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PCC ends first year with paid healthcare scheme to help officers back to Frontline
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway ended her first year in the role by announcing the Force will pay for healthcare to get officers back to full duties.
 
The Force has set aside £50,000, as part of her Police and Crime Plan, to pay for two targeted healthcare pilots to help officers who have been injured or who are recovering from illness.

 
If an officer has to wait for more than 12 weeks for a diagnosis through a consultation or a test, such as an MRI scan, they may qualify for them to be paid for by Bedfordshire Police and the scheme is also available for minor surgery, if success is virtually guaranteed.
 
Officers having to wait for more than 4 weeks for physiotherapy can also apply for paid treatment.
 
“I know very well, having had serious back injuries myself, that an acute injury can become a chronic one if left untreated and am determined this should not happen to our officers, causing them greater pain and distress as well as delaying a return to full duties,” said Commissioner Holloway.
 
“Ours is truly a thin blue line and I have to do everything I can to offer support to officers to get them back to full health as soon as possible,” she said.
 
The Commissioner introduced the first officer to have benefited from the Targeted Healthcare scheme, PC Carl Klein, who is back to work after his hernia repair operation was funded by the Force.
 
PC Klein said: “Being off on restricted duty is quite stressful. Without the injury, you’ve got the mental issues of being off and away from work and colleagues. Getting back to work was my primary goal.
 
“I do feel more supported with the Boost the Frontline project. It will help fellow officers get the support and treatment they need sooner to return to full duty, serving the people of Bedfordshire.”
 
Commissioner Holloway revealed that the number of sick days among police officers had fallen by 700, or 3.2%, since she took up her role last May, which is worth £100,000 in cash terms.
 
“But this isn’t just about the money. I have a duty of care to the officers of Bedfordshire Police and I take it seriously, as does the Chief Constable,” she said.
 
The Commissioner also unveiled a new arrangement brokered by her office with the University of Bedfordshire, to allow police on light and restricted duties to receive state of the art treatments in the Sports Science Department to help them to full health.
 
“The University has the most amazing facilities, which clearly I can’t afford to provide in-house through the Occupational Health Department. Our officers need specialist help with recuperation and the University wants to engage with the community, so this scheme will be of genuine benefit to us all,” said the Commissioner.
 
The University’s Head of School of Sport Science & Physical Activity Dr Andrew Mitchell said: “We are delighted to be working with Bedfordshire Police on research that we hope will improve the health, fitness and wellbeing of Police Officers and staff within the force. Through our research we hope to be able to give Police Officers and staff access to the help and support they need that may not be available to them within existing Occupational Health services and the NHS.”
 
The first two police officers, including one recovering from a serious riding accident, have been identified to benefit from the University’s specialist help.
 
Commissioner Holloway was joined at the launch of her Boost the Frontline initiatives by Bedfordshire’s Chief Constable. Jon Boutcher, the independent expert on policing, Simon Bullock, who conducted a one-year study for her called “Boost the Frontline” to recommend ways to make the most of the county’s police officers and help them to full health, when injured or unwell.
 
They addressed an audience of councillors from Bedford and Luton Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils, town and parish councils, the National Farmers Union (who help the Force in a rural crime intelligence network, proposed by the PCC, connecting with Police online and via the digital phone service whatsapp), together with members of the Police and Crime Panel, local faith groups and charities plus representatives from the other blue light and Youth Offending services.

The Commissioner also delivered a summary of her first year in office which included the current uplift being delivered in the frontline of almost 10% by April 2018, through the recruitment of 96 officers in the last financial year and at least 100 this year, the creation of the Rural Crime Unit and collaboration with the Fire Service, including Police sharing Community Fire Stations at Barkers Lane, Bedford, and Ampthill, with Leighton Buzzard to follow shortly after a consultation to obtain best value for money for both blue lights.
 
​For more information and to read the full One Year On & Boost the Frontline report please visit - 
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