Close Your Eyes And Make A WISH

The feminist campaigner Julie Bindel has written an article in the Independent Online about prostitution. I can’t agree with everything that Bindel publishes but on a lot of matters she’s still a breath of fresh air. However there are matters on which I am sure that Julie is remaining silent when she shouldn’t be – which is odd, because Julie Bindel has not been afraid to place herself in the firing line on a number of subjects. One of those issues on which she remains curiously quiet is the way in which a lot of women ended up in secure mental health settings because they had alleged sexual abuse at the hands of the social services or mental health services. Bindel and others – including Helena Kennedy QC – formed ‘Justice for Women’ back in the early 1990s and worked very closely with the women’s prison system and the mental health system. They will have known what was happening to women in those systems and the ways in which so many women ended up there. They did not utter a word. My posts ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’ and ‘Ieuan Stands Down – And Other Updates’ details the work of ‘Justice for Women’ and some of their high profile cases. I also explain how Helena Kennedy had relied on the ‘court room skills’ of Professor Nigel Eastman of St George’s Hospital Medical School to win cases. Eastman was one of the psychiatrists at St George’s who knew about the abuses and criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales and kept schtum (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’.) In her book ‘Eve was Framed’ Kennedy also praises the work of Dr James Earp from Leicester – James Earp was the first ‘second opinion’ to whom I was referred who was also brought up sharp against the malpractice of the Top Doctors in north Wales but decided to keep quiet (see post ‘An Expert From England’). Of course there was a paedophile ring in operation in Leicestershire involving a powerful figure – Lord Greville Janner. I suspect that Earp knew about that and wasn’t going to tangle with him, let alone take on Dafydd et al, who were concealing the paedophile gang that was directly supplying boys to the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

In her article, Bindel mentions Emma Humphreys. Emma was born in Dolgellau, north Wales, had a very difficult life and ended up working as a prostitute whilst a teenager. She killed her pimp when she was 17 and was imprisoned. ‘Justice for Women’ took up her case, secured her release and Emma became one of their cause celebres. Sadly Emma died from an overdose just three years after being released from prison. There are a lot of unanswered questions about Emma’s case and her death took place in very worrying circumstances. ‘Justice for Women’ have never raised some very obvious questions (see posts ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’ and ‘Ieuan Stands Down – And Other Updates’). Yet an Emma Humphrey Memorial Prize was established by ‘Justice for Women’ – Julie’s article in the Indie contains a link to the relevant webpage. One of the Patrons listed on the webpage is Vera Baird QC – Baird represented Emma Humphreys on appeal. Like Helena, Vera has built her reputation on being a feminist barrister. Yet like Helena, Vera has metaphorically got into bed with people who have inflicted great harm on the very people whom she claims to have been fighting for. My post ‘News Round Up, August 15 2017’ described how Lord Charlie Falconer effectively removing Legal Aid resulted in people who had been abused by the health and welfare services being completely unable to obtain justice, which of course rendered New Labour’s much boasted about Human Rights Act meaningless. Vera Baird was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to Charlie Falconer in the Department for Constitutional Affairs when Legal Aid was withdrawn.

The Emma Humphrey’s Memorial Prize webpage contains a link to WISH, Women in Secure Hospitals (formerly known as Woman In Special Hospitals). WISH was established in the late 1980s to represent women detained in Ashworth, Rampton and Broadmoor. Like ‘Justice for Women’, WISH will have known that a lot of these women had been banged up because they had complained of being abused by the children’s services or the mental health services (see posts ‘Socio-Political Context Of North Wales Mental Health Services In The 1980s’ and ‘Ieuan Stands Down – And Other Updates’). They will have known that those women were being sexually abused all over again in those secure hospitals and they’ll have known about Jimmy Savile as well. They did not breathe a word. The current WISH website is spectacularly lame. The biographies of the people listed as Trustees suggests that none of them would be capable of taking on institutionalised corruption in psychiatry – indeed the absence of WISH in highlighting any of the serious problems that are now being admitted to be rife in mental health care suggests that indeed none of these people could take on the mental health establishment. Instead the WISH website is littered with very familiar things – advocacy, gender mainstreaming, references to the way that the services ‘make women feel’ etc. Not a word about violent or sexual assaults on patients, not a word about miscarriages of justice, not a word about deaths in secure mental health units, nothing. However WISH does mention that it provides advocacy services for women in a number of Cygnet hospitals. Cgynet Healthcare is a multi-million pound American company which is rapidly gobbling up huge swathes of the UK NHS. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe, a man who was happy to submit a pack of lies about me, Brown, the Hergest Whistleblower, my lawyer and even my PhD supervisor in an ‘expert witness report’ (see post ‘An Expert In Resistant Service Users’). A lot of eyes and ears were very firmly closed when someone decided to make a WISH.

The institutional abuse to which some of those women in secure hospitals had been subjected but whose interests WISH failed to effectively represent was the forerunner to the large scale abuse and trafficking of disadvantaged young people that is leading the news bulletins at the moment.

Yesterday Sarah Champion resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench team after an article appeared in The Sun using comments from her with regard to the widespread sexual abuse of girls in Rotherham – Sarah is the MP for Rotherham. I applaud Sarah for her campaigning on this matter, but as I have repeatedly stated on this blog, this is not only a matter of ‘South Asian’ or ‘Muslim’ men sexually exploiting white girls – the press are highlighting those cases involving South Asian men but have ignored the other cases in which the same sort of crime was perpetrated by people who were not South Asian or Muslim. Unfortunately Sarah didn’t choose her words too wisely – although if she had made more nuanced comments I doubt that The Sun would have run the article – and she now stands accused of racism. Sajid Javid has tweeted a response to Sarah’s resignation saying that we ‘need an honest open debate on child sexual exploitation’.

We could start by admitting that it has been going on for decades and that by the 1980s it had metamorphosed into a form of organised crime that was evident in the social services of most UK local authorities – and that ALL political parties colluded in denying and concealing it at the highest levels. Javid’s own Conservative Party were instrumental in this – the Home Office under Leon Brittan ‘lost’ dozens and dozens of crucial files with details of Westminster figures involved in child abuse and under John Major, William Hague – in his capacity as Secretary of State for Wales – organised the Waterhouse Inquiry into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal which was the biggest whitewash that has ever been conducted in Wales. Radio 4 broadcast an interview with Hague by Peter Hennessey this morning and Hague spoke frankly about having to be ‘ruthless’ in Gov’t and remove people if they were a liability. He could have added that when the scandal was so great, stretched back so many years and involved so many people that you couldn’t just remove them, one organises a large scale cover-up a la Waterhouse.

The Times also commented extensively on Sarah’s resignation today, questioning how it was possible to change attitudes without causing offence. They could start by working on one of their own journalists, Matthew Parris. Parris has admitted attending parties with his mates at an Italian venue known as the ‘villa of shame’ where ‘boys who were always willing’ were supplied. Before becoming a Tory MP Parris worked as Thatcher’s correspondence secretary – so he will have known all about the sex parties with under-aged boys that Sir Peter Morrison the MP for Chester and Thatcher’s aide was known to be attending. Parris also worked in the Foreign Office so he was in a position to know about Sir Peter Hayman, the UK diplomat who was a paedophile and was eventually convicted for that. Another person who has had doings with The Times is Gyles Brandreth, who became the MP for Chester after Morrison stood down. My post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’ explains why I believe that Brandreth knew about Morrison’s activities. I’ve just begun reading Brandreth’s autobiography ‘Breaking The Code’ and I note that he mentions that he has been friends with Edwina Currie since they were at Oxford together. That’s the Edwina who described Peter Morrison in her own book as a ‘pederast’. The Times reminds us that in 2011 when it first began reporting on the sexual abuse of white British girls by gangs of South Asian men, Jack Straw described those girls as being seen as ‘easy meat’.

Jack’s own hands are not clean. He was Margaret Hodge’s deputy on the Housing Committee in Islington Council whilst the Council’s homes were rife with paedophiles who were abusing the children. Islington Council were repeatedly told what was happening and ignored it. In 1986 the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens raised serious concerns about child abuse in Islington. A whistleblowing social worker disappeared in fear of their life and was assumed to have ‘gone abroad’. (There’s another rather more worrying possibility which comes to mind when someone disappears after telling people that they rumbled crime so serious that they’re in fear of their life.) In 1995 the White Report confirmed everyone’s worst fears – Islington children’s homes had been infiltrated by gangs of organised paedophiles and the Council had failed to act. Margaret Hodge was famously sued by a man who had been abused whilst in the care of Islington Council when she was Council leader after he wrote to her and told her what had actually happened to him and she insulted him.

This is where we now come to Jeremy Corbyn. This blog has detailed how scores of figures in the Tory Party and New Labour knew about organised child abuse and said nothing, but it seems as though Jeremy knew as well, although he has now issued a statement stating that the ‘Harris-Savile scandal shows how serious the problem of sexual abuse is, the way it can arise in different parts of society and the need for effective action to tackle it’. A correspondent to this blog, Mike Claybrook, left a link in my comments column a few hours ago to an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn from John Mann, a fellow Labour MP. John Mann details how Jeremy was told on a number of occasions what was happening to children in Islington, but like nearly everybody else Jeremy did not take appropriate action. The Labour Party are currently organising the speakers for their forthcoming conference. Keynotes lined up include Diane Abbott, Keir Starmer and John McDonnell. Abbott was former Head of Press and PR for Lambeth Council, which had a problem with paedophiles in it’s children’s homes every bit as big as the problems in Islington and north Wales (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’). Keir Starmer, whilst he was DPP, personally ordered an intervention in a massive police corruption trial in south Wales which caused the trial to collapse (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party?’). The police on trial had been involved in framing innocent people for the murder of Lynette White, a young woman in Cardiff who had given an interview to the BBC about how she was forced into prostitution as a child. My post ‘A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions’ gives the reasons why I think that John McDonnell also knew about the large scale sexual abuse of children in care in London in the 70s and 80s.

The Chief Executive of the EHRC has also jumped on the bandwagon, stating that it was a ‘real shame’ that Sarah Champion had resigned ‘over sensitivity about language’. What is an ever bigger shame is that Dr Rachel Perkins has a seat on the EHRC – Perkins was Clinical Director of Springfield Hospital whilst they concealed evidence concerning organised child sexual abuse.

But whilst everyone is now banging on about the serious problem of child sexual abuse and how we’re all fully aware of it now and ooh we’ll never ignore it again, just look what was reported from Cardiff Crown Court yesterday. Dr Armon Daniels, a GP, was found to be in possession of more than 16,000 indecent images of children and 850 indecent video films of children. He received an 8 month prison sentence – suspended for two years. The GMC has given him an ‘interim suspension order’. We have learned nothing – in the 70s, 80s and 90s the paedophile ring in north Wales was facilitated by the Top Doctors. No-one would act because they were fucking doctors – everyone knew what they were doing, but the GMC made excuse after excuse not to take action against them. Meanwhile witnesses were found dead after giving evidence against the paedophile gang. How much worse could it have got? Yet now we’re all supposed to be so aware, a Top Doctor is caught with more than 16000 images – oooh dear, well perhaps we’ll suspend him just for a little while… Dr Daniels might as well have murdered a few of the witnesses, there’d have been no investigation.

 

Regarding wrongdoing in the NHS, news hot off the press is that Sir Leonard Fenwick, the CEO of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – the longest serving NHS executive in the country – has been sacked for gross misconduct. Details of his alleged sins have not been released but it has been confirmed that the Trust has ‘reported a number of concerns’ to the NHS counter-fraud and security management service. The dismissal of Sir Leonard is particularly intriguing because the Trust that he ran was in the news earlier this year, after it was alleged that a ‘sex ring’ was operating in the hospital, the leading lights of which were two consultants who were caught having sex with female staff on hospital premises whilst on duty. Sir Leonard tried to force the resignation of the Top Doctors involved but the dismissals were stopped by the Trust Chair Kingsley Smith and non-executive director Bryan Dodson – the Top Doctors were reinstated within twenty minutes and an ‘outside HR specialist’ brought in to investigate Sir Leonard for ‘bullying and abusive behaviour’. Now I know one thing about the NHS – although senior executives are very powerful, the mass force of the medical establishment is even more powerful. The two groups hate each other and are constantly trying to get one up on each other. The ‘sex ring’ consultants were caught on the job as it were – sex on duty on the premises was witnessed and loads of indecent e mails written during working hours and on the NHS IT system were found. What if the Top Doctors had gone running to the BMA and MDU for help once the scandal broke? Again and again in institutions I have seen examples of people who have been caught doing something that they shouldn’t turn the tables on any manager who tries to discipline them by levelling a charge of ‘bullying’ against the manager concerned. This is why institutions like universities and hospitals are so difficult to manage. Dr Alberto, the one competent, patient-friendly decent psychiatrist that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has was accused of bullying by the bunch of psychopaths who work at the Hergest Unit – whose patients regularly committed suicide – when he challenged them about their lethal practice.

So was Sir Leonard up to no good as well as the Top Doctors and this was only discovered during the course of a major investigation? Or has Sir Leonard been the subject of an NHS stitch-up? Either way Sir Leonard is out on his ear – whilst the shagging Top Doctors and their bedfellows are still in their jobs and have not been identified.

 

The Parliamentary Ombudsman in England carried out a survey which discovered that 58% of the families of elderly people who had concerns about their care whilst they were in the hands of the NHS did not complain because they feared that it would make matters worse. Sadly they are probably quite right – they would be faced with the usual passive-aggression from the NHS, the nearest they’ll ever get to an admission of service shortcomings is ‘I’m sorry you feel like that’ (rather than ‘I’m sorry that we’ve nearly killed your grandmother’) and that’ll only happen after letters have been exchanged for two years. If the complaining patient has inadvertently discovered a paedophile ring being facilitated by the Top Doctors they’ll find it nigh-on impossible to ever get NHS treatment again, a campaign of slander will be conducted against them and they may well find themselves up in court on serious but ludicrous charges.

