In The Courts

It’s been a really good day for Britain’s glorious judicial system.

Today, Brenda Hale – who has featured on this blog previously – has been sworn in as the first female President of the Supreme Court. Brenda was the ‘youngest Lord Chief Justice for 50 years’. Brenda is a mate of Helena Kennedy – yes, the Helena who is a good friend of Professor Nigel Eastman of St George’s Hospital Medical School, who ignored the most damning evidence of abuse of patients and criminal misconduct in the north Wales mental health services when he came face to face with it (see post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’). Brenda Hale is a member of the Athenaeum Club – the club favoured by so many Top Doctors. Jimmy Savile was also a member and it was following a series of meetings at the Athenaeum between Savile, civil service Mandarins and Edwina Currie that Savile and his mate Alan Franey were offered jobs running Broadmoor – where Savile raped and sexually assaulted female patients.

Today also sees Justice David Lloyd-Jones sworn into the Supreme Court, as its first ever Welsh member. Justice Lloyd-Jones went to Pontypridd Grammar School, then Cambridge University. He was a visiting Prof at City University 1999-05. He became a Recorder in 1994 and was appointed a High Court judge in 2005. He was the Presiding Judge on the Chester and Wales Circuit of Corruption and Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Welsh language 2008-11. In Oct 2012 he became a Lord Justice of Appeal.

In 2009 it was revealed that Justice Lloyd-Jones was paid more than £1 million for his work on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Another event taking place today is the swearing in of Sir Ian Burnett as Lord Chief Justice at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Burnett acted as counsel to the inquests of Diana and Dodi. Which says it all really.

 

Just to confirm how terrifying the UK justice system remains, the Guardian is reporting on the case of a woman with learning disabilities who has had her children removed from her. This decision was made by Judge Richard Melville who ‘analysed the evidence’ in a hearing in Plymouth. Edward Devereaux QC who led the legal team representing the mother took the case to Appeal, arguing that Melville failed to carry out sufficient analysis. James Munby, the President of the Family Division of the High Court, has dismissed the mother’s appeal. She will lose her children.

As with all cases in the Family Court, the hearing will have been held in secrecy and no-one will be allowed to publish any details. The only information in the public domain is that the children lived with their mother and their maternal grandmother, that social workers were ‘concerned’ and that it was ‘social service chiefs’ at Devon County Council who made the decision to remove the children from the care of their mother and grandmother.

James Munby gained a lot of good publicity recently when he absolutely slammed the UK’s mental health system for failing to stump up any provision at all for a teenaged girl with serious mental health problems.

The outcome of this case from Devon rests entirely on the ‘analysis’ of the ‘evidence’ presented to Judges Melville and Munby. This blog has not published anything negative concerning these two judges. They might be intelligent, sensible, compassionate people. But they can only act on the evidence presented to them. In this case evidence from Devon Social Services.

I’ll outline a previous case of child welfare involving Devon Social Services. Some twelve years ago a woman known to me was involved in a relationship with a man from Devon. She moved in with him, became pregnant and subsequently received a letter from Devon Social Services informing her that the man with whom she was living – the father of her unborn baby – has previously had a child removed from his care after physically assaulting this child. She ignored the letter – because at that point she had seen no signs of violence from her partner. She also came from a family which did not set much store on the opinions of social workers. After the baby was born, this man became phenomenally violent towards his partner. On one occasion he tried to strangle her in the shower. She was injured and forced to go to hospital, where, hats off to them, they suspected domestic violence and questioned her about the way in which her injuries had been sustained. She told them and they very firmly explained to her that living with this man was putting both her and her baby in danger. They took photographs of her injuries and the matter was reported to the police – the abusive partner was prosecuted. He was ‘supported’ by the probation service, who reassured him that they would ‘look after him’. He took to taunting his partner that he would not be going to prison. Indeed he didn’t.

His dreadful behaviour towards his partner continued and her sister was told about it by a relative. The sister – who lived elsewhere – rang Devon Social Services to express her concern at this man’s continued aggression. The sister had enough knowledge to know how Devon Social Services should have conducted themselves in this case and was surprised to be asked her name when she made the call. She knew that such calls can be made anonymously, so simply told Devon Social Services that she was a relative.

A few weeks later, the sister who had contacted Devon Social Services rang her mother, who angrily demanded to know whether she had contacted the social services about her sister and her little boy. Devon Social Services had contacted the family, told them that a ‘family member’ had contacted them, but had taken absolutely no action at all to protect the mother or her young child. The family involved had no understanding of how child protection services are supposed to work and presumed that the small boy’s aunt had wanted him removed from their care. A few months later, the aunt who raised concerns with Devon visited her sister. The most enormous row erupted over the matter of the aunt contacting the social services and the mother of the small boy tried to assault her sister. The woman who tried to gain protection for her sister and her nephew from a man whom Devon Social Services knew to be violent and a danger to children had no further contact with her family. Christ knows what’s happening now, but whatever it is, Devon Social Services will not be helping.

Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 this morning were banging on about judges needing more training in cases of domestic violence. What ever would be the point when they still have to base their decisions on fuckwits like the employees of Devon Social Services? Judges do not make bad decisions because of a lack of ‘training’. In my experience, outrageous decisions by judges are made because they have been lied to, misled or are frankly corrupt.

Brenda Hale made her name as a Family Court specialist. Admirers like Helena Kennedy will tell you that Brenda is a feminist and has greatly improved justice for women and children in the Family Courts. Unless of course you are a mother who lives on the patch of Devon Social Services.

News Round Up, May 17 2017

First, I need to pay tribute here to Kathy Mohan, someone with learning disabilities and mental health problems who has had her disability benefits butchered but who has nonetheless been rather more effective at challenging Theresa May than our well-paid opposition politicians backed by their well-funded campaigns. Kathy encountered May campaigning in Abingdon and floored her over the Tories welfare reforms. It was as good as when Thatcher was carpeted by what was then called a ‘housewife’ over the sinking of the Belgrano on a TV programme. (Thatcher famously refused to ever take part in a live ‘questions from the public’ show again.) The only disappointment was Kathy stating when interviewed that one of her friends had suggested that she should throw a few eggs at May, but Kathy felt that would be going too far. Should you ever get the opportunity again Kathy I’d urge you to go for it – until Prescott violently assaulted an egg thrower and got away with it without being charged, throwing eggs, ink, flour etc at politicians was a Great British Tradition. May is pushing disabled people into destitution, an egg upon her much boasted about £1000 leather trousers would not be out of place.

