Just A Language Divide?

I was an undergrad at UCNW (now Bangor University) between 1981-84.

When I arrived to study at Bangor in Oct 1981 I knew very little about Welsh politics or the battles over the Welsh language. I was aware that there was a struggle going on because the English media had of course reported on the Meibion Glyndwr firebombing campaign and I remember that an insulting letter had been published in (I think) the Daily Telegraph asserting that absolutely no-one spoke Welsh any longer, that the demands of Welsh language campaigners were fatuous nonsense and a manifestation of ‘extremist’ politics. A furious response was elicited from north Wales and I remembered that someone – a Council leader or Mayor or someone in some such position – had appeared on TV presenting his case in Welsh. There were a lot of Welsh teachers at my school in Somerset but nearly all of them were from south Wales and I can only think of one from the north who probably spoke Welsh.

When I went for my interview at Bangor I wandered around the town and was able to report back to everyone in Somerset that yes, they do speak Welsh, I heard it in every shop that I entered and it really was not a case of ‘we went in a pub where they were all speaking English but as soon as we went in they started speaking Welsh’. I also noticed the graffiti all over Top College screaming ‘English Go Home’ – there were slogans in Welsh as well, but obviously I didn’t know what they said. However I did manage to work out what the notices insisting on ‘Dim Smygu’ meant and my translation was confirmed when I heard Welsh people reiterating the instruction as ‘dim smocio’.

When I arrived at Bangor to live and study, the bad feeling between some Welsh speaking students and the rest of the college could not be missed. The student newspaper was reporting on a huge punch-up that had taken place the term previously, in which a student from south Wales had been chucked through a window in the Students Union by a group of students from north Wales. The man who had gone through the window had been trying to intervene in a dispute between a group of Welsh speaking students and English students. The man from south Wales had told the Welsh speakers ‘I’m Welsh too’ – he was informed that ‘You’re not fucking Welsh’ and was thrown through the window.

One of the halls of residence was a Welsh speaking hall and it was made quite clear that if non-Welsh speakers crossed the threshold we’d be thumped. In terms of student protests, all the action took place at the Welsh speaking hall – at one point the students conducted quite an impressive sit-in which lasted a long time. They were sustained by food and essentials being delivered to them through the upper floor windows by their mates who had set up a system using ropes and pulleys. From time to time groups of Welsh speaking students would tour the university and tear down every notice that was written in English.

After a while I learnt that there was rather more to what was going on than was made public. Rats! It’s ‘that woman’ (as Dafydd used to refer to me) again – she’s been digging…

I found out that students had applied to live in the Welsh hall because understandably they liked the idea of living in a Welsh speaking environment – but that the hall was dominated by a small group of complete bastards of whom all the other students were terrified and who were making their lives a misery. The bastards were alleged to be out of control and one of them – I think that they were all male – was seriously violent. The non-bastards lived in fear of being seen socialising with us. The Welsh students had their own Students Union – it was above the Belle Vue pub – and they would not set foot in our Students Union. The rule was enforced by a three line whip from the bastards and a kicking would be applied to anyone defying orders.

Years later I discovered that the Principal of UCNW, Sir Charles Evans – Dafydd and Gwynne’s mate, who was kind enough to allow so many people involved in the facilitating of a paedophile and sex trafficking gang to set up home in the college – was perceived to have handled the grievances of the Welsh speaking students so badly that his intransigence had made the situation much, much worse. Charles Evans had grown up in north Wales, was a Welsh speaker himself, went to Shrewsbury School and then to Oxford University. He had worked as a neurosurgeon in Liverpool (see post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’). Charles Evans was one of the 1953 conquering heroes of Everest – the leader of the Everest expedition was Lord John Hunt who worked for the security services and later became the Commander of Sandhurst (see post ‘The Discovery Of A Whole New Galaxy’) – and took the view that the best way of doing things was to do what you wanted and bloody well ensure that the rest of the world did what it was told. This no doubt stood him in very good stead when he was climbing mountains and it probably helped when he developed multiple sclerosis as well, but it wasn’t the best way of managing a university whilst employing some of your mates who were running a paedophile gang.

I have mentioned previously that in 1979 the problems at UCNW were so severe that Dafydd Wigley, the then MP for Caernarfon, demanded that Shirley Williams, then then Secretary of State for Education, hold an inquiry into the management of the college. It didn’t happen and the chaos and unhappiness continued. It would of course all have been brought to an end if anyone had blown the whistle on the paedophile gang which were supplying children to civil servants and politicians, some of which would soon hold office in Thatcher’s Gov’t. But no-one did because they were all so bloody compromised, Shirl and Dafydd Wigley included.

Not only did I find out that the Welsh speaking students were boycotting the English Students Union, but they were also refusing to use the Student Health Centre – the Health Centre which was run by Dr DGE Wood and employed Gwynne the lobotomist, who were facilitating the paedophile gang. By 1983/84, the Welsh students were going so apeshit about the Student Health Centre that they were demanding the sacking of DGE Wood. Wood was furious – his story was that they were ‘Welsh extremists’ and wanted him out because he didn’t speak Welsh. From what I know about matters north Wales, that is often the excuse used to demand someone’s removal when there is a rather bigger problem which no-one dares actually admit to. It can be used to remove someone honest who is in danger of uncovering a barrel of shite – but it is also used to remove someone causing serious problems who is enjoying the protection of the highest echelons and cannot be removed any other way. What if some of those Welsh students knew about the paedophile gang and Wood assisting Dafydd and Gwynne into forcing young women into prostitution? The issue between the Welsh students and the Student Health Centre COULDN’T have really been language – Gwynne, like Dafydd, was from north Wales, spoke Welsh and made a great pretence of defending all things and all people Welsh. The Student Health Centre nurse Liz Stables was from Anglesey and her first language was Welsh – she too staunchly defended everything Welsh.  Things got so bad that the University dispatched Liz up to the Welsh Students Union in an attempt to get them to drop their opposition to Wood and tempt them into the Student Health Centre. They did not succumb.

Wood was completely shafting English students who did not know about Dafydd and Gwynne and their dreadful reputation. Whilst giving every pretence of being a sensible rather conservative old fashioned GP, Wood sent certain students whom he targeted into the hands of a brutal sex trafficking gang, at a time before the general public were ever aware that such practices existed in the UK. He then systematically wrecked the lives of anyone who dared complain or caught a glimpse of the enormity of the wrongdoing. Wood even arranged jobs abroad for some people to get them out of the way even when the idea of emigrating horrified them and they were barely coping with life in the UK. A student whom I knew at Bangor found out about the corruption in the North Wales Police – she and her house mate had been constantly threatened, harassed and stitched up by the drug squad and I suspect that they realised that this was part of something much bigger. She infuriated Wood because she refused to go to Australia to take up a job that he was attempting to coerce her into accepting. Her housemate left Bangor to take up a job in the US – which as I remember was something to do with Wood’s wife, who was a lecturer in the School of Plant Biology. I’d be most interested to find out whether those two women are still alive – or whether, like so many people who knew that something terrible was going on in north Wales at that time, they have been killed in car accidents/found dead of drug overdoses/not managed to survive heroic attempts of Top Doctors to save their lives but instead have succumbed to conditions which other people usually survive.

Wood’s victims were English because the sort of better educated Welsh speakers whose children went to Bangor to study would never have handed their own children over to Dafydd and Gwynne.

This was brought home to me a few years ago when someone whom I became friends with in my 40s told me that she had begun a degree in music at Bangor in 1981, but withdrew after a truly unhappy time. She was a Welsh speaker, had been terrorised by the intimidating bastards in the Welsh speaking hall, had alleged that Professor William Matthias the Great was trying it on with the students and she had ended up with serious depression. Her mum and dad looked after her at home on the grounds that under no circumstances was she going to see the psychiatrist at UCNW – Gwynne the lobotomist. His reputation was well-known in Wales – it was English people who were fed bollocks by Wood about Gwynne’s ‘considerable success’.

I have mentioned the very bad behaviour of a small number of Welsh speaking students. There were a small number of self-appointed leaders of the English speaking students who might like to explain a few things to the police even after all these years.

Fiona Woolmer, the Wimmin’s Officer, who bombarded female undergrads with shite that she believed was coming from a feminist perspective. Woolmer knew all about the St David’s laundry (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’) and it was Fiona who was producing the literature to give to female students with advice on how to obtain an abortion privately in Chester because abortions could not be obtained anywhere in north Wales on the NHS. She will have known that this was a result of the crazed, abusive local Top Doctors and she will have known about the bloody trade in local disadvantaged girls and women – including the victims of the paedophile gang – and in their babies. Unless she was completely daft she will also have understood the horror within the arrangement that women seeking an abortion on the NHS had to stay at the North Wales Hospital to be ‘assessed’ by Dafydd – although they would be denied an abortion anyway, because of the Top Doctors arrangement. Like me, Fiona must have realised that there was an issue of disappearing babies. Fiona didn’t utter a word about any of it.

Duncan Orme, the Welfare Officer – who the last I heard just a few years ago was the Financial Director for an NHS Trust in Staffordshire. Duncan was the first person apart from Brown whom I consulted about Gwynne the lobotomist. Duncan admitted that Gwynne was a disaster and he confirmed that there had been attempted suicides because of Williams’s conduct. When I did not back down and stated that I did not intend to withdraw my complaint Duncan told me that I would get a ‘bad name’ for myself if I didn’t keep quiet about this, crapped himself and fled.

Well Duncan, who do you think has ended up with a bad name now then? Someone who was targeted by a gang of paedophiles and by a miracle survived whilst many more of their victims were found dead, or a dipstick like you who is working in a senior capacity in the most disgraced region of the UK’s NHS, which has become a byword for patients dying as a result of the decisions taken by you and your colleagues?

Fran Tate. Tate became the Welfare Officer after I graduated and remained there for years. Fran also worked for the CAB when she was young – and I am told has returned there again now that she has retired. The CAB which included among its senior managers Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress, former Director of Gwynedd Social Services and facilitator of the paedophile gang. Tate ended up as Head of Student Services and spent many happy years conducting personal vendettas against people who had spilt the paedophiles’ pints – she came after me on two occasions (see post ‘Disability Support’).

Some years ago allegations flew after Tate was appointed to a job in the University for which she wasn’t qualified and couldn’t do, but for which she was paid an awful lot of money. I was told variously that she had dirt on the VC, dirt on the VC’s wife and dirt on a friend of the VC. No, I very much doubt that she did – all three of those people had spilt the paedophiles’ pints themselves and one of them ended up dying at the hands of the Top Doctors. Fran was a mate of Dafydd and Lucille’s network and that gets people a long way, including into the Lords. So how did Fran wangle a job if the most senior person in the University was not a paedophiles’ friend? Quite simply – the VC’s wife died and whilst she was dying, for many months Bangor University was run by the Senior PVC, the late Professor Fergus Lowe. Fungus could not be described as a paedophiles’ friend, because Fungus wasn’t anybody’s friend. However Fungus had overthrown Dafydd in the School of Psychology back in the 1980s and had implemented an equally tyrannical regime built on his knowledge of the paedophiles’ friends and their activities (see post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’). Fungus wasn’t as thick as many of those we know and love and he wasn’t a member of the Mafia of Drips either – he’ll have known everything about all of them and will have used it in every way that he could. Fran bagged the job that everybody knew that she shouldn’t have had whilst Fungus had his hands on the organs of government at Bangor.

Just clearing a few names Fran! My only regret is that Fungus died unexpectedly (yes, another toxic git who would have been in a position to do massive damage who pegged out just as the demands for a re-investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were made in Parliament a few years ago) so never lived to read this blog. He certainly knew that I was planning to expose them all – it was well known that I thought that it would be entertaining to stand up in public on an occasion when the wonders of Fungus and the School of Psychology were being extolled and yell out ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’ and detail his crimes. Before I left Bangor, on every occasion on which I was having coffee with a mate or even just chatting to someone around the University, I’d turn around and there would be Fungus standing right behind me listening in. It happened so frequently that it will not have been a coincidence. Oh well the old bugger’s dead, but all of those who toadied to him are still with us.

I suspect that Fungus and/or Dafydd hold the key to yet another north Wales mystery that I have pondered over for a long while. I have described on this blog previously how when I lived near Bethesda in the 1990s one of my neighbours, a young man in the RAF, announced his intentions to read medicine. This man was able but what really freaked Bethesda out was that he was quite mad and given to outbursts of violence. He kicked someone’s cat across the garden on the grounds that he didn’t like cats. He then acquired a pup but didn’t seem able to train it – as a result the pup wouldn’t do things like come when it was called or walk on a lead, so his way of dealing with this was to completely lose his rag and inflict uncontrolled violence on the pup. One one occasion he injured the pup so seriously that it nearly died and the vet threatened to prosecute the potential Top Doctor if there was a repeat performance. Some time after this his girlfriend left him, taking their baby and denied him access on the grounds that he had been violent to her and was a danger to their baby. Neighbours expressed serious concerns that one day this man might turn up in a hospital near them.

Despite all that I knew about the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors, I did not think that this would happen. I knew that this man had experienced some sort of breakdown whilst in the RAF – according to some sources as a result of some psychological experiments in which he had participated – and one only had to talk to him for about 10 minutes to realise that something was wrong. Then he told me that his first choice of medical school was Guys and Tommys. I knew that there was stiff competition for places at this institution – particularly for mature students – and I also knew that medical schools obsess about students with any sort of perceived mental health problem and were turning down applications from high performing students who had previously suffered from anorexia. I therefore presumed that a man who was identifiably mad with a history of violence would not slip through even the very inadequate net of the Top Doctors. Furthermore, he had taken a job at Ysbyty Gwynedd as a porter during a gap year to Experience Life In A Hospital. He certainly did – I was told that he was known to be having sex with a whole variety of people on the premises during working hours and indeed was being described to third parties as the porter who ‘shags anything that moves’.

So imagine my surprise when he greeted me one day and cheerily told me that he had been for his interview at Guys and Tommys, that he had had a brilliant time with them and that they had observed that he was ex-forces which was great by them. He was in!

As the jaws of the good burghers of Bethesda hit the floor, the budding Top Doctor departed for London. He kept his cottage near Bethesda and returned from time to time. I was told that he had experienced another breakdown – however he wasn’t kicked off the course and I wondered if perhaps someone might have actually done the right thing for once, looked after him and made a positive difference. A few years later I bumped into him in Bangor – he was dressed in the sort of gear that Chris Eubank wears, which is a matter of personal choice but was a bit unusual for Bangor High Street. He told me that he had qualified, worked for a while – and had now been given a five year contract with the North West Wales NHS Trust as a psychiatrist in the Hergest Unit! He explained that the Trust had great problems attracting British graduates, so they snapped him up immediately.

About a year later I had yet another massive battle with the Hergest Unit, the one which culminated in the Hergest Unit trying to frame me for ‘threatening to kill Alun Davies’. I was told that this man had been appointed as my doctor. I didn’t actually mention all that I knew about him, I just told the Hergest Unit that he was my former neighbour, I had known him personally for a number of years and that it would be totally inappropriate for him to be my doctor. I was simply told that he was my doctor and that was that. At the same time, the Hergest Unit appointed a healthcare assistant who was actually one of the students whom I was teaching in the local FE college in Bangor as one of the staff on the ward to which I had been admitted. According to the Hergest Unit there was not a problem with that either. I got off lightly – I was told by one Hergest patient that her named Angel had been at school with her and had bullied her throughout their time there and continued with very similar conduct when in post at the Hergest.

As part of my complaint about the numerous incidents of gross misconduct on the part of the NW Wales NHS Trust at that time, I made representation to the GMC about my former neighbour and gave them the reasons why he was unfit to practice and the many examples of unacceptable conduct that had been evident on his part whilst I was in the Hergest Unit, yet alone for the many previous years throughout which I’d known him. I received a letter from the GMC telling me that they would not be investigating my complaint against him further – the Top Doctor himself had chosen not to comment in response to my complaint, but Keith Thomson, the CEO of the NW Wales NHS Trust, had written to the GMC explaining that there were no concerns about this man’s conduct and that I had made ‘outrageous allegations’ about his staff.

Some two years later I was told that the Top Doctor had carried out such a violent attack on his wife that she had been sectioned as a consequence of her own distress and that his two children had been taken into care as a result of serious neglect. Neighbours alleged that he had terrorised and controlled his wife, not allowing her to leave the house or to speak to anyone.

I have previously not named this Top Doctor, because I accept that he had very big problems of his own – however, that lot just won’t come clean and we are still hearing how all the NHS needs is a few more billion and what a problem the bastard patients are who are all violent/old/obese/miss their appointments.

So would anyone like to explain how Dr Andy Jones ever gained a place at Guys and Tommys, qualified and then worked for a number of years at Ysbyty Gwynedd? Perhaps the hospital chaplain the Rev Wynne Roberts could shed some light on this – Wynne was a friend of Andy’s, knew much of what I have written about here and also knew that patients at the Hergest Unit were being abused. That’s Wynne the hospital chaplain who was sacked from his previous position as a Church in Wales vicar after having an extra-marital affair with a parishioner, who sits on Mental Health Tribunals as well as on various service users and carers committees in north Wales and was or is a member of the Ethics Committee for the School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University (see post ‘Music Therapy Anyone?’).

Outrageous appointments and behaviour rather than outrageous allegations I think Thomson.

The reason that I always wondered whether Fungus or Dafydd were involved with the inexplicable acceptance of Andy Jones as a student at Guys and Tommys was that the only connection that Andy had with the healthcare or academic world was his brother, who had at some point been associated with the School of Psychology at Bangor. I was told in about 1990 that Andy’s brother ‘was a psychologist at Bangor University’ and that Andy was both envious of and felt overshadowed by him. Andy’s brother would definitely have known Fungus if he’d been working in the School of Psychology at that time and if he’d been there since just two years or so earlier he’d definitely have known Dafydd as well – Andy’s family were from Anglesey which was Dafydd’s domain, so they may well have known Dafydd anyway. North Wales heaved with people who seemed to think that the best career move that they could make was to go and have a word with dear old Dafydd and toady like there was no tomorrow.

I think that this might have been the reason why Dafydd found me so hard to cope with after I failed to accept his generous offer of a place at Liverpool Medical School in return for dropping my complaint about him – Dafydd really freaked out on the phone after this and yelled at me ‘any NORMAL woman would never carry on like you, any NORMAL woman would have some respect’ – there were quite extensive guidelines given as to what any NORMAL woman does, but I wasn’t taking notes at the time so I didn’t catch all the criteria. I also regret that the name of the Professor at Liverpool with whom Dafydd claimed to be mates and who was going to get me the place if I dropped my complaint escaped me – he was definitely Professor Richard someone, but whereas I was usually ready for a good laugh when Dafydd got going I was so gobsmacked at the overt attempt at bribery that his surname didn’t register. I’m sure that one of the other corrupt Top Docs knows who the Chair of Serious Organised Crime at Liverpool was.

I note that Andy applied to a London medical school – the usual avenues of cronyism and nepotism for the families of paedophiles’ friends in north Wales was Cardiff or Liverpool. It is clear from this blog that Dafydd had plenty of contacts among corrupt Top Docs in London, but his old mate Jim Watson from the Maudsley later established a sex therapy empire at Guys and Tommys and then became Head of the Academic Department pf Psychiatry there – Watson didn’t retire until 2000, so he will have still been in post when Andy Jones was offered a place at Guys and Tommys and throughout Andy’s training (see post ‘A Galaxy Of Talent’).

The hopelessness of the support from the Top Doctors for students in distress at UCNW was evident a few months before the finals in early 1984 (or it might have been late in 1983) when a student hung himself in the male hall Emrys Evans. I stress the hopelessness of the support from the Top Doctors – although there were the paedophiles’ friends on the loose within UCNW, the college was actually an incredibly friendly institution and the students were a nice lot, as were many staff. The problem was the people who were being to paid to look after the welfare of the students. People were horrified when the news got out that someone had been found hanging in Emrys Evans – it was said that one of the cleaners had found him. It transpired that it was one of the Welsh speaking students from the seriously dysfunctional School of Agriculture – in which Mary Wynch had been working when Dafydd had unlawfully arrested and banged her up in the North Wales Hospital and which was ruled over by the dreadful J.B. Owen from who students were fleeing (see post ‘Not Seen Since The 80s – Carwyn’).