Whilst we’re on the subject of the conduct of the Top Doctors in north Wales, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Nick Bennett has stated that the number of complaints against the NHS in Wales has continued to rise and a huge proportion of the complaints are about the Betsi, particularly Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Not that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd will suffer any ill-effects – the Betsi have proudly announced that they’ve put forward a ‘business case’ for a new vascular unit in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd costing £2.7 million. This comes after a 2015 report from the Royal College of Surgeons confirming dreadful behaviour on the part of the vascular surgeons and an admission that they were making decisions based on their needs not the patients. The vascular surgeons went apeshit at the suggestion that a reorganisation of the service might take place and their former colleague Dr Christine Evans went into battle on their behalf, disguised as The Patients Voice aka the North Wales Community Health Council. They’ll be cracking open the champagne down at The Raven, the community pub in Denbighshire that Dr Chris helps run, now that the Top Doctors have been rewarded with a unit worth millions to misbehave in after screaming and screaming until they were sick. Likewise the special care baby unit costing millions is well underway, that’s going to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as well, specifically to the obstetrics service that was so crazed that the student midwives from Bangor University were withdrawn and a hit-squad from the Welsh Gov’t were sent in with the aim, in their own words, of ‘achieving normality’. I wonder if they’ve achieved it yet. But this is how things are done in the NHS – if the Top Doctors are really unhinged and are killing people, the building is blamed and they’re given a brand new building in which to continue their misconduct. As at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. It was the fault of the building. The building was actually weird but splendid, one of the best examples of architecture of that sort in the UK. It was in the hills with lovely views and squirrels in the grounds. Unfortunately Dafydd and Gwynne were in there as well, lobotomising people, molesting them, drugging them and refusing to ever let them out. That was the problem, rather than the building. So new buildings were created across north Wales – and Dafydd and co took up residence in the new buildings! Guess what? Not much changed. A few new people arrived and they did try, but they were pretty soon hounded out and ten years after Denbigh shut it was clear that things were still grim. Now once more, it is all being blamed on the buildings. Indeed it is so much the fault of the buildings that there are now ‘home treatment teams’. But it’s the same dreadful staff on those teams so the empowered service users are now insulted and threatened in their own homes by the Angels instead of in the hospitals.

 

The Welsh Ambulance Service continues to excel – another elderly person, 88 year old Anton Kusz, died after an eight hour wait for an ambulance after fracturing his hip. A narrative verdict was returned at the inquest. Just in case anyone thought that this death might have had something to do with an 88 year old man being left on the ground with a fractured hip for eight hours.

 

Dafydd, Lucille and CAIS could hit the jackpot again soon. The Welsh Gov’t is about to shell out another £2.1 million for projects tackling ‘rough sleeping and youth homelessness’ and it has been suggested that a cut of this dosh could be used to fund a ‘Black Mamba Day Centre’ to care for people who’ve overdone it on the Mamba and are terrorising Wrexham by ‘standing still like zombies’. The paedophiles’ friend, Arfon Jones the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, thinks it’s a great idea, but he does tend to support anything that might pass a few more million in the direction of CAIS.

Lastly, the 40th anniversary of Elvis’s death hasn’t escaped the Betsi. The Rev Wynne Roberts, the hospital chaplain at Ysbyty Gwynedd, has been doing some more dressing up and pretending to be Elvis. For the background on Wynne and the many reasons why he should not be a hospital chaplain, please see post ‘Music Therapy Anyone?’. But as a correspondent to the blog noted a few months ago when the Betsi tried to reconstruct Wynne as a ‘music therapist’, why would anyone want a proper chaplain when the Betsi has got a ‘singing Elvis-impersonating vicar who shags his parishioners?’.

 

Yet More Crime And Punishment

The Daily Post Online today is running one of it’s regular shock horror stories regarding that which the hard pressed staff of the Betsi have to tolerate as they go about their daily heroics: ‘Sexual Abuse, Violent Attacks and Verbal Insults – The Crimes North Wales NHS Staff Suffer’. The article explains that ‘new figures reveal the extent of the appalling offences committed against NHS workers’. We are told that NHS staff in north Wales have been ‘attacked’ more than 7000 times since 2012, according to ‘shocking figures’ released as a result of an FoI request. In 2013 there were 1929 incidents and over the next three years there were more than 1700 incidents each year.

It sounds terrible doesn’t it. But these thousands of incidents do not represent the numbers of convictions – they are figures supplied by the Betsi, not the police. Neither have they been confirmed by any other body. I happen to know that the Betsi employs a very elastic definition when it uses the phrase ‘attack on a member of staff’. The statistics for such ‘attacks’ include instances of psychotic or learning disabled patients swearing – not even necessarily swearing AT staff, but merely swearing in their presence. It is entirely at the discretion of Betsi staff whether they report ‘attacks’ on them and some of those staff are known to be reporting the most trivial of incidences – particularly if the patient involved has made a complaint. I know of staff employed in the Hergest Unit who were routinely complaining of being ‘attacked’ by patients as a means of getting themselves out of trouble when the staff themselves were the subject of complaint. I know of a number of patients – including me – who were accused of ‘assaulting’ or ‘attacking’ staff after they had complained about being assaulted by staff themselves. Most of these complaints involved the same staff. Furthermore I have compared my own medical records with the records of some of the patients who contacted me after they too had been wrongly accused – the same phrases had been used about all of us by the same staff. Those staff were working to a script. In no case that I know of were the staff involved disciplined – yet there was complaint after complaint about them.

The problems with certain members of staff in the Hergest Unit reached a peak in the years before the North West Wales NHS Trust was abolished, when Keith Thomson and then Martin Jones were CEOs there. (Details of the violence and aggression that I encountered and that I witnessed other patients being subjected to can be read in my posts ‘Who Is In Need Of Restraining?’ and ‘The Real Story Behind These Figures…’.) Both Thomson and Jones were constantly briefing local newspapers about the problems of staff being attacked by mad psychiatric patients – they were undoubtedly doing this because a number of patients were consulting lawyers and writing to politicians after having been violently assaulted by staff in the Hergest Unit. A now retired member of staff from Hergest told me that they were convinced that evidence against some patients who had dared complain had been fabricated and that some patients had been wrongly convicted as a result.

There is one former member of staff from Hergest who was a willing accomplice in all of this – a nurse called Gareth Phillips. Gareth retired from nursing as a result of ill health, but was offered the post of RCN rep. It was Gareth who was happy to provide comments to local papers about the shocking number of attacks on Ysbyty Gwynedd staff. I knew Gareth for years whilst he still worked as a nurse – I never witnessed Gareth abuse anyone himself, but he certainly knew that some of his colleagues were behaving appallingly. And he knew that some patients were being arrested and fitted up for offences that they had not committed, after hospital staff had lied to the police. Furthermore Gareth knew that this had happened to me. Someone else knew about this as well – Gareth’s wife Penny, who also worked as a nurse at the Hergest Unit. I have mentioned in previous posts how under the regimes of Keith Thomson and Martin Jones, there was an exodus of the better staff from Hergest. I met one of those people after they had escaped to work in another part of the Trust and they told me that both they and their spouse (who was also a nurse) had been stuffed over and forced out of their jobs – interestingly enough after one of them warned the authorities at Ysbyty Gwynedd that the conduct of staff towards the patients was making the Hergest Unit unsafe. This person remarked that the Trust however had ‘looked after’ Gareth Phillips when he became too ill to work, by giving him a job as RCN rep. This person also mentioned that the Trust ‘looked after’ Bob Ingham when Ingham became too ill to work. Ingham was a notoriously aggressive CPN with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – on my first meeting with him he dragged me down a corridor after telling me that he was someone else and I know of another patient who was threatened with assault in his own home by Ingham when Ingham was making a ‘home visit’. So Keith and Martin were ‘looking after’ staff who agreed to keep silent about abuse and produce propaganda for the media and even staff who were abusive themselves. The people who did not get looked after were staff raising concerns about the level of aggression to which patients were subjected. Martin Jones is at present the Director of Workforce for the Betsi. Are we surprised that florid figures about attacks on Angels are still being bandied about?

If the figures being produced were accurate, anyone spending any length of time in any of the hospitals run by the Betsi would have witnessed at least one of these ‘attacks’. I have spent much time in their hospitals – the only thing that I ever witnessed that came anywhere near to an ‘attack’ was an acutely psychotic patient throwing a book at a psychiatrist which hit him in the face. Even that incident could probably have been avoided if the psychiatrist concerned, the dreadful Raj Sambhi, had built up any sort of rapport with his patients. He didn’t – he walked onto the ward for twenty minutes once a week and spoke arrogantly to distressed patients who barely knew who he was. With the exception of that incident I have never witnessed any patient physically attack any member of staff. I have witnessed an awful lot of rudeness towards members of staff, I have witnessed patients shout and swear at members of staff – but as with Sambhi and the book, many of those incidents were obviously a result of patients being treated very disrespectfully themselves. I have asked other people who have spent a long time in hospitals in north Wales if they have ever seen ‘attacks’ on staff and they haven’t either. One of them, like me, had witnessed an assault on a patient in the Hergest Unit by staff, but had only ever witnessed disorientated or distressed patients shouting or swearing at staff.

The Post article includes a comment from Gwenfair Jones, a Wrexham County Councillor who worked as a community nurse for twenty years before she retired two years ago. Gwenfair states that ‘it’s terrifying to think of the risks that NHS staff face every day at work’. She then relates an account of how a colleague was responding to a patient when someone tried to get in her car and having failed to do that, jumped on the bonnet. Gwenfair doesn’t state that it was the patient who did this, so presumably it was someone else – who actually might have been confused or distressed rather than out to attack the car driver… There is simply not enough info from that anecdote to suggest that it is an example of the terror that NHS staff face every day as a result of their work.

Gwenfair also mentions that when the NHS followed it’s lone working policy, staff were issued with alarms. Well I know of a situation in which the issuing of a piece of equipment to be used as an ‘alarm’ was ruthlessly used by the managers of the Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust and their partners in crime in the Arfon Community Mental Health Team in an attempt to frame a patient. In the mid-1990s I was prosecuted at the insistence of Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust for allegedly making an obscene and threatening telephone call to Bridget Lloyd, a CPN with the Arfon Team. I did not make this call. Florid statements were made about me to the police by Bridget Lloyd about her being terrified of me, indeed so frightened that the Trust had issued her with a mobile phone to carry with her when she went out in order to enable her to ring for help should she meet me and I attack her. There was also a statement made in Court by the Trust that I represented such a risk to Bridget and her ‘two young children’ that the Trust had organised a safe house for them should I be found not guilty. I did not even know that Bridget Lloyd had young children. I was found not guilty. Whether dear old Bridget and the kids then took up residence in the safe house I do not know, but when I requested an apology for being denied access to NHS hospitals during the course of this malicious case I was told very firmly that I would not be receiving an apology. A few months ago my lawyer forwarded me the documentation relating to this case. Among all the documents was a memo that Bridget Lloyd had written herself to her managers saying that she had only met me once or twice, that it was many years ago and that she was sure that if I saw her I would not recognise her. That memo was written before the case against me went ahead – it was also written at about the same time as her statement about the risk that I presented to her and her children and how she was ‘absolutely terrified’ of me.

Bridget didn’t mention on the memo the circumstances in which she had met me years previously. I met Bridget Lloyd when I had been illegally detained in Seiriol Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd after I refused to drop my requests for a copy of my medical records. Bridget was the nurse in charge of the ward. I challenged Bridget over my illegal detention, as well as over the threats that I had received from Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services – and over the mistreatment of other patients that I was witnessing. Bridget told me that ‘someone’ had decided that I ‘should be here’ and that no-one was being abused or illegally detained. Yes they were Bridget and you knew it. Now, off down to the police station with you to provide a statement giving the details of who it was who ordered you to perjure yourself in court in an attempt to secure a conviction against me.

The article in the Post makes a reference to the case of a man called Christopher Bambrough, who was jailed some months ago after ‘threatening to knock out a nurse’ at Wrexham Maelor. Sounds nasty doesn’t it. The facts of the case are that Bambrough had gone to Wrexham Maelor seeking help for mental health problems but had been refused such help and had been told to go and make an appointment with his GP. He became distressed and shouted a few rash comments that people were going to get hurt. OK, so a man whom it is admitted had mental health problems went for help – and was effectively told to piss off. Knowing just how damn near impossible it is to now access mental health care in north Wales I can imagine how desperate and frustrated that man probably was. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had made umpteen visits to his GP and the local hospitals trying to get help – I have witnessed people doing this and it is quite clear that there is no way that they will get treatment. Because the mental health services are no longer permitted to refuse to assess or treat people, the technique used in north Wales is now to send them from pillar to post, around and around in circles, with everybody refusing to treat them and telling them to see someone else.

So who was it who imprisoned a mentally ill desperate man for shouting a few rash things in the direction of the Angels? It was Judge Niclas Parry, who when he was merely solicitor advocate Niclas Parry, represented one of the most vicious of the paedophiles at the Waterhouse Inquiry (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’ for details of Parry’s glorious career, his shameful role in the Waterhouse Inquiry and his kid-glove handling of two other people involved in organised crime). Parry told Brambrough that ‘hospital staff will be protected by the Courts’. Yes, along with paedophiles and drug dealers thanks to Old Nick being on the bench.

Daily Post Online makes reference to the police ‘having to be’ called out to ‘attacks on staff’ 591 times in the last five years. I wonder what the opinion of the police is regarding those call outs – because when I still lived in north Wales I was told quite frankly by a police officer that they were sick to death of the Hergest calling them out to deal with trivial situations that the staff should be dealing with themselves. But this has been happening for decades. When Dafydd Alun Jones et al first began having me arrested in the 80s there was an officer called Sgt Tim Evans who was known to be telling people that the whole situation was farcical – a bunch of pompous braying consultants were on the one hand telling Sgt Evans and his colleagues that they were ‘experts’ and Had To Be Listened To, but on the other hand were ringing the police on an almost daily basis because I was refusing to drop my complaints about the mental health services and continued requesting copies of my own records. I was told that Sgt Evans noted just how much more than the police that bunch of fuckwits were being paid yet were demanding that the police clear up their mess. As an example of the sort of thing that the Top Doctors were doing, I have in my possession a document which is a copy of a letter written by Top Doctor Sadie Francis, backed up by her mate from the Arfon Team the appalling social worker Sheila Jenkins, complaining about me walking into a room at Ysbyty Gwynedd ‘carrying a rolled up newspaper’. Francis and Jenkins demanded that the police be called in case I was ‘concealing a knife’ in the newspaper.  I could have been storing weapons grade plutonium in the rolled up newspaper but I wasn’t – these crazy allegations with absolutely no grounds were being bandied around about me (and a number of other patients) constantly.

