Dr William Cheng

Breaking News: Cheng’s Company Wound Up

Breaking News: Cheng’s Company Wound Up

On 28th June 2017, Companies House web-site posted a document Appointment of voluntary liquidator detailing the impending winding-up of Dr William Cheng’s business; Partners Occupational Medical Services Limited. This document shows that the Liquidator was appointed on 6th June 2017.

Cheng Partners occ health service application-pdf

This will have critical implications for Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland Constabularies, who had awarded a contract to Cheng’s (now liquidating) Company totalling £576,000

Once a Company is liquidated it would be unlawful for it to continue to trade in any way.

A further document Special Resolution to Wind up [the Company] is currently being processed by Companies House and will be published on-line within 5 working days (of 28/06/17).

The Unmasking of Cheng’s OHS Partners

 

 

 

Contractors, Ethics & the College of Policing

Contractors, Ethics & the College of Policing

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”
C.S. Lewis

The administration of injury awards is a racket: given what disabled former police officers have had to suffer at the hands of corrupt doctors acting for police pension authorities, aided and abetted by the astounding ignorance of HR departments, it’s fair to say that’s a given. But unless you’ve had personal experience of the devious workings of those who are responsible for the administration of police injury pensions you probably have no idea just how much of a racket it has become.

If you ever have to deal with Inhuman Resources or any (oh-so-carefully) selected medical practitioner used by them then you know that you get sucked into a system which taints almost everyone it touches with corruption so flagrant it’s hard to believe such a thing could be possible in hyper-regulated modern Britain.

All the current platitudes coming from Parliamentary candidates in the upcoming election and media focus about police numbers is so ignorantly abstract when it really boils down to the realism of what happens to those injured on duty that face the system.

The system is run so that a very small band of favoured occupational health companies provide nearly all the SMP services used by police pension authorities. They have cornered the market, with the active connivance of the NWEF. They get their snouts in the trough, grab as much public money as they can, and leave the patsies in HR to take the flak. Outsourcing is the new game now, with forces handing over what should be their responsibilities to private limited companies whose morals and ethos are moulded entirely around the bottom line of the balance sheet.

Even the police medical appeal boards (PMABs) are outsourced to a limited company, Health Management Limited (HML).

Occupational health doctors who act as SMPs mirror HML and set up their limited companies in dubious, but no doubt tax-efficient, manner.

We see that commercial basis as being the driver which impels some SMPs to revel in creating unjustified appeals, by flagrantly disregarding the Regulations and case law, as a means to further their pay-packet in attendance costs. They know that a PMAB will either side with their crass decisions or make a new one. Either way, this lets the SMP off the hook. If there is a judicial review, it is the PMAB and the police pension authority who appear as respondents. The SMP is left free to continue their abuse of the law and of vulnerable and damaged individuals.

Some of these decidely dodgy SMPs work in tandem with a more malevolent master.  For instance, Dr Jonathan Broome.  He is Northumbria’s resident SMP, and seems to be going for the world-record of mentions in High Court decisions purely because he is unable, or unwilling, to say no to his colleague, the solicitor of Northumbria police, Nicholas Wirz.  Ever eager to push their own twisted and perverse take of the Regulations to judges, the dreadful duo are evidently so cold-hearted they never care about the morality.

But morality matters. Ethics is not just a necessary but inconsequential something which SMPs have sworn to when taking the Hippocratic oath. Some SMPs have abandoned the first ethical principle – to do no harm. For that alone their failures need to be challenged.

But would you believe that there is a “Code of Practice for the Principles and Standards of Professional Behaviour for the Policing Profession of England and Wales” which actually applies to people like Broome or Dr William Cheng, even if they are only a fleeting and temporary SMP gun-for-hire?

Quite by accident, we’ve discovered that the College of Policing’s code of ethics actually stretches itself to cover any person engaged in any work for any police force.  Subcontractors are covered and it matters not if the contract agreement to provide the SMP service is verbal, written in stone, toilet paper, carefully scribed in blood, is on vellum or scribbled on the back of a fag packet.

Here it is:

1.3 Scope of the Code
1.3.3
This includes all those engaged on a permanent,
temporary, full-time, part-time, casual,
consultancy, contracted or voluntary basis.

The code of ethics demands honesty, courtesy, equality, the ability to follow the Police Regulations and confidentiality. Let’s look at the scope and detail, and wonder as we do so just how the likes of Broome, Cheng, Nightingale and others square this code with their behaviour.

