True to Form

In this article, we take a look at the practice of Dr William Cheng in seeking feedback on his performance. Dr Cheng acts in the role of Selected Medical Practitioner (‘SMP’) for a number of police pension forces. He makes decisions affecting the pension entitlements of serving and retired police officers.

We are all aware of the concept of feedback. It seems that almost every time you buy something these days, the seller seeks to get you to rate their product and/or service.

Buy a new widget to fix that broken whatsit and no sooner has it been delivered than you get a request for feedback from the widget seller and, most likely, from the delivery firm as well. ‘How did we do?’ they cry!

It’s easy to see what they get out of your cooperation, feedback is valuable. It helps them improve their products and services. Positive feedback is welcome, but negative feedback is undoubtedly the most useful because it highlights failures and indicates areas which would benefit from improvement.

With that in mind, we have become aware that the ubiquitous Dr William Chung Wing Cheng, GMC registration number 1631726, has been presenting a feedback form to serving and former officers he has medically examined/interviewed with a view, in our opinion, to generating only positive feedback.

We reproduce it here.


Let’s remind ourselves that Dr Cheng is not contracted by the person he medically examines/interviews. That person is not his customer nor his client. He is paid by the police force and we believe that it should be the force which monitors and evaluates his performance. If feedback forms need to be handed out, they should come from the force but only following the conclusion of any decision-making process.

So, just what is the purpose behind the force giving either tacit or direct approval to Dr Cheng to hand out feedback forms?

There is an enormous level of unease felt by the officers and former officers he medically examines and interviews in respect of their pension entitlements. For every individual who has had the courage and ability to complain about him, there are many more who have good grounds to complain but do not.

As to why individuals do not complain, there are numerous factors. An analysis of them all would divert from the focus of this article.

Dr Cheng has taken it upon himself to attempt to generate some feedback.

Could it be the case that his feedback forms are there only so Dr Cheng and his paymasters can wave them and say, ‘Look, everyone loves this guy’? As you would expect, nobody would ever write anything derogatory when their whole future rests in his hands and a decision must be made.

We hear that Dr Cheng is in the habit of producing this feedback form toward the end of the session with individuals and making it clear that the form is completed and handed back to him before the individual leaves the room. Understandably, some would see this as undue influence that the SMP might not write a favourable report without first being rewarded with positive feedback, or as applying pressure on the individual to write only positive comments.

It could be that Dr Cheng is in need of some positive comments. It is a matter of public record that Dr Cheng had 28.3% of his regulatory decisions overturned by way of appeals to police medical appeal boards, over a five year period.

It has to be remembered that Dr Cheng, for a great part of his duties is dealing with vulnerable and damaged individuals – officers who are facing the certainty of premature retirement due to illness of injury and disabled, often traumatised, former officers whose continuing level of injury pension depends on his decisions. It does not take anything more than common sense to know that unwell individuals might think that not completing Dr Cheng’s form and giving him a good review might negatively affect his decisions.

Our advice to any officer or former officer is to take Dr Cheng’s form and stuff it – in your pocket. Fill it out later, or not, as you think fit, and send it, or not, to the police pension authority, not to Dr Cheng. Bear in mind though that by completing Dr Cheng’s form positively you would be potentially writing off the chances of any future complaint being successful.

If you genuinely receive a fair and professional service from Dr Cheng, we have no problem with giving positive feedback. What we object to is a form being presented to vulnerable people immediately after a consultation, and before the quality of the final report is known.

True to Form

26 thoughts on “True to Form

  • 2022-02-15 at 10:33 am

    {Sic} Quote from the article “Let me be really clear on this: there’s absolutely no room for racism in policing, and especially here in the Metropolitan police. We made that very, very clear to our people, anyone who works for us and demonstrates any type of racism or discrimination behaviour will be removed from the organisation.”
    Then how is Dr Cheng allowed to work on behalf of several police forces in the England & still employed when has shown a huge amount of “discrimination behaviour” towards injured officers & vulnerable adults? Riddle me that!

