Reports to the National Audit Office

3rd July 2003

Sir John Bourn KCB
Comptroller and Auditor General
National Audit Office
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
London. SW1W 9SP

Dear Sir,

I write with considerable concern in respect to the abuse of the Legal Aid system and the resulting costs to the tax-payer in the group litigation under the name of Herbert George Snell and others - v – Robert Young & Co Ltd and others.
In my efforts to stop this abuse I have attempted to have those responsible investigated by the various “disciplinary bodies” but those with vested interest in retaining the status quo have thwarted my efforts at every stage.

At this point I should add that for many years the Legal Services Commission extracted contributions from me AFTER my means tested benefits had been calculated. All attempts to seek an explanation for this apparent breach of the rules, regarding the calculations used, failed and spurious reasons were given. In fact the Legal Services Commission remains in breach of the Data Protection Act since it has refused to supply the full copies of the papers involved in my case, which will show that I have reported abuses to them with no action taken.
In fact it appears that the LSC as an agency of government, which was itself a co-defendant in the group action, has assisted the defence in order to prevent the cases reaching the court. I have notified the LSC at every stage of the abuse of legal aid funding and they have failed to act. I believe therefore that they are now a party to the crimes, and wrote to that effect. The letter was also ignored, copy enclosed.

Recently the solicitors, who were supposedly representing my best interests, suggested that I should write to your office. I have since received the billing notification which supports my worst fears. I enclose a copy of a letter written to the solicitors which I think is self explanatory.

In March this year the BBC reported that the group action had cost £5 million for the plaintiffs and, presumably because the defence succeeded in striking out the claims using misleading information, the tax-payer must now find that money, plus the stated sum of £35 million for the defence team. Had the LSC properly funded the cases and allowed us to obtain the supporting evidence then the defence, who are after all the richest companies in the world, would have paid all of this money.
I believe that there should be a full investigation into this matter and look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

9th March 2004

National Audit Office
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road

Dear Sir / Madam,

I understand that there have been problems with the way Benefit Claims have been processed by the private company which controls Medical Services.

There seems to have been more concern over decisions made which involve the most vulnerable people, which would include the group who require examinations in their own homes.
Perhaps this is the result of lack of accountability and the fact that most homes do not have CCTV to provide evidence of disability, or of comments made, to counter any false opinions by examining doctors?? The truly vulnerable are therefore most at risk.

The enclosed case history is a record of just one case and how the facts of a case were ignored over a 12-year period in order to achieve the desired decision.
It is a true record and can be supported by written evidence if necessary.

I send it to your offices in the belief that those involved must eventually be made accountable for their actions. It is my understanding and belief that similar actions have been taken in cases involving Disability Living Allowance and in cases of radiation, vaccine, and Gulf War damage, to name but a few, and so the full cost to the tax-payer of such enforced appeal processes could be enormous.
In recent House of Lords questions it became apparent that even members of that House are not permitted to know how much is paid to this foreign-owned company by the taxpayers of the United Kingdom.

It is now confirmed that the company or companies involved in the decision making process have direct corporate interests in the companies which manufacture the products about which decisions must be made in regard to the harm they cause.

I trust that your offices will take the necessary steps to counter the unlawful actions reported here and to bring the perpetrators to book.

Yours sincerely,

THE HIDDEN COST OF DECEPTION – a review of an Industrial injury case

This paper reports on the methods used by officials of Government in attempts to hide the true dangers of chemicals which are licensed for use by Government itself and the adverse effects caused by those actions to the innocent victims and their families.

  1. The Claimant had worked regularly with pesticides throughout his 20 years working for the same employer. That employer sold the farm in November 1991 and the new owner agreed to continue the claimant’s employment under the Transfer of Undertakings and part of that agreement included accepting full responsibility for all ramifications that might result from the previous employment.
    The former employer wrote that the claimant had only had very little time off sick in all those twenty years and that he had been healthy. The former employer’s solicitors confirmed these facts in a letter to the Claimant.

  2. The Claimant found that his work title and responsibility did not conform to the conditions in the sale transfer. His management position no longer applied and he was reduced to general farm work under the supervision of even the lowest member of staff. Without notice the Claimant’s payment method was changed from hourly to salary and from weekly payments to 4 weekly.
    In January 1992 the Claimant was asked to remove a pipe from the pump of a pesticide sprayer.
    The equipment had not been used in the months during which the claimant was employed on that farm and no danger was suspected, especially given the position in which the tank had been placed.
    When the chemical gushed out over him the Claimant protested to other workers about the danger and how the chemical, which he recognised by the smell, had made him feel ill before.
    His protests were not taken seriously.
    Working in the vicinity of the chemical spill for the next few days only increased the Claimant’s exposure, as did the vapours released from the contaminated over-trousers that he wore.
    The symptoms of poisoning gradually worsened until the claimant was unfit for work and the doctor was called. Sadly the Claimant was too ill to remember what had happened and as a result the doctor treated the symptoms without realising the cause and the prescribed drugs were contraindicated in poisoning, worsening the Claimant’s condition.

  3. When the suspicions about the cause of the Claimant’s condition fell on to the chemical the Claimant attempted to obtain the details from the employer and his staff but all requests for that information were denied. This is also contrary to regulations designed to protect workers.

  4. Investigations by the doctors and various specialists eliminated the initially suspected causes of viral cause, or asthma, or heart disease, and the Claimant was referred to the National Poisons Unit at Guy’s Hospital. Blood and urine tests were taken by the GP for analysis by the Unit but the results have never been released, although the analysis resulted in continued referral.

