The Wirz virus

Like computer viruses, successful mind viruses will tend to be hard for their victims to detect. If you are the victim of one, the chances are that you won’t know it, and may even vigorously deny it.

— Richard Dawkins: English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author.


Doctors are expected to do what they can to prevent the spread of viruses, and to cure those who are made ill by them.

How contrary then is it that a handful of doctors seem content to be infected by a species of virus which has taken hold in their own minds? A virus, the very specific effects of which are to confuse the host with delusions of power and a warped interpretation of the set of Regulations which govern the police injury award scheme.

We speak of those doctors, who act in the role of ‘selected medical practitioner’ (SMP) for the several Police Pension Authorities (PPAs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SMPs have a role in the administration of the police injury benefit scheme. They are responsible for making certain regulatory medical decisions. The most notable being determining an officer’s or former officer’s degree of disablement resulting from injury on duty.

A certain solicitor, after whom the virus is named, who is employed by a certain Northern police force is suspected, with good reason, as being responsible for the creation of the virus and for its release.

The virus is known as the Wirz virus and has been in circulation for some time now – and we in IODPA think it is long overdue that all PPAs, all the Human Resources departments of police forces, and all doctors who act as SMPs or as panel members of police medical appeal boards should be made aware of the virus and the threats it contains to their reputations and careers.

Disabled former officers, and injured serving officers also need to be made aware of the Wirz virus and of those doctors and others who have been infected by it. And that is where IODPA can help.

IODPA exists to provide advice, support and defence of their pension rights. We regularly hear of mistakes made by those involved in the management of the police injury benefit scheme. Mistakes arise from a variety of causes. Some are due to lack of training, some from lack of knowledge, some from carelessness, some from prejudice, some from laziness, some from a lack of moral courage, some from a desire not to be seen as a poor team player and a few from deliberate intent.

All of these can usually be dealt with, and corrected, one way or another, but the Wirz virus inserts something much more damaging than simple mistakes into the system. The Wirz virus spreads misinformation and does so in a way which leads those infected to absolutely believe the misinformation. Those infected inevitably produce work and decisions which are always legally flawed. Their entire output is contaminated.

That causes great harm to disabled former officers, injured serving officers, and their families. It also harms the hosts – the carriers of the virus – and the reputation of the medical profession itself.

Our sympathies are centred on the victims of maladministration but we do reserve a small concern for any honest, decent, ethical doctor or HR staff who might have unwittingly been infected by the Wirz virus. We have, however, no sympathy whatever for anyone who deliberately or negligently denies disabled former officers or injured serving officers their pension rights.

Whilst feeling a little bit sorry for some SMPs, we recognise also that the role of SMP is reportedly widely recognised within the medical profession as something to be avoided at all costs. The main factor informing that perception appears to be an awareness of the strong likelihood of becoming embroiled in litigation and complaints due to being required to act in ways unknowingly contrary to the Regulations. The Wirz virus causes SMPs and others to believe all complaints, all challenges to maladministration are vexatious and, above all, should not be made as SMPs have immunity from professional regulatory investigation or proceedings

Let’s divert briefly to highlight the origin of this situation.

By a peculiar initiative of the Home Office, it became a requirement that SMPs should preferably hold a qualification in occupational medicine.

In 2002 it was agreed by the then Police Negotiating Board that it should produce, with the Home Office, joint guidance for police authorities and force senior managers on the key areas of managing ill-health retirement.

In due course a joint circular was issued which contained this:

Qualifications of FMA and SMP

  1. It is difficult to be prescriptive about the minimum qualification an FMA should have since there are many existing FMAs with considerable experience but relatively few occupational health qualifications. New FMAs should be recruited with the minimum requirement that he or she be an Associate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (AFOM) or EEA equivalent and be given the opportunity quickly to build up a good knowledge of the police service and the range of duties that need to be performed.

  2. Ideally, the SMP should be a Member or Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (MFOM or FFOM), or EEA equivalent. The minimum requirement should be that he or she is an Associate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (AFOM) or EEA equivalent. Before appointment as SMP the police authority must provide the medical practitioner concerned with an induction programme and other training so that he or she has an understanding of what police service entails.