Standards of professional behaviour
1. Honesty and integrity I will be honest and act with integrity at all times, and will not compromise or abuse my position.  4 6. Duties and responsibilities I will be diligent in the exercise of my duties and responsibilities.
2. Authority, respect and courtesy I will act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy. I will use my powers and authority lawfully and proportionately, and will respect the rights of all individuals. 7. Confidentiality I will treat information with respect, and access or disclose it only in the proper course of my duties.
 3. Equality and diversity I will act with fairness and impartiality. I will not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly. 8. Fitness for work I will ensure, when on duty or at work, that I am fit to carry out my responsibilities.
4. Use of force I will only use force as part of my role and responsibilities, and only to the extent that it is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances. 9. Conduct I will behave in a manner, whether on or off duty, which does not bring discredit on the police service or undermine public confidence in policing.
5. Orders and instructions I will, as a police officer, give and carry out lawful orders only, and will abide by Police Regulations.I will give reasonable instructions only, and will follow all reasonable instructions. 10. Challenging and reporting improper behaviour I will report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which has fallen below the standards of professional behaviour

Stop laughing at the back!

If ever the maladministration of injury awards is adapted into a corrupted game of bingo, you could call house immediately in the above top ten of naughtiness.

By all accounts the code of ethics has guidance on what to do when the code is breached.

Behaviour that does not uphold the policing principles or which falls short of the expected standards of professional behaviour set out in this Code of Ethics will be dealt with:
• according to the severity and impact of any actual, suspected or alleged breach • at the most appropriate level • in a timely and proportionate manner in order to maintain confidence in the process.

For the worst offenders the College of Policing states that the most serious allegations amounting to gross misconduct can result in suspension from duty or restriction of duty, and may involve a criminal investigation and criminal proceedings.

The trouble we have here is the age old problem of who is the custodian of the custodians? Who does an aggrieved person report a breach of the code of ethics to?  Of course, you guessed it – the relevant police force or policing organisation you are complaining about. This is such a sick joke, for all Chief Constables are the police pension authority in their own area, so, under the rules of natural justice should not be allowed to decide any matter in which they have a vested interest. Yet they do. And when they do, they of course always, without fail, decide there is no case to answer. Nobody has done anything wrong. Nobody is to blame. Nothing to see here, move along.

If the local professional standards department cuffs away the complaint or calls you vexatious for having the cheek to tell them their own colleagues are dabbling with corruption then it goes to Britain’s police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission or IPCC.

Home Affairs Committee publishes report on the IPCC – News from Parliament

the Commission is overloaded with appeal cases; serious cases involving police corruption or misconduct are left under-investigated, while the Commission devotes resources to less serious complaints; and public trust continues to be undermined by the IPCC’s dependence on former officers and the investigative resources of police forces.

The IPCC has been slated in the influential Parliamentary report that accuses the IPCC of being overloaded with cases, leaving cases un-investigated, of having no real power and of too often using former policemen as supposedly “independent” investigators.

For us though, it matters not whether the IPCC is fit for purpose.  Concerns about the effectiveness or willingness of the IPCC should never be an excuse to not formally report a breach of the College of Policing’s code of ethics.  Quite the opposite.  Any contravention of this code by any person, working in any facility, needs to be officially reported and recorded to the relevant PSD department.

The volume of complaints can not all be deflected away into a dusty draw of a battered filing cabinet stored in the broom cupboard.

IODPA says this to all injured on duty pensioners.

If a HR minion makes an unlawful threat to remove your injury award, report them under the code.

If a SMP has breached confidentiality of your sensitive medical data, report them to the ICO, GMC and make a formal complaint for contravening the code.

Quite soon the lid will blow off the racket of maladministration of injury awards.  The subsequent inquiry will look, through hindsight, at the College of Policing and all responsible Chief Constables and how they allowed such rampant disregard of their own ethical standards.

 

 

The Unmasking of Cheng’s OHS Partners

The Unmasking of Cheng’s OHS Partners

“Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.”
Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

What shocks us the most about the National Wellbeing & Engagement Forum (NWEF previously NAMF) is that occasionally it doesn’t even try to hide how biased it, and some of it’s attendees, actually are.  For example, Nicholas Wirz’s opinion of the Fisher judgement in the March 2017 minutes.  Wirz says the uninjured comparator has been clarified as being the police salary when “the former officer has only one qualifying injury and is otherwise healthy. Oh my! Well… that’s a jump.

The author of this blog was sat in the public gallery at the Fisher judgement throughout the hearing and what Wirz claims to be the opinion of the court was never said.  The court clearly stated the police salary should be considered as the lowest starting point – nothing was touched on about being otherwise healthy; Wirz has made that bit up! Just in case there has been a lapse of memory, the transcript has been read and reread.   Nope, nothing like Wirz’s take on it there. Typical example of Wirz’s ability to put a spin on things to suit his own purposes – which, in respect of the NWEF is to mislead and misdirect.

We know exactly what Wirz is trying to infer here and will talk about his “otherwise healthy” in another blog – he is truly the gift that keeps giving blog material.

The Forum’s prejudices are so obvious as to be blinding – they obscure its baby steps towards being self-proclaimed experts in the Police Regulations. There is nothing certain elements within the NWEF would like more than to see regional units set up to administer all aspects of police ill health and injury pensions, from grant to grave.

