? changes at West Mercia ?

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Druid

Well-Known Member
Don't think they can just do that. Home office guidelines do not put the onus on us to provide and or pay for medical reports.
 

AHPP

Active Member
Something being written does not necessarily make it "true" these days. Maybe in the past when only the cult leaders could afford to write and publish but not now when communication is so easy.
 

yellow belly

Well-Known Member
Surely BASC and CA should be all over this and have them retract this policy if Home Office guideline does not mention we have to provide medical reports?! Maybe David at BASC could enlighten us?!
 

bobthedug

Well-Known Member
Having read the link, am I the only one that does not have an issue with this.
It clearly states that IF you suffer from a condition or illness which may affect your ability to safely possess a firearm, they are looking for a medical report to support this.
Surely this is a good thing as the alternative will be a refusal to grant or renew.
It gives examples of conditions which are applicable.
As far as I see the Medical Report is only required if you are or have been ill with an illness which can be construed as a safety issue.
Why the hoo ha.
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
Having read the link, am I the only one that does not have an issue with this.
It clearly states that IF you suffer from a condition or illness which may affect your ability to safely possess a firearm, they are looking for a medical report to support this.
Surely this is a good thing as the alternative will be a refusal to grant or renew.
It gives examples of conditions which are applicable.
As far as I see the Medical Report is only required if you are or have been ill with an illness which can be construed as a safety issue.
Why the hoo ha.

I think the hoo ha is because they used to apply and pay for such reports theselves if they thought they were needed, presumably as part of their duties under the Firearms Act: an Act which has not, AFAIK, changed with respect to those duties and the responsibility for them.
 

Vapours

Well-Known Member
Hi Bob,

my reading was as follows

I must identify if I have a relevant medical condition

"However any physical or mental condition that may affect your ability to possess and use firearms safely should be declared. This includes, for example, mental health disorder, epilepsy, diabetes, stroke, stress related illness, depression, alcoholism, substance use or dependency, heart disease, cancer. This list is not definitive. The Chief Officer of Police has a statutory responsibility to ensure that anyone who possesses a firearm will not be a danger to public safety or to the peace.
Therefore if you have a relevant medical condition, you must obtain a medical report from your General Practitioner outlining the condition (declared in boxes 15 & 16 of the application form) and the medication or treatment you received or are receiving now. "

Then I must ask my GP to provide a write up on this and pay him for the priviledge - for every variation? What happens if I feel my medical condition is not relevant? What will the GP cost? What happens if the GP refused?

The police have always had the authority to contact my GP but now they are (as I read it - no longer going to do this) I must identify the condition, pay for the report etc.
 

Druid

Well-Known Member
Having read the link, am I the only one that does not have an issue with this.
It clearly states that IF you suffer from a condition or illness which may affect your ability to safely possess a firearm, they are looking for a medical report to support this.
Surely this is a good thing as the alternative will be a refusal to grant or renew.
It gives examples of conditions which are applicable.
As far as I see the Medical Report is only required if you are or have been ill with an illness which can be construed as a safety issue.
Why the hoo ha.

cobblers! You must state medical conditions and you sign the bit on the application form that says that you give them consent to approach your GP, there is no way that applicants should have to provide up-front medical reports at the applicants expense. Please note that the police website states that the list is not exhaustive. Therefore if we are to take this to its logical conclusion ALL medical history would need a report if you so much as sprained your ankle.
you should not be financially penalised for having a medical condition. The sole purpose of this granting access to your medical is to look for issues to deal with safe use/possession of firearms, NOT to penalise anyone who has seen the doctor!

​BASC????
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
A few forces tried this one on previously (asking for applicants to pay for medical reports). BASC and the NGO reminded these forces that if they required such reports it was up to them to pay for the reports and not the applicant.
Let's just say that I won't be paying for any medical reports from my doctor.
 