The logic of this advice is suspect as it seems to suggest that only a doctor with such a qualification has the skill and experience to perform the role. If the role of SMP included a brief to help injured officers back to health so they could continue to serve, then an occupational health qualification might be useful. But SMPs are not required to do that. They have no part to play (and rightly should have no part to play) in treatment of an officer or former officer.  A SMP is there merely to decide certain regulatory questions which are part of either the ill health retirement process or part of the injury benefit scheme. It seems to IODPA that an occupational health qualification is pointless and by only selecting doctors with that qualification to act in the role of SMPs helps create conditions for maladministration.

Any illusory advantages an occupational health qualification might bring are heavily outweighed by  one major disadvantage. At a stroke the agreement reduced the pool of potential doctors who might wish to act in the role of SMP down to a fraction. In 2018, almost 290,000 doctors were registered in the United Kingdom. Few hold, or want to hold, qualifications in occupational health.

The net result is that SMPs nearly all come from a very restricted pool of medical professionals who by no stretch of the imagination can be said to be sufficiently ‘appropriately qualified’ as required by the Regulations. More experienced, better qualified doctors are excluded.

Back to the Wirz virus.

Mr Wirz. With the cooperation of that esteemed body of rational thought and learning, the Police College (wholly funded by the Home Office), decided to give SMPs the benefit of his inestimable insight into the detail of the police injury benefit scheme. A training programme was devised. It was given the grand title of Police Pensions (SMP) Development Event and was held at the college on 31st January 2014.

We have visited the content of Mr Wirz’s presentation before, and continue to hold our low opinion as to the quality, relevance and accuracy of the content. For now though we need look at only one section to make the point that this training was responsible for sowing confusions and misdirecting SMPs.

Mr Wirz, addressing the issue of complaints made to the General Medical Council by officers and former officers against SMPs stated,

The GMC believes it has jurisdiction over medical practitioners performing a function under the Regulations.

He continued:

It is by no means clear that the GMC does, in fact, have jurisdiction over an SMP when acting as such. The SMP takes their authority from the statute as interpreted by the courts. Does the GMC have any locus in these circumstances? In other scenarios where medical practitioners perform a judicial function, taking their authority from the relevant enabling legislation/common law, the GMC has no jurisdiction. An example would be the role of Coroner.


IODPA is aware the GMC has consistently been very clear that SMPs need to act according to GMC guidelines, and that breaching those guidelines carries a risk of complaint and consequent investigation by the GMC.

We present here the recently-expressed view of Mr Percival who is the Principal Legal Advisor and Deputy General Counsel to the General Medical Council, and Judge, First Tier Tribunal Health, Education and Social Care Chamber at HM Courts and Tribunal Service.

Even in the case of judges who sit in courts or tribunals, there is not complete immunity from regulatory proceedings. This is demonstrated by the existence of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, with powers to investigate misconduct relating to a judge’s personal behaviour whether in court or outside of court, though not of course a judge’s decisions or judgments made in the course of court proceedings which can only be challenged via the appropriate appellate proceedings.

So far as registered medical practitioners are concerned, the Court of Appeal in its judgment in the case of Meadow v General Medical Council [2006] EWCA Civ 1390 declined to extend the immunity from suit (from claims in the civil courts) in the case of expert witnesses to also cover immunity from regulatory proceedings. The reasons given were clearly stated by the Court of Appeal, namely that “although the need for fearlessness and the avoidance of a multiplicity of actions has been held to outweigh the private interest in civil redress, hence the immunity from civil suit, those public policy benefits do not and cannot (or at least should not) override the public interest in the protection of the public’s health and safety enshrined in the GMC’s statutory duty to bring FTP proceedings where a registered medical practitioner’s fitness to practise is impaired.”

For this reason, the equivalent immunity from professional regulatory investigation or proceedings which appears to be being suggested to apply to SMPs, has been held by the Court of Appeal to be contrary to the public interest in the case of expert witnesses – whose role and function in a wide array of legal proceedings of substantial public importance can, as acknowledged by the Court of Appeal in Meadow, present risks of complaints being raised which are very much the same as those potentially arising in relation to SMPs.

As you will be aware, the overarching objective of the GMC is the protection of the public. This involves:

  1. protecting, promoting and maintaining the health, safety and well-being of the public,
  2. promoting and maintaining public confidence in the medical profession, and
  3. promoting and maintaining proper professional standards and conduct for members of that profession.

