News Round Up, June 8 2017

I’ve written a lot recently on this blog regarding the con that is CAIS, the Third sector organisation providing ‘substance misuse’ services. Previous posts have detailed the dodgy commissioning processes by which CAIS have received millions in funding from the Welsh Gov’t to provide services, including ‘service user involvement’ (see post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’), the huge contracts that they have been handed by the DWP despite their very limited success regarding ‘outcomes’, the scam that they seem to have operated to persuade George Osborne to cough up a lot of money (please see post ‘George Osborne Enters The Picture’) and the very questionable histories of many of the CAIS Trustees. I’ve also documented the burgeoning drug problem in parts of north Wales which suggests that CAIS are failing spectacularly in providing ‘services’. CAIS have now moved into the homelessness business, eg. providing ‘supported accommodation’. Again, a quick walk around Wrexham would suggest that CAIS are having bugger all effect in this domain. So I was certainly interested to read in the Daily Post online that a very angry lawyer in Wrexham has demanded that Wrexham Council should ‘get a grip’ on the drugs and homelessness problem – that’s the Wrexham Council that seems to have been tying itself in knots to ensure that the contracts for the ‘services’ to address drugs and homelessness are given to CAIS. The lawyer concerned, Mark Davies, has a client, Craig Nikolic, who has just been imprisoned. Mr Nikolic was imprisoned after he was found ‘asleep in Lord Street with his sleeping bag next to him’. Lord Street is the street in Wrexham where the homeless have been hanging out because it’s near the bus station, so they can go in there out of the rain (although it doesn’t provide much in terms of shelter, it’s usually freezing cold in there and the rain does get in), go to the loo, have a wash etc. Because they don’t have a home in which to do that. Mr Nikolic is a heroin addict and after being released from prison on an early release scheme he was ordered not to enter Wrexham town centre. But as his lawyer pointed out, he was homeless, so if he didn’t enter the town centre he had nowhere to wash etc. So he risked it and has been caught and returned to prison. The account of Mr Nikolic’s recent encounters with the Courts and law is fascinating because it makes it clear that this man is repeatedly ending up in prison because he doesn’t have anywhere to live. He is being punished far more harshly for his destitution than he has been for possession of illegal drugs. But then simply being very poor does now lead to people being criminalised. As if to rub in the dismal performance of CAIS where ‘tackling drugs’ is concerned, there have also been media reports of a recent major drugs bust in Llandudno with a number of dealers being arrested and the North Wales Police issuing a statement saying that they expected to make more arrests very soon – this has come hot on the heels of accounts of turf wars between drug dealers in the region, some of which have resulted in murders.

In my post ‘George Osborne Enters The Picture’ I mentioned that a recent initiative of CAIS has been the establishment of a place in Cardiff called the ‘Living Room’. I was puzzled to discover that the Living Room was providing ‘after care’ and ‘sociopsychological support’ to Cardiff GPs and questioned why highly paid Top Doctors were receiving the services of a charity when their own patients usually cannot access such support. I have now been given further information about the Living Room. I have been told that the distressed GPs receiving ‘services’ are actually Top Doctors with addiction problems and are encountering difficulties because, for example, they have lost their driving licences. Now alcohol problems are very common in medical practitioners and drug problems are not unknown, and of course doctors with such problems deserve help and support (although the irony is that certainly in north Wales the Top Doctors loathe people with drug and alcohol problems and usually refuse to treat them; that is how CAIS picked up the remit for providing ‘services’ (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron’). However CAIS is Chaired by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and is still very much a reflection of all that he holds dear and follows the model of business that he has followed for decades. And Dafydd has form for ‘helping’ people who have ended up coming unstuck as a result of their addiction problems. This ‘help’ usually simply involves extracting people out of the shit that their addiction has landed them in (at a price of course) rather than tacking the addiction. A nurse who had formerly worked at Dafydd’s ‘nursing home’ for veterans suffering from PTSD, Ty Gwyn, told me that there were very few veterans in Ty Gwyn, but there were a lot of people with addiction problems who had ended up being prosecuted so they had checked into Dafydd’s facility for a few weeks and in return Dafydd would write them a favourable Court report, although he had virtually not seen them at all whilst they had been patients at Ty Gwyn. I was also told by another person that Dafydd’s ‘medical reports’ were equally useful to people who had encountered problems with driving licences and their insurance. Indeed Dafydd is so good at helping people who are in danger of losing their licence as a result of drinking and driving that he attempted to rescue his own son when he appeared in Court on a drink driving charge. The Court were given a real tear-jerker, a story of how Dafydd’s son worked as Dafydd’s chauffeur, enabling Dafydd to pursue his heroic line of work with of course veterans (Dafydd has found that invoking the image of distressed soldiers works wonders), that Dafydd did much of this work free of charge no less and if his son lost his licence the patients would Suffer. The Court didn’t buy it – Dafydd is notorious in north Wales, to be fair to them the more honest local magistrates stopped believing anything that he said years ago – and his son lost his licence. It transpired that this chauffeur who spent his time assisting his dad patch up veterans was actually a student at Aberystwyth University. I seem to remember that it was on this occasion that someone in Court remarked that it was odd that Dafydd had obtained Legal Aid, being a highly paid very wealthy man. But as ever, no-one investigated further. Dafydd bending the rules to selflessly help patients has a long and noble history – sometime in the mid 1990s, a photo of him appeared on the front page of the Daily Post under the headline ‘He Saved A Life – And Got A Fine’. The reality was that Dafydd had been caught exceeding the speed limit somewhere along the north Wales coast – in a big way as well, it was something like 50mph in a 20mph zone – and when he was caught he claimed that he was on his way to rescue a suicidal patient who was standing on the Menai Bridge waiting to jump. It didn’t occur to him to call an ambulance then.

