‘The Reality Is, There Is No Problem’

My post ‘Everywoman?’ and the comments that follow it refer to the clique of utterly dreadful people who have occupied senior positions in health and social care in Wales for many years now. This bunch have spent their whole careers playing musical chairs – when they stuff up so badly that they just have to go, they pop up somewhere else in a very similar role, very often at a more senior level. The word ‘incestuous’ really is the only description applicable. Posts ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ and ‘I Know Nuzzing…’ detailed how it was this process of recycling incompetent or downright dangerous staff and managers that led to North Wales Child Abuse Scandal of the 70s, 80s and 90s. The Waterhouse Inquiry was supposed to have been the turning point. Of course it wasn’t, because although Ronnie Waterhouse admitted that terrible abuse of children in care had happened and that a paedophile ring was at work in north Wales and Cheshire, he concealed the extent of it and the links with public figures as far away as London, as well as evidence of links to abusers of children in Europe. Waterhouse also ignored the links between the organised abuse of children in north Wales and organised crime involving child porn and hard drugs. Hardly anyone resigned or retired even after Waterhouse – a few of the senior managers simply moved to other regions of the country and continued working, everyone else was bound by a code of silence and carried on in their own sweet way, mostly in north Wales. They continue to live and work there.

So how did Wales’s health and social care sector respond after the public inquiry into the biggest child abuse scandal that there had ever been in the UK? They remained in very deep denial.

The Waterhouse Report was published in 2000. In March 2001 the ‘Guardian’ published a feature on the crisis in the social care sector in Wales. It stated that ‘low morale, poor pay’ and the fear of involvement in ‘departmental failure’ made it difficult to attract social care staff to Wales and that the Waterhouse Report and critical reviews into local authority social services departments were ‘contributing to the problem’. No, it was the presence of a paedophile gang who’s mycelia spread throughout Wales that made it difficult to attract staff. Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services had been dogged by scandal and allegations of abuse for years. The ‘services’ were so notorious that one social worker whose comments were published who desperately  wanted to escape from the sector in north Wales was quoted as saying ‘I’ve worked for Clwyd. No-one’s going to have me’.

So what comment did Hugh Gardner, the Chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services in Wales, make to the ‘Guardian’? Hugh stated that ‘Waterhouse has not helped…a feeling that there’s a special problem surrounding the integrity of people working in residential care in Wales. The reality is, there’s no problem, but public perception is damaging for morale’.

‘The reality is, there’s no problem’. A vicious paedophile ring had been in operation in the children’s homes in north Wales for at least 30 years – children had been raped, buggered, starved, beaten, used as forced labour and the children’s homes had doubled up as brothels. When the children hit their mid-teens they were trafficked to London and Brighton for sex work. So many former residents of the children’s homes were found dead as young adults that very few are now still alive. Five were killed in one arson attack in 1992. Every agency and organisation in Wales had colluded with the abuse – those kids had tried and tried to raise the alarm but no-one responded, except for Alison Taylor the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle and who was then sacked.

The response of the social care establishment in Wales to the crisis in social care was to establish a task and finish group in the Assembly, with the remit to look at recruitment and retention. This group was to be Chaired by Graham Williams, the Chief Inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate of Wales. Another member of the task and finish group was Rhian Huws Williams, the head of CCETSW Cymru (Central Council for the Education and Training of Social Workers) – for the low-down on Rhian Huws Williams, see post ‘Still Lost In Care’. Dominic Macaskill from UNISON, many of whose members work in social care, contributed to the debate – Dominic thought that the main problem was the ‘serious social deprivation’ in Wales. Mario Kraft from Care Forum Wales also sat on the group – he saw the group as a ‘chance to grapple with the recruitment and retention issues’. Mario observed that the outlook for the private sector as well was ‘bleak’.

At this time the Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales was Jane Hutt – a former social worker – a ‘family friend’ of Rhodri Morgan and his wife. Rhodri Morgan was First Minister. Rhodri’s wife Julie is a former social worker. Rhodri’s special advisor was Mark Drakeford – who had worked as a social worker in Dyfed, when they had a problem with abuse in their children’s services. All these people had been involved with social care in Wales BEFORE the Waterhouse Inquiry. They had been in place whilst the abuse was happening – and abuse wasn’t just happening in north Wales. The biggest scandal occurred there, it was particularly dreadful, but there were problems in health and social care right across Wales.

BBC News Wales in 2002 reported that ‘elderly care was in crisis’ – Hugh Gardner, the Vice-Chair of the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru, maintained that more money was needed.

In Dec 2004 BBC News Wales reported that Hugh Gardner was to be awarded an OBE. A few others did even better. Dr Michael Shooter, a psychiatrist from the Abergavenny area – who was mentioned in a comment in response to one of my blog posts recently – was to be given a CBE, as was Janet Chaplin (the Assistant Chief Probation Officer of the South Wales Probation Service), along with Richard Blair (Director of the Wales Local Gov’t Association aka WLGA), Andrew Cozens (the former President of the Association of Directors of Social Services) and Gloria Mills (the Director of Equal Opportunities at UNISON).

A nice collection of gongs in return for complete failure there.

 

Did the Assembly task and finish group of 2001 manage to improve matters? It would seem not. ‘Community Care’ in Jan 2005 reported on the dire state of health and social care services in Wales. Chris Davies, the Director of Cardiff Social Services, commented that the Welsh health and social care services were performing worse than their English counterparts but ‘no-one can quite put their finger on why’. Immediately after the publication of the damning Jillings Report in 1996 concerning the abuse of children in care in Clwyd, Clwyd County Council was abolished. John Jevons, the Director of Clwyd Social Services, left Clwyd and took up the position of Director of Social Services in Cardiff.

Our old friend Hugh Gardner also popped up in ‘Community Care’, Jan 2005. It was mentioned that Hugh was the former Director of Social Services for Swansea. Hugh did admit that there was a problem now – the problem was that the Welsh Assembly hadn’t given them enough money.

Swansea Social Services were declared to be not fit for purpose and were put into special measures after the murder of baby Aaron Gilbert in May 2005.

Jon Skone, the Secretary of the Association of Directors of Social Services Wales, was also involved in trying to suggest a remedy to the problem according to ‘Community Care’. Skone began life as a social worker in Neath in the early 80s. The boys from Bryn Estyn who complained about being molested were sent to an even worse place if they didn’t shut up – Neath Farm School. Neath Farm School got a mention in the Waterhouse Report as being so brutal that boys preferred to be beaten and abused at Bryn Estyn than risk being sent there. Skone was a a community development worker in West Glamorgan County Council in the mid-80s, principal social services officer (learning disabilities) for South Glamorgan County Council, 1987-92, Assistant Director, Policy, Planning and Strategic Development for Dyfed County Council 1992-96, Head of Community Care, Pembrokeshire County Council 1996-2000 and was appointed Director of Social Care and Housing for Pembrokeshire County Council in 2000. Jon Skone climbed yet higher. In 2010 Skone received much publicity when he was appointed Director of Social Services in Pembrokeshire AND Director of Hywel Dda Health Board, responsible for the management of Withybush Hospital, the first person in the UK to hold such a double appointment. Skone worked with Trevor Purt at Hywel Dda. Purt left Hywel Dda after public protests regarding the state of the health services and became CEO of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – where he subsequently resigned after the Tawel Fan scandal which involved the ‘institutional abuse’ of mental health patients.

Skone’s own honeymoon didn’t last long. Skone resigned in 2012 when a child abuse scandal blew up in Pembrokeshire. Not the scandal which involved the paedophile ring in Dyfed/Pembrokeshire, that was another scandal. Skone resigned after children’s care services were described as ‘Victorian’ in a highly critical report which followed an investigation after children were found to be kept in ‘padded time-out rooms’ aka padded cells. Skone then set himself up as a management consultant, advising on social care, health and housing. In 2013 Jon Skone was appointed to the Board of the Care Council for Wales. Skone is also a member of Alder Advice, a collective of advisors to the social care, housing and healthcare sectors.

‘Community Care’ reported that Meryl Gravell, lead member for Social Services at WLGA (Wales Local Gov’t Association) maintained that most services were good but that there was a lack of money. Meryl Gravell is famous on the blogsphere in Wales, the blog Jac O The North is particularly keen on following her adventures and alleged conflicts of interest. Meryl hit the nation’s mainstream media in Feb 2012 after she described staff of Carmarthenshire Council – of which she was leader – and protesters campaigning to stop the proposed closure of the A&E Dept of the Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli as ‘rabble’. She also implied that the Council’s staff were a bunch of lazy gits. Meryl stood down as leader in 2013 after a coalition of Labour and Independent Councillors got together and achieved domination on the Council.

Dear old Graham Williams – who was still the Chief Inspector of the Welsh Social  Services Inspectorate – mentioned the importance of the ‘dissemination of best practice’.

‘Community Care’ commented that this was ‘perhaps the last chance for Wales’s much maligned care sector to begin to recover its reputation’.

 

By 2005, health and social care services in Wales were supposed to be ‘working together’. Jane Hutt was removed from the role of Minister of Health and Social Services in 2005 in the face of the NHS continuing to sink like a stone and a row about excessively long waiting lists. (Hutt popped up again in 2007 as Minister for Children.) Somebody just as bad, a GP, Dr Brian Gibbons, was now in the role. See post ‘Politicians – And Their Responses’ for the background on the lethal Gibbons, who wrote me a letter simply stating ‘this correspondence is closed’ when I told him that I had evidence of serious criminal conduct on the part of staff and managers in the north Wales NHS and social services.

I have discovered a 2005 document, a ‘Concordant Between Bodies Inspecting, Regulating and Auditing Health and Social Care Services in Wales’. The signatures on this concordant are instructive. They include:

Dr Peter Higson of Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW); Graham Williams of Social Services Inspectorate Wales; Rob Pickford of Care Standards Inspectorate Wales; Gren Kershaw of the Welsh Risk Pool; Terry Rose of HSE; Anna Walker of the Healthcare Commission; Chris Heginbotham of the Mental Health Act Commission; Michael Ponton of NHS Confederation Wales; Peter Jones of the CHCs; Steve Thomas of WLGA. The signatures on the foreword of the Concordant are those of the then two biggest wigs in Wales’s Health and Social Care system, dear old Dr Brian Gibbons and Ann Lloyd, the Head of the Health and Social Care Dept, Chief Exec NHS Wales.