None of us knew anything about the dead student at all. Well he’d been prevented from getting to know any of us by the regime ruled over by Big Bastard from the Welsh speaking hall – who I seem to remember was an agric himself – and he wasn’t going to risk encountering Gwynne and Dafydd even if they did speak the same language. The warden of Emrys Evans was Tony Jones who had links to some of the corrupt police officers in the North Wales Police and who got on very well with some of the students but made the lives of others such a misery that they lived in fear of him. I really do wonder what was happening to that student to cause him to hang himself.

There were other shenanigans that I have touched on previously going on in the English Students Union which were widely known about – the Irish student Aidan who had links with the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party) and was doing a roaring trade in copies of ‘The Starry Plough’; the scandal involving the NUS President who nicked all the funds and was booted out; the man called Martyn who led the Gay Rights Soc – the Gay Rights Society was particularly active at Bangor and Martyn seemed to do very well campaigning on a UK-wide level; and the Bangor student who got beaten up at the NUS conference because he supported the SDP. The madness prevailing in the Students Union at Bangor must have been known about by the NUS exec at a national level – Sue Slipman from Lampeter had been the Communist President of the NUS a few years previously and had then joined Dr Death in the SDP in 1981, she’ll have known something about it. The Sue Slipman who became tangled up with the NCCL during its paedophiles’ rights years and went on to a glorious career Chairing NHS Trusts (see post ‘The Cradle Of Filth’). The dreadful Phil Woolas, a twat of the highest order, NUS President 1984-86- and later the Blairite Minister for Immigration who ended up leaving politics under a cloud – will have known about some of the action at Bangor as well.

Whilst I was a student I was told by a local Welsh speaker that most of the students in the Welsh speaking hall ended up as teachers in Gwynedd or working for Gwynedd County Council because they refused to work through the medium of English – those were really the only professional jobs which existed in which one would never have to speak English. When I was older I met a few such people who had worked for Gwynedd County Council – after a few years they were leaving in distress, some of them having taken extended periods of sick leave for serious work related stress. The name Dafydd Iwan was mentioned to me a number of times in terms of the poisonous regime which he was alleged to have cultivated in his capacity as the leader of Gwynedd County Council and who was ruthlessly hounding people who were not members of his clique.

Dafydd Iwan did of course write a tribute song for Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – on the grounds that Dafydd was a Welsh hero and leading the field in PTSD work. Dafydd only started claiming to be a PTSD expert relatively late in his career – it pretty much coincided with the demands for an inquiry into the suspected paedophile ring which was thought to be operating in the children’s homes run by Gwynedd and Clwyd Councils.

Another ditty from the pen of Dafydd Iwan is ‘Ciosg Talysarn’, a song about the telephone box in Talysarn which was reputed to be bugged by MI5. Which it might well have been – I imagine that north Wales was crawling with people working for MI5, after all there was Irish Republican activity in the Students Union at Bangor University. There was also a paedophile ring in operation in the region – a paedophile ring which it has now been admitted was being concealed by the security services because it involved a Minister in Thatcher’s Gov’t. I tell you which telephone box MI5 will have been bugging though Dafydd Iwan – it will have been the ciosg in Rachub. Because that was the one that I was using in my attempts to pursue my complaints about Dafydd and the paedophiles and for my calls to friends to give them the latest info that I’d dug up on Dafydd et al. It was my friends who were found dead and hounded out of jobs in academia and the media, not yours. You remained in Gwynedd County Council and pursued your record producing activities with SAIN, your brother Alun Ffred – a UCNW graduate himself -had a media career with HTV and S4C, took over as leader of the revamped Gwynedd County Council in 1996 after the old Gwynedd County Council conveniently disappeared upon the publication of the Jillings Report (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’) and then became an AM. Were you ever the subject of an attempt to frame you for serious offences? Er – no, you weren’t. Bryn Fon was, Dewi Prysor was and so were scores of the victims of the paedophile gang. But as long as that gang carried on giving Sir Peter Morrison et al access to the kids in care any mate of Dafydd Alun Jones’s was untouchable.

Now you tell me who fell foul of the security services – because it really doesn’t look as though it was you or Lucille Hughes…

My post ‘Are You Local?’ described how children from the Ty’r Felin children’s home in Bangor – run by Gwynedd County Council – were trafficked to various locations, including to Dolphin Square in London. The girls were taken to locations on the doorstep of Ty’r Felin what with there being a greater demand for the sexual services of under-aged girls than boys – a favourite location was The Octagon, a rather dodgy nightclub that opened in Bangor in the summer of 1984. There was an opening night with a celeb in attendance. Was it Dafydd Iwan, hired to give everyone a round of Yma O Hyd? Er, no. The star of the evening was Samantha Fox, singer of the unforgettable lyrics ‘Touch me/I Want To Feel Your Body Next To Mine’. The evening was advertised in the Bangor and Anglesey Mail and a photo was provided of an ageing local journo staring at Samantha’s assets. The message was quite clear – sexual services from teenagers available here…

I’m sure that Samantha Fox turned up to any venue who paid her to do so, but I wonder who had the idea of using her to let everyone know what would be on offer in that nightclub? I’m also wondering who Samantha Fox’s agent was and who among the paedophiles’ friends might have known him/her.

The wimmin from the Rape Crisis group protested outside – but made no attempt to blow the whistle on the kids in care selling sex inside once the place was up and running. Well how could they – the funding for their group almost certainly came from Gwynedd County Council and Gwynedd Health Authority, Samantha Fox and the paedophile gang were their bread and butter.

The Octagon acquired a terrible reputation within months – drugs were sold on an industrial scale and a student was raped outside. The place soon became a no-go zone for students because of the grad bashing that was happening there. It was universally known as a pick-up joint in which very young girls were available. There were constant demands from local people for the place to be closed down. But for some reason the police, the magistrates and the Council just wouldn’t do it…

Welsh and English speakers alike, the people wrecking their lives were Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends – and of course their protectors troughing away in the Commons and the Lords and latterly the Senedd. They’ve screwed everyone for years.

 

 

News Round Up, 19 January 2018

There has been an avalanche of interesting news items recently, but I’m having to skimp on my news round ups because I have so much information coming in regarding those who have been involved in the abuse of mental health patients and children in care that I have been very busy following up multiple lines of research.

However, there have been a few news stories over the past couple of days that are just too good to allow to pass by without comment.

Yesterday the news was wall to wall NHS sob stories. Suddenly there is a ‘winter crisis’ so bad that no NHS hospital anywhere in England or Wales can cope any longer. Nurses are ‘going home in tears’ – no, that wasn’t a reference to nurses who have blown the whistle on the abuse of patients and who have been sacked, it was a reference to the many others who can suddenly no longer do their jobs and who are of course using food banks because people on salaries of over 30k pa can’t afford a loaf of white sliced. One wonders how the healthcare assistants manage on their salaries of 11-15k or indeed the porters, catering staff or cleaners who might really be using food banks. But they aren’t represented by the RCN so no-one gives a stuff about them.

There was a truly splendid clip on BBC News in which a Top Doctor on approx 100k pa – get down the food bank now Dr, you’ll be needing the free pasta and tinned tomatoes – explained how they were so short staffed in his A&E dept that the admin staff had arrived to help out. We were then treated to an interview with a PA who had donned surgical gloves and a plastic apron for the benefit of the TV camera crew who explained that she had arrived in the clinical area to help out.

OK – one thing that I know about the NHS is that although rules and indeed the law are flouted routinely the NHS is absolutely bloody obsessed with role titles, role descriptions and how much shit they’ll be in legally if they have been found to have breached HSE guidelines. So where does this leave them if a clinically unqualified PA has been let loose to perform nursing or healthcare assistant duties? I imagine that the insurers won’t be too happy if this is going on.

Furthermore, the said PA, even if she was au fait with nursing care, would be in the same position as the proverbial gap year student who goes off to work for an international development charity – they are a hindrance rather than a help because they don’t know the work routines or the team. The PA would know nothing about the ward routine or even where essential items are kept. A PA does not just walk onto a ward and join the team.

If the PA was busy on a ward being filmed, who was doing her job? If she could be spared at the drop of a hat, does that mean that her work as a PA is unnecessary? In which case why was she ever employed?

So someone has been telling porkies and the BBC have been filming porkies, just like they did on the Attenborough programme when they pretended to film that polar bear giving birth in the wild. They used film footage of a bear in a zoo.

In Wales a group of Consultants in Emergency Medicine have signed a letter to Carwyn demanding more dosh and stating that Wales’s A&Es are dangerous. They have been for years but there was no letter to the FM when the patient waiting in Wrexham Maelor A&E DIED, fell off the chair and was dragged back onto the chair by the Neanderthal security man who didn’t realise that the patient was dead.

Pauline Cutting and Linda Dykes, two A&E Consultants in Ysbyty Gwynedd, knew that their colleague senior nurse Stephen Gallagher was threatening patients, refusing to treat them and making fallacious allegations about them to the police (see post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’). Cutting and Dykes also knew that Gallagher had been previously reprimanded after a doctor complained about him and that it had been noted on his file that his integrity and competence could not be relied upon. Yet Gallagher was still employed in a senior role, on the front line, dealing with sensitive situations. Then there was that unfortunate business in which a patient was found dead in Bangor after going to A&E for help – Gallagher was the last person to see him alive as he turned the patient away without help. I don’t remember a letter being sent to the FM about that.

Neither was there a letter sent to the FM when Martin Jones, the Chief Exec of the North West Wales NHS Trust, destroyed CCTV footage which showed Gallagher threatening patients…

Time for a letter perhaps Pauline and Linda, detailing all those dreadful incidents that you witnessed in Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E? Perhaps you could also tell Carwyn how Martin wasn’t carrying out CRB checks on the staff and how there were people with convictions for violence working in clinical roles in YG? Do remember to tell the FM about the staff who lied about their qualifications as well – and the Angel who was working as a prostitute and who was blackmailing her clients! Ooh and the crazy medical student who had sex with all sorts of people on hospital premises and who was then employed as a psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit after he qualified.

You want examples of patients placed in danger? I’ve got loads of them – you knew about them as well but none of you breathed a word.

To add to the fun, Cheshire Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach spoke out about the shite care provided by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and claimed that Welsh patients are cluttering up the Countess of Chester Hospital because they don’t want to risk their necks in north Wales hospitals.

The Countess of Chester was not so long ago the subject of a police investigation after a number of babies died there.

Antoinette used to be a Tory AM for north Wales. She made no representations at all on behalf of the people who had to use the dangerous dysfunctional hospitals of north Wales which are now in special measures. Antoinette did speak out after her own child died – but she spoke out about being investigated by the police. She stood up in the Senedd and she cried and howled and wept buckets and received a round of applause – and repeated the performance when she was elected to Westminster, again to a round of applause. She continued to not say a word about the women who had lost their babies because of the negligence of the NHS in north Wales or indeed about any of the other patients who had died or been harmed.

North Wales has some of the worst health outcomes in Europe – Antoinette remained silent.

Antoinette is a former criminal barrister from London who decided upon a career as a Tory AM some years ago when questions began to be asked once more about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and the cover-up which was the Waterhouse Inquiry. She arrived in north Wales as a ‘low paid farm worker’ – Antoinette actually returned to live on the family estate, her family being descendants of the Penrhyns who made their fortune out of slavery in the West Indies. Within weeks Antoinette had a job with David Jones MP, the solicitor who spent years of his life watching me and other people being framed by the mental health services in the courts of north Wales (see post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’).

Very quickly Antoinette was on the candidates list, then bang, elected as an AM, advertising herself as a farmer’s daughter from north Wales. Antoinette’s dad was not Joe Grundy or even Phil Archer, he was Ian Lawrie Mackeson-Sandbach.

Ian was the most senior Freemason in north Wales – Provincial Grand-Master of North Wales, 1990-2004. Ian held that position throughout the many years of failed investigations and inquiries into the north Wales paedophile ring, investigations which were alleged to have been hampered by corruption involving Freemasonry. Ian was also in post when the five witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed by a firebomb, days after John Major won the 1992 General Election (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’).

David Jones MP was an enthusiastic Freemason as was Nigel Mannering Berry (see post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’), the nurse from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh who was responsible for Gwynfa Unit, the adolescent mental health unit in Colwyn Bay where children were raped and assaulted (see post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’). Hefin Davies, the Chairman of the North West Wales NHS Trust whilst patients were abused, died and were framed for serious offences, was also active in the Freemasons in north Wales.

Your dad kept some lovely company Antoinette.

Antoinette’s grandmother Geraldine – Ian’s mother – was President of the Denbigh branch of the Royal College of Midwives, 1955-75 (News Round Up, Aug 24 2017′). During those years unmarried pregnant women were banged up in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, as were women who had been sexually assaulted – and women were being sexually abused by staff in the hospital, including by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones.

Christ Almighty, Antoinette’s family have blood on their hands.

The senior manager of the north Wales mental health services whilst Antoinette’s dad’s fellow Masons raped teenagers and imprisoned women in Denbigh was Dr Peter Higson, who is Chair of the Betsi. The Betsi which Antoinette maintains is so utterly shite that it is causing an exodus to England.

The Daily Post Online reported that Geoff Ryall-Harvey, the Chief Exec of the North Wales Community Health Council, ‘slammed’ Antoinette for her comments. Had Geoff slammed some of the abusive staff and managers of the Betsi over the past few years rather than ignoring patients complaints, the Betsi might not be in its present sorry state. But then the CHC has numbered among its members Glanville Owen, the former manager of the children’s homes run by Gwynedd Social Services whilst the kids within were abused (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’), Sadie Francis (Dr X’ s wife), a retired psychiatrist from the North Wales Hospital and the Hergest who along with her husband Tony perjured herself in repeated attempts to imprison me (see post ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter ‘) and Dr Christine Evans, a retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd whose only reason for joining the CHC was to try to protect the position of her former colleagues at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in the wake of a Royal College of Surgeons report denouncing them as a bunch of bastards who were running  the surgical service to suit their own needs rather than the needs of their patients.

Another member of the CHC is former Lib Dem AM Eleanor Burnham. Eleanor is a former social services manager and sat on Mental Health Tribunals at the North Wales Hospital.

For more details concerning the ‘watchdog’ that is the ‘patients voice’ which is log jammed with the paedophiles’ friends, see post ‘Joint Betsi Board/North Wales CHC Meeting, March 24 2017’.

The bestest friend of the paedophiles, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, has been supplying nearly as much entertainment in the Daily Post Online as Antoinette. Arfon has told vigilante ‘paedophile hunters’ that they would be better off joining the police. Experimental evidence suggests that the North Wales Police were not very good at all at catching paedophiles, although they were quite good at framing people for child abuse who were not paedophiles. One former officer of the North Wales Police, Superintendent Gordon Anglesea, was eventually imprisoned for abusing children in care in Wrexham, but it took over 30 years to catch Anglesea and the Police Federation backed him up all the way and were supporting his planned appeal against conviction before he died.

The police officer who chauffeured Anglesea to the venues where he abused boys was one Arfon Jones. Anglesea’s widow Sandra enjoys the benefits of Anglesea’s police pension although her husband died a convicted sex offender, thanks to an ‘oversight’ on the part of Arfon.

Arfon is concerned that paedophile hunters could lead to offenders going free due to legal and procedural failings. Perhaps in the same way that nearly all those who were responsible for the abuse of children in north Wales over decades went free despite the hundreds of statements that were submitted to the CPS.

I’m glad to say that Afon has made ‘protecting vulnerable children and delivering safer neighbourhoods’ priorities in his police and crime plan – what could ever go wrong with Arfon at the helm? Arfon stated that ‘communities have a vital part to play with local intelligence information given to our officers’. Hundreds of statements were given to officers Arfon, hundreds. Then there were the psychiatric patients who reported assaults on them by mental health staff to police officers – who refused to take statements. Neither must we forget the concerned neighbours who rang the police begging them to help various children in care or psychiatric patients who had been left destitute and were being attacked by drunks and thugs – police officers did bugger all. Some of them did try but they were constantly obstructed by more senior officers or the NHS and social services themselves. And gradually most of the former kids in care and psych patients who had complained died – most of those deaths were not even investigated.

An inspection of HMP Liverpool has denounced the conditions as the worse that have ever been seen in a UK prison and it has been reported that the prison medical service is so bad that prisoners have undoubtedly died uneccesarily. This didn’t happen overnight – can some questions now be asked about the previous inspectors who failed to notice this? HMP Nottingham has also been heavily criticised and the brand spanking new HMP Berwyn which David Hanson, Hywel Williams, Elfyn Llwyd and Leanne Wood begged for and which was going to transform the economic prospects of Wrexham – how exactly none of these bozos were able to explain – has been denounced as dangerous by the staff.

If readers can bear anymore humbug and hypocrisy, I can highly recommend  Professor Catherine Robinson’s Twitter feed, it surpasses Arfon Jones’s crime plan. Highlights from the past few days include a retweet about mental disorders being included in the earliest known medical texts – are we still relying upon Galen??? Ooh I think that I’ve got an excess of black bile, I’ll go for a bit of blood letting and see if my condition improves. Catherine also retweeted yet another lame article from the Guardian about the ‘unbelievably dedicated NHS staff’ – presumably these include the NHS staff employed at the School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University who Catherine hated so much that she threatened to resign if she was transferred to their School; an article about nurses being unable to afford to feed themselves; an advert for an art group for people with borderline personality disorder – Catherine used to work in the North Wales Hospital where that label was attached to anyone who dared complain about being propositioned by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones (see post ‘ The Mentor’); and a tweet about how when sex assault victims speak out their institutions often betray them – at the North Wales Hospital sex assault victims were kept in a cellar.

Catherine also retweeted an advert for a job with the McPin Foundation. The McPin Foundation promotes mental health research foregrounding ‘service user involvement’. I applied for a job as a researcher with the McPin Foundation about three years ago. They were ever so nice at the interview and I later received a letter from them explaining that the vacancy was for a service user researcher, that I was far too capable for such a post and that the service user researcher posts were really very junior and service users were not given any responsibility or strategic input into the project. I understand that another applicant who was also a ‘service user’ with a PhD and post doc experience received a similar letter. Catherine will get on with the McPin Foundation really well – her project involving ‘service users’ didn’t even cite their names on the outputs, they were simply referred to as ‘and others’. She probably still wishes that they could be kept in the cellar.

I was delighted to discover from Catherine’s retweets that Kate C. Thomas of the Betsi is looking for people to give presentations about gendered and race identities at a conference in London. Perhaps I should submit one concerning the experience of the gay student nurse who was subjected to homophobic bullying on placement at the Hergest Unit or Dr Alberto, the Italian psychiatrist employed by the Betsi who was frozen out by his colleagues because he is Italian…

 

Question Time last night saw the vile Andy ‘I’m from the north me’ Burnham tell the audience in the wake of the collapse of Carillion how he has always disagreed with PFI hospitals. So that must have been why so many of them were signed off whilst Burnham was Health Secretary. Perhaps he was too busy ignoring those 80 requests for an inquiry into the astronomical death rates at Mid-Staffs to notice all the PFI contracts – er, but weren’t those PFIs used by Andy to boast about how much New Labour was ‘investing’ in the NHS? Anyone currently screaming about the lack of resources available for patient care in the NHS care to explain why they said nothing at all about those PFI hospitals but instead were photographed with rictus grins as each one was opened? They were all told what appalling deals PFIs were. But then they were all told that patients were dying of neglect and good staff were being hounded out of their jobs…

Perhaps the most extraordinary bit of news recently which has received very little publicity was the Attorney General Jeremy Wright blocking Stuart Lubbock’s father Terry’s application to the High Court to request a fresh inquest into Stuart’s death.

Stuart Lubbock was the man who was found dead in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool – during a party. Stuart had serious anal injuries and alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine in his blood. Barrymore had been at the party but left the scene when the body was discovered.