A Story Of Our Time appeared in the media yesterday. Jacqueline Grayson, the manager of ‘Treflys’, a care home in Llandudno, was summoned to a fitness to practice disciplinary hearing by Social Care Wales for sharing Facebook posts that the ‘presenting officer’ for Social Care Wales alleged were ‘anti-Islamic’ and ‘discriminatory’. Social Care Wales seem to have very little understanding of what Islamophobia and discrimination are. Ms Grayson had shared among a group of Facebook friends posts discussing whether the wearing of burkhas should be banned in public areas. Discussions regarding the wearing of full face veils or not are held among many Muslims. Mrs Grayson’s other sin was to share a Facebook post involving a golliwog. Yes, the golliwog originated as an offensive parody of a black person, but most people who were children in the sixties only knew the golly as a toy or a badge that could be acquired by collecting pictures of gollies from Robertsons jam jars. It seems that was the reference that Ms Grayson was making on Facebook. So Social Care Wales doesn’t know the difference between recent cultural history and racism so serious that it questions a social care professional’s fitness to practice. A number of people defended Ms Grayson at the hearing. One was a Romanian colleague who described Ms Grayson as being ‘amazing’ with staff and residents alike. Another one was a Mr Bhusan Ramnath, the proprietor of the care home and Ms’ Grayson’s employer. His wife was a Muslim and he was supporting Ms Grayson. The panel heard that there was no evidence that Ms Grayson had treated any Muslim resident in any way differently to any other resident. The panel concluded that Ms Grayson’s fitness to practice was not impaired but nonetheless her crime was serious that she was reprimanded.

So in a field – the care of elderly people – where bad practice and even abuse is endemic, Social Care Wales have gone to the trouble and effort to haul Ms Grayson up in front of them on the basis of some laughable evidence that did not in any way reflect on her capacity as the manager of a care home. There had been no complaint at all regarding her practice, just a ‘whistleblower’ – who was not identified – who spotted some Facebook posts that she had shared among her Facebook ‘friends’. Llandudno is only a few miles down the road from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. It was at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd that four years ago elderly patients in Tawel Fan ward were sworn at by staff, barricaded into their beds with items of furniture and left to crawl around naked on a floor that was covered in urine and faeces whilst staff discussed their sex lives. One patient was found to have an untreated fractured arm. No member of staff has been disciplined or prosecuted – except for the nurse who blew the whistle on all this who was suspended, arrested after being the subject of malicious allegations and also received threatening anonymous letters. She now works in England. The two inquiries into Tawel Fan have yet to be completed – one has been hindered by the staff refusing to co-operate. I know there to be much bad practice in privately owned elderly people’s homes, but what the Betsi, an NHS Health Board, continues to get away with is breath-taking.

The flagship prison at Wrexham, HMP Berwyn, which so delighted local politicians – just imagine, a warehouse with nearly 2000 people banged up inside, mostly people with mental health or addiction problems, how exciting! – has run into yet more problems. It is in breach of a number of it’s planning conditions eg. landscaping, the providing  of two bus shelters and producing certain certificates demonstrating that various standards have been met – and Wrexham Council are threatening action.

The crisis at Bangor University continues and the Vice-Chancellor has stated that the financial situation is so serious there that there will have to be redundancies and even pay cuts. The unions have hit the roof, have stated that staff will be ‘pushed into poverty’ and one of the union reps has suggested that one way of solving the crisis would be to sell the Vice-Chancellor’s house, which was purchased by the University for him. That house has been a running sore ever since it was purchased – I think people are making a mountain out of a molehill, it’s not THAT posh -and furthermore there was more fuming last year when it was revealed that the Vice-Chancellor’s bedroom had received a makeover and that new furniture purchased from Laura Ashley had been installed. The Daily Post even provided a photo of a Laura Ashley inspired bedroom to feed the readers imaginations, although the photo that they provided was the sort of bedroom that a contemporary Barbara Cartland might have favoured, all in pink. I’m not sure that Professor John Hughes would have exactly the same taste, but you never know. It has not occurred to the union rep that even if John Hughes’s residence was flogged, it would only raise about £1 million, if indeed that. It would last me quite a long time, but it wouldn’t keep Bangor University afloat for long, particularly as they are currently footing the salary bill for great swathes of staff in ‘health and social care research’ or ‘psychology/mental health research’ whose output is very questionable indeed (I have detailed some of this dodgy research in previous posts). There are also a lot of younger modestly paid staff working their butts off whilst more senior people rest on their laurels. Among the senior academics, some are wonderful, supporting students and carrying out first class research – but others should not be in their present jobs and everyone knows it. It is true that there are some very badly paid staff at Bangor – they are the cleaners, the catering staff etc. No-one bothers to fight very hard for them – when I worked at Bangor, the people who consistently made the most noise every time they feared that cuts cometh, were the less productive (in some cases frankly bloody lazy) staff on permanent contracts who had been there years. They didn’t REALLY fear their contracts being terminated either – it is very hard to get rid of academics with permanent contracts no matter how bad they are. In reality, it is the better staff on short-term contracts who get the chop if belts have to be tightened because the useless old farts fight tooth n nail to hang on to their very comfortable existence. This is going on in every university in the UK and it is a very big problem, it’s not just a disease that affects Bangor. However union reps at Bangor do seem to have a history of developing strange obsessions with the way that they imagine Vice-Chancellors are spending money. When I worked there, at one point the UCU rep, one Eileen Tilley, was frothing at the mouth about the money that the VC was alleged to have spent on his office desk – how on earth did she know how much he’d paid for it? I very much doubt that he’d showed her the receipt. When I made comments to this effect, she changed tactic and complained about the style of the desk that he’d purchased. Que??? (It had too much glass in it apparently so it wasn’t suitable.) Tilley continued to make extraordinary allegations – which I suspected were in the realms of fantasy – regarding the VC’s office furniture and I got somewhat pissed off with her, because whilst she was making these allegations she was actually colluding with the truly vile Lyn Meadows, the Director of HR (Meadows is now a member of the Betsi Board), who was breaking employment law regularly and bullying and harassing people. The next allegation was that the VC had hired a chauffeur. No-one actually had any evidence that this had happened and I searched high and low for the said chauffeur and never found him/her. I think that the real story was that discussions were underway regarding the possibility of a chauffeur that would be made available to a number of senior managers – but the backstabbing Tilley was busy making plans for the revolution on the basis of the chauffeur. So I conducted an experiment and told her that I knew all about it, that it wasn’t a real chauffeur, it was a security man dressed up in a special uniform. And a few days later my lie came back to me on the grapevine, so it rather confirmed that none of these people actually knew what they were talking about. The irony was that while the revolutionaries on ‘only’ £40-50k pa grumbled and fumed about glass desks and chauffeurs, me and my ilk were doing their teaching and a good deal more research than them as well for far less. And because we were on short-term contracts we often had no salary at all. I’d have done the sodding chauffeur’s job myself quite happily at that time, at least it would have been a stable income.