The Betsi told the Daily Post that their staff receive ‘violence and aggression training’ and ‘de-escalation’ training. That ‘training’ leaves a lot to be desired. It is delivered by staff who have learnt their own aggression at the knee of the north Wales mental health services – for many years, the man who ‘trained’ the local Angels in ‘control and restraint’ was a nurse from the North Wales Hospital, the institution in which victims of the North Wales Paedophile Ring were illegally imprisoned. More latterly the ‘training’ was delivered by the dreadful Alison Parry, the highly abusive nurse responsible for running the highly abusive Taliesin Ward. I have watched the Angels from the Hergest Unit use their ‘training’ – it involves jumping on patients from a height for no good reason and pinning them to the floor for twenty minutes. As for ‘de-escalation’ – well after Alun Davies, the former manager of the Hergest Unit, refused to answer questions from either me or my lawyer regarding Parry and co carrying out assaults on me, I asked Davies in person when he was going to reply to my lawyer’s letters. He stood in a corridor at Hergest and bellowed ‘shut up’ at me repeatedly. My lawyer suggested to him that this was rather unacceptable and she received a letter from Davies saying that he was using ‘de-escalation techniques’ and that they were so good that a psychiatrist had complimented him on them. I can only presume that the Top Doctor in question was actually taking the piss out of him, but Davies was far too thick to realise.

In addition to boasting about the ‘training’ that their staff receive, the Betsi told the Post that all three of their District General Hospitals have police and security on site. I have known some of the ‘police on site’ at Ysbyty Gwynedd. One of them was really good, a very nice man with an excellent relationship with the patients. This however was ruined because the Hergest staff kept telling him to threaten to arrest the patients, instead of allowing him to talk to them. On one occasion this resulted in him having to threaten to arrest a young female psychiatric patient in the locked ward at Hergest because she kept dialling 999. Yes, the Hergest staff wanted a psychotic teenager taken out of a locked ward where she was sectioned anyway, arrested and charged for dialling 999 for bizarre reasons. That policeman ended up leaving that post – and I can see why. After he left he was replaced by a Scouse Thug who threatened me over the phone when I rang the hospital to inform them that I would be attending the hospital in person to deliver a statement from a third party who had witnessed hospital staff lie about me in order to have me arrested. I’m sure that the authorities at YG thought that the Scouse Thug did a great job.

As well as on site police and security, a Betsi spokesperson also explained to the Daily Post that they employ a ‘violence and aggression case manager’. Yes, I’ve heard about this person – they’re the one whom I was told actively encourages staff to demand that patients are prosecuted even if staff don’t want to press charges. Interestingly enough, the Betsi spokesperson does admit to the Daily Post that it is ‘important to recognise’ that the figures provided ‘may not reflect the actions of some patients who may not intend to be deliberately aggressive and may act in this way by extent of their conditions’. So that’s them fessing up then. But nonetheless they were still happy to release these ludicrous misleading figures – which even they admit aren’t a true reflection of the situation.

Intriguingly, the Betsi states that there is a National Memorandum of Understanding across Wales between the police, the CPS and the NHS on how to ‘support staff’ following incidents of violence. Readers who have followed my posts about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and the associated cover-up will remember that it involved the police, the CPS and the NHS…Those bodies understand each other very well in north Wales – and if Old Nick is on the bench, there’s even more understanding…

People who have been following this blog for a while will also remember my posts describing the scores of errors, fallacious allegations and downright lies that I discovered entered upon my medical records. Highlights include entries that I ‘had held a nurse hostage’, ‘was in prison after attacking someone with a knife’ and had ‘sexually assaulted a psychiatrist’. What’s the betting that these lurid allegations have added to the statistics that the Betsi have made up? Despite protracted correspondence with Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, I have been unable to persuade them to remove the dozens of lies from my records. Gary did agree to remove the references to me sexually assaulting a psychiatrist because he admitted that never happened – I note that Gary did not carry out any investigation into how these gross slur ever found it’s way onto my records and that no-one was disciplined for writing it. Gary has refused to amend anything else – although I can prove that the comments are not true – on the grounds that his staff told him that these things had happened and thus they must have happened. Furthermore Gary is now stating that twenty years worth of my records don’t exist because he can’t find them. I have copies here with me which my lawyer obtained previously, but no, according to Gary those records don’t exist.

How can anyone believe any statistics at all collected by this bunch of lying dipsticks?

Another former star of this blog featured in the Post article – Tina Donnelly, the Director of the RCN in Wales. Tina warns that these attacks on NHS staff affect recruitment. No Tina, what is affecting recruitment in the Betsi is the dreadful standard of care that is known to exist up there – good nurses do not want to work with negligent abusive people – and the brutal treatment of whistleblowers. The nurse who blew the whistle on the Tawel Fan scandal was sacked, wrongfully arrested after being subjected to malicious allegations and has received death threats. The staff who abused the patients in Tawel Fan were subjected to no disciplinary action at all. Donnelly has sat in the RCN throughout scandal after scandal in north Wales – including Tawel Fan – and has done nothing to take action against her members who are abusing their positions. I have read plenty of her semi-literate articles in the Welsh media demanding higher salaries for her members, or indeed banging on about the way in which they spend every waking hour at work being viciously attacked by unhinged patients, but I have not yet read any condemnation from her concerning poor standards of care on the part of some Angels. Indeed Donnelly seems to be quite close to two particularly unpleasant Angels employed at Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E – Stephen Gallagher and Andrew Parry. Please read post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ for details of Gallagher and Parry’s lies, threats and dishonesty. Donnelly ‘serves’ in the Territorial Army along with Gallagher and Parry. For further details of Donnelly’s contacts and questionable background, see post ‘Oh To Be In Receipt Of Academic Honours’.

At the end of the article, the Daily Post chips in with their ‘opinion’. The Post maintains that ‘people join the NHS because they care…good decent human beings who want to make a difference…the vast majority of them aren’t in it for the money…these same decent people are routinely subjected to violence and verbal abuse – sometimes racist or sexual… [the offenders] should forfeit their right to free NHS treatment in the future…’

Now most people do indeed join the NHS for the right reasons – but there is a very big problem in north Wales. Until very recently a vicious paedophile ring operated throughout the region and it was concealed and facilitated by the mental health services. A lot of the people involved are still working in the mental health services – indeed one of them is the Chairman of the Betsi – and this has left a toxic legacy. These were not ‘caring’ ‘decent’ people and furthermore they were not subjected to violence and verbal abuse, they lied on oath in order to discredit people who were complaining about their own malpractice and abuse. They are using the same techniques now in a desperate attempt to detract from the train wreck that is the NHS in north Wales. I will remind the Daily Post of what happened at Tawel Fan – elderly patients were found to be crawling around naked on floors covered in faeces and urine; one patient had an untreated broken arm; staff swore at patients, trapped them in their beds by placing furniture on top of them and discussed their sex lives. Some of those patients died as a result of the neglect and abuse that they endured. The ward was shut down and the Board was placed in special measures after the Welsh Gov’t admitted institutional abuse of patients. It was the worst mental health scandal in recent years in the UK. And which newspaper carried ‘interviews’ with those staff, interviews in which staff insulted the patients and their relatives? The Daily Post.

Until the 1990s, people working in and managing children’s homes in north Wales were believed to be kindly avuncular folk working for modest salaries looking after ‘tearaways’, ‘naughty boys’, ‘disturbed teenagers’, ‘young thugs’, ‘streetwise kids’ or ‘criminals’. We now know that they were actually starving, beating and raping those kids before forcing them into prostitution and delivering them to the Westminster Paedophile Ring. When those kids told people what was happening to them they were discussed in exactly the same terms that the Post is using to discuss people whom they believe are ‘attacking’ noble selfless NHS staff.

As for people forfeiting their right to free NHS treatment – there are at present people in north Wales, particularly people with mental health problems, who CANNOT access the care that they need and to which they are legally entitled. Sometimes this is because the ‘service’ has collapsed and doesn’t exist to provide treatment, but a number of people have been subjected to a co-ordinated campaign to ensure that they will not be treated under any circumstances – because they complained about a fucking paedophile gang.

As for staff not being in it for the money – no many of them are not. But some undoubtedly are. This blog has exposed a number of scams being runs by NHS staff and those scams have been designed to line their own pockets. It is difficult to find highly paid work in north Wales and no-one but the Betsi is going to pay Martin Jones and his ilk £130,000 pa and Martin knows it. Which is why he is still sitting on that Board after years of disaster wearing cufflinks that cost as much as some people earn in a week. Martin with his rather poor degree (you weren’t up to much when you were at Bangor University were you Martin), Martin who is rumoured to have failed accountancy exams, Martin with his Mickey Mouse qualification in ‘Innovation and Change’, Martin who when he was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust flew first class to America on NHS expenses and lived it up with his mates for no good reason. Martin is most definitely in it for the money.

Although the Post article is about the NHS in north Wales, there is a link to an interview with someone employed by Cardiff and Vale UHB. That’s the Cardiff and Vale UHB that employs a consultant gynaecologist who many years ago was frozen out of the London circle because he was a relentless sexual harasser (see post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’).

Newsflash: Just appeared on the Daily Post website – a female paramedic with the Welsh Ambulance Service in north Wales has been convicted of assaulting another young woman. The ‘caring’ ‘decent’ NHS worker had ‘trained’ in the Army Medical Corps. Probably alongside Donnelly, Gallagher and Parry. She’s been travelling around in the back of an ambulance in a green jumpsuit for the last two years whilst the likes of the Daily Post told us that she was some sort of superior being.

As for all this talk of ‘decent’ people, in the early 1990s I attempted to enter Menai Bridge police station to make a complaint about a Top Doctor – one of those who was facilitating the paedophile ring – threatening me. What can only be described as a Ginger Pig in a sergeants uniform confronted me and told me that if I entered the police station he would arrest me. I told him that I had been threatened and I wished to make a statement. The Ginger Pig told me that he was here to protect ‘decent’ people like the Top Doctor and if I didn’t get out of Menai Bridge immediately he’d arrest me. He then pursued me as far as the Menai Suspension Bridge insulting me and told me to do everyone a favour and throw myself off the bridge. When I got home I rang Menai Bridge police station in an attempt to discover the identity of the Ginger Pig. Another policeman answered – whom I knew, because I had met him previously in Bangor Police Station after the Top Doctors had of course had me arrested. He was called Kelvin, he was nothing like the Ginger Pig himself, but he would not tell me the name of the Ginger Pig and he wouldn’t take down a complaint about him. On another occasion I tried to make representation about the Top Doctors and their harassment to an inspector in Bangor Police Station, an Inspector Beedham. As with Kelvin, Inspector Beedham didn’t conduct himself in the manner of the Ginger Pig, but no, he wouldn’t take a complaint about the Top Doctors either.

Sgt Tim Evans, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham all witnessed what was happening to me at the hands of the Top Doctors and Gwynedd Social Services. I now have possession of the documents that demonstrate that the Top Doctors et al perjured themselves repeatedly and ordered their minions to perjure themselves repeatedly, in order to conceal a paedophile ring. Come on Tim, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham, get your statements prepared and can you tell us who the Ginger Pig was as well….

 

I have mentioned in this post and in previous posts just how serious the wrongdoing of staff in the Hergest Unit and Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E was – unlawfully refusing people treatment, threatening patients, assaulting patients, lying to the police about patients, lying on oath, encouraging others to lie on oath etc. I have detailed how Alun Davies, Keith Thomson and later on Martin Jones simply did not investigate complaints (not just mine either – I knew of others who had terrible experiences whose complaints were never ever investigated). After Thomson wasted months of my and my lawyer’s time in a deliberate attempt not to investigate a series of assaults on me by his staff and their malicious allegations about me to the police, I tried the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. At that time the Ombudsman for Wales was Adam Peat. Getting a response out of Peat to my complaint was like pulling teeth, so in the end I rang his office. I didn’t speak to Peat himself, I spoke to his sidekick – who was either a Gethin or a Geraint, I can’t remember which. And guess what – he insulted and then threatened me. Just like the NMC did when I tried to make representation to them about Sian Ruth Lloyd’s misconduct. Now I was getting pretty used to this sort of behaviour from the Top Doctors and Angels, but this was the Ombudsman’s office…

Shortly after my brush with Adam Peat’s sidekick, I received a reply from Adam himself. He had decided that he wasn’t going to investigate my complaint against the North West Wales NHS Trust. Not in the public interest. (This was at a time when the North West Wales NHS Trust had the second highest suicide rate among women in England and Wales.) I mentioned this later to a Welsh politician who was honest enough to tell me that there was a major problem with the Ombudsman’s office, in that Peat was choosing not to investigate an awful lot of very serious complaints. I now have the documentation relating to that period of time – evidence of perjury and perverting the course of justice, the altering of medical records, a forged document allegedly written by me found in the possession of the GMC, evidence of dishonesty on the part of the Mental Health Act Commission, the illegal interference with my record on the Police National Computer and the forging of a certificate of indictment on the part of the Courts among much other wrongdoing.

Looks like Adam had knowingly ignored some very, very serious stuff.

Adam Peat retired as the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in April 2008. His final report before he retired covered the period 2007/08. This report showed that despite a 10% increase in complaints that year, the number upheld by the Ombudsman remained roughly the same. Out of 1420 complaints, Peat only upheld – either whole or in part – 139. He did not investigate 975 complaints. Of the complaints that Peat did uphold, 19 became public interest reports. So Peat was ignoring an awful lot of problems – and nearly all the 1420 complaints will have been a result of very serious problems because one cannot approach the Ombudsman until one has exhausted all other avenues of complaint and even then there are so many hurdles to overcome that no-one would ever get as far as the Ombudsman unless they had a real grievance.

So who was Peat, the man who decided that it was best to ignore thousands of complaints, even ones involving serious corruption in the NHS, social services, police, court service and probation service – for which he was paid £135k pa? Well between 1998 and 2003, Adam Peat was a senior civil servant in the National Assembly of Wales. For the previous nine years he had been Chief Exec of Tai Cymru, the body funding and regulating the housing association movement in Wales. Now my worries about Peat were always that he had prevented an investigation into such serious wrongdoing in the NHS – but his activities re housing are just as worrying. He had spent all those years involved with Tai Cymru, yet as Ombudsman he was responsible for investigating housing problems. Indeed, housing problems were something that he took a very big interest in – during his time as Ombudsman, one of his reports was devoted to housing allocation and homeless provision. So not only was Peat suppressing complaint into criminal activities in the NHS, but he had massive conflicts of interest as well.

