It’s Just Another Gold Digger

My post ‘A Bit More About Those Very Muddy Waters’ detailed how in the early 1990s a young woman called Rebecca Teacher made headlines in the UK after she claimed to have been horrifically abused in a commune near Bangor as a child. Rebecca told a story of running away with a friend and telling both the police in Bangor and Gwynedd Social Services of terrible physical and sexual abuse of children in the commune, only to be taken into care for a short while and then returned to her abusers. Rebecca appeared on the ‘Kilroy’ programme, which at about the same time invited Dafydd along to star in one show in his capacity as an ‘expert’ to discuss PTSD. When Rebecca appeared on ‘Kilroy’, Kilroy also invited her dad along, Kevin Teacher, the leader of the community and, Rebecca alleged, her abuser. Kevin Teacher was aggressive and unpleasant to Rebecca on camera and carried on in a rather Top Doctoresque manner, making comments along the lines of ‘well Rebecca you’ll remember when the Bangor Police arrested you for stealing’, when Rebecca was describing the brutal beatings that she alleged that she and other kids in the commune had received.

I have found an article in ‘The Independent’ dated 11 August 1993 reporting that Rebecca and her stepfather, William Webb, had appeared at the Old Bailey and denied conspiracy to blackmail Kevin Teacher (real name Kevin O’Byrne). It was alleged that Rebecca and William Webb ‘carried out a blackmail campaign’ in 1992, threatening to tell newspapers how children living with The Teachers had been sexually and physically abused unless her father paid up. David Bate, for the prosecution, told the Old Bailey that Rebecca had claimed that ‘she and other children were treated like slaves at the cult commune near Bangor in North Wales’ and that Kevin O’Byrne ‘forced children to beat each other up. He also beat the children with curtain rails or horse whips’ and that ‘Ms Teacher told police she demanded between £40,000 and £60,000 from her father after failing to sue him for damage she allegedly suffered in childhood.’

On 19 August 1993, The Indie reported that Rebecca and William Webb had been cleared of blackmail and explained that:

After her acquittal by a jury at the Old Bailey in London, Rebecca Teacher, 18, said that she would be asking the police to investigate The Teachers, set up by her father Kevin O’Byrne, 55. She said: ‘The trial has been an ordeal and I want to try and put my life together now.’ Her stepfather William Webb, 43, was also found not guilty. The defendants, both from Barnet, north London, had denied conspiring to blackmail Mr O’Byrne, who styles himself ‘Kevin of the Teachers’. The court was told that Mr O’Byrne received telephone calls from the defendants last year demanding between pounds 40,000 and pounds 60,000. They threatened to expose the sect’s activities to newspapers if he did not pay up. Mr Webb, a laser consultant, and Miss Teacher admitted demanding the money, but said it was to compensate her for years of suffering. She made the calls after her efforts to sue her father and her attempts to alert the authorities to her plight failed. Mr O’Byrne jointly founded the sect in 1972. The court was told that he believed incest should no longer be a crime because the ‘genetic difficulties’ that it might cause could be avoided through contraception. The court was also told that children were beaten, whipped, locked up for days without food and made to look after the animals at The Teachers’ remote farmhouse commune near Bangor, North Wales.

But David Bate, for the prosecution, said that although the sect was ‘weird and bizarre’ it was not on trial. The issue was not whether the allegations of abuse were true, but whether the blackmail demands were warranted. Miss Teacher was born into the sect and the court was told that she was beaten and sexually abused until her mother and Mr Webb left the group when she was aged 11. She was one of at least 12 children fathered by Mr O’Byrne with six women. She said yesterday: ‘I did this not just for myself but for the other children.’ Mr O’Byrne did not give evidence. His absence was described by Judge Clive Tayler as being like ‘Hamlet without the Prince’.

 

There must have been another trial soon after as well, because ‘Court News UK’ reported that on Nov 2, 1993 Kevin Teacher’s son Matthew O’Byrne, age 28, told the Old Bailey that when living at the commune, he sexually abused other children. I do not have access to the full report on ‘Court News UK’, so I have no idea of the details of this trial or its outcome.