Stuart was found dead on March 31 2001. Barrymore was interviewed by police but was released. In October 2001 Barrymore accepted a police caution for drugs offences. An inquest on Stuart in 2002 recorded an open verdict and it was observed that there were no benign reasons for Stuart’s injuries. In Feb 2006 Stuart’s family were blocked by a district judge in Southend, Essex, from pursuing a private prosecution against Barrymore. In Dec 2006 Essex police began a new investigation into Stuart’s death. In Jan 2007 the IPCC announced an investigation  into the detectives original handling of the inquiry into Stuart Lubbock’ s death. On June 14 2007 Barrymore was arrested with two other men on suspicion of serious sexual assault and murder. Barrymore was given bail the next day. In Feb 2009 the IPCC upheld 36 complaints and allegations by Stuart’s father. The IPCC also found that two pieces of evidence – a pool thermometer and a door handle – had gone missing after Stuart’s death.

In July 2015 Barrymore began suing the police for wrongful arrest – he issued a writ in the High Court. In August 2017 a judge stated that Barrymore will receive more than nominal damages.

No judge or Attorney General is going to be told what to do by a light entertainment favourite who yells ‘awight?’ at the audience. So what does Barrymore know about who?

The action all took place in Essex. A favourite spot for the residences of the crime barons and gangsters operating in London. Who are alleged to have many police officers, lawyers and judges on their payroll.

News Update And A Few More Accessories

The story dominating the headlines since yesterday has of course been the revelation that there is an alleged ‘gender pay gap’ at the BBC. The fighting that has broken out between numerous overpaid male luvvies and numerous rather less overpaid female luvvies has eclipsed discussion of far more obvious injustices – and not just the BAME pay gap, which the ‘Guardian’ managed to mention. Firstly EVERYBODY involved is earning completely unjustifiable quantities of money. No I am not going to take up cudgels on the part of Claudia who ‘only’ gets £500k for doing sod all on a lame dancing show once a week. The use of the word ‘talent’ to describe this bunch of airheads is quite staggering. The elephant in the room is of course the way in which this lot secure jobs with the BBC in the first place – it is frequently through nepotism. Scores of them are married to each other or having relationships with each other – or indeed just having sex with each other – and were ‘introduced’ to the BBC in that way. Many of the others have parents working in the media or specifically at the BBC. Even many of the BBC’s ‘experts’ presenting the ‘science’ programmes are people who had parents or other family members who worked at the BBC – it is far too frequent to be coincidental. The oppressed Claudia is actually the daughter of Eve Pollard, who edited the ‘Sunday Express’. After splitting up from Claudia’s father, Eve remarried Sir Nicholas Lloyd, who was the former editor of the ‘Daily Express’. Claudia’s half-sister from her father’s second marriage is the wife of Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Will Claudia now seek legal advice because she has been discriminated against? Almost certainly. Meanwhile an army of very badly paid probably migrant women will be doing the cleaning, cooking and childcare for the extended Winkleman/Pollard clan and there won’t be any screaming headlines about their rates of pay.

There seems to be an obvious injustice within the ranks of the oppressed women anyway – the dipstick Claudia is pulling in many more thousands than the two women journalists who work on the ‘Today’ programme or Laura Keunssberg, who actually need brains and a degree of knowledge to do their jobs well. Furthermore, there will be many women beavering away at the BBC doing the cleaning – probably in the middle of the night as well – or working in the canteens etc. Like the servants who will be sustaining Claudia’s household, they’ll be paid a rate on which they’ll barely be able to exist and they’ll probably have migrated from a country where their quality of life was even worse than it is cleaning at the BBC at 2 am. You won’t hear them mentioned anywhere – and some of those very badly paid workers will of course be men. Male cleaners earn a lot less than the presenters of ‘Woman’s Hour’ – who are so badly paid that they are miffed about not making it into the ranks of those whose salaries caused the row.

Of course, no-one can actually expect anything other than grossly unfair practices from the BBC. It has been successively Chaired by twats like Michael Grade who only landed their own positions because they toadied to other unworthy powerful people, in Grade’s case the likes of Samuel Brittan, brother of the dreadful Leon. For details of Grade’s toadying and an account of his twattish, offensive, anti-Welsh conduct when he condescended to visit Cardiff on a ‘meet the Governors’ evening, please see posts ‘News Round Up, May 18 2017’ and ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’. Amongst this enormous BBC scrap, I’m still waiting for someone to explain an Historic BBC Injustice to me – the sacking of Frank Bough after the cocaine and prostitutes revelations, as opposed to the non-sacking of Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolf etc. Perhaps Richard Tait, mate of Michael Grade as well as Chair of journalism at Cardiff University and former King of ‘Nationwide’ which starred poor old Bough, could let us know.

I can only hope that the mainstream citizens of the UK getting by on salaries of £30k or less in return for their rather more useful contributions to society than that made by Lineker or Jeremy Vine or Tess or Claudia will stop stumping up for their TV licences now that we know what the licence fee is actually being used for. Bankrupting the BBC – or at least indicating to dear old Tony Hall that such an outcome is on the horizon – will be a far more effective remedy than squealing about gender pay gaps.

The news story following hot on the heels of BBCgate this morning was yet another NHS England Mental Health Scandal. The CQC – who have spent years concealing malpractice, serious neglect and deaths in NHS England’s mental health system – have revealed that thousands of mental health patients are incarcerated in secure units when they shouldn’t be. The CQC has also revealed that many such units are unsafe and that the ones run by private providers are suspected of detaining patients longer than necessary in order to benefit financially. So why haven’t the CQC mentioned this before? I knew that it was going on, other bloggers like me knew that it was going on and so did the CQC. In fact one non-executive director of the CQC, Sir Robert Francis QC, knew as long ago as 1991 that patients in north Wales were being detained in secure units unlawfully after they complained about criminal conduct on the part of the mental health services. Robert Francis QC knew about this because he read a series of letters from me giving full details of such practices, including names, dates, etc. His solution was to ask a judge to imprison me for ‘harassment’ whilst acting for one of the psychiatrists who was involved in the criminal conduct himself. The case was funded by the MDU. You need to resign Robert, this blog has built up quite a big following and your activities of some 25 years ago are now quite widely known. Before you resign however, I suggest that you tell your colleagues on the CQC to conduct a review of the cases of all patients currently languishing in secure units and identify how many of them had a history of complaining about the mental health services or maintained that they were abused as children in local authority care. When you have identified them, let them out and help them rebuild their lives that the medical establishment destroyed. And then do us all a favour and fuck off into oblivion, because you’ve done more than enough damage. By the way, a reader of this blog e mailed me a couple of days ago to ask me if Robert Francis is related to a judge of a similar vintage with the same surname. She knew that loads of those in positions like Francis are from legal or medical families, but noted that there is no information at all available about Francis’s origins online. I had a search and I saw what she meant. Robert Francis QC seems to have been beamed down upon earth in that form during the 1970s. After attempting to imprison me in 1991, his career really took off and he was soon being called upon to Chair major NHS cover-ups! 1991 – the year in which folk investigating the Westminster Paedophile Ring maintain that the big cover-up took place. Witnesses to the activities of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were being found dead at about that time too. I’m lucky that I wasn’t because at that time there were a couple of attempts to set fire to my house (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).

The member of the CQC fessing up is of course not Robert Francis – he’s been keeping a low profile recently. The man being wheeled out for media comment is Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals who leads on mental health. Of course, I googled Lelliott – but he’s even more of a mystery than Robert Francis is. There is virtually no info available about Lelliott and the CQC link to his biography has been disabled. Lelliott is a Top Doctor, he will have a biography – so why has it been hidden? The only info about this particular Top Doctor is that before he was appointed to the CQC in 2014, he had spent twenty years as a Consultant Psychiatrist and had worked for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. This Trust was formed in 1994 and has swallowed up part of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust. The South London Healthcare NHS Trust was described as having a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with the Oxleas Trust and was the centre of a major row a few years ago. In 2012 the Secretary of State for Health ordered an investigation after concerns were raised that the South London Healthcare NHS Trust ‘was not a viable concern’. In 2013 it was announced that the Trust was to be disbanded. However there was a High Court action – no doubt from Top Doctors – and questions in Parliament. The Trust limped on, led by a ‘Special Administrator’. It would seem that the troubles of the NHS in that part of the world continue – I can only imagine what was going on if it was felt that the Trust needed to be disbanded a la the North West Wales NHS Trust.

All has not always been well in the garden of the Oxleas Trust either. In 2011 a mental health patient murdered someone which resulted in litigation against the Trust. In 2013 the Trust faced another legal challenge after the suicide of a mental health patient. I’m glad to report though that the Health Services Journal named the Oxleas Trust as being the second best mental health Trust to work for in 2015! So the staff are having a great time in the face of patient catastrophe. Little wonder – in Aug 2015, the Trust broke the national pay agreement by awarding a pay rise to senior non-clinical staff who were earning above £57,000. Yes, the more highly paid pen-pushers were given a pay rise. So presumably if one is a Top Doctor or non-clinical manager, one can do very nicely out of the Oxleas Trust, even if no-one else does.

Of course the Voice Of The Service Users, MIND, have also Spoken Out about the latest NHS England mental health scandal. MIND have known about this even longer than Sir Robert Francis QC has – I first approached MIND about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services and their unlawful detention of people in 1987. Their legal director William Bingley admitted that he knew all about it and indeed he knew a great deal more than I did about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al. I approached MIND on many occasions regarding the north Wales mental health services, at no time did I ever receive an appropriate response. Furthermore MIND also kept completely schtum about an appallingly abusive chain of care homes in north Wales whose residents were being emotionally, physically and sexually abused (see previous posts). The person that MIND has wheeled out to provide media comment is Sophie Corlett. Sophie has been at MIND since 2002. Oh well she was there when I told them that patients were being assaulted by staff at the Hergest Unit and framed for serious offences then – they did not follow up my concerns. In fact when I was later interviewed by a newspaper regarding the activities of the Hergest Unit, Ruth Coombs from MIND Cymru then contacted me to ask if I would ‘help’ MIND. That was the same Ruth Coombs who had refused to help me a couple of years previously when I rang her about the Hergest Unit! Hard luck Ruth I do not work with corrupt people. I gave you repeated opportunities to expose what was going on in the mental health services in north Wales and you made it very clear that you were not interested in what was happening to me or to the other patients – or in the astronomical suicide rate. Furthermore, after I contacted you, MIND Cymru actually entered into a business arrangement with the Health Board in north Wales. I have blogged about this recently.

Sophie is also involved with something called the ‘Centre for Mental Health’. The ‘Centre for Mental Health’ states that ‘we’re here until people with mental health problems have a fair chance in life’. Alongside Sophie’s mugshot and profile is the mugshot and profile of Lady Elizabeth Vallance, the Chair of the ‘Centre For Mental Health’. Lady Elizabeth is described as a political theorist. She has been a magistrate in London for twenty years and in 2009 was the High Sheriff of Greater London. Lady Elizabeth has many strings to her bow. She was also the Chair of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. Which runs the criminally negligent Springfield Hospital, where a number of patients murdered each other as well as members of staff, as well as St George’s Hospital Medical School which employed a number of corrupt psychiatrists who knew that their peers in north Wales were abusing patients but colluded with them (see posts ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’ and ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). St George’s psychiatrists also consulted Lucille Hughes, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation in the social services but failed to act, for evidence of my ‘dangerousness’, after I complained about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones who was Lucille’s bedfellow and facilitating the paedophile ring in question. Lady Elizabeth was also Chair of the Institute of Education (part of the University of London), as well as of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards. Which might explain why St George’s kept being touted as a centre of clinical excellence despite the grim reality and scandals.

Lady Elizabeth was also Vice-Chair of the ‘Heath Foundation’. The ‘Health Foundation’ does of course only have one goal in life and that is to improve the nation’s health by awarding ‘significant grants to bring about better health and care’. It is a charity with very full coffers. It is so rich that it doesn’t have to fund raise. The ‘Health Foundation’ was established by an endowment – which currently stands at approx. £800 million – in 1998 from the sale of PPP Healthcare Group (a private medical insurance company). The ‘new organisation’ formed was known as the ‘PPP Foundation’ and in 2003 was renamed the ‘Health Foundation’. It deludes itself that it has a ‘completely independent status’. A quick look at the ‘Health Foundation’s’ website reveals that Anita Charlesworth, their Director of Research and Economics, was awarded a CBE on July 16 2017. The very next day Anita was appointed as an Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham – the establishment that employed Professor Robert Bluglass who led the cover-up regarding the criminal activities of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) at the invitation of the Welsh Office, whilst the whole lot of them were concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). Dr Tony Francis’s former boss, Professor Ian Brockington, was also employed by the University of Birmingham after Francis left Manchester (where Brockington had been employed before he landed the Chair at Birmingham) for north Wales (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’). As an indication of their independence, the ‘Health Foundation’ co-owns the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal.

Lady Elizabeth is a Sloane Fellow of the London Business School, as well as a non-executive director of the Medical Protection Society.

There seems to be a number of conflicts of interest here.

So who is Lady Elizabeth Vallance married to? Lord Vallance of course! What with Lady Elizabeth being a Sloane Fellow, I wondered if Lord Vallance was what one of my friends calls a ‘posh Lord’, ie. someone with a hereditary peerage. No, Lady and Lord are not posh, Lord is a Lib Dem peer who has crawled his way up, as obviously has Lady. Lord is Iain Vallance, who is described as a ‘British businessman’. No he didn’t establish his own business and hit the big time through hard graft, Iain Vallance actually spent the first part of his career as an executive for the Post Office and then moved to BT in 1981, just before it was privatised! Which was certainly a smart move, because despite all that embarrassing hoo hah over the giveaway of public assets that was the privatisation of BT, by 1986 Iain Vallance was Chief Exec. He was appointed Chairman in 1987 and then held both roles until 1995. He resigned as Chairman in 2001 after numerous awkward bastards of investors demanded that he step down. So he became President Emeritus instead until 2002. In 2003 Iain was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Siemens and in 2004 he was rewarded for his contribution to British life with a peerage.

It’s not all bad news for NHS England though. In the wake of their colluding friends from the CQC biting them on the bum, ‘Mail Online’ reported that the Dept of Health stated that there are ‘many examples of excellent mental health care and nearly all services were rated as good or outstanding for having caring and compassionate staff’. They were rated thus because the CQC is completely dishonest about the conduct of NHS mental health staff – after all Robert Francis tried to have me imprisoned because I’d complained about some of them who were concealing a paedophile gang who were delivering children in care to the Westminster Paedophile Ring ( see post ‘Are You Local?’). Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s ‘mental health chief’, commented that ‘overall mental health funding is up by £1.4 billion in real terms’. That is irrelevant Claire if Top Doctors employed in the service are either criminals themselves or colluding with their colleagues who are criminals. Criminals behave even more badly if they are given a lot of money, it is not a good idea to do that.

So how naïve is Claire? Not at all I suspect. Claire’s CV boasts that she worked as a registered mental health nurse for 34 years. OK, she’ll have witnessed plenty of malpractice then. As a bog standard registered mental health nurse on the ward she won’t have been able to do much about that, if she whistleblew she would have just been sacked. But I don’t think that Claire spent 34 years at the coalface. I suspect that Claire was the sort of registered mental health nurse who went into management and made damn sure that no other registered mental health nurses blew the whistle, because in 2007 Claire was appointed Chief Exec of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She didn’t step into that role after 34 years of damp-dusting the shelves and doing nice hospital corners on the beds. Or even after 34 years of forcibly injecting sectioned patients with anti-psychotics and having them tasered by the police if they put up too much of a fight. Claire was not your common or garden registered mental health nurse and she obviously wasn’t one of the many who have become so sickened by what is going on that they’ve left the NHS. Not only is Claire Chief Exec of one of the biggest hitting Trusts in the UK, but she is also the Director of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership.

For details of the research fraud and unethical conduct of a number of people who are part of Imperial College, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. This is NHS England we’re talking about here, so I was not surprised to see a section of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership’s website dedicated to ‘corporate’. Clicking on this reveals that one of their partnerships is with GSK and there is a quote saying that this arrangement is ‘a unique and bold industry-academia partnership, combining for the first time the diverse skills of engineers, medics and life-scientists’. This quote is attributed to Patrick Vallance, President, R&D, GSK.

I used to know Patrick Vallance. He worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School. In terms of his role as a Top Doctor, he was a general physician, but his real passion was his research interest in pharmacology. Patrick Vallance was a very good pharmacologist and unlike some of the Top Doctors at St George’s he was very bright and this was acknowledged by everyone. I think that Patrick Vallance had also been a student at St George’s as well. Either way, Patrick Vallance was far too clever not to have noticed and known about the shite that surrounded him at St George’s. He caused a real stir when he left academia to work for the pharmaceutical industry, because when he was younger he had published a book with his colleague Joe Collier called ‘The Health Conspiracy’. This book made a lot of people very angry because it was a devastating expose of the corrosive effect that the pharmaceutical industry and it’s practices were having on medicine. Vallance and Collier were considered to be a pair of lefties by the rest of St George’s and a lot of people considered them to be a pain. Vallance and Collier predicted that Thatcher’s onslaught upon the universities would leave them so weak that they would end up under the control of the pharmaceutical industry. That book was actually vey good and Collier and Vallance put up with a lot of grief for daring to publish it. So why some years later when he had become a very big name in pharmacology did Patrick Vallance join the industry that he had been so critical of? He was interviewed on ‘The Life Scientific’ on Radio 4 last year and he made a reference to the damage that his reputation might have suffered by leaving academia to join GSK, but he didn’t really explain why he made the move after establishing a name for himself by being so critical of that industry. Like Patrick Vallance, Joe Collier too will have known about the misconduct and malpractice of some of his colleagues but he never publicly spoke out. After I left St George’s the shit hit the fan when it was revealed that the computer programme that St George’s was using to shortlist students applying for medicine for interview was programmed to discriminate against candidates with non-British names. I was told that it was Joe Collier who had actually discovered this and brought it to public attention and that he had been subjected to great unpleasantness from his colleagues as a result. Sadly though Joe Collier was keeping quiet about far worse things than that.

I always presumed that Joe Collier and Patrick Vallance either knew that they would be destroyed if they did speak out about the many horrors at St George’s or that they were doing what David Healy has spent 25 years doing – colluding with the most atrocious malpractice whilst pretending to be a Top Doctor Who Takes On The Establishment. However I did not knew until this morning that a Lady Elizabeth Vallance had been the Chair of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, a Lady Vallance who was sitting on a midden. Could she possibly be related to the Patrick Vallance who also kept quiet about the midden there previously?

 

Now to Horrible Murders of an historical nature. Documents released by the National Archives from the Downing Street files show that in Feb 1985 Thatcher over-ruled Leon Brittan, who at that time was Home Secretary, regarding his plans to put in place the process of a Parole Board hearing regarding Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. It was Thatcher who stated that Brady and Hindley must never be released, although the whole life tariff for both of them wasn’t made official until 1990, when David Waddington was Home Secretary. I have blogged about the case of Hindley and Brady on a number of occasions previously, partly because of Brady being incarcerated in Ashworth Hospital, a place where Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends had connections, but also because a number of the lawyers involved in that case – including Ronald Waterhouse – later played a role in assisting the paedophiles’ friends by concealing their wrongdoing. The trial of Brady and Hindley took place at Chester Assizes – at the heart of the legal and judicial corruption previously described on this blog. A number of readers have noticed a few odd things about Brady and Hindley’s trial. For one thing, that it was held at Chester. The crimes were not committed at or near Chester or in north Wales and Brady and Hindley didn’t live in Chester or in north Wales. Most people tried at Chester had some connection to Chester or north Wales. Furthermore, the barristers involved in that case were relatively young unknown lawyers. Yet that case was massive. One would have thought that the biggest legal guns in the country would have been rolled out. Previous posts have mentioned some of the many miscarriages of justice that seemed to have happened at Chester. A reader e mailed me some weeks ago and asked whether I thought that something dodgy might have been going on in that trial. Brady and Hindley did of course freely confess to killing and torturing children, so I’ve never questioned whether they were fitted up. However it seems that there were I think investigations into two of the murders that Brady ‘refused to assist’ with. Brady of course was famously as difficult as he could be, openly loathed the Top Doctors and the police and held them in extreme contempt. For their part, they fanned the flames with their constant ‘revelations’ in the media concerning their insights into the evil that was Ian Brady, his psychopathy, his ‘games’, his manipulation etc. Yet Myra Hindley, despite being regularly outed by the tabloids as ‘the most evil woman in Britain’ did co-operate with police and certainly when she was in middle age seems to have gone to considerable efforts to assist the police in trying to find the bodies of the murdered children that had not been recovered. Hindley however maintained that she had not been involved in those particular murders and she didn’t know where the bodies were – she was only let out of prison to assist with the search because she was able to show the police some of Brady’s favourite places on the moors when they had been young. The missing children’s bodies were never recovered.

