§ Mr. Denham
The recently published White Paper "Policing a New Century: A Blueprint for Reform", reaffirmed the Government's view that one of the priorities for the police service is to manage ill-health retirement effectively. The Police Negotiating Board are considering ways to deliver a fair and more consistent approach towards early retirement due to ill health. This should enable forces to reduce the level of ill-health retirement and match the performance of the best quartile of forces by 2005. The measures under consideration include the Police Negotiating Board issuing joint guidance to police authorities and senior management to ensure that wherever possible officers continue in employment where they are capable of performing sufficient duties to make their retention operationally justifiable.
In the White Paper the Government also announced that they will establish a national occupational health strategy for the police service, which should assist forces to manage cases of ill health more effectively at the outset.