The Teachers were a community who lived on a farm at Tregarth. They had left by the time that Rebecca went public, but The Teachers were still at Tregarth when I arrived at UCNW/Bangor University in 1981. Wales was heaving with hippies, communes and alternative people at the time and many of them were making things – crafts, clothes, jewellery etc – which they would sell. The Teachers were rather different in that they had a shop in Bangor and a rather strange shop at that. The shop sold educational materials for children, but inside the shop, the walls were plastered in posters promoting the notion of ‘family planning’. It was seriously weird. I looked around the shop a few times but because there weren’t any books for adults in there I didn’t bother to make it a regular stopping place of mine. The shop assistants weren’t at all chatty, so I didn’t get to know them either.

I hadn’t been in Bangor long however when I heard more about The Teachers. I was living in hall and at one point I thought about moving out and I went to view a little cottage near Church Island at Menai Bridge. A young woman and her boyfriend were sharing it with another girl who was moving out of the house, so they had advertised a room. I went to see the house and spent the morning chatting with the two who I’d be sharing with if I did move in. The young woman was a dental nurse and her boyfriend was a PhD student in Marine Sciences. Because I was relatively new to Bangor, we chatted about everything and they briefed me. They asked me if I’d met any of the hippies in the communes and I said that I’d been in The Teachers’ shop. They told me not to have anything to do with The Teachers because they were really bad news, but another community at Aber, the Sanyassins, were fine.

The Sanyassins, or Orange People, were followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who excited the ‘Daily Mail’ because of the orgies which Bhagwan was alleged to have encouraged at his main communes outside of the UK and of course because Bhagwan owned a fleet of Rolls Royces. There were still a few former Orange People living around Bethesda when I lived there in the 1990s. One was called Promod, real name Peter Greenaway, who was married to Alison Greenaway, who was the manager of the MIND Centre at Abbey Road, Bangor. Alison Greenaway was a complete stooge of Dafydd and the gang, the MIND centre colluded with them and silenced all dissent. Alison Greenaway later became a psychiatric social worker and spent many enjoyable years standing by silently while patients died or were framed and imprisoned. Another Orange Person whom I knew was a mate of Alison’s, a woman called Jackie, who used to spend much time in Turkey enjoying the company of young Turkish men while her partner, a gentle man who was constantly stoned, was told to put up with it. Then Jackie discovered the joys of The Gambia and moved a Gambian toyboy in and relegated her stoned partner to the attic.

I knew another Sanyassin very well, because he was a Hergest patient. He moved into Rachub and the whole village was told that he was a nutter who was ‘a danger to women’. He wasn’t – one of my friends was his girlfriend. He had spent some time living in south Wales and when he was there he told us that he was wrongly accused by a female police officer and then violently attacked by a number of male police officers and hit on the head with a truncheon so hard that he was seriously injured. He was arrested – for assaulting the woman police officer. When under arrest, he requested medical help and was diagnosed with ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ and sectioned. He appeared in court, was found guilty of assault and was put on probation. He wanted to return to Bethesda, so his ‘care’ was transferred to Dr Tony Francis at the Hergest Unit and the North Wales Probation Service took over his ‘case’. His girlfriend told me that she had seen the photos of the serious injuries which the police inflicted and she also told me that both Tony Francis and the probation officer had admitted to her that the Sanyassin had been severely beaten up by the South Wales Police and framed. None of that was recorded on his medical notes or his probation file. The official story was that he was a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’ – Alison and Jackie agreed with the diagnosis – who had brought it on himself by blowing dope. Every time that this man announced that he would try and come off his medication, he would be sectioned and dosed up again. His girlfriend visited him regularly when he was an in-patient in Hergest and noted the abuse and neglect on the part of the staff, as well as their lies in the face of complaint.

The Hergest staff didn’t know this, but before that man joined Bhagwan’s community, he was doing a post-doc at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. He spoke to me about the malpractice and fuckwittery that he witnessed there. A few months ago, someone from Bethesda told me that he’d been found dead, but I don’t know any details. For further details of this man’s brutal treatment at the hands of the South Wales Police and the collusion of the all agencies with the violent thugs who nearly killed him, see post ‘A Bit More About Those Very Muddy Waters’.

 

The dental nurse who warned me against The Teachers had a mother who was a midwife at St David’s Hospital in Bangor and she told me that there were constant allegations that the children of The Teachers were being mistreated and that the adults ‘shared’ the children, so the kids didn’t have any specific parents to rely on. I heard about Kevin Teacher as well – that he was mad, an absolute git who accompanied the women and children EVERYWHERE, even to hospital appointments and dominated the whole commune. The midwife who worked at St David’s had told her daughter that Kevin Teacher used to arrive at St David’s with whichever woman from the commune was in labour and would refuse to leave them alone with the Top Docs and Angels. Furthermore, I was told that there was an experimental birthing pool at St David’s and Kevin really freaked the Top Docs out because he got into the pool along with the women.