  • 2022-02-14 at 10:57 am

    Joining IODPA has really opened my eyes, I can’t believe they can stoop so low.
    I agree that Feedback Forms/Questionnaires can give all types of false readings and are always slanted towards the person who needs positive information, in this case, Cheng.

    Surely these forms have to be officially numbered/recorded, or what’s to stop anyone completing them without our knowledge? There isn’t a place to sign etc., on these ones shown is there?

    I haven’t been in this situation but can understand the pressures you can find yourself under, but think I would be polite but decline the offer of filling one in at the time. If pressurised into completing one then I would state I am completing it and photographing it using my phone. I would sign, date and get a photo/copy of it before leaving the room, but I feel you have no arguments whatsoever if you choose to leave that room after giving positive feedback that you didn’t really want to give.

    Perhaps we should have our own form that we take in too? They couldn’t say we were rude or being awkward then could they?

  • 2022-02-13 at 3:56 pm

    The form is titled “Feedback on pre-consultation form” and the bottom of page 1 says “Thank you for your feedback for OUR continual improvement process” Who is OUR? What process is he talking about improving?
    This man is registered as a GP with the GMC and as such subject to NHS rules and regulations.

    R v London Borough of Brent ex parte Gunning [1985] proposed a set of consultation principles that were later confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 2001.

    The Gunning principles are now applicable to all public consultations that take place in the UK. Failure to adhere to the Gunning principles may underpin a challenge relating to consultation process that may be considered through judicial review.

    The Gunning principles are that:
    (i) consultation must take place when the proposal is still at a formative stage;
    (ii) sufficient reasons must be put forward for the proposal to allow for intelligent consideration and response;
    (iii) adequate time must be given for consideration and response; and
    (iv) the product of consultation must be conscientiously taken into account.

    (i) ‘Proposal at a formative stage’
    6. The obvious point of Gunning principle (i) is that the decision-maker cannot consult on a decision that it has already made. Otherwise, consultation is not only unfair – the outcome has been pre-determined — but it is pointless.

    (ii) Sufficient reasons to allow for intelligent consideration and response
    15. Gunning principle (ii) means that consultees should be made aware of the basis on which a proposal for consultation has been considered and will thereafter be considered. Those consulted should be aware of the criteria that will be applied when considering proposals and what factors will be considered ‘decisive’ or ‘of substantial importance’ at the end of the process: R (Capenhurst) v. Leicester City Council [2004]
    EWHC 2124 (Admin) at [46], approved by the three-judge Divisional Court in Robin
    Murray & Co. v. The Lord Chancellor [2011] EWHC 1528 (Admin) at [37(4)].
    16. A corollary of this principle (as Owen J. explained in the recent Royal Brompton case
    concerning the reconfiguration of paediatric congenital cardiac services in England1
    ‘the information contained in a consultation document should not be as inaccurate or incomplete as to mislead potential consultees in their responses.’ Inaccurate or incomplete information may have the effect of precluding an ‘informed and intelligent response’ to the disadvantage of a party that may be affected by the decision.

    This is especially important where that information ‘is outside the knowledge of those consulted, and upon which they are therefore obliged to rely in formulating their response.’ See Royal Brompton at [25]

    y in R. (on the application of Edwards ) v Environment Agency [2006] EWCA
    Civ 877 at [103], where Auld L.J. said:
    “In general, in a statutory decision-making process, once public consultation has taken place, the rules of natural justice do not, for
    the reasons given by Lord Diplock in Bushell, require a decision-maker to disclose its own thought processes for criticism before
    reaching its decision. However, if . . . a decision-maker, in the course of decision-making, becomes aware of some internal material or a factor of potential significance to the decision to be made, fairness may demand that the party or parties concerned should be given an opportunity to deal with it.” (Such as people being given a form to comment on the behaviour of a Doctor who when they complete it may make a detrimental decision against that person)

    (iii) Adequate time for consideration and response

    21. Unless statutory time requirements are prescribed, there is no necessary time frame within which the consultation must take place. The decision-maker may have adopted a policy as to the necessary time-frame (e.g. Cabinet Office guidance, or compact with the voluntary sector), and if it wishes to depart from that policy it should have a good reason for doing so. Otherwise, it may be guilty of a breach of a legitimate
    expectation that the policy will be adhered to.