Ann Lloyd CBE has not featured on this blog until now, but she certainly has much to answer for. Lloyd was Chief Exec of NHS Wales 2001-09. So all those deaths and assaults at the Hergest Unit happened on her watch, as did the framing of patients by the staff for crimes that they had not committed – as well as the failure to investigate patients complaints. Ann Lloyd stated that ‘we must never have a mid-Staffs here’ [in Wales]. So that’s what the huge cover-up and harassment and wrongful imprisonment of patients was all about then – Ann didn’t want a mid-Staffs. You had one Ann, by anyone’s standards there was a mid-Staffs in north Wales and now you’ve got this blog to deal with. Ann served under successive Health Ministers Hutt, Gibbons and Edwina Hart. I have detailed previously how Edwina Hart really did try and sort out the NHS in north Wales but was hounded out of her post by the BMA and the paedophiles’ friends. I was also told that the civil service were being as obstructive to Edwina as possible – I wonder if one of those doing the obstructing was Ann Lloyd?

When Ann ‘retired’, she stated that ‘mental health [services] need a good going over’. She also believed that ‘services are more accountable and transparent’. The services need a police investigation Ann but you and Gibbons didn’t even respond to patients complaints. At this time the Chief Exec of the Gwynedd CHC was Glanville Owen, who didn’t investigate patients complaints either. Glanville was the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services responsible for children’s homes when the paedophile gang were busy in those homes.

Ann didn’t completely disappear when she left the Welsh NHS full of criminals abusing patients. She became a Commissioner for Health and Social Services in London and spent two days a week there. I suspect that the dead hand of Ann Lloyd is still touching NHS Wales though. I have found a document dated May 2017 which was the minutes of the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee. The Chair was an Ann Lloyd and the Vice-Chair was Lyn Meadows. Meadows is a member of the Betsi Board and the former corrupt dishonest Director of HR at Bangor University. Before that she was a senior manager of the Welsh Ambulance Service, which was a catastrophe. She was described to me as an ‘evil cow’, a manipulative bully who promoted someone to a managerial post who later ended up in prison for a savage attack on his wife. In a previous life Lyn Meadows was a non-executive director of an NHS organisation on the Wirral. She was named in Hansard and on Frank Field’s blog as having colluded with a fraud with some Top Doctors. More info about Meadows can be found by using the search facility on this blog, I’ve mentioned her often.

In the financial year 2003-04 Ann Lloyd’s salary was given as £125-130k.

When Ann retired, Sir Paul Williams became the Chief Exec of NHS Wales. Paul had been the Chief Exec of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust – which was somewhat scandal ridden itself. Williams had started his career as a clerk in the Welsh NHS and worked his way up over the next 40 years. Details of Paul’s career can be found among the comments that follow my post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ Upon Ann’s retirement, Paul stated that NHS Wales now had opportunities which ‘will be the envy of other healthcare systems’.

OK Paul, that must be why eight years later we have some of the worst health outcomes in Europe and more than one NHS Board in Wales is technically bankrupt.

What about the others who signed the Concordat? Well Peter Higson who was Chief Exec of HIW is well-known to readers of this blog – he concealed the paedophile ring whilst he was the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, ignored abuse of patients and criminal misconduct and he’s now the Chair of the Betsi. Which is in special measures because of institutional abuse in its mental health services.

Graham Williams was still Graham in denial. Rob Pickford of Care Standards Inspectorate Wales started out as a social worker in the Rhondda. He became a child protection officer for Mid-Glamorgan Social Services and then occupied management positions in social services in the Rhondda. Following this he was Assistant Director for Adult Services for Bridgend County Borough Council. Rob just rocketed upwards – he became Director of Social Services for Bridgend and at some point took over Graham Williams’ former remit of Chief Inspector of Care and Social Services. Dear old Graham became Director of NHS, Mid and West Wales Region and then retired. Rob went on to become Director of Social Services, Children and Families in the Welsh Gov’t. In 2013 he was appointed visiting Professor at the University of South Wales and an honorary research fellow at Cardiff University. Rob maintains that his career has been spent ‘supporting people to deliver citizen centred services’. (Higson used to claim on his profile on the HIW website that his career had been dedicated to making life better for the citizen.) Latterly Rob Pickford could be found on the website of the Big Lottery Fund – he is listed as a Wales Committee member, alongside other equally duplicitous people. Rob is also Chair of the Wildlife Trust for south and west Wales.

Gren Kershaw of the Welsh Risk Pool is known to readers of this blog (see post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’). He was the senior manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh in its final days and the CEO of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust, 1991-2008. He then took control at the Welsh Risk Pool, where he worked with John Bowles and Patricia Gaskill. Bowles was risk manager at Ysbyty Gwynedd whilst patients were assaulted by staff and died and Gaskill was the hospital solicitor who covered up for and failed to take action against Hergest staff who assaulted patients. Whilst Gren was CEO of Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust he was responsible for Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. There was cover-up after cover-up following serious complaints and the elderly wards were so bad that staff at Glan Clwyd warned their friends not to let their relatives be admitted there. In 2005, Peter Higson in his capacity as CEO of HIW wrote a report on Gren’s mental health services – which included the infamous elderly mentally ill wards – describing them as ‘good and still improving’. Higson and Gren were old mates from their days concealing the paedophile gang at the North Wales Hospital. Gren isn’t Welsh – until the 80s he was an NHS manager in Jimmy Savile’s stomping ground in Yorkshire. After ‘retiring’ from the NHS, Gren set up a management consultancy.

Gren co-authored an article with an Annette Bartley for ‘Asian Hospital and Healthcare Management’ entitled ‘Effective Leadership For Patient Safety – Lessons From Safer Patient Initiative’. Bartley was described as Head of Modernisation, North Wales NHS (Central Division) – which was the later name of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust; it gained such a dreadful reputation that a rebranding exercise was undertaken. Annette Bartley was an Angel – presumably one who had spent all or most of her career in north Wales. Bartley became a fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and even spent a year in Boston which was funded by them. She then returned to Gren and north Wales. She did of course set up her own management consultancy. Bartley died in 2016 and a tribute was written to her by the Point of Care Foundation on The Health Foundation’s website. It stated that Annette was a nurse until 2007, but then became a quality advisor, that she had a ‘passion for excellence’ and was ‘an experienced nurse and capable service improver in north Wales’. She was also obviously a very good liar. We are told that Annette had a little anecdote – ‘when the organisation hit a barrier to progress, it brought inspiration and new energy to enable change’.

I can understand that the goons in north Wales all swallowed Annette’s nonsense because like her they’d never dare admit what was happening in their organisation which had hit a barrier to progress, but how did she manage to convince anyone in BOSTON that she was a ‘an experienced improver’?? They’d only needed to have paid a visit to the shambles that was Ysbyty Glan Clwyd…

 

Anna Walker was the Chief Exec of the Healthcare Commission, 2004-09, until it was subsumed by the CQC after one scandal too many. Walker was a Whitehall civil servant who had worked for the DTI, DEFRA and had been the Director-General at Oftel. Anna was supposed to be all about being a hard taskmaster and inspecting/regulating the NHS in order to effect improvement (she should have just asked the Great Improver Annette for advice) – she didn’t have much joy with the NHS in north Wales. Anna was the daughter of Lord Butterworth, the first Vice-Chancellor of Warwick University and was in the same class as Princess Ann at Benenden. Anna’s husband is Tim Walker, who was the Director-General of the HSE. The HSE that only very, very rarely took the NHS to task, no matter how many times they killed patients. One of Tim’s underlings at the HSE co-signed the Concordat with Anna. Between 2009-16, Anna was the Chair of Young Epilepsy. At about the time that Anna became Chief Exec of the Healthcare Commission, a young woman with epilepsy ended up in a vegetative state after being admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd. It was a bank holiday and there was no senior doctor on call because Keith Thomson, the CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust, had refused to pay for senior doctors to cover at weekends and bank holidays. No-one on duty knew how much medication to give her and they got it wrong. She ended up severely brain damaged. Thomson wasn’t sacked and no-one was prosecuted. Thomson did resign in 2005 – hours after my lawyers had him summoned before a High Court judge in Cardiff and ordered him to hand over my medical records which he had been refusing to. Not that Thomson actually retired, although he told the local paper this – Thomson went off quietly to Pembrokeshire and joined the senior management of the NHS Trust down there! He stood down from that post suddenly for unexplained reasons, but was kind enough to tell them all that he’d remain as an advisor to the Board.

Chris Heginbotham of the Mental Health Act Commission – the MHA Commission that failed to investigate abuses of patients in north Wales, lied to patients and had a very chummy relationship over a period of many years with NHS senior managers in north Wales – was formerly Chief Exec at MIND. Heginbotham worked closely with William Bingley, the legal director of MIND whilst Heginbotham was Chief Exec – who also went on to lead the MHA Commission – who admitted to me that he knew the extent of the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. For more details of Heginbotham’s activities, see post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – But Never For Themselves Of Course’.

Michael Ponton was appointed as Director of the NHS Confederation Wales in 2004. He began working for the NHS in Cardiff in 1962 and moved to England in 1968, where he worked at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington and Leicester General Hospital. In 1974 he returned to Wales as manager of the Morriston Hospital, Swansea. After spending 16 years in senior management roles with West Glamorgan Health Authority, Ponton returned to Morrison in 1985 to manage the revamped hospital. In 1990 he became Managing Director of East Dyfed and Pembrokeshire Health Authorities. In 1996 Ponton was appointed as Chief Exec of Health Promotion Wales. In 1999 he arrived at the newly established Welsh Assembly Gov’t as the senior civil servant supporting the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ruth Hall, on Health Promotion and Public Health.

Dr Ruth Hall was or still is a member of NICE’s Public Health Advisory Committee, is on the Board of Governors of the Public Policy Institute for Wales and is Joint Chair of the Mid-Wales Healthcare Collaborative. Healthcare services in mid-Wales are notoriously virtually non-existent and two days ago the children’s services in Powys died a death. Ruth penned an entertaining piece for the University of South Wales’s website, entitled ‘Riding The Wave of Success’, in which she urged everyone to ‘enjoy the wave of reflected glory. This particularly applies to the NHS…’

Michael Ponton led the Assembly Strategy ‘Improving Health in Wales’ – he was Director of Health Policy and Development in the Assembly’s Health and Social Services Dept. In 2010 when he retired Ponton became a visiting Professor at the University of South Wales. He was or is a Trustee of Age Concern Cymru as well as Help the Aged in Wales.

 

A Report on the Implementation and Progress of the Concordat 2005-07 followed a few years later. The signatures on this Report were pretty much the same as the signatures on the Concordat, but there were a few new additions, including that of Dr Finlay Scott, Chief Exec of the GMC. At the time, Finlay was busy trying to explain why Harold Shipman had been allowed to continue practicing although there had been concerns expressed about him many years previously after he was convicted of a drugs offence.