As ever with An Everyday Story Of North Wales Folk, one had to untangle the mess. The Teachers did have a terrible reputation, I was later told that by other people as well. But so did St David’s Hospital in Bangor. My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ describes just some of what I knew was going on up there – the illegal abducting of newborns of women who’s families had conspired with Dafydd, false accusations made against women miscarrying that they had tried to procure an abortion, women being treated appallingly insensitively and even concerns that patients were sexually assaulted by some staff. St David’s Hospital was fully on board with Dafydd’s gang. There was one obstetrician up there who severely brain damaged one baby after buggering up the delivery. The mother wasn’t told what had happened and no admissions were ever made by the Top Docs. The same Top Doc then buggered up another delivery, resulting in another brain damaged baby and was found a job in Australia in order for silence to be maintained. St David’s employed a monster of a senior nurse who’s sole purpose was to intimidate parents who were complaining of damaged or dead babies. There were very, very big problems at that hospital and every Top Doc and midwife knew it.

When I told the Hergest Unit a few years later what I had heard about St David’s, it was flatly denied. Er – I had spoken to women who had delivered up there and they supplied quite enough evidence to confirm that what they were saying was true. There was also a problem with the community midwives back in the 1980s. One of my neighbours on Anglesey told me how bloody rude the midwife was, she even marched into their house without knocking, so her husband kicked her out.

If I had given birth at St David’s I would have taken the father of the baby in with me as a bodyguard, so who knows, perhaps the women of The Teachers felt like that as well. It is difficult to know who would have been less helpful to the patients, Kevin Teacher or the St David’s staff.

As ever, people were reluctant to make a fuss about their ‘care’ at St David’s lest there was Retribution. So now that Dr David Reed and his wife Fiona are safely out of the clutches of the Top Docs, perhaps they’d like to confirm that they were very, very distressed at the way in which Fiona was treated during the birth of her first baby, but Dave was doing his PhD at Ysbyty Gwynedd and Fiona was working as a secretary there…

St David’s closed down in the 1990s, but as with the closure of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, the mad, abusive staff were simply relocated to a new unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd. The bad attitudes and mistreatment of patients continued. When I was doing my PhD, one member of staff at Bangor University told me that the delivery of her baby had been so badly handled that the baby had been left brain damaged – but fortunately not seriously – and she had been left with PTSD herself because of the brutality with which she had been treated. She sued and won. How did this patient win a case against Gwynedd Health Authority when women who’s babies actually died were told to sod off and no admissions were made? She was an Angel of course, who had the dirt on them, so they paid up.  This Angel continued in the same vein over the following years, bagging successive jobs which she could not do on the back of her knowledge of NHS wrongdoing. She hit the jackpot when she shared an office with me because she found out about the first batch of documents that my lawyers got hold of which included those describing how Alun Davies and the Top Docs were going to fit me up in court. It was on the basis of this that the Angel bagged a research grant from the North West Wales NHS Trust. When I wrote an article for a newspaper about the mental health services, the Angel asked me if I would publish false allegations about the VC of Bangor University in the press. I refused and a few days later the Angel screamed at me that Brown and me were ‘damaging her career’ with our articles about the NHS.

Had Dr Dee Jones aka Dr Dee Gray not hitched her fortunes up to a paedophile gang, she need never have worried about Brown and I publishing the wrongdoing of the NHS. Dr Dee Gray now runs an ‘executive coaching business’, ‘Gray’s Learning’, through which she flogs her ‘expertise’ to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and others for many thousands of pounds. As Dee has built her entire career upon her knowledge of the crimes of the Top Doctors, perhaps she could give us all the details of the deal which she thrashed out with corrupt NHS personnel and corrupt union reps that resulted in her bagging a massive compensation pay-out from Bangor University after the joint NW Wales NHS Trust-Bangor University project which she ‘led’ went tits up and hundreds of thousands of pounds were wasted and two PhD students did not get PhDs. See post ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ for more Dr Dee Gray laffs.