Yet another scandal involving the abuse of learning disabled people has hit the London-based media today. An organisation called the ‘Atlas Project Team’ who owned two homes in Devon – which were ‘isolated farmhouses’ has been prosecuted. The founder of the ‘Atlas Project Team’, a Paul Hewitt, has been fined £12,500 with £105,000 costs. Paul Hewitt is described as ‘a well known figure in mental health who helped formulate national policies on caring for people with learning disabilities in the community’. Well that’s pretty much par for the course – this blog has named scores of ‘experts in mental health’ or ‘service user representatives’ who have either colluded with or ignored the most dreadful abuses. It’s how one becomes an expert in those fields. Jolyon Marshall, the Director of Atlas, has been jailed for 28 months for conspiracy to falsely imprison and perverting the course of justice. A number of other managers and staff have received suspended jail terms or other non-custodial sentences. This case has been running for six years, but reporting restrictions have only just been lifted. The fascinating feature of this case is that a number of people have been prosecuted for doing what is almost standard practice in hospitals and ‘homes’ for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, namely locking people in what are euphemistically called ‘quiet rooms’ but what in reality are bare rooms with no bathroom facilities or furnishings except for a mattress on the floor. I am delighted to see someone prosecuted for this and I look forward to hundreds more prosecutions, because this is going on in just about every facility for the mentally ill/learning disabled across the UK. And the rationale for confining people to such seclusion rooms is also very shaky, as it was with Atlas. The prosecuting barrister Andrew Langdon QC stated that a ‘view was taken that residents had somehow learned to behave badly. That behaviour had to be unlearned. If they were kept in their long enough they would learn their lesson and change their behaviour’. This philosophy underpinned all ‘care’ on Taliesin ward in the Hergest Unit and I heard staff articulate this view constantly. Patients were not distressed, they were not ill, they were bad and locking them in a seclusion room (or of course having them arrested) was the answer. Indeed, now that Jolyon Marshall has gone to prison for conspiracy to falsely imprison and perverting the course of justice I look forward to a few arrests of Hergest staff and NHS managers because that is exactly what they did to me – and to a lot of other people.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of CQC, admitted that they ‘should have acted earlier’ over Atlas and admits that concerns had been raised. So once more, the CQC stood by whilst people were abused. But what do we expect – Sir Robert Francis QC is a leading light in the CQC. The Robert Francis QC who, whilst working as a barrister for the MDU, tried to have me imprisoned for ‘harassment’ – because I was writing many letters maintaining that people working in the mental health services in north Wales had illegally imprisoned me and had committed perjury (please see post ‘The Sordid Role of Sir Robert Francis QC’).

Perhaps someone would also like to begin mounting prosecutions in the face of another near universal practice in mental health, that of ‘not stimulating’ people who are deemed to be psychotic. This is going on in the Hergest unit and in the Heddfan Unit and in reality it means providing patients with an environment as bare as possible – not even pictures on the walls. Because patients might become ‘stimulated’. (I really don’t think that there’s much chance of that, as they’re parked in front the TV all day and loaded up with anti-psychotics.) In fact Taliesin ward in Hergest was so keen not to stimulate patients that the staff didn’t talk to them – and they told the patient’s families not to talk to them either. I know this because I knew the mother of a teenaged boy who became seriously unwell and spent a long time on Taliesin ward not being talked to, on the orders of the ‘experts’ who ran that place and presided over the constant suicides there. The staff did communicate with me whilst I was a patient in there though – indeed they shouted at me, they swore at me and on one occasion four of them assaulted me. Presumably it’s only talking to people or looking at pictures that causes over-stimulation.

Jan Tregalles, the Chief Exec of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, the Chief Exec of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, put out a joint statement stating that Atlas offered ‘specialist care’ that cost up to £4000/week per person and that ‘poor commissioning’ from numerous local authorities and ‘weak inspection’ allowed an abusive culture to develop and sustain itself. Have they only just noticed? Bloggers like Mark Neary, Finola Moss and Sara Ryan have been trying to expose this for years. Indeed Sara Ryan seems to feel about Mencap the way that I feel about MIND – she has always termed them ‘Mencrap’. Mark Neary’s adult son Stephen was removed from his care for a year simply due to the fuckwittedness of their local authority and had Mark not been able to engage in a full scale battle through the Courts he would have lost Stephen for ever. Finola Moss had a similar experience with her daughter. Finola has taken a big interest in the huge amounts of money that are now being made by the private ‘care’ sector for housing learning disabled people in unsuitable, frequently abusive facilities, as well as in the constant supply of ‘expert witnesses’ and dishonest health and care professionals who are prepared to lie in Court in the face of carers complaining and simply accuse those carers of abuse themselves. The really great thing about most of these cases is that because they involve the Court of Protection, no-one can even publish what’s happening – until the learning disabled person dies in the ‘care’ of the ‘provider’. Mark Neary’s blog is doing an excellent job of exposing how this naked abuse and cruelty – and sheer idiocy – is disguised by the language of ’empowerment’, ‘independent living’, ‘service user involvement’ and associated hogwash.