The ‘Today’ programme has reported that after the case of Ian Paterson – the Top Doctor who performed numerous unnecessary operations upon people in order it would seem to boost his earnings – there are calls from the Royal College of Surgeons for ‘greater regulation’ of the private medical sector. Er, so what’s happened to the role of the document-forging GMC then? Are they not responsible for the registration of all doctors, whether they are employed in the private sector or in the NHS? Where were they when Paterson was busy mutilating and maiming patients? Furthermore Paterson also butchered NHS patients, so not only were they left unprotected as well but it would seem that they have been completely forgotten. Oh and the Royal College of Surgeons are well aware that in many cases, the doctors working in the private sector are exactly the same people who are employed in the NHS. There’s bugger all real accountability anywhere and this is as a result of bodies like the Royal College of Surgeons failing to admit that very real problems exist with rogue doctors. Regular readers will remember that the man who co-ordinated the whitewash when I complained about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al and their law-breaking and abuse was the Medical Ombudsman at the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen. Robert Owen was a surgeon, indeed he was a very big name in surgery – and very much part of the Royal College of Surgeons. Robert Owen is probably still alive as well – when the Top Doctors were organising their en masse assault on Edwina Hart, one leading light in the campaign to oppose her plans for neurosurgery arrangements for patients in north Wales was one Professor Robert Owen, a retired surgeon.

BBC New Wales has reported that in mid-Wales, a non-clinical member of staff repeatedly unlawfully accessed patients confidential records with no good reason. The person concerned has been fined (no mention of her being sacked though!) and the Information Commissioner’s Office had a few harsh words to say. I’m still waiting to hear from them regarding the Betsi sending me the confidential records of other patients and leaking confidential information about me to a GPs surgery, a social services and a police force in England. I made formal representation months ago, as documented on this blog – it hasn’t been sorted out yet, indeed they seem to have forgotten all about it.

There has been much media coverage regarding a Lavinia Woodward. Woodward is a medical student at Oxford who has ambitions to become a heart surgeon. She has been on trial at Oxford Crown Court after she got pissed, stabbed a man whom she met on Tindr in the leg, punched him in the face and then threw a laptop, a glass and a jam jar at him. She seems to be surrounded by some very understanding people. Judge Ian Pringle has deferred sentencing and has indicated that although such offences would normally result in custody, he does not want to damage the career of this ‘extraordinary’ young woman, who is so spectacular that she’s even managed to have a few journal articles published. Christ Church College are refusing to comment on a student’s ‘personal circumstances’. Oh, Woodward is also a drug addict who has helpfully supplied a photo of herself to the Daily Mail that could best be described as constituting her entry for a wet T shirt contest on an 18-30 holiday. It is mentioned that she lives in Milan. This is a wonderful story for those of us interested in social stratification. If Woodward had been male and on benefits and had stabbed and punched a woman whom he met on Tindr, then hurled a variety of household objects at her whilst pissed and enjoying the status of an addict, I really don’t think that anyone would be thinking of protecting his future career. But there we are, Lavinia lives in one of the most expensive cities in the world, flies in and out of one of the world’s elite universities, enjoys herself with recreational chemicals and vast quantities of booze, violently attacks and injures people that she meets online – and she’ll be operating on you in the very near future! She probably sent the judge a copy of the photo that appeared in the Mail, prompting his ‘most extraordinary young woman’ comment. Higher salaries for the Top Doctors anyone? And what’s happened to the NHS ‘zero tolerance’ policy? On the ‘Today’ programme John Humphrys questioned Francis Fitzsimmons, the Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, about the judge’s reasoning – Humphrys kept questioning Fitzsimmons along the lines of ‘why should this young woman be treated differently because of her intellect’. It’s not the intellect that’s the factor John, social class is the key to this conundrum – if Lavinia had been even the highest peforming student at Glyndwr University and was living on Caia Park in Wrexham rather than Milan, she would be heading off to prison. During the interview, Fitzsimmons stated that he’d never seen a judge who wasn’t in control – what a pity he wasn’t in Caernarfon Crown Court to witness dear old Huw Daniel when he heard that the trumped up case against me of ‘threatening to kill’ Alun Davies, the NHS manager who had broken the law to conceal the wrongdoing in the mental health services, had been dropped. He roared, he bellowed, he really lost it… Now I wonder what that was all about…Should anyone really have been rash enough to subsequently appoint Huw as HM the Queen’s representative in Gwynedd? But when Huw accepted that appointment no-one thought that I was ever going to get my hands on the letter that the GMC had forged or indeed the forged certificate of indictment claiming that I’d been convicted of ‘violent disorder’ at the Court case presided over by Huw!

‘Today’ also held an intriguing interview with Dr Mene Pangalos, the ‘executive vice-president of AstraZeneca’s innovative medicines and early biotechnology unit’, explaining that the life sciences contribute billions to the UK economy and could be ‘a major driver of prosperity’ for the UK post-Brexit. So why was he on the ‘Today’ programme? To explain that to do this the Gov’t must invest many more billions in the NHS. Sorry Dr Mene, I really don’t quite follow your logic – you are either contributing billions or you are demanding billions, you can’t really be doing both. I sense an air of desperation on the part of the Top Doctors – some of whom will of course be sitting on the Board and advisory committees of AstraZeneca – they are really desperate for Dosh and they are faced with a Tory Gov’t who is determined not to give in. Furthermore they remember that when the junior doctors went on strike a few months ago public goodwill expired the minute people realised that lives were about to be put at risk, so they can’t hold another strike and embarrassments a la Ian Paterson and the surgeon who was recently prosecuted for rape are popping up regularly. So I’m wondering if the Top Doctors are now wheeling out their mates in the ‘life sciences’ industries to try to bend Theresa’s arm. I think I’ll ask my co-researcher if he can find out the identities of some of those advising AstraZeneca.

I’ve just picked up the latest edition of ‘Private Eye’ and I see Dr Phil Hammond’s column is discussing the sorry state of NHS mental health care. He raises the plight of the seriously mentally ill which is good to see – they are being utterly abandoned among the current tidal wave of people with ‘mild to moderate’ problems pressing for their needs to be met among the bandying about of not very accurate statistics of ‘1 in 4’ people experiencing mental health problems and claims that all we need is to ‘raise awareness’, ‘fight the stigma’ and a bit of ‘access to psychological therapies’. Not forgetting Mindfulness which just proved so successful when Mark Williams pioneered it in Bangor (please see blog post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Sadly however Dr Hammond maintains that what is needed is more money. Yes I’m sure that it would help, but what is really needed are competent practitioners who are not breaking the law and abusing the people that they are paid to care for. Phil Hammond may not know that some of the biggest names in UK psychiatry concealed serious criminal activity in the north Wales mental health services and were prepared to lie through their teeth whilst doing this (please see blog post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’), but he has been a doctor long enough to know that the mental health services have been very bad for a very long time and that a major problem for decades has been attracting high calibre graduates into psychiatry, although their salaries will be just as high as the salaries of their colleagues in other specialities. They really do not want to do it – even those who as medical students think that they might like to specialise in it witness such bad practice and such bad attitudes in psychiatry that many of them give up and walk away. Furthermore I’m fairly sure that Hammond worked in Taunton at one point – I remember reading a jolly little quip that I’m fairly sure was penned by him regarding the acronym ‘NFB’ on medical notes. It translated as ‘normal for Bridgwater’! What wags the Top Doctors are – I went to school in Bridgwater Phil and the dads of everyone at our school would have loved your salary, the salary for which you were being paid to deliver treatment to the bumpkins of Bridgwater. Furthermore, when Phil worked at Taunton, he will have known about the notorious Tone Vale, the local mental hospital – it killed the boyfriend of one of my former school friends and completely fucked her life up as well, but what the hell, they were only from Bridgwater. At Tone Vale, patients died avoidably, on one occasion a patient known to have a contagious disease was not isolated because they were all just nutters anyway so who cared if the whole lot of them were put at risk and serious cock-ups were concealed on a regular basis. And Phil will have known about the shambles that was the Somerset mental health services after the closure of Tone Vale…I also suspect that Phil will know about the notorious Taunton orthopaedic surgeon who intimidated his way around the hospitals, insulting patients whom he considered to be a bit NFB himself whilst he amassed a fortune, one Mr Rainey… Would he have treated patients with more respect if he’d been given more money? He was reputed to have been a millionaire, how much money did he need not to reduce the patients to tears in the ‘consultations’?