 

As well as hearing about The Teachers during my visit to the cottage near Church Island, the dental nurse’s PhD student boyfriend told me something else as well, which I attributed to homophobia at the time, because I didn’t know that an abuse ring targeting boys was operating in the region. The dental nurse’s boyfriend expressed concern about the Gay Soc at UCNW. UCNW was not a hot bed of leftist politics, the SDP were the dominant force among the English speaking students, although of course many of the Welsh-speaking students were involved with Welsh activism. However, UCNW did have a very active Gay Soc, one of the most active in the UK and it was networked to much UK-wide gay activism. The dental nurse’s boyfriend kept repeating that he didn’t think that Gay Soc should be allowed to appear at the freshers events and tout for business. I was gobsmacked and told him so; this PhD student then said ‘but they’re trying to get the students who aren’t gay interested as well, they’re forcing it on them’.

I didn’t click, even when in my second year I was told repeatedly by other students that Gay Soc were ‘extreme’. It was only toward the end of my third year when a very obviously predatory older man – who was a teacher at St David’s College, Llandudno – joined the UCNW Bird Group and bothered some freshers so badly that they asked to be protected from him when I realised that students at Bangor were being targeted. During those years, a number of people left the Chester branch of CHE because they maintained that it was a front for paedophile activity. I now realise what that PhD student whom I met in my first year was concerned about. Dafydd’s trafficking gang was targeting children/adolescents/vulnerable young people, male and female and the gang was operating within UCNW. See post ‘Just A Language Divide?’.

Two other people who were students at the same time as me at UCNW who probably knew something about the gang even if they didn’t realise it are Julian Oliver and his (now ex) wife Heather. Julian studied zoology and had a very bad experience with Dafydd’s partner in crime Dr D.G.E. Wood just before finals. Julian’s girlfriend, whom he later married, Heather, was doing teacher training at Bangor. Heather was difficult and didn’t get on with other students very well, but she was truly appalled by what she witnessed on her teacher training placements. She was very voluble regarding what she thought were dreadful standards, the qualifying of the most unsuitable students and the neglect of children in one primary school in particular near Colwyn Bay. Dafydd’s gang had a stronghold at Colwyn Bay.

 

To return to The Teachers. The other person who told me that The Teachers were abusing children was Meleri Tudor, a solicitor in Bangor, who later practised in Caernarfon and then became an employment tribunal judge. Meleri and I discussed The Teachers and their alleged abuse of children on the day that Meleri accompanied me to Chester Court when Gwynedd County Council attempted to have me imprisoned on the basis of the perjury of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team, in July 1990. See post ‘ ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’. Meleri confirmed that other people knew that The Teachers were abusing children as well – she told me that ‘people don’t like them much because of the way that they treat their children’.

Yet when Rebecca Teacher and her friend ran away and reported the abuse to Bangor Police Station and Gwynedd County Council, Rebecca and her friend were treated as delinquents – ‘Rebecca was stealing’ – and they were very soon sent back to The Teachers.

Although Rebecca and her stepdad were acquitted of conspiracy to blackmail, I can remember being told by people in Bethesda – which was some two miles away from The Teachers’ farm – that ‘that girl was just after money’. I was even told this by two hippies who had previously told me that The Teachers were ‘bad news’. One of these hippies was friends with a man called Alan Patrick, who had joined The Teachers and left, but refused to give anyone details why. I was simply told that Alan was trying to forget all about ever having been one of them. Alan then ran a shop in Bethesda and shared a flat with Dr Chris Barnes. Chris taught at UCNW and then later at Hillgrove School. I always liked Chris Barnes, he was very jolly and entertaining, but Chris was married to Gwyneth Barnes (see post ‘Pets Win Prizes’) who worked as a cleaner at the Hergest Unit, who must have known how badly the patients there were treated, because some of the cleaners used to tell their friends and families that they couldn’t believe what they were witnessing at the Hergest Unit.

Rebecca received all that publicity while the North Wales Police investigated the possibility of a paedophile ring operating in Cheshire and north Wales but concluded that there wasn’t one; when hundreds of complaints about the abuse of children at the Ty’r Felin children’s home in Bangor were made but no action was taken by the DPP; when Dafydd was popping up constantly on TV as an ‘expert’; when former kids in care and psych patients were dropping like lemmings; when I was prosecuted and convicted of ‘staring at a social worker in Safeways’ – a social worker who had previously illegally detained me and then lied to the police and admitted this in court (see post ‘Some Big Legal Names Enter The Arena’); when I wrote to Michael Mansfield QC regarding what was happening to me at the hands of Gwynedd Social Services, only to receive a one line reply; when Superintendent Gordon Anglesea sued ‘Private Eye’, ‘The Independent On Sunday’ and HTV for libel after they named him as abusing boys in care in north Wales.