Another new signature was that of Jeremy Colman, the Auditor General for Wales. Jeremy was a civil servant who had worked as the Private Secretary to successive holders of the post of head of the Home Office’s civil service and in the Treasury. Colman had played a leading role in the privatisation of British Airways and the British Airports Authority. In 1988 Colman was Director of investment bank County NatWest. He then became a partner in Price Waterhouse – he was based in Prague, as head of Corporate Finance. Colman joined the National Audit Office in 1993 and was responsible for PFIs and public-private partnerships for 12 years. Colman became head of the Wales Audit Office (WAO) in 2005. He resigned in 2010 after an internal investigation found child porn on his computer. An investigation by South Wales Police followed – Colman was later found guilty of fifteen separate offences of possessing indecent images and was jailed. The only surprise is that he hasn’t turned up on the Board of the Care Council for Wales.

After Colman resigned, Huw Vaughan Thomas was appointed as head of the WAO. Huw Vaughan Thomas was the former Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, whilst Gwynedd Social Services was host to the paedophile ring and was subject to police investigations. Vaughan Thomas refused to meet Alison Taylor, the social worker who blew the whistle on the paedophile ring, who was subsequently sacked. Vaughan Thomas is involved with numerous worthy causes – full details of Huw’s glorious career and extensive network can be read in my post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’

If any reader knows who sat on the panel that appointed Huw Vaughan Thomas to the WAO, I’d certainly like to hear from them. Huw is still in that post.

 

In the midst of all this, in March 2005 ‘Community Care’ ran an article on Rhodri Morgan’s ‘vision’ for public services in Wales – a vision that was conjured up by his advisor Mark Drakeford. The vision involved rejecting the consumerist model of services that had been adopted in England – all part of Rhodri’s famous placing of ‘clear red water’ between Wales and England. I am completely sympathetic to such ideas – but as we have seen, they cannot be successfully implemented if the whole system is full of corrupt, abusive people who are never removed from their jobs and who are immediately given another senior role if they condescend to resign in the face of major scandal. Flattering words were said in ‘Community Care’ regarding the ‘new way’ of sharing staff and resources. A number of key figures were mentioned, including Paul Elliott, spokesperson for Wales UNISON and David Halse, head of Childcare Commissioning at Pembrokeshire. David was head of Children’s Services in Pembrokeshire, working under Jon Skone.

In Jan 2006, ‘Children and Young People Now’ carried an article on the serious problems in children’s social care services in Wales. One Graham Williams – who was still  Chief Inspector – commented that ‘improving the performance of children’s services must be given immediate priority’. Everyone chipped in as usual. A Sally Ellis was named as the Association of Directors of Social Services lead on children’s services in Wales. Sally Ellis was a Corporate Director in Denbighshire County Council, between 2001-14. The Denbighshire County Council which had problems in all of its ‘services’ and whose education service famously imploded. Sally was, among other things, Director of Social Services for Denbighshire and is described as having held ‘many posts in local gov’t’. What’s the betting that at one point Sally will have been a social worker in north Wales as the paedophile gang raged and the mental health patients were neglected and abused? Sally was also the Director for Modernisation over at Denbighshire – and was or is the local gov’t representative on the Betsi Board! She Chaired the Strategic Improvement Steering Group which dispensed advice to the Health and Social Services Minister in Wales on social care improvement. Sally is also listed on the website of the Public Services Staff Commission as a Commissioner, who provides ‘advice to Welsh Gov’t Ministers and public service organisations’. She also provided advice to the National Institute of Care and Support.

Sally Ellis is a volunteer advisor to Denbighshire CAB. Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was named in the Waterhouse Report as colluding with the paedophile gang who operated in north Wales, is a senior manager of CAB. Ellis is also Vice-Chair of North Wales Housing aka the North Wales Housing Association. The North Wales Housing Association began the Bangor branch of their empire by fleecing a vulnerable psychiatric patient. They are known for housing drug dealers who intimidate the more vulnerable residents – complaints from the vulnerable residents are ignored. In the 1990s, North Wales Housing used to run a homeless hostel in Bangor. I knew a young woman who was ‘housed’ there. She struck up a close friendship with a young man who was also a resident and one night went along to his room and got into bed with him. He was dead. He had died of an overdose of drugs that he’d been sold whilst he was in the hostel. They young woman who found him was taken to the Hergest Unit and sectioned. Her clothes were removed – and never returned – and she was given a police forensic jump suit to wear. She was detained in the Hergest Unit until after the funeral and the inquest of her dead friend. She was never interviewed about her friend’s death by anyone. There was no investigation into the death. The manager of the hostel on duty the night that the young man died later became Chief Exec of North Wales Housing.

In July 2007, an article appeared in Wales Online explaining that the cost of negligence in the Welsh NHS was going through the roof. Spencer Collier, a solicitor handling such claims, observed that it was ‘the same basic and simple mistakes which keep occurring….very, very simple year one medical school stuff’. Gren Kershaw’s own documents from the Welsh Risk Pool also showed that the same mistakes were being made repeatedly. A Welsh Assembly spokesperson responded by saying that ‘the NHS Redress Measure that has been published today will further encourage a learning culture in the NHS’. At about this time, one of my colleagues at Bangor University was ‘leading a project’ with dear old Gren and the Welsh Risk Pool. Brown and me used to be greatly entertained by this person’s description of the NHS as a ‘learning organisation’. Within two years the project had gone tits up in a major way due to her mismanagement, the two PhD students associated with it didn’t get PhDs, there was talk of the funding body demanding the dosh back from the University and the person who believed that the NHS was a learning organisation was sacked. She later set up a ‘coaching and mentoring business’ and was recently commissioned by the Betsi to ‘train’ their senior doctors. Some months ago, at a Betsi Board meeting whilst yet another disaster was being discussed, the Vice-Chair of the Board, Margaret Hanson, talked about ’embedding the learning’. Margaret is a former social worker who is married to David Hanson, who also worked in the care sector before he became an MP in Wales.

The learning just goes on and on – as do the deaths, the scandals and the abuse.

 

Another major player between 2006-12 was Tony Jewell, Wales’s Chief Medical Officer. Jewell always looked as though he led a very good life, he was rather tanned and seemed to be in possession of some very expensive teeth. He was a public health specialist and I never worked out whether he was a good advert for his own speciality or whether he was just wealthy enough to afford a very comfortable lifestyle. Many years ago Tony Jewell worked as a GP in inner London for 10 years and was a member of Tower Hamlets Area Health Authority for six years, specifically as the union rep. So he will have known the fuckwits that ran that borough and that they were sending their kids in care on placement to north Wales – where they were abused. Jewell was Secretary to the Support Wendy Savage campaign, so he’ll have known many of the folk mentioned in my post ‘Little Things Hitting Each Other’. Jewell was a Council member of the Socialist Health Organisation, but resigned when he was appointed CMO for Wales. Yorkshire Television produced a documentary on Jewell’s work in the 80s. In the late 1980s Yorkshire Television also filmed Alison Taylor for a planned documentary on child abuse in north Wales children’s homes – but it was suddenly stopped. Jewell was involved in the Inquiry into the death of David ‘Rocky’ Bennett. Rocky was a mental health patient who suffocated whilst being ‘restrained’ by an inexplicably high number of people who were paid ‘to help’. Tony Jewell was President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health, 2002-06.

Whilst CMO, Tony Jewell created Public Health appointments in every Health Board in Wales. I knew one of the people who landed one of those appointments in the North West Wales NHS Trust. He was a capable senior doctor who had won prizes for his work whilst he was working in London. After working for the North West Wales NHS Trust for a year he began to describe the serious misconduct among his colleagues that he was witnessing. He alleged that he was being bullied in the workplace, became clinically depressed and ended up having a breakdown. He left Tony Jewell’s flagship job and moved to another part of the country to work as a GP – after a leading light in the BMA ensured that nobody got to hear about what had happened to this doctor in Gwynedd. The doctor who had the breakdown also knew about the research fraud that was mindfulness and noticed that the ‘mindfulness practitioners’ in Bangor University were behaving appallingly.

Tony Jewell established NISCHR (National Institute for Social Care and Health Research) in Wales, an organisation that dishes out funding to people who know exactly how bad the social care and mental health services are in Wales, but who never publish a word about it preferring to pursue simplistic surveys and box ticking exercises instead.

Some years ago that there a terrifyingly embarrassing cluster of suicides in Bridgend, which no-one ever managed to get to the bottom of. I always wondered about that particular mystery, but I have now discovered that Jewell ‘defused’ the problem by conjuring up the All Wales Response To Suicide Prevention. Not that it’s prevented any suicides, people are still dropping like lemmings, but at least no-one talks about it anymore, because there’s now a Strategy. The learning will have been embedded.

Tony Jewell retired in 2012, tanned, healthy and still in possession of those splendid teeth. The rest of Wales was on its arse, I’d been hounded out of Gwynedd by the paedophiles’ friends and the nation’s health outcomes were shameful. By this time Lesley Griffiths was Minister for Health and Social Services. Griffiths had been a member of Wrexham Council whilst the paedophile ring raged in the children’s services in Wrexham (see post ‘History Repeats Itself, First As Tragedy, Second As Farce’) – all the Councillors except Malcolm King refused to make a nuisance of themselves about this minor matter. Mark Drakeford was appointed as Minister for Health and Social Services after Griffiths – the Drakeford who was once a social worker in Dyfed where children in care were abused, the Drakeford who was Rhodri’s advisor a few years previously – you get the picture. Drakeford was in post when the Tawel Fan scandal blew up and covered him in crap. Tawel Fan ward provided care for EMI patients in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – Gren Kershaw’s former empire, that beacon of ‘improvement’ that so impressed quality assessors in Boston. The EMI services in Gren’s empire also managed to receive an award for being the best team in the UK from the Royal College of Psychiatrists the year before the horrible truth hit the headlines re Tawel Fan.

After Tony Jewell retired, Dr Ruth Hussey was appointed as CMO for Wales. Ruth Hussey is Peter Higson’s sister. Ruth Hussey picked up an honorary Fellowship from Bangor University – Peter Higson is a member of the Council at Bangor University.

 

Regular readers will know that although I am very rude about the nest of corrupt vipers that have wrecked the public services in Wales, I always maintain that they have been propped up by even worse equally corrupt incestuous vipers from England. So let’s look at who oversaw this complete mess at the highest level and started the ball rolling from the earliest days of the creation of the Assembly, by simply re-employing and indeed promoting the fucking idiots who had caused so much damage previously.

It was Sir John Shortridge, who was Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office from 1999 and who became Permanent Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales when it was created in May 1999. Shortridge’s predecessor was Rachel Lomax, who has a great deal of explaining to do re the cover-up that was the Waterhouse Inquiry. Further details pertaining to Rachel can be read in my post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bugger?’