After the death of Ian Brady in Ashworth, the media has been awash with people stating the obvious ie. that he wasn’t a particularly nice man. A retired policeman from Pwhelli who once sat next to him appeared in the news to describe him as ‘devilish’. A stream of Top Doctors and other police officers have taken to the airwaves talking about his ‘narcissism’ and ‘need to control’. Gothic horror stories have been related of Brady revelling in his media coverage, of sitting at an angle in a room at Ashworth when being interviewed and of not looking the Top Doctors in the eye, of going on hunger strike but secretly enjoying snacks and of trying to get himself transferred to prison. Well, it was the tabloids who carried on publishing photos and stories about Brady and Hindley – for donkey’s years Brady was secreted in Ashworth and no-one had sight nor sound of him – and it’s hardly surprising that Brady tried to secure a transfer to prison, conditions at Ashworth and abuse of patients were so bad (murders had happened) that at one point it was almost closed down and certainly should have been. Ashworth was formed from the merger of two other institutions, Moss Side and Park Lane. That’s the Park Lane that employed Stephen Rose, the SEN who assaulted me when he worked at the North Wales Hospital. The Park Lane where children were being taken in to the wards by corrupt staff for the use of paedophiles…

But then there are some very confused emotions on the part of some people who worked in the mental health services and who remember Brady and Hindley. One of the periodic flare-ups of public interest in their crimes happened whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital by Dafydd. We all sat there watching TV whilst the parents of the children that Brady and Hindley had killed were filmed crying on camera, one father equipped himself with a knife and made a rather half-hearted murder threat towards Hindley whilst he was being filmed – I think that Hindley had been taken to the scene of the crimes by the police in an attempt to pin-point the possible burial sites of some of their victims – and everyone on TV were providing their insights, those insights being that Brady and Hindley were ‘evil’. I was having a conversation with another patient regarding the inadequacy of this analysis and a most extraordinary scene broke out on Bryn Golau Ward. One of the nurses, a lady called Ingrid, became very upset with me indeed and started crying. She told me that she had been in the public gallery at Chester when Brady and Hindley were tried, had sat through the whole of the trial, that the evidence had been dreadful and that the jury and the people in the public gallery had all ended up in tears. I don’t doubt any of this, that trial was notorious because recordings of one of the children that Brady and Hindley had murdered was played to the Court and she could be heard crying and asking for her mother. After Ingrid revealed this, the other staff all joined her in offering their diagnoses of ‘evil’ as well. Now these were staff employed on a ward where at least three people had been unlawfully imprisoned by Dafydd Alun Jones. They were staff employed on a ward where at least one male member of staff was physically assaulting female patients. And they were staff employed on a ward where a young woman had been unlawfully detained after being abducted and sexually assaulted by a group of men that included a doctor – a young woman who then disappeared from that ward without explanation or trace when a nurse, Iola Edwards, heard her telling me what had happened to her (please see blog post ‘The Distressed Young Woman Who Vanished’). This ward was part of an institution in which it’s very own Top Doctor, Dafydd Alun Jones, was sexually exploiting female patients and imprisoning people who had complained about being molested by the north Wales paedophile ring whilst they were in children’s homes in north Wales. Oh and Dafydd’s mistress was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services that she was the Director of, but failing to act. And of course the North Wales Hospital was unlawfully keeping patients in some sort of underground chamber, euphemistically known as ‘downstairs’. No wonder those nurses couldn’t cope with their own emotions when patients – illegally detained patients – discussed violent sexually motivated crimes. Regular readers will have noticed a further irony. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse the retired judge who led the Waterhouse Inquiry – which was widely alleged to have covered up the true extent of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and the names of high profile people who were involved – was junior prosecuting counsel at the trial of Brady and Hindley. Senior prosecuting counsel was Lord Elwyn-Jones – who was Lord Chancellor at the time of Mary Wynch’s unlawful arrest and imprisonment and who at that time observed that a judge called John Donaldson deserved promotion to the Court of Appeal but that it would be ‘more trouble than it was worth’. Years later John Donaldson did achieve the promotion and eventually became Master of the Rolls. Indeed, it was Lord Donaldson in his capacity as Master of the Rolls who later gave Mary leave to sue Dafydd et al. An honest judge – no wonder he was considered ‘trouble’. The presence of scoundrels on the prosecution team does not of course mean that Hindley and Brady were stitched up in the way that other people seem to have been stitched up by those we know and love, just as the presence of distressed nurses in the public gallery doesn’t mean that their crimes weren’t dreadful. But it might explain the hypocrisy and confusion of some of these people, not to mention their sheer desperation and extreme reactions every time someone tries to get to the bottom of child abuse in north Wales or expose the wrongdoing of the mental health services. They just can’t get rid of the bloodstains, no matter how much they wash their hands…