So as one of my correspondents pointed out, Brady and Hindley had not actually confessed to those two murders, although they were convicted of them. And no bodies were ever found, despite much well-publicised searching of the moors where the bodies of the children that they did confess to killing had been buried. What if they did not kill the two children whose bodies were not found? It is now accepted that child abuse has been a problem for decades and until recently the extent of it wasn’t acknowledged. Paedophiles were known to be active in the region where Brady and Hindley lived and we now know that when professional people were involved in such activity, it was very effectively concealed. And Chester was a hotbed of police, legal and judicial corruption. If somebody else rather more well connected than Brady and Hindley had been under suspicion of attacking, indeed even of killing children, two unhinged young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who were known to have killed other children would have been a gift. Particularly if it could be arranged for their trial to take place at Chester with low profile inexperienced counsel where no-one would have to be persuaded too hard that they were guilty of all the murders with which they were charged…

 

A Tory politician who is also a Top Doctor has been in the news today and that is Liam Fox. Fox is of course one of the Chief Brexiteers and is currently carrying out some delicate ‘negotiations’ that a lot of people don’t trust him with. Like Dr Death aka David Owen, Liam Fox is not above reminding everyone that he is a doctor should we need reassuring about his integrity on any matter. I remember seeing Fox on a chat show a few years ago which also featured a former Spice Girl, who, as sometimes happens on chat shows featuring singers and/or dancers, at one point got out of her seat and started gyrating around the floor to one of her tracks. Somehow she ended up with her bum in the air in close proximity to Fox’s face and she apologised to him for this. He reassured her that there was no need to apologise because ‘I’m a doctor’. He is also a Conservative politician, known for being hard right and somewhat ruthless. So might Liam, like so many other Top Doctors close to the organs of Gov’t, have helped the Tories out of a tight spot at any point? Or indeed helped the Top Doctors out of a tight spot?

Liam originally came from Glasgow, went to school there and studied medicine at Glasgow. After graduating he worked as a GP. Fox began standing for Parliament in the late 80s in Scotland, but he ended up being elected for north Somerset in 1992. He was appointed PPS to Home Secretary Michael Howard in June 1993. At that time the Gov’t were still dealing with the very sticky problem that was Mary Wynch and the aftermath of her illegal arrest and incarceration in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd, which included Mary’s legal action against the Public Trustee. Mary was eventually left ruined after being finally stuffed over and kicked to one side in 1995 – the dirty deed happened on Michael Howard’s watch (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). Ann Widdecombe famously commented that there was ‘something of the night’ about Michael Howard. I suspect that there might also have been something of the concealing of the Westminster Paedophile Ring about him. Ann Widdecombe converted to Roman Catholicism in the wake of her fury at the Anglican Church ordaining women. I haven’t got time to expand on it here, but I’ve heard a few rumours about the Catholic Church and child abuse…

Someone was obviously grateful to Liam for something because in 1999 he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Health, a post he retained until 2003. In 2003 he was appointed co-chair of the Conservative Party and also led Howard’s leadership campaign. In 2005 Fox launched his own bid for the Party leadership, on a ‘broken society’ theme. One would have thought that a champion for the mending of a broken society would have been able to persuade his former boss Howard to have meted out fair treatment to an elderly lady who had been destroyed by the criminal actions of a Top Doctor and his associates who were concealing a paedophile ring. Obviously not. What Liam did claim would fix the allegedly broken society though would be a return to marriage and the reform of welfare. Rather than the prosecution of members of a paedophile gang with connections to Westminster. I’m glad to say that Liam did follow his own advice – he got married in 2005 himself, to another Top Doctor.

After the Coalition Gov’t was elected, Liam was appointed as Secretary of State for Defence (Fox had served as an Army medical officer), but it all unravelled when he had to resign from that post in 2011. Fox was forced to resign because his activities with a man called Adam Werritty had broken the Ministerial code. No-one was quite sure who Werritty actually was, but he was described as a ‘friend’ of Fox. It transpired that Werritty lived rent free in a flat owned by Fox and didn’t seem to have an identifiable source of income. Werritty had not only been introducing himself as Fox’s ‘advisor’, but he also had business cards created which described him as such. Furthermore Werritty had been accompanying Fox to official meetings – an awful lot of them. That was the straw that broke the Fox’s back and forced his resignation. There was much tabloid speculation about Werritty, particularly the nature of his friendship with Fox which Fox never really got around to clarifying.

In Jan 2014 Fox suggested ending ring-fenced funding for the NHS, citing poor health indicators despite the increasing investment in the NHS. If he’d been a little more honest he could have explained that one reason for those poor indicators is research fraud, malpractice, misconduct ad negligence in the NHS which is constantly concealed.

Liam Fox is a member of the Royal College of Practitioners. The Royal College in which Dr D.G.E. Wood – one of the Top Doctors who was mates with Tony Francis and who told me that my career would be damaged if I didn’t drop my complaints about the Top Doctors – was a senior figure. Dr D.G.E. Wood comes from Bristol and did his medical degree there. Which is right next door to Liam Fox’s constituency of north Somerset. I have previously mentioned how useful Alumni networks are to Top Doctors when someone has to be rescued from a spot of bother or a favour is needed. Obviously Fox won’t have been a member of any Bristol University Alumni organisations, because Liam studied at Glasgow. Which will have actually given him a link to a far bigger name than D.G.E. Wood – that is Sir Kenneth Calman. Calman lectured at Glasgow medical school from 1969 onwards and in 1974 was awarded the Chair of Clinical Oncology there. In 1984 he became the Dean of Postgraduate Medicine at Glasgow. Subsequently Calman was appointed Chief Medical Officer of Scotland – and then in 1991, Chief Medical Officer of England. 1991 – the year that I had such problems at St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital, the year that Robert Francis QC attempted to have me imprisoned for complaining about the Top Doctors in north Wales, the year of the alleged high level cover-up of the Westminster Paedophile Ring. Whose victims were being supplied by Dafydd’s mistress and her associates in north Wales. Calman remained as Chief Medical Officer until 1998. It was whilst he was in that post that Dafydd was allowed to retire without any of the many very serious complaints about him being followed up – and with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales, funded by the NHS (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).

Calman will almost certainly have had knowledge of a few other things as well. He had been involved in cancer research in England. Between 1972-1974 he was Clinical Research Fellow at the Chester Beattie Research Institute, London, which was funded by the MRC. Between 2008-2011 Calman was Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute. He will have heard about the dodgy practices of the cancer researchers at Hammersmith Hospital (see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’). There was very little cross fertilisation between the Chester Beattie – which is linked to the Royal Marsden – and Hammersmith (which has now been merged with Imperial), although both are leading institutions in cancer research. I suspect that is because the two groups loathe each other, don’t trust each other and won’t work together. So although when Calman became CMO for England in 1991 he was almost certainly well aware of some of what was going on at Hammersmith, he did not put a stop to it. But Top Doctors don’t. Their loyalty to each other – even when they detest each other – is greater than their commitment to patient safety and well-being or usually the appropriate use of funds. Readers will be reassured to know that Calman was a Member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics between 2000-08 and was a Member of the Working Party on Public Health, 2006-07. Calman is famous in another sphere as well as medicine – politics and his support for the SNP and devolution. He is the Calman of the Calman Commission.

Calman has a famous daughter – Susan Calman, the comedian who is a regular on Radio 4. Her salary was not revealed during yesterday’s bunfight.

 

Onto Welsh news now. A man has recently been jailed for the 1976 murder of the schoolgirl Janet Commins in north Wales. Another man was convicted and imprisoned for that crime many years ago, who it is now been admitted was innocent. There don’t seem to be many questions being asked as to how he ended up inside for years for a crime that he did not commit. But then he was far from the only person stitched up in the region.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s traumas continue but still none of the Board have resigned. The ‘Daily Post online’ reported that more than 800 people have walked out of the A&E Units run by the Betsi before being treated because they have waited so long. This won’t just be people being a tad impatient. I was told by a nurse who worked in Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E – who eventually left because she was not prepared to be party to what was happening in that dept – that when mental health patients arrived at A&E requesting help, it was standard practice for the ‘on call psychiatrist’ to wait at least twelve hours and sometimes even longer before going over to A&E, because they knew damn well that by then the patient would have given up and left and they therefore wouldn’t have to assess or treat them. I knew a north Wales GP who used to be involved in A&E and on-call work who told me that he ‘liked’ a long waiting time because it meant that a lot of the patients would give up and go away.

The Welsh Gov’ts Health Minister Vaughan Gething has rejected the idea of establishing a medical school at Bangor University. Plaid are making a fuss, but I really don’t think that Vaughan Gething could have come to any other decision. The ‘healthcare sciences’ arm of Bangor University upon whose work the putative medical school would be based is one of the most troubled, dysfunctional parts of the University, rife with bullying between staff as well as bullying directed at students who have reported neglect and abuse that they have witnessed on placement at the Betsi. There is also ample evidence of research fraud, as detailed in previous posts. The ‘partners’ in establishing the medical school would be the Betsi – sinking in debt and scandal, in special measures and currently the subject of two investigations into the abuse of patients with mental health problems. Giving a medical school to that lot to play with really would not be a good idea. It is of course very sad for the citizens of north Wales who have been saddled with a shite NHS dominated by corrupt practitioners who have run the whole system for their own benefit for decades, but somebody needs to go in and clean up in a major way rather than allowing that bunch to establish what could only be the most corrupt, lethal medical school in the UK.

BBC News Wales reported that Parc Prison in Bridgend has seen an escalation in violent incidents and that this is thought to be related to the ban on smoking that was recently introduced there. The Gov’t were told most emphatically that this would happen if they introduced a ban on smoking in prisons, but they ignored it. Smoking is incredibly bad for one’s health but prisoners have nothing to do for most of their day but sit in a cell and smoke. They are bored, stressed and addicted to nicotine. Their living conditions need to be drastically improved if anyone wants to wean them all off tobacco. A similarly idiotic debate took place regarding banning smoking in secure mental health units – indeed I think that this has now happened. Patronising ignorant shite was spouted – including by Julie Morgan AM, the wife of the former First Minister – about how giving up smoking would be empowering for service users. (It would be rather more empowering not to lock them up in the first place.) By all means do all that is possible to stop mental health patients smoking – but begin by providing suitable care and treatment and suitable ward environments. Like prisoners, many psychiatric inpatients are detained against their will in appalling environments – as was admitted by the CQC today – with nothing to do but sit and puff away. Furthermore, smoking actually is one of the few things that facilitates interaction and socialising between patients – the staff certainly don’t go out of their way to encourage that.

Mental health staff know exactly how distressed inpatients become if they are nicotine addicts and the fags are removed. Another anecdote for readers. In Bryn Golau ward in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh I was the only person there who did not smoke. There was one other person who entered the ward a non-smoker, but after three days he was so distressed at the conditions and oppressive atmosphere that he actually started smoking after being offered fags by other patients. The more pleasant nurses had many conversations with me and admitted that conditions on that ward were so poor that most patients controlled their anger and distress by smoking. Nurses even commented that for the patients who had been in there a long time – and because Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist were using the institution as their own personal prison, some of those patients in Denbigh had been in there for more than forty years – ‘cigarettes are all that they’ve got’. Indeed at Christmas when the nurses bought little presents for everyone (there were some staff there who were trying to make life tolerable for the incarcerated, but they were all far too frightened of Dafydd et al to actually blow the whistle on what they were doing), many of the patients were given packets of fags for their present. The nurses discussed the ethics of this and their rationale was that they knew that the cancer sticks were lethal in the long term but these patients had nothing, could not really utilise any other presents and at least the fags would help them control their anxiety.

The worst nurse on Bryn Golau was a woman called Janice Davies, who was of course the person whom had been appointed in charge of the ward. She pretty much equated to Nurse Rached but with more lipstick. Davies used to ring up Dafydd whilst I was a patient there with untruthful accounts of my conduct. After I left, she was one of the people who was making contact with the police claiming that I’d threatened her – my documents show that she was being encouraged to do this and that even Andrew Park, the crooked lawyer from the Welsh Office, admitted that there was a ‘problem’ because Janice had no evidence that I was ringing her up and threatening her. Andrew Park solved that one easily enough – he told them all that the next time that they reported me to the police they had to remember to include in their statements comments indicating how they ‘knew’ that it was me. My documents show that within days of Park telling them to do this, the Denbigh staff were ringing the police with yet more porkies, including porkies as to how they had identified me. Janice was a sadistic piece of work, one of her favourite tricks was to refuse painkillers to patients with toothache. Dentistry was completely unavailable to patients in Denbigh and it was noticeable that the patients who had been in there a long time all had very bad teeth. Whilst I was in Bryn Golau, two patients developed tooth abscesses – no, Janice did not hand over painkillers, not even a paracetamol. But one day shortly after Christmas Janice excelled. She removed the fags from one of the patient’s well-addicted to nicotine and told him that he could only have one every few hours and that she’d give them out to him as necessary. She then began baiting him. He got increasingly distressed and started asking for a fag. She said no. She then baited him a bit more. The other patients watched it all and were all saying to the other nurses ‘all he wants is a cigarette, why won’t she give him one’. But she didn’t. Then this man shouted at her. So ‘restraint’ followed. He yelled a bit more and tried to hit the wall. He was dragged to a ‘seclusion room’ (effectively a padded cell) where he continued to be tormented by Janice and a few henchmen. He went absolutely beserk, although he didn’t hit any of them or even try to. He screamed, yelled, begged for a cigarette and bounced himself off the walls. Janice then smugly rang up Dafydd, told him that this man was now ‘uncontrollable’ and that she couldn’t ‘manage’ him anymore. He was carted off to Risley Remand Centre within the hour. After his departure, one of the nurses started crying, because she told me ‘I know what’s going to happen to him there’. This patient was a man with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who had been accused of a serious sexual assault. Sex offenders used to get beaten to a pulp in Risley and inmates were frequently found hanging – presumably as a result of suicide but with warders who were that violent, who could ever really be sure.

So would the crying Angel Iola Edwards and dear old Janice Davies herself now like to make contact with the police and dish the dirt on what Dafydd et al were up to? And why that man was manipulated into Risley Remand Centre?

Whilst we’re on the topic of Accessories, I’ll name a few more. Dr Delyth Morris, lately of Bangor University, an utter pain in the bum, a deceitful liar who regularly plagiarised other researchers’ work, bullied students, blamed everybody else for her own monumental cock-ups, provided such poor supervision for one PhD student that he was eaten alive in his viva and had to resubmit after another academic who actually knew what they were doing took over the supervision, was alleged to have had to step down from her role as a magistrate when she tried to nobble the police into dropping assault charges against her son and who spread crazed vindictive rumours about a senior sociologist in her dept because he had a good deal more ability than she did. Now those are all reasons why I detest her – I was one of the researchers whose work that she plagiarised (twice) so I have a vested interest in detesting her – but long before Delyth Morris was ever given a job that she very obviously should never have had and couldn’t do (it was rumoured that the appointment was as a result of blatant nepotism), Delyth Morris was a social worker in Gwynedd. When the paedophile ring was doing it’s worst. Now it may well be that Delyth was so thick that she never actually noticed what was happening under her nose, but if she did know she certainly would never ever have given a stuff. I did hear allegations of bribery and corruption on the part of Morris whilst she was a magistrate on Anglesey, so I’m sure that she would not have been averse to pocketing a few quid – or perish the thought bagging a job as a university lecturer – in return for keeping quiet about something no matter how serious that something was. Delyth’s son Phil Lewis worked as a research assistant to Hywel Williams MP, a former mental health social worker in north Wales himself. Hywel Williams also used to be responsible for social work education at Bangor University.

Another social work tutor at Bangor University who might have information of interest to Inspector Knacker is Fiona MacDonald. Like most of the social workers in north Wales, Fiona MacDonald seemed quite mad. I think that she must have taken a leaf out of Delyth Morris’s book because MacDonald’s main aim in life seemed to be to inflict grief on her colleagues and on the more capable students.

I stood accused at one point by MacDonald of discriminating against ‘service users’. Immediately after I finished my PhD, I started some unfunded research into students’ experiences of social work education and the experiences of the ‘service users group’ who were advising on the social work course. At that time I was not receiving a salary myself. MacDonald e mailed me and asked me if I had ‘funds’ for six service users to attend a service users conference at £300 a head. I hardly had funds for my own lunch at the time. I then faced a Grade A battle with MacDonald and indeed the service users themselves, who had been led to believe (I wonder by whom???) that I was in receipt of an enormous salary and was busy institutionally discriminating.

As with Delyth Morris, these were reasons for me not to like Fiona MacDonald or take her very seriously, but there was a Dark Past there as well.

Like the other social work tutors, Fiona MacDonald had worked as a social worker in north Wales – among the paedophiles’ friends. I suspect that MacDonald was a past master at behaving appallingly and then pointing the finger at other people. Not only had she worked as a social worker in north Wales but she’d worked as a social worker for Barnados on Anglesey. Read the Jillings Report and the Waterhouse Report – again and again it is stated that the abuse of children was taking place in the charity sector as well as in Local Authorities. Barnardos is mentioned.

On one occasion Fiona MacDonald admitted to me that the social work course was chaos and that students’ were constantly complaining and even threatening legal action. Did she wonder what she and her buddies were doing wrong? No, according to her it was all the fault of the Professor of Sociology. Who had nothing to do with the course at all, not the teaching, the management of it, or even the selection of the students. In fact the Professor of Sociology was generally acknowledged (but not by the social workers obviously) as being the sanest man in the dept who actually understood the meaning of the word ‘ethics’. He also knew that lot had worked in a ‘service’ hosting a paedophile ring as well, but he was actually far too polite to say so.

It was with some amusement that I read on yesterday’s ‘Daily Post online’ that Carwyn Jones was ‘supporting the lecturers at Bangor University faced with redundancy’. I won’t actually suggest that Carwyn should save his energy and find a more worthwhile cause, because there are loads of excellent people at Bangor University. You just don’t find them in the social work teaching team or working in health and social care ‘research’. But knowing the way of the world, if anyone is made compulsorily redundant, it won’t be insane social work tutors who learnt their skills among the paedophiles’ friends, or nursing tutors who ‘trained’ in a hopelessly corrupt NHS who now bully students if they try to blow the whistle on patient abuse that they’ve witnessed on placement, or Academic Leads For Service User Partnerships who’ve spent their careers ignoring the gross abuse of patients and who have done deals with Top Doctors whom they know are guilty of neglecting patients or even framing them for serious crimes, in order to become Academic Leads for Service User Partnerships, or indeed even clapped out Professors of Clinical Psychology who worked in a ‘service’ that discredited people who complained about the paedophile ring. No, it will probably be the more junior staff who are working their butts off on temporary contracts, doing all the teaching whilst trying to build up a good research profile as well. They’ll be the first out of the door because the paedophiles’ friends will continue to hog everything for themselves and ensure that no capable person is employed lest they show them up for what they are.

 

One final appeal. My post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’ mentioned the craziness that prevailed in the Courts in north west Wales in the 1980s, when the paedophiles’ friends constantly prosecuted me for ludicrous reasons. I mentioned in that post that this was happening to a few other people as well. One of those people was a man called Leonard Ridyard. Mr Ridyard was up in Court as often as I was, on equally ridiculous charges. It was Mr Ridyard who first told me about the ‘north Wales mafia’. I was a bit wary of Mr Ridyard because he was always very angry – although I could see why. The mental health services and the police always maintained that Mr Ridyard was ‘bonkers’ and ‘violent’ – exactly the things that they said about me. I never saw Mr Ridyard get violent with anyone and he didn’t strike me as being bonkers either – he was obviously an intelligent man who was being driven to distraction. Mr Ridyard hit the ‘Daily Post’ in a big way a few years ago – he was in Court (yet again) on charges that he was denying. He had I think been imprisoned and released and there was yet another attempt to imprison him again. Mr Ridyard maintained that the witnesses were perjuring themselves. The jury believed Mr Ridyard and he was found not guilty. The ‘Daily Post’ really enjoyed themselves by reporting that when the not guilty verdict was announced, Mr Ridyard started crying with relief and shook hands with all the members of the jury. I’m not surprised – he’d been harassed and stitched up by those we know and love for decades. I don’t know much about Mr Ridyard but I do know that he had been a patient of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and it was then that his problems began.