Shortridge joined the Welsh Office in 1984. In 1987 he became Private Secretary to Secretaries of State for Wales Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell and then Peter Walker. So Shortridge will have been au fait – and perhaps even organising – the Welsh Office’s cover-up of the abuse of both children in care and mental health patients as detailed in previous posts, by the use of corrupt lawyer Andrew Park and the corrupt Medical Ombudsman, Professor Robert Owen. It was also the Welsh Office’s Social Services Inspectorate that failed to carry out regular inspections of the children’s homes in north Wales, even though they were being told by Alison Taylor that abuse was rampant and some ‘care workers’ from the homes had been convicted of assaults on children. In addition, Alison and me were writing to Ministers in the Welsh Office telling them that there was criminal activity in the social services and mental health services in north Wales. Shortridge will also have been party to the development of Cardiff Bay and the way in which this was used to transfer many millions of taxpayers money to Nicholas Edwardes and his friends and business partners (see post ‘Corruption Bay Special’). In fact between 1988-92 Shortridge was head of the Welsh Office Finance Division, so he’ll have been the person who waved that particular massive scam through. There was a great deal of unhappiness with the Welsh Office in Wales, with allegations of corruption, mismanagement and decisions being taken that were anything but helpful to Wales. In 1995 a Senior Managerial Review of the Welsh Office was undertaken – by Jon Shortridge. Then in 1997, Shortridge was appointed Director of Economic Affairs, responsible for establishing the National Assembly of Wales.

After ensuring the corruption was built into the civil service and public services of Wales from the very beginning, Shortridge retired in 2008. Between 2012-15, Sir Jon Shortridge was Chancellor of the poorest performing university in the UK, that institution riddled with problems, Glyndwr University at Wrexham. My post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’ identifies and details the backgrounds of the numerous people who facilitated, concealed and colluded with those involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal who have held or hold roles governing that institution. I presume that Shortridge is the biggest vampire of the lot.

I have come to expect high levels of fuckwittery from those responsible for running health and care systems – these systems are so dysfunctional that they are designed to ensure that no competent person ever achieves any degree of influence. But under Jon Shortridge, a paedophile was appointed to lead the Wales Audit Office and then after the paedophile was imprisoned, someone who facilitated a paedophile gang was appointed as his successor.

The Westminster Paedophile Ring was alleged to have involved Whitehall civil servants. Children from north Wales children’s homes were trafficked to London for prostitution. Some of the boys from north Wales found themselves visiting apartments at Dolphin Square – the location of the residences of a number of politicians and civil servants.

 

It is good to know that there is ‘no problem’ and that everyone is ‘riding the wave of success’ – and that Jon Shortridge, having presided over this shameful mess that resulted in so many ruined lives and numerous deaths, ended up with a knighthood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Look Who Won Awards

Whilst perusing the newsletter detailing the functions attended by the High Sheriff of Clwyd over the past year, I discovered the details relating to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Awards Ceremony held in May, which were held to celebrate the end of the first year of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s period of office. The Police and Crime Commissioner that I’m talking about is of course Arfon Jones, the former inspector with the North Wales Police. Arfon famously gave evidence at Gordon Anglesea’s trial after Anglesea was charged with abusing boys in care. Arfon admitted that as a young constable he was the officer who drove Anglesea to the venues where Anglesea sexually assaulted the boys. Arfon used to helpfully chauffeur Anglesey to those venues but was not ever asked to collect him again. I wonder what Arfon thought that Anglesea was doing. Anglesea was convicted and died in prison last year. Fortunately though his wife Sandra was still able to receive a 50% share of Anglesea’s police pension although her husband died a convicted child abuser, due to an ‘oversight’ on the part of Arfon in his capacity as North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.

Arfon is also a former member of Wrexham Council. Wrexham Council was notorious for failing to address the severe abuse of children in Bryn Estyn, a children’s home on it’s doorstep.

So to whom did the paedophile’s friend give awards in order to celebrate?

Hannah Mart. Hannah won the Victims’ Champion Award. Hannah is a Children’s and Young Peoples Sexual Violence Advisor, who has set up Young Women’s Support Groups in collaboration with the North Wales Police, in order to ‘build resilience’. One project established by the Support Groups was STAR – ‘Safety, Trust And Respect’. It aims to tackle ‘low self-esteem’ in victims of sexual assault.  No doubt the ‘self-esteem’ of victims of sex crime is at rock-bottom if their molester was a senior police officer who’s colleague ferried him to the scene of the crime in a police car and both officers were employed by the North Wales Police which refused to co-operate with an independent investigation into child abuse in the region. Oh well, at least the victims can be part of project STAR – whilst Sandra the merry widow lives comfortably on a police pension and her husband’s former driver is raking it in in his new role as Police and Crime Commissioner. On top of his own police pension.

Hannah is employed by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Who’s Chair, Dr Peter Higson, is the former manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in which the victims of the North Wales Paedophile Gang – of which Anglesea was a member – were incarcerated and diagnosed as psychotic when they complained about what had happened to them in the children’s homes.

Tanya Jones. Tanya won the People’s Award, for organising the Rough Sleepers Intervention Team in Wrexham. Tanya’s intervention obviously isn’t proving very effective – the homelessness problem in Wrexham is exploding and there’s now a load of homeless people living in tents on the site of an old school. Tanya’s Team work for The Wallich, a Cardiff based charity. The Wallich are making themselves very unpopular in north Wales with their attempts to acquire housing for people who have been convicted of sex offences and who have serious drug problems in areas where there is not the infrastructure to support them.

ARCH Kaleidoscope. They won the Drug Intervention Award. Kaleidoscope is a Third sector organisation concerned with substance abuse that is based in south Wales – latterly it has teamed up with CAIS in a partnership to provide ‘substance abuse services’. No-one in north Wales believes that the drug problem is being tackled successfully – the region is now also seeing murders between rival drug dealing gangs. CAIS have held the contract for ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales since 1995. The other day I saw a graph plotting the rise of class A drug use in north Wales – the rise began in 1995 and has rocketed since. That is not surprising – I have been told repeatedly that the CAIS ‘peer support workers’ are dealing to their clients. There is now a rapidly burgeoning drugs problem in Powys. ‘Substance abuse services’ for young people in Powys are provided by Kaleidoscope in partnership with CAIS.

CAIS were awarded the accolade of ‘business of the year’ in the Conwy Council business awards of 2017. Which is what CAIS is – it is a business, receiving millions of pounds from bodies like the Welsh Gov’t and DWP, whilst it completely fails to deliver.

CAIS and it’s Trustees – many of which are Paedophiles’ Friends – have featured frequently on this blog. However, my info is a bit out of date – I visited the CAIS website just now and I see that there’s been a few changes. Entertainingly, the CAIS Trustees have removed their photos – although readers of my blog can still access the photos of Dafydd and Lucille from my post ‘And Now – It’s The Gallery…’. It is also mentioned that one of the Trustees, Christine Dukes, was formerly the Area Manager for the Prince’s Trust Cymru. A lot of the Paedophiles’ Friends have been involved with the Prince’s Trust. Trustee Dyfrig ap Dafydd, Dafydd’s son, has added to his bio. Dyfrig tells us that he is married to Tracy, a GP like him. Dr Tracy ap Dafydd works as a GP in Benllech on Anglesey. If one googles Tracy, it is also revealed that Tracy’s name is given as the contact for Cylch Meithrin at Rhianfa, Talwrn. This is rather worrying – for readers who don’t speak Welsh, ‘Meithrin’ is the Welsh word for a children’s nursery. (Cylch means ‘circle’.) So Tracy is doing something with a nursery whilst based at Rhianfa – Rhianfa is Dafydd’s house. Unless of course Dafydd’s moved out into a granny flat and Tracy and Dyfrig have taken over his house. The CAIS website names a new Trustee – the Rev Susan Stevenson. For over 20 years Susan worked and lived in inner London, where she lead churches in Lambeth. Lambeth was host to a paedophile ring as bad as the one in north Wales – they were also linked.

BAWSO. They won the Anti-Slavery Award. BAWSO is a Third sector organisation concerned with BME women. They seem to have opened a branch in Wrexham, although they are based in south Wales. That will explain why last year I received an e mail inviting me to an event in a church in Wrexham with BAWSO at which candles were going to be lit to remember victims of FGM. I didn’t attend because I don’t think that lighting a candle in a church in Wrexham is going to help anyone at risk of, or who has been subjected to, FGM. And I very much doubt that Gordon Anglesea’s mate is going to assist in tackling slavery.

ARC Communities. They won the Outstanding Achievement Award. ARC Communities is yet another Third sector organisation that claims to tackle drugs and homelessness, specifically in Rhyl. Well they’re obviously about as successful as CAIS – who also ‘work’ in Rhyl. Last week the town Councillors of Rhyl summoned the Chief Constable Mark Polin before him and told him that the drugs and street crime problem in Rhyl is now horrific, people do not even feel safe in their own homes and that he was ‘failing dreadfully’. He is not the only one.

 

 

News Round Up, May 10 2017

I’m somewhere at the moment where I don’t have access to wifi all the time, so I’m afraid that this is going to have to be a brief post, just drawing readers’ attention to stories that have been covered by this blog or which might be of interest.

I understand that Southern Health, the English NHS Trust that presided over the deaths of many, many mental health and learning disabled patients, is to be prosecuted over the death of Connor Sparrowhawk (I mentioned Connor and his mum Sara’s campaign to get to the truth regarding her son’s death in a post yesterday). When I first started writing this blog I was contacted by people who had experience of Southern Health – there are many similarities between the gross neglect that pervaded ‘care’ at Southern Health and the sort of thing that has been going on in north Wales. After the scandal at Southern could be concealed no longer, the CEO, Katrina Percy, was moved sideways into a role that had been especially created for her on a protected salary. This is exactly what happened to Martin Jones when Edwina Hart abolished the catastrophe that was the North West Wales NHS Trust. Come on then Carwyn, you cannot possibly stand by whilst a Tory led NHS England admits how serious the situation has become without acting yourself. When are the prosecutions going to start in Wales? And you know that I have 10,000 documents detailing the criminal activities of the mental health services in north Wales – and their associates in England – written and signed by those we know and love, because your Counsel General Theodore Huckle QC saw those documents before he too joined in the en masse cover-up (please see previous posts for full details on Theo and his colleagues at Doughty Street Chambers, those well-known specialists in Human Rights). I have copies of everything Carwyn…

Tonight the BBC are screening a special Panorama, dedicated to another story that I have covered on the blog recently, that of the thousands of haemophiliacs (2000 of whom have now died) who contracted hepatitis and HIV from the NHS using infected blood products, purchased from the US after Thatcher closed down the British lab that actually bothered to screen blood to ensure that is was free from infection. Thatcher and Ken Clarke, the Health Minister at the time, were told again and again what would happen, because the blood from the US had frequently been sourced from addicts and the destitute as a result of the policy in the US to pay blood donors. Regular readers will know that I have a lot of admiration for Ken Clarke as being the one former Health Minister who was not afraid to confront the ‘virulent’ BMA and who continues to speak about just how odious and selfish that organisation is, but his denial in the face of those warnings about the likely consequences of using blood products purchased from the US was shameful. No wonder both Cameron and May have refused public inquiries into the matter – it leads straight to the door of St Maggie…

Wales is holding a mass recruitment event in an attempt to attract nurses and other health professionals and Vaughan Gething, the Health Minister, has been all over the media. You need to begin the clean-up of the NHS Vaughan – there’s a reason that Wales has become a no go area for health professionals and it has bugger all to do with the local schools, despite the claims of one Dr James Davies MP. Even if you do dupe them into coming here, they’ll just do what everybody else chooses to do – leave again rapidly. Good people won’t work in an NHS riddled with corruption that is killing the patients and crucifying whistleblowers.