These units would be controlled from the centre by the usual suspects, including Wirz, who would carefully select SMPs whose decisions would suit their paymasters. The current police pension authorities would be happily sidelined. They are all, bar the Met, City of London and the Police service of Northern Ireland, local Chief Constables. Everything would be delegated to the regional centres.

IODPA is unhappy with the built-in conflict of interest having Chief Constables in charge of injury pensions – some have shown a determined desire to treat them as a drain on scarce resources rather than honour the scope and purposes of the Regulations. However, should regional units come into being, there is very real concern the Home Office would lurking in the background, pulling the strings.

Thus, even those decent forces which have tried to honestly administer injury pensions would be compelled to see its disabled former officers face the horrors of medical assessments by dubious SMPs who would be under instructions to reduce pension payments by whatever means they think they can get away with.

Like an invading species, NWEF is taking up the ground vacated by the good, honest administrating civilians as they leave in disgust or retire.  Affected, or should we say infected forces are left with a skills gap allowing NWEF to doorstep the senior ranks saying they are the answer.  The warped an unlawful NWEF view of how the Regulations should be applied then becomes the new norm, and NWEF are a step closer to changing the culture.  Seeing the progression gradually happen, when it can be so easily countered, frightens us.

An example of the creep is evidenced in those who go to NWEF conferences.  The most recent conference saw a mob-handed turn-out by Staffordshire. Coincidentally this was at the time when they were forming the intent to start a mass review program of injury pensions.

There are many other things which bother us about those who attend the NWEF’s meetings, but one thing which stands out a lot at the moment is the attendance of an individual named Sally Waterlow.

She is listed as an attendee in September 2012, March 2014, December 2015, September 2016 and March 2017.

Who is she, and why are we interested in her?  Back in 2012 it appears she worked for the Metropolitan Police in a HR role, with some responsibility for ill health pensions.

The September 14th 2012 minutes contain this statement:

Sally Waterlow (SW) from the Metropolitan Police advised that they were considering withdrawing the services of the SMPs within their force altogether.

Indeed, the Met did decide not to hold further regular reviews of degree of disablement in regard to injury pensioners, and we know that one SMP, a Dr William Cheng did not have his contract renewed. Our Sally then pops up as attending later NAMF conferences – this time as a representative for a company called OHS Partners, with the job description of ‘Advisor to SMP’.

Here is a picture grab of the September 2016 NWEF minutes:

OHS Partners is a company which lists the profile of a single SMP, namely said Dr William Cheng. In fact, Dr Cheng is the company. OHS is merely a convenient, and no doubt tax-efficient, vehicle for him to tout his particular brand of medical services. He is the sole director – a group of four fellow-directors all jumped ship in November 2015. Perhaps they could see the stormy, rocky shore ahead.

The Internet domain registration of ohspartners.co.uk was submitted by a company called Partners Occupational Medical Services Ltd.  As mentioned above, the sole director of this company is William Cheng as can be seen by this director report.

For our Sally Waterlow to leave the Met and then join this tinpot company we can only suspect she would’ve had to been secretly lobotomised — perhaps by members of the NAMF’s impeccably fair and impartial board. In the dead of night. Silently, without remorse. Chloroform, a hacksaw, a scalpel.  Or she had an entirely rational, but highly dubious motivation

Our guess is that the NWEF chair, Lesley-Ann Knowles, will not give a monkey’s about the fact how it looks when Sally was given actions by the NWEF to introduce NWEF to her own contacts.  In 2014 Sally was actioned to approach her own ‘friend’ with an ‘in’ to the Home Office, minuted as:

Finally, Sally Waterlow advised of a useful contact to the group, Avril Cooper, who is advising the Home Office from a practitioner’s perspective.

It seems Avril Cooper was in 2014 Head of Occupational Health with the Metropolitan Police, as she appears as such in the list of attendees to a NAMF meeting in June of that year. In 2013 Avril was representing ACPO on the official side of the now defunct Police Negotiating Board at a Police Arbitration Tribunal. She was there with Peter Spreadbury, who is the Head of the unit within the Home Office which deals with all matters concerning police injury pensions.

Sally Waterlow’s ‘friend‘, Avril Cooper, is also mentioned in Police Advisory Board’s 28 July 2016 meeting held at the Home Office’s address of 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.

At the SAB meeting of 8 July PFEW shared their paper in response to this review. It was also agreed that Avril Cooper (MET) should be invited to share with the SAB findings from a Metropolitan Police survey which was first to be shared with the National Attendance Management Forum.

We would also figure that Ms Knowles, who is employed as a HR director for Northumbria Police, wouldn’t really care that Cheng has been given a contract for work at tri-service conglomerate of Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police forces.  Just look at this contract, valued at £576 000, and who it was awarded to:

Notice_JAN120043

Name and address of economic operator to whom the contract has been awarded


Partners Occupational Medical Services Ltd

208 Green Lanes, Palmers Green

London

N13 5UE

UK

william.cheng@ohspartners.co.uk

+44 2079287080

Oh! Dr Cheng with an ohspartners.co.uk email address …  quelle surprise!