    In short, Dr Cheng is issuing vulnerable people with a form that says it is a part of a consultation process document.
    Both him and his masters (A public body) are in effect issuing consultation documents that are not legal and are in breach of the Gunning Principles and therefore unlawful?

    Just some food for thought but introducing a form into a process that has already been set out, is in effect a departure from agreed policy and therefore a breach of legitimate expectation for that policy.

    • 2022-02-14 at 1:48 pm

      Just what is a “Feedback on pre-consultation form”?

      It makes no sense whatever. The title is poor use of English. Taken literally it says that it is a form to be used to provide feedback on a pre-consultation. The word form is an example of redundancy, as the form is obviously a form and needs no naming as such, and there is no pre-consultation.

      Cheng has a tenuous grasp of written English, as he has demonstrated time and again – a worrying deficiency for anyone in a profession where clarity of expression and meaning must surely be an important ability.

      It’s possible the title was grabbed from some other document as a little decoration for Cheng’s pathetic attempt to garner some leverage over the people he interviews and/or examines under the various police pension regulations. I’ve trawled the Internet and can’t find any other reference to a “Feedback on pre-consultation form” so goodness knows how he chose that as a title.

      Cheng is, however, well known for his lazy cut-and-paste approach to reports. Examples of this dubious practice have surfaced. Individuals have compared reports and all too clearly can see that Cheng has duplicated whole paragraphs in each report.

      We have to ask, what is a pre-consultation?

      In the medical profession this is usually where relevant information about a patient is gathered. It might typically ask for name, address, contact details, blood group, allergies, medications, other conditions, etc.

      But – and here’s the rub, Cheng is presenting the form after he has done his interview/examination. On that basis it can’t be pre-consultation.

      And – what Cheng is tasked with conducting is most certainly not a consultation, but is a very specific process as set out in the regulations. He is there to make an assessment, to make a decision or decisions, and to deliver a report to the police pension authority. Calling it a consultation is like calling a bowl of cold quinoa a supreme culinary experience.

      So – we can conclude that Cheng is not required, nor indeed entitled to present his feedback form. We can say that is is a load of rubbish, and we can be certain there is no truth whatever in the claim that the responses on the form would ever be used in a ‘continual improvement process’. Cheng’s performance has been going downhill for years as the figures on his failings at appeal show.

      As was once written on a schoolboy’s annual report, ‘He sets himself very low standards, and rarely manages to achieve them’.

  • 2022-02-13 at 2:48 pm

    Coercing vulnerable people into doing something they might feel uncomfortable with is something one would associate with coercive, controlling behaviour. DV related or possibly county lines. Not an alleged medical professional whose services are paid for by the police.
    It is nothing short of unethical, immoral and plain wrong on every level. Surely there are grounds for a complaint to the GMC ?

  • 2022-02-13 at 2:42 pm

    Cheng has been allowed to continue his corrupt practices for far too long. He is enabled by equally corrupt HR and Occupational Health staff, with the blessing or blind eye of management. Ultimately each Chief Constable who has employed Cheng is responsible. It is time he, and his enablers were brought to account.

    I see the Chief Constables of Staffordshire and West Midlands are apparently about to be sued by individuals who were traumatised by the terrorist incident on London Bridge in 2019. Two people were killed by knife-wielding fanatic Usman Khan, who was shot dead by police at the scene. I’m not sure how Staffs and West Mids CCs gets to be in the frame, but the point is, although they were not there the plaintiffs will say they must bear some degree of responsibility for the intelligence failures which may have helped facilitate the attack.

    As with the CC’s of Staffs and West Mids, the Chief Constables who have employed Cheng may well be vulnerable to a group action for damages mounted by all who have suffered at the hands of this most dubious of doctors.