So where is Adam Peat now? He’s back in the housing business! Adam Peat OBE is now Chairman of Magna Housing. Magna Housing is a community based housing association located primarily in Dorset and Somerset and provides over 8500 homes to let and 350 shared ownership homes. It’s annual turnover is in excess of £36 million. There is a notice on Magna’s website explaining that Magna has a confidential reporting process for employees to report serious concerns relating to trafficking and modern slavery. This organisation has a Chairman who suppressed a complaint about people involved in organised crime, namely a paedophile ring that was trafficking young people into prostitution. I wonder what’s going to happen if a Magna employee does report modern slavery or trafficking?

One of the blogs that I follow is Jac O The North. I don’t share the political views of Jac and most of his correspondents, but Jac does an excellent job of exposing corruption in Wales. There has been much on Jac’s blog concerning housing associations in Wales and the very odd things that seem to be happening in them. For example, the very great difficulty that some people even those who have lived in Wales for years have obtaining housing association properties. Many of Jac’s correspondents have written in with anecdotes of serious offenders from England somehow succeeding in obtaining housing association properties in rural Wales after they have been released from prison. A lot of those offenders have been sex offenders – and there was even a case in which yes, a whole paedophile ring were rehoused in Wales from England. When I first started reading these accounts, I presumed that these were the sort of myths one hears which don’t bear much relation to reality – along the lines of Theresa May’s anecdote to the Tory Party Conference about the terrorist who couldn’t be deported because his pet cat allowed him to use the Human Rights Act to remain in the UK. ‘I am not making this up’ said Theresa. It turned out that she was. However, it seems that Jac and his correspondents really are not making things up – sex offenders and people known to be involved with organised sexual abuse are being housed in rural Wales despite having no previous connections with the region at all. And it is happening too frequently for it to be a consequence of the general movement of people who choose to relocate. What if, as well as the network of corrupt people in the NHS, police, social services and legal services facilitating organised child sexual abuse and associated people trafficking, there were a few of them working in the housing association sector?

What do you reckon Adam?

 

 

 

News Round Up, August 1, 2017

I am no longer attending Betsi Board meetings having moved elsewhere, but I do still hear about them. I have recently received an e mail from someone who attended the last Board meeting who told me that the Betsi Board are still utterly deluded regarding the ‘services’ that they are providing and their abilities to run their own organisation. Bad news Betsi stories continue to hit the local media on a weekly basis and the Board remains in special measures. Vaughan Gething the Health Minister recently refused to establish a medical school in north Wales, no doubt because he knows that the problems in the NHS in north Wales are such that any medical school sited there would be a disaster – and a spectacular waste of money. The Board is currently awaiting the results of two independent investigations into the ‘institutional abuse’ of mental health patients.

So my correspondent was somewhat surprised to hear Peter Higson, the Chair of the Board, use the phrase ‘IF there is to be another appraisal’ when speaking about the Board’s possible release from special measures. As my correspondent noted – ‘IF’??? Does Higson really think that he is going to get away with no more appraisals after the scale of the disaster? Perhaps Higson does think this – after all he was the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh whilst the most appalling things went on and was never required to answer to anyone, he then played a leading role in the scandal ridden quango Elwa and was rewarded with an appointment as Chief Exec of Health Inspectorate Wales, during which time he steadfastly failed to investigate serious complaints. By the time that Higson left HIW it was described as ‘not fit for purpose’ – he was then appointed Chair of the Betsi. Yes, maybe Higson is a little surprised that for the first time in his long and glorious career of shafting the citizens of Wales he is now finally under scrutiny. The Welsh Office’s concealing of the shite at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh because it in turn was concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring provided a big umbrella for Higson for many years and he won’t have suffered by having a sister who was Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Ruth Hussey – although I note that Ruth’s exorbitant salary was made public in the Welsh media last week and invoked fury in some quarters….

It’s entertaining to compare what is appearing in the media concerning the Betsi with the ‘press releases’ on their website. What appears in the local media is a relentless catalogue of scandal, complaint, crisis, suicides, avoidable deaths of patients and damning reports from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. But when one clicks on the Betsi’s website one enters another universe. I’ll detail just a few of the stories that have appeared on there over the last couple of weeks.

On July 25 it was reported that at Llandudno Hospital, some ‘dementia champions’ were encouraging staff and visitors to back a scheme established by the Alzheimers Society to train ‘dementia friends’ to ‘support local people living with dementia’. Dementia support worker Rachel Richards, who has worked at Llandudno Hospital as a dementia champion for four years, won the UNISON Wales 2016 ‘Outstanding Person of the Year’ award for her work concerning dementia. Now Rachel might be a really nice person who has moved heaven and earth to try and improve the lives of people with dementia. If she has done this, it will be in spite of her employers, not because of them. The Betsi is currently in special measures and the subject of two investigations as a result of the scandalous abuse of patients with dementia on Tawel Fan ward. After the closure of that ward, there was another scandal involving dementia patients at Bryn Hesketh, although the Betsi refused to ever come clean regarding the details of that.

UNISON is the union that a lot of Betsi staff belong to – including some of the staff who over the past years have been involved in the abuse of patients. UNISON has provided those staff with unlimited free legal advice even in the face of very serious complaint from patients. Some years ago a former manager of the Hergest Unit, Robin Holden, told someone known to me that the problems at the Hergest were very serious but that he was completely unable to resolve them whilst he was employed as a manager there because ‘the unions’ obstructed him constantly. And I bet that one of those unions was UNISON. UNISON doesn’t support whistleblowers but it does support staff who are the subject of very serious complaint, including assault or sexual assault on patients. I accept that everybody is entitled to a fair hearing no matter how serious the allegations against them are, but in the case of patients alleging abuse on the part of NHS staff it is not a level playing field. The staff accused will receive free legal advice from their union and the support of the NHS – because the NHS NEVER admits failure until there is a damning external report from somewhere – whereas the patients/relatives will only be entitled to a very limited number of hours of legal aid, even in the case of a death. Furthermore, if you are Martin Jones (the former Chief Exec of the North West Wales NHS Trust and currently the Director of Workforce at the Betsi) you will deliberately fail to answer questions from patients’ lawyers no matter how many times they are put to you in order to prolong correspondence between yourself and patients’ lawyers as much as possible, knowing damn well that if you manage to string this out for a few months the patient’s legal aid will run out. Martin will then write the patient a letter refusing to correspond with them any further. Which is what you did to me when CCTV filmed your staff threatening me, refusing to treat me and making false allegations against me in an attempt to have me arrested wasn’t it Martin?

On July 21 the Betsi website published an article about a lady of whom they are most proud, Dr Alys Cole-King, an ‘expert’ in suicide prevention. This expert in suicide prevention is a former psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit which had one of the highest suicide rates in the UK among it’s patients. Alys now works at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as a psychiatrist – the hospital which was the site of the institutional abuse of mental health patients. My post ‘Experts In Suicide Prevention??’ provides a full account of the bullshit and hypocrisy that emanates from Alys as well as details of the con that is her organisation ‘Connecting With People’. Alys was congratulated by Higson after she won a ‘top international award’ for her ‘pioneering work’ supporting people at risk of suicide and self-harm. So that’ll be why so many people are still killing themselves in north Wales then and why self-harming patients are still reporting that they are unable to access effective treatment from the Betsi. Alys went to Malaysia no less, to the ‘glittering awards ceremony’. Well that beats staying at home in north Wales treating your patients doesn’t it.

But Alys isn’t the only expert on suicide and self-harm from the Betsi gaining international recognition! Professor Rob Poole – a psychiatrist who mistreated one patient of his so badly that he was the subject of a speech in the Senedd – and his colleague Professor Catherine Robinson have been awarded dosh to continue their trips to south Asia to teach Johnny Foreigner all about self harm and suicide prevention (see posts ‘It’s Those Experts From The Betsi Again!’ and ‘He’s Not The Messiah – He’s A Very Naughty Boy’ for more info on Poole and Robinson). I received a phone call from someone telling me ‘but they don’t know anything about suicide prevention’. I know that they don’t, but they don’t tell anyone that. They tell everybody that they are experts in these matters and everybody around them goes along with the fantasy in the hope that the Betsi or Bangor University can then tweet nonsense about the experts in their employ. And no-one in south Asia knows the grim reality of what passes for ‘care’ of the suicidal or self-harmers in north Wales. This technique worked so well for Mark Williams and Mindfulness (see post ‘The Biggest Expert of the Lot’) that others have taken a leaf out of his book.

The Betsi published another story on it’s website on July 21 as well – it announced that a ‘UK top clinical leader’ had attended an event at Bryn y Neuadd Hospital, supporting the Betsi’s strategic plan involving ‘senior mental health nurses’. These will be the senior mental health nurses that have been responsible for the neglect and abuse of patients to date then – they won’t be new senior mental health nurses because nobody will actually work for the Betsi so bad is it’s reputation. Jen French, the Director of Nursing for Mental Health and Learning Disability, admitted this – she commented that she hoped that the new strategy would boost recruitment when word got around about the ‘supportive environment that we provide’. That environment is so supportive that the nurse who blew the whistle on the Tawel Fan scandal was sacked. None of the staff involved in abusing the patients were disciplined. The whistleblower was also wrongfully arrested, subjected to malicious smears and received death threats. That’s Jen’s ‘supportive environment’ for you.

So who was the ‘top clinical leader’ who gave the Betsi his support? He was Emeritus Professor Tony Butterworth. The Betsi stressed that Tony was listed as one of the top 100 clinical leaders by the ‘respected’ Healthcare Services Journal. The HSJ was the offender who at one point named Katrina Percy as ‘NHS CEO of the Year’. Percy presided over the scandal at Southern Health, where hundreds of patients with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems died. The scandal only ever became public as a result of the campaigning of Dr Sara Ryan, an Oxford sociologist, whose son died whilst in the care of Southern Health. As happens to so many people who dare expose NHS failure, Sara has received abuse and threats, her abilities as a parent were questioned by Southern Health, she was described by the psychiatrist who was responsible for the care of her son when he died as ‘toxic’ and the teenaged son of a colleague of Katrina Percy sent out a tweet describing Sara as a ‘fucking pest’. Yesterday the inquest returned the verdict on the death of Connor, Sara’s son – death by neglect. The associated report was utterly damning of Southern Health. So I don’t think that anyone is going to be too impressed by anyone who comes highly recommended by the HSJ.

Tony Butterworth wasn’t the only person invited along to the event at Bryn y Neuadd – CANIAD were there too! That’s the CANIAD that has been established by Dafydd Alun Jones et al at CAIS to represent ‘service users’. For details of the con that is CANIAD and the corrupt process which resulted in it landing the contract for ‘service user involvement’ for north Wales, please see posts ‘Introducing Caniad’ and ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’. I have already received correspondence from someone who was duped into working for CANIAD and has discovered that it does not represent service users at all. But then Dafydd et al don’t have much of a track record where patient representation is concerned.

On 19 July, the Betsi website featured a ‘therapy dog’ called Max. Max is currently paying visits to the Hergest Unit where he is alleged to be working wonders. It was observed that when Max arrives the patients come out of their rooms. I bet they do – the reason why patients stay in their rooms in the Hergest Unit is that the staff ignore them or are nakedly aggressive towards them. Max will be a very welcome change (unless he becomes inducted into the culture of the Hergest Unit and starts snapping and snarling at the patients). There is a photo of Max on the website and I note that he is wearing an ID badge. Which is considerably more than the Hergest staff used to – they were notorious for refusing to identify themselves to patients, for refusing to wear ID badges and even uniforms. There was one principal reason for this – it was to ensure that if patients wanted to make a complaint about their appalling behaviour, the patients wouldn’t be able to identify them. All the patients were ever told was the first name of the member of staff and all staff referred to themselves as ‘nurses’. They weren’t – they were nearly all nursing assistants and a lot of them were agency or bank staff. In fact so few of them were qualified nurses that sometimes there was no qualified nurse on duty.

When I made a serious complaint about four Hergest staff, it took me MONTHS to actually find out who they were, although the complaint involved an assault. Nobody would say anymore than ‘Bethan, Michelle, Dave and Sian, nurses’. It was bloody obvious that most of them weren’t nurses, they were barely literate and ‘Dave’ was a caveman with a broken nose, nearly shaved head and prison tattoos. After many months of detective work, I discovered that they were actually Gwen Bethan Roberts, Michelle Shaw, David Wood (nursing assistants) and Sian Ruth Lloyd (newly qualified nurse). I also discovered that there had been numerous other complaints about them involving their abuse and aggression towards patients and that in a previous job with young people ‘nurse Dave’ was alleged to have flushed a client’s head down the bog. Max the dog is going to be a very big improvement on that bunch of thugs.

The article about Max boasts of the other activities that are available to Hergest patients. Art therapy is mentioned. There is an art therapist at Hergest and a lot of patients speak very highly of her. One patient who desperately wanted to do art therapy was prevented from doing so – because she had been to the same school as the art therapist and the dear old Hergest were worried about ‘boundaries’. I suspect that what they were really worried about was that the patient might have told her former school friend what had happened to her in Taliesin Ward – she had been so badly treated in there that one of her neighbours pretended to be a lawyer when she visited her, because the neighbour thought that if the Hergest staff thought that they were being observed by a lawyer the extent of their neglect and brutality might be curbed. The website claims that Tai Chi and walking groups are available for patients. I know a Hergest patient who attended those Tai Chi and walking groups. The ‘groups’ consisted of him – a keen mountaineer in his late 50s – and four or five elderly ladies with the early stages of dementia. No, there was not much Tai Chi or walking done. It is mentioned that a group of Bangor University student volunteers also attend the Hergest Unit to assist with activities. That student group was set up by the Hergest Whistleblower a few years ago – the students were lovely and were very keen. The Hergest Unit management did all they could to stop that group – because they did not want those students witnessing what was going on in the Hergest Unit. At least one of the students was refused permission to continue with the work on the grounds of a minor criminal conviction that he had incurred some years previously – so he was left feeling really bad about himself after being labelled a ‘danger’ to staff and patients. It was bollocks – he wasn’t a danger to anyone, the Hergest management knew that they were employing people like Caveman Dave and they did not want people knowing how patients were being treated.