  5. With referral to the Poisons Unit the Claimant was advised to report the exposure to the Health and Safety Executive and the completed form F2508 was handed to the employer for signature.
    The employer claimed that his insurers advised him not to submit the report – also contrary to the regulations designed to protect workers.

  6. Toxicologists reported that the symptoms were those of poisoning and confirmed poisoning verbally on numerous occasions.

  7. Delay in admission for the required tests, despite pressure from the GPs for the “urgent” appointments with some five specialists, resulted in a further examination to ensure that the Claimant’s symptoms fitted the criteria for poisoning.
    They did and he was admitted for two weeks of intensive tests.

  8. Those tests discovered cardio-respiratory abnormalities and cognitive changes.
    There were also reports of abnormal nerve signals and reference to muscle wasting and adverse reactions to prescription drugs, as recognised in poisoning cases.

  9. The Claimant was examined by a DSS doctor for Disability Living Allowance just months later and it was confirmed that all the symptoms were of physical cause and that the Claimant was very ill with the probable diagnosis of poisoning.

  10. The Poisons Unit confirmed that the initial symptoms were those of acute poisoning but mention was made of a “recent” infection with coxsackie B virus. Note that this is a short-lived virus and this was some 18 months after the Claimant had been poisoned. Nor could the virus account for the many symptoms reported by examining doctors.
    Suggestions of cervical spondylosis as an explanation of other neurological symptoms were dismissed by the Claimant’s GP.

  11. Having lost confidence in the Poisons Unit the GP made a referral to another specialist, who once again confirmed the diagnosis of poisoning and, as a result of legal advice, the claimant made an application for the Industrial Disease benefit, PD C3, poisoning by phosphorus or its compounds.

  12. The Poisons Unit then acted in an inexplicable way.
    A senior doctor, Dr Glynn Volans, wrote three letters about the Claimant’s case on the same day.
    One to the Claimant’s GP admitted that the decision to withdraw the diagnosis of poisoning was due to the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s investigation into the involvement of the HSE.
    The Claimant discovered that the HSE had not investigated the incident but instead chose to believe the false information given to HSE staff by the employer and the men who had mixed and stored the illegal chemicals involved. HSE promoted the false invented story of the incident as fact and claimed that the Claimant had not been exposed to the chemicals, this despite detailed written work history that demonstrated almost daily exposure over decades – as admitted by the employer.
    Another letter of the same date was written to the HSE explaining why the above action had been taken and, for motives that defy reason, suggested that the Claimant should have been seen more by their psychiatrist. The only conclusion possible is that the HSE had convinced the Poisons Unit that the Claimant had not been exposed and was therefore imagining the symptoms.
    However, the third letter written by the same doctor on that same day to the DSS confirmed poisoning and supported the Claimant’s application for PD C3 benefit, actually naming Causative Agent 4, which is poisoning by organophosphorus pesticides.

  13. In January 1995 a Dr Howell for the Sutton Benefits Agency offices examined the Claimant and reported sensation loss. However he put pressure on the Claimant to explain exactly what the doctor had initially diagnosed and, despite the fact that the Claimant was obviously unable to say, his report suggested an infection. The Benefit was denied.

  14. The Claimant asked for the reasons for the denial and was sent copies of the Poisons Unit letters to the GP and to the Benefits Agency. The Claimant appealed.

  15. The Appeal medical was a complete sham, with a disinterested, stand-in, examiner who took the sight testing board off of the wall and asked the Claimant if he could read it from three feet.

  16. When the Claimant received the decision, which again denied the claim, he recognised the words used as the reason for the decision. They were copied word for word from Dr Howell’s report.
    In fact the typist phoned the Claimant, admitted what had happened, and asked for the second copy of the decision letter to be returned in a reply-paid envelope, because it was her file copy.
    Later another letter was dispatched with the same decision and the same phrases but with some of the spelling errors corrected. The Claimant appealed again.

  17. A Dr Goran Jamal, a specialist in OP poisoning also confirmed that the symptoms suffered by the Claimant were those of poisoning, when he examined the Claimant. He observed that because the Claimant was not properly tested during the acute phase then it would be difficult to prove scientifically as required by the High Court.

  18. An Appeal Tribunal was to be arranged but the paperwork supplied by the Benefits Agency was incomplete. “Sick Notes” from GPs stating that Chronic Organophosphorus Poisoning was the diagnosis were not included in the file and so it was arranged for a local member of DSS staff to visit the Claimant to ensure that the documentation was complete.
    Despite this at the time of the 1997 Tribunal the DSS papers were still incomplete and many were completely ineligible.
    The unanimous view of the Tribunal was that the Claimant was showing obvious neurological symptoms and that a specialist neurological unit should examine him. A domiciliary Tribunal should follow, and at that tribunal the DSS documents should be complete and legible.

  19. Instead of referral to the neurological unit the DSS arranged for examination by a private neurologist with none of the specialist equipment required. Dr Philip Kennedy admitted his lack of knowledge about poisoning and, despite being given a detailed history of the case, produced a false report, although he also admitted that the Claimant was unwell and that he had discovered sensation loss. Such losses are consistent with the known affects of the poison.
    However he introduced the false diagnosis of “Somatisation Syndrome” and his report was full of other unsupported and inaccurate comments.