Wireless

Well-Known Member
The full nonsense is here

[h=2]Declaration of Medical Conditions[/h]
Having a medical condition of any kind does not preclude you from possessing a firearm. However any physical or mental condition that may affect your ability to possess and use firearms safely should be declared. This includes, for example, mental health disorder, epilepsy, diabetes, stroke, stress related illness, depression, alcoholism, substance use or dependency, heart disease, cancer. This list is not definitive.The Chief Officer of Police has a statutory responsibility to ensure that anyone who possesses a firearm will not be a danger to public safety or to the peace. Therefore if you have a relevant medical condition, it is likely that you will be requested to obtain a medical report from your General Practitioner outlining the condition (declared in boxes 15 & 16 of the application form) and the medication or treatment you received or are receiving now. If you suffer with a relevant medical condition, you may wish to obtain a medical report from your General Practitioner and submit this alongside your application form. This will assist the timely and swift progress of your application, by preventing delays with the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Unit requesting a report after recieving your application.If you have any queries and are unsure whether to obtain a medical report to submit with your application, please check with the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Unit.The original report signed by the doctor (not a copy) must be included with your renewal application. Warwickshire and West Mercia Police will no longer request or pay the costs for medical reports. We are now seeking applicatns to obtain medical reports only as described to determine your fitness to hold a licence. Therefore, any cost incurred must be agreed and settled between you and your General Practitioner.

So who is going to tell them that they are legally responsible for any fees for medical reports?
 

Wireless

Well-Known Member
Seems its a grey area

[h=2]Guidance for GPs on applications for firearms licences[/h]The BMA has had further meetings with ACPO and the ICO to discuss the letters being sent from the Police to GPs to enquire whether there is any medical information that might have a bearing on the individual’s suitability to hold a firearm.
We are aware the current system of obtaining information is causing concern for GPs. The BMA and ACPO are looking for a longer and more enduring solution, however owing to the current legislation governing firearms licensing it is anticipated that this will take longer than expected.
In the interim the BMA has agreed that the letters will continue to be sent out to doctors. Doctors are reminded that they are under no obligation to respond to these letters, but should they decide not to, doctors should inform the police as it will otherwise be assumed that there is nothing relevant on the medical record.
Where doctors are happy to respond to these letters, consent to the disclosure of any information should be sought as the letter does not currently indicate that consent has been given. If the patient does not consent to disclosure, this should ordinarily be respected, although the police must be informed to that effect. If, however, the doctor believes that the patient presents an immediate risk of serious harm to themselves or others, information should be disclosed even in the face of an explicit refusal.
Although the current letter from the police states that it does not have to be retained, the BMA has been advised doctors can record the request for information in the medical record and indicate what action, if any, they have undertaken. We are seeking to change the wording of the letter to reflect the position.
There is no nationally agreed fee for this work, it is the BMA’s view that the Police should pay for any work, but we are aware that the police do not accept this view. Serious concerns about a person’s suitability will always take precedent over payment.

 

Wireless

Well-Known Member
It seems West Mercia are dare I say it...'jumping the gun' with this new policy