So, we have Sally Waterlow and Dr Cheng clearly linked in some way. And Sally has contacts within the Home Office, which means so does the supposedly impartial independent medical  assessor, Dr Cheng.

Ms Knowles would also be sanguine, hunkered down behind that familiar defence of: ‘If IODPA think we’re biased then we must be getting it right’ — a self-justifying falsehood if ever there was one.

Knowles will probably dispatch some overpaid, half-witted, oleaginous middle-managing  gimp to placate the complainants that to award a contract to the boss of someone who attended her own conferences stinks; while assuring anyone asking that they are wrong in every respect and that, within NWEF, everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. As it always is.

And yet the complainants are right, surely.

The horror when this unexpected eventuality dawns upon someone that can actually do something about this will be our greatest pleasure of the year.

Until then we will point to the truth, and NWEF will continue it’s embarrassing trajectory to oblivion.

It was pretty much ever thus with the NWEF.  You may have heard  the comments made by some which claim our coverage is guilty of bias.  We can take that hit  – we reveal the other side to the NWEF coin and we always provide links to the source.

Our view is let the reader decide, so we are never inclined to take the complaints very seriously. But a senior ranking apparatchik said once: ‘What you have to understand, is that only the bad and the mad attend NAMF.’ That was from a senior member of a force that refuses to send delegates to NWEF, since you asked.

Stories of bureaucratic profligacy and incompetence will continue.

The bias we report is so evident, so obvious, so blinding that it sometimes obscures the fact that the awarding of the Cheng contract has a distinctly criminal whiff about it.

We thought you should know about these close links – please come to your own conclusions why Sally Waterlow fervently goes to NWEF conferences . . .

 

 

The Wisdom of the Pension Ombudsman

The Wisdom of the Pension Ombudsman

“He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his reason is weak.”
Michel de Montaigne

In 2016, the months of September and October has seen two interesting decisions handed down by the Pension Ombudsman (PO).  In both decisions it is clear the arrogance of the pension authority involved led them to think the forcefulness of their command would conceal the lack of reason within.

One decision concerns Thames Valley Police and how this force (and vicariously by the SMPs they appointed) incorrectly apportioned an on-duty injury by trying to imply that the complainant, Ms E, had a pre-existing vulnerability to mental illness.  The infamous  Dr Cheng is in the centre of this particular stagnant mire.

The second Pension Ombudsman decision we are going to discuss here isn’t about police injury awards but it does involve ill-health retirement.  Mr Y complained to the Pensions Ombudsman that NGF Europe Pension Fund’s refusal of an ill-health early retirement pension was maladministration.  The Ombudsman upheld Mr Y’s complaint and directed the employer to make the decision again.

The points raised by the PO in these decisions have huge implications for police forces. Each will be discussed but let us first look at Mr Y’s case.

The PO found that NGF relied too much on it’s own occupation health clinician and ignored the expert opinion of the patient’s own clinicians:

NGF’s view that it is entitled to prefer its medical advisers’ opinions when there is a conflict of opinion between them and those of Mr Y’s GP and the consultant treating him, demonstrates that NGF saw its medical advisers’ own opinions of Mr Y’s state of health as at least equal to those of a specialist in a particular field of medicine. https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/determinations/2016/po-13059/ngf-europe-pension-fund/

Effectively, the PO is saying employers can not simply rely on the recommendations  of their own ‘in-house’ medical advisers and that it is not…

“[…] rational to give considerable weight to a prediction that had not been fully explored and was outside the adviser’s remit”. https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/determinations/2016/po-13059/ngf-europe-pension-fund/

The decision says that, whether or not the employer (or regards to injury awards, the police pension authority) is understandably concerned about if the treating doctors of the patient have understood the definition of total incapacity, it can not give undue considerable weight to the opinion of it’s own assessor.

How often is a one-sided view taken by a SMP?  Every-time that SMP is trained or advised by certain elements within NAMF is the answer.

It is a well recorded fact that often SMPs deliberately disregard what a former officer’s General Practitioner or treating consultant have said.  Indeed Nicolas Wirz, solicitor for Northumbria police has been so unguarded as to write in his NAMF approved ‘guidance’ to SMPs that:

SMPs are likely to be more skilled at resolving disputes of medical fact [Para 4.12 POLICE PENSIONS (SMP) DEVELOPMENT EVENT 31 JANUARY 2014 MR NICHOLAS WIRZ PRESENTATION]

and

A common occurrence is for the treating physician to “fudge” the issue [Para 4.14 POLICE PENSIONS (SMP) DEVELOPMENT EVENT 31 JANUARY 2014 MR NICHOLAS WIRZ PRESENTATION]

In other words, a highly qualified, experienced specialist consultant’s opinion is nothing compared to that of some money-grabbing quack who has jumped on the gravy train of doing SMP work. Moreover, said consultant will be biased, whereas the SMP will be squeaky clean unbiased.