    Group actions are fairly rare in the UK, but common in the USA, where they are called ‘class actions.’ Typically used to bring erring corporations and other organisations to accept liability for harm caused by their actions, or inactions, they have a very interesting feature. The ‘class’ is defined as everyone who might have suffered – whether their names are known or unknown at the time the action is commenced. It needs only a handful of complainants to initiate a class action, then lawyers advertise and seek out others who might be encouraged to join the class action.

    By being just one person amongst many in a class action, the fear, and possibility, of being targetted for daring to stand up for one’s rights is diminished.

  • 2022-02-13 at 2:38 pm

    What I have never understood is how an SMP can be considered to be an independent. ‘Whoever pays the piper calls the tune’ as far as I’m concerned. Why would Cheng be interested in doing anything, or saying anything which would be to your advantage? He is far more likely to please his paymaster and say whatever it is that they wish to hear.

    As to there being any validity to these ‘How did I do forms’ I can only say that this ploy is Cheng’s way of digging himself out of a hole. He has had so many complaints about him that I wouldn’t put it past him to throw away bad assessments and keep the good ones to try and wave them in the face of anyone trying to investigate further complaints.

    Don’t fill them out people, screw them up and put them in the bin…………preferably in his presence. I know he may hold some peoples future in the palm of his hand but be brave…………’All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.’

  • 2022-02-13 at 1:20 pm

    Why aren’t some if the tactics used by SMP’s being investigated as a criminal matter? Could it be that the very police forces that would investigate such things the very ones who themselves would benefit the most financially from such stunts?

    It’s about time the medical retirement process was taken out of the hands of the forces and SMPs, as neither forces or the doctors who’s salaies they pay are objective.

    The process needs simplifying, and making more humane – I would suggest that as things stand the way officers undergoing this process are treated would, by any sensible definition, be a violation of their Article 3 rights. A simpler, fully independent, more humane process, managed centrally with no financial or communication link between force and doctor, is long overdue for introduction.

  • 2022-02-11 at 4:17 pm

    It happened to me too.

    The whole system is without doubt corrupt. Dr Cheng serves his purpose perfectly.. It and he are a disgrace.

    My case dates back to 2015/2016 and still the dirty politics of it all goes on.

    His masters must be very proud of his work, denying and frustrating genuine cases of officers like myself, unfortunate enough to be injured on duty.

    I was assessed by The Force’s own CMO as permanently disabled due to an injury on duty with a recommendation that I be medically retired. This ‘doctor’ Cheng manufactured a quite unbelievable report, happily omitting vital aspects and then later revising those that didn’t suit his agenda, thereby frustrating any prospect of ill-health retirement and a medical ill-health pension from becoming a reality. The politics of policing dictated that it was simply becoming too expensive for officers with my length of be ‘paid off’ and this particular ‘doctor’ is well versed in working to this mantle.

    My treatment at the hands of this ‘doctor’ and senior officers (yes, they even tried to invoke the Attendance Management Policy and place me on half pay in the final few months of my 30 years front-line service when, finally, I had been certified as too sick to work) meant that I was (and still am) in no mental state to fight the injustice of it all. Just as they would wish. More money saved.

    We sign up and perform our duty of service to the public, hoping that if we are unfortunate enough to suffer permanent disability through the result of an injury on duty, life should be made just that little bit easier for us with an enhanced medical ill health pension. Not so. Not if they can possibly help it seems to be the stark reality, as many of us here are unfortunate enough to now realise.

    A short time after my retirement and disgraceful treatment at the hands of these people, I was diagnosed with a terminal blood cancer and a partially collapsed spine (in addition to my injuries on duty).. Medical opinion suggests that stress is a leading cause of this type of cancer, though of course it will never be proven.

    I don’t normally comment, but felt compelled to add my experience to the countless others on here of this ‘doctor’ Cheng in particular. In my view, he is a disgrace to what should be, like our own, a highly trusted and respected profession. I have none of that where this individual is concerned.

    So, at the end my 30 years service to the public and now denied any prospect of a medical ill-health pension to help ease things, ‘doctor’ Cheng can feel well satisfied in another job well done. Sleep well Dr Cheng.

