Help/advice ... Is this the write place in the forum ?

Apologies for posting and sorry if I get facts wrong . I'm posting on behalf of a friend , hence my probable/slight  vagueness . A friend suffered a subarachnoid harmorrhage approximately 3 years ago . Following a relatively long rehab they made a fairly solid recovery despite the obvious headaches and memory issues. The individual in question is a Serving police officer and was given a 'desk job' to assist in this recovery as they were anxious not to leave or be absent from work . 

Due to various changes in work they're now in the process of being returned to full operational duties , Basically as a police officer on full duties dealing with all that that involves . 

My concern and that of their family  is that is my friend at a greater risk of injury or reoccurrence of due to the risks that being an operational officer presents. ? Clearly it's a job that presents a real risk of suffering another head injury and the worry is that something could happen which leads to another haemorrhage  . That's obviously putting aside the issues with his memory presents. The person involved isn't the type to talk of their concerns or 'Rock the boat' so I'm really asking on behalf of friends and family so we can maybe all sit down and discuss this at a bit more length with perhaps a bit more information at our disposal and then persuade them to rethink this as I know it's causing them deep concerns .

I'm sorry if this seems vague but any help would be greatly appreciated . Can I also stress I'm not going behind this persons back they are absolutely stressing and worrying about this but think there is nothing they can do & are treating it with resignation . Myself and others just want to get a better understanding of where we are to see if there is anything we can do to provide some support.

15 Replies

  • Hi todopasa

    You have come to a good place to at least get some helpful pointers to how to seek some guidance with your questions as to future risks etc. We are not medically trained on here but likewise sufferers of brain injuries caused in a variety of ways or supporting those who have.  Yes, some people on here have had subarachnoid haemorrhages so their thoughts will be of interest to you ...... but I haven't as my bi was a result of illness.  I would suggest that you ring the Headway helpline as they are a great source of info, ideas, support and can signpost your friend to the right people if necessary in your area.  There are lots of factors that probably need to be evaluated as to the risk of a further haemorrhage e.g how it occurred( am thinking a work incident?), what treatment was needed, size etc.  Is your friend still reviewed by a neurologist or is he able to ring the secretary of who he saw to ask the consultant's advice or to write a letter to the consultant. As you say for anyone in the Operational Police Force their is always a risk of sustaining an injury but whether he is at greater risk I think would need someone with all the medical background to be able to evaluate any risks. Also to return to operational policing, I am wondering, that to return to operational policing would also surely involve a medical to evaluate fitness and risk too?

  • Thank you so much for the reply . Well you'd think so but initially no . I posted this request , in the wrong thread , a couple of days ago. Since then I've got him to make an appointment with his Federation (Union) rep to facilitate such a medical or pursue it at least Z 

  • I had a SAH 4 years ago, at the time the Consultant said that the area of weakness in the blood vessel had probably been there from childhood (I was 50 odd when I had the SAH), further scans post 'discharge' showed no further likely sites of SAH anywhere. I would suggest that your friend should check back with the Neuropsychologist / Rehab team and see what they say. All BI are different, I have made a reasonable recovery but like many post BI people suffer from fatigue so I would not be able to cope with a full time job, but everyone is different, I think you getting his Federation rep is probably a good starting point.

    Headway might also be able to give advice on the individual case.


  • Thank you so much for your reply . 

    I suppose our concern , as friends & family , was that it's likely he'll be involved in physical confrontations as an operational officer . So the risk of a blow to the head is real almost likely given my experiences and the area in question . Aware for example he wouldn't pass a BBBofC medical due to the risk blows to the head present the concern was would he be running unnecessary risks ? 

    Involving the federation has felt reassuring and my thoughts , having police experience myself , are to perhaps place the decision on management formally . If they want to move him they can complete a risk assessment and sign it off . That will ensure he gets a full medical before they're prepared to commit themselves . 

  • todopasa running theres an interesting question, could he, should he ?