Interestingly enough, for years animals were banned from the Hergest Unit as well. Patients like me who had dogs had to get our friends to bring our dogs to the hospital and we had to go out into the car park to meet our dogs. And if the ‘nurses’ decided not to let you out of the ward, you couldn’t see your dogs because there was a total ban on animals. Many years ago there was a very friendly Irish junior doctor who worked at the Hergest who was actually a human being and he used to bring his dog in at nights to greet the patients when the other Top Doctors had all gone home. He told us that if anyone found out that he was doing this he would be sacked. It wasn’t just mammals that were banned at Hergest – pigeons were unacceptable as well. The day centre at Hergest – which was eventually closed down entirely – used to have a little courtyard attached to it and pigeons would land in the courtyard. Patients really loved the pigeons and fed them biscuits. A notice appeared on the wall asking everyone not to feed the pigeons. Everyone ignored it and carried on feeding the pigeons so another notice appeared ORDERING everyone not to feed the pigeons. Everyone ignored that notice as well, so then another notice appeared saying that the door into the courtyard would be locked because people were continuing to feed the pigeons.

On July 13 the Betsi website reported that the family of a man with learning disabilities who died whilst in the ‘care’ of Morriston Hospital in Swansea had appeared at the launch of yet another Betsi ‘initiative’ to improve the care of learning disabled people. It was mentioned that the failures in care at the Morriston had been described by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales as ‘abject’ and ‘dire’. The Ombudsman has made very similar comments about the failures of care provided by the Betsi recently. The Morriston Hospital isn’t in special measures either.

 

My recent post ‘A Prescription For Murder’ reviewed a ‘Panorama’ programme which featured that well-known Top Doctor from the Hergest, Dodgy Geezer Dr David Healy. There’s been quite a bit of fall-out from the programme with the Top Doctors taking to twitter – Rob Poole even wrote a blog post about it (Rob touchingly uses the phrase ‘we experts’ in his post). The voices noticeably absent are those of the patients – I’m glad to say however that someone who has been on the receiving end of Healy has left comments on ‘Service Shenanigans’….

NHS England also caused a twitter storm and prompted much media comment earlier this week when it was announced that there was to be a huge increase in the number of mental health posts. So Jeremy Hunt is going to train and employ thousands more people to carry on doing what has failed to help people with mental health problems so spectacularly so far then. The Top Doctors and their associates have been scrapping over those plans as much as they have been scrapping over Healy’s appearance on ‘Panorama’. I am reminded of that scene in ‘Time Bandits’ when the dwarves all start fighting each other and Napolean looks on delighted and applauds saying ‘That’s what I like – little things hitting each other’. As the Top Doctors and the RCN and the Dodgy Geezers all argue amongst each other, falsify their research and declare themselves the true experts, global capitalism continues to screw healthcare completely. Jeremy Hunt himself has also hit a new enlightenment – he stated that there are ‘problems’ in the NHS that can’t be solved no matter how much is invested in it and that other Gov’ts found the same problem despite spending huge amounts of money on the NHS. I suspect that the ‘problems’ Jeremy might be thinking of are called the BMA and GMC. That’s right Jeremy, they’re institutionally corrupt, you’ve all known it for years and the monsters are now so big and so greedy and so demanding that you can’t possibly give them what they want and now they going to scream and scream until they’re sick.

A fascinating medical scandal has begun to emerge, one that the ‘Independent’ is maintaining could be as big as thalidomide – the vaginal mesh scandal. Since the 1990s, thousands of women experiencing even just mild occasional stress incontinence have been encouraged to have vaginal meshes inserted. The meshes are kept in place by hooks attached to one’s soft tissues. Surprise, surprise, it’s now been revealed that inserting a mesh with hooks on into one’s fanny is not a particularly good idea, the meshes have been slicing through tissue causing bleeding and other awful consequences. Various gynaecologists have been crawling out of the woodwork and some have given comments to the press interpreting this as a consequence of sexism and a cavalier attitude to female health. No, this is an example of the cavalier attitude that Top Doctors routinely adopt towards their patients’ health in general. Gynaecologists both male and female knew what those meshes were doing to people but they have kept quiet for the last twenty years. Furthermore, although a few female gynaecologists self-identifying as the defenders of women’s health are now speaking up, they could have done so a very long time ago – but they didn’t. There is also a complete absence of information regarding who developed vaginal meshes and where the early clinical trials took place. Anyone happen to know? Because someone put those things on the market and robustly promoted them, including to some women who did not actually need such interventions….

It brought back a few more memories of the Everyday Story of St George’s Folk for me. I have mentioned in previous posts how dysfunctional relationships were between Top Doctors at St George’s and how the main pastime was knifing each other or gossiping about who was shagging who. There was one Top Doctor there who was particularly loathed by everyone – a gynaecologist called Stuart Stanton who specialised in treating urinary incontinence. He seemed very secretive about his practices and people spent much time and effort trying to find out what he was up to – including where in the world he actually was at any one time, because he wasn’t always in London. Stanton was robustly recommended to well-heeled private patients as being the man to consult should they suffer from pelvic floor problems. Yet people who worked with him used to constantly make comments along the lines of ‘Christ I wouldn’t let him near me’. I never ever found out what it was that he was doing that repulsed everybody so much and why there were so many efforts made by so many people to try and find out about his business practices. As ever with the Top Doctors, there was clearly a slurry pit somewhere involving Stanton but they weren’t going to let on, especially not to patients. Stanton is still practicing – in Harley Street of course. I keep wondering how many people he might have recommended a vaginal mesh to…

Whilst reading all about the vaginal meshes in the ‘Indie’, I noticed another story on their website. That of a case of a learning disabled couple in Oregon, who have had their new born baby removed from them on the grounds that they had learning disabilities. There were no allegations of them presenting a danger to the baby, the decision was made simply because both the baby’s parents had ‘low IQs’. This is not a first and this sort of thing happens rather closer to home than Oregon. You’ve guessed it – I witnessed the very same thing happen to a learning disabled couple whose baby was born at St Georges. The decision to remove the baby from their care as soon as it was born was not one taken by the midwives or obstetricians and a lot of them were very uncomfortable with what was happening and felt that it was very sad. The decision had been taken by the social services – as were other decisions regarding the removal of babies from their mothers, again in circumstances that left a lot of the staff on the labour ward very uncomfortable. I felt that this was bad enough at the time, but after receiving the documents regarding my own case a few months ago, I am now very concerned at what might have been going on. Because the social workers making the decisions to remove those babies from their parents at birth were the very same social workers who my documents now demonstrate were without my knowledge – and after never having even met me – in communication with Lucille Hughes, Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) regarding my ‘dangerousness’. The Lucille, Dafydd and Tony who were facilitating a paedophile ring in north Wales. Many of the decisions to remove babies from mothers giving birth at St Georges were made in consultation with psychiatrists from St Georges – the psychiatrists who knew about the serious criminal activities of Dafydd Alun Jones et al in north Wales but who colluded with them and said nothing about their wrongdoing….

The ‘Guardian’ is reporting on a major industrial dispute in NHS England that is getting remarkably little attention – but then it doesn’t involve Top Doctors or Angels. This dispute involves some genuinely very badly paid NHS workers – the cleaners of Barts NHS Trust. They are not actually employees of Barts or indeed of the NHS because of course the cleaning contract has been outsourced, in order to pay the cleaners even less. The cleaners are working for Serco, some shifts start at 4am in the morning and some of the cleaners are in their 60s with health problems. The workforce involved is mostly female and substantially made up of ethnic minorities. So among all these media allegations of ‘nurses going to food banks because their pay is so low’ – no, nurses’ pay is not that low, it is not high but it is above the UK average – here is a group of workers who really are being exploited and paid dreadfully. So where’s the outcry then? I’m glad to note that Jeremy Corbyn is supporting them, but there’s a conspicuous absence of other high profile names who have tripped over themselves to spout off about junior doctors not being able to live on their salaries and of course all those nurses down at the food banks. There is one glaring inaccuracy in the ‘Indie’ report though. It states that Florence Nightingale knew the value of hygiene. She didn’t – Florence had quite a casual attitude to hygiene, it was all a bit Mid-Staffs. When Florence was told of the existence of ‘germs’, she refused to believe that they existed on the grounds that something that small wasn’t possible. So she continued to walk through the wards giving everyone a dose of the deathly lamp.

 

BBC News Wales online has had much coverage of the commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele over the last few days. There has been much remembering of the fallen. As the Betsi continues to exterminate people with mental health problems whilst boasting about it’s experts, I think that it’s about time that we remembered the now hundreds of people who have died in the face of all this expertise. I suggest a Tomb of the Unknown Service User with an eternal flame to counteract the constant stream of propaganda from Higson et al.

 

News Round Up – And Another Top Doctor Goes To Prison

This morning the Daily Post online is telling us all that the Betsi has overspent it’s budget by £80 million in the last three years, according to a report from the Welsh Auditor General. Janet Finch-Saunders, the Conservative AM for Aberconwy, is quoted as someone ‘who has previously spoken out about the underfunding of the NHS by the Welsh Gov’t’. Today Janet is maintaining that she ‘welcomes’ the Welsh Gov’t covering the extra spend, but ‘given that they are monitoring the Betsi’s finances, they should have taken action to ensure it didn’t get into this position’. Janet gives some suggestions as to how this could be achieved – for example by the Welsh Gov’t allocating a more generous initial budget or by the Betsi ‘weaning themselves’ off wasteful practices such as the use of ‘highly expensive agency workers’. The Post mentions that for two years of the overspend, the Betsi was in special measures after being placed in there by former Health Minister Mark Drakeford and that the financial problems have been managed through the NHS escalation framework, which brings the Welsh Gov’t, the Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales together to manage the solution. The present Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has stated that ‘cash support’ will continue to be provided when required to all Health Boards to enable them to meet normal cash commitments including payroll expenditure and that cash assistance is repayable in future financial years when appropriate. A Betsi spokeswoman has been quoted as saying that the Board need to improve their quality and performance whilst safely reducing operating costs and that their Action Plan for 2017/18 starts to address this.

There is much to comment upon here. First, one wonders why Janet Finch-Saunders, as a fully paid up member of the fiscal responsibility party, is urging the Welsh Gov’t to throw even more money in the direction of this Board of fools and fuckwits. It is a Board dominated by the likes of Dr Peter Higson, Martin Jones, Grace Lewis-Parry, Lyn Meadows et al who have for years stuffed up big time in every role to which they have been appointed. None of them should have been allowed near this Health Board and things are not going to improve until they are removed, it is as simple as that. The reason that the Betsi is spending so much on agency staff is principally because no-one will work for them so dire is their reputation, but also because the Top Doctors and Angels who staff the nation’s NHS are fully aware that they can earn more by working for an agency than by conventional employment and that is why a lot of them choose to do so. It is a well-established scam that has been growing and growing for years and no-one has sought to address it – indeed before it was quite such a popular scam elsewhere, it was known to be a substantial problem in the North West Wales NHS Trust when one Martin Jones was the CEO. Can anyone spot a theme here? Of course the reason why honest capable staff won’t work for the Betsi is that they don’t want to work for a dysfunctional organisation rife with bad or frankly dangerous practices. Had politicians like Janet been honest about these practices which have been in place for many years now, bad practice could have been stopped and the Betsi would not now be comatose on the floor. But Janet and nearly everybody else said nothing at all – indeed Janet herself was even telling mental health charities not to send dissatisfied patients to her because she didn’t want to deal with their cases. So as usual too many people stood with the Top Doctors and Angels and ignored the terrifying mortality rates. But Janet is not the only one mentioned above who has added to the problems of the NHS in north Wales by colluding with abusive, lethal practitioners. Mark Drakeford knew damn well how dreadful things were, both throughout the years when he was special advisor to Rhodri Morgan and until he was finally forced to put the Betsi in special measures when Tawel Fan blew up in his face. But then this former social worker had received a long training in turning a blind eye to abuse and malpractice and instead sat around a table talking to the unions who were protecting their own members rather than the people who some of those members were harming (see post ‘News Round Up, June 11 2017’). As for the NHS escalation framework that is ‘managing the situation’, the troika of the Welsh Gov’t, Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales – the Welsh Gov’t no longer knows what to do in the face of this disaster (my co-researcher has suggested that someone just appoints the Chuckle Brothers in the place of the Betsi Board) and HIW ignored the slaughter and mayhem in the north Wales NHS for years (of course it did, it’s CEO was Peter Higson, who’d previously overseen the horror story that was the North Wales Hospital – Higson is now of course Chair of the Betsi). What about the Auditor General, Huw Vaughan Thomas? Well he featured in my post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’. He was Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council whilst their social services had been infiltrated by a paedophile gang and prior to that he had been Chief Exec of Denbighshire – whose social services had also been infiltrated by the paedophile gang! I’m sure that he’ll do a brilliant job of sorting it all out.

Vaughan mentioned that Health Boards will continue to receive extra cash, although he did make mention of the cash being repayable in certain circumstances. In other words, whoever finally takes over at the Betsi once Higson et al just HAVE to be removed will then be left to clear up the mess on a shoestring after Higson, Grace and Martin have broken the bank. Does Vaughan think that he’ll receive many applications for future ‘leadership roles’ at the Betsi? As for his generous offer to carry on bailing out Health Boards across Wales, let us look at how some of that tax-payers cash was spent by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

In 2009 Cardiff and Vale employed a gynaecologist called Dr Anthony Madu and paid him nearly £100k pa (the Betsi pay Martin Jones and Grace even more). Anthony Madu has just been sent to prison for two years, after failing to repay the NHS over £70k as ordered by a previous court – £70k that he defrauded them out of, by continuing to work as a locum whilst he was initially suspended and then on extended sick leave for ‘stress’. Whilst receiving sick pay from Cardiff and Vale, Madu worked at Middlesborough’s James Cook University Hospital, Sandwell General Hospital Birmingham, Scarborough General Hospital and the Royal Oldham General Hospital, Greater Manchester. I have a friend who lives in Scarborough who tells me that Scarborough Hospital has a similar reputation to the hospitals in north Wales and thus good doctors won’t work there. I suspect that the other hospitals that Madu moonlighted at will also have had similar problems. Madu had actually been found guilty of fraud in 2014 but had been spared jail on condition that he repaid the £70k. He appealed against the decision, lost but failed to repay the money anyway, hence the prison sentence. Although he was only ordered to repay £70k, the cost to the hospitals was calculated to have been £240k and he transferred £95k to a Nigerian bank account in an attempt to cover his tracks. So Madu was being treated pretty leniently. Yet there had been problems before he started fiddling – in 2009 he was suspended by Cardiff and Vale as a result of allegations relating to his conduct towards other staff and allegations that he’d falsified his post-graduate training record. And it seems that the GMC knew all about him! They had investigated him and placed restrictions on his practice – which he ignored. He also failed to co-operate with investigations. But no, they didn’t strike him off, so he just turned up at other hospitals in England. But Madu had been in trouble before he ever arrived at Cardiff and Vale. He had previously worked at the Royal Bolton Hospital and had mismanaged a labour so badly that the baby died. Weeks later Madu was employed by Cardiff and Vale. The inquest on the baby wasn’t held until 2012, but when it was held the coroner denounced Madu as an ‘unimpressive witness…largely unreliable’. No charges were brought against Madu, although the Royal Bolton did apologise to the baby’s parents.