 

 

Post-Script: The Mary Wynch Case – The Details

Since writing yesterday’s post about the ruination of Mary Wynch by the mental health services in north Wales and the collusion of this in very high places indeed, there has been a response to my appeal for more information on the Radio 4 play ‘Penrhyn Summer’. I have been sent a few links – the play was actually called ‘The Penrhyn Summer’, was broadcast in 1986 and was written by Alison Leonard. Leonard’s biography is rather different from what I had presumed – she was not a Bangor student of my generation but was born in the 1940s and studied at the University of Edinburgh. However her biographical note states that she spent a number of years working with deprived and disadvantaged children. Did she possibly spend a stint employed in that field in north Wales? Because whoever wrote ‘The Penrhyn Summer’ had a very good local knowledge, far better than could ever be gleaned by a bit of ‘research’ – it would have needed an ethnographer to produce that – or someone who was working and living in north west Wales… I suspect that whoever wrote that play knew the full horrors of children’s service’s in north Wales and like Alison Taylor knew that abuse was endemic, that the North Wales Hospital Denbigh was being used to deal with awkward customers and probably also knew that a paedophile gang was operating in the region. The author also knew that Plaid politicians were articulating a position of ‘defending local people in Welsh communities’, flagging up the wrongs that families like the Pennants had historically inflicted upon the population but were then deciding to drop a few causes and remain silent about a few things once they thought that they might be within sniffing distance of Westminster. Why didn’t the author write about the dreadful abuse in the children’s services and mental health system that she undoubtedly knew about? Well look what happened to Alison Taylor, to Mary Wynch – and to me. And we were just the ones talking about what was happening to us. And what’s the betting that the dear old BBC would never have broadcast material daring to mention some of the horrors? After all, the highest courts in the land were used to pursue Mary and I – and Alison Taylor was sacked and never worked in social work again. The vile ones indeed had friends in high places. I also suspect that Alison Leonard might be a pen name…

I have received an e mail from someone observing that what was happening to Mary, Alison and me was happening during the same period of time and was known to the same Government Ministers. The phrase ‘corrupt as fuck’ was used in this e mail. Which is interesting, because when Dr Dafydd Alun Jones first tried to bribe me into dropping my complaints in 1987, I remarked to Brown – who was listening in to the phone call – ‘how has he got the nerve to try this?’ and Brown responded with ‘because he’ll have done it before and it will have worked’. Indeed banging people up illegally in Denbigh and bribing the well-educated articulate folk who had discovered the extent of your wrongdoing was probably the MO utilised by that lot on a regular basis and was a well-established method of doing business by 1987. My God, I could have been leader of Plaid if only I’d played ball with Dafydd! After all I fancy myself as a bit of a leftie, I’m a Welsh learner and I could even call myself a ‘strong woman’ if I wanted to rehash tripe from women’s magazines…

However, it wasn’t actually the colluding Plaid politicians who had their hands on the real levers of power during the period of time that Alison, Mary and I found ourselves being shafted at every turn. The administrations ultimately responsible for what was happening in the NHS, the Social Services and the Courts in those days were led by Margaret Thatcher and then John Major. Back to Basics anyone? Or indeed Strong and Stable Government! I will soon be writing a post taking a very close look at the Ministers whom I haven’t yet named (please see previous posts for those whom I have named) who were ultimately responsible for the parts of Gov’t that we were having such trouble with…

I mentioned yesterday that my co-researcher had sent me material from Hansard dated 27 April 1995 relating to Mary’s case. There’s a couple of other things of interest that were documented in Hansard on the same date. A Mr Redmond was documented as asking the Secretary of State for Health ‘when she expects to set up a Department of Health inquiry into the dismissal of Mr Michael Murray from his post as Chief Executive of the Foundation Trust at Stafford and when the findings will be made public’. A Mr Malone replied ‘I have no plans to do so’. So John Major’s administration in 1995 knew that there were problems in Stafford then – but ignored them. The sort of disaster that was revealed at Mid-Staffs more than twenty years later doesn’t happen overnight. Regular readers know that one reason why I loathe Andy ‘I’m a man of the people me’ Burnham is, that along with Alan Johnson, he was told by 81 different people that what was happening in Mid-Staffs was so bad that a public inquiry was needed, but this was refused – New Labour had spent much time and energy ingratiating itself to the health and welfare professions and no way were they going to admit that the NHS was killing people and lying about it. But it looks as though the Tories too years previously knew that something was badly wrong in Mid-Staffs and ignored it. The other thing of interest in Hansard was a question asked of the Secretary of State for Health by a Ms Rachel Squire ie. ‘what decision has been taken following discussions with the Royal College of Psychiatrists to begin research into the deaths of psychiatric patients associated with neuroleptic drugs?’ A Mr Bevis replied that ‘it has been agreed in principle that the remit of the confidential inquiry into homicides and suicides by mentally ill people should be extended to cover the deaths of patients associated with neuroleptic drugs. Further discussions will be held about the arrangements for examining these deaths’. Neuroleptic drugs, commonly known as ‘anti-psychotics’, are still being dished out liberally by psychiatrists although it has been known for years that they are associated with serious side-effects and sometimes death. This is the ‘medication’ that patients often ‘stop taking’ to the chagrin of psychiatrists and newspaper journalists. Under the Mental Health Act, patients can be forcibly injected with these drugs and this blog has previously cited many examples of this, including me when the dreadful Raj Sambhi sectioned me in the Heddfan Unit because I maintained that there was neglect and abuse happening in the mental health services in north Wales and that a paedophile ring had operated in the region. If a patient is placed on a Community Treatment Order, (CTO), which are now very widely used, they can be given these drugs forcibly in the comfort of their own homes. One psychiatrist who argued most forcefully for the introduction of CTOs was one Professor Tom Burns of the University of Oxford. Burns previously worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School and was the first psychiatrist that I was coerced into seeing by Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, the occupational physician at St Georges when I worked there. When I told Burns what was happening in north Wales, Burns admitted that there was a problem in psychiatry because it attracted ‘disturbed people’, that he was not ‘naive’ and that he knew the sort of thing that I was describing in north Wales does go on. Yet I have a copy of a letter that Burns later wrote Mitchell-Heggs saying that he thought that I might have a ‘paranoid personality disorder’ and that he didn’t think that he ‘had anything to offer’ (please see previous posts). No because he had realised that there was barrel of shit up there and by then he probably already had his eyes on a Chair at Oxford and a CBE, both of which he subsequently acquired. More recently Tom appeared at a conference admitting that CTOs had not ‘helped’ in the way that he had expected.