We are not aware that the particular role of SMPs raises any substantially different arguments for immunity from regulatory proceedings from a public interest perspective than does the role of the expert witness in court proceedings. For these reasons, the GMC does not currently consider that there is any more justification, or legal basis, for exempting SMPs from its regulatory jurisdiction than there would be for exempting expert witnesses from the same in respect of their role in giving expert evidence in a wide range of judicial proceedings.


From all the evidence, from all of the accounts we hear from our members, it is beyond argument that some police pension authorities allow, perhaps even encourage, their SMPs to conduct medical examinations and interviews in ways which cause real and lasting damage to health. At the very least, PPAs remain unaware of what is being done in their name, not just by SMPs, but by HR staff also. This has to stop. Police pension authorities need to find a better, less intrusive, kinder way of discharging their responsibilities under the Regulations.

On that note, we will have to draw to a conclusion, for reasons of space, but we will return in a future article to further examine the role of the SMP.

The Wirz virus
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28 thoughts on “The Wirz virus

  • 2019-12-01 at 8:30 am

    This type of phillospohy and the abuse of serving and veteran injured cops is endemic across the UK. Some forces use slightly different techniques but the underlying theme is the same, screwing cops over at their most vulnerable point in their life to save money. There are serving injured officers that are being abused, through bullying then forced to leave and resigning when they are seriously are ill. Others being threatened with UPP, put on UPP, and medics employed by the police lying about there medical conditions. This year alone I have met officers and veterans being screwed over bullied and abused in , Bedfordshire, Herts , TVP, Met, City of London, Leicestershire, Humberside, Lancashire, Avon and somerset, and Essex.
    Lets not forget that Acpoo are employing and paying the Wirzzs, Chengs, SMP and HR “experts” to do there dirty work in bullying vulnerable cops.
    Sadly one cop a fortnight takes there own life in the UK, the command should hang their heads in shame, no one should take their own life because of a toxic work environment. DISGRACE.

  • 2019-11-28 at 8:48 am

    Another informative and enlightening blog IODPA. It’s good to understand where everything comes from. I sit shaking my head in despair. What hope do we have? It seems everything is set up and geared against us.

  • 2019-11-28 at 8:45 am

    I feel incredibly sorry for any police officer who works or has worked in Northumbria and has been injured.

    This force has a track record of being contemptuous b******s to their fallen, and we can see why.

    This man Wirz seems to have a personal vendetta against police officers who through no fault of their own, have been seriously injured and have lost much loved careers.

    What is it that is driving his hatred?

    Why is he so so nasty?

    I don’t have the answers. I am not here to say what kind of person he is. I am just at a loss how one human being can be so unkind, so insensitive, so lacking in compassion to fellow human beings.

  • 2019-11-27 at 10:27 pm

    It really is about time this appalling behaviour was stopped once and for all. This national scandal needs to be ‘exposed’ and pressure put on the forces concerned to explain the methods they use in the review process particularly at a time when they are trying to recruit 20,000 new officers. I wonder how many would join up if they knew how they would be treated should they be unfortunate enough to be injured on duty and subsequently retired because of it. Shameful.

  • 2019-11-27 at 4:42 pm

    Having read about the Wirz virus, and seen the way he manipulates those around him, the term “Puppet Master” comes to mind. A puppet master is defined as a person, group, or country that covertly controls another. Sadly the people being controlled such as the Chief Constable, and his staff just cant see that they are having their strings pulled by this person. He sits happily in the background to give the outward illusion he has nothing to do with the chaos going on around him, whilst knowing his string pulling is what is causing the chaos. He does not like confrontation, but is happy to be the cause. He manipulates others to get himself into the position of so called pensions expert. The “others” are the SMP’s he poisons with his teachings, the Director of People and Development at Northumbria Police, who actually thinks she runs the force, put Wirz in his current post – exactly where he wanted her to put him.

    He will still be around long after this Chief and his female acquaintance have moved on, after all his last comrade in arms bailed out to become
    People Director at Changing Lives Durham, United Kingdom – none other than Lesley-Anne Knowles.

    But be careful Nick, your surrounded by high powered females who manipulated their way to the top. The definition of manipulated ? It simply means to control or influence something or someone so that you get an advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly.

