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BTP Fed demands health insurance to cover assaulted staff

The leader of British Transport officers has called for officers to be given private health insurance to cover assaults.

The leader of the British Transport Police Federation has called for assaulted officers to get access to private healthcare to ensure they recover faster.

Nigel Goodband, BTP Federation Chair, said his members needed early access to MRI and CT scans following incidents.

He used their annual conference to call for a health scheme, marking a significant break from the government’s plans to provide support through the Police Covenant.

Mr Goodband said the NHS and Flint House were excellent but were overstretched leaving long waiting times. That increased the chances of serious injuries becoming career-ending events.

He said: “These rehabilitation facilities do not offer treatments such as surgery, MRI or CT scans, often vital to the quick diagnosis and treatment of injury. 

“Most officers are reliant on the already overstretched and burdened NHS, leading to long waits for appointments. The pandemic has intensified that problem and the reality is that long waiting times mean delays in the officer returning to work,” he said.

The force has 3,000 officers and is central to counter-terrorism and County Lines work.

But officers exposed to crowded train carriages and mass crowds at major events have also had a higher risk to COVID-19.

And the force has also seen an increase in assaults on officers, with 766 recorded last year including 173 injuries.

The force is treated separately from territorial forces because of its national role.

The BTP Fed said it would be easier to implement the scheme.

Mr Goodband said: “We are in a unique position to Home Office forces in that the Force can make its own policy. So why, for once, don’t you change it for the benefit of our members?”

He added: “Anything that gets injured officers back to work quicker is a saving not an expense.

The British Transport Police’s new Chief Constable, Lucy D’Orsi, was at the event and has agreed to look at the proposal.

A BTP spokeswoman told Police Oracle: “We can confirm this is something we are exploring.”

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