Readers who follow the ‘comments’ section on my blog will have read the recent comment from Kate, who is having difficulty accepting some of what I have discovered Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) to have been involved in. As I explain in my reply to Kate in the comments section, I think that it is highly probable that Tony Francis and his colleagues have all been under investigation in the wake of Operation Pallial, although not many of them seem to have realised it. I am aware that many in north Wales are still in a deep slumber up there, merrily tweeting and retweeting nonsense about campaigns for medical schools and bleeding heart messages from Louis Appleby about how the Mental Health Act isn’t the problem but discrimination is no less and how the NHS just needs MORE MONEY. Once again it is only David Healy who has envisaged what is coming, although he hasn’t worked out the timeline yet. By the way David, shagging one’s patients, breaking the law, concealing a paedophile ring, driving your wife’s lover to suicide and giving medical evidence against your own wife in Court to gain access to the kids that you have neither the time nor the inclination to look after and then cohabiting with female patients so that you can claim that they are employed as your ‘nannies’ or ‘housekeepers’, does not constitute an ‘expert’s private life’. Dafydd was no expert and all this was very, very public. And if you are daft enough to make ‘jokes’ in your publications about dodgy research and putting your patients in danger, then don’t be surprised if people think that it might be a good idea to publish this. In the wake of me being given that long list of names of people who have now been imprisoned for their part in the paedophile gang but knowing that not a word has appeared in the media, thus suggesting that an investigation is still underway but there are reporting restrictions in place to protect witnesses, I’ve been pondering on another mystery. That of the North Wales Hospital not having been demolished or redeveloped yet. There is alleged to be a compulsory purchase order on the building, yet there has been delay after inexplicable delay. It is still allegedly owned by an off-shore company who seem to be doing nothing with it – and last year it allegedly went up for auction for 2 million but ‘there were no bids’. ‘No bids’, come off it – old asylums in other parts of the country have all been converted into hotels or luxury apartments, people love those old buildings (they don’t know what happened in them), they have a niche value. And Denbigh was, architecturally, one of the finest examples of an asylum in the country. Yet it is being allowed to fall down – and this is being used as the rationale to maintain security out there, including the occasional police patrol and to impose a blanket ban on all explorers of old buildings (there’s another warning today in the Post online). It’s not credible. But of course some of us for a long time have been urging an investigation into Denbigh, into the patients that died out there but whose deaths went undeclared (as dear old David Crossley published when he worked there, ‘only ever one death’ – bollocks Crossley, Gwynne Williams carried out lobotomies there and none of the people involved or the facilities themselves were safe enough to perform such ‘operations’) and of course into ‘downstairs’. And what about the patients who disappeared without trace, or the patients whom Tony Francis admitted had been ‘hidden away’ out there by Dafydd, whom no-one knew what to do with as closure loomed? Anyone for forensic examination of the building and the grounds? If that has been happening no-one is going to want ‘urban explorers’ or ghost hunters traipsing around. And if the building has been deemed dangerous, police and security patrols can stop all access… However, I can still hear the sound of loud snoring from the direction of north Wales, except of course from the North Wales Dept of Psychological Medicine aka the Good Ship Healy.

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, May 11 2017

A bit of news from yesterday – after I’d written yesterday’s News Round Up, BBC News Wales reported that an elderly lady, Lily Baxendall, had died from a bleed on the brain after a five hour wait in an ambulance which was queuing at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Now for today! BBC News Wales is reporting that Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, is hopeful that the Board could be read to be taken out of special measures later this year.  He admits though that their performance in some areas remains unacceptable (er, like losing nearly all my medical records, sending me confidential info relating to another patient, sending another patient’s GP confidential info relating to me, failing to investigate and resolve a serious complaint into this and other matters- unless he’s of course he’s talking about all those patient deaths that I’ve been reporting on this blog…). Gary has fessed up to the existence of a ‘very big gap’ in terms of meeting expectations in mental health care. But the catastrophe that is the Betsi is simply entirely positive in Gary’s eyes – special measures has been a ‘catalyst for change’ (then why are the patients still unable to access care and dying unnecessarily?) and the Board has produced a mental health strategy!

BBC News Wales is reporting on a Plaid report that states how Bangor University is ‘ready to host a new medical school’. Professor Dean Williams explains that ‘relatively few extra academic staff’ would be needed, because the clinical teachers and researchers already working in north Wales could provide the training. That will include the clinical teachers who are so loathed by their peers working in the local hospitals that their presence in the School of Healthcare Sciences meant that at least two excellent local practitioners refused to apply for lecturing jobs there when approached and those researchers who have already been outed in previous posts on this blog as participating in research fraud. What a wonderful basis for a medical school! Particularly at a time when Bangor University is facing a financial crisis, when redundancies are feared and when there is speculation that the VC is about to get up and go… Sian Gwenllian AM once more states that the presence of a medical school in north Wales will solve the staffing crisis in the NHS in north Wales. No Sian it won’t – people will not work in the north because of the toxic culture and behaviour of so many in the NHS up there. The student nurses qualifying in Bangor are leaving for England as soon as they qualify – these are local people who have seen such appalling things during their training that they are voting with their feet after they graduate. The fact that nearly all of them are reporting a bullying culture in the School of Healthcare Sciences does nothing to persuade them to stay in north Wales either.

But the grim reality is reported in the Daily Post online. Rhun ap Iorwerth is sounding off about the state of the mental health services in north Wales, describing the mental health system as ‘on it’s knees’. (No Rhun it was on it’s knees years ago, it is now a corpse having breathed it’s last.) Rhun has revealed that in the last two years more than 200 patients have been sent out of area for mental health care, that some patients are travelling to London for care and that there is not one psychiatric consultant for mental health patients between 18 and 65 years old. It’s probably no loss Rhun – the ‘psychiatric consultants’ that were there were utterly vile, abusing and neglecting their patients. The mental health patients are better off being sent out of area, they might at least stay alive and out of prison then. The Betsi have stated that they are advertising for more consultants – that particular strategy has been failing for the last twenty years, NO-ONE other than the virtually unemployable wants to work in mental health in north Wales. Furthermore Rhun do you think that you might have added to this state of affairs with your constant praising of the region’s NHS and the ‘wonderful work’ being done by it’s bullying, negligent, sometimes criminal staff and by the complete silence of you and your colleagues regarding the serious problems that have existed in the mental health services for many, many years?

Lastly, the election campaign. Welsh Labour have distanced themselves from the ‘leaked manifesto’ produced by Jeremy et al in London. Welsh Labour have announced that they will produce their own ‘distinct manifesto’, building on five pledges for Wales. Well get your arse up to the north Carwyn and start doing something about the state of the Betsi rather than remaining silent, thus allowing Plaid to delude themselves that building a medical school on an utterly rotten foundation is a solution to the ongoing train wreck that is the Betsi. And whilst you’re about it, begin a police investigation into some of what has been going on.

A Letter From Gary Doherty, The CEO of The Betsi

I have received the ‘final response’ from the Betsi’s CEO Gary Doherty regarding my very serious complaint (the full text of my e mails to Gary Doherty and Peter Higson, the Chairman, can be read in previous blog posts). To describe Gary’s letter as inadequate is an understatement. Previous blog posts have described the numerous inaccuracies and serious unsubstantiated allegations documented upon my medical records, the inclusion of confidential information relating to other patients among records sent to me, the passing on of confidential information relating to me to someone in England who has contacted me, the admission by a member of staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd that certain records were removed from my file many years ago without my knowledge and the failure of the Betsi to release over twenty years worth of records to myself.