Lastly, I read on BBC New Wales online that there is yet another campaign to ‘fight the stigma’ of mental illness. Well we’ve been fighting stigma for years now but patients are still dying – which has a lot more to do with the dreadful state of the mental health services and the fact that they are permitted to abuse patients with impunity rather than any putative ‘stigma’. This campaign is being led by ‘Time To Change Wales’, which was established to ‘fight stigma’ in 2012. Well that was five years ago and bugger all has changed – the vile ones have not been sacked let alone prosecuted and patients continue to die. Anyway, this campaign is aimed at children – and we wonder why children are becoming so anxious as the adult world bombards with them with ‘awareness raising’ regarding paedophiles, FGM, mental illness and continues the national obsession with SATS tests… I was touched to read that Kirsty Williams the Education Minister is quoted as saying ‘I would encourage young people to seek help and talk with someone they trust…Where there are mental health issues it is really important to get help early, to help prevent problems from escalating’. Some twelve years ago now a young woman called Sylvan Money killed herself whilst in the care of Powys Local Health Board. Sylvan had been suicidally depressed and was supposed to be under constant observation. The two staff who were supposed to be observing her left the ward – to go shopping. Whilst they were on duty. Another person involved in her ‘care’ it transpired couldn’t read and write, although part of their job involved reading ‘notes’ regarding Sylvan. Sylvan hanged herself whilst her carers were out shopping and she was left alone unobserved for hours. The CEO of the LHB was so obstructive during the investigation into Sylvan’s death that the police threatened to arrest her. At the eventual inquest, there were I think 36 failings into Sylvan’s ‘care’ identified by the coroner. In the immediate aftermath of Sylvan’s death, her parents consulted their AM. This AM told them that Powys LHB was ‘a timebomb’. Subsequently, Sylvan’s parents went to see this AM again – but this time she walked out of the room, stating that she wanted no involvement with this case. That AM was one Kirsty Williams. I was told that Kirsty refused any further involvement because she was about to run for leader of the Welsh LibDems and didn’t want to be seen to be critical of the NHS. A few days after I was told this Kirsty announced that she was running for leader of the Welsh LibDems. I was also told that Kirsty’s in-laws are high Tories, but they support Kirsty because she’s one of the family (actually a very wealthy land-owning family, although Kirsty’s election material usually contains a few photos of her cuddling a lamb, in an attempt to convince the electorate that she hand-rears them all herself). When the BMA were doing their best to bring down both Edwina Hart and the first CEO of the Betsi Board, Mary Burrows, because both of them were trying to confront some of the shocking malpractice taking place in the NHS in north Wales, Kirsty repeatedly appeared on TV with members of the BMA stating how shocking it all was and it was all Labour’s fault. And now she’s joined their Cabinet (well she has no party left in Wales, so she had to do something to save herself). When I see photos of Kirsty these days I can see the blood on her teeth…I think the problems have indeed escalated since you walked away from Sylvan’s parents Kirsty. Many, many more patients like Sylvan have died. But you’ve managed to get yourself a job as a Gov’t Minister!

Another Suicide, March 31 2017

The Daily Post has reported that yesterday a woman was killed on the railway line between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth. The police have stated that the death was not suspicious. Oh well another suicide then – and as the Betsi covers the immediate vicinity of Machynlleth, this could well be another tale of failure in the north Wales mental health services. I’ll await further information.

Joint Betsi Board/North Wales CHC Meeting, March 24 2017

This morning I attended the Joint Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board/North Wales Community Health Council Meeting. Regular readers will know that I have long given up expecting to hear any sort of honest discussion at meetings involving the Betsi Board – or indeed the Community Health Council – but it is fascinating to observe these meetings, if only to marvel at the level of denial and the fact that Peter Higson, the Chair of the Betsi, has not resigned yet.

The most noticeable feature of this morning’s meeting was how many people were absent, both from the Betsi Board and the CHC. Peter Higson sent apologies from a list of people – including the delightful Martin Jones – and the Chair of the CHC (I’m afraid that I don’t know her name) noted that they were ‘very light on the ground’. Indeed I think there was only about five members of the CHC present – so much for the ‘watchdog’ that ‘holds the NHS to account’. There was another noticeable absence from the Board though – Jo Rycroft-Malone aka the Racist In Chief. Neither did Higson offer apologies for her absence. Has the dreadful Jo finally gone, having realised that her position was untenable on the grounds of her multiple conflicts of interest alone, yet alone what is passing for the ‘research’ that she is ‘leading’ in her capacity as PVC for Research at Bangor University? We can only hope. However Jo’s mate the equally dreadful Lyn Meadows was present. Another interesting absence was the husband and wife team ‘Independent’ Board member Bethan and her husband, who is Chair of Gwynedd CHC – never mind the conflict of interest, just get your bums on the seats of as many Boards as possible.

Higson continues to look like a very worried man indeed, which is hardly surprising in view of the fact that this Board sinks deeper into the barrel of slurry in which they are obviously drowning as each day passes. In a recent blog post I questioned why Higson was still hanging on, considering that he is past retirement age and has already picked up a pension and an OBE as a reward for his career of ignoring serious abuses in the NHS in Wales. A reader e mailed and suggested that because the previous CEO of the Betsi, Mary Burrows, seemed dangerously determined to try to put a stop to the flagrant abuses that are rife in the NHS in north Wales, when those we know and love finally brought Mary down Higson probably thought that it would be a good idea if he returned to the north to protect the many people whom he had spent his whole career protecting, as they were squealing loudly. This would certainly explain why certain mental health professionals whom I know to have been involved in some very sordid activities were cracking open the champagne at the thought of Higson returning. They have however done so much damage that even the Godfather cannot keep a lid on it any longer.

The meeting kicked off with the usual trawl through the minutes of the previous meeting. There was an extensive discussion concerning the Social Services and Well-Being of Future Generations Act, led by Board member Geoff Lang. He explained that under the terms of the Act the Board’s focus was on ‘individuals with care and support needs’ and that the Betsi were working with the Area Planning Board on issues like substance abuse. This blog had previously documented the extraordinary ‘commissioning process’ that has led to the Area Planning Board and the Betsi giving millions to CAIS, who are very obviously failing to deliver on substance abuse – but did anyone ever really expect a ‘charity’ in which Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Lucille Hughes play a key part to deliver on anything? What is the point of a grandiose Act when organisations like CAIS are being contracted to deliver ‘services’?

A representative from the CHC called Eryl pointed out that during discussions with the matrons of community hospitals, he had been made aware that the NHS operates ’24/7′, but the Social Services stop at 4pm on a Friday. Eryl has raised a very old problem – mental health patients, even if they were deemed worthy of input from Gwynedd Social Services (which they usually weren’t), have long since found that there is no service on a Friday, no service at weekends, no service on a Monday and no service on any days before 9-30ish and 4pm. A discussion held regularly by mental health patients pivoted around who was actually receiving a ‘service’ if it involved Gwynedd Social Services. There was a plentiful supply of callous, negligent social workers on the books but no-one knew who was getting anything like a ‘service’. After Eryl’s comment there followed a discussion regarding the ‘challenge’ involved in providing care home beds for dementia patients – I think that we are talking crisis rather than challenge regarding this matter.

Gary the CEO then moved on to the matter of the ‘Phase 2 report’ – that is the report that has been compiled in relation to the ‘progress’ (or not) of the Betsi under special measures. Gary rattled on about the many areas that special measures covers – which seems to be just about everything. He maintained that ‘good progress’ had been made, that an ‘awful lot of effort’ had been put in but that there was ‘still an awful lot to do’. Presumably that’s why there’s a suicide, avoidable death or scandal involving the Betsi reported in the local media several times a week.

Eleanor Burnham, the former LibDem AM who is now a member of the CHC, then started giving the Board a very hard time regarding the case of a man who had waited so long for a wheelchair that he had developed sores. She told Gary very firmly that if they can’t even get a wheelchair to someone there is something wrong with the Health Board. Which is of course true, the Health Board is broken – but the north Wales NHS has been grossly dysfunctional for many years and I don’t remember Eleanor making much of an issue out of this when she was an AM. Furthermore Eleanor has a shameful past – she sat on mental health tribunals at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. This was an institution that illegally imprisoned patients who dared complain and where serious abuse of patients was pervasive. In her role of a member of the tribunal Eleanor will have gained much information about those abuses – perhaps she’d like to start publishing an account of what really went on out there, because it’s about time that someone did. However one of Eleanor’s colleagues also kept quiet about serious abuse and neglect in the mental health services in Wales. This colleague of Eleanor’s was approached by the family of a patient who had killed herself whilst in the care of Powys Local Health Board some years ago. The neglect was appalling – for example two of the staff who were supposed to be ‘observing’ this severely depressed young woman had GONE SHOPPING whilst they were ‘on duty’. At the eventual inquest there were I think 36 points on which Powys had been found wanting. But the AM whom the family of this patient approached refused to get involved, although she had described Powys LHB as a ‘time bomb’. Who was this AM? None other than Kirsty Williams – who, whilst all this was going on, had decided to run for the leadership of the LibDems in Wales, which no doubt was why she wasn’t going to do battle with the dear old NHS. Indeed when the various vested interests in the NHS were attempting to cause havoc for Mary Burrows, Kirsty was happy to share platforms with representatives from that institution riddled with corruption, the BMA. Kirsty is now the Education Minister for Wales and makes regular appearances in her Serious Woman in Power specs lecturing the nation. Pity about that young woman who died at the hands of an LHB that you knew was dangerous wasn’t it though Kirsty.