  • 2022-02-11 at 8:51 am

    I joined the police to deal with criminals and bullies, what’s astonishing is, one of the worst criminals and bully’s I came across was Cheng.

    I wonder how many vulnerable victims he’s fraudulently deceived thousands of pounds out of over the years?

    • 2022-02-13 at 1:12 pm

      Damn straight, my friend. I have found that some of the worst people for disregarding laws and regulatuons were scrambled egg ranks, HR, SMP’s and contractors.

      I (an officer with a physical disability as a result of being a victim of GBH while on duty) was being threatened with UPP for now being disabled and unable to do the job, while HR and SMPs ignore any law or rule they fancy and never face the consequences.

      If only they’d asked me for some feedback…

  • 2022-02-10 at 10:24 pm

    This is a complete abuse of process !!

    The only acceptable time to seek feedback is well after a formal process has been completed – in this case after Cheng’s report has been sent to the force concerned and the IOD pensioner’s and award made (and when any appeals time fame has passed) – NOT during a medical assessment.
    This needs to be raised at senior force levels and this corrupt practice ceased forthwith.

  • 2022-02-10 at 12:12 pm

    Utterly, utterly outrageous, and brazenly unethical.
    This needs to be reported to the GMC.
    The man is a disgrace to his profession.

  • 2022-02-10 at 11:47 am

    Totally outrageous. Taking advantage of vulnerable police officers who are scared and frightened. Shame on this doctor.

  • 2022-02-10 at 11:38 am

    If Dr Cheng asks people to complete the form before leaving his room, it would seem that the act of completing it to Dr Cheng’s satisfaction is PART of the review process, with the onus on an individual too please the doctor, as one wouldn’t wish to be negative about someone who has such obvious power over them. That is totally improper as it effects undue pressure upon the reviewed person to validate a process that they may not wish too validate and are not sufficiently informed to make a rational assessment, especially as they will not have seen the final report which they may very well disagree with only to have this “feedback” form presented to them to indicate that they have been fairly treated. BAD PRACTICE DrCheng!

  • 2022-02-10 at 10:30 am

    Yet another example of how the whole system is corrupt and in need of a complete overhaul.

    These SMP’s are not independent, they rely on the funds provided to them by the forces concerned.

    Is any SMP, knowing that their income depends on them being on the side of the force, then going to make fair decisions?

    Is it ot strange then, that we hear of SMP’s being dropped by forces for being fair to injured, or retired officers? A very visible sign of corruption?

    To put these very vulnerable people under undue pressure to get fake feedback during reviews is abhorrent. They are already in fear of the fake decisions, often made, purely because there is a need by forces to save monies.

    If the want true information ‘re performance, then send it out from the force AFTER the medical process is complete, so that there cannot be an hint of bias between the review and feedback. Perhaps publishing those true figures, including the negative ones, might lead to change.

    They won’t as it suits them, but as I said at the beginning the system is totally corrupt and worthy only of a banana republic!

  • 2022-02-10 at 10:22 am

    This practice needs to be stamped out. What CHENG is doing is doing via the feed back forms is allowing him to filter out any negative feed back and thus only provide the positive thus creating a false or manipulated overview of his performance. These feedback forms are assessed by the GMC and FOM which provide CHENG with the authority to practise “medicine” and play a large part in his continuance. I would advise that any one who has not provided a feed back form directly to CHENG regardless of time to use the questions as shown on IODPA and send a completed questionnaire to both his Responsible officer at the Faculty of Occupational manager via their head of professional standards rachel.briggs@facoccmed, and to CHENG’s Revalidation officer at the GMC via This will ensure the questionnaires are correctly considered, support it with a short letter as to why said questions were or were not answered at the time of the medical, it is my opinion that no negative questionnaires are sent to either the GMC or FOM, i also believe that the absence of said questionnaires at the GMC or FOM helps dilute any complaints made about CHENG overall.

  • 2022-02-10 at 8:49 am

    What a sneaky individual!