Gary only fesses up to two crimes. He admits that there is no evidence that I have ever ‘sexually molested a psychiatrist’ or ‘held a nurse hostage’. Gary has apologised for these entries on my records and has told me that this information will be deleted. Gary does not offer an explanation as to how such horrible allegations came to be made about me and there is no mention of an investigation or disciplinary action against the staff who recorded this ‘information’. Gary has failed to deal with any of the other numerous inaccuracies and slanders on my records – indeed he hasn’t even made reference to most of them. I complained about staff of the mental health services alleging that I had assaulted them and was ‘known to assault members of the public’ when this is not true. Gary’s response to this is that ‘there is factual evidence within the notes of a number of aggressive incidents, no inaccuracy recorded’ – this ‘factual evidence’ refers to the lies written by mental health staff. I have no convictions for assault on anyone. But my medical records maintain that I have attempted to stab people, attempted to throttle people, assaulted staff again and again and attacked members of the public. Neither has Gary mentioned why it was recorded that I had ‘absconded’ from the Heddfan Unit when I had been illegally detained there and the ward manager had told me that I was free to go.

It would appear that more than twenty years worth of records concerning me have completely disappeared. Gary tells me that records from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh have been archived and the archives have been searched but no information relating to me was found. He tells me that there are no records from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. He tells me that records from the Hergest Unit dating from 2002 have been released to me and that a ‘few letters’ dating from 1986 have been found but no ‘detailed notes’. He has sent me a copy of a letter that Martin Jones sent me when he was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust admitting that a number of records from my attendances at Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E cannot be found – well of course they can’t, it was admitted to me that they’d been removed from my files. So where have they gone and why were they removed?

So virtually all records relating to me from 1984 to 2002 have disappeared. My request to Gary was partly experimental. It has been common knowledge that for a number of years now I have been stating my intention to one day publish my experiences at the hands of the mental health services and that is why I began this blog. I actually have a copy of the records between 1984 and 2002 that Gary claims don’t exist because in 2005 my lawyers summoned Keith Thomson, the former CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust, in front of a judge in the High Court and he was forced to hand those records over, something that he had previously refused to do. (However there were a number of documents compiled by a staff whistleblower that Thomson did not hand over – he signed an affidavit testifying that all records had been released so Thomson perjured himself on that occasion.) My lawyer has now returned my records to me – I’ve got the lot and have been using them to write this blog. So why can’t Gary find twenty years worth of records that document staff wrongdoing and law breaking? Have they been unlawfully destroyed? Or is Gary telling porkies?

Gary has made no mention at all of the fact that confidential information about me has been released to someone else. He states that he has found ‘one page’ of information among my records that refers to another patient. Well actually Gary, among the records released to me by the Betsi a few weeks ago, there are at least five pages of information relating to another patient, I’m looking at them now. And among the documents returned from my lawyers – documents that you say don’t exist – there is information relating to 18 other patients. Among the documents that Gary says don’t exist is also the document which alleged that I have been in prison for attacking someone with a knife – in his reply to me Gary simply says that there is no such allegation upon my medical records. There is, but Gary has either lost or destroyed so many of the records that he’s lost or destroyed that particular allegation.

To summarise. The staff at the Betsi will knowingly write the most damaging libellous comments on patients medical records and will refuse to remove them on the grounds that staff lies are ‘factual information’. They will pass confidential information about one to other people and fail to address this issue if one raises it in a complaint. Furthermore they will release large quantities of confidential information relating to other patients to one and will simply deny that they have done this. There will be no investigation or disciplinary action undertaken even in relation to the wrongdoing to which they are prepared to fess up. So this is Gary’s idea of ‘resolving a complaint’. (And I didn’t even bother to complain about Raj Sambhi sectioning me for months on the grounds that I was alleging serious abuse in the mental health services and that there had been a paedophile ring operating in the area – those months of my life have gone and I cannot bring them back. I was hoping however for a bit of humility from Gary, an admission that things had – AGAIN – gone badly wrong and a remedy to the scores of fallacious allegations documented about me.)

Gary, I can hear the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales calling…

A Reply From The Office Of The Information Commissioner

Previous blog posts have explained how the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has documented a mountain of misinformation upon my medical records as fact, misinformation including serious libels; has failed to release a full copy of my medical records to me, despite me following the appropriate procedure and paying a fee; has lied to me constantly regarding telling me again and again that the full file has been released when there is approx twenty years worth of records missing; had removed crucial records from my file years ago without my knowledge (I only found out a few weeks ago when a member of staff inadvertently let slip about this) and has released confidential information relating to other patients to me. To cap it all I have recently been contacted by someone from England who traced me via this blog and told me that confidential information concerning me has turned up on her records at her GPs surgery, on her Social Services records and on her Police file. A number of followers of the blog advised me to take this matter to the Information Commissioner, as the Betsi show no signs of dealing with it.

A few days ago I wrote to the Information Commissioner’s Office – the full text of my letter can be read in the blog post ‘Letter To The Information Commissioner’s Office’. Yesterday I received a reply.

The reply is disappointing. The letter states that ‘We want to know how organisations are doing when they are handling information rights issues. We also want to improve the way they deal with the personal information they are responsible for. Reporting your concerns to us will help us to do that. Our role is not to investigate or adjudicate on individual concerns but we will consider whether there is an opportunity to improve the practice of the organisation we regulate’. The letter goes on to explain that they have referred ‘this matter’ to their Customer Contact team who will ‘assess my correspondence’.

So I have demonstrated that the mental health services in north Wales have lied about me repeatedly, sometimes because of incompetence, sometimes to cover their own wrongdoing; are failing to adhere to the law regarding access to medical records; have illegally ensured that some of these records have disappeared and have released personal info relating to other people to me and personal info relating to me to other people. The Information Commissioner’s Office is not going to ‘investigate or adjudicate’, they’re just going to take a note of how bad the Betsi is at dealing with confidential information – although they claim that they want to ‘improve’ the way that the Betsi deals with personal information, how they will ever manage to do that if they don’t investigate or adjudicate is not explained.

I will blog again when I hear further from the Information Commissioner – however I don’t hold out much hope, so I suspect that I’ll be off to the Public Service Ombudsman soon. I can only hope that the present Ombudsman is rather better than the previous one that I approached about the Hergest Unit, the notorious Adam Peat – whose sidekick Geraint threatened me over the telephone, but that’s a story for another post…

Letter To The Information Commissioner’s Office

Blog posts over the past few months have described how, after I requested a copy of all the medical records that the Betsi hold on me, I have been repeatedly lied to by Betsi staff and the requested records have still not been released. Correspondence to the Betsi about this has not resolved the problem. Furthermore, one member of staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd admitted that some of my records had been ‘removed’ from the files many years ago. E mails to Dr Peter Higson, Chair of the Betsi, have not resulted in an explanation of why this happened and where those records now are. Among the records that I did receive – only a fraction of the thirty years worth of records that the Betsi holds on me – were mountains of misinformation about me documented as ‘fact’, some of this misinformation being flagrantly libellous. I have e mailed the Betsi regarding this matter as well, asking them for their suggestions as to how these inaccuracies and libels can be remedied. I have received no reply. Something else that arrived with the records that the Betsi did manage to release were records relating to other patients, containing confidential information relating to those patients. I informed the Betsi of this and was asked by Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, to return the documents. A number of people who follow this blog contacted me and advised me to take the whole matter to the Information Commissioner. Then someone from England contacted me to tell me that confidential information about me had appeared on her records at her GP’s surgery, on her social services files and on her police records. So I rang the Information Commissioner’s Office to seek their advice and they asked me to write to them and to send them copies of the records relating to other patients that turned up among my records. So today I have done that.

