 4 December 2002, said that she did not propose to contest the claim of judicial review. When she was asked to clarify her position, she said in a letter of 23 December:
"I confirm that I stand by my decision of 13 March, 2002 (report dated 27 March) and confirm that I will not be contesting this decision."
It is plain that the decision of 13 March did not amount to a certificate for the purposes of the Regulations.