  20. The Claimant protested at the content of the report but no action was taken to correct it.

  21. In 1999 a second Tribunal was held at the Claimant’s home, but once again the DSS papers were incomplete. The claimant protested but when told of the cost of Tribunals to the country and the cost of any delay it was agreed to continue on the condition that the Claimant could introduce evidence from the medical records available which countered the “somatisation” claim.

  22. The Claimant read a prepared Statement because his memory problems made it difficult for him to remember details of the case but there were protests from Tribunal members who had links to the Trust in which the Poisons Unit was centred. When the Claimant tried to introduce medical records that proved physical harm to the heart, vision and respiratory systems the Tribunal members ruled them irrelevant and refused to allow them to be admitted. The Tribunal report shows that reference was made to submitted evidence but the comment was deleted.

  23. The medical examination demonstrated sensation loss and total loss of vibration sense in both ankles in addition to discussions in regard to the presence of certain reflexes.
    All this was ignored and later it was said that the Claimant “claimed” not to feel the sensations.

  24. The Tribunal members declared that their report would take some time but the Claimant would find that the wait was worthwhile – but PD C3 was again denied in favour of “somatisation”
    Bizarrely the Tribunal completely misrepresented the views of the treating specialist by claiming that he had supported a diagnosis of asthma when in fact the letter referred to made no mention of asthma but referred instead to the confirmation of the poisoning diagnosis.
    They then referred to the late Lord Denning and claimed that on the balance of probabilities the evidence was against the claimant when in fact the opposite was true.

  25. Another doctor produced a report for the High Court strongly supporting the poisoning diagnosis and, knowing that what had happened at the Tribunal was wrong, the Claimant appealed again and this time there was to be a Commissioner’s Hearing.
    The Claimant was informed that the decision of the Tribunal would be over-ruled if he could show breach of just one point of law and that there were many such breaches.

  26. The Claimant and his representative prepared another statement, with references to some 50 pages of supporting evidence.

  27. In 2001, a month before the hearing, the HSE “inspected” the Claimant’s representative’s one-room office and this resulted in a cancelled appointment with the Claimant.

  28. When the Claimant and his representative appeared in Court his representative stood up and declared that the Claimant was representing himself in matters of law. He then sat in silence as the Claimant tried to read an altered statement with all the references removed and supporting evidence missing. The Claimant was not well, adversely affected by perfumes and polish in the courtroom, and at one stage the Commissioner even suggested that he read the Claimant’s statement himself.
    The Claimant declined the offer because the statement had been altered.
    The Commissioner refused to allow the Court to discuss matters of conflict of interest, or the rules of evidence relied upon by the Court, or to believe that the Poisons Unit had withheld vital records.

  29. The Commissioner’s report declared that the Claimant was “exceedingly ill” but that he considered it was not his place to over-rule the Tribunal decision.
    The false “Somatisation” claim therefore remained as the chosen decision.

  30. The Claimant was advised to issue a new claim.

    New Evidence

  31. In June 2001 evidence came to light which proved that the chemicals involved had in fact been an illegal mixture of two organophosphorus insecticides and solvents. Contacts with the chemical manufacturers and with regulating bodies provided evidence of the illegality of the mix and the fact that the true toxic potential was completely unknown to science.

  32. The Benefits Agency made attempts to restrict the claim to accident only but the claim was for the illness that resulted from the accident.

  33. In 2002 the incident was at last officially confirmed as an Industrial Accident.
    The Health and Safety Executive refuse to remove their false statements from the records, preferring instead to maintain what they refer to as a balance of opinion in the file.

  34. An appointment was made for a medical examination and it was reported that it was not for diagnostic purposes but to determine the extent of disability, the diagnosis having been established.
    However when the Claimant arrived for the examination it had been cancelled on the grounds that there was no doctor qualified to determine that decision. It was reported however that the file did show that the Claimant’s diagnosis of PD C3 was confirmed with all criteria fulfilled.
    It was then suggested that the Claimant’s file had been “lost” and that the Benefits Agency was in the process of creating a new file. A small amount of compensation was paid for the delay caused.

  35. In 2003 a medical examination was arranged at the Claimant’s home on the insistence of a DSS examiner who had seen the obviously unwell Claimant at the earlier cancelled appointment.

  36. The named doctor did not attend and in his place a Dr Ringer examined the Claimant.
    Again the diagnosis was confirmed and it was stated that the evidence in the file fulfilled the criteria for the PD. Dr Ringer confirmed that the Claimant’s case fitted the “fragile egg” scenario whereby the earlier exposures to the chemicals had left the Claimant susceptible to the exposure to the illegal mixture. The doctor also confirmed peripheral neuropathy and that the treatment offered by the GP and treating specialist was the only way to control the deterioration.
    During the examination the doctor noted that the Claimant had suffered debilitating effects as the result of the effects of the doctor’s aftershave, despite use of an air filter near the Claimant’s face.

  37. Dr Ringer then contacted the Poisons Unit doctor for an explanation as to why the three letters had been written some 9 years earlier and suddenly both his report and his opinion changed.
    He then ignored the proven cardio-respiratory, neurological and vision effects of the poison – for which the GP had referred the Claimant urgently to the Poisons Unit all those years earlier.
    His assessment of the Claimant’s disability was initially set at 55% without any mention of the above symptoms and this was reduced to 30% as having been caused by the accident by falsely stating that chemical sensitivity, joint, and vision effects were unrelated to the poisons.
    The disability “for life” was said to have been caused by the accident, but the report stated that the Claimant had not been poisoned but that he suffered “from a mind set which believed in poisoning”

  38. The dishonest doctor at the Poisons Unit had once again, undermined the Claimant’s case.
    The claimant requested full disclosure of documents under the Data Protection Act.