Gary the CEO then started discussing the Board’s handling of patient complaints. He defended himself robustly, maintaining that ‘we’ve made definite improvements’ and explained that the handling of complaints often involves a ‘meeting’ with the complainant. Followers of the blog will know that I made a complaint to the Betsi about a number of very serious matters before Christmas and my complaint has still not been resolved – on fact I’ve taken parts of my complaint to the Information Commissioner because it doesn’t seem as though the Betsi is making any progress with it at all. Furthermore the only meeting that I’ve been invited to was a meeting to ‘discuss’ this blog with Gary and Peter when they wrote a silly letter to me the other day complaining about the content of my writing here. Eleanor chipped in again refusing to accept Gary’s claims of an ‘improvement’ and reminded Gary that the Public Services Ombudsman ‘whom I know’ had dished out some very harsh words to the public services very recently. Which indeed he had, he had some very damning conclusions – however, once more I ask why Eleanor and her colleagues at the Assembly have done so little about the state of the NHS, particularly as a lot of them do know people such as the Ombudsman.

Geoff Ryall-Harvey, the Chief Officer of the CHC, talked about how the CHC handled complaints. He stated that some people don’t know about the CHC. Well I do know about the CHC and when I approached them with my complaints they variously told me barefaced lies, ran around in circles for months or ignored the complaint. Meanwhile the mental health services that I was complaining about continued to imprison and kill patients.

Eryl from the CHC asked whether special measures was affecting the recruitment of doctors. North Wales has had a major recruitment problem with doctors for years, particularly in specialities such as psychiatry. One only has to encounter some of the psychiatrists and it is very obvious that they are working in north Wales because they have not been able to obtain another job. Thus has been the situation since the days of the North Wales Hospital – whoever would have wanted to work in a place like that? Special measures probably could not make the problem any worse than it already is in psychiatry. The other specialities have long been troubled as well – for years medical students and junior doctors advised each other not to take jobs in north Wales, particularly at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Martin Jones was despised by the staff when he was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust – he is now the Director of Workforce of the Betsi. Is it surprising that their recruitment events prove fruitless?

A member of the CHC who I think was introduced as Mark raised the matter of the mental health services. He stated that it was not yet evident that the ‘work’ that the Betsi is doing is having an impact on the patients. It certainly isn’t – the tally that I am keeping on this blog regarding the constant stream of deaths of people with mental health problems testifies to this. Gary the CEO admitted that ‘we’ve got a long way to go’ – and you’re not going to get there until you start dismissing the scores of abusive and neglectful staff that you have on board Gary. Andy Roach, the Director for Mental Health, commented that they would be presenting a ‘comprehensive document’ to the Board in April and that ‘they were on a journey’ (a journey that a lot of patients are not surviving) and that they are doing a ‘lot of work’ with service users and carers – well what they have done is pay the bunch of crooks and charlatans at CAIS £1.5 million to deliver ‘service user/carer involvement’. Meanwhile people carry on dying. Gary commented that a number of people are unhappy but don’t complain – that Gary is because they have witnessed the all-out witch hunts of people who have complained. Furthermore that is the purpose of those witch-hunts – to make damn sure that no-one else dares to raise concerns.

The Board moved on to a discussion about the urology service, with which there would seem to be much dissatisfaction. There were allegations flying that patients are being left so long with catheters in that there is a suspicion that this was being done instead of offering surgery. The discussion became incredibly bad-tempered with Eleanor Burnham and Christine Evans, another member of the CHC, shouting at the Board. Christine Evans is of course a retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd who is the former Chair of the CHC. At that time, she wrote a blog in her capacity as a councillor that made it quite clear that her priority was to protect the jobs and empire of her former colleagues. At one point during the urology discussion it was mentioned that the Betsi had ‘lost a urologist’ and Christine Evans stated that ‘I have to say that he will be no loss – I know that’s a rude thing to say’. I don’t know the urologist in question, perhaps he was bloody awful, but when Christine Evans was Chair of the CHC she knew that north Wales was heaving with dreadful doctors who were abusing their positions and she did not utter a word. In fact I happen to know that Christine Evans was the consultant who treated one of the psychiatrists at the Hergest Unit who had busied himself making very serious allegations against me that he knew were baseless in an attempt to ensure that I ended up in prison. But then doctors in north Wales sometimes dispense a rather different style of treatment to each other than they do to the rest of the population…

A discussion about orthopaedic surgery followed and the unacceptable waiting times. Again Eleanor and Christine went into battle fiercely – if only they could feel this passionately about the mental health patients that are dropping like flies. However someone mentioned something that interested me during this discussion – that the Police and Crime Commissioner was previously a member of the CHC. I presume that this was a reference to Arfon Jones, who used to chauffeur Gordon Anglesea to the locations where it was later revealed that Anglesea sexually molested teenage boys and whose ‘oversight’ ensured that Anglesea’s widow ended up with 50% of his police pension although Anglesea died in prison as a convicted sex offender. No wonder that CHC has never done what it should…

I left the meeting at this point after realising that as ever, nobody was going to take Higson to task regarding the horrors that still prevail in the mental health services.

News Round-Up, March 20 2017

I have a few updates regarding recent blog posts, as well as a few new items to report.

THIS BLOG WAS EDITED ON APRIL 24th 2017 ON THE ORDERS OF A JUDGE – I HAVE HAD TO REMOVE CERTAIN PARAGRAPHS

….who was alleged to be sexually exploiting patients who also tripped over himself to fill the role as the psychiatrist specialising in ‘substance abuse’ in north Wales – one of the main stars of this blog, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. When the Hergest Unit was first built, Jones would attend there regularly to hold ‘clinics’ for ‘his’ drug users. Angry patients who had previous experience of Jones’s misconduct would constantly challenge the staff of the Hergest Unit regarding Jones’s presence there. The staff would always respond in the same way – they would tell the protesting patients that although they might not like Jones, other patients attending his clinic ‘want to see him and like him’. There was one patient at the Hergest Unit who was a former drug user himself who one day could bear these lame excuses no longer and responded with ‘they like him because he gives them drugs and I should know because I used to be like that myself’. Many years later I met a former patient of Jones’s who sung his praises and told me that he was great because ‘he’d give you anything you wanted, anything at all’. I have previously mentioned on the blog that Dafydd was a regular on TV shows in the 90s – he appeared on ‘The Kane Debates’, on ‘Kilroy’ and when he was resisting retirement and trying to prevent the North Wales Hospital from being closed he managed to con S4C into doing a few programmes entirely about him and his heroic work with drug users. It was during one of these TV appearances that Dafydd explained to the world that he didn’t hold with methadone reduction programmes, he ‘helped’ addicts by prescribing them sizeable doses of diazepam instead. I always wondered why Dafydd was so enthusiastic regarding the magical powers of diazepam. Interestingly enough, Dafydd is little and in public usually indulges in a bit of ham-acting in an attempt to dupe people into believing that he’s a God-fearing little old man who wouldn’t hurt a fly – however when Dafydd thought no-one was watching and he lost his rag with me, on one occasion he gave me a quick thump in the arm as he passed by me and another time he clenched his fist and I think was about to clobber me but I pointed out that there was a secretary standing behind him who was watching…

….It is about the state giving you enormous power over the lives of vulnerable people and corrupt institutions like the BMA and GMC working very hard indeed to ensure that you are never held to account, no matter how serious the complaints against you. It also helps if you are surrounded by colleagues who know what you are doing but make as many lame excuses for you as they can, some of whom do this because they fear being dismissed if they blow the whistle on you, others because they are also indulging in wrongdoing and there’s so much to hide that they fear the whole ship sinking if anyone breaks ranks….

Whilst on the subject of questionable prescribing, there is another item of interest in the news. Mail Online is reporting that Kate Matthew, a health visitor employed by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in south Wales, has been struck off the nursing register indefinitely by the NMC after forging prescriptions for use in her ‘beauty’ business which she ran as a sideline, offering ‘treatments’ such as Botox, lip fillers etc. The fraud involving acquiring a number of blank prescriptions that a doctor colleague had signed and photocopying them to use the doctor’s signature. Matthew was given a suspended prison sentence and unpaid community work as a result of the criminal proceedings against her. However, it won’t hold her back, because she has stated that she will continue to run her business in a managerial capacity and will employ a registered nurse to actually carry out the ‘procedures’. Which seems to be the basis on which a lot of ‘medical aesthetics’ businesses are run – an unqualified or even disqualified person owns and runs the business and employs a qualified person who is effectively treated as a minion to remain within the law. There is one other huge unanswered question in this case – it is reported that the doctor who signed the prescriptions was unaware of the fraud and had ‘signed the blank prescriptions in good faith’. How does one sign a blank prescription in good faith? The whole point of a signature on a prescription is for that signature to be added AFTER the prescription has been completed, in order that fraud like this doesn’t happen. I note that the doctor churning out signed blank prescriptions in good faith has not been named, disciplined and did not face trial himself. Which is interesting because he is probably guilty of the greater wrongdoing. But then three years ago when I had the misfortune to be detained at Parkhead Hospital in Glasgow, I was keeping an eye on the drug charts as the ‘medication’ was handed out because I could see how bad the practices were in that place and nearly every day I witnessed prescription fraud including the same technique described in this south Wales case.

A recent blog post described the serious shortcomings of the Bangor branch of the Samaritans (please see post ‘Updates From NHS England, March 18 2017’). I was therefore interested to read in the Daily Post that Bangor Samaritans have somehow accumulated so much dosh that they have acquired a brand new building – presumably people handing over the donations have no idea how the Samaritans in Bangor are actually conducting themselves. However I am wondering if, like so many other Third Sector organisations in north Wales claiming to be providing ‘support’ for the vulnerable and distressed, the Bangor Samaritans are in receipt of large quantities of dosh from the Welsh Gov’t. The purpose of the Post article is to urge potential volunteers for the Bangor Samaritans to come forward – now I wonder why the Samaritans in Bangor are having difficulty finding volunteers…

Another north Wales Third Sector organisation receiving Govt dosh to provide ‘services’ to people with mental health problems that has previously featured on the blog is ‘Parabl’, memorably described by a reader as the love-child of CAIS and MIND (please see blog post ‘Newly Discovered – ‘Parabl’!’). Since I blogged about Parabl, I have received correspondence from a number of readers all maintaining that they have attempted to obtain a service from Parabl but were turned down on the grounds that their ‘problems’ were ‘too serious’ to be dealt with by Parabl. These people were being refused care by the mental health services because their problems weren’t serious enough and were referred to Parabl, only to be turned down by Parabl as well. So to whom is Parabl providing a service? Although I have yet to find someone to whom Parabl have agreed to give a service, I note that like CAIS, MIND and indeed the Bangor Samaritans, Parabl is obviously another Third Sector organisation failing to deliver what it claims to be delivering but expanding nonetheless – whilst in the Co-Op Store in Machynlleth a few days ago, I noticed an advert for Parabl. So presumably they have now expanded into mid-Wales. Machynlleth could constitute a good target for Parabl – there are no statutory mental health services in the Machynlleth area (although I doubt that this means that the residents of Machynlleth will be missing out on much), the nearest statutory mental health services are in Newtown or one can use the ‘services’ provided by dear old MIND in Aberystwyth. So presumably Parabl have capitalised on this and persuaded someone to fund their ‘service’ in mid-Wales.