 

 

A Few More Connections and Updates!

I am currently following up so many leads and connections stemming from previous posts that I am having difficulty keeping up with them all, despite the help of my co-researcher – I have also been sent what looks like an excellent PhD thesis to read on matters mental health which promises to be a lot more informative than the usual lame platitudes about ‘service user involvement’. I’ll continue to blog as much as I can, although I’m going to have to set aside some time for research and reading next week.

Meanwhile, here’s a few titbits to keep you all going. Having discovered that two of the people unmasked on this blog as knowing about wrongdoing but ignoring it- Helena Kennedy and Theodore Huckle – are lurking in Doughty Street Chambers (known for it’s interest in Human Rights issues), I wondered who else might be hiding away down at Doughty Street concealing or turning a blind eye to criminal activity in the children’s services/mental health services. Well they’ve got a far bigger star down there than even St Helena – Amal Clooney no less! You need to get out of there and quickly Amal – no wife of George could EVER allow herself to become tainted by that lot. I also discovered that Doughty Street Chambers established ‘The Human Dignity Trust’, which specialises in litigation relating to LGBTI issues. The folk responsible for the Human Dignity Trust obviously need to have a word with their colleague Theo who has concealed some truly dreadful confusion and hypocrisy regarding matters ‘LGBTI’ which has resulted in the very great suffering of some innocent people, involving wrongful imprisonment, suicide and murder.

After writing the post ‘Amber Rudd, The Miners Strike And A Memory Jogged’ detailing the Birmingham Connection, during a phone conversation this morning with someone from north Wales I was reminded of another possible sacrifice as a result of the Birmingham Connection. The person whom I was chatting with is someone who has experienced the neglect and abuse of the mental health services in north Wales himself and has witnessed other people mistreated in a similar way. Some years ago this man became friendly with another patient, W. W had been given a diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’ and was so loaded up with anti-psychotics that when my friend first came across him in a facility in Dolgellau run by the North West Wales NHS Trust, W just lay on his bed comatose for most of the time. My friend was then staggered to discover that W had actually previously enjoyed a career as a successful football coach and had even won scholarships to travel around the US on the basis of his sporting ability. By the time that he met W, my friend had seen so many people destroyed by the mental health services that he used to try and befriend them when he could and he became very good mates with W. W used to help out in my friend’s small business – when W was awake enough to be able to do this, which was only for a couple of hours a day – and W stayed over at my friend’s house. W told my friend that he was originally from the west midlands where his family had run a pub but when he was in his mid-teens the family moved to Gwynedd. W told my friend something else as well – that before they’d come to Gwynedd, W had been sexually abused by a member of his extended family, who had then ‘passed him around’ a group of other men who had also molested him. My friend told me that in the telling of this, W did not lurch into the realms of serious improbability (eg. of ‘Satanic abuse’), he simply very clearly described being sexually molested by a group of men, repeatedly. Of course, because people who do not know what mental health professionals actually do with the information that they receive when they urge their patient’s to ‘talk to us’, a lot of people divulge very sensitive information to mental health professionals. Such as the boys who grew up in children’s homes in north Wales who told mental health professionals that they had been sexually abused, only to find themselves variously diagnosed as psychotic, or ‘disturbed’, or wicked liars, or criminalised or banged up in places like Garth Angharad or the North Wales Hospital – or left to kill themselves. Not knowing what mental health professionals do to their patients, W told them about the men who abused him. A diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’ followed, along with huge doses of anti-psychotics. My friend continued to witness W’s distress in the face of being told that he was mad every time that he spoke of being the victim of multiple serious crimes. Some nine years ago or so my friend was an inpatient at the Hergest Unit at the same time as W. W just would not stop talking about the gang of men who had abused him in the west midlands, so he was being given increasingly large doses of anti-psychotics. My friend noticed that W was by now in a dreadful state – the former international football coach was still a young man but was really unfit and was having difficulty moving and speaking, due to the ‘side effects’ of the ‘medication’. Every time that W expressed his distress at what was happening, he was injected – forcibly – with yet more ‘medication’. My friend described the process as ‘punitive medication’. I stress here that W, despite what was happening to him at the hands of the Hergest Unit, was never aggressive or unpleasant – he was known to everyone in his village as being a very likeable man. One day he told my friend that the ‘medication’ had completely destroyed his quality of life and that he just couldn’t live with the ‘side effects’ any longer. A few hours later he walked out of the Hergest Unit and threw himself in front of a train. When his body was discovered and the news was broken to my friend by a nurse, she was kind enough to observe that she thought that W ‘had wanted to die’. Well after the paedophiles and the Hergest Unit had finished with him he certainly did. After W’s death, there was quite a furore – his parents were distraught and there was much vocal criticism of the Hergest Unit for their ‘neglect’ (my friend is not sure how many people outside the Hergest Unit knew of W’s allegations regarding the paedophiles). His parents investigated the possibility of suing the Hergest Unit, but guess what, it came to nothing. No doubt there was a handy supply of ‘experts’ all prepared to testify that W was yet another ‘very disturbed’ ‘schizophrenic’ who had topped himself in the face of such valiant efforts to ‘help him’. The execution of W was witnessed by the whole of the Hergest Unit, the North Wales Police and his GP in Porthmadog. What none of them did was investigate whether his allegations regarding what had happened to him in the west midlands might have a basis.