No-one defended Rebecca. She was firmly branded a money grubbing liar.

Less than one year after Rebecca’s acquittal, Peter Howarth was jailed for sexually abusing boys at Bryn Estyn. Howarth was a key figure in a massive paedophile ring. Still no-one suggested that perhaps Rebecca might have been telling the truth.

Meleri Tudor, the lawyer who knew that kids at The Teachers were being abused, was the daughter of a Minister of religion. Meleri’s sister had served time in Holloway for Welsh language activism. I’m fairly certain that Meleri’s husband was a lawyer. Meleri at that time worked for Carter, Vincent, Jones, Davies in Bangor and one of the partners was Alwyn Jones, who was my main solicitor. At that time, Alwyn was married to a lawyer who worked for Gwynedd County Council. Alwyn’s wife’s father was a police officer who was a Freemason in Bangor. Meleri was friendly with people who were in the Bangor University Lodge.

On the day that Gwynedd Social Services tried to frame and imprison me at Chester Court in July 1990, the reason why Meleri came to the court with me was that I was warned that I could well go to prison so someone from my solicitor’s practice would definitely be coming with me, but it had to be Meleri because although Alwyn had been handling my case, on the big day he found that he had to be elsewhere, so Meleri, his junior, came to Chester with me, although Alwyn was very worried that he couldn’t be there.

That was the Alwyn who’s wife worked as a lawyer for Gwynedd County Council – who were taking me to Chester Court in order to have me imprisoned. Documents now in my possession demonstrate that Ron Evans, Gwynedd County Council’s lawyer, knew that lies were going to be told about me on oath and indeed Ron had sent a note to the perjurers of Arfon Community Mental Health Team telling them who to meet at Chester before the case, where they would be told what to say and shown their affidavits. Which presumably they had not written and signed themselves as alleged.  Three of the people who gave evidence against me had never met me before. One of them had met me at most, twice. Documents in my possession also show that Ron Evans knew that the Court had been changed, as had the judge, days before the hearing. Ron sent the Arfon perjurers a little hand-written note telling them this and giving them precise details of which Court to go to and how to get there. Meleri knew that the Court and judge had been changed as well. My barrister, Suzanne Evans, didn’t. She went to the wrong court, arrived very late for my case, was all of a fumble and the corrupt judge – for he was indeed corrupt – Justice John Roch, later Lord Justice John Roch, snapped and shouted at her.

Fourteen or fifteen charges against me were thrown out because the Arfon perjurers were demonstrated to have lied on oath. Roch offered to give them extra time to rewrite their statements. Their barrister declined, saying that Gwynedd County Council had already spent a great deal of time and money on this case.

Justice Roch was clearly intimidating Suzanne Evans, but she knew damn well that extensive perjury and conspiracy had been committed. She didn’t utter a word and I never heard from her again after I left the court. For more information on Suzanne Evans, see post ‘Life In Cold Blood’.

No-one ever mentioned the industrial scale perjury and conspiracy after we left Chester Court. I told Meleri that I thought it was very odd that the Court and judge had been changed and my barrister didn’t know. Meleri brushed it off and maintained that it was just a little mistake. Meleri gave me a lift back to Bethesda but I was so stressed that she had to keep stopping the car so I could throw up. She told me that her daughter got car sick as well, but nothing like this!

Bechod!

‘We didn’t know.’

Roch, Alwyn, Meleri, Ron Evans, Lucille, Arfon CMHT, Gwynedd County Council, Suzanne Evans: It’s A Rat Trap – And You’ve Been Caught…

A Tonic for the Troops
Boomtown Rats - A Tonic For The Troops album cover.jpg

 

‘We didn’t know.’

I must congratulate Alwyn on his camouflage, it was even better than that of Prof Eric Sunderland.

  • Alwyn:
  • Can You Spot the Hidden Animals in These Photos by Art ...

 

Professor Eric Sunderland:

  • Camouflaged Animals in their Natural Environment (22 ...