    Well done IODPA for flagging this up.

  • 2022-02-10 at 8:28 am

    Dr Cheng disallowed my Injury on duty claim in 2012. The decision was overturned on appeal.
    Cheng’s attitude was disgusting. In front of my wife he said “if you have two arms and two legs then you are fit to work”. We submitted a complaint to the force D@C at the time. Cheng treated my condition and the police process with utter contempt.

  • 2022-02-10 at 7:17 am

    Unbelievable, horrendous, and all the other negative adjectives I can think of. You sum up the situation perfectly. Filling in such as form is not a condition of having a concientious and competant consultation that’s done with integrity and respect. As for the form itself … I’ve worked as a copywriter in the past and have never seen such a ridiculous, poorly planned, poorly laid out and unprofessional document. Your own GP wouldn’t do this, nor would a hospital, in fact of all the health professionals I’ve seen, none of them have ever put that sort of emotional pressure on me. And it IS emotional pressure as it’s asking about personal feelings, something that should be done afterwards at home and which should be optional. I can imagine that the former officers being presented with the form can only experience a feeling of blackmail. Awful behaviour, no doubt sanctioned by the powers that be.

  • 2022-02-10 at 6:03 am

    This was a practice seven years ago when the Northern Ireland Policing Board had outsourced the SMP role to Blackwell Associates. It was ‘Suggested’ that the form marked the conclusion of the assessment and the form required some comment and a signature to be left with the receptionist before leaving. As we know now the assessment begins when you first come into view and doesn’t end until someone loses sight of you outside so yes it is part of the assessment although it did state the comments could only relate to the ‘Dr’ and not the process

  • 2022-02-10 at 12:16 am

    I was assessed by this “doctor” back in 2018.

    At the end of the assessment he gave me the feedback form and asked me to complete it.

    I told him I would but not there and then. He chased for the form back through my OHU. I eventually advised him I would forward to him following receipt of his report.

    Ethically I believe there is something very wrong with him asking for feedback. During the GMC investigation I said the forms are used by him to defend himself when complaints are made. They said they are used by him to review his practices…….

    Just remember this “Doctor ” is not your friend, he will not help you. Oh and if he says at the start of the assessment he is an NHS consultant call him out on it as he is not. Despite recording him saying this the GMC said they could not make out what was said…….

    Take someone with you, record the assessment, take his feedback form and smile. When you get home put it in the bin.

    Alternatively if you feel he needs feedback give it to him. But DO NOT say anything positive as if you complain he will pull out the form you completed to defend himself.

  • 2022-02-09 at 11:08 pm

    I think just yes or no would have been adequate choices for feedback! The fact that he hands out these forms when he ends an assessment, and before his victim leaves, is a threat! I saw enough about him from other IOD’s and I would refuse to go to him as an SMP!

  • 2022-02-09 at 10:16 pm

    Very manipulative scenario. This is a sinister act. Dr Cheng’s tactics remind me of the dark and chilling behaviours of some of the offenders I sent to prison who preyed on the vulnerable by holding them to ransom then gaslighting when challenged. Is this not ironic. Evil manifests itself as a wolf in sheeps clothing or a white coat in this case.

    • 2022-02-10 at 2:01 pm

      I was examined by Chung in February 2017, he was absolutely appalling and showed no empathy or understanding of my condition. He presented his feedback form and I politely declined to complete it. His report was an absolute joke and said that there was no reason to offer me an Ill Health Retirement as there were further treatments for my condition. In fact according to the NHS Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon and Consultant pain clinic Doctor, there wasn’t. I appealed the decision at PMAB an represented myself. I won the appeal and the PMAB board unanimously found in my favour. Completely unnecessary stress for what I believe was Chungs cynical report and his further payment for attending PMAB. Hi is an absolute disgrace to the Medical Profession.

  • 2022-02-09 at 9:12 pm

    This happened to me on 24th January – I felt as though I’d no choice in putting negative remarks as was pressured, anxious and watched by him. It was like another test. I didn’t dare put anything else but good……still awaiting his report.

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