BBC News is reporting that a former consultant paediatrician at the North Devon District Hospital, Dr Jonathan Walsh, has been imprisoned for three years after using ‘military-grade’ software to cover his tracks whilst possessing and sharing child sex images. Police confirmed that none of the images related to patients at the hospital. Such statements tend to be made in the wake of cases like this – why do the police think that Walsh chose to specialise in paediatrics? Many years ago Professor Oliver Brook, a paediatrician at St George’s Hospital Medical School, was found to be in possession of a huge quantity of child pornography and was subsequently imprisoned. However he was released very shortly after by a sympathetic judge who believed that he was simply a man with a weakness. That was of course true, but there is now information available online regarding the Brook case alleging that Brook was actually a key figure in a pan-European paedophile network. At the time of Brook’s conviction, St George’s put out a statement reassuring everyone that of course Brook had never behaved improperly with any patients. After what I witnessed when I worked at St Georges not long after Brook was imprisoned, I wouldn’t rely on their assurances regarding any matter at all. But back to Walsh – he was put on the sex offenders register for life and served with a sexual harm prevention order. There is no mention of whether the GMC will be taking any action against Walsh…

However, someone else has been facing a GMC hearing and that is Dr Hannah Ryan, who has admitted misleading other medics by concealing nurse Pauline Cafferkey’s raised temperature before she became seriously ill with Ebola when Cafferkey returned to the UK after volunteering in Sierra Leone in 2014. Ryan allegedly wrote down a temperature 1C lower than it actually was during a ‘chaotic’ screening process at Heathrow airport in December 2014. Ryan admitted misleading others and ‘acquiesced’ in the wrong temperature being given but denies misconduct. It was obvious from the report in the Guardian that Hannah Ryan was not alone in misleading the authorities regarding Cafferkey’s temperature, so one wonders why there are no reports of the others involved facing disciplinary action. Furthermore, the misconduct of scores of practitioners in concealing the abuses in the mental health services in north Wales has been every bit as serious and dangerous as Hannah Ryan’s actions yet not one of them has faced disciplinary action from the GMC…

Another regular on this blog, Arfon Jones the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, has featured in the local media today, launching a domestic abuse strategy. One of Arfon’s ideas is that healthcare professionals should be ‘trained’ to spot signs of domestic abuse. I’m not sure that Arfon needs to train them to do any such thing – from what I know health practitioners in north Wales are more than able to spot signs of domestic abuse. Indeed I know of three men who have been employed as doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd who have all been perpetrators of domestic abuse themselves. I also used to be very friendly with a lady who lived in Gwynedd who was married to an incredibly abusive man whose conduct was well-known and indeed witnessed by the neighbours. Two of these neighbours were a married couple who were both employed as nurses in the Hergest Unit. On one occasion one of these nurses told me that my friend’s husband’s violence towards her was ‘partly her fault because she’s so pitiful’. I’m not surprised she was pitiful, she was married to a maniac. Furthermore, this man’s repeated assaults on my friend eventually led to her developing mental health problems – she was sectioned by the local GP, also a neighbour, who knew about the violence that she was enduring and he admitted her to the Hergest Unit. To the very same ward on which her neighbour was employed as a charge nurse, whilst her neighbour was on duty. The violence and my friend’s distress continued and she then became very conscious that her neighbours had witnessed her at her most vulnerable, sectioned in a mental health unit. She became so distressed about this that she decided to leave the area as she believed that she was being openly gossiped about – she was, I was directly asked by a ‘carer’, ‘ooh what’s gone on there then she’s lost loads of weight’. (My friend had developed body image and eating disorder problems.) By this time my friend’s violent husband had very publicly left her for a teenaged girl so that became a rich source of gossip for the local healthcare staff as well. At this point my friend put her house up for sale at a knock-down price because she was so desperate to move away. She had an immediate offer – from the two Hergest Unit nurses who had gossiped about her and blamed her for her husband’s violent attacks. These two nurses only lived a few doors away, but my friend’s house was more desirable than theirs so they capitalised on my friend’s difficult situation and her embarrassment – to which they had contributed themselves – to get their paws on a house that they had always wanted but had not been able to afford when they first moved into the area…

I noticed another news item this evening when I was catching up on the Welsh news regarding Theresa May signing the Swansea Bay City Deal when she visited Wales today. There has been a critic of the Swansea Bay City Deal, who has appeared on BBC News Wales online offering his pearls of wisdom, stating that the Deal is based on a ‘discredited model’- that is one Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, of Bristol Business School. Dylan has not always been of Bristol Business School, he has formerly been of the University of Wales, Glyndwr University – and Bangor University. I don’t know how long it will be before Bristol Business School decides to dispense with his services, but that’s his current location. Dylan likes to think of himself as a right-wing ‘thinker’, but in reality he spends his time ingratiating himself to anyone whom he thinks can advance his prospects. He previously used to boast of being an ‘economic advisor’ to the Welsh Tories, but that all went a bit pear shaped a few years ago as a consequence of some ill-advised comments that Dylan made on his blog which were picked up by Peter Hain. When Dylan blighted Bangor University, he was part of Bangor Business School. I heard many first-hand accounts of atrocious bullying in Bangor Business School and one of the worst accounts involved Dylan. A young woman who was a junior member of staff working with Dylan’s team was subjected to some very unpleasant experiences. At one point she became pregnant as the result of a relationship with a rather predatory man and decided to end the pregnancy. She found this an incredibly distressing experience and took time off work because of it – Dylan, who I think was her line manager, knew about this. When she returned to work, one of her first tasks was to attend a conference as Dylan’s side-kick – at the conference dinner Dylan thought it was a good idea to make a ‘joke’ about her recent termination. This Charming Man’s activities did not end there. Eventually Bangor University decided that Dylan was a bit of a liability and they parted company and Dylan left for the green pastures of Glyndwr University. No-one actually seemed to know how Dylan had been persuaded to leave Bangor, but it was clear that he didn’t want to and after his departure he repeatedly swore that he’d wreak revenge on Bangor University. A few years later I heard that Dylan was standing as the Tory candidate for the Aberconwy area in the forthcoming Assembly election. I was then told by someone whom had met up with Dylan on the day that he had been selected as the candidate that he had treated this person to a slap-up dinner with him to celebrate his selection. I was told that during this dinner, whilst polishing off a lot of champagne, Dylan revealed that he only wanted to become a Tory AM to become Minister for Education and when he achieved this he intended to use his position to shaft Bangor University. Furthermore, Dylan let on that once he’d done this, he intended to become First Minister. Sadly Dylan’s Cunning Plan went badly wrong – he was never elected, which seemed to be a hurdle that he had forgotten about.

One way in which Dylan promotes himself is by his ‘mentoring’ of business start-ups. He boasts of his achievement in establishing the ‘Fast Growth 50’ scheme, which is heavily advertised by the Western Mail, probably because Dylan works for them as a columnist. I know of a number of people who have been ‘mentored’ by Dylan who have come to regret it – they allege that he simply fleeced them. In common with a lot of people over the past fifteen years, Dylan has been very keen to claim to be helping women, in Dylan’s case helping women start up in business. (People subjected to this PR of course know nothing of how Dylan has actually treated women who have had the misfortune to find themselves working with him.) Dylan had a pal in this endeavour – someone else who used to be associated with Bangor University, one Rebecca Jones. I was never sure what Rebecca Jones actually did or who employed her, but she used to hang around the Management Centre a great deal. The Management Centre was a University-owned company – I think Dylan himself played a role in establishing it and I was also told that the notorious Elfed Roberts, former Chair of the disasterous North West Wales NHS Trust was associated with the Management Centre – and was the source of much entertainment and contempt from the rest of the University, because no-one at the Management Centre seemed to be able to manage anything at all. Although the building was wonderful, every one of their various ventures such as their Business Club, their Bar, their café, was a total disaster. For a long time the Management Centre was run by the dreadful Colyn Gardner, who eventually parted company with the University much to everyone’s relief. As with Bangor Business School, there were terrifying anecdotes circulating regarding the alleged swindles that some of the senior staff were said to be involved in. At one point I was told by someone who worked with the Management Centre that Rebecca Jones had discovered some of this wrongdoing and was alleged to be blackmailing one of the people involved. Rebecca then disappeared from Bangor completely and I later discovered that she had resurfaced in south Wales, where she and her husband were running a B&B business of all things. (I was told at the time that Rebecca’s husband had departed from Anglesey County Council under a big cloud.) At the same time as running a B&B, Rebecca took a leaf out of Dylan’s book and reconstructed herself as a ‘business mentor’ – specialising in ‘advising’ women who wanted to establish businesses. Rebecca took to social media, calling herself Red Shoe Biz Woman, promoting her services as an ‘inspiring woman’ who wanted to ’empower’ other women. To be empowered however, women were required to hand over a lot of cash to Rebecca. I presume that Rebecca was targeting quite naïve women who had very little knowledge of business because her marketing material had the ring of something straight out of a woman’s magazine – ‘Rebecca knows what your life is like, as a mum and as a woman, she cares about you and knows the struggles that you face’ sort of thing. Rebecca advertised her numerous services online – as a mentor, as an inspirational speaker, as a facilitator of networks etc etc. Dylan and Rebecca went through a phase of vigorously promoting each other on social media. I notice that information about Red Shoe Biz Woman and her many talents is still available on the internet, although the information seems to be quite old. However Rebecca has posted up a copy of her ‘CV’ online, which isn’t a CV at all but a shameless boast sheet with very little evidence of the many achievements claimed. However, Rebecca’s CV did illuminate one thing for me – about the only recognisable qualification on that CV is an NNEB in nursery nursing. So that’s what is needed to be an inspirational business mentor for whose advice other women must pay handsomely…

I heard many worrying stories about Bangor Business School and the Management Centre, but there was one incident at the Management Centre that I received full details of, because it involved a good friend of mine. He obtained a part-time summer job as a receptionist at the Management Centre immediately after he graduated. Within days he noticed a lot of things that he felt should not be happening and believed that Colyn Gardner was encouraging an unpleasant bullying atmosphere. Most staff were terrified of Gardner and no-one dared raise the issue of the bullying culture with him. My friend suffered from epilepsy and was quite upfront about this lest he ever had a seizure and people who worked with him needed to help. However, after he had made this known, he noticed that some unpleasant comments were being made by certain members of staff at the Management Centre. He ignored them until one day when he went into work, he was asked to go into a room because someone had ‘something they wanted to show him’. He walked in and found that they were screening a video of someone having a grand mal seizure, as the assembled staff rolled around laughing. My friend walked out and began a disability discrimination case against the Management Centre. On the evening of the day that he began his case, he received a phone call at home, unsolicited, from Lyn Meadows, the HR Director at the University. Meadows tried to intimidate and silence him. Meadows is now an member of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. My friend then had another encounter. He was approached by one Aled Griffiths, a senior lecturer in law at Bangor – my friend had just graduated in law. Griffiths asked him if he would be interested in doing a PhD. My friend was quite flattered and presumed that he’d been invited because he was considered to be a good student. A few days later he was told by Griffiths that unless he dropped his legal case against the Management Centre, ‘there would be a problem’ with him registering for a PhD. But then I imagine that Griffiths felt that this was a perfectly acceptable way of conducting business – his sister is Gwenan Carrington, former Director of Gwynedd Social Services and his wife is Joanna Griffiths, a retired senior manager from Conwy Social Services. My friend decided that he really didn’t want to do a PhD under these circumstances and instead took up a job in London. The Management Centre later settled out of court with him.