Now for another historical connection. Previous posts such as ‘Updates, Common Themes and News, May 5 2017’ have detailed the role of the hideous Huw Daniel in some extraordinary court cases in which varying levels of dishonesty on the part of a number of people have played a part. After the dreadful Huw retired as a judge, he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Gwynedd – HM the Queen’s representative in the county! Now I’ve found out a little bit about Huw’s ancestry. I was aware that he was from a Welsh speaking Catholic family near Bangor. Some Welsh speaking Catholics are interesting historically – during the first half of the twentieth century, a small group of such individuals who were key figures in Plaid Cymru, including of course Saunders Lewis and Ambrose Bebb, made links with some European politicians who had far-right connections. This later came to haunt Plaid, as these connections were repackaged into accusations that ‘Plaid supported Hitler’ and were joyfully thrown about by Plaid’s political opponents. (Richard Wyn Jones published a book to counteract these claims which I finally got around to reading a few weeks ago. Whilst I would agree that it is disingenuous to accuse members of Plaid as being fully paid-up supporters of the Nazis, Richard Wyn Jones is having to work very hard in this book to deny the links between some far-right European movements in a previous time and some members of Plaid.) Interestingly enough, Huw Daniel’s father, JE Daniel, was active in Plaid at this time – in fact JE Daniel was president of Plaid (following Saunders Lewis) between 1939 and 43. (Daniel also stood – unsuccessfully – as a Plaid candidate three times.) Until recently there was a wonderful piece on the internet written by Densil Morgan, previously Professor of Theology at Bangor University but who was then mercifully transferred along with some of his dreadful sidekicks to Trinity St David, that waxes lyrical about the gift to the world that was JE Daniel. Densil even resorted to maintaining that JE Daniel epitomised the very best of Wales or something similar, but Densil’s nauseating offering seems to have disappeared from the internet recently. However there is a wiki entry for JE Daniel, mentioning that he attended Friars School (another name that rears it’s head in the biography of many of those we know and love – I want to do some more digging on this when I have time) and also states that he was a theologian who was awarded a fellowship at the Bala-Bangor College. JE Daniel died in 1962 – but he will almost certainly have known someone who stood as a Plaid candidate in Denbigh and who was a pal of Saunders Lewis, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones! And I bet that Dafydd ingratiated himself to the whole family as well and will of course have known the young(ish) Huw!

This mention of the Bala-Bangor College reminds me of the first person whom I met that had a connection with that institution. It was a young man called Richard in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. He was a very similar age to me and made a bee-line to talk to me because there were only a few young people there. He was well drugged up like everyone else but nonetheless chatted away to me about his life before he’d been incarcerated in Denbigh. He’d been banged up in there when he was seventeen – he was a ‘schizophrenic’ of course – and told me that before he’d been incarcerated in Denbigh he and his friends used to go to each others houses and play records, specifically those of popular musicians from the late 70s, such as Madness and the Specials. He also told me that once he was put in Denbigh, his entire family cut him off, except for his brother – who was something to do with the Bala-Bangor College and whom I think was a Minister. His brother had been the only person who had come over to Denbigh to visit him and used to do so weekly – but he’d stopped doing that about two years previously. So this young man hadn’t seen anyone from the outside world for two years, which probably explained why he was so keen to talk to a new face. A familiar scenario occurred when this young man started to explain that he hadn’t seen anyone for two years and asked me if I could trace his brother – a nurse arrived and told him to stop bothering me! Just like when the young woman in Bryn Golau ward started telling me that she’d been abducted, kept in an attic and sexually assaulted (please see post ‘The Distressed Young Woman who Vanished’) and asked me to help her! Again, like the young woman, Richard then disappeared from the ward a few hours later. I was told that he had been ‘transferred’ to another ward (presumably before he got around to telling me exactly how he’d ended up in Denbigh and why no-one had let him out). The Plan nearly went pear-shaped though – a couple of weeks later I was on an ‘escorted’ trip to the hospital shop and there was Richard, buying fags (like nearly everyone I met in the mental health system Richard was a very heavy smoker). He came up and gave me a hug – and was immediately pulled off me by two nurses who told him to ‘put Sally down’. He was physically dragged off back to wherever he was being secreted. I never saw him again. At the time I presumed that Richard must have been someone who had developed a serious illness when he was very young and who had then been abandoned by a callous family, perhaps because he wasn’t ‘getting better’ and they couldn’t be bothered with the burden of a vulnerable family member who might need a lot of support – although I wondered why his brother had stopped visiting. But now I know what was actually happening at Denbigh – that people were being illegally detained out there because they had crossed someone’s path or that someone wanted them banged up so Dafydd was doing them a favour – I do wonder what Richard was doing there. He wasn’t aggressive, he was gentle, friendly, chatty and had crystal clear memories of his life and his friends before his meaningful existence had been terminated at the age of 17. Even if he had developed severe problems at 17, why was he still sitting in Denbigh seven years later, never seeing anyone from the outside world, being prevented from even talking to, let alone making friends with, other people? Richard seems suspiciously like one of the people who had disappeared courtesy of Dafydd and Gwynne…