Come off it Wirzy-boy, pull the other one, it’s got bells on. Do you really think that you can fool anyone other than the intellectually-challenged likes of Cheng and Nightingale, etc. with this sort of manure? You have got dear old Karen thinking she is a High Court Judge who can ‘direct’ people to do her bidding, and good old Billy Chung Wing prefers not to engage his brain other than to remember where he has stashed all his illicit earnings. The rest of the medical profession have wisely elected to give SMP work a wide berth because of you.

But we digress – the case of Mr Y shows that the PO disagrees with Mr Wirz.  In fact it leaves Mr Wirz’s claims naked.  His imagined invention of an aura of being ‘judicially all-powerful’ is simply his cloak for SMPs to wear. Cloaks that make them feel better about themselves.  Not only delusional cloaks, if cloaks can be delusional, but clearly not in accordance with fact that the SMP is acting as an employer’s agent.

An agent with a role defined in statute – but an agent of an employer nonetheless.

The SMP is no more a presiding judge than, say, a Custody Sergeant with his duties defined in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

The PO declared that when it comes to Mr Y’s ill-health retirement there were relevant questions which should have been asked and that the employer and his medical adviser should not apply a selective restriction to the reports provided by the patient’s clinicians.

The PO’s decision could be exactly applied to the erroneous methodology preached by Wirz.  The PO has said it is wrong for pension authorities, like NGF, to only take into account its medical advisers’ opinions as this, by it’s nature, will also take in irrelevant considerations.

So yet again the proclamations of Nicholas Wirz are proved wrong – SMPs must resist being brainwashed by the outpourings from this darkly dubious source into thinking the Regulations are too complex for the patient’s clinicians to comprehend.  If the SMP has suspicions the clinician doesn’t understand the statutory question then he shall not dismiss the opinion outright, he should seek clarification.  Put plainly, the PO says they should just ask:

It would not have been difficult to ask them, but this was not done; https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/determinations/2016/po-13059/ngf-europe-pension-fund/

In the PO’s judgement NGF Europe held a dismissive view of important reports and it was wrong for it to claim that it had enough evidence already and clarification was unnecessary.  This arrogance conveys the impression that the decision not to award a total incapacity pension had already been made.

And so, onto the decision in respect of Ms E’s complaint to the PO.

This concerned the granting of an original injury award.  The first SMP, Dr Leeming-Latham, made the  decision to apportion Ms E’s injury benefit on nothing more substantial than than the appearance of a single entry in her GP’s notes dating from 1988 stating, “Depressional neurosis”.

Despite being told that a reconsideration of Dr Leeming-Latham ‘s decision (under regulation 32) would be a paper exercise, Ms E had the unfortunate experience of attending an appointment with Dr Cheng.  Not only did Dr Cheng think the apportionment applied by Leeming-Latham was reasonable but he also considered the 1988 notes demanded an apportionment bedfellow, and commented that:

general formal grievances that were not upheld and disciplinary proceedings should not be classified as an injury on duty”. https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk/determinations/2016/po-5477/police-injury-benefit-scheme/

You can see how Dr Cheng’s brain was working … when you are asked to review a complaint of inappropriate apportionment, why stop at one.  Why not add further apportionment and then you can try to apportion the whole award away?

Seizing the chance with both hands to go gaga full-bore crazy, Dr Cheng continued by saying Ms E actually had a problem with her wrist, which was incorrect.  On top of all this Ms E had expressed concern her papers might have been mixed up with someone else’s. She also said that Dr Cheng had told her he never gave anyone a 100% degree of disablement.

This was all taken to a PMAB, where the basis for the appeal was that Ms E disputed Dr Cheng’s opinion that her disablement placed her in Band Two for an injury award.

Ms E won the appeal and was awarded a band three award.  The PMAB found Dr Cheng was wrong and concluded that the psychological impairment arising from perceptions of work events were the only factor contributing to permanent disablement and that apportionment was not appropriate.

A victory against the odds!  The PO mentioned in his judgement that Ms E raised concerns that the PMAB appeared to exhibit bias.  Ms E specifically called into question the unnecessary time delays, the lack of female presence, that there was no mention at the hearing of her being put under surveillance while on sick leave, nothing submitted relating disciplinary proceedings whilst she was on sick leave and the horrendous situation of the conflict of interest that existed as TVP’s Pensions Manager and Dr Cheng both sat on the national HR board for the PMAB.  Ms E was awarded £750 for all the maladministration.

And now we can weave together the similarity between Ms E’s decision and Mr Y’s.

Just like NGF Europe Pension Fund’s modus operandi, both TVP and the PMAB “cherry picked” Ms E’s documents.  Favourable reports from a Dr Logsdail were not considered and personal development reviews, papers relating to her grievances, newspaper articles criticising her, and emails from senior staff criticising her were all ignored by Dr Cheng and the PMAB.