At the conclusion of Madu’s previous trial, Judge David Wynn Morgan praised Cardiff and Vale for taking action against Madu when they caught him fiddling and stated that ‘it may be that tragedy was avoided by the timely actions of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’. Tragedy wasn’t avoided – a baby had already died, but not at Cardiff and Vale. No doubt had Madu caused any tragedies at Cardiff and Vale no-one would have been told anyway. Had Cardiff and Vale been told about the dead baby at Bolton when they employed Madu? If so, why did they employ him? Did they know about his run-ins with the GMC? If they didn’t know about any of this, why didn’t they? Who supplied Madu with references, either for Cardiff and Vale or any of his other jobs? Is there going to be an investigation into any of this or indeed into the GMC failing to stop him? I very much doubt it. Madu was known to be a problem at the Royal Bolton and they did what is always done with problematic doctors – they passed him onto someone else.

I can only compare the case of Madu, who had killed a baby and then swindled again and again yet was given chance after chance, with that of Dr Sian Caiach. Sian was a surgeon working in Wales who in about 2000 discovered two of her colleagues perpetuating a fraud by using NHS facilities to treat private patients without declaring it. Sian reported them to the Wales Audit Office. The WAO investigated and found that the fraud reported by Sian had indeed been committed. Those doctors were not dismissed. Nonetheless, Sian was suspended, sacked and eventually prevented from practicing by the GMC. At one point the rationale for stopping her working was that she would damage the ‘mental health’ of her colleagues. Presumably they might feel a bit anxious lest she discover what they were up to. Years later Sian was permitted to practice again after being subjected to the most offensive comments from the GMC – but only under very restricted circumstances. Honest whistleblowing surgeon with a commitment to the NHS? Christ we hadn’t better let her loose. It seems that Sian is too honest for party politics as well – her name was on the Plaid candidate list but was removed. Yet numerous members, councillors and politicians of that party were involved in colluding with the abuses in the mental health services and children’s homes in north Wales.

I mentioned earlier that a Betsi spokeswoman had stated that they needed to improve their quality and their performance. So how are they doing? Well, according to the BBC News Wales site, it’s business as usual. A 75 year old lady was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and died shortly after, having experienced the sort of dreadful care of the elderly that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is well-known for. The old lady suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clywd in Nov 2015 after a fall at home causing her to break her femur. She was given surgery and transferred to the HDU (High Dependency Unit). The trouble occurred when she was then transferred to an orthopaedic ward. Her family raised concerns when they discovered her sitting in her own faeces and after they had to visit her out of hours to give her food and drink because this wasn’t being done by the staff. The old lady’s son was told by a nurse that she had been ‘spoiled’ on the HDU (where presumably the staff actually did what they were paid to do). The old lady then developed pneumonia and died. At the inquest the conclusion was recorded as accidental death with the fall as a contributing factor. Which would seem to be a complete lie. The old lady’s family took their complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who upheld their complaint, stating that there had been inappropriate communication, inadequate nursing care and that the elderly lady had been admitted to an inappropriate ward. To show how seriously that the Ombudsman took the matter of an old lady being left sitting in her own crap whilst being given no food or drink, subjected to non-existent ‘nursing care’ – whilst her family were insulted by the staff – and then dying, he awarded the old lady’s family the grand total of £250. Martin Jones spends about that on a pair of his infamous cufflinks. As always though, the learning has been embedded and the service users empowered. The Betsi has stated that it has tackled the problem by appointing doctors from a range of backgrounds to support geriatric patients on orthopaedic wards, with a consultant to lead the service. Which seems to be missing the point – in this case it was the Angels who had disgraced themselves rather than the Top Doctors. Furthermore, ‘staff have received training in dignity and respect for patients’. Should this have been needed? If I were looking after a bed-ridden friend or relative even I would not leave them sitting in turds. But then I’m not an Angel.

As with Huw Vaughan Thomas, Mark Drakeford, HIW et al, there is a legacy involved with the problem that this old lady encountered. Elderly care at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been absolutely dreadful for many, many years as detailed in my post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’. Staff ensured that their own families did not end up there and some ten years ago a retired Professor from Bangor University, Clare Wenger, was so appalled by what she witnessed as a patient there that she compiled a dossier and sent it to over 100 people. Clare Wenger’s specialism was in old age care and she had led a major 20 year study into this which was funded by the Department of Health. Notwithstanding all this, Clare Wenger was denounced as a stuck up old cow who expected special treatment. The elderly continued to be neglected and abused and throughout it all the former CEO of the Trust that ran Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before the Betsi was created, Gren Kershaw, was awarded the accolade of Best Chief Executive in the UK by ‘Nursing Times’. Kershaw has now retired and works as a ‘management consultant’. And the elderly are still neglected and abused by the staff who voted for him to be given an award by ‘Nursing Times’.

Now another story from the Daily Post online, combining two common themes of this blog, politics and the Betsi. It has been announced that Plaid and the Tories have gone into coalition to run Conwy Council. So the Counci leader is now Gareth Jones and his Deputy is Cheryl Carlisle. Gareth is a Plaid Councillor and is the former AM for Aberconwy. Many years before that Gareth was a member of a panel that conducted one of the numerous investigations that was held into the sexual abuse of children in care in Clwyd. So Gareth knew that there was a serious problem – but like so many people he’s remained silent for years. However he has announced that the new Cabinet is an ‘open administration based on inclusiveness and transparency’. If Gareth is now going all inclusive and transparent it’ll be a first for him. As for Cheryl – well she’s a Conservative and is a member of the Betsi Board! Cheryl now holds the Cabinet portfolio for ‘children, family and safeguarding’. We should just be thankful that it’s not Gareth overseeing those particular matters. The Plaid group in Conwy seem to have done something odd. There had been a previous agreement for Plaid, Labour and the Independent Group to work together, but this backfired when much of the Plaid Group voted for Gareth Jones in the leadership election. What can be going on? But then something else peculiar happened this week involving Plaid. Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym, a policy advisor for Plaid, publicly announced that they would be willing to support the Tories on ‘some matters’. Now some people are saying that they have no problem with that if it benefits Wales, but Leanne Wood – Plaid’s leader – and many of her colleagues, loathe everything about the Tories and have made ‘no deals with Tories under any conditions ever’ a central theme within Plaid. How does Leanne feel about her colleagues snuggling up to the Tories? Plaid are really proud of Eurfyl ap Gwilym because he famously floored Paxman on ‘Newsnight’ a few years ago. However, he does sometimes take surprising stances. I was at a conference where he spoke some years ago and he provided a devastating critique of Blair’s H.E. policy. I much appreciated this, because Blair imposed an ill thought out policy on UK universities which was never going to work with the staffing and funding available and it did very great damage, resulting in, among other things, a vicious snobbery between different universities. But Eurfyl seemed to be firing his ammo at the wrong people. After stating that he was an ‘unashamed elitist’, he went on to put the boot into graduates from less prestigious universities who had found themselves working at Tesco, saying that they didn’t deserve anything other than a job in Tesco. Those graduates were very much the victim of the problem not the cause. Most of them did not know that a degree from Glyndwr University doesn’t have the same currency as a degree from a Russell Group institution – New Labour led them to think that once one had a degree, one would waltz into a well paid professional job immediately after graduation. They were conned and it was not their fault. Furthermore, going to university on large amounts of borrowed money was sold to them on the promise of high salaries after graduation – no-one mentioned widening their horizons or gaining a liberal education or critical thinking skills, it was the mythical ‘graduate premium’ that was used as the carrot. Meanwhile the kids of Cabinet Ministers carried on applying for places at Oxbridge because their parents knew that there was a difference in status between institutions. As for deserving to work in Tescos – I’m not sure that anyone deserves the fate of that particular regime, where it’s minimum wage on the tills and insults from harried customers as well as a supervisor of questionable quality breathing down your neck. Perhaps Eurfyl would like to give it a go himself. I did try to speak to Eurfyl after his presentation when everyone started on the wine and nibbles, but he blanked me and proceeded to work his way around the room only speaking to the most important people there. People nearly as important as him.

Plaid’s cosy relationship with the Tories has echoes of the historical arrangement that this blog has revealed with regard to the child abuse in the north Wales children’s homes in the 70s, 80s and 90s. That abuse – as well as the linked abuse in the mental health services – was facilitated by many members of Plaid and their representatives, whilst certain Tory Ministers sat at the top of the tree concealing the whole mess. Meanwhile the likes of Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and Conservative MP for Chester, and Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, actually abused the children in care themselves. The state bureaucrats who grossly mismanaged the local authorities, as well as the health and care professionals, occupied various positions in the pecking order below them. Thus a whole structure was kept in place. The only people who didn’t benefit were the kids/patients – they were coerced into providing sexual services and either died, or spent a lifetime travelling in and out of places like Risley Remand Centre or the North Wales Hospital if they dared complain about what was happening to them.

Now I have arrived at one of my running themes on the blog – highly paid people who are pissing all over the rest of us whilst caring – I can report that my mates the BMA have been in the news again. Specifically the BMA GPs representatives. A Dr Sophie Quinney, representing a group called ‘Wales For GP Survival’, has been making claims that GPs are retiring early or cutting down their hours ‘to stay sane’. Which is odd, because I thought that they retired in their mid 50s because their pension pots were so big that they didn’t have to go on until they dropped. Furthermore, despite any stress that their job does involve – and if you’re a GOOD GP it is stressful – the GPs that I know who chose to work part-time were all honest enough to admit that they were so well-paid that they could just work three days a week and still live very comfortably. But members of the BMA representing GPs have been crawling out of the woodwork everywhere with their tales of woe and they all seem to be giving out the same message – that is, if the Gov’t doesn’t do what we say, we will all stop working and then what will you do? I presume that there has been a BMA conference somewhere and they all voted to take a leaf out of the book of Violet Elizabeth Bott i.e. that they would thcweam and thcweam until they were thick.

Indeed, one of those participating in the thcweaming is someone known to me, Dr Graham Thomas, who works in the Corwen Health Centre. Graham has appeared in the Daily Post online urging ‘politicians and patients to put pressure on the Betsi Board to help the practice out’. Graham is rattled because his surgery is in danger of losing it’s Rural Support Payment of £52k which it has received – presumably from the Betsi – for the last 15 years. The Post reports that this is a ‘cry from the heart’ and that Graham, as a GP, ‘speaks from experience’. Graham states that if the Betsi takes over the management of the practice – Graham is suggesting that if the Rural Support Payment is not forthcoming that is what will have to happen – patients will have longer waiting times. He makes reference to the time a few years ago when he assisted at the practice when it was managed by the Betsi and says that ‘I just knew that I was unable to give the time and attention that some of those patients required’. Now I happen to know that although he is a very capable doctor, Graham Thomas is also capable of very great deceit and like Councillor Gareth Jones mentioned earlier, Graham often keeps schtum about terrible things when he shouldn’t. I know this because I used to live in the same village as him, I was in the same hill walking club as him and I used to know him very, very well. He made quite big efforts to cultivate my company, just at the time when I had started making it known that I intended to publish my truly dreadful experiences with the mental health services. Graham knew exactly how bad those services were because he used to work at the Hergest Unit and he saw the neglect, the abuse and indeed the deaths himself. He did not raise any concerns with anyone. He still did not raise any concerns when he left the Hergest Unit and worked in the area as a GP. He still said not a word when he became a more senior GP. He knew that the Hergest was dreadful and he didn’t even bother to send his own patients there, but he did not raise a concern. Neither did he raise concerns when members of the staff at the Hergest Unit were perjuring themselves in an attempt to ensure that I ended up in prison. He knew about it, because I lived just down the lane from him at the time and he used to regularly ask me what I was going to do about the threats and harassment that I was receiving from his colleagues. Although Graham knew how bad many of the staff working in the mental health services were, he was still happy to ensure that they acquired yet another dodgy doctor. On one occasion I got into conversation with a psychiatrist in the hill walking group who had just taken a job at the medium secure unit in Llanfairfechan. I asked him why he had come to Wales and he told me that he hadn’t been able to gain employment after some unspecified hoo ha in his last job. But Dr Graham Thomas had very kindly helped him out and got him a job in north Wales! At one point some charming character threw dog turds at my house. Graham admitted that he knew who did it. I told him that I wanted to report this matter to the police – so Graham refused to reveal the identity of the culprit. He also knew that his colleagues were slandering me. I only discovered the extent of this when he asked me for advice. He had fallen out with a charity that he had been involved with – although I wasn’t ever sure of the details – but it seemed that he believed that they were accusing him of unlawful practices. He was worried that his reputation would be damaged and didn’t know what to do to challenge it. So he asked me for advice, as someone whom he knew to have been subjected to a smear campaign – by his own colleagues. The last time that Graham and his wife spoke to me was after I told them that I had finally had a bellyful of the mental health services and that I had instructed my lawyers to begin action and that I had every intention of one day publishing everything that I had witnessed. Graham and his wife Casi never spoke to me again.