  39. The Claimant made a complaint to the Benefits Agency and to the General Medical Council.
    The latter passed responsibility for the investigation to SchlumbergerSEMA, the company responsible for Medical Services and which benefits financially from appeals.
    In the meantime it was promised that the decision would be reviewed and the Claimant sent further supporting evidence.
    The toxicologist who initially made the diagnosis also offered support and the letter was also forwarded to the Medical Services team.

  40. Before Christmas 2003 the Benefits Agency reported that the decision was unchanged.
    The Claimant suggested that this was quite wrong since the doctors involved were still under investigation and it was agreed that the review of the case would again be reviewed and the investigation into the doctors would be examined again.
    The Claimant supplied a supporting letter from the treating specialist.

  41. In February 2004 the decision was again confirmed as unchanged, despite conversations with the Decision Maker on the telephone in which the Claimant challenged incorrect information.
    The investigation into the doctors involved claimed to have found nothing wrong.

    Current Position.

  42. The Claimant has been offered the chance to appeal but there is a threat that if he does then his benefits will be reduced further by changing the assessment of the degree that his disability has been affected by the accident.

  43. According to the guidance given to Decision Makers the disease question should take precedence over the accident if it is possible that the disease was the result of the accident, even when the Claimant does not suspect the possibility of disease.

  44. There is a presumption that the Prescribed Disease is the result of the work in PD C3.

  45. The Decision Maker must confirm the diagnosis of PD C3 unless there is certain unarguable evidence against the diagnosis.

  46. The decision should not be made on the basis of scientific certainty but it should be based only on the Balance of Probabilities. In other words it is more likely than not.

  47. Medical Services have confirmed that the accident caused the disability.
    Had the tank contained water and not the illegal toxic mix then there would have been no accident.
    It is therefore illogical that Medical Services deny poisoning, especially given the fact that they have evidence to the effect that the National Health Service has funded treatment, through the Claimant’s GP, only for the symptoms of Chronic Organophosphorus Poisoning.

  48. Furthermore it is quite wrong of SchlumbergerSEMA to find no fault in the doctors involved since the doctors at the Poisons Unit were criticised in a report made by the Health Service Ombudsman in respect to the handling of the Claimant’s case.

  49. It was also wrong of them to fail to criticise their Dr Ringer since it is obvious from his own report that it was altered following discussions with the Poisons Unit doctor and they were informed that his comments about the Claimant were witnessed. Evidence shows Dr Ringer involved in a review of the Claimant’s case in 1998 concluding that Medical Services were “on a losing wicket”.

  50. As quoted by the 1999 Tribunal Lord Denning stated that any benefit of the doubt must go to the Claimant. What is clear in this case history is that Medical Services have consistently attempted to hide the evidence that supports the Claimant with the collusion and participation in that unlawful action of the doctors and the officers of the Trust involved with the Poisons Unit.

  51. As Dr Ringer told the Claimant during his examination – “All you want is Natural Justice”

  52. The rules of Natural Justice support the Claimant in this case.

  53. An investigation into the fraudulent and unlawful actions taken in this case against the Claimant is vital if confidence is to be restored in the Medical Assessment process in general and the Appeals process in particular. Vital papers are still being withheld despite the Data Protection Act.

  54. The Claimant was informed that Tribunals are very costly to the Tax Payer.
    He has made every effort to ensure that these expensive measures are avoided but the truth must be recognised and those who would hide the truth for their own financial advantage must be exposed.
    The Claimant’s GP offers his support but also fears that an Appeal will be harmful to the Claimant.

    31st March 2004

    Mr Jeremy Londsdale
    National Audit Office
    157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
    SW1W 9SP

    Dear Mr Lonsdale,

    Thank you for acknowledging receipt of my letter and report of 9th March 2004 in which I raised concerns about the actions of Medical Services and the DWP.

    There are extremely serious issues involved, not least the withholding of evidence, Perversion of Justice, and Contempt of Court, involved at all levels.

    I have to report the latest developments in the case. A request was made directly to Medical Services, and via the standard Appeal form, that the unlawful decision made on the case be withdrawn and that the long-standing diagnosis, supported by the NHS, was recognised.
    The response has been to once again send the case through the appeals process and indications are that this decision was taken prior to the appeal since internal documents show that those involved refer to “some sort of legal glitch” and “technical wizardry by which this would be effected” with the intent to move the case to the level of supersession. All based on the provable false reports of their own doctors.

    Even those who advise on the handling of this matter are uncertain of their facts and it is clear that the entire exercise is to save face – at the expense of the taxpayer.

    There are other directly linked areas in this type of case where tax revenue has been wasted in order to protect corporate interests and the reputations of individuals.
    I would be happy to supply the details if required.

    I hope that on this occasion the interests of the taxpayer will override any attempts to gloss over what is a serious, and ever worsening, deliberate waste of revenue and is the result of gross dishonesty and collusion by those involved.