Sound familar?  TVP, as a pension authority, had a duty not to have a predetermined decision in mind.  But they used Cheng and Leeming-Latham to get the result they wanted by ignoring everything that contradicted their point of view.

This is exactly what the PO is getting at in the decision of Mr Y.

The simple message for all police pension authorities is to keep this in mind: you only get one chance to do things right the first time.

Why not dispense with your biased SMPs and save money and improve the quality of injury award decisions by making fewer mistakes and learning more from those you do make.  Tell the SMPs you use to look objectively at all the evidence placed in front of them.  Stop using Dr Cheng and the number of appeals will plummet.

This means also put the Book of NAMF in the bin where it belongs.

It must be better, quietly and without fuss, noise and bluster, to aim to get things right in the first place rather than having to forced to put them right through expensive appeal and complaint processes. You may well think that the likes of Cheng and Wirz save you money. You would be wrong to think that. The legal challenges you are facing now are only the tip of the iceberg.

The Enablers of Dr Cheng

The Enablers of Dr Cheng
enabler
noun
plural noun: enablers a person or thing that makes something possible. a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behaviour in another.

Prepare yourself if your life has been touched by this individual, or others like him.

Ready? …  OK. Let us now ponder the contradiction that is  Dr William Chung Wing Cheng (GMC Reference Number 1631726). He is that thankfully rare being – a doctor who seemingly sets out to do harm.

As those unfortunate to cross his path can attest, he is beyond parody. There are just so many anecdotes of personal suffering inflicted on those forced to submit to one of his so-called ‘medical assessments’ in relation to ill health retirement or an an injury on duty award that there isn’t the space for this blog to go into exact details of his escapades. Suffice to say that everywhere he goes he manages to further damage already damaged individuals.

Rather than focus on what motivates Dr Cheng, which from the eyes of those put before him seems to be nothing more complicated than a greed-fuelled need to make money, we are going to discuss why Dr Cheng is employed as a SMP.

William Cheng is a name well known by those who read these pages. Troubling as his behaviour is, the fact he is given the opportunity to be unpleasant is evidence of the greater malaise affecting the administration of injury awards. How is it that a doctor who does harm is allowed to continue in post?

There are a multitude of reasons to think the ill-health and injury retirement process, and the administration of injury on duty pensions in the police is corrupted: the group-think of police management at all levels is one of them. Cowardice is another. Dr Cheng is the tool of the jellyfish: spineless HR directors synchronised swimming in one terminal direction by using Dr Cheng as their proxy.

In a just world disabled former police officers would not be placed in front of him only to be injured further by the trauma of facing not only his perverse decisions but his lies and his nasty attitude. Dr Cheng shows no compassion, no care, no empathy. He is a cold machine which has but one layered purpose, and that purpose is not to heal or comfort the sick, but to make money out of misery and make more misery so as to make more money.

Cheng is allowed to continue his work in this field as he comes across as a willing, arrogant, compliant part of a methodology devised by senior personnel intended to sideline and work around the Regulations whilst creating the illusion of performing a statutory duty.

Cheng does their bidding with gusto. He is not concerned should anyone find the strength to appeal his decisions, as he will earn another fee for attending each PMAB. For HR and Legal Services, and the bean counters, the appeal process is there to deter the vast majority from making any challenge. It is a win-win arrangement for Cheng and his paymasters. Over time Cheng saves them money. An injury pension paid at a lower band for the next thirty years, set against the single outlay of Cheng’s fee is a good deal. Every serving officer who is refused an ill health pension represents money freed up to be spent in other ways. Never mind that the Regulations are intended to support and compensate, in recognition of the inherent dangers present in police work. Never mind the obligation to see that the Regulations are applied fairly and correctly. Put such considerations to one side wherever there is an opportunity to save money.

Any suggestion that Dr Cheng is biased is portrayed as an assault on the entire medical profession and is seen as an affront to the vested interests in HR, as represented by the inner cabal within the NAMF , who would no doubt fall behind a campaign supporting Dr Cheng. We would hear from them that he is, in their view, independent and the appeals against him are just a consequence of the work that he does.

Yet from the evidence, the amount of appeals he generates appears to be a giant ball of flame hurtling into an abyss of despair.

These figures obtained from the Home Office show Dr Cheng has been responsible for a remarkable 28% of ALL PMAB hearings in the five years between 2010 to 2015.

 Year Total appeal hearings No. hearings that Dr Cheng attended No. these hearings that were appeals against Dr Cheng’s decision No. these upheld (appellant’s appeal successful)
2010 100 12 12 3
2011 73 6 6 2
2012 50 10 10 2
2013 54 7 7 3
2014 67 30 30 8
2015 93 57 57 1

So out of all the SMPs in the UK – of all 43 police forces, just one doctor has caused over almost a third of all appeals to PMABs.