I suspect that as in the case of Professor Catherine Robinson, someone else who was colluding with a great deal of wrongdoing, Graham only ever befriended me to find out what I knew about his colleagues and where or when I was going to publish and was very probably relaying everything that I told him straight back to those we know and love. Two other very odd things happened to me during the time when I was socialising with Graham and Casi. I was looking for a house to rent and I viewed one near where they lived. I told them that I had viewed it and they were very encouraging about it. So I handed over the deposit, rent etc and moved in. After a few weeks it was clear that not only did the landlady have quite serious problems herself but that there were a lot of structural problems with the house that were so bad that they constituted a health and safety risk. I mentioned them to Graham one day who, it transpired, knew all about them. He also knew that previous tenants had moved out of the house after discovering what I had discovered and had also had problems with the landlady. I didn’t remember him telling me about any of that when he encouraged me to move in. The other experience was even more weird. One day after my car broke down, Graham made a very generous offer. He had a car that he could sell me, at an incredibly low price. He said that he was more than happy to do a favour for a friend and I greatly appreciated being able to acquire the car. About a month later, I was driving the car when I was rammed from behind by a man who then became phenomenally aggressive when I asked him for his details. I persevered and eventually I extracted his name, insurance details etc from him. I discovered later that he was a retired officer from the North Wales Police – who I had begun to have quite a lot of problems with by then. In fact during the time that I lived a few doors down from Graham an awful lot of bizarre things happened to me, usually at the hands of people who I then discovered were friendly with Graham and Casi. After I left the village, I found out that Graham and Casi had over the past few years been asked to leave numerous chapels, community organisations and charities. Like me, a lot of people had some very odd experiences with them. I’m glad to hear that it’s onward and upward for them though – Casi is now aiming for ordination in the Church In Wales! And Graham obviously is going to thcweam and thweam until he’s sick. At the time that he was so keen to discover what action I was planning to take against his negligent, abusive, criminal colleagues, Graham was the BMA’s representative for the GPs group in north Wales.

Graham has already recruited one politician to his cause. Llyr Huws Grufydd has publicised Graham’s demand for £50k as a ‘cry for help from a busy rural GP practice’. But then Llyr described Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing home’ Ty Gwyn as a ‘beacon of excellence’, as it imploded after the population gradually realised what a scam it was. Llyr is a Plaid AM for north Wales. Unless he’s joined the Tories by now.

The Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu was alleged to have said that ‘if you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by’. As far as I can see if you watch the north Wales media for long enough the names of the people involved in the most dreadful abuses of their positions will float by.

 

 

 

Electioneering and Other News

The various ‘leaders’ of the main political parties are all participating in ‘Ask The Leader’ sessions for the BBC at the moment. I am so disillusioned with our democratically elected representatives that I haven’t bothered to watch these screenings – furthermore I can predict what most of them are going to say. However there’s no escaping the Strong Woman on her Independence Journey – highlights of her session last night are featured on BBC News Wales online today. Once more I understand that Leanne is demanding another medical school in Wales – presumably this will be the one at Bangor that Plaid have been begging for recently, to be based on the ‘excellent’ healthcare research at Bangor University and the ‘excellence’ to be found among their partners, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Not only has this blog detailed some of the very dodgy research and associated practices that has been going on in the healthcare and psychology research groups at Bangor, but I began writing this blog in response to the genocide and chaos that is prevailing at the Betsi. The Betsi is of course still in special measures, although their delusional Chairman Peter Higson only days ago was waxing lyrical about how they expected to be released from special measures early. So imagine my surprise when, as I was checking BBC News Wales online this morning, I discovered that Nick Bennett, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, is so concerned about the number of complaints that he is receiving about the Betsi that he’s going public about it. Well there’s a solid foundation for Leanne’s medical school to be built on.

Leanne also waxed lyrical about the need to increase funding to the security services and the police – so Leanne’s flying the law n order flag! (Well along with Hywel Williams and Elfyn Llwyd she did beg for a prison in north Wales which will house dispossessed people with mental health and drug problems.) As is Jeremy Corbyn – it seems that no party leader dares do otherwise in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack. But this is a little odd coming from Leanne. Leanne tried to derail the criminal investigation into the north Wales paedophile ring that caused havoc in north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Furthermore, it has now been admitted that one reason why many of the members of that paedophile gang were never brought to book was that there was extensive police corruption involved, particularly among the North Wales Police – Gordon Anglesea WAS a senior officer in the North Wales Police and justice only caught up with him last year when he was finally imprisoned for child abuse – and there were also rogue members of the security services involved. The public figures whom it is now acknowledged were involved with that gang, such as Thatcher’s PPS Peter Morrison, MP for Chester, would all have been ‘vetted’ by the security services – they will have known what he was doing, ‘vetting’ by the security services does not merely consist of two references from previous employers. The corruption at the Welsh Office and Home Office in the 80s and 90s that has been detailed on this blog which enabled abuses to continue unchecked in the mental health services and children’s homes in north Wales will undoubtedly have been known about by the security services. Then there are all the other rumours that swirled around north Wales in the 80s – that the security services were agent provocateurs in the holiday home arson campaign, and that they were involved with the attempts of corrupt police officers to frame people like Bryn Fon and Dewi Prysor. Of course no-one is sure of what was going on – the security services are also known as the secret services so they do tend to keep things secret. I very much doubt that joining up is anything like the Python sketch where someone applies to join, is asked ‘can you keep a secret?’, replies ‘yes’ and is then told ‘well you’re in’. But maybe Leanne does think that it works like that. Even so, surely it must have occurred to her that if there were rogue elements in the security services colluding with a paedophile ring whose victims kept being found dead, the investigation into THEM will now be even more sensitive. I very much doubt that it would even be done by a named group within the security services – how could it be, the info would be at risk of leaking immediately. Ditto investigations into police corruption – it’s not going to be bloody Z cars. Leanne, all your promises of extra money and plods will do is supply more dosh and plods to the ones who aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing. The ones who’ve been stitching up the victims of the mental health services and the paedophile ring for the last thirty years. But maybe that’s exactly what Leanne wants. After all, this blog has named a number of Plaid politicians and candidates who undoubtedly colluded with the abuses of the mental health services who were in turn concealing the paedophile gang. I have mentioned before that I have seen signs that there is a major criminal investigation still continuing in north Wales. They’re not going to tell you what they’re doing Leanne. Even after the terrorist attack. They might keep wheeling out Gov’t spokespeople and quoting the numbers of people under surveillance and the number of plots that have been foiled – but do you really believe any of it? It’s a secret! They won’t be telling anyone anything. And they don’t need to – UK legislation relating to organised crime and terrorism is now so draconian that the security services can read any electronic communication, can put anyone under surveillance and can pretty much do anything anywhere anytime without seeking permission. My co-researcher and I are currently digging further into the miscarriages of justice that seem to be related to the paedophile ring and the mental health services, as well as the corruption in police and legal circles and the successive cover-ups – it’s a slow process because we are having such trouble accessing original documentation, but we have discovered a few interesting things which I’ll be blogging about soon. Of course many of the biggest names involved are now dead – which is probably the only reason why we’ve been able to get our paws on the documents – but there are a few folk still with us who did a lot of things that they shouldn’t have…

Talking of dodgy police, the media are reporting on the failure of a Steve Curtis to win his unfair dismissal case against The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). Steve Curtis is a former acting assistant Chief Constable of the North Wales Police who resigned from his post at the BASC after getting drunk at a sumptuous hotel do and swearing at and threatening to kill Alasdair Mitchell, the BASC’s director for the north of England. Curtis then claimed that he was left with no option but to resign, stated that there was a conspiracy against him at the BASC that had destroyed his ‘trust and confidence’ in them which breached his contract and therefore he had been unfairly dismissed. Which is an interesting way of repacking a resignation after you’ve threatened to murder your boss.

I made reference earlier to the dodgy research from Bangor University that I have previously detailed on the blog. One of the biggest scams was Professor Mark Williams and his claim to have witnessed miracles with Mindfulness (please see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Williams et al have been very successful in persuading journos and celebs to endorse mindfulness and one of their most enthusiastic mouthpieces is Ruby Wax. Ruby’s official bio is that she endured years of mental health difficulties, went from therapist to therapist with no luck but her life was then transformed after pursuing Williams’s MA in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy at the University of Oxford. After this Ruby started popping up in the media saying that she had a Masters in ‘Brain Science’, but I presume that a real brain scientist must have threatened to do her for misrepresentation because she then started talking simply of a Masters in MBCT. She talked about how she never thought of herself as clever until Mark spotted her huge potential (I bet he did) and allowed her onto his course without any qualifications. (I hate to burst your bubble Ruby but Mark’s Masters in Mindfulness at Bangor was exactly the same deal – no qualifications needed, just ‘life experience’. And the handing over of dosh obviously.) Ruby has appeared in the online Guardian, again talking about her depression and the Masters in MBCT. Ruby explains that her children didn’t realise that she was ill until they were in their mid teens because her husband ‘covered up’ for her. So she can’t actually have been that unwell then. If Ruby really had suffered from severe depression for years, her kids would have known all about it and no-one would have been able to ‘cover up’. So I suspect that Ruby’s much publicised ‘bipolar disorder’ (or as she’s framing it in the Guardian at present ‘depression’) was the celebs version – feeling a bit ropey periodically. It won’t have been the one that the nutters experience – unable to work or look after themselves for years, downward social spiral ending in homelessness and destitution. Ruby’s like the other MIND ambassadors, they seem to do remarkably well whilst suffering from severe mental illnesses. Alistair Campbell directed Blair’s election campaigns, kicked the BBC in the knackers and intimidated so many people to such a degree that Dr David Kelly was found dead in the midst of it all; Stephen Fry became a millionaire and did QI and God knows how many other programmes/films/plays/books and Melvyn Braggg did In Our Time every week on Radio 4, wrote a few books and managed to get into the House of Lords. My God, the Hergest Unit patients need to take a few lessons from them, they just all go to prison or die. As well as shedding light on the ‘severity’ of her mental health problems, Ruby’s interview in the Guardian confirms something else that I have long since suspected. That her Masters from Oxford University in MBCT actually  only took ‘three days a week every few weeks’. Now most people with a Masters have beavered away solidly for a year for about 50 hours a week at least… I do not know why they bothered though. In 2015, Ruby, with nothing more than her ‘lived experience’ of ‘mental illness’ and her ‘Masters’, was appointed a visiting Professor in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Surrey. Which is gobsmacking, because when I worked there in the late 80s, they were the one university that was desperately trying to get nursing taken seriously as an academic subject. This was spearheaded by one Rosemary Crow, who it was widely joked, ‘must be the only nurse in the country with a PhD’. (In those days it was very unusual to find a nurse with a Bachelors degree.) I see that Professor Rosemary Crow is still associated with the University of Surrey. I’m not sure that Ruby’s appointment has done nurse education any favours. But then Ruby has proved to be the kiss of death before – she famously endorsed Kid’s Company…

Now for the sorry story of someone with mental health problems who has not had the benefit of Mark Williams’s Masters degree. Jodey Whiting, 42, from Durham, has killed herself after her ESA was stopped – she missed an appointment with JobCentrePlus after not seeing the letter telling her of her appointment. Jodey had previously worked as a shop assistant but had to retire early because of her multiple mental and physical health problems, which included a brain cyst and curvature of the spine. She suffered such severe chronic pain that she was on morphine. Ah, if only she’d concentrated on the breath, sat comfortably on a chair whilst remaining silent, planted both feet firmly on the floor and lived in the moment – she’d still be alive. And probably a millionaire celeb with a Masters from Oxford.

 

How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?

I’m indebted to a reader from Bangor who has sent me this – as Cyril Fletcher would have said on ‘That’s Life’ in the 1970s, only at this point Fletcher would have made reference to a newspaper cutting with innuendo before the camera cut to Esther banging on about child abuse (and she really couldn’t ever remember that woman who popped up recently in the press informing us that she’d told Esther all about Savile years ago). However my reader has sent me a link to the North Wales Chronicle, which on May 14 published the results of a Betsi staff ‘survey’. Like many such surveys, one only has to have one brief read of the ‘results’ to conclude that it is flaky. The results are presented as a triumph for the Betsi Board – the staff ‘have a higher opinion of their bosses than they did three years ago’ (except that we are then told that a comparison is being made to the same type of survey conducted in 2013, which is more than three years ago). However, despite having a ‘higher opinion’ of their bosses, on all the following categories the staff have ‘far less confidence’ than in 2013: managers listening to employees, involving them in decisions, encouraging them to suggest ways of improving the service and managing change. Which pretty much sums up the role of the managers – so in what way did staff have a ‘higher opinion’ of them? We are not told. We are told however that 3,252 staff responded to the survey. That is a very small proportion of Betsi staff. I read a few weeks ago that they employ 6000 staff in their mental health division alone. So on that basis alone, statistically this survey is meaningless (although it is meaningless in other ways as well, because of the way in which the questions are phrased). Interestingly enough, the survey revealed that 82% of respondents stated that they were encouraged to report errors or incidents. This is not backed up by evidence. This blog hears again and again from staff confirming that the most appalling failings are being concealed and that managers do not want to hear ‘bad news’. The Tawel Fan scandal was revealed by a nurse who made an undercover recording – she did this because she tried to raise a concern internally about a member of staff assaulting a patient but was ignored. After she blew the whistle she was suspended, maliciously reported to the police which resulted in her being arrested but never charged and received anonymous threats. She now works in England. No member of staff reported any of the failings or abuses that I and other patients witnessed when I spent months – completely unnecessarily – in the Heddfan Unit. (Neither was my subsequent complaint investigated properly.) In recent inquests on patients who have died whilst in the ‘care’ of the Betsi, staff have lied in an attempt to conceal failings. Furthermore, a look at the Ombudsman’s website reveals that many complaints have been upheld against the Betsi. None of this would be happening if staff really were encouraged to report errors and incidents. The survey entertainingly tells us that 88% of staff are ‘happy to go the extra mile at work when required’. So 12% of them aren’t – is this not worrying in a care setting where ‘going the extra mile’ might be needed in a life-saving situation? So what if you’re the patient who has the unexpected heart attack when one of the 12% is just going off duty, putting their coat on and leaving? (I did once see a patient having an unexpected heart attack in the Hergest Unit. He keeled over and was in very great trouble. The consultant psychiatrist on duty watched, he actually watched. He then ordered a junior psychiatrist to carry out CPR – and the junior psychiatrist wasn’t sure how to do it. It was a nurse who was summoned by another patient who knew what to do, did it and almost certainly saved the man’s life. As she did her bit, the two psychiatrists strolled off. I presume they were both part of the 12%). Now for another 12%! It is of course the 12% of respondents who claim to have experienced ‘physical violence’ at work from ‘patients, service users, relatives or members of the public’. I do not believe this figure. If it were true, people who have spent time in hospitals – like me and correspondents to this blog – would all have witnessed a number of physical assaults on staff. We haven’t. I have only ever witnessed one ‘assault’ on a member of staff and that was when a confused, psychotic man threw a book at the dreadful Raj Sambhi. And even that might have been avoided if Sambhi had any communication skills. I have asked other patients and they too have never witnessed patients/families/the public assaulting staff – we have all witnessed staff being sworn at and sometimes spoken to very rudely, but not assaulted. However a number of us have been assaulted ourselves (usually in the Hergest Unit) or witnessed other patients being assaulted by staff. A number of us have experienced staff claiming that we had assaulted them when we didn’t. My own medical records contain letters from the Top Doctors own lawyers telling them that they had to stop documenting in affidavits that I had assaulted them because there was no evidence that I had (it didn’t stop the Top Doctors though, they just ignored their own legal advice). When Keith Thomson ad Martin Jones were running the North West Wales NHS Trust, florid allegations were constantly made about patients ‘attacking’ and ‘assaulting’ staff. This was routine if a patient had made a complaint. The system was particularly effective because the RCN ‘rep’ who was responsible for collecting these ‘statistics’ and giving lurid press interviews was a former Hergest nurse who was unable to work through disability but was offered the job as the RCN rep as a deal. He continued to receive a salary in return for concealing the mountain of shite at the Hergest and maintaining that the place was full of nutters launching assaults on the staff. I knew one of this man’s colleagues who was invalided out of nursing with exactly the same physical problem – Thomson and Martin refused to let him stay on. But then he and his wife, who was also a psychiatric nurse, had been honest enough to raise concerns about the standard of care at the Hergest Unit and had stated that the Unit was dangerous. The survey tells us that 17% of staff had experienced ‘harassment or bullying or abuse at work from patients/relatives/members of the public’. This tells us nothing – the Betsi construct patients writing repeated letters of complaint if their complaints aren’t dealt with as ‘harassment’ and psychotic patients swearing as ‘abuse’. Requests from patients that staff ignore are constructed as ‘bullying’ if patients repeat the requests. ‘Harassment’, ‘bullying’ and ‘abuse’ are very much in the eye of the beholder and the NHS uses very elastic definitions of these. However, the survey did state that 30% of staff are unwell due to work-related stress – which, if true, is an extraordinarily high number.