Anyone fancy coming forward to tell us all why Mr Ridyard had his life destroyed? What did he know about whom?

News Round Up, May 11 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Those Who Care Are Concerned

Yesterday the Guardian reported that NHS staff were quitting ‘because pay was so poor’ – it was alleged that some NHS staff were using food banks and that some were working stacking shelves in supermarkets. This was attributed to the recent policy of limiting pay awards in the NHS to 1% and it was claimed that this was ‘damaging the NHS’. It was reported that in particular, people with mental health problems were experiencing delays and setbacks. This story emanated from claims made by an organisation called ‘NHS Providers’ which was described as representing almost all of England’s Hospitals, Mental Health Trusts and Ambulance Trusts, their spokesman being the Chief Executive, Chris Hopson. Hopson also turned up on Radio 4’s Today programme with his tale of woe, where again the alleged deleterious effect on mental health care in particular was commented upon. It was said that in recent months, the Medical Royal Colleges, the Health Trade Unions and health charities such as Cancer Research UK have all highlighted the effects on patient care of shortages of doctors, nurses, GPs and paramedics. Various representatives of the Medical Royal Colleges have previously been outed on this blog as having taken part in the neglect and abuse of patients – for example the delightful Professor Rob Poole of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I have also provided details of very bad behaviour – and research fraud – among leading lights in the Cancer Research Campaign, now known as Cancer Research UK. One of the people who starred was Nicholas Wright, who has picked up a knighthood. Furthermore, if doctors and GPs are either stacking shelves in supermarkets or using food banks they will be doing this for reasons other than being short of money – consultants and GPs all hit about 100k pa and many of them earn an awful lot more. Junior doctors and nurses do not earn as much as that but do not actually fall within the category of the ‘low paid’ – now a lot of them are leaving the NHS but talk to them about their reasons for doing this. It is nothing to do with pay. As I have stated repeatedly on this blog it is nearly always because they have standards which they feel are being compromised by the dysfunction, chaos, bullying and poor patient care that pervades so much of the NHS. The traditional get out clause of junior doctors to avoid the bullying and bullshit that rained down upon them was of course to enter General Practice, where they would in the end be self-employed and have some degree of control over their lives. But there were still hazards to be negotiated – one of the most conscientious medical students that I knew when I was young was sacked from his first post in General Practice. He remarked wryly that the main priority of the senior partner in the practice was the state of the carpet tiles and that medicine was far too much of a conservative profession to allow any trainee to disagree. This man was no firebrand – his ambition at school was to practice medicine for a while and then become a Conservative MP. He is now a hospital consultant and interestingly enough a Conservative Councillor who enjoys writing to the Daily Telegraph and Private Eye. His patients also report that he is a very good doctor – but he managed to get sacked. As for nurses – for years, nurses have been leaving nursing for other jobs if they cannot stomach what they are witnessing at work. They frequently move into teaching or lecturing, but some are so desperate to not remain in nursing that they do take up roles outside of the professions. The first person in this category that I encountered was a nurse who in 1984 was working as a waitress – she preferred to do that than participate in what was happening at Ysbyty Gwynedd which was where she had previously been employed. I have since met many more like her. Not one left nursing because of the pay – indeed if you are a nurse it is quite possible to end up on a very high salary if you go into NHS management and many of them do, particularly those with absolutely no principles at all (I’m thinking of one Grace Lewis-Parry here…). There are some very poorly paid people working in the NHS who may well be using food banks or working in a second job as well, particularly if they are the only wage earner in a family with children, but they are healthcare assistants, porters, cleaners, canteen staff and receptionists. They are treated like dirt although they are often playing a key role and I really don’t think that Mr Hopson the CEO from NHS Providers was thinking of them – he certainly didn’t mention them. Another person contributed to the debate as well, declaring the 1% pay restraint policy ‘stupid’ – that was Norman Lamb, the LibDem MP. Norman Lamb in recent months became well-known for his support for Sara Ryan and her family – Sara is the mother of Connor Sparrowhawk, the young man with learning disabilities and epilepsy who died as a result of neglect, along with hundreds of other patients, whilst in the care of Southern Health. Blame was attributed to Katrina Percy, the CEO, along with the rest of a deceitful dysfunctional Trust Board and a lying psychiatrist who simply moved to Ireland to practice after her cock-ups resulted in Connor’s death. Come on Norman, you know damn well that the death of Connor – and all the other patients – were nothing at all to do with pay restraint. The whole bloody lot of those responsible were on enormous salaries. Connor’s mum was a modestly paid academic and on her twitter feed frequently commented that she would have been sacked long ago if she’d been as bad at her job as Katrina Percy and co were – furthermore Connor’s mum had managed to look after Connor herself for most of his life without him dying. That only happened when she left him in the care of ‘professionals’.

One of the final item’s on the Today programme was another mental health related report, featuring interviews with both the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation and a ‘service user’ called Kerry. The report centred around people sectioned under the Mental Health Act being detained in police cells and Kerry was introduced as someone who had endured that experience. Kerry was actually pretty brilliant, she was very articulate, very frank about the horrors and serious deficiencies of the mental health system – but Nick Robinson the interviewer cut her off mid-flow. Because she’d already spoken and they’d run out of time. But the reason that they’d run out of time was that Nick had allotted so much of the time to the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation – who obviously was going to speak for service users, rather than the one very competent service user being allowed to reveal to the nation just how bad the whole system is. I noticed that in the Mail Online yesterday the Mental Health Foundation was also expressing concern about the Serious Problem of Women Drinking Prosecco At Lunchtime. Now if an elderly male Methodist Minister who was temperance wrote an article expressing similar concerns, he’d be publicly pilloried at worst, a figure of fun at best. But if it’s a ‘mental health charity’ no-one comments on how ridiculous and condescending it is. The Mental Health Foundation also stated that ‘1 in 3’ people will suffer from mental health problems – my God, the figure has gone up, the dreadful Paul Farmer and MIND always claimed it was ‘1 in 4’! We’re all going mad, especially women – the only solution is for the Gov’t to part with millions in the direction of the Mental Health Foundation and MIND, appoint them all to Gov’t Advisory Committees and then give them gongs. Meanwhile they will remain completely silent about the serious neglect and abuse of people who really are mentally ill (far fewer than ‘1 in 4’, which is of course why they can be so shamefully treated without an outcry) by the mental health services themselves – people like Kerry, whose opinions mattered less than those of the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation…. And just to show how effective Radio 4 is at raising awareness and combatting stigma, directly after the Today programme Andrew Marr hosted Start The Week and one of his guests described how he’d written a book about a conman who had swindled him who was a ‘bipolar maniac’ who spent huge quantities of money shamelessly. It’s called acute mania, a serious illness which should not be conflated with criminality and a lot fewer than ‘1 in 4’ or ‘1 in 3’ experience it.

All these dire predictions of the consequences of the UK Gov’t not giving mental health professionals even more money than they get already (God knows what they’re doing with it, one look at the state of the nation’s mental health system makes it quite clear that it certainly isn’t being used to benefit patients) has come at a very opportune time. A few days ago I was sent an excellent PhD thesis written by Dr Vicky Long, completed some years ago whilst she was at the University of Warwick and I have been working my way through it. The thesis is entitled ‘Challenging The Public Representation of Mental Illness, 1870-1970’ and it provides much evidence for a number of things that I’ve noticed myself during my various encounters with the UK’s caring sharing mental health services. Particularly interesting is Chapter Two of Vicky’s thesis, which consists of a detailed analysis of how mental health patients were represented within the literature produced by the National Asylum Workers Union. This is a good deal more relevant to present day concerns than non-historical/sociological geeks might imagine. NAWU later evolved into MHIWU (Mental Hospital and Institutional Workers Union), which in turn evolved into COHSE (Confederation of Health Service Employees), whose successor was UNISON, one of the most powerful players in today’s trade union movement, let alone simply within the NHS arena.

Vicky’s analysis very clearly demonstrates that this Union skilfully controlled how ‘mental patients’ were represented in the wider media, which in turn dictated how they were perceived by the general public and that the union nearly always did this in order to improve the pay and conditions of the ‘attendants’ ie. mental health nurses, rather than to improve the care and treatment of patients. Vicky’s analysis and the material that she presents from the late 1920s onwards is striking – we think of this era as being ancient history where mental health care is concerned, but the attitudes and even some of the language still exists in mental health ‘care’ today. As I read Vicky’s chapter, memories of scenarios and phrases used by staff that I had witnessed and heard at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and at Ysbyty Gwynedd came back to me.

Vicky analysed in detail the journal of the NAWU as this was the forum for representations of mental illness among asylum attendants. The NAWU was formed in 1910 as a reaction to the poor working conditions of the attendants and it focused on the gulf between the privileges and pay enjoyed by the asylum Medical Superintendents (Gwynne Williams the lobotomist and Dafydd Alun Jones in the case of the North Wales Hospital, although of course they were Medical Superintendents later on in the century) and the very poor pay and conditions of the attendants. Very early on in the NAWU’s history, it seems that the working conditions of the attendants were so bad that they did actually have a lot of fellow feeling for the ‘lunatics’. However this didn’t last. Vicky’s analysis highlights other phenomena that can still be seen among mental health professionals – battles between different unions, the influence of gender and fights over status between nurses and social workers. The NAWU journal was strongly socialist and working class and viewed membership of the rival Asylum Workers Union as an act of class betrayal. The whole thrust of Vicky’s argument is that the living conditions of the patients were only scrutinised when the situation of the staff improved.

The usual strategy of the NAWU to obtain improved pay and conditions was to focus on the unpleasantness of the patients. In 1912 there was a reference to the ‘antics of deluded and degraded ‘mental deficients’ and ‘moral perverts’ and nurses are frequently described as having to ‘manage’ difficult patients. Vicky notes that in the main text used for training asylum attendants, the terms ‘nursing’, ‘management’ and ‘control’ of patients are used interchangeably. (My actions in complaining about the north Wales mental health services are referred to on a number of occasions in my medical records as ‘antics’ and the records are dripping with references to the ‘management’ of me, as well as yes, the occasional reference to the need to ‘control’ me. Because I was writing letters of complaint – about criminal conduct on the part of mental health professionals.) In 1929, as part of the description of the job of a mental nurse, it is stated that ‘patients may be unpleasant, abusive, filthy in habits and language, or ungrateful, suspicious, unwilling and resistive….sympathy, kindliness and tact must be abundant to overflowing for the mental patient…’ Again, I have heard many of these words used by mental health professionals to describe patients. I was constantly viewed as a problem for being ‘suspicious’ and ‘unwilling’ – although the staff using such descriptions for me were detaining me illegally in the North Wales Hospital after Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had concocted a ‘deal’ with a corrupt police officer at Bangor Police Station – the nurses had documented all this in detail on my records and had also stated their unhappiness with being dragged into the ‘deal’. Yet I was pathologised for being suspicious of their motives and not wanting to waste my time in their prison. Again and again I have heard staff complain about patients who swear – indeed, at the ‘hearing’ held by Robert Bluglass into the investigation of my complaint about the North Wales Hospital (which didn’t actually cover most of my complaint or the most serious aspects of it), as part of his rationale for labelling me ‘mentally ill’, Jones maintained that I’d used ‘foul and abusive language’ in front of his young children and that anyone who does this is not mentally normal. (How I managed to swear in front of his children I do not know – I did not at the time know that he had children and had certainly never met them. But Jones was not required to provide evidence of any of it – he said that I did it, so obviously I did.) Bluglass agreed that my language was indeed shocking. Bluglass has a daughter Amanda, who fancies herself as an avant garde artist. A few years ago she took to displaying her creations on the internet. One of them was a sampler of a county cottage, below which was embroidered ‘Happy Fucking Holidays’. Interestingly enough, in his final report in which Bluglass avoided commenting on many of the gross things that had happened to me at the hands of Dafydd et al although there was documentary evidence of these things, Bluglass summed up by stating that ‘doctors and others are caring individuals’ – these were people who had illegally imprisoned me, assaulted me, repeatedly lied about me, threatened me and then when that didn’t work tried to bribe me. Oh and they were concealing the activities of a paedophile ring as well. But their goodwill and patience had no bounds…. Another reference from an early edition of the NAWU journal represents patients as ‘alien, foreign, devious and different from normal people’. The SEN in Denbigh who eventually assaulted me, Stephen Rose, at one point described me as ‘scheming and devious’ (it was never explained why) – and in another reference to my alleged ‘abnormality’, on one occasion Jones lost his temper with me (because I didn’t succumb to the threats and bribery) and he yelled at me ‘any normal woman would have some respect’.

Again and again in the NAWU journal severely ill patients are represented as anti-social and violent and this was repeatedly used to justify better wages and conditions In 1928, the journal dealt with allegations that patients were being brutally treated and abused by attendants by alleging that it was the patients who were violently attacking the staff. Arguments were mounted that attendants deserved better pay and conditions not because they were skilled and professional but because they were managing dangerous violent individuals. Accounts are based on conjecture – a ‘seemingly quiet patient’ may suddenly become ‘violent to themselves or others’, ‘another blow’ from a ‘violent patient’ ‘could well have been fatal’. On one occasion a patient less dishonoured than others – a soldier with shell-shock – published in another journal an account of the violence and abuse that he’d witnessed being dealt out by the staff in an asylum. The NAWU responded by stressing the unreliability of patients accounts. This is all very familiar. At the North Wales Hospital and at Ysbyty Gwynedd, again and again I and other patients made representations about staff assaults on ourselves and other patients that we had witnessed. Throughout the course of thirty years the response from the NHS authorities was the same – either it was the patients who had attacked the staff, or the patients ‘had misunderstood’ the situation, or the patients were all mates and were colluding with each other. On the occasion that staff injured me whilst I was a patient in the Hergest Unit, my injuries were not documented and I was not released from a locked ward until the injuries had healed. When I tried to telephone both the police and a friend to report the assault the telephone was disconnected. The assault upon me was never investigated. Despite all the allegations of ‘violent’ patients made by the north Wales mental health services and the constant stream of scare stories and confected statistics regarding ‘attacks’ on staff that the north Wales mental health services have placed in the local media, I have only ever witnessed one assault upon a member of staff, which was when a very psychotic disorientated man detained on a locked ward threw a book at a psychiatrist. That has been the sum of it. Staff are sometimes assaulted by patients, but it is not a regular occurrence. Furthermore, one of the more robust pieces of research that has been done into assaults on staff by patients in psychiatric units – there has been virtually no research conducted into abuse of patients by staff which is extraordinary really, it can only be that it just doesn’t happen! – concluded that in every case, the assault had been precipitated by staff being extremely aggressive or rude to patients. As for ‘quiet’ patients being suddenly ready to launch into terrifying violence – again, another allegation that was levelled at me. When people outside of the mental health services volubly stated that the lurid allegations made about me by mental health staff were inconsistent with what they knew of me, they were told that they ‘didn’t know’ what I was like, or that I had ‘fooled’ them or best of all that I was ‘charismatic’. Only the mental health services could see my black, black heart. But interestingly enough I have recently obtained documents from my lawyer which include letters from the lawyers that the mental health services were using themselves telling them that there was no evidence that I had ever assaulted anyone and that they had to stop saying this in affidavits. Not that it stopped the ludicrous allegations, the psychiatrists concerned then progressed to stating that they thought that I was going to kill them. No evidence at all, although a lot of evidence that they had repeatedly lied about me, even on oath – but nonetheless I could murder the whole lot of them in their beds, they just knew it.

The journal of the NAWU also contains information very reminiscent of the way that psychiatrists today describe patients who allegedly have ‘personality disorders’: ‘…cannot support themselves…cannot resist criminal impulses…not actively dangerous but are a menace to the community…no idea of…social obligations…a danger to women and children…anti-social tendencies and habits of this kind are not be cured…’ or indeed the ‘social failure’ of an individual. This could have all come from a present day psychiatric textbook.

One Claude Bartlett was elected President of the NAWU in 1926 – and he stayed in that post until 1962 no less. Throughout this time he remained a mental charge nurse and with the exception of his time as Chairman of the TUC in 1959, he restricted his activities to the field of health care. Bartlett was one of the most vocal calling for the amalgamation of the health services trade union into COHSE and he was a member of the Royal Commission whose recommendations were incorporated into the Mental Health Act of 1959. In 1959 Bartlett was stating that he was pleased with the large advances made by the Union regarding the representation of mental nurses as professionals. He commented that ‘I often wonder whether some of my trade union colleagues are not trying to break down barriers which have long since ceased to exist. It is a far cry from the lunatic attendant of less than 50 years ago to the trained and qualified psychiatric nurse of today. I am naturally proud to have played some part, small perhaps, in raising a once lowly occupation into a skilled and honoured vocation’. That was in 1959. During the 1990s a nurse at the Hergest Unit who was one of the best staff there, who really was skilled and professional, was regularly ORDERED by Dr X and Dr David Healy to telephone the police to complain about distressed patients. On one of those occasions, it was because a patient had said that he was so suicidal that he felt like chopping a gas pipe. He ended up in Walton prison on remand, although all charges were eventually dropped against him. None of those grandiose, arrogant psychiatrists saw the nurse’s role as ‘a skilled and honoured vocation’. And that nurse did not feel able to challenge any of them, although she saw the consequences of their actions. Interestingly enough the same nurse, after she retired, told me that she never applied for a position as a lecturer in Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences because in north Wales she witnessed the very nurses who did not have good skills with patients applying for jobs there – her perception was that they didn’t actually like looking after patients and weren’t actually very good at it, so they became nurse tutors instead.

In 1959 and the early 1960s, COHSE’s allegedly patient centred view was undermined, suggesting that once more, the main concern of psychiatric nurses was their working conditions. At the 1959 conference, the new Mental Health Bill was debated and a conference resolution expressed concerns that there was inadequate funding for the proposed measures and the hope that mental nurses skills would be utilised in the new community care system. Psychiatric nurses were well aware that other professions might usurp their roles and threaten their careers. COHSE tried to protect nurses by framing themselves as crusaders for the users of the mental health services and leaders of public opinion. Theresa May has of course announced that a new Mental Health Act is to be passed, which will lead to far fewer people being detained against their will and will also enable them to refuse ‘treatment’. This has of course come hot on the heels of scandal after scandal in the UK mental health services, of numerous accounts of neglect and abuse and of course deaths of patients in the care of the mental health services. Have perhaps the mental health professions realised that they are about to be cut out of the picture and made redundant – because patients certainly aren’t going to agree to the shite abusive treatment that is forced upon them at present if they are given a choice – and is that why they are all busy reminding us at the moment of how they only have the concerns of patients at heart? And that the patients are Suffering because mental health professionals aren’t being paid enough? Oh, by the way, in the late 50s/60s when COHSE were worried about their jobs and pay, they organised demonstrations and pickets. Stand by Theresa, there’ll be a March through central London to show us all how much they Care – all the usual culprits will be there, the BMA, the RCN, the Royal Colleges, MIND and Paul bloody Farmer, Peter Beresford and Rachel Perkins and poor old Jeremy Corbyn will be completely taken in by the whole lot of them and will join in, thinking that he’s helping people who Care. Meanwhile psychiatric patients will continue to be tasered whilst sectioned in hospital, suffocated to death whilst being ‘restrained’, prescribed ‘medication’ that harms or even kills them etc etc. In fact I think I heard on the Today programme that a National Health Action Party has been established to field candidates in the forthcoming election. The Top Doctors must be in trouble then, is there a scandal on the way? Has one of them been arrested for doing something that they shouldn’t have, perhaps removing perfectly healthy bits of the body after telling the unsuspecting patient that they had cancer a la Dr Ian Paterson? Or has another Harold Shipman been discovered?