    Yours sincerely,

    14th June 2004

    Mr Jeremy Lonsdale
    National Audit Office
    157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
    London. SW1W 9SP

    Dear Mr Lonsdale,

    Thank you very much for your response to my concerns regarding the processing of Industrial Chemical Injury cases. I am pleased to have been of some assistance and very much look forward to seeing the recommendations by the Committee of Public Accounts, if that would be possible.
    What is clear in the reported case is that there has been gross dishonesty and deception with the deliberate falsification of reports and the withholding of supporting evidence from tribunals and a court hearing. In the reported case several medical examinations were carried out and at no time were details given as to any complaints procedure. Perhaps this explains why the number of complaints appears to have fallen?
    Certainly investigations are entirely “in-house” and in that way any complaints are neutralised easily. If those involved are prepared to manipulate the evidence in tribunals and court cases then they will be more than ready to hide complaints.
    If all else fails complainants will be directed to the Ombudsman or to the “Independent Tier” but once again the agencies involved have more open access to the investigators than the complainant and it is all too easy to manipulate the investigations. When the draft report is issued to the agency they have the opportunity to dilute any criticisms further. Even the Data Protection Act does not allow the claimant to see the evidence used or to challenge it or the conclusions.
    The taxpayers fund this exercise and the only beneficiaries are those who would hide the truth.
    Sadly, whichever individual or agency is in overall control, interdepartmental loyalties assist those who are prepared to abuse the system to the detriment of the claimants.
    This point is illustrated by the fact that when the Human Rights of claimants are abused no complaint will be considered unless the claimant specifies the correct section of the act in the complaint. Those involved obviously know perfectly well what they have done but the claimant is disadvantaged by such restrictions.
    The Government has removed the right to Legal Aid for Tribunals and Appeals leaving claimants further disadvantaged. Without qualified representation legal trickery by high paid barristers can be used to manipulate court hearings.
    It is a disgraceful situation and it is clear that criminal actions have been involved. If a member of the public committed such offences then officials would have insisted on prosecutions.
    It seems obvious that policies which protect those involved are effectively creating a group of individuals who have become above the law and who are then free to harm others.
    Perhaps the best approach would be to take action against those who have acted unlawfully?
    In some cases witnesses and records could be used to substantiate the reported facts.
    In the interests of completeness I enclosed an update to the reported case and I am sure that you will agree that it only adds to the concerns.

    Yours sincerely,

    The Hidden Costs of Deception – Update 14th June 2004.

  55. The Claimant requested that the decision on the diagnosis question be reviewed on the basis that the poisoning diagnosis was the only officially recognised explanation for the symptoms presented, that the treatment given was specifically to relieve the symptoms of the poison, that the DSS doctors had themselves admitted that the diagnosis was affirmed in the files, and that the very specialist on whose opinion their denial of the diagnosis was based had confirmed that medical science had failed completely to find an alternative diagnosis.

  56. It was agreed that the case would be reviewed but there was no contact with the doctors involved directly in the case, or with the Medical Toxicology Unit, or the GP’s practice.

  57. The Claimant wrote to doctors at the Medical Toxicology Unit requesting that they clarify their position and correct the errors in the file.

  58. Dr Virginia Murray of the Health Protection Agency, the first doctor to diagnose poisoning, telephoned the claimant and offered sympathy and support.

  59. Dr GlynVolans at the Medical Toxicology Unit failed to respond.

  60. Dr Alison Jones of the Medical Toxicology Unit wrote for Dr Volans and offered to help but when asked to provide the vital missing Medical Records which would disprove the dishonest claims made by Dr Volans she also refused to respond.

  61. The Guy’s & St Thomas Trust Complaints manager then gave more false information and stated that they would not correspond further except through the Claimant’s GP.

  62. The Claimant reminded the Trust of the facts and suggested that the GP should not be drawn into their web of deception giving them 14 days to reply. They failed to respond.

  63. The Claimant wrote to the Chief Executive of the Trust explaining the situation and asking for the errors in the files to be corrected and for the supporting evidence to be released, sending a copy of the unanswered letter to the Complaints manager. They failed to respond.

  64. The claimant wrote again to the General Medical Council requesting that they instigate the promised investigation into Drs Volans and Ringer because SchlumbergerSEMA had not properly investigated the case. They failed to respond.

  65. The Claimant was offered a review of the case by the Independent Tier but, given the history of this case it is unlikely that this body will be given the full and correct facts and it is therefore highly improbable that the truth will be admitted. A similar problem would be involved if the case was reported to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. All these actions have a cost.

  66. All avenues left open to the Claimant involve public funds and adversarial processes which will only add to the stress and impose a further burden on the health and finances of the family.

  67. The remarkable thing about this case is the way in which evidence is ignored and how opinions are permitted to over-rule facts. What those involved in hiding the truth do not realise is that the Claimant ensured that the true actions of those involved could be proven beyond doubt.

  68. 22nd June 2004

    Mr Jeremy Lonsdale
    National Audit Office
    157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
    London. SW1W 9SP

    Dear Mr Lonsdale,

    I am very grateful to you for the copies of the twelfth and sixteenth reports in respect to the Department of Works and Pensions. I hope that you will find my comments of some use.