The Home Office is now working in earnest on producing the long awaited new edition of the Guidance. Drafts of the chapters that have so far been updated and revised have been circulated to shooting organisations for consultation and comment.Our head of firearms law, Laura Saunsbury, along with her co-author in the British Firearms Handbook, barrister Nick Doherty, has submitted various proposals for improvement and clarification of the chapters relating to the procedure for handling firearm and shotgun certificate applications.We frequently end up advising in appeals where inadequate or ambiguous medical information is what lies behind the Police’s decision to revoke or refuse to grant or renew a certificate. In many instances, the case is subsequently settled by agreement once the applicant’s medical history is clarified. If the volume of such revocations and refusals could be significantly reduced, this would reduce the number of appeals and so result in considerable cost savings, both for the Police and individual certificate holders.Laura’s submission to the Home Office therefore includes proposals for significant changes to the sections of the Guidance relating to Police requests for medical evidence from applicants’ doctors. Placing a requirement on the Police to give doctors greater guidance when requesting medical reports as to the level of detail and relevant information required from the applicant’s medical history, should in turn lead to more comprehensive medical reports. In many cases, this could satisfy Police concerns about the applicant rather than leaving those concerns unresolved and so leading the Police to refuse to grant or renew a firearm or shotgun certificate for that individual.Perhaps the most controversial amongst Laura’s proposals to the Home Office is a shift in the burden as to who should pay for medical reports required by the Police for processing firearm and shotgun certificate applications and renewals. The current edition of the Guidance makes the Police responsible for paying doctors’ fees, although under an agreement reached some years ago between the Police and the British Medical Association, doctors often do not get paid anything for supplying the Police with reports in these circumstances.If the GP were free to negotiate a fee with his patient, i.e. the applicant, the GP might then be far more inclined to provide a more detailed report to the Police. Requiring the applicant to pay GP fees should also ensure there is greater consultation between the GP and the applicant before information is provided, and therefore that the Police receive a complete and up to date assessment of the applicant’s health.Work by the Home Office on updating the Firearms Guidance to Police is ongoing and it is expected that the new edition will be published during 2013.If the Police have refused to renew or grant you a firearm or shotgun certificate on medical grounds, contact Laura Saunsbury for advice about prospects of appeal.
 
A few forces tried this one on previously (asking for applicants to pay for medical reports). BASC and the NGO reminded these forces that if they required such reports it was up to them to pay for the reports and not the applicant.
Let's just say that I won't be paying for any medical reports from my doctor.

They played with this idea before and if I remember correctly it was initially thrown out because 1) the firearms act would have to re written as at the moment it states that the cost of an application / variation is the responsibility of the police including medical reports and 2) the BMA said doctors should not be put in a position to declare someone fit or unfit as it opens up a whole new area of legal implications.
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
A few forces tried this one on previously (asking for applicants to pay for medical reports). BASC and the NGO reminded these forces that if they required such reports it was up to them to pay for the reports and not the applicant.
Let's just say that I won't be paying for any medical reports from my doctor.


Mike , That's all well and good,... for those of us of stout heart in these matters, what about the more meekly led amongst the sport?,.......... a bit like those who accept any old crock of you know what, because they fear to rock the boat! ..... time this was stamped on properly.
 

Labrat

Well-Known Member
One wonders if this would not lead to a potential breach of the disability discrimination act.

it certainly seems to put people with a relevant condition at a disadvantage, having to pay for their own reports to access/utilise a public service.

Edit - tell you what, the proposal also puts in place a significant risk

the point about the police approaching the GP for a report is that the GP can speak freely about any concerns - in much the same way as when we put down referees their letter goes straight to the police, and we don't get to see it.

the proposal here is that the GP writes a report and gives it to us, and we then see it, and send it to the police

That not only conflicts the GP, but also leaves the possibility of people tampering with the report.
 
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8x57

Distinguished Member
Mike , That's all well and good,... for those of us of stout heart in these matters, what about the more meekly led amongst the sport?,.......... a bit like those who accept any old crock of you know what, because they fear to rock the boat! ..... time this was stamped on properly.

Yes Steve you need to know when to stand your ground and to do so from a position of strength which is normally provided by knowledge backed up by a strong shooting organisation. In this case I think the force/s involved have jumped the gun having put up on their sites what they would like the situation to be rather than what it actually is. Like you say this needs to be jumped on and corrected.
 

Bandit Country

Well-Known Member
Edit - tell you what, the proposal also puts in place a significant risk

the point about the police approaching the GP for a report is that the GP can speak freely about any concerns - in much the same way as when we put down referees their letter goes straight to the police, and we don't get to see it.

An additional significant risk is that folk with a condition or possible health concerns wont approach their GP, for fear of getting an adverse medical record which might preclude a renewal. There is already a significant body of evidence which confirms that men take far too long long to present at their GPs with a health problem. This stupidity will simply exacerbate that situation.
 
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