As for Claude Bartlett’s claims in 1959 that asylums and the mental nursing profession had been transformed, well I think that needs to be taken with a very big pinch of salt. After a visit to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, the Health Minister Enoch Powell was so appalled by what he saw that he is reputed to have told the assembled ‘professionals’ that he would not allow them to do this to people – Powell returned to London and announced the proposed closure of 75,000 psychiatric hospital beds over the next 15 years. (Of course when Powell witnessed something terrible, Gwynne the lobotomist was Medical Superintendent at Denbigh. Presumably Gwynne was so used to imprisoning, neglecting, abusing and indeed killing people that he had become complete immune to the idea that some people would not appreciate what was going on, hence he felt able to proudly throw open the doors of Denbigh to the Health Minster. Obviously the result of years of cap-doffing and toadying from small town society who could rely on the hideous Gwynne to deal with anyone who was a bit of a nuisance to them. COHSE really freaked out at Powell’s proposals and resurrected the spectre of the dangerous patient (they forgot their user-friendly bit) and wanted nurses paid danger money. COHSE were particularly irked with Powell’s proposals to only place psychiatric patients in Rampton, Broadmoor and Moss Side as a last resort. They also maintained that Powell’s policy of discharging patients on prescription would lead to a nation of drug addicts. Once more psychiatric patients were represented as violent criminals and Vicky Long suggests that this stemmed more out of the fear of the threat to the jobs, future and status of the mental nursing profession than any concern over more outpatient care. Again, I saw something similar when I was a patient at the North Wales Hospital in 1986/87. At the time the UK Gov’t were making much noise regarding closing down places like Denbigh and transferring patients into community care. All the nurses at Denbigh were raging about this, stating that the facilities in the community weren’t there (which was to be fair completely true) and that some of the very vulnerable patients would never cope (which again they didn’t). But the same nurses were concealing and colluding with the most appalling wrongdoing on the part of Dafydd Alun Jones et al – they KNEW that patients were in there illegally banged up, never having been assessed by anyone but had simply been arrested because they’d crossed the path of Jones or one of his mates. They KNEW that some of those patients were not ‘schizophrenic’ or ‘deluded’ as was being diligently documented. And one of those nurses, Iola Edwards – who was one of those who expressed such concern regarding the fate of the patients once Denbigh had shut down – actively stopped a young woman from telling me any more, when she heard the young woman begging me to help her and claiming that she had been abducted, held in an attic ‘by a doctor’ with a group of other men and molested. (Would you know anything about this perchance Dafydd, after all your mistress was named in the Waterhouse Report as having colluded with a paedophile ring whilst she was Director of Gwynedd Social Services). That young woman disappeared within hours – Iola Edwards obviously knew what had happened to her and must have been instrumental in flagging up to someone in authority that the young woman had told me what had happened to her, so they got her out of there quick. I bet they didn’t let her go though, or take her to the police. And of course the community care provided after Denbigh eventually shut was dreadful – because it was managed and staffed by the same people who ran and staffed Denbigh. Did anybody really imagine that their values and standards would suddenly change just because someone gave them offices and clinics in a different building?

The NAWU dwelt on some other familiar themes as well. In the 1930s their journal carried reports on the experimental use of leucotomies and ECT and the Government’s Athlone Report stated that ‘medical staff now require highly skilled mental health nurses to assist’. Although the historian of nursing Peter Nolan argues that physical treatments threatened to erode nursing skills by reducing nurses to doctors assistants, COHSE’s predecessor was enthusiastic about the ‘new therapies’. During the 1940s and 50s there was a reconceptualization of the image of the psychiatric patient as that of a client or guest. By 1961 glossy photos showing the luxurious aspects of public hospitals were displayed monthly in the journal and hospitals were described as if they were hotels. But when the Hergest Unit was built at Ysbyty Gwynedd there was much excitement and boasting about the new facilities – of course they were very much better than what had been on offer at Denbigh, but huge cracks soon appeared in the service, which still contained the former staff and managers from Denbigh.

The NAWU also reflected two other ideas concerning psychiatric patients that were expressed by some professionals – that either sterilisation or euthanasia would be a good idea. In 1929 the Gov’t considered sterilising ‘mental defectives’ and they were depicted as an economic threat to sane ratepayers. In 1934 Prof JA Berry, Director of Medical Services at Stoke Colney, Bristol, argued that some in his care should be killed, a ‘kindly euthanasia’ being the ‘only really kindly treatment’. A Dr EGL Goffe, a Kingston physician, suggested no other alternative for ‘idiots’ than the ‘lethal chamber’ as ‘such people should not be a drag on the community…a waste of money and energy keeping them alive…’ Many doctors wrote in favour of sterilisation – however one Dr Neil Montgomery showed an acute awareness of class power abuse issuing from doctor to patient, commenting that it tended to be the poor who should be recommended for sterilisation and at the same time expressed sentiments of duty to the patients which were not expressed by the working class members of the NAWU. (Remind anyone of the current Tory Govt’s new policy that people claiming tax credits for a third child can only do so if they can demonstrate that the child resulted from rape?) In July 1935, the cartoonist for the MHIWU journal (as it had then become) depicted the Board of Control Chairman’s view – a full page image of a physically deformed figure whose featureless ‘shadow’ fell menacingly over Britain. The figure was represented with palms outstretched, recalling the belief expressed in the journal by doctors, judges, Poor Law guardians and the Board of Control that ‘mental defectives’ were socially inefficient and an economic drain on the resources of the ‘normal’ population. Obviously a bunch of shirkers and skivers like all those people that George Osborne seemed to know of…

In 1963 an editorial in the journal commented that if the Lord Chancellor and Lunacy Commissioners were anxious for the welfare of the patients, the very first thing that they should turn their attention to is the conditions of asylum services to attract and retain the best types of men and women. Sounds familiar – here comes a nurses pay claim, just after revelations that patients were being treated dreadfully. By the end of the ‘60s, the situation of the patients had not improved. Barbara Robb’s famous expose of the appalling treatment of the mentally ill in hospitals, ‘Sans Everything: A Case To Answer’, elicited personal attacks on Robb and COHSE complained of a ‘witch-hunt’ atmosphere and parodied Robb’s expose as ‘Knock Everything’. COHSE was not the only body representing psychiatric nurses – the RCN did as well and in 1970 their conference attacked psychiatric nurses conditions of work. The Chairman of their Psychiatric Committee suggested the patients posed the main limitation to nurses work. Once more a dire representation of your average psychiatric patient was constructed, with it being claimed that being spat at, kicked, scratched and bitten was all in a day’s work and that nurses spent much of their times separating patients who were fighting or warding off assaults on themselves.

The journal of the NAWU also reflected the gender battle that took place within it’s own ranks. From the 1920s onwards there was much opposition from male asylum attendants to women nurses working on male wards. Sick patients were portrayed as violent anti-social misfits whose violent and sexually depraved behaviour would only increase at the hands of kindly female nurses – a similar argument was used at the Hergest Unit as the rationale for their callous treatment of those whom they labelled ‘personality disordered’. Indeed, a suicide attempt by one such patient was constructed by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones as being the result of ‘ire’ of all things. Yet Nursing Times, a journal dominated by women, opposed the NAWU, pointing out that ‘not a single complaint of any kind has been made by the female nurses’ – furthermore, a female nurse was quoted as commenting that constructing all ‘mental cases’ as ‘depraved’ was an ‘insult’ to many patients. This depiction of patients as violent and sexually perverted diminished when it was no longer in accordance with the image that the Union was trying to establish. This turnaround confused members – there is written evidence from one male nurse demonstrating that he was puzzled as to how the Union could have ‘forgotten’ what patients were like.

Throughout the twentieth century, the journal of the NAWU repeatedly published articles on themes that are still pursued at present. An article in the 1940s written by a patient, ‘David’, was the first time that the journal has offered any degree of respect to a patient’s account. David was completely uncritical of his treatment and maintained that it could only have been bettered if the asylum staff were paid more. This is startlingly reminiscent of much discourse from present day ‘service user involvement’. Two of the biggest figures in the UK in this field are Peter Beresford and Rachel Perkins. Beresford is a former social worker and this is very obviously still a major part of his identity and Perkins is the former clinical director of Springfield Hospital. Perkins oversaw a disaster, including a number of murders, and Springfield was subjected to damning comments at a subsequent public inquiry. Neither Beresford or Perkins have ever spoken out about serious abuse and neglect in the mental health services, criminal activity on the part of the ‘professionals’ or the problems of dishonest expert witnesses in psychiatry. Their concerns tend to revolve around ‘discrimination’, ‘stigma’ and the need for more funding and higher staff pay. Some years ago I received a series of very angry e mails from someone who had completed a PhD with Beresford, demanding to know why I would not ‘come out’ as an academic who was a ‘service user’, telling me that Peter Beresford could ‘help’ me. I have made it clear in my publications that I do not hide my involvement with the mental health services but I find the ‘service users movement’ for the most part strangely deradicalised, denatured and institutionalised and I explained this to the person who e mailed me. They became angrier and angrier and made it clear that I was some sort of traitor by not joining the merry band who remain silent about serious wrongdoing but who campaign for higher pay for the people involved in this.

Another article in the NAWU journal from the early middle years of the twentieth century concerned the activities of a charity dedicated to the after care of discharged asylum patients, supposedly committed to their economic and social reintegration. The charity’s President had commented that the work of the charity assisted the state by producing good citizens. Does this sound familiar to you Paul Farmer?

Another article published in the 20s stressed the important of asylum attendants completing the Certificate of the Medico-Psychological Association, in order that the work would be seen as highly skilled and professional. Nurses these days are encouraged to go for postgrad education, because nursing is ‘highly skilled’ and ‘professional’. Some years ago I was forwarded an e mail from a ward manager at the Hergest Unit which frankly declared that he didn’t want to do an Masters because he’d found completing a Bachelor’s degree very difficult, but his boss, the nursing manager Lena Henry, had told him that it would make the Hergest Unit look good if he did enrol for a Masters. Meanwhile patients died.

Again, as far back as the 1920s, the NAWU’s journal was maintaining that the general public only saw the worst side of mental hospitals and that if the public were allowed to enter such hospitals they would receive enlightenment. I witnessed two such Tours of North Korea myself, one in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and one at the newly opened Hergest Unit. Local dignitaries were guided around the best parts of the building by the nicest members of staff. At Denbigh it occurred on Christmas morning when the Mayor and his entourage paid a visit. They were all very friendly, but of course patients clamoured to desperately tell the Mayor et al what was actually happening to them in there. The accompanying nurses used obviously tried and tested techniques to deflect the conversation onto other matters, such as the Christmas presents that the staff had given us that morning – they did give us thoughtful presents and they gave us a good spirited Christmas dinner as well – but a lot of the patients that the Mayor met had been detained illegally, although he wasn’t told that. The nurses did tell me that the Mayor visited the hospital every Christmas morning – ah, so they knew that he would be coming then! When the doors of the newly opened Hergest Unit were thrown open to some local councillors I took the opportunity to tell them that one of the psychiatrists there was having sex with the patients. A sharp-witted nurse interjected with ‘that man does not have any beds in this hospital’. No, but they let him in every Tuesday to hold outpatient’s clinics…

In 1969 COHSE’s journal concerned itself with the struggle for status between psychiatric nurses and psychiatric social workers. The social work profession made it very clear that they considered themselves superior and expressed concern that nurses would ‘muscle in’ on community work. Interestingly enough, I know a psychiatric nurse who trained in the 70s who considers that social work training is too political, concentrates too much on the identity and place in the world of the social worker and does not pay enough attention to the concept of duty to one’s clients. This nurse believed that this was what lay behind so many of the problems that patients experienced with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – whether she knew that some members of that team were doing the bidding of people who were facilitating a paedophile gang I do not know. I note that Chapter Three of Dr Long’s thesis is concerned with the development of psychiatric social work. I look forward to reading her account of the evolution of the profession of which Hywel Williams was such a proud member.

Reading Chapter Two of Dr Long’s thesis one can only conclude that very little has changed – unions representing mental health staff in the UK have been very much more concerned with the pay and conditions of their members and have been prepared to denigrate the people that they are paid to care for to achieve this, ruthlessly manipulating public opinion. Was it really All A Very Long Time Ago and that Things Are Different Now? Well when I was in Denbigh a nurse called Bob reminisced about how he used to ‘manage’ the patients in his earlier years – he told me that the nurses had to make the patients more frightened of them than they were of their hallucinations. Bob told me that in 1987 – he may still be alive. As many of the older Denbigh nurses are. It is indeed informative to go on the website of the grandly titled North Wales Hospital Historical Society, which is actually a forum for former staff. There are a number of threads where staff have been chatting to each other – those poorly paid nurses who were constantly in danger from patients are certainly enjoying retirement. They discuss their exotic foreign holidays and one of them has a yacht that he talks about. Whilst I was in the Heddfan Unit a former Denbigh nurse who used to pop in there to do a bit of agency work told me that he owned a property in Florida and he spends his time between there and his place in north Wales. By the way, as mental health workers, all these people were entitled to retire at 55 yrs old with a full pension. Tory Cuts anyone? I know of someone else in north Wales who is both a psychiatric nurse and a psychiatric social worker. This man told me years ago that as a student, he was one of those who exposed the Ely Hospital Scandal – he claimed to have punched a nurse whom he saw assault an elderly man before he mobilised the students. Yet this man sectioned people in Denbigh, he knew about the horrors of Prestwood homes, he knows exactly how bad the mental health services are and he watched highly inappropriate people qualify as social workers when he worked in social work education at Coleg Menai. He has never spoken out about any of it. He now has a leading role in MIND in north Wales. Do you fancy punching a few other people Geoff? Starting with your senior colleagues at MIND who pay your salary and are doing such damage…

Bring on the protests then. Of those who are only protesting because they Care.

 

 

 

News Round Up, April 18 2017

The Betsi’s problems continue – the Daily Post has reported that over £40 million was spent on agency staff over an 11 month period. Well the north Wales NHS has such a dreadful reputation that no-one wants to work for it- this has been evident for years, has gradually got worse but was concealed until very recently. It’s now crunch time because the Welsh Government are refusing to bail the Board out. Martin Jones has been ‘Director of Workforce and Operational Development’ since the Board was formed (and was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust before he was moved sideways on a protected salary – in the region of £130,000 pa – into a job created for him). He should have been sacked when the NW Wales NHS Trust imploded – time for Martin to finally be held to account? The Post also reports that the mental health services/learning disabilities division of the Betsi overspent by more than £8 million – the patients certainly aren’t seeing the benefit, but then the figure of more than £3 million being spent on out of area placements suggests that the Betsi’s own acute inpatient units are so unsafe that they daren’t place patients in them.

Another news item that I was interested in may not seem particularly relevant to matters usually covered by this blog – that of Stephen Kinnock backing up calls by the RSPCA for a register of people convicted of cruelty to animals and subsequently banned from keeping them. The justification for this is that people who are cruel to animals frequently progress onto violent crime towards people. Now research in the past has shown some evidence that children and adolescents who committed acts of gratuitous cruelty towards animals did sometimes become violent offenders. But that was before the RSPCA began mounting some very odd private prosecutions in some very odd circumstances. Just over twelve years ago I was struck by how many RSPCA led prosecutions of very vulnerable people there were in north Wales. I delved into those cases – and nearly all of them involved people with mental health problems or even dementia who were having trouble looking after themselves failing to cope with their pets. These people were not wilfully cruel – they simply could not look after themselves or their animals. Furthermore a number of these people were under the ‘care’ of community mental health teams – those mental health workers had witnessed the squalor and chaos that their clients were living in and had ignored it. Trouble only erupted when someone had reported those people to the RSPCA. At first I assumed that this was only happening in north Wales as a result of the grossly inadequate mental health services there, but there was then media coverage on a UK level alleging that the RSPCA had been prosecuting vulnerable people en masse – it was eventually attributed to the appointment of a certain controversial Chief Exec whom I think has now been forced out. But of course, on a local level in north Wales I witnessed a few such cases in person.

I knew of one man living in chaos and squalor who was eventually driven out of the village in which he lived by vigilante action. He kept two dogs which were just about all that he had in the world and he was genuinely very fond of them but such were his mental health problems that he was unable to care for them in the way that most other people would have. His house was filthy anyway and he simply failed to notice when the dogs urinated and defecated in the house. Both dogs became very heavily infested with fleas but he did not notice this either. The infestation eventually spread to his furniture. The only point at which anything was done about the conditions that this man was living in was when his key worker visited and got bitten by the fleas herself. She knew the conditions that he was living in, she was told by a number of people – including me – that he was not coping and she ignored it. Until she got bitten, whereupon she ordered his house to be fumigated. Who was this fantastically neglectful key worker? Step forward Louise Ingham, who after watching this man live in the most appalling conditions for many months then took up a position as a lecturer in occupational therapy in Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences, presumably to train future generations of occupational therapists to neglect their clients in the way that she had.

I knew of another case as well that occurred on Anglesey at about the same time. A woman with serious mental health problems was living alone with five dogs as well as a number of other pets including rabbits and various birds. This woman was another person who could not look after herself let alone her animals. The degree of neglect to which she was being subjected was scandalous – she was someone else who was under the ‘care’ of the mental health services and had regular appointments with both psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. A number of neighbours were trying to keep this lady’s head above water and did used to go in and try and help her and the animals, but they were soon overwhelmed. There was an elderly man however who stuck it out and befriended her – he also attended a number of appointments with mental health professionals along with her and was astounded at what he believed was their callous attitude. I knew both these people well and the elderly man used to tell me how this woman was simply repeatedly told that she ‘had to take responsibility’ and that no help for her or indeed her animals would be forthcoming. The chaos and neglect continued. Then a new theory was postulated by the mental health team – that the lady involved was keeping the animals in order to lure people into the house and therefore if no-one went in there, she’d have to come out. The lady concerned had severe OCD and had suffered from this for many years. Unsurprisingly this was not an effective way of treating her OCD. The elderly man who was witnessing all this was so horrified that he began to raise concerns regarding the way in which she was being treated. The mental health team then announced that he was ‘co-dependent’ upon her and that his concerns should be ignored – he couldn’t possibly have been a concerned neighbour aghast at what was happening. The elderly man then died – it transpired that he had cancer and hey, it had not been diagnosed! Although the man who had been blamed for this extraordinary state of affairs was then gone, the lady involved did not however make a miraculous recovery. Eventually there was a near revolution by her neighbours, the animals were removed and she was then hauled off to the Hergest Unit. Because she had severe OCD and could not cope.

Around this time there was another truly extraordinary case of a farmer in Bryncir who was prosecuted for the serious neglect of his animals. His farm was in an appalling state, it looked like something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the yard and fields strewn with the bodies of animals, many of whom had starved to death. But it was self-evident that he could not run his farm – the machinery wasn’t maintained, the tractor seat actually had grass growing out of it, this man was not a competent man. He was prosecuted and then the fun really began. He appeared in Court and there was chaos – because his English was so poor that he could not understand proceedings. Of course in Wales there is a right to a Court hearing in Welsh and eventually this was arranged. But there were still problems – because he had dementia. He was imprisoned nonetheless. I can only imagine the fun that a prison had trying to cope with an elderly farmer who had dementia and spoke no English – I would not be surprised if he did not survive the sentence.