There was someone else whom I met in Denbigh whose circumstances were very worrying as well. Whereas Richard seemed to be from a middle class background and was quite charming and articulate, this other person was a young man from the notorious Queen’s Park Estate in Wrexham and had spent time in Walton Prison and Risley Remand Centre – as well as children’s homes in north Wales. He looked fearsome, with a shaved head and prison tattoos, but he was actually quite friendly and chatty. Within hours of arriving at Denbigh, this young man told me many worrying things. One of the worst was something that had happened to him at Risley Remand Centre. I had always been told that Risley was ‘dreadful’ and that even hardened criminals feared being sent there (Risley Remand Centre was repackaged as HMP Risley, after scandal after scandal involving allegations of serious brutality on the part of the prison officers and numerous deaths). So when I got to know this young man I took the opportunity to ask him why Risley was so feared. He told me that you could hear the screams of other prisoners being beaten up by the staff and that people ‘kept killing themselves’. He then gave details of ‘people killing themselves’. He had shared a cell with another man who had attempted to kill himself – he’d rung and rung the cell buzzer thing for help but no-one arrived, although he then started screaming and yelling for help as well as ringing. By the time that an officer arrived, this man’s cell-mate had died – so the man that I met in Denbigh had not only watched someone die but he’d then been left alone with the corpse for more than an hour. These were people on remand – they had not been convicted of any offence. One evening this young man took his trainers off and I and another patient noticed that his feet were deformed – he explained that when he was younger a bunch of thugs were after him and he’d been so frightened of them that he’d jumped out of a high window to escape. When he landed, he had broken virtually every bone in both feet. He had received no treatment and his feet had ‘healed’ without assistance and were thus severely malformed. Despite this man having been successively in the ‘care’ of the children’s services and then the North Wales Hospital, no-one had made any attempt at all to rectify his serious feet-related problems. It was probable that by the time that he reached middle age he would be unable to walk. But I vey much doubt that this young man reached mid-life. He was being dosed up with huge quantities of largactil and benzodiazapenes, staff openly discussed with each other how he ‘got on their nerves’ and then a familiar problem reared it’s head – he was ‘getting too friendly with Sally’. This accusation was levelled when one day this man had a stand up row with the staff about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – he alleged that Jones had illegally imprisoned me in Denbigh and that I ‘shouldn’t be in here because she’s not mad’. From that day on I was never allowed a private conversation with him again – wherever I went and wherever he went we were followed by a member of staff. However, before this happened, this young man had let something out of the bag. That he too had been detained in Denbigh without ever meeting Dafydd Alun Jones or indeed being assessed by anyone! Although he had never met Dafydd Alun Jones he told me of how ‘everyone’ in Wrexham described Jones as a ‘bastard’. He told me that Jones had sent repeated letters to his mother, demanding that this young man attend one of Jones’s ‘clinics’. His mum had thrown the letters onto the fire. I asked him who had referred him to Jones – a GP perhaps? I was told that no-one at all had referred him to Jones – his mother had simply been receiving unsolicited letters from Jones telling her that he had been ‘causing a lot of trouble’ and demanding his presence. Despite his mum having the good sense to burn the rubbish that Jones had sent out, he’d somehow ended up in Denbigh anyway. Although he’d never met Jones. Like me, on a locked ward. Completely unlawfully. As described in earlier posts, once I did finally get out of Denbigh, Brown and me made enquiries about what on earth was going on there and soon dug up a mountain of shit. As no-one would reply to my letters or respond to my complaints, at one point Brown’s brother and I drove out to Denbigh to speak to Jones and the managers to extract some answers. We went equipped with cameras and recording equipment and let them believe that Brown’s brother was a journalist lest we were assaulted or arrested by Jones et al. We were repeatedly told that Jones ‘wasn’t in the hospital’ and that no-one knew where he was or when he would next be there. A female administrator with a rictus grin was unable to answer any of our questions. As we left the building we were walking down a corridor when someone came up to us and greeted me. It was the young man from Wrexham who had been prevented from speaking to me when I was in Denbigh. He looked terrible – he was seriously underweight, his face and head were covered in scabs, cuts and bruises, and his hands were bleeding as he couldn’t stop gnawing at them. He told me that days after I’d left the ward where I’d encountered him, he had been sectioned by Dafydd Alun Jones for a year. So that he could receive the ‘care’ that he so obviously needed. But I’m glad to say that this man remained close to Dafydd’s heart. When, after two long years of an all-out battle, I finally was told that there would be an investigation into my complaint about Dafydd and Denbigh, Dafydd tried to bribe me into dropping my complaint during a phone conversation (as detailed in previous posts). During the same conversation Dafydd demanded to know which patients I was going to refer to as witnesses – he mentioned the name of the young man from Wrexham. I discontinued the conversation. The young man’s name was Stephen Bagnall. No doubt he died many years ago. I suggest that someone investigate the circumstances of his end as well as how he ever ended up in the hands of Dafydd.

Bet you never expected any of this to come back and haunt you did you Dafydd? And I haven’t yet started to mention the unfortunate things that happened to some of the people who knew what had happened to me in the North Wales Hospital – but I will soon…

Now to end with a few gems from the Daily Post online. It is reporting that a damning CCSIW report has been compiled about a nursing home in Cricieth. It is alleged that residents medical care was neglected, that residents were underweight and that for one meal residents were fed tinned tomatoes on toast made from one slice of white bread. It is reported that Gwynedd County Council and the Betsi are helping this nursing home to ‘improve’. There’s not going to be a happy ending to this is there. Whilst I was reading the Post online, I was interested to see a huge advert from Slater and Gordon the medical negligence solicitors, stating that they are holding a ‘drop in session’ at Galeri, Caernarfon. The queue will stretch as far back as Porthmadog…

 

News Round-Up, March 13 2017

I’ve found a lot to blog about today but since finishing my last post a few hours ago, even more news items have appeared that might be of interest to readers.