I first began to take an interest in ‘staff surveys’ in the NHS in north Wales when I found out what Keith Thomson and Martin Jones were doing in terms of ‘statistics’ in the North West Wales NHS Trust. But then something else happened that caused me to question very closely all ‘staff opinion’. A man called Gren Kershaw, the CEO of the Trust that was responsible for managing Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before the Betsi was formed, was voted by the staff in (I think) a Nursing Times ‘survey’ as ‘best CEO’ of an NHS Trust in the UK. I knew two people at the time who both knew him. One was a researcher at Bangor University who was a former nurse who had been serially sacked from a number of jobs and who was ‘leading’ a project in partnership with the NHS which subsequently imploded. She described Gren as ‘great’. The other person was a PhD student who told me that the ‘elderly wards’ at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd were terrible and that there was a massive cover-up – his sister was a nurse at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and was advising the wider family not to allow their grandmother to be treated at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Then I met someone at a seminar whose elderly terminally ill father had been in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – she described him being dumped on a commode and left there, ending up crying such was his distress, only to be insulted by the nurses. So she complained – and received aggression herself. This lady removed her father from the ‘care’ of Gren’s empire and he was cared for at home – they were fortunately a family who were able to afford to do this. But then there was evidence visible from space suggesting that all was not well in Grenland, despite his accolade. A retired academic from Bangor University, Professor Clare Wenger, was admitted to a ward for ‘older people’ in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and was truly horrified by what she saw. Clare Wenger was a specialist in old age care and knew bad practice when she saw it. And she certainly saw it at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. She compiled a detailed dossier listing all the gross events that she had witnessed and sent it to over 100 academic contacts so appalled was she. She appeared in the Daily Post and on Radio 4. The main thrust of her complaint was that which she had witnessed happening to other patients – extreme neglect. She did complain about the disrespect shown to herself but she took the view that she was a retired professor and could pretty much defend her own corner but the other very vulnerable patients couldn’t. Yet Clare Wenger was roundly abused and derided for daring to question the dear old NHS. Ysbyty Glan Clwyd entered a state of Complete Denial and constructed Clare Wenger as an insufferable snob who wanted ‘special treatment’ and the media followed suit. She was sneeringly referred to as the ‘lady professor’ who should have ‘gone private’. Now even if she had been the snobbiest old cow on earth, what everybody missed was that she wasn’t demanding special treatment for herself, she had been expressing serious concerns about the treatment meted out to the other patients. Nonetheless she was shot down in flames. Which is utterly bizarre, because not only is Clare Wenger an old age specialist but she has directed a number of major research projects concerned with the care and support of older people funded by the EU, the Department For International Development – and the Department of Health. Yes, the Department of Health paid Clare Wenger to lead a longitudinal study that lasted over 20 years looking at the ageing process and informal support. But when she dared raise concern about the abuse and neglect of elderly patients at Ysbyty Gwynedd that she had witnessed at first hand she was blown out of the water. So Clare was a stuck up cow and Gren was applauded in Nursing Times. And a few years later, the scandal at Tawel Fan broke. A ward for the elderly at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd where patients with untreated fractures crawled around naked on a floor covered in faeces and urine whilst nurses swore at them and discussed their sex lives. Probably the very same nurses who had voted Gren Top of The Chief Execs. No wonder they liked him – he shelled out the salaries and ignored complaints whilst they did sod all.

So what’s happened to Gren since the horrible truth about the hospital that he managed for so many years has become very public? He’s set up a management consultancy of course! Gren Kershaw Consulting Ltd. Registered office: 18 Bryntirion Drive, Prestatyn. Current accounts show £78-05k in the bank – that’s down £30.78k on the previous year, so Gren must have hit hard times. Furthermore, a Mr Grenville Robert Davison Kershaw was a company director from 18 March 2009 until 31 December 2015, whereupon he resigned. But on 31 December 2015, one Mrs Elaine Kershaw was appointed company director and she still is at present. If any readers could enlighten me regarding the scam that I suspect that Gren and his wife are operating I’d appreciate it.

As for the serially dismissed ex-nurse who was mates with Gren – well she has set up an ‘executive coaching’ business and her website boasts a rather untruthful CV. The Betsi have commissioned her to provide ‘training’ for the Top Doctors. I think even the Top Doctors would have seen through that ‘training’.

A Letter From Gary Doherty, The CEO of The Betsi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Reply From The Office Of The Information Commissioner

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

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

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

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

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

News Round-Up, March 24 2017

I’ve been so busy blogging over the past two days that I haven’t had time to follow up on some news items that were really all worth a blog post in their own right. I do want to give them a mention however, so here’s a review.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales had some damning comments regarding the public services recently. Public service bodies are failing to learn lessons because of complaints being handled in an inadequate way, the Ombudsman, Nick Bennett, said. He maintained that a ‘fear and blame’ culture needed to be tackled, describing the situation as ‘groundhog day’. These comments could have been made specifically about the mental health services in north Wales.

The Daily Post reported another grim story regarding the mental health services, this time concerning the very high number of face-down on the floor ‘restraint’ incidents at the Betsi. People who have never actually been into one of the acute mental health inpatient units in north Wales often believe that these units are full of violent dangerous patients needing to be thrown to the floor at regular intervals by staff to prevent dangerous assaults occurring. This is wholly untrue – some patients are difficult to be around but this is usually related to their condition and poor management on the wards and is unconnected to any ‘danger’ from them. However what patients who have been in some of those units do notice, particularly at the Hergest Unit, is how much pleasure some of the staff take in ‘restraining’ patients ie. jumping on them and pinning them to the floor. They so enjoy doing this that they do it for very trivial reasons. Furthermore, documentation is altered in the wake of patient complaint to portray ‘incidents’ as being far more serious than they were categorised as being before the complaint was made (please see blog posts ‘Who Is In Need Of Restraining?’ and ‘The Real Story Behind These Figures’). The incidents that I witnessed and most of the accounts that I have heard have involved the Hergest Unit, but I did hear an account of someone at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd who had been thrown to the floor and pinned down, in her view unnecessarily. The patient concerned asked the ‘nurse’ ‘why did you do that?’, only to be told ‘because I can’. Which just about sums it up – furthermore, I recognised the name of the nurse involved. Thirty years ago I had encountered him at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. He had obviously not changed one bit. I note from the Daily Post report that MIND, that well-known ‘voice of the service users’, have expressed concern. Yet this ‘restraint’ has been going on for decades and is no more than an excuse to assault patients and MIND has known about it for a very long time. Furthermore, one ‘MIND executive’ in north Wales is Robin Holden – a former Denbigh nurse who also worked as a nurse manager at the Hergest Unit.

There has been more media coverage of the drug problem that CAIS are being paid so much to provide ‘services’ to combat (please see recent blog posts). Previous media reports have centred upon Wrexham but yesterday the Daily Post were running a story about bins for used hypodermic needles in the public conveniences in Caernarfon being stuffed full to overflowing with needles, presenting a hazard to the public. (I seem to remember that one person who campaigned for the installation of those bins was Caernarfon’s MP, Hywel Williams, who is brimming over with these sorts of wonderful ideas that usually result in a disaster.) Today the Post is reporting that a ‘drug den’ in Bangor – a house in Mount Street – has been shut down by the police. The building has been sealed up for three months.

There has been further coverage of the inquests on Cerys Yemm and Matthew Williams from Argoed in south Wales – Williams had murdered Cerys shortly after being released from prison and then died himself after being tasered by the police (please see previous blog posts). It has now been revealed that not only was Williams released from prison with no medication for a serious mental illness that he was known to have, not only was he known to present a danger when he was ill, not only was he unable to access mental healthcare after he was released from prison, not only did he end up in completely inappropriate accommodation when he was released, but that he wrote a number of threatening letters to people when he was in prison and was judged to be capable of carrying out his threats.

The Betsi have surpassed themselves in their PR efforts with the following piece that appeared on their website, once more praising the dedication of one of their gynaecologists, Dr Simon Leeson http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/news/44376  This is a man who was the manager of a team that allowed a schoolgirl into an operating theatre to observe gynaecological procedures on unsuspecting patients (for the full background on Leeson and his colleagues, please see blog posts ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ and ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’). I note that someone who obviously knows nothing of what Simon Leeson gets up to has handed him £6000 for his ‘research’ into ovarian cancer to ‘help other women’ – I have explained in my blog post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ why some people who have actually worked in cancer research, including me, don’t give money to it…

An article appeared in the Daily Post website yesterday which is slightly outside of the usual remit of this blog but a reader e mailed to draw my attention to it, saying that it was so outrageous that it might be worth including. It was a feature concerning Beaumaris Town Council and I am covering it because I’ve now read something just as outrageous involving Gwynedd County Council. The report regarding Beaumaris Town Council featured a situation that the reader of the blog described as little short of embezzlement. The Town Council is planning to spend up to £1,000 a year renting a garage from the 12-year-old son, Dai Ifor Jones, of it’s own Mayor, Gwen Evans-Jones. It is claimed by Gwen Evans-Jones that Dai paid £13,000 for the garage – that is conveniently situated just behind the family home – from his pocket money, which ‘he’d saved up’. How much pocket money does he get?? Cllr Evans-Jones told the Daily Post that ‘everything is above board’ and that she left the council chamber when the arrangement was approved. The deal was also defended by the Town Clerk, Professor Trevor Ashenden, who confirmed that the Council had approached the youngster asking to rent the unit to store Council equipment no less. My correspondent pointed out that Trevor Ashenden has featured in the Daily Post before, when he sued his employers, Bangor University, maintaining that he’d been harassed by his manager, Dr Bridget Emmett, partly because he was gay http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/shot-to-bits-2932938

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/bullied-female-boss-2932874

The Mayor maintains that she is very proud of her son, stating that ‘we’ve always taught him’. Well he’s certainly learned how to disregard conflicts of interest and nepotism from someone.

Onto Gwynedd County Council. A row has blown up because it has been revealed that the Council, which is currently having to implement millions of pounds worth of cuts to public services, has splashed out on a top of the range coffee machine costing £2000 for one of it’s offices. The Council leader, Dyfed Edwards, has angrily defended the purchase of the coffee machine, stating that ‘decent coffee’ is the least that people can expect during the working day. Dyfed clearly doesn’t realise that decent coffee can be supplied by the provision of a kettle, a cafetiere and a packet of ground coffee for a lot less than £2k. However, there are a number of other ‘essentials’ that employees of Gwynedd County Council enjoy. Some five years ago I knew someone who had worked for them a while previously who always drove a rather expensive car, despite being on a low income and not being able to afford to run this car. He would not however sell it and buy something more economical. After a while I found out why. When he had worked for Gwynedd County Council, there had been an arrangement whereby he could lease this car – for £1/week. That’s not a misprint – he leased the car from the Council for one pound per week. Even more astonishingly, he kept the car after he was no longer employed by them – no-one followed it up. So ‘decent coffee’ is indeed the least that the employees of Gwynedd County Council expect. But staff of Gwynedd County Council employed in the housing department enjoyed another perk as well. I was told by two different sources that some of the housing officers responsible for collecting rent from the tenants of Gwynedd County Council properties also owned B&B accommodation housing homeless people. These housing officers had taken to evicting tenants from properties for very small amounts of arrears – they then rehoused the tenants that they had themselves evicted in the B&B accommodation that they owned. They charged a lot more for their B&B than the rent had been for the council properties, but housing benefit picked up the bill so that wasn’t a problem. The man responsible for the housing department when this was going on was one Ffrancon Williams. Gwynedd’s housing stock has now been transferred to a registered social landlord, CCG, but the staff were transferred along with the stock. Ffrancon Williams is now Chief Executive of CCG. I heard the other day that Ffrancon Williams is soon to take over the remit for ‘stakeholder engagement’ on the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Of course, Gwynedd County Council has never found money an object for causes that they are passionate about – along with the NHS, they spent a fortune on legal advice in an attempt to imprison me because I’d complained about the mental health services.

 

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.