% of Cheng PMABs appeals % of Cheng Appeals Upheld (successful for appellant)
2010 12.00% 25.00%
2011 8.22% 33.33%
2012 20.00% 20.00%
2013 12.96% 42.86%
2014 44.78% 26.67%
2015 61.29% 28.07%

In 2015 almost two thirds of PMABs nationwide were because of Dr Cheng.  Over the full five year period 28% of appeals were found against this doctor.

The woeful number of successful appeals hides a truth. It is surprising that even this many appeals are won given the very real David v Goliath situation faced by the disabled former officer, but the truth is that it’s not just Dr Cheng who disabled former officers have to fight – it is the strength in numbers provided by the closed of ranks of full bureaucracy some forces chose to bring to bear against vulnerable damaged individuals – it can be breathtaking in its audacious scope and scale.

Any disabled former officer daring to challenge a decision by Dr Cheng is immediately faced with a wall of resistance from HR, and all others concerned. They close ranks behind their shields, as to admit any error is simply not within their collective psyche. Push against the shield wall and what results are accusations of vexatious behaviour and insane warped spouting of concepts of ‘duty’ wrapped up in wrongly interpreted extracts from the Regulations.

The Legal Services departments of some forces can and do provide a supportive environment for someone like Cheng to thrive in. HR use them to attempt justification for their maladministration, but the old saying, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ applies. The answer you get depends on the question you ask, and HR never ask the right questions. A HR manager seeking to protect themselves from blame will never ask an impartial question. If, by some fluke, they get a legal opinion which does not support their actions, then it never sees the light of day. Whenever HR say, ‘We have taken legal advice‘ they always, always, refuse to divulge what that advice is, thus avoiding the rightness or strength of that advice being subjected to objective scrutiny.

Do we have examples of how legal services conspire with HR to make life extremely unpleasant for anyone unfortunate to be placed in front of a SMP such as Dr Cheng? …

Of course we do.

The link below is to a discussion which is repeated in similar form in every meeting room, in every force that uses ‘gun for hire’ SMPs:

whatdotheyknow.com – IOD liaison minutes 23rd October 2015.pdf.html

Avon & Somerset uses the services of gun for hire Dr ‘Deadeye’ Philip Johnson but the thought process are the same.  Use the might of a public body to hammer aside the inadequacies of the doctor.

Official / Secret / Top Secret

Date of minutes Action # Action Update Date due RAG Owner O C
25/09/15 3.1
It was agreed that the Pension Authority could write to the individuals requesting that they release their information and that failure to do so would mean that a full review has not been able to be conducted and therefore based on the information available the award will be reduced to zero within a specified time limit.

Legal Services to provide advice to Pension Authority on wording of such a letter.

DJ advised the Pension Authority that when sending out letters to individuals who have withdrawn consent that a reduction in banding given can only be implied as you cannot predetermine and outcome if release is not made. The Pension Authority should advise what information can and will be taken into account when making a determination. This template letter will be sent in the first instance to TH, PT and AP who have all withdrawn consent.

DJ is an acronym for Daniel Johnson, the solicitor advocate (lawyer) who works for the Legal Services team in Avon and Somerset Constabulary (and as far as we know no relation to the namesake doctor).

The above extract is evidence the Solicitor Advocate for A&S, was willing to condone and justify a letter to disabled former officers intended to misdirect and threaten.  A threat that is in fact a blatant bluff. What kind of solicitor can willingly conspire to make empty threats to disabled folk?

We need hardly remind our readers that there is no provision whatever within the Regulations for an injury pension to be reduced to zero should an individual fail to give consent for access to their sensitive personal information. Sending a letter which implies otherwise is a deliberate attempt to pervert the intent and purpose of the Regulations. It is a shocking indictment of the complete abandonment of professional ethics by the solicitor concerned. Daniel Johnson correctly warned the Pension Authority that a reduction in banding could not be applied as desired in the circumstances described, thus covering his back. But, he then offered a work-around to HR, telling them to merely imply that a reduction could result.

So, could a reduction ever result when an individual refuses to give consent for the SMP to inspect their medical record, or their financial and employment record? The answer is that such an outcome would be very very unlikely, as the Pension Authority is only entitled to make a decision on such evidence and medical advice as they think necessary. In the absence of any medical record there would be no evidence and no doctor could give informed advice with no records on which to base his opinion?

We can guarantee that nobody receiving such a letter would know the threat was an empty one. They would see it as real and would think they had no alternative other than to give consent to allow all and sundry to pour over their sensitive personal data.

If a Police Authority were to reduce a pension in these circumstances, there would be grounds for an immediate appeal, probably by way of a judicial review. The pensioner might be criticised for failing to cooperate, but the court would then hear the full and ugly history of threats, incompetence, misinformation, and corruption which compelled the individual to be fearful, with good reason, that the process was unlawful. Why should anyone cooperate with an unlawful process?