    In the Twelfth Report the opening comments refer to the complexity being “driven by a desire to avoid unfair treatment of individuals” and yet in many cases reported to me the opposite is true.
    Some claimants have been driven to despair, and even sent into psychiatric care, because they have been unable to cope with the refusal of benefits staff to recognise long-standing diagnosis.
    I am afraid that the case reported to you is by no means unusual.
    It is suggested that it is the “complexity” which “can lead to mistakes by staff and confusion amongst customers ” but this is also misleading because some of those “mistakes” are not mistakes at all but a deliberate attempt to deny entitlement. Benefits staff have confirmed to me that they receive “bonus payments” if they can find ways to deny benefits to claimants. Officially that is denied but such practices would explain why so many cases are successful on appeal.
    In section 5 it is said that decision makers must be trained before they make decisions but in the case reported it is clear that these individuals have blatantly ignored the regulations to which they are supposedly bound.
    In 6 improvements in medical evidence gathering is suggested but there is no point in obtaining that evidence if the decision makers are then permitted to over-rule facts in favour of opinion.
    It is likely that the “Cognitive impairment/neurology” development is linked to chemical claims as in the case reported but if firm evidence after weeks of testing is ignored in order to deny long-standing diagnosis it is highly unlikely that evidence from a short medical examination will be either reliable or diagnostic.
    In 8 it is claimed that lessons are learnt from appeals, which could explain why there is a determined effort to avoid recognising mistakes and evidence at appeals. Sadly if appeals fail and those who ignored evidence escape censure ever increasing numbers will fail at appeal as the result of continuing bad practice.
    Page 7 of the report is missing but the conclusion after section 19 refers to those obtaining benefits to which they are not entitled. As reported to the authorities involved it is also fraudulent to deny benefit to those who are entitled, since they effectively steal from the claimant.

    In the Sixteenth Report it is stated that Schlumberger had improved performance but could that simply be because they are more adept at hiding key indicators? Does that explain why the service had not improved. The reported case indicates perfectly that Schlumberger ignores substantiated complaints, including gross dishonesty.

    In 4 it is recommended that shorter examination times should be the norm and yet decisions made resulting from such cursory examination often over-rule long-standing examination and diagnosis reports obtained by expensive procedures that are not available to medical examiners.
    This is particularly the case in cases where toxins have induced neurological and cognitive damage or where the signs and symptoms may be similar to, but not caused by, natural disease.
    In the conclusions in section 6 while it is true that “The Department cannot allocate and manage resources efficiently without knowing the full cost of assessing medical benefits” there is an assumption that all processes are performed within the law and there seems to be no consideration as to the costs involved when improper actions or decisions are involved.
    What should be obvious is that those who have allowed dishonest practices to continue are actually increasing the cost of the service to the detriment of both the claimants and the taxpayer.
    Unless the root cause of this over-expenditure is dealt with any cuts made will only create increasing numbers of claimants given wrong decisions and denied their rightful benefits.
    Section 7 refers to IT systems being crucial to the task but in limiting likely tenders there is a danger that even more conflicts of interest may be introduced. Already Schlumberger are making decisions in respect to the harmful effects of chemicals when they are major players in the oil industry with interests in playing down any harmful adverse effects. Likewise with Atos Origin who, it is understood, have ongoing contracts with their partners in the chemical industry.
    Although it will be difficult to find bidders for the contract who do not hold such interests there must be safeguards to ensure that such interests do not over-ride those of the sick claimants.
    This has a bearing on section 10 in that there is encouragement offered to the department to ensure that their cases are not overturned on appeal. That will result in more deception.
    Although in 12 it is claimed that Tribunal members are only appointed when they have the requisite skills this is far from the reality in chemical poisoning cases where the science is being undermined by vested interests and few in the medical field understand the true facts.
    Medical Science is not a matter of “perceptions” as stated in 13. In the reported case the science supports the claimant and the medical evidence supports the claimant, even agency doctors examining the files in 1998 said that the evidence supports the claimant, but the decision making process ignored all of the evidence in order to avoid having the opinion of one doctor, who had never examined the claimant, being over-turned on appeal.
    In 14 the involvement of the General Medical Council is admitted which is interesting given their refusal to investigate the dishonesty of doctors involved in the reported case.
    Again in 15 if decisions arrived at via deception are allowed to stand they will influence future decisions and that can only be bad for the claimants and for the taxpayer.
    Incidentally the case reported to you was used internally by the Health & Safety Executive, which is itself part of the Department of Works and Pensions, as an example to their staff, but they would be extremely embarrassed now if the truth about their dishonest practices and deliberate perversion of justice was to be investigated. Perhaps such actions are now the norm?
    While it is right and proper to return decisions from Tribunals back to decision makers if they are wrong it is not right that claimants who are already unwell should suffer from this torment and have their benefits delayed with additional costs to them for skilled representation.

    In 17 it is claimed that the system is “based on fully researched, up to date, and reliable medical opinion“ but that is optimistic at best. Only yesterday a member of a group of people sent to the Medical Toxicology Unit contacted me to report gross dishonesty in their health assessments.
    Once again this is an indication that vested interests are not merely denying benefits to claimants but they are secretly introducing false science into the database in order to avoid any future recognition of harm caused by chemicals. They must be stopped or public health will suffer.

    In 21 the statement that all doctor’s are “rigorously monitored” is bizarre given the actions – or rather inactions – taken in the reported case. The “zero tolerance” claim in 23 is suspect.
    Of course, as in murder films, poisoned victims are often accused of mental illness by their poisoners and so there will be an advantage to the commercial interests if chemical involvement remains unrecognised by the decision makers and referred to as a mental illness.
    It is interesting to see that Medical Services is contracted with Citizens Advice and other representative groups. Perhaps that explains why such groups are reluctant to represent properly those who find themselves the victims of wrongful decisions by Medical Services?
    The picture is becoming all too clear.