So there have been some rather pointless prosecutions for animal cruelty the circumstances of which were known to me. However this is north Wales we’re talking about, so the dear old mental health services won’t have been grassing up ‘animal abusers’ to protect the animals. No, the main motive will have been a vindictive attack on people who have crossed their path. I know this because they accused me of cruelty to my dogs. I used to have two dogs whom I used to leave in my car when I was out and about. The dogs got a lot of exercise because my hobby was hill walking and they always came with me, but when I was at work or in town or whatever they would crash out in my car. I then discovered that I had been reported to the RSPCA for ‘cruelty’ and a message was left for me in my office to tell me this. I rang the RSPCA immediately and spoke to the ‘inspector’ handling the ‘case’ and invited him to come and meet me, meet my dogs and inspect the place where I lived so that he could be reassured that I did know how to look after dogs and that they were OK. He didn’t take up my offer of any of this, but I did have a very strange conversation with him. He was quite friendly but had some very odd notions. He kept stressing that dogs get claustrophobic in cars – well if they never get out of the car I agree its an unacceptable environment, but my dogs were in and out constantly and getting regular long walks. To educate me in the ways of dogs this man actually told me that he had dressed up as a dog and sat in a confined space and after half an hour he felt awful, so he could reassure me that my dogs were Suffering when they sat on the back seat of my car. I’m not sure whether he was daft enough to have really done this or whether he just thought that I’d be daft enough to be convinced by such an argument, but after telling me about this ‘research’ that he had done he asked me if I would consider buying another car – presumably my dogs would have been OK in a Rolls Royce because he had no doubt dressed up as a dog and sat in a Rolls Royce and quite enjoyed it. I was reported to the RSPCA on two occasions – I was told that the person who reported me had connections with the mental health services. I was never prosecuted by them although it was a close run thing – the lunatic who maintained that he dressed up as a dog told me that if they got another report they’d have to take action. Interestingly enough on one occasion I did receive a direct threat – I was visiting someone at the Hergest Unit and my car was in the car park, plus dogs. I had been talking to the person whom I was visiting for about five minutes when a ‘nurse’ (of course being Hergest she had no ID and was not wearing a uniform, so I don’t actually know if she was a ‘nurse’), stuck her head around the door and bellowed at me to move my car from the car park or they’d report me to the RSPCA for cruelty to my dogs. This happened just as the person whom I was visiting had begun to tell me about the neglect and abuse that he had witnessed in the Hergest Unit.

The Daily Post has been reporting a story in the most lurid manner, that of a ‘knife wielding teenager’ who ‘went beserk’ in a café in Caernarfon after a row with his mother. It was reported that the café owner stated that he and his customers should not have to be exposed to such ‘danger’ and that the police have interviewed the teenager about the incident and ‘may take further action’. Tucked away in this report however is a mention that the teenager was in the café with his mother and ‘support workers’ – right, so he had some sort of disability then, most probably mental health difficulties, learning disabilities or autism. And what’s the betting that the ‘knife’ that he ‘wielded’ was one that he had picked up off the table that had been given to him to spread the butter on his scone or some such activity? So the real story is ‘disabled child become distressed and has tantrum, general public show no understanding or tolerance at all, police end up increasing his distress’. What’s all that guff about ‘fighting stigma’ that we’ve been hearing since Prince Harry Bravely Spoke Out? Or is it only Princes who mustn’t be stigmatised – well the Royals are useful to invite along to a charity fundraiser after all – obviously disabled children can be crucified in the local press and excluded from cafes…

Introducing A ‘Principal Clinical Psychologist’

Whilst I was doing my PhD, I had a bizarre encounter (one of many in my 54 years). As with nearly all my bizarre encounters, it involved someone who styled themselves as a therapist. Whilst I was researching for my PhD I shared an open plan office with a number of other postgrads, researchers and my PhD supervisor. Shortly after I registered, another person also registered for a PhD, a man in his late fifities called Rob Cowley. Cowley described himself as a ‘psychologist’ and was allegedly researching some aspect of hypnotherapy – he also offered hypnotherapy to paying clients on a private basis. Within a couple of days of becoming acquainted with him, it was fairly clear to me that he didn’t have much grasp of psychology and he certainly was not an appropriate person to be working as a ‘therapist’ (he’s not an isolated example). His lack of knowledge was initially attributed to him having an Open University degree and only a 2:2 – his story was that he had spent many years caring for his elderly mother and thus he couldn’t do a degree any other way. He spent the next few weeks basically sexually harassing me. At first I just presumed that he was a sad and lonely man out of his depth socially and academically, but his topics of conversation became increasingly more worrying. He seemed to have very aggressive feelings towards women and then revealed that he had been divorced twice and had five children from the two marriages but only had contact with one child. His explanation for this was that both his former wives had colluded and invoked Court proceedings against him preventing him from seeing his children. He then revealed that both women had alleged domestic violence. At this point alarm bells began to ring – I know that people do lie on oath and collude to stitch other people up (the mental health services did it to me and other patients who complained), but Cowley then admitted to domestic violence, ‘but only once, when she’d driven me to it’. It then transpired that the woman who had ‘driven’ Cowley to violence had been escorted out of the home that she shared with Cowley by the police for her own protection. Research has shown that women usually experience dozens of assaults before they seek protection from domestic abusers, so I very much doubt that Cowley had only assaulted her once. But Cowley stressed that he had tried so hard to make these unreasonable women happy – his account of his second marriage was that he’d brought his wife a cattery because that was her dream, but the cattery had gone up in flames along with the cats inside. So I soon built up a picture of a violent man whose conduct had been so worrying that two former partners had been called to give evidence in Court to prevent him having contact with his children, presumably because they were considered at risk – and a business that had mysteriously caught fire and burnt to the ground along with more than a hundred imprisoned cats. Cowley was also doing something else worrying by now. I get up very early, particularly in the summer and used to start work before 7am. I obtained permission to go into the office early to do this. But when Cowley found out that I was an early bird he started turning up at the office early as well. So I found myself alone with a dodgy character. I tried arriving even earlier – and so did he. He then started parking his car across the only door in an out of the building. So I was then trapped inside an office in a virtually deserted university campus early in the morning. On the second occasion that Cowley did this, Brown told me to find a university harassment officer and tell them what was happening. So I did – and discovered that the university harassment officer for that campus was my PhD supervisor’s wife. Her opinion was that Cowley could well be a danger to female students and that I should tell my PhD supervisor what had been going on. She explained that although she was actually married to my supervisor, she wasn’t allowed to breach my confidence and tell him, it had to come from me. So I told him. We didn’t have evidence that Cowley had directly threatened or tried to assault me so no action could be taken, but it was agreed that his conduct was worrying so we’d keep our ears to the ground. Over the next few weeks it transpired that Cowley had been sexually harassing a number of other people as well as me, that he had been carrying out ‘hypnotherapy’ with a number of very vulnerable people both male and female and that some of these ‘clients’ had approached their tutors in the wake of the distress that Cowley had caused (most of the ‘clients’ were students, although he had been ‘treating’ a few other people as well). My friend Brown and I then discovered that Cowley had been attending medical conferences in the U.S. claiming to be the Vice-Chancellor. Brown then realised that he’d heard of Cowley before – prior to registering for a PhD at Bangor, Cowley had e mailed numerous academics across the UK enquiring about postgrad work and one of the people that he e mailed was Brown. Brown had kept the e mail and forwarded to me – it was written in yellow and Cowley had signed off as ‘Zimbo 99’.

Then the shit really hit the fan – an overseas female student with whom Zimbo had just moved into a shared house made a very serious allegation against him. No-one ever knew the details because at this point an investigation into his activities began and it was confidential. However Zimbo himself was most irate, claiming that the police had thrown him out of his own house. So presumably it was a case of domestic or sexual violence. Zimbo then disappeared from the university very much to everyone’s relief. I was one of the students who was told a few weeks later that he had ‘withdrawn’ from his PhD – I was told because I was one of the students whose concerns about him had formed part of the investigation. All I knew was that Zimbo had been asked to provide a written account of his relationships with the people who had complained about him – in response he had written pornographic fantasies about us all.

So who was responsible for vetting the ‘clinical’ aspects of this maniac’s PhD and his credentials as a ‘hypnotherapist’? Well it wasn’t my supervisor, because he wasn’t a practitioner, he was solely an academic. It was the second supervisor – a man from Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences who worked as a hypnotherapist himself. At my PhD supervisor’s retirement party a while later I met up with this ‘clinical supervisor’ – who was then on the point of retirement himself – who made it quite clear that if there was any comeback from the unfortunate business with Zimbo, he’d be letting my supervisor take the rap for it…

Although Zimbo didn’t reappear in north Wales, I heard more about him. Within a year or so he resurfaced in Leicester – and ingratiated himself to one of Brown’s friends, a professor at Leicester University, by joining the same gym club and then asked about registering for a PhD. It didn’t occur to Zimbo that the man he was talking to might know Brown who of course knew me and what had happened at Bangor. Zimbo told this professor that he’d left Bangor because ‘the supervision wasn’t what it should have been’. Indeed it wasn’t, the School of Healthcare Sciences should have realised that Zimbo was no hypnotherapist and should never have let him across the threshold. So Brown enlightened his friend as to the reality of Zimbo’s departure from Bangor.

A few years ago when I was doing a bit of research into ‘alternative medicine’ and the horrors that often go hand in hand with it, I googled Cowley to see if he was still in business. Indeed he was, in Coventry. He had established a website describing himself as a ‘clinical hypnotherapist’ and was advertising help with, among many other things, ‘sexual problems’. The text on the website was terrifying. Cowley went to great lengths giving a pseudoscientific explanation as to how hypnotherapy ‘works’. Along with this, Cowley carefully pointed out that some people claim that when hypnotised they have been coerced into doing things that they didn’t want to do – however he could tell them that this isn’t true, under hypnosis people only do what they really want to do, they are always in total control. This sounded to me suspiciously like Cowley preparing his defence in the face of complaint from clients – for sexual assault perhaps?

I was so worried about this that I discussed it with a friend who had experience working with the probation service. He told me that as Cowley had been subject to Court proceedings regarding domestic violence and child protection, I should ring the probation services in Coventry and give them information regarding Cowley’s activities when he had been in north Wales. My former PhD supervisor – whom I had remained friendly with – told me to give them his contact details and he would reveal the details of the circumstances of Cowley’s departure from Bangor in confidence. So I contacted the probation services in Coventry, raised my concerns with them and explained that the academic who had been involved in ensuring Cowley’s removal from Bangor University wanted to speak to them in confidence. They never contacted me again, or my former supervisor.

This morning I googled the name Rob Cowley. He is still in Coventry and on his Linked In profile he states that he is a ‘principal clinical psychologist’ at ‘Hypnosis Coventry’. He is also claiming to be a member of the BPS (British Psychological Society). Cowley can also be found on Yell, calling himself Dr Robert Cowley and stating that he is a ‘UK trained and registered psychologist’, with an interest in human psychology ‘reaching back decades’. He talks about his ‘doctoral research programme’ but fails to mention why he did not complete it. He states that he has studied hypnotic techniques ‘across the world’- that must have been when he was in America pretending to be the Vice-Chancellor then. Cowley also claims to be ‘qualified in the use of clinical hypnotherapy’, to be a ‘certified Master Practitioner and trainer in neuro-linguistic programming’ and ‘a practitioner in Eriksonian brief hypnotic psychotherapy’.

My interest in alternative/complementary therapies didn’t start and end with Cowley or indeed Howard Jones, another unscrupulous quack whom I have previously exposed on this blog (please see post ‘Counselling, Caring and A Bit Of Identity Fraud…’). I was aware of what was happening to Professor Edzard Ernst at the hands of the University of Exeter when his research kept demonstrating that homeopathy was ineffective – Edzard was of course eventually forced out of his post on trumped up charges (please see previous posts for more on the University of Exeter and the Peninsula Medical School). I also knew about the chiropractors ‘professional body’ (not a very accurate description of them) and their attempts to bankrupt Simon Singh because he dared expose their fraudulent claims. However, my interest in ‘alternative/complementary therapies’ was particularly elicited by my friends MIND and the Abbey Road Centre in Bangor. At the same time as keeping completely quiet about the neglect and abuse going on in the north Wales mental health services that their ‘clients’ were telling them about, MIND and Abbey Road were doing something else. They were offering ‘alternative/complementary therapies’ to the ‘service users’. Although I have serious reservations about the scientific basis of many ‘alternative/complementary therapies’ I do accept that people can find benefit from approaches outside of orthodox medicine – although I suspect that is because of the nature of so many practitioners of orthodox medicine rather than the miraculous results claimed by alternative/complementary therapists. MIND and Abbey Road were of course seeing scores of patients who had been callously and brutally treated by the north Wales mental health services. So it was hardly surprising that they enjoyed having their scalps rubbed in an ‘Indian head massage’, or their feet twiddled about with in a ‘reflexology session’, or even a ‘Reiki Master’ holding their hands above them to enable the mysterious healing forces to travel back and forth – someone was actually spending time with them, talking to them and not threatening to have them arrested if they didn’t ‘take responsibility’. What I did notice however was that the alternative/complementary therapists would offer a ‘free trial’ – but the service users would then have to pay for their further ‘treatments’. So MIND and Abbey Road were acting as a shop window for people who were flogging some very dubious therapies (accompanied by explanations of how such therapies ‘worked’ that were complete hogwash) to some very desperate people whom MIND/Abbey Road knew were being abused by the statutory services… But that’s how MIND helps service users! By the way the therapies didn’t come cheap – I knew service users who were spending most of their Disability Living Allowance on these therapies, whilst the psychiatrists who were paid 100 grand pa scandalously neglected them. So the mental health services, MIND/Abbey Road and some dodgy practitioners all did very well out of this set-up. The service users got conned. What’s new…

 

 

‘Not Seen Since 80s’ – Carwyn

Yesterday in the Senedd Carwyn Jones admitted that the forthcoming university cuts were not like anything that he had seen since the 80s when he was a student. The two universities under discussion were the University of South Wales and Trinity St David’s, but I am hearing from contacts at Bangor that the axe will soon be wielded there as well.

Like Carwyn, I remember the cuts of the 80s. The man who wielded the hatchet was Peter Swinnerton-Dyer, a henchman of Thatcher’s, who was alleged to have picked up his knighthood in return for his dirty deeds. Many years later I became friendly with someone who had been a student at Cambridge when Swinnerton-Dyer was still teaching there. This man told me some interesting things about Swinnerton-Dyer, particularly regarding his aggressive sexual advances towards the male undergrads and his interesting way of allocating marks for undergrad’s work. The stories that I heard bettered Harriet Harman’s recent lame anecdotes regarding her alleged experience of sexual harassment when she was an undergrad at York, mainly because Swinnerton-Dyer and his bedfellows ended up in rather more powerful positions than Harriet. The cuts of the 80s were always rumoured to have been Thatcher’s revenge on academia, after her not particularly happy time at Oxford where she was subjected to much snobbery. Thatcher also memorably abolished the Social Science Research Council at the same time, merging it with the Economic Research Council and the new body, the ESRC, was widely believed to be favouring funding the research of people like Patrick Minford who was arguing for the abolition of the welfare state. I heard allegations at the time that the SSRC was given the chop because social scientists had this irritating habit of demonstrating the link between poverty and ill health…

However, despite much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Swinnerton-Dyer wielded his axe, but the outcomes were rather odd. Some of the universities that suffered most were actually the institutions that were doing what Thatcher’s administration stated that they wanted universities to do – Salford incurred a massive hit, yet was largely a university churning out engineers. Aston, another university with an engineering and technical base, was hit so badly that it was very nearly closed down. A new Vice-Chancellor was installed, the notorious Freddie Crawford, who then squandered millions on a suite of expensive offices for him and his mates, which was known as the ‘Vice-Chancellor’s posh bit’. Indeed I was given a tour of the posh bit at one point. The social sciences dept was merged with the business school and taken over by what could only be described as a bunch of spivs who then handed out qualifications in some very questionable disciplines. (Indeed two people featured on this blog, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans and Rhian Huws-Williams, both benefited from such qualifications from Aston.)

What I remember most of course was what happened at Bangor. There were, I was told years later, threats to close Bangor down completely. That didn’t happen, but several departments did close, including philosophy, drama and I think maths. Psychology nearly had it was well, but thanks to Fergus Lowe engaging the help of B.F. Skinner (please see previous post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’), psychology subsequently thrived. No-one could work out why those particular depts. had been targeted. At the time there was a far more obvious dept that did deserve the chop on numerous grounds – the infamous Agriculture dept. The Agriculture dept was headed by a most unpleasant man called Professor J.B. Owen. Students found him very difficult to get along with and some of them observed that he didn’t seem to have the sort of academic knowledge that they expected a professor to have. If ever they asked a question in lectures they’d be met with a cold stare and usually no answer, or an answer that contradicted something that he’d said in a previous lecture. A lot of students were expressing very great dissatisfaction indeed with J.B. Owen and a number of other lecturers in the Agri dept – a delegation of students attempted to make a formal complaint but were told very firmly that their complaint would not be given the time of day. The Agri dept also housed a notorious groper, a man called Gordon Farley, who doubled up as a warden in one of the halls of residence. Female students tended to simply view him as a tosser, but there were problems with him trying to get into their rooms in hall (I heard all about it because I was living in the hall where he had been warden the year previously.) Again it was very odd that nothing was actually done about Farley – of course in those days there was not the sort of attention paid to student concerns that there is now, but Bangor was an old fashioned institution and the lecturers generally still took the view that they were in locus parentis. There had been a major row in another dept when a junior lecturer had entered into an entirely consensual relationship with a third year student – yet Farley was carrying on like this. At the end of every year, there would be an exodus of students changing course in order to escape from the horrors of the Agri dept – most of them switched over to zoology or plant biology. It was said that J. B. Owen also ran a sheep farm on Anglesey – something else that caused a lot of puzzlement. A lot of students studying in the Agri dept were the sons and daughters of farmers and were being groomed to take over the family farm. They were alleging that there was gross incompetence in the running of the university farm at Aber which was managed by the Agri dept. So J.B Owen didn’t seem to be a strong academic yet there were also problems in the day to day management of the university farm that he had responsibility for. Then the students discovered that ‘College Farm’ was a source of great entertainment among local farmers, on the grounds that the ‘experts’ from the University were making such a pig’s ear of running it. It was rumoured that the farm was effectively bankrupt. The name was then changed to ‘University Farm’ to make it sound even bigger and better – but it’s problems continued and it continued to be a source of much mirth for local farmers. There were also a few very worrying anecdotes about the mistreatment of certain students in the Agri dept – at least three students received letters asking them to leave the course after they had disagreements with lecturers there. There was widespread suspicion that students who complained were being picked off – such suspicions were confirmed when one student received such a letter asking him to leave the course on the grounds that he had insufficient practical experience of farming. This man had worked as a farm manager for several years before starting his degree. When he pointed this out, he was told that he didn’t have enough experience of dairying. Which was farcical – ‘experience of dairying’ was not stated as an entry requirement and the dept had already accepted him on the course. He received this letter at the beginning of his second year – after a row with a lecturer who did not turn up for a tutorial.  There was also very obvious tension between J.B Owen and the rest of the staff. I was told by one of the students that on a university jolly organised by ‘AgricSoc’, a group of staff and students had gone for a day out on a boat. One member of staff drank too much – he wasn’t offensive and he was a popular man, but he did get bladdered. On the return to shore, this man was physically hidden from J. B. Owen – who was waiting for the group on dry land – and smuggled back home, because the other staff alleged that if J.B. Owen discovered that this man had been drinking, this man would have been sacked. It was clear by then that Owen was running a very unpleasant regime and the students involved were all happy to keep the secret. Throughout my time as an undergrad I continued to hear worrying anecdotes from agri students, always involving low academic standards in the dept or vindictive attacks on students for petty reasons. Years and years later I was told by two retired members of staff from Bangor that the problem was indeed J.B. Owen – one described him as an ‘incompetent bully’, another simply remembered him as a ‘bastard’. But after I graduated, J.B. Owen did something that caused the whole university to become a laughing stock rather than just the Agri dept. At the time of the Chernobyl accident, the radiation cloud had drifted across north Wales during very heavy rain. I’d been out walking across Anglesey with my friends and we’d all been drenched. In the following days – it took a few days before anyone worked out what had happened – there were lots of jokes circulating around north Wales about nuclear rain and how we were all going to go green and our teeth would drop out. But these were jokes made by young people in pubs. However, little did we realise, we had our own nuclear authority tucked away in Bangor – a man called J.B. Owen. Within days of the Chernobyl incident, J.B. Owen had somehow got himself on prime time TV, billed as an ‘expert from UCNW’ (the old name for Bangor University), and he declared that thousands of people in north Wales were going to die as a result of being rained on that afternoon. He just rambled away like he used to in lecturers, presented no evidence at all, but nonetheless stated that we were all going to die. It was never explained that he was a hopeless incompetent who couldn’t run a farm even when it was bankrolled by a university and who didn’t seem to know much about agricultural science either. Everybody who watched his performance commented on the fact that he very obviously didn’t know his arse from his elbow and that this was a major embarrassment for the university. But despite all this, J.B. Owen survived. He even survived Swinnerton-Dyer. I was mystified by this for years – how did he ever get a Chair in the first place let alone hang on to it for decades? Last year I was talking to two retired lecturers from Bangor who are also farmers. They worked at Bangor in the 80s and we began reminiscing about some of the people who worked with them at that time. The topic of J.B. Owen came up – and I was told by these farmers that it was J. B. Owen’s family who had funded the establishment of the Agri dept at Bangor…

There is however one more enigma concerning the Agri dept and it’s activities in the 1980s that I think is potentially far more worrying than anything that happened to the students  during their time there. This blog has detailed the case of Mary Wynch, the lady who successfully sued Dr Dafydd Alun Jones for wrongful imprisonment after he illegally banged her up in the North Wales Hospital for a year. Mary had also endured three months in Risley Remand Centre and after winning her case against Jones was subjected to such intimidation that she went into hiding in England for years. (Please see blog post ‘Making Legal History – The Mary Wynch Case’.) Before Jones destroyed her life Mary had been employed as a secretary in the Agri dept in Bangor. I have already previously documented the influence that Jones and the dreadful Gwynne Williams the lobotomist had at the university until the late 80s. J.B. Owen was reputed to be a malicious old bastard who also seems to have had a great deal of influence in that institution – I cannot help wondering if he somehow played a role in the difficulties that Mary experienced. Newspaper reports at the time reveal that no-one at the university said anything at all about their colleague who was headline news and made legal history…

So if an axe is to fall on the Welsh universities once more, let’s hope this time it falls on the appropriate people. I have been watching what has been going on at Bangor over the last three years and something vey odd has been happening. There are still scores of really good people up there pursuing high quality research and showing a genuine commitment to the students – but they are not the ones being rewarded with promotion or whose work is featuring in the media. The institution seems to have been taken over by the most unscrupulous specimens whose ‘research’ is known to be dodgy but because these people are now in the most senior positions, no-one working there dares speak out. This blog has already detailed what could best be described as research fraud at Bangor as well as some serious conflicts of interests. If a large axe cometh I suggest that someone takes a very close look at what is happening in the Schools of Psychology and Healthcare Sciences  as well as the ‘Centre for Mental Health and Society’. And one of the biggest problems of all is the PVC for Research herself, Jo Rycroft-Malone, so I suggest that no-one leaves the decision as to who to sack down to her.