BBC News Wales have reported on the opening of the inquests into the deaths of Cerys Yemm and Matthew Williams in Argoed, South Wales http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-39253238 This was a particularly dreadful case in which Williams, who had recently been released from prison and was living in a hostel, murdered Cerys, a young woman whom he had met after his release. Some two weeks after meeting her, he took her back to the hostel where he attacked her. Although Williams was interrupted during the attack, he continued with the attack and killed her. Williams was tasered by police and died shortly afterwards. Williams was a man with serious mental health problems. I will report the findings of the inquest on this blog – I suspect that this will be a story of serious service failure on the part of multiple agencies…

BBC News Wales are also reporting that a physiotherapist employed by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Joanne Lee, took the files of 800 patients home to store whilst her office was being renovated http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-39259456  A panel of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Conduct and Competence Committee heard that the absence of the files had resulted in the Health Board having to carry out either full re-assessments or further assessments on patients. The panel chair, Manuela Grayson, said that this ‘may have unnecessarily resulted in further intimate or invasive re-examinations’, which in turn ‘may have caused additional physical or emotional distress’. It was concluded that Ms Lee’s behaviour fell ‘seriously short’ of that expected and she was suspended from the register for 12 months. I was interested to read of this case and the HCPCs conclusions, because some three years ago I reported a consultant clinical psychologist who is employed by the Betsi to the HCPC. This psychologist befriended the former wife of a patient who was in the process of making a formal complaint about one of the colleagues of this clinical psychologist. She lied about her job and her relationship to the psychiatrist that the patient was complaining about to the patient, presented herself as a ‘friend who was trying to help’ and then tried to manipulate both this patient and his former wife in an attempt to stop him complaining about her colleague. She also telephoned, on a number of occasions,  an acute mental health unit managed by the Betsi when he had been admitted there, again describing herself to the nurses as a ‘friend’, without revealing that she was a member of Betsi staff herself and attempted to obtain confidential information about this patient. The HCPC refused to even investigate my complaint. Joanne Lees should not have taken patient’s files home but I consider that her actions had been a lot less unprofessional, downright mendacious and abusive than the clinical psychologist’s conduct. There was another mystery regarding this clinical psychologist. As well as reporting her to the HCPC, I made a complaint about her to Health Inspectorate Wales, HIW. They refused to investigate my complaint. When Dr Peter Higson was appointed Chair of the Betsi, this psychologist was delighted at Higson’s forthcoming arrival and stated that it was great that Higson was coming because he’d be ‘so good’ for the mental health services. Higson was CEO of HIW when they refused to investigate my complaint against this woman. The serious failures of the mental health services caused the Welsh Govt to place the Betsi in special measures, where it still is. Higson is still the Chair of the Betsi and the lying, unscrupulous clinical psychologist is still employed by the Betsi.

There is another story involving someone employed in health and social care behaving badly in the Daily Post. Janie Emery, 24, was described as a ‘female paedophile’ by the Post and has been given a suspended prison sentence as well as 150 hours of unpaid work, after having a sexual relationship with a fifteen year old boy, despite knowing his age. She must also undertake a rehabilitation course supervised by the Probation Service, her name and other details will be on the Sexual Offenders Register for 10 years and she must also observe the terms of a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order. She was described as working as a ‘carer’. The Post does not report whether she will be allowed to continue in that role.

The Guardian has a report on how ‘Deprivation of Liberty Orders’ (often handed out under the Mental Capacity Act) has resulted in thousands of vulnerable people – frequently people with dementia or learning disabilities – being unlawfully detained in care homes and other establishments  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/13/thousands-vulnerable-people-detained-unlawfully-care-homes-hospitals-report

I’m mentioning this article here because one factor that motivated me to start blogging about what was happening to people in the ‘care’ of the mental health services was reading the blogs of the parents of learning disabled adult children who had been forcibly removed from their care and had been placed in ‘residential homes’ or ‘ATUs’ (assessment and treatment units). This was being done in the name of ‘protecting’ these young adults whilst allowing them to ‘live independently’, using Deprivation of Liberty Orders and the Mental Capacity Act. These parents described how their children were removed from their care for months or even years, given huge doses of anti-psychotics and sometimes abused in the homes, hospitals and ATUs where they were placed by the Court of Protection. Some of these young people had died whilst in this ‘care’. These young people had not been removed from their parents homes because they had been neglected or abused, it was purely ideological – they had to leave their parents homes to ‘live independently’. If the parents objected too robustly and loudly they found themselves subjected to Court Orders preventing them from talking about their cases – some were prevented from visiting their children and a few were not even allowed to know where their children were. One particular campaigner, Finola Moss, whose own daughter had been removed from her home in this manner, summed up this idiocy perfectly when she published a photo taken undercover of a young woman in an ATU in distress, lying on the floor under a table, whilst a ‘carer’ kicked her. Finola labelled this photo ‘a young lady living independently’. I realised that if I went into many acute mental health inpatient units I too could take similar photos of people in extreme distress caused by the ‘care’ that they were receiving. When I first read the blogs of Finola et al I could hardly believe what I was reading – but it was true enough and the Westminster Govt have now admitted it. This is an important subject for Wales – these ‘homes’, ‘hospitals’ and ATUs are springing up all over Wales. They are privately owned and it is a very profitable business – property can be purchased cheaply in rural Wales and there is a ready supply of cheap labour. The ‘residents’ are invisible to the wider world and hundreds of miles away from their families. As with the mental health services this ‘care’ is forced upon people by the law yet those providing the ‘care’ are completely unaccountable… We have a health and social care system that is broken and cannot care for people – yet more and more people are being coerced into this dreadful system to be ‘protected’ or ‘safeguarded’. A sort of institutional madness has gripped the health and social care sector and no-one will actually admit the horror of what is happening.