    One last thing to be aware of Nick, your house of cards will come tumbling down, and no matter how many promotions, bonuses, or pay rises were given to grease the palm, It will be a race to point the finger at you…….and Jonathan.

  • 2019-11-26 at 10:05 pm

    “SMPs have no part to play (and rightly should have no part to play) in treatment of an officer or former officer. A SMP is there merely to decide certain regulatory questions which are part of either the ill health retirement process or part of the injury benefit scheme.”

    That is it EXACTLY!

    I think it is time that properly duly qualified Doctors were used in Ill Health Retirement assessments and in IOD award assessments, not force selected SMP’s who just do as they are told by HR!. By duly qualified I mean Consultants in the specified area of the injury/injuries. I don’t and never will understand what Force solicitors have to do with these matters. The regulations are there to be obeyed, not played with!

    As for Wirz, I saw him at a Judicial Review a couple of years ago and it was a joke how he kept tugging at his Barrister’s robe, all the way through! It seems he THOUGHT he knew better than the Barrister, mind you, Wirz has had a lot to do with the playing about and the antics forces are now using to try to reduce IOD pensions in order to save money from their budgets. Maybe it’s time all IOD pensioners did research in Force Solicitors too?

    As for Wirz’ ‘opinion’ on what control the GMC has on SMP’s maybe THAT should be tackled too? I will be sending a query to the GMC to find out!

    I have had the misfortune to be assessed by FOUR SMP’s. Not ONE of them listened to anything I said about my symptoms. It took 26 years for me to be correctly diagnosed. Had they listened to me, and understood the medical reports as well, then maybe all would have gone well for the force from the beginning

  • 2019-11-26 at 8:40 pm


    He who creates a poison, also has the cure.
    He who creates a virus, also has the antidote.
    He who creates chaos, also has the ability to create peace.
    He who sparks hate, also has the ability to transform it to love.
    He who creates misery, also has the ability to destroy it with kindness.
    He who creates sadness, also has the ability to to covert it to happiness.
    He who creates darkness, can also be awakened to produce illumination.
    He who spreads fear, can also be shaken to spread comfort.
    Any problems created by the left hand of man,
    Can also be solved with the right,
    For he who manifests anything,
    Also has the ability to
    Destroy it.”
    ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun.

    The Witz virus was created by a human apparently, and could there’re be stopped by a human! To let it continue is immoral and cowardly, not only by the perpetrators, but also by the Home Office, the wider Government, ICO, HMIC, IOPC and any other body, supposedly supporting fair play.

    In my police career, I expected only two things of my management:

    1. That all of the police staff, either officer, or civilian, acted with integrity, even when not under observation and

    2. In return for my loyalty to the force, the minimum I expected back, was to be treated honestly.

    I’m sorry to say, that until I retired, I believed this to be the case, but unfortunately, I now realise that the ‘stage dressing’ I saw was just that, a sham, a lie and that the integrity and honestly were sadly missing.

    Then Reviews started and I uickly realised what a corrupt process we IOD’s are in, with SMP’s apparently lining their pockets from a system that encourages them to be confrontational.
    That supposedly honest law abiding lawyers, are anything but……and finally, not only do they do this in one force, but spread this hatred of IOD’s throughout the UK to other forces and SMP’s.

    No doubt it was all started by the Home Office in the early 00’s, but has been carried on by the apparent hatred of the former PM in the past few years.

    It’s a National Scandal and the sooner it reaches the light of day, the sooner these persons will be taken to task and hopefully barred from their profession by the regulatory bodies.

  • 2019-11-26 at 8:15 pm

    This so called solicitor is a cancer that should be quickly cut out and destroyed before it mutates anymore!

    • 2019-11-28 at 4:07 pm

      Wirz started employment as a London Banker, he has certainly mutated and i believe described by a word that rhymes with banker….!