    To update you further in respect to the reported case the Claimant has received the papers for yet another appeal. Once again pages are illegible. Once again the full supporting evidence is not included. Once again false statements are made in respect to the diagnostic history. Once again the false, and altered, medical reports are introduced as supporting evidence for the decision to deny the diagnosis which has stood since September 1992. Once again those responsible for corresponding and ensuring that the file is correct refuse to respond.
    Given that the Lord Chancellor controls this process it is of great interest that the billing notification for the Civil Action was dispatched at the same time. What is interesting is that hidden in the paperwork is a payment to a solicitor, who was later found to be unqualified, for attending an hour-long meeting with the Benefits Agency and a member of the House of Lords.
    This meeting was kept secret. No details have been released by any of the parties involved.
    Furthermore no reference to it is found in any papers provided under the Data Protection Act.
    Of concern is that a week after that meeting Dr Volans wrote to the Claimant’s GP withdrawing the diagnosis, on false grounds, and within 6 weeks the first Medical Examiner denied the Claimant’s confirmed diagnosis of the Prescribed Disease, despite being in possession of the Volans official reports confirming both eligibility and that there was no alternative diagnosis.
    It certainly looks as if that meeting was significant, given that it was the Health & Safety Executive staff which gave Dr Volans false information in respect to the incident involved in the industrial accident which resulted in the Prescribed Disease, as has been officially confirmed.

    In short the Claimant’s case is, and was always, supported by the facts.
    As the direct result of false statements given by the employer and his staff all involved have unlawfully replaced those facts in the records with a catalogue of inventions by all involved in order to hide the incompetence of Health & Safety Inspectors. In concealing that, dishonesty was permitted and every effort was made to reinforce those inventions, including ensuring both that false evidence found its way into the court proceedings and that basic facts on which the doctors could base their diagnostic opinion were in doubt. Thus dishonest third party opinion complicated what was a very simple case and that deception has resulted in enormous cost to the taxpayer.
    Indeed those costs are continuing. Despite complaints, lawyers and other agents involved will receive tens of thousands of pounds for compounding the problem and failing to challenge the false statements in time to prevent damaging losses both to the Exchequer and to the Claimant.
    Something must be done to right the wrongs done and to prevent reoccurrence.
    I trust and hope that this correspondence will result in action being taken.

    Yours sincerely,

    8th July 2004

    Mr Jeremy Lonsdale
    National Audit Office
    157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
    London. SW1W 9SP

    Dear Mr Lonsdale,

    Thank you for your letter of 29 June 2004 headed “MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS”.
    Could you please refer to previous correspondence, including the initial letter to the Comptroller and Auditor General, Sir John Bourn KCB, of 3rd July 2003.
    I think you must agree that the problem is much more serious than simply the way that medical examinations are conducted and reported.
    There is serious deception and the fraudulent use of hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money involved in these cases. It is quite wrong to fail to take action against those who have acted unlawfully and it is completely unacceptable to suggest that there is simply a need “to ensure that progress is made by the Department for Works and Pensions”. Key players in the initial deception and perversion of justice were in fact the Health & Safety Executive, which I understand is itself part of the Department of Works and Pensions.
    Conflicts of interest abound to the disadvantage of all claimants even before consideration is given to the unlawful actions taken by individuals.
    Incidentally all involved rely on data for chemical safety supplied by the chemical companies.
    I must inform you that such reliance upon parties with vested interests is extremely dangerous for public health and that evidence is now available which proves that data relied upon officially is dangerously flawed for at least one of the chemicals involved in the reported case.
    Half-life figures provide the basis for safety regulation and Maximum Residue Level calculations for the protection of human health. Those spurious figures were used against the claimant.
    For one toxin which is still used as an undeclared food additive the half-life is stated officially as being just days in water and hours in sunlight. The reality is different. There is no breakdown.
    Mass Spectrometry using methodology acceptable for court evidence has proven that a sample originally diluted at the recommended rate of 3,000,000 micrograms of active ingredient per litre had actually increased in concentration to 6,280,000 micrograms per litre some 5 years later.

    We all eat these chemicals and we are exposed to them simply by walking or driving in rural areas so it is vitally important that those who provide false information are stopped.
    What is really interesting is that at every stage the problems with dishonest individuals have been reported to the relevant bodies but no action is ever taken and the deception and fraud continues.
    The time has long since passed when action against corrupt practices should be instigated.

    Yours sincerely,

    19th January 2005

    Sir John Bourn KCB
    Comptroller and Auditor General
    National Audit Office
    157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
    London. SW1W 9SP

    Dear Sir,

    I first wrote to you about the serious problems regarding the Department of Works and Pensions in respect to processing Benefit applications and the associated Appeals processes on 3rd July 2003.
    Since then I have had further correspondence with Mr Jeremy Lonsdale with little success.
    In this morning’s Daily Mail it is reported that you took the very wise action in refusing to approve the Accounts from the Department of Works and Pensions.

    It is my considered opinion that an investigation is urgently required into this organisation and further I would suggest that the Police should be involved.

    I reported a case history to the National Audit Office as an example of the serious problems within the various agencies involved. As the case progressed I reported my concerns and updated the paper, which I had entitled “The Hidden Costs of Deception”.