Here is the text of my letter to the Information Commissioner:

 

I telephoned your helpline last week and was advised to put my concerns in writing. I have encountered a number of serious problems with my local NHS Board, the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board. The first problem that I encountered occurred after I requested access to a copy of all the records that the Board hold on me. These are records dating from 1984 to the present day. I followed the appropriate procedures, paid the access fee as requested and the relevant consultant willingly gave his written permission for me to access copies of all records. The request was first made in the autumn of 2016. Only a very small proportion of the records have been released. I have constantly been told that ‘all’ the records have been released only for Health Board staff to admit that there are indeed more that have been held back when I have mentioned specific details eg. certain visits to certain hospitals. On one occasion, a member of Health Board staff even informed me that some of the records relating to me had been ‘removed’ from my files – as evidenced by ‘tracer slips’ left in their place – many years ago. I have contacted the Health Board several times to request an explanation for this as well as to request copies of the records that had been ‘removed’. I have not received a reply. However, once I received the very few copies of my records that the Board did release, I discovered another problem. There was a mountain of misinformation about me documented upon my records. Some of this was inaccurate but not that important – for example details of my career and publications were hopelessly wrong. However some of the other information recorded was frankly libellous. For example, it was alleged that I am ‘known to attack members of the public’ – this had been documented after I had been subjected to a vicious assault by a woman unknown to me. It was documented that I had been arrested for attacking this woman – I wasn’t, I went to the police to report the assault, that is how I ended up in the police station. It was documented that I’d ‘sexually molested a psychiatrist’. I have never sexually molested anyone or even been accused of such an act until someone decided to write this upon my medical records. It was recorded that on one occasion I’d ‘absconded’ from a hospital where I was sectioned. This was untrue, the papers completed by the people who claimed to be sectioning me were not signed, so the ward manager herself told me that I was free to leave as I had been detained illegally. It was also recorded that in the past I had been to the house of a Minister in the Welsh Government (it was implied that I’d paid a visit to whoever this was supposed to have been to harass them.) – I do not know the home address of any Welsh Government Minister and never have known any such address. However the problem of downright lies being recorded as fact upon my medical records is not a new problem – some years ago I discovered that it had been documented that I had been detained in Risley Remand Centre for attacking someone with a knife. I’ve never set foot in Risley Remand Centre and I’ve never attacked anyone with a knife. I have asked the Health Board repeatedly for their suggestions as to how these libels can be amended but have had no response.

There are two further problems that I wish to bring to your attention as well. Some weeks ago, after asking yet again for copies of my medical records, I was sent documentation relating to another patient. This is not the first time that this has happened. I am enclosing photocopies of this documentation for you. The Health Board have asked me to return the documentation to them, but their conduct has been so bad that I am not prepared tom do this until I receive advice from you. To cap it all, some two weeks ago I received an e mail from someone in England who had traced me via the internet telling me that confidential medical information concerning me had been documented upon her records at her GPs surgery, her Social Services file and her police records.

All this is quite unacceptable and I have waited weeks for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to respond. They have not done so and I have lost all confidence in their abilities to deal with these problems.

I would welcome your advice. Many thanks.

I will report further events concerning this matter on this blog.

Updates From NHS England, March 18 2017

The main focus of this blog is Wales, but I do report on events in NHS England from time to time if they intersect with areas of interest to readers. There have been a few relevant news reports of events in the English NHS over the past few days.

The Guardian ran an article on March 16 in which it was reported that the House of Commons Health Select Committee, chaired by Dr Sarah Woolaston (Con), called for greater restrictions to be placed on the portrayal of suicide in TV dramas to prevent encouraging ‘copycats’ https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/16/tv-dramas-should-not-portray-suicide-methods-say-mps The Committee fears that ‘irresponsible media coverage has a damaging effect on vulnerable people’ and wants the Ofsted broadcasting code strengthened to ‘ensure that detailed description or portrayal of suicide methods, including particular locations where suicide could be easily imitated, are not permissible’. The Samaritans contributed to the debate as well, with their Chief Executive, Ruth Sutherland, stating that ‘strengthening media codes of practice in this area will mean fewer people are put at risk because of irresponsible content’.

I first encountered the notion that portrayal of suicide or attempted suicide in the media could lead to ‘copycat’ behaviour in the early 1990s. An episode of ‘EastEnders’ at the time had featured Angie attempting to kill herself and a moral panic broke out lest the women of Britain all took a leaf out of Angie’s book and followed suit. There followed a piece of research that became famous – I think it was published in either the BMJ or the British Journal of Psychiatry – in which an analysis of the statistics of women admitted to hospital in the wake of attempting suicide by overdose (the method employed by Angie) in the days after the relevant ‘EastEnders’ episode was screened was conducted, in an attempt to find out whether there was a copycat effect. I found all this very interesting at the time, because by then I had started to notice the enormous gulf between what psychiatrists claimed that they did – as evidenced by journal articles and text books – and what they actually did in practice, as evidenced by my experiences at Ysbyty Gwynedd, the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and Springfield Hospital, London (I have detailed such experiences extensively in previous blog posts). I wondered why the profession seemed to take more interest in theoretical arguments pivoting on the possibility that people might be influenced by a TV soap than the welfare of patients under their ‘care’ who were actually suicidal. It reminded me of another debate that had raged in the 1980s, that is whether watching violence on TV or ‘video nasties’ caused children to behave more violently. Researchers like Guy Cumberpatch always maintained that this was not so and instead urged people to pay more attention to the violence that some children were exposed to in real life. It seemed that Guy’s pleas fell on deaf ears – the nation continued to obsess over the likes of ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ and ignored the very real difficulties that a lot of children encountered when they were subjected to violent behaviour at school or in the home.

I was similarly puzzled when I read the Guardian article two days ago. There has now been an admission from the Westminster Gov’t, indeed an admission from Theresa May herself, that the mental health services are dreadful and that people are dying as a result of this. (The Welsh Gov’t hasn’t yet found it in their heart to admit that we’re in exactly the same state.) Yet the Health Select Committee are worrying about what the nation is watching online/on TV. It is highly unlikely that someone feeling fine is going to attempt suicide after witnessing such a scene on their screen – if somebody were to be tipped over the edge thus, they would have to be feeling very rough. Would it not be more sensible to start addressing the lack of help for people who are suicidal – or indeed, the causes of suicide? (One of which is widely suspected to be the Westminster Govt’s butchering of disability and sickness benefits – the DWP has resisted all calls for an investigation into the deaths of the many people who have killed themselves after their benefits have been drastically reduced or even stopped completely. Theresa and Sarah would be better off addressing this, there is every indication that it is a far bigger problem than the content of what people are watching on TV/online.)