  • 2019-11-25 at 10:00 pm

    A very informative and factual blog. It beggars belief that this cowboy is still employed by Northumbria Police. If he was paid by results he would owe THEM money

    • 2019-11-26 at 10:11 pm

      WOW! A thumbs down has been placed in here? I think this is the FIRST on this site! I bet we can guess whose it is! 🙂

  • 2019-11-25 at 8:26 pm

    We understand the above statement from the General Medical Council’s leading counsel was in fact in response to a GMC complaint regarding the fabrication of a medical report. The Solicitors Regulatory Agency hold a file of evidence on Nicholas Wirz in relation to his professional integrity, a fact that has been drawn to the attention of The Northumbria Chief Constable Winton Keenan. Yet still, we understand he was recently given the role of lead solicitor in IOD pension matters. Wirz remains in salaried employment with a growing pension pot (he is the associated Unison representative who attends meetings in an effort to protect and secure the pension pot accumulating for himself and his administrative colleagues). What injured officers and SERVING officers must be made aware of is that the Chief Constable and his Personnel relations continue to champion this individual in his contrived ‘influential’ role.
    It will take government action to eradicate this particular virus.
    Northumbria Police: Proud to protect…………………..

    • 2019-11-26 at 8:10 pm

      Yet if (most) serving officers made such “mistakes” they would likely be banged up. Hypocrites Heaven – its a disgrace

  • 2019-11-25 at 4:28 am

    The Wirz virus is relatively new in this field. Prior to it taking a firm hold of the minds of SMP’s and HR employees its predecessor was known as the HOC 46/2004 virus. In April 2007 an SMP reviewed my file on paper. His first report agreed that my banding should remain as Band 3, being 55%. However when he asked HR what he should do next my banding was reduced, three days later, to 0%. I have never been given any reason for my sudden return to better health. I had not provided the SMP with any information within that small time frame. Maybe the hand of God had made me whole again and at the same time informed HR of this apparent improvement.

    I will never, ever have any faith in the IOD process. I have gone through the various appeal channels that are available, including a PMAB, several reports on paper by three separate SMP’s, the Pensions Ombudsman and even a case before the High Court in London. I believe it is corrupt from the top down. The phrase, “He who pays the piper calls the tune” is very apt. My latest attempt to secure some justice did not achieve anything. This latest SMP merely said that the increase in pain was due to me getting old. If I hadn’t had the injury in the first place then I wouldn’t have had any pain.

    In monetary terms I have lost a small fortune. In 2007 my IOD pension was 750 pounds a month. It is now 20 quid a month. In some respects I am glad I am getting old and if I eventually end up downstairs I will be sure to grab hold of the legs of some of these SMP’s and pull them down with me because there is no place on earth, or up above, where they belong.

    Sorry to go on but I have had a belly full of these bastards and I wish I had never joined.

    • 2019-11-26 at 8:16 pm

      Sorry to hear of the disgusting treatment which you have been subjected to. I have found that I have come out of a job I loved & believed in and been stabbed in the back by various (ex) “friends” and colleagues in the job and it has affected my whole outlook on life & people. However, there are some good people still – especially some of the ones through IODPA. Look after yourself

    • 2019-11-27 at 10:10 am

      You are not alone in wishing you had never joined. Although until I was injured I thought I had the best job in the world, loved the variety, never even considered the support I (or my family) would get if something happened to me. When I hear people saying they want to join up I am saying to them ‘think twice’ there are other occupations, with better support than the Police.

      Putting Northumbria in perspective they have more lawyers and support staff in their Legal and HR Department (with much better salaries and pension) than they have police officers covering Newcastle upon Tyne on a Friday/Saturday night shift………… say no more.

  • 2019-11-24 at 6:20 pm

    The worst mistake of my life was applying for an iod pension after being subject of an on duty training accident.
    It was obviously not allowed…

    The appeal process was totally corrupt as were the panel and the SMP in particular.
    Prior to my appeal I was subject to four instances of surveillance upon my property and garden with what was described by my solicitor as very dubious authorities.
    I was caught red handed performing menial tasks which were then used against me.
    Apparently it could be seen via grainy footage that I did not have PTSD or a spinal injury that I am still receiving treatment for.
    I lost the appeal which ironically left me in a worse state of health than if I’d never have applied for such a pension and told my appeal was vexatious…..