    There have been further developments on that case, which now provide incontrovertible evidence that the gross deception and dishonesty are an accepted and planned part of the appeals process.
    The recent Tribunal, held at the Appellant’s home at the request of the GP, was warned, as the Appeals Service itself was warned, that if they went ahead with the Tribunal with the false statements in the files then it would be illegal under the Human Rights Act.
    That statement was repeated before the Tribunal began. They proceeded on 19th November 2004. The Chairman refused to permit the Appellant to be given the full qualifications of the Medical Examiner or to question him on his claimed expertise. The following examination was therefore technically an assault since none of those present showed any identification.
    A fully qualified nurse was present, adding to the cost but proving that they expected the Appellant to be unwell during the proceedings. The considerable paperwork in the file was not available.
    A solicitor was present as a witness. The Appellant had found it impossible to find legal representation despite every effort, including contact with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the local Law Centre, and the Legal Services Directory. The solicitor had read the files and, realising the deception, had suggested recording the meeting on a video camera. The solicitor took notes.

    Some way into the hearing the Chairman noticed the video camera, which had been in full view and declared that recording the proceedings, even the solicitor’s notes, was contempt of court. Comments by the Appellant that they could take legal action against him if they wished but that the false statements by their own doctors in the files was a contempt in itself were dismissed as unimportant.
    The solicitor removed the tape from the video camera and held it “for safe keeping”

    At some time in December the Regional Chairman of the Appeals Service wrote to the solicitor’s senior partner. It is assumed that they obtained the name from the header on a fax and letter to the Appeals Service in which the solicitor had asked who was to record the proceedings. That fax was sent before the Tribunal was held. There had been no immediate response to that fax but apparently a letter sent to the solicitor denying permission to record arrived after the Tribunal had been held.
    The Regional Chairman then apparently suggested that they would not take action against the Appellant for Contempt of Court providing the videotape was given to him.
    Without consultation with the Appellant the tape was sent to the Chairman with permission to destroy it. No matter what was on that tape, and it is possible that the video failed to record anything, as it was not the Appellant’s property, this amounts to destruction of evidence either to protect or condemn the Appellant or the Appeals Service itself.

    Once the Appeals Service had possession of the tape it would seem that they sought more advice from internal sources and then on 12th January 2005 they repeated the process of producing false and misleading reports and gave spurious reasons for denying the long-standing diagnosis.
    At this point it should be remembered that the Appellant was not seeking more money from the State. The Appeal was against the grossly dishonest report of a Medical Examiner who had admitted both the diagnosis and finding the sequela of the disease when in the Appellant’s home but then gave the opposite opinion in his altered report after obtaining comments from a third party who had never examined the Appellant.
    The Tribunal Examiner also produced a false report, on both the proceedings of 19th November last and his medical examination results, and denied the Appellant recognition of that diagnosis even though it has stood for at least 12 years, supported by funding from the National Health Service.

    The Appellant has written to the Regional Chairman and the Appeals Service requesting that the decision should be set aside because it was arrived at unlawfully. Within hours of office opening the Appellant received a telephone call from the Clerk to the Tribunal suggesting that there could be yet another Tribunal or Commissioner hearing.
    The waste of tax revenue being used to hide the gross dishonesty of those involved is tremendous. The Appellant’s MP has been approached for advice on what steps to take next. Something must be done to stop these individuals because it is clear that corruption is breeding more corruption.

    Everything stated in “The Hidden Costs of Deception” report and subsequent updates sent to your offices, including the information in this letter can be supported with evidence.

    It is my considered opinion that this deception must end. I am the Appellant in the reported case.
    I know of other cases similarly treated and feel that what is needed now is an effective, and independent, high-level investigation, and for criminal charges to be brought by the Police against those involved. I hope that you can take action on this occasion.

    Yours sincerely,

    18th February 2005

    Mr Jeremy Lonsdale
    National Audit Office
    157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
    London. SW1W 9SP

    Dear Mr Lonsdale,

    Thank you for your further letter of 15th February in which you respond again for Sir John Bourne.
    I would be grateful if you would correct Sir John in a false assumption he appears to have made in respect to my correspondence.

    I have NOT requested that the National Audit Office assist in my claim. I do not want you to take part in any way and have never suggested that you should.
    What I have done is to report criminal actions to the National Audit Office in which claimants are defrauded of their benefit entitlements by those who gain financially from such actions.
    The deception and fraud involved in my case alone has considerable implications on the public purse and will continue to do so until the gross deception and fraudulent actions are exposed.
    Should I be forced to take the case through the courts, be they in the UK or in Europe, then there will be further costs involved but since I have firm evidence of the deception now it is my duty to ensure that these people do not treat others in a similarly disgraceful manner.

    I reported these matters to Sir John and your good self because I understood that the National Audit Office had a responsibility for ensuring that public money is spent correctly.
    It is my hope that the National Audit Office does not condone fraud or the perversion of justice as demonstrated in this case and that those responsible will face an independent investigation.
    We live in times when the trust in authority is very low and the only way that trust can be restored is to ensure that officials are accountable for their actions.
    If the National Audit Office condones the actions reported in my correspondence then so be it.
    It will then be my duty to ensure that the people are made aware that corruption has become an acceptable part of official life and they can then make their own determinations as to what action should be taken to regain the control of the laws that should protect us all.

    If you are happy to protect dishonest officials who simply ensure that tax revenue is wasted for their own ends and those of foreign-owned companies then that is your decision.
    My own view is that something should be done about this, and quickly because the numbers of cases where the reported actions have been taken is rising rapidly with associated costs to the taxpayer.
    I have advised that mine is not the only case that I am aware of - which confirms once again that I did not ask the National Audit Office to become involved specifically in my own case.

    Yours sincerely,