News From The Betsi

The Betsi website continues to astonish. It is now proudly boasting about ‘Uplifting Hearts’, a scheme that it claims to be operating to ensure that people with mental health problems do not face health inequalities or problems with their physical health. The nurse running this scheme is based at the Hergest Unit – the same Hergest Unit whose patients keep being found dead, the same Hergest Unit that swirls around in the centre of so many allegations of patient abuse and neglect, the same Hergest Unit to which local GPs have stopped referring patients because of the care there being so poor. Oh and the same Hergest Unit that is part of the mental health services that are currently responsible for the Betsi being in special measures. The feature on the website explains that people with severe mental illness die on average 20 years before the rest of the population – yes I know that, I watched it happened to scores of people that I knew from the Hergest Unit. The circumstances of some of these deaths are detailed in my post ‘Why So Many Die So Early’. I note that the patient interviewed to promote ‘Uplifting Hearts’ has been delighted by the encouragement that he’s had to take part in physical exercise – although he’s also quoted as saying how difficult he finds it to continue with anything because his medication just wipes him out. This blog has detailed many instances of the dreadful prescribing practices of Hergest Unit psychiatrists. Before ordering this man to take up exercise (and no doubt ‘daily fresh air’), perhaps someone should take a long hard look at the cocktail of drugs that will probably have been dished out to this man and not reviewed for ten years… Oh and furthermore, there did used to be a really good day centre at the Hergest Unit with staff whom the patients liked who actually looked after their physical health. It was closed down against the wishes of all patients (as detailed previously on this blog) and a lot of patients became destitute and died in the years after it was shut. So now the Hergest Unit are busy uplifting the hearts that they sank in the first place.

I  notice that the nurse spearheading ‘Uplifting Hearts’ is undertaking an MSc in Health Promotion at Bangor University – that will be in the School of Healthcare Sciences, aka the Good Ship Rycroft-Malone, the School in which conflict of interest and racism seems to be the order of the day. That will also be one of the Masters degrees being run by the School of Healthcare Sciences in which it was alleged that staff from Ysbyty Gwynedd were being permitted to enrol in – and indeed complete and graduate from – even if they had no qualifications and weren’t anywhere near Masters level. I was told that Martin Jones, then CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust, wanted to pretend that Trust staff were rather more competent and academic than they actually were. (I was told that the same logic was being applied to the many nurses who worked as nurse-lecturers in the School of Healthcare Sciences themselves – they were all enrolled for PhDs with their own School because the standards up there were a little embarrassing.) As Martin is now Director of Workforce and Operational Development at the Betsi and Jo is/was sitting on the Board, I suspect that arrangement continued. A reader e mailed me this morning to ask if Rycroft-Malone was still a member of the Betsi Board as he’d noticed that my reports from Board meetings had observed that she hasn’t been present recently and that her profile on the Betsi website states that her sell-by date is Feb 2017. Has the Racist in Chief and Queen of Conflict of Interests moved on to other things as the Betsi slowly but surely sinks? No doubt Jo has realised just what a horrible mess it all is and will be doing all she can to pretend that she was never a part of it – well she needs to keep Chairing that NICE committee ie. the committee that advices Government to adopt as health policy research that she has been involved in herself and of course she’ll need to keep the research account full, the research account that’s benefited from funds from the Betsi. One thing that was well-known when I worked at Bangor University was that Rycroft-Malone and her buddy Prof Chris Burton (also of the School of Healthcare Sciences) hated Bangor, hated Wales and were described to me as ‘massaging their CVs’ in order to escape – it was rumoured that they’d blotted their copybooks so badly in previous jobs at universities in England that they’d washed up in the School of Healthcare Sciences where absolutely no-one wanted to work. The previous Head of School was a loathed former North Wales Hospital Denbigh nurse who back in the dawn of time had done a psychology degree at Bangor. Rumours flew among the other students that he didn’t actually sit his own finals – he worked as a nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd throughout the whole course and other students on the course said that he was simply never there and no-one remembers seeing him in the exam hall either. But hey, his name was on the graduation list. This practice was not unknown in UK universities at the time, the early/mid 80s – there were a number of cases at Aston University of affluent students from the middle east who had sent their servants into the lectures and to sit the exams. Because the servants had done the whole course, the teaching staff didn’t realise that the student in front of them was not who they claimed to be. Practices at the North Wales Hospital and Bangor School of Psychology at the time were dodgy indeed and dear old Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was still exerting huge influence in the School of Psychology in Bangor (please see blog post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’ for the skulduggery in Bangor Psychology).

So now that Jo and her very sharp elbows and dodgy practices have landed her one of the most senior jobs in Bangor University, might she be looking further upwards? I am hearing rumours that all is not well at Bangor, that an axe is expected to fall upon many departments very soon and there is suspicion that the Vice-Chancellor might be about to depart. So Jo is either going to try and escape the carnage – or she’ll apply for the Vice-Chancellor’s job herself…

There’s another ‘good news’ story that has been posted up on the Betsi website today, that is the opening of the ‘Butterfly Suite’ at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. This is a facility for parents who’s babies have died late in pregnancy, shortly after birth or have been stillborn. Facilities like this are valuable, but I’d be interested to see the figures for stillbirths and deaths among neonates at the Wrexham Maelor. Because about twelve years ago there was a big problem there – a high number of babies had died (and I think a mother had died as well) and no-one knew why. The midwives wanted to call in a risk management team to try to find out what was happening, but the hospital authorities wouldn’t agree (this was before the Betsi was created and Mary Burrows installed as CEO). The authorities refused the midwives’ request because they feared damage to their reputation if anyone found out how many babies had died at the Maelor. So mothers and babies continued to be put at risk – and I bet a few more died as well and no doubt that was kept quiet.

But as I’ve stated before on this blog, the slaughter of NHS patients doesn’t just happen in Wales as the Westminster Government would have us believe. My friend’s first baby died shortly after birth in Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton some 16 years ago. No-one knew why -my friend had a fantastic pregnancy and a straightforward delivery. Except the baby was virtually dead by the time that she was born. My friend is from a medical family and a friend of her mum’s, an obstetrician, told my friend to get hold of the foetal heart trace. His opinion was that the trace had shown that my friend’s baby had become stressed during the delivery and that an emergency Caesarian should have been carried out. He said that negligence was definitely involved – but told my friend that there was no point in trying to bring a claim against Musgrove Park because ‘expert witnesses’ would lie (just like they did in my case). Some years later I read in Private Eye that there had been a spate of deaths of newly delivered babies at Musgrove Park and that it had been concealed. Some of the experiences that my friend had around the time that her baby died were interesting, but in an awful way. When she returned home after her baby’s death, she rang the number that she’d been given by the hospital for the hospital counsellor assigned to bereaved parents. My friend’s mum was a clinical psychologist, her dad was a social worker and she later trained as a counsellor herself, so my friend knows how a good counsellor should be conducting themselves. She was horrified at the counsellor supplied by Musgrove Park – my friend felt rushed and not listened to and noticed that the counsellor stated that ‘most people find that one session with me is enough’. My friend certainly did, she never returned. So no chance to raise any thoughts about what might have gone wrong during the birth then…My friend and her husband were then offered an appointment with the consultant who had ‘managed’ the delivery, Robert Fox. My friend described how Robert Fox had opened the conversation by saying that he was here to answer any of her questions in an open and transparent way. My friend described how he then spent the rest of the appointment ‘talking in BBC double-speak’ being as non-transparent as he possibly could. She then received a letter from him reassuring her that if she chose to get pregnant again, he’d be delighted to care for her during the birth once more. My friend did get pregnant again but was desperate not to encounter Robert Fox and his lethal ward once more lest the next baby was for the chop as well, so arranged to have the baby in Edinburgh where her husband’s family lived. However unfortunately she went into labour early and couldn’t transfer to Edinburgh – she ended up in Musgrove Park, that being the nearest hospital. She was admitted to the same ward where her previous baby had died – and encountered the midwife who had failed to read the foetal heart trace correctly. My friend had an experience that I have been told is quite common in these circumstances – the midwives were unable to deal with their own emotions and scurried around feeling too frightened and guilty to speak to her. What my friend didn’t know however is that a lot of midwives do not know how to read the foetal heart trace. Very often no-one teaches them. Their patients are wired up and reassured that the heart monitor will show if the baby goes into distress, but unless someone is there who knows how to interpret the trace, no-one will know if the baby is in distress. I saw this myself on the delivery suite when I worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School years ago – a lot of the doctors treated the midwives with contempt (one comment that I heard was ‘the midwives are all really thick especially the black ones’) and would not share their knowledge with them. Most of the midwives were not really thick – even the black ones – but they had not been taught some of the things that the patients assumed that they knew. But one thing the midwives did know is how vulnerable they were if anything went wrong – they were usually blamed. There was a lot of ill-feeling on the delivery suite when I was there because the year before a patient had died of eclampsia. It should never have happened and St George’s knew that it shouldn’t have happened. I was told by one of the midwives that ‘Prof found a midwive to blame it on’. I don’t know whether that was true or not because I wasn’t working there when that happened – but I was working there when a junior doctor was on duty who was known to be so incompetent that if he was on duty at night, before they went off duty the other doctors would schedule things to minimise any likelihood of one of the patients needing intervention. They did this very skilfully and to their credit as far as I could see they did very effectively protect patients from a man whose clinical skills none of them felt could be relied upon. But they didn’t stop him practicing. He is almost certainly stuffing something up now somewhere in the NHS and could well have killed someone.

Counselling, Caring and A Bit of Identity Fraud…

About ten years ago I responded to an advert in a local paper in Gwynedd for someone to share a farmhouse with others. I moved into the farmhouse, having been led to believe that this would be the sort of shared farmhouse community that I had previously lived in but once I moved in I discovered that the situation was rather different. The farmhouse – which was in Llanrug – was very nice but it transpired that it wasn’t actually a shared house or a community, it was more one man who obviously saw himself in the role of a landlord letting out rooms to other people. I then discovered that the ‘landlord’ didn’t own the house himself, he was renting it and subletting to the rest of us. However I was in for an adventure – I should have realised that when the ‘landlord’, a man called Howard Jones, told me that he was a ‘counsellor’.

Howard wasn’t however a counsellor employed by the dreadful mental health services, he was someone whom it transpired had only pursued a very basic counselling course at an FE College in the north of England and had then inflicted himself on the vulnerable of north Wales. I realised within days that Howard’s counselling was flaky because not only did I notice that he had clients arriving at the house whilst we lodgers/housemates were wandering around but he was holding ‘counselling sessions’ in the sitting room next to my room and I could hear the content of these ‘sessions’. Within a couple of weeks I had heard from a friend that Howard had previously been plying his trade in a ‘therapy centre’ in Bangor but had been asked to leave because it was judged that he was harming patients and furthermore a few months previously he had been struck off by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. The circumstances were that Howard had been reported to them for ‘transgressing boundaries’, namely renting out a caravan in his garden to a client and holding a housewarming party to which he invited a number of clients. The BACP has suspended him and asked him to undergo further training and supervision but he refused, so had been struck off. He carried on ‘counselling’ anyway. Howard had a good supply of clients, many of whom were people who had been on the receiving end of the incredibly abusive Arfon Community Mental Health Team (please see previous blogs) or had been refused mental health care altogether.

It soon became obvious to me that not only was Howard completely out of his depth with the problems that people were bringing to his counselling sessions, but he had serious financial problems and would do pretty much anything to extract money out of people. A lot of what he did involved petty fiddles, such as using red diesel unlawfully for his car or allowing fly-tipping on the land that he was renting or lying to me about my share of the house bills, but I noticed that Howard seemed to be involved in something very much more serious that I never got to the bottom of. Every weekend a girl in her late teens would turn up at Howard’s house to stay – he maintained that she was his former foster daughter who still liked to come to stay with him. The young woman had learning disabilities and was severely disabled, seemingly with cerebral palsy or some such similar condition, and had a number of other health problems as well – including quite severe epilepsy. Howard maintained that during the week she lived in some sort of care-setting in the north west of England near Liverpool, yet he was very vague about who actually looked after her when she wasn’t at his house. Howard told so many different stories about this young woman and how she’d become his foster daughter at some time in the past that the accounts clashed, so some of what I was being told at least obviously wasn’t true.

Another mystery surrounded this young woman as well. Most weekends, at some point, a woman who was employed in the School of Education at Bangor University and her husband, who was also employed in the School of Education at Bangor (I knew them because I’d done my PhD in that School), used to turn up to visit Howard’s ‘former foster daughter’ – Howard told me that this woman was also a former foster parent of this young woman. The relationships between all these people seemed very strained – Howard openly despised the two employees of Bangor University and the visits would be conducted without them speaking to each other. Furthermore, although I was told that the woman who visited was a former foster mother of the young woman in question, I noticed that the young woman always called her ‘mummy’ and ‘mummy’ would always arrive laden with expensive gifts in the manner of a guilt ridden absent birth parent. Mummy would also take the young woman out on expensive jollies. The impression of a relationship between a birth mother and daughter that had gone horribly wrong was strengthened by the young woman frequently stating that she hated ‘mummy’ and throwing tantrums, leaving mummy in tears. I’m quite good at spotting dysfunctional situations – I’ve been in enough of them having encountered the glorious mental health services – and everything about the relationships between all these people was dysfunctional. None of them were behaving in the stable manner of a good foster parent.

However undesirable it was that a profoundly vulnerable young woman had ended up in the hands of this lot every weekend, there was something far more worrying going on. The disabled young woman used to arrive at Llanrug on a Friday evening and return to England on Sunday afternoon. She drove. A young lady with learning disabilities, a serious physical disability and EPILEPSY drove between Gwynedd and England every week. Howard would make a great play of guiding her down the drive into Llanrug ‘to make sure she’s safe’ and then it was off to England by herself, presumably down the A55 and a few motorways. I was so mystified at this extraordinary procedure that one day I asked Howard how often the young woman had to have medicals to keep her driving licence. Howard cheerfully told me that ‘she doesn’t need any, she’s not supposed to be driving but we’ve managed to get her a license’. How he did not explain. I am aware of how stringent the DVLA regulations are where epilepsy is concerned because I knew someone who developed epilepsy and lost his licence for years because he was not allowed to drive again until he’d been for I think it was two years without a seizure. This young woman who visited Howard was keeling over with seizures on a regular basis.

So not only did Howard, mummy and mummy’s husband all know that the young woman whom they all claimed to be ‘caring for’ was risking her life and the lives of everyone else on the road every Friday evening and Sunday afternoon as she rocketed back and forth between Liverpool and Gwynedd in her little car, but they all knew that this was being achieved with the help of a forged licence. So there was ID fraud going on. I can only assume that either a dodgy doctor had been persuaded to provide a report to the DVLA which conveniently failed to mention this young lady’s many medical conditions or documents belonging to someone else were being used.

The forged licence was the most obvious thing placing this young woman – and others – in danger, but when I realised the sort of things that Howard, mummy and mummy’s husband were actually getting up to, I began to wonder who on earth had ever seen fit to entrust the care of this young woman to people like this. Someone will have been party to it all – whoever ‘cared’ for her during the week for a start. Furthermore the young woman was in receipt of disability benefits, so she was having some contact with officialdom. And a number of people pointed out that Howard would not have been looking after her free of charge…

There were other people who almost certainly knew about at least some of this as well. That was the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. Mummy was one of their clients. A few years after I had waved goodbye to Howard and the bizarre set-up in his house, I received an update on mummy’s career. She had left her job and had enrolled as a student nurse at the School of Healthcare Sciences in Bangor University. What a perfect career for her to embark upon…

Mummy was not the only healthcare professional whom I encountered who seemed to be involved with dodgy ID documents. My blog post ‘A Very Bad PR Man’ tells the story of Sean Tierney, a ‘patient’ of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones who trailed me some years ago and is now serving a prison sentence for the attempted murder of two people. Tierney contacted me after he had read a piece that I’d written in a newspaper about mental healthcare – well that was his story anyway – and told me that he was a former Major in the British Army, had developed PTSD and had been saved by Dafydd and his clinic. Now not only did Tierney tell me that Dafydd had facilitated an Army Pension for him, but Tierney also made this claim on a website discussing PTSD (please see previous blog post ‘A Very Bad PR Man’). Yet at Tierney’s trial, it was revealed that he had only been in the Army for a very brief time many years ago and had been kicked out. The Army does not give pensions to people in those circumstances – so how did Dafydd secure Tierney an Army Pension? Now this Army Pension could all be a fantasy of Tierney’s, after all he was not an honest man. However, after Tierney contacted me, he asked if we could meet up, which we did in a café in Llandudno. Whilst Tierney was telling me about his heroic activities in battle in the Falklands – which I now know was a pack of lies – Tierney showed me various documents to back his story up. I now realise that I was shown false ID documents. So there is someone in healthcare circles in north Wales who deals in false ID documents.

But then some doctors in north Wales have a flexible attitude towards the rules and regulations surrounding ID documents like driving licences. Some years ago Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s son was prosecuted for drink driving. He gave a real tear-jerker of a statement in court explaining that he worked as a chauffeur for his father, thus enabling Dafydd to visit war veterans and treat them for PTSD and if he lost his licence Dafydd’s valuable work would come to a halt. The court didn’t buy the sob story and Dafydd’s son lost his licence. It was then revealed that this chauffeur to a hero was actually a student at Aberystwyth. I also heard another interesting story re Dafydd from one Professor Catherine Robinson of Bangor University, yet another expert in mental health in north Wales who has kept schtum about a lot of things that are happening to mental health patients. Catherine told me a few years ago that Dafydd had extracted someone else out of a tricky situation driving licence wise by supplying a rather more favourable medical report than an honest practitioner would have…