As for the intervention from the Samaritans – I do know of Samaritans who are well-motivated and probably very helpful to the people who approach them. But as far as Bangor is concerned, the Samaritans seem to have been troubled for a very long time. In the 1990s in Bangor, the Samaritan’s building was sited next door to the Abbey Road Centre, which housed MIND. The two women who ran MIND – one of whom later trained as a mental health social worker and worked with the dreadful Dr Tony Roberts – absolutely ignored all the accounts of serious malpractice on the part of the mental health services that clients were telling them about. When challenged they would respond with ‘MIND doesn’t deal with complaints’. Whereas the Samaritans excuse for inaction was ‘confidentiality’. They were hearing accounts of serious abuse and criminality. Some ten years later, I became friendly with someone who had knowledge of the Bangor Samaritans and she told me that there was such a problem there that all of the volunteers at the Bangor branch had been sent for retraining. I don’t think it’s done the trick. Four years ago, I was desperately trying to summon help for a friend who had repeatedly tried to kill himself, had been refused all further ‘help’ from the mental health services and was now suicidal again. I knew that MIND were still colluding with the mental health service’s wrongdoing (please see blog post ‘The Mysterious Silence of MIND’), so I rang the Samaritans in Bangor. I encountered a man who on being told that my friend had been a mental health patient simply repeated ‘we don’t deal with them, we’re not trained’. When I tried to impress upon him that there was a very real concern that my friend would kill himself, the Samaritan simply replied that a lot of ‘these people’ do kill themselves. So don’t bother the Samaritans if you’re suicidal with mental health problems because they’re not trained. What is particularly worrying is that in recent years, patients trying to access help at Ysbyty Gwynedd when they have gone to A&E feeling suicidal have not been offered any mental health care but have  simply been given the number of the Samaritans.

In the face of all this, I think what we watch on TV is irrelevant. As for Dr Sarah Woolaston, the Tory MP who is the Chair of the Health Select Committee – as well as being an MP, she is a practicing GP. Sarah Woolaston practices in south Devon – south Devon is not a place where one wants to live if one is experiencing mental health problems. Please see blog posts ‘NHS Chief Executive Collapses In Court After Being Spared Jail’ and ‘How Did These Two Events Ever Happen?’ for more information about being mentally ill in south Devon.

Onto other matters. Today’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ contains an article entitled ‘Security Fears Over GP Records Of 26 Million Patients’. The Telegraph reports that an IT system used by thousands of GPs is not secure and the Information Commissioner is investigating concerns that records held by 2,700 practices – one in three of those in England – can be accessed by ‘hundreds of thousands of strangers’. The IT system in question allows virtually anyone working in pharmacies, hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes and prisons to look up sensitive information about individuals without medical reasons. There is nothing to prevent information gained in this way from being used for malicious reasons or being passed onto criminals. This is a timely warning, because regular readers of this blog will know that not only have I been given documents relating to other patients when I requested my medical records from the Betsi, but that I received an e mail from someone who had traced me via my blog who told me that confidential information relating to me had ended up on her GP files as well as on her Social Services files and police records – this person does not even live in Wales. I have now been in touch with the Information Commissioner myself and am preparing to make representation to them.

To return to the Guardian once more – today they have a major report on the 92% drop in the number of EU nationals registering to work as nurses in England since the Brexit vote in the summer and also report that of the NHS staff from the EU already working in England, thousands are leaving https://www.theguardian.com/uk

There has been much debate in the media regarding the reliance of the NHS – and care homes – in the UK on overseas workers, including those from the EU. Wales especially stands to be clobbered very badly if these people are not allowed to remain in the UK or simply perceive such a hostile atmosphere that they leave anyway, as an enormous proportion of doctors in Wales are not from the UK. I suspect that this is one reason why Plaid are too frightened to level any criticism at all towards the NHS and medical establishment in Wales. Leanne has dreams of becoming First Minister and indeed reassured the nation in a radio interview during the last Assembly election campaign that although she is a committed Republican, she would be quite happy to toady to HM the Queen in the time-honoured way should she become First Minister. I was very disappointed to hear this, because the one admirable thing that Leanne has done during her time in the Assembly was to refer to a certain ‘Mrs Windsor’ (although shouldn’t it have actually been ‘Mrs Mountbatten’?), refuse to withdraw the remark and thus get sent out of the chamber by Dafydd Elis-Thomas, who was Presiding Officer at the time. Presumably Leanne has a recurring nightmare of being First Minster in a country completely devoid of doctors. The answer Leanne is not to fail to speak out about the abuses of the medical establishment which are resulting in people in Wales dying, it is to fight the institutional corruption within that establishment so that good doctors actually want to work in Wales – at the moment they don’t and organisations like the Betsi are having to employ anyone willing to work for them (which is an ever decreasing number). By the way, the one good psychiatrist that the Betsi does have is Italian. He has been subjected to much racism and generally objectionable behaviour by his colleagues – whom Leanne and the other ‘progressive’ politicians don’t dare criticise.

 

 

Yet Another Breach of the Data Protection Act

BBC News Wales is reporting that personal details of ‘thousands’ of NHS staff in Wales have been stolen from a private contractor’s computer server after it was hacked http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-39249975  Data, including the names, dates of birth, radiation doses and National Insurance numbers of staff who work with X-rays, is processed on behalf of the Welsh NHS by the company Landauer, whose servers were hacked. Some 654 staff at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board had personal details compromised.

Data is not safe with the NHS. This blog has previously reported how the Data Protection Act has been breached a number of times by the NHS in my own case. In 2005 when my medical records were finally released to me from the North West Wales NHS Trust there were confidential details relating to eighteen other patients among my files. A couple of weeks ago, when I received some more of my more recent files from the Betsi, there was confidential information relating to yet another patient in there. Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, has asked me to return the relevant documentation – I am happy to do this, but I have been advised by a reader of this blog to seek advice from the Information Commissioner first, which I shall. Then I was contacted last week  by someone who had discovered that confidential information relating to me had found its way onto her records with West Mercia Police, a GP in Worcestershire and Worcestershire Social Services (please see blog post ‘Breach of Data Protection Act’). We are trying to sort this out at the moment.

The NHS handles huge quantities of the most sensitive personal information about patients and its own staff. Trusting people hand this over presuming that it will be treated with respect and in confidence. It isn’t. This blog has detailed numerous instances in which health and welfare staff in north Wales casually gossip about patients in their communities, passing on information that they have received in confidence (or indeed simply making things up about patients who have dared complain). Data is no safer now that we are in the age of technology – the NHS has contracted out much of its IT work to the private sector and those companies have stuffed up dismally repeatedly, whether that has been through loss of data or, in the case of NHS England, a complete failure to develop a commissioned IT system which cost the NHS millions. But the misuse of personal information by the NHS is nothing new. When I was working at St George’s Hospital Medical School in the late 80s/early 90s, London was still in the grip of the AIDS panic, with many NHS staff being frightened to care for people with AIDS or believing that one could catch AIDS from someone else if, for example, they spat at you. At one point there was a patient with AIDS in St Georges. Patients with full-blown AIDS were still unusual in the UK in those days and this man’s case was supposedly being treated with the utmost sensitivity and confidence. Whilst he was in hospital, someone threw a brick through the window of his house. A member of hospital staff admitted to me that someone from St Georges had leaked the information that he had AIDS.