We have written about this before, but, bearing in mind that our audience includes some decent but possibly misinformed, misguided HR managers, SMPs and force solicitors, we will once more present the relevant regulation:

Refusal to be medically examined

  1. If a question is referred to a medical authority under regulation 30, 31 or 32 and the person concerned wilfully or negligently fails to submit himself to such medical examination or to attend such interviews as the medical authority may consider necessary in order to enable him to make his decision, then—

(a)if the question arises otherwise than on an appeal to a board of medical referees, the police authority may make their determination on such evidence and medical advice as they in their discretion think necessary;

(b)if the question arises on an appeal to a board of medical referees, the appeal shall be deemed to be withdrawn

IODPA has no issue with lawfully held reviews of degree of disablement. We advise controlled and carefully specified consent to allow access to personal information relevant to the regulatory process. We do not advise that anyone give carte blanche consent to allow anyone to obtain, access and process their personal information. We see no reason why anyone in HR or Occupational Health should ever need to see any personal information beyond name, contact details, and degree of disablement for pension payment purposes of private citizens who were once police officers.

IODPA campaigns against unlawful application of the Regulations.

We try not to descend to personal name calling, but with the likes of Dr Cheng it is impossible not to see that the character and moral deficiency of the individual is the problem. We try to highlight the errors made by HR and others, and here we are really identifying systemic failures – maladministration resulting from a combination of numerous errors of thinking, faulty training or lack of training, the inability to accept that errors need to be admitted and corrected, the complete lack of good faith, the bias arising from a misplaced sense that disabled former officers, not the officials then in charge, were responsible for historic mistakes, and, above all, the repugnant view of injury pensions as a drain on scarce resources, making them a legitimate target for a determined and evolving attempt to reduce that burden by foul means.

So, Dr Cheng, we don’t like you, but we think you are the sort of pathetic morally bankrupt individual who is a gift to the corrupt managements which employ your services. Our real contempt is for them, as without them you could not continue to do your harm. Against this confederacy of dunces stands IODPA.  We are brave enough to risk to tell the truth. We hope and trust that the decent, moral, HR managers, SMPs and legal people who work without controversy in the majority of police forces will join with us in exposing and rooting out this cancer of corruption which is in their midst.

All that it takes to enable corruption to spread is that people of good intent do nothing.

This group of police force HR managers, occupational health personnel and the odd force solicitor is supposedly concerned in its quarterly meetings with keeping the police workforce fit and well. The clue is in the name - it is supposed to concentrate on people who work. However, it spends time also considering matters relating to disabled former officers. Quite what legitimates this group's interest in disabled private citizens who are in receipt of a police injury pension is a mystery.

The mystery deepens when it is revealed that the Home Office and representatives of the commercial company which has the contract to run Police Medical Appeal Boards, HML, also regularly appear on the list of delegates. The mystery morphs into something smelling of conspiracy when the delegate list is entirely absent of any representative of any of the people whose lives the NAMF seeks to affect. There is nobody from the Police Federation, nor from NARPO, nor anyone from any disablement charity, mental health association, etc. etc. In other words, the NAMF is a one-sided talking shop. Even at that level it is not properly representative of all police forces, for we note that there are rarely, if ever, delegates present from every area.

Those of us with long memories, recollect that the Home Office claimed that it had conducted what it called a 'survey' of all forces, way back in 2004, prior to finalising its unlawful guidance issued as Annex C to HO circular 46/2004. The HO claimed that their survey showed that it was common practice for forces to review the degree of disablement of injury-on-duty pensioners once they reached what would have been normal force retirement age. This is what the guidance said:

'This Guidance is being issued to help ensure a fairer, more cohesive approach to the payment of injury benefits to ill-health retired officers who have reached the compulsory retirement age with their Force. A recent survey found that practice in this area was diverse. Some forces automatically reduced degree of disablement benefits to the lowest banding when this age had been reached - others continued to pay benefits at the same rate until the death of the Officer concerned.'

The plain truth, revealed through Freedom of Information Act requests, was that there never was any survey. The HO later tried to claim that the bold, unmistakable claim made in its guidance resulted from 'round the table discussions' at meetings of the NAMF. Yet nothing even hinting at such discussions appeared in the minutes and the HO could not produce a single scrap of data nor any record or any other evidence to show quite how it had come to the conclusion that some forces automatically reduced benefits to the lowest band at what would have been normal force retirement age.

Shockingly, further research revealed that absolutely no forces, not a single one out of the 43 in England and Wales, had ever reduced benefits to the lowest band at what would have been normal force retirement age, automatically or otherwise. The Home Office was caught out in a blatant lie. It was a lie intended for one purpose only - its actually intent was to give an air of normalcy to the huge change in practice which the HO wished to bring about.

This astounding act by a Government department tells us what the NAMF was then, and remains now. It's objective in so far as police injury on duty pensions is concerned, is to subvert the law of the land. The law cannot be changed retrospectively, so the inner circle work to find ways to unlawfully manipulate it through influencing gullible HR managers, and by training carefully selected corruptible SMPs how to refuse grant of an injury award and how to conduct reviews which reduce the degree of disablement of retired officers.

And so the machinations of the NAMF continue...