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…