 

 

Five Find a Mystery (Partially) Illuminated

In the spring of 2013 I was attacked in public by a woman unknown to me whilst staying in Machynlleth – I was down there for a few days hill-walking. It was all deeply unpleasant and a number of inexplicable things followed which I and my friends have never ever got to the bottom of. However, the files from the Heddfan Unit have proved rather illuminating…

I was walking near the Dyfi Bridge one evening when I passed a woman and a man walking a dog. The man smiled and said ‘hello’ and I said ‘hi’ back, but the woman just glowered at me aggressively. Within two minutes she had called me a ‘twat’ and a ‘nutter’ and then grabbed hold of me, trying to knee me in the face. I pinned her arms to her sides to stop her hitting me and she tried to throw me into the path of the oncoming cars. I got back onto the footpath but incurred a torn fingernail in the fracas and was bleeding. I was so shaken by this crazed woman that I yelled at her to come into the town with me and report this whole incident to the police. She walked off in the opposite direction with the man and dog in tow.

I walked into Machynlleth after being helped by a woman who had been cycling nearby and went into the Tuffin’s petrol station to explain that I had just been violently assaulted by an unknown woman and please could they ring the police. The staff in there were very helpful and whilst we were waiting for the police to arrive they asked me if I could describe the woman who attacked me, so I did. One young man asked if she was wearing hippyish clothes and I said yes. He said that he suspected that he knew who it was, that she was well-known locally and that ‘her father is a barrister’ and she just does what she wants. Shortly after, the woman in question, along with the man and the dog, walked past on the opposite side of the road and I pointed her out to the staff. Yes its her, they said, we thought that it would be. At the same time two police officers from Aberystwyth had arrived – they too seemed to know this woman and asked me if she had performed ‘martial arts moves’, saying that it was her hobby and that she didn’t hesitate to use it. I said that I wanted to give a statement and we agreed that I’d go with them to Aberystwyth to give a statement and document my injuries.

When we got to Aberystwyth, the officers said that they couldn’t take a statement or document my injuries until I’d been checked by a paramedic – and that of course is where the problems began. Nothing could be done until a paramedic arrived – so I sat there bleeding and shaking whilst no-one interviewed potential witnesses or indeed took a statement from me. (Presumably the woman who had attacked me had already contacted her barrister father to extract her from the latest load of trouble that she’d caused.) The paramedic took many hours to arrive and didn’t turn up until about midnight- and then declared me unfit to be interviewed, due to my lack of sleep and distress. The police said they’d interview me in the morning after I’d slept. My injuries had still not been documented and no-one had taken a statement from me. Things got worse in the morning – a mental health team arrived. I was accused of assaulting the woman who had attacked me. I repeatedly explained very clearly what had happened and pointed out that I had been injured and there were scores of witnesses (passing traffic) to the incident but no-one had contacted any of them – and that the woman who attacked me seemed to be well-known for this sort of thing locally. The delightful mental health team became increasingly more aggressive, led by a man called Dr Ravi, who described himself as a ‘middle ranking psychiatrist’. At one point Ravi told me that ‘if you want to get out of here, you have to answer my questions’. I told the team that I found their attitude extraordinary – I had been subjected to a vicious assault, I was not under arrest, I was supposedly in the police station for my own safety and they were behaving like this. They then announced that they were sectioning me and transferring me to the dreaded Hergest Unit. So a violent crime was clearly going to go uninvestigated. The police then told me that the woman who had attacked me was now saying that I had hit her dog on the head with a stone. I asked if the dog had any injuries. They replied no and said ‘let’s just get you to hospital’. At that point I asked for the duty solicitor. I then had a phone call with the duty solicitor and told her what was actually going on. Soon after this I was told by the police that the woman who had attacked me had withdrawn all allegations against me and I was going to the Heddfan Unit in Wrexham Maelor rather than Hergest.

I arrived at the Heddfan Unit and some hours later I was told that the paperwork sectioning me was not in order – it had not been signed, so it was null and void. I had been unlawfully taken to the Heddfan Unit and had been unlawfully detained – I was told that I was free to go. So I did and I decided to get the hell out of Wales after all that had happened and go to Cumbria for a holiday.

I booked into a Bed and Breakfast in Grasmere. Soon after, I started receiving the most extraordinary e mails from friends, telling me that there was a news piece about me in the Daily Post reporting me as ‘missing’. I then started receiving e mails from people asking me if I was OK and did I need any help. I wrote to everyone explaining that I wasn’t missing from anywhere, I was having a few weeks walking in Grasmere and that this was hardly a state secret. Then a friend e mailed saying that the police had visited him, had been very aggressive, demanded to know if he was ‘hiding’ me and told him that they’d prosecute him if he was. I later found out that the police had also visited four other friends of mine, demanding to know if I was with them.

Then a mental health team turned up at the B&B. My heart sank. But luckily they weren’t north Wales mental health workers, they were from Cumbria and turned out to be quite rational. I explained that I was absolutely fine, I had been attacked and illegally detained in Wales and I had come to Grasmere to get away from all these horrors and to chill out. They were absolutely fine with that and left. I subsequently received e mails from friends the next day saying that there had been another report about me in the Daily Post saying that I’d been found ‘safe and well in Cumbria’. Where thankfully no-one was trying to throw me under cars or illegally detain me in psychiatric units.

These bizarre events had all remained a mystery to me until yesterday. I have now found some very interesting documentation in the Heddfan files relating to it all. There is a copy of an e mail that I had written to Dr Alberto Salmoiraghi at the Heddfan Unit and cc’d to Mark Drakeford (then the Health Minister for the Welsh Govt), giving a detailed description of the attack on me and the very worrying conduct of the mental health team in Abersytwyth and the way in which they had effectively prevented the investigation of a particularly nasty assault as well as the way in which I had subsequently been unlawfully detained. This e mail is very clear and re-reading it, it certainly doesn’t read like the rantings of a nutter. There is also an e mail from the police which seems to have been written in response to demands from the north Wales mental health services once I had left for Cumbria. The police e mail is bizarre – they describe the incident at the Dyfi Bridge as ‘minor’ (not sure that I consider attempts to chuck me under a car as minor) and they stated that I was arrested in Aberystwyth (I was not arrested at any point, or interviewed under caution, or charged with any offence). They admit that the ‘paperwork’ sectioning me was invalid – but the e mail reveals that the Heddfan Unit, upon discovering this, were already making plans to section me – these plans were scuppered because I had (quite legally) left the Heddfan Unit to go to Grasmere. The Heddfan Unit then seemed to have contacted the police demanding that I be ‘arrested’. For what it doesn’t detail. The e mail also states that the north Wales mental health services were demanding that when the police found me that I should be taken to ‘the nearest mental health facility’. The email reveals that the police had traced me to Grasmere via the use of my cashpoint/debit cards. The e mail then bangs on about the possibility of me dying my hair (presumably for this master criminal to disguise herself, as she does a bit of fell-walking). The e mail notes that I’m not known to use weapons (!). There is further correspondence in the files – for example that I was spotted in outdoor shops in Cumbria. Well of course I was, I was buying walking gear, I was after all, on holiday. And still not using weapons. There is also some truly extraordinary comments stating that the Welsh Govt were expressing concern about me (well they ended up expressing serious concern about the north Wales mental health services which is where their concerns should have been directed in the first place) and concern that I had previously found out where a Minister lives. I do not know what this is all about – I have no knowledge of the location of any Ministers houses, I presume that they all live in Cardiff, somewhere that I’ve never lived. I have no idea whether the Welsh Govt really did say all this about me, or whether it is more poppycock manufactured by the mental health services. I note that these e mails were written by one Dr Adrian Jones, a senior mental health nursing manager at the Betsi – I do not know Adrian Jones but people who have read this blog have told me a few interesting things about him…

When I was some months later held captive by Sambhi, I found the incident near the Dyfi Bridge described quite unproblematically as me ‘assaulting’ someone. There were no more details of the incident reported by Sambhi – I had simply attacked someone. It was also reported by Sambhi that I had ‘absconded’ from the Heddfan Unit after I’d ‘attacked’ someone. I had not absconded from anywhere, I had been illegally detained and had left. Sambhi makes no mention of the illegal detention. There is also a complete silence regarding the failure of the Cumbrian mental health team to section me, which is clearly what they were expected to do. I wonder what happened there – were the Cumbrian team simply too honest to play ball with a bunch of crooks in north Wales? And as for the demands of the north Wales mental health services for the police to arrest me when they caught up with me in Cumbria, well that never happened either, so obviously the plans went a bit pear-shaped on that front too.

Since these events in 2013, the Betsi Board has been placed in special measures and the Welsh Govt have constantly repeated their commitment to ‘fighting stigma’ and ‘raising awareness’ of mental health issues. So that is presumably why Mark Drakeford – or anyone else – did not ever respond to an e mail describing very clearly how I was subjected to a vicious unprovoked attack from someone known to be prone to this and then the whole mental health system swung into action to ensure that the crime was never investigated and that the victim of the crime was declared the perpetrator. Ah if only my dad was a barrister! My God, I wish the families of those abused in Tawel Fan all the best in trying to get to the bottom of what happened to their relatives because the comments all my friends have made after reading the Heddfan files are that these people are a law unto themselves…