  • I'm guessing that your friend's superiors have no idea how a brain injury can affect a person's functioning.  Perhaps he could speak to Headway and get them to send him the appropriate printed information for SAH and pass this on to his prospective inspector.

    I had a SAH 4 years ago and the idea of serving in the police force leaves me speechless.

    Your friend needs to speak with his consultant about his fitness for this role ; I imagine his memory issues alone would pose a danger to himself & others, not to mention all the other issues which a bleed on the brain leaves us with.

    Ask him to contact Headway on 0808 800 2244 (9am-5pm, mon-fri) for leaflets.

    Well done for seeking advice ; you're taking responsible action by questioning your friend's fitness for the police service.

    Regards, Cat x

  • Again thank you for the reply 

  • todopasa its not just a case of his safety its the support he ll be able to give to his collegues in a sticky situation.

       you give very little info on how his tbi has affected him and who has given the all clear for him to go operational again, its not just a  case of , ok ive been on light duties for a year or however long its been , a tbi doesnt just go away.

       before allowing him to go operational, management need to discuss any changes theyve noticed plus any changes the family has noticed.

                             good luck 


  • Todopasa.

    Not being familiar with how the police force works I'm not sure how much help I can be.

    I would suggest Occupational Health as a possible route.

    Many of us have been through the not wanting to rock the boat as a phase. You could possibly contact remploy as well. If it is not safe for your friend to return to full duties they may be able to help refocus and identify other potential roles or jobs.

    Love n hugs to you all


  • Wow just read this post and what an incredible one it is. What would I do in this situation? I'm not sure really but well done on seeking advice. As others have suggested call Headway and get advice from them. Im sure the police force will have a firm set of rules regarding this situation so long as they no about it but hey don't. Honesty is the only way but I see your dilemma. Take care and keep coming back here, Nick 

  • Thank you for all the replies & help it's much appreciated .

    I suppose I've been vague because I'm not talking about myself so was actually unsure whether to post at all. I'd like to say the support has been excellent but  the headway number in particular was really really helpful . 

  • As an additional point you'd certainly think an organisation such as the Police had long term processes in place to take into account long term welfare and health after an event such as this. Frankly they've been horrendous but with support of friends/family  , the federation and SOME management I'd expect and hope matters to come to a satisfactory conclusion. The help offered here will also certainly contribute to that.

  • I'm a recent SAH sufferer (Jan 2016). Regarding another SAH occurring, my neurologist says my wife or any other person has as much chance of having one as I have again. I am also a solicitor and my view of returning to operational duties is that the police service have to risk assess your friend and the likelihood of injury in light of his condition. If they done they are in breach of their duty of care to him and their obligation to provide a ace place and system of work. I am confident their legal department would appreciate this. If they don't and you friend suffers, the police service will have to meet a pot ethically huge claim for compensation. Good luck. Xx

  • Thanks . We actually discussed the possible repercussions of a failure to risk assess yesterday , I think the organisations desire to 'protect itself' on an individual basis will mean he'll probably get looked at carefully now the situation has been raised . 

  • Todopasa. A slightly different different senario but my husband was a serving police officer when he had a motorcycle accident and damaged both hands ( not whilst on duty). After he went back to work they wanted him to go back into frontline policing. It was only after some arguing between his consultants and OH that they conceded that due to his lack of mobility he was unable to defend himself and was given a desk job ( which he hated).

    Gone are the days when the police force is one big family looking after its officer and their families. Unfortunately I think it will be a case of your friend having to stand there ground, hopefully with the help of the Fed and Headway . 

    Frontline policing is dangerous and stressful enough for someone without a bi so beggars belief that they are even thinking of putting your friend back into that environment. I hope they see sense quickly and avoid putting your friend through anymore unnecessary stress, though I feel they may have a fight on their hands.

    Just incase your wondering I'm on the forum now because four years after retiring , last July,hubby fell downstairs at home and suffered a tbi. He's still in rehab.

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