  • 2019-11-24 at 1:07 pm

    This is a true story about an SMP. Several years ago an SMP, employed by a particular Police Force in the Midlands, reviewed a former officer, who had been in receipt of the Injury Award Pension. On the official review document the doctor wrote that the recipient “should” continue to receive his band 2 award. It was agreed by the recipient, who signed the review document at the conclusion of the consultation. Afterwards, and without the recipient’s knowledge, the SMP deleted the word “SHOULD” and replaced it with the term “MAY HAVE TO”. And so, the appropriate sentence was altered from stating: “The officer SHOULD remain on his present banding” to “The officer MAY HAVE TO remain on his present banding”. As a consequence the former officer’s award was reduced to band 1, which was later upgraded to band 2 after appeal. What could have happened to cause the doctor to act in such a dishonest way? I will let whoever reads this make his or her own mind up. How do I know this is a true story? I was that officer. By the way, the SMP is no longer GMC registered to practice.

    • 2019-11-26 at 8:19 pm

      Did that Dr get struck off? I am interested as I am currently awaiting the result of my complaint to the GMC. I am glad that you managed to get your IOD restored to the correct level..

  • 2019-11-24 at 12:46 pm

    While ‘first, do no harm’ is one of the earliest lessons that new medical students learn, this principle has traditionally been applied at the level of an individual doctor’s actions, because it needs to be reinforced because of the likes of Wirz and his attentive, duped classes of SMP’s he teaches this poison to.

    The amount of harm being done by Wirz and company need to be looked at by the SRA and the GMC and the starting point needs to be the IOD’s that have had harm done by these nuggets. Contact the SRA and the GMC to make them aware of the harm they are doing everytime it happens or they will keep on doing harm. “I was only following orders” has been used historically. It didn’t work then and it should not work now.

    • 2019-11-24 at 5:00 pm

      I’m going through this now and it’s been 18 months of bureaucracy from the SMP who quotes case law which is incorrect info … and a diagnosis from him that he clearly couldn’t or was even qualified in that field to make and so it continues …

    • 2019-11-26 at 8:22 pm

      I totally agree with you. When these “Doctors” lie and change documents, why the Hell are they being allowed to get away with it? Complain with all your might for the sake of the poor souls that follow in our footsteps. I have also thought that complaining to the Policing Minister & the local MP could be another route to go also

  • 2019-11-24 at 11:50 am

    The Wirz virus is a particularly nasty virus, it only targets those disabled, vulnerable members of society whom are forced to take (specialist) legal advice as they are clearly unable to defend themselves against the illegal twisting and manipulation of both regulations and those persons within the process (HR and SMP). Thankfully IODPA hold the antidote.

    Historically and extremely recently this virus is still rampant within Northumbria Police. The whole Northumbria Police interpretation of the regulatory system in place has been infected, rotten to the core, all in the name of the Chief Constable, by Wirz and his spineless ‘friends’.

    Sometimes amputation cutting out the virus will suffice. Thankfully, some other Forces have chosen to take Wirz’s unwanted and uneducated opinion and told him where to stick it.

  • 2019-11-24 at 10:54 am

    A very concise and easily understood explanation of what is causing retired and serving injured officers, so much unnecessary grief and suffering.
    I wonder if it wasn’t for Wirtz, whether the present unpleasant situation with many forces, would have been allowed to happen. Well done IODPA.

  • 2019-11-24 at 10:25 am

    I’m encountering the virus tomorrow at my PMAB he’s hell bent in having it thrown out and making me pay for it
    All because i won’t let him have my medical records

  • 2019-11-24 at 9:31 am

    “……….some police pension authorities allow, perhaps even encourage, their SMPs to conduct medical examinations and interviews in ways which cause real and lasting damage to health.”

    Oh my. I can think of one SMP in particular, and a psychologist that is used for PTSD and other MH related illnesses that this applies to. Shocking behaviour toward Officers, who are in an already delicate and very vulnerable state.

    • 2019-11-26 at 9:08 pm

      Extremely enlightening article of which I’m all to well aware. Been fighting over 4 years now and still no further forward

      • 2019-11-26 at 9:31 pm

        They couldn’t give a s**t about our welfare!

        Unless of course it makes the news and then you get the brass turning out giving the usual ‘we are committed to protecting our officers, this is an extremely unusual a one off, we will learn by our errors rubbish’ then they crawl back to their ivory towers, raking in their extremely large wages (and pensions) not giving a second thought to ex colleagues who are calling anyone/everyone to find support or help whether emotional or financial or indeed both!

        You are not alone.

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