 

Update, March 9 2017: My Complaint to the Betsi, Wrexham Drug Problem, Anglesey Children’s Services, HMP Berwyn

Firstly I need to apologise to readers. Someone brought my attention this morning to the fact that whoever it was who hacked into my blog replaced one of my posts with a link to a pornographic video – sorry about that, I was so busy reposting the material that had been removed that I didn’t double check to see if anything had actually been substituted for the hacked posts. I’ve removed the link now so let’s hope the problem doesn’t occur again.

Regular readers will know that I have made a formal complaint to the Betsi regarding their inability to hand over a full copy of my medical records and the mountain of misinformation about me upon the medical records that I have managed to access. I also recently notified them that among the records that they did send me was information relating to someone else. This morning I received correspondence from Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi. Here is the text of Gary’s letter:

I am writing further to your e-mail dated 3rd March 2016 regarding your concerns about your subject access response in which you note it remains incomplete and that the information you have received contains information in relation to another patient.  

I am sorry that this has happened and would like to reassure you that confidentiality and security of information is an issue that the Health Board takes very seriously and we endeavour to investigate them thoroughly, therefore a full investigation of the issues you identified is currently being undertaken by the Mental Health Service and the Information Governance Team.  

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Health Board have an obligation to retrieve and secure the information you have received about the other patient, and therefore I would be grateful if you could return it in the prepaid envelope supplied with this letter.  I will ensure I confirm receipt to you upon its return. 

We would also like to confirm that a review of all your previous concerns will be undertaken to ensure a full and thorough final response is issued to you shortly.  In the meantime, should you wish to discuss the above in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact Fleur Evans via e-mail on fleur.evans2@wales.nhs.uk

I will report further events as they happen…

Yesterday I blogged about allegations of drug use in Wrexham bus station (please see blog post ‘Normal service Resumed – News Round-Up, March 8 2017’). Both I and a reader of this blog wondered why such a huge amount of Government cash continues to find its way into the coffers of CAIS, the Third Sector organisation that is now picking up lucrative contracts for providing ‘substance abuse services’, if, after decades of ‘services’ from CAIS, there is a growing drugs problem in north Wales. Since writing yesterday’s post, I discovered the following report on the BBC News Wales website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-39178982

So Hugh Jones, ‘lead member for communities and partnership on Wrexham council’, admits that ‘there had been a significant increase in anti-social behaviour in the past two years’. Yet ‘we’re working in partnership with providers such as Cais and the Wallich to ensure people are directed towards recovery so we’re using both the law and the service providers to tackle the problem’. So Wrexham Council has a ‘partnership’ with CAIS – although the drug problem and the (presumably associated) anti-social behaviour problem is increasing. As the Tories once said about Labour, CAIS isn’t working. So why did Wrexham Council work very hard to ensure that CAIS were also given the contract to provide ‘service user/carer involvement’ for the whole of north Wales then, if they’ve completely failed to deliver on substance abuse services after decades of touting themselves about as ‘experts’ in this field? (Please see previous blog post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’ for an account of the extraordinary procurement process which resulted in CAIS being awarded the contract for service user/carer involvement.)

Yesterday’s blog post also mentioned that Anglesey children’s services have been the subject of yet another damning inspection report. I forgot to mention that the father of a girl with learning disabilities from Anglesey came forward to talk to the Daily Post about the abusive behaviour that she had been subjected to whilst in the ‘care’ of Anglesey children’s services, after they had placed her in a residential school in Holywell, Flintshire. Whilst searching for the story for this post, I came across the original BBC News Wales report at the time of the incident http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-18458803

So a girl of 12 with learning disabilities was locked in a bathroom at night – although Kinsale School, where this had happened, had recently been given the ‘highest accolade’ from Estyn and was awarded Autism Accredited status from the National Autistic Society. I note that two staff were suspended, that Anglesey Council described the allegations as ‘very serious’ and Anglesey Chief Exec Richard Parry Jones maintained that ‘the safeguarding of Anglesey children is our highest priority at all times’. An investigation was launched – and in 2014 North Wales Police reported that they undertook an investigation which involved social services and that no action was taken against either the school or any staff member. I note that the girl who was at the centre of this incident was unable to talk. So with her dad being miles away on Anglesey – who wasn’t even told about the incident when it happened – and her being only 12 years old, with learning difficulties, unable to talk and stuck in a residential school, I doubt that Kinsale School, Anglesey Council and the social services had to work very hard to ensure that no action was taken against any of them. Two and a half years later Anglesey children’s services are now mired in yet another scandal. It’s great being ‘safeguarded’ isn’t it.

Lastly, an almighty row has broken out over Hywel Williams’s pet project, the monstrosity of the prison in Wrexham, HMP Berwyn, that was opened a few days ago http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-39208633

A wing has been named Bala and a big notice has been erected in the prison saying ‘Croeso I Bala’, with a picture of Llyn Tegid. The residents of Bala are not happy because they were not consulted and do not want part of a prison named after their town. Furthermore, one of the women from Bala went to Ysgol Berwyn in Bala and is sufficiently outraged to have started a petition to change the name of the wing and is calling for a meeting with Liz Saville Roberts MP. In response an MoJ spokesperson said that ‘the name was chosen to reflect the culture of the area’. The culture of the area?? Crime?? How much crime is there exactly in the Berwyn Mountains or in Bala? Although of course in the wider north Wales region there has been an awful lot of crime committed by people involved in ‘delivering’ the mental health services over the last thirty years – a lot of people have quipped that it should be them inside that prison, although I don’t think Hywel envisaged that when he begged for a prison in north Wales…

 

Breach of Data Protection Act

Readers will remember the number of times that, when asking for my own medical records from the North West Wales NHS Trust and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, I have not received a full copy of my records but have instead received confidential information relating to other people (please see blog post ‘It’s Yet Another E Mail To The Chairman of The Betsi’). A correspondent quipped a few days ago that as I have been given someone else’s records, the thirty boxes of records relating to me that have not been handed over despite months of asking for them have obviously been delivered to someone else.

Well it seems that something similar has indeed occurred. I have received an e mail from someone who has traced me via my blog who tells me that confidential health details concerning me have turned up on her NHS records, on her Social Services file and on her West Mercia Police File. Before tracing me, she had tried to get this information removed from her file but the bodies concerned refused to co-operate. I have been told that the person responsible for this flagrant breach of the Data Protection Act was a DC Shelley Orr.

My correspondent and I are now working together in an attempt to rectify this. If necessary we will be taking our case to the Information Commissioner’s Office. As usual, I will be blogging full details.

It is quite clear that confidential information is not safe in the hands of the NHS.