 

Alwyn’s crooked lawyer of a wife later left him – she was having an affair with another crooked lawyer who worked for Gwynedd County Council – and Alwyn remarried, to a pharmacist whom he had known at Abersytwyth University. Alwyn’s stepson Sean (it might be spelt differently) Hudson went to school with Laura, the daughter of Ella Fisk, who was the Angel who ran the Day Centre at the Hergest Unit. Ella knew that I and other patients were being fitted up in court by her colleagues. Sean went to Oxford to read law and Laura went to Cambridge and is now a clinical psychologist!

Tony and Sadie Francis’s son Adrian went to the same school as Sean and Laura – Ysgol David Hughes – and Adrian became a lawyer as well! Adrian is now a barrister at Dean’s Court Chambers in Manchester. Adrian’s Linked In profile provides the following info regarding his biography:

University of Liverpool, 1995-98, BA, 2:1; College of Law, 2001-03; RMNJ Solicitors, Chester, Trainee Solicitor in Criminal Defence, Mental Health Law and Conveyancing, 2003-05; Abraham & Co Solicitors, Criminal Defence and Mental Health Solicitor, 2005; The Law Office of Paul D’Ambrogio, Claimant Personal Injury Solicitor, 2006; Wirral Borough Council, Locum Adult Social Care Solicitor, 2006-08; Cheshire County Council, Adult Social Care Solicitor, 2008-09; Cheshire East Council, Adult Social Care Solicitor, 2009-10; Wiltshire Council, Locum Adult Social Care Solicitor, 2010-12: 500k recovered in Ordinary Residence Disputes. In addition in excess of 500k saved. 3 successful determinations by The Secretary of State for Health; Leeds City Council, Locum Adult Social Care Solicitor, 2012-14: Clients included Leeds City Council & NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups, Full range of Adult Social Care Advice to include – Litigated COP health & welfare matters, Ordinary Residence disputes, S117 Funding disputes, Community Care Law, Defendant Judicial Review Litigation; Cumbria County Council, Adult Social Care Legal Consultant, 2014: Court of Protection Litigation, Care Home Fees Recovery, Training of Solicitors; Manchester City Council, Locum Solicitor Adult Social Care, 2015: Adult Social Care Solicitor for Manchester City Council, Salford City Council & Manchester Mental Health & Social Care NHS Trust; Sheffield City Council, Locum Adult Social Care Solicitor, 2015-16: Court of Protection Litigation & Defendant Judicial Review Litigation on behalf of Sheffield City Council; South Tyneside Council, Locum Adult Social Care Solicitor, 2016-17: Litigation based role to include legal advice to the council on all matters relating to adult social care law to include advocacy before the court of protection & county court; LGSS Law Ltd, Adult Social Care and Healthcare Legal Team Manager (Locum), 2017: I carry a full adult social care law caseload and manage a team of Adult lawyers across 3 counties Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire & Central Bedfordshire for the ABS LGSS Law Ltd. Providing Legal Services for the Public Sector to include local authorities & NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups; Borough of Poole, Locum Adult Social Care Lawyer, 2017-18.

Observant readers will have noticed that this son of two of the Top Docs who facilitated the trafficking gang in north Wales/Cheshire has been employed by a number of the County Councils who for years sent kids in care to children’s homes in north Wales where they were abused. Adrian Francis has been employed by some of the most troubled, scandal ridden local authorities in the UK to fight ‘service users’ who have dared to make a claim on those authorities. He has worked for the mental health services in Salford and Manchester – they employed his parents before the Francis’s relocated to north Wales…

I note that Adrian worked for the Wirral Borough Council, 2006-08. The corrupt HR Director at Bangor University, Lyn Meadows, who was busy trying to force me out of my job at the University at that time (see post ‘A Demand From Gwynedd County Council’) had recently been a non-executive Director of an NHS Trust on the Wirral. When in post, Meadows assisted in a fraud with three Top Doctors and was subsequently named in Hansard and on Frank Field’s blog. As well as helping Top Docs defraud the NHS, Meadows also had responsibility for developing mental health care on the Wirral. She therefore participated in yet another scam with dodgy people and it was later found that patients whom had been ‘cared for’ as a result of arrangements organised by Meadows were abused and neglected. When abusing her position in the NHS on the Wirral, Meadows was employed as a senior manager with the Welsh NHS Trust. She was in that post when Tony Francis was still alive and when Sadie Francis was still working at the Hergest Unit. After her retirement, Sadie Francis was a member of the North Wales Community Health Council – the ‘patients voice’. The CHC ignored all serious complaints about the mental health services. Lyn Meadows is now a member of the Betsi Board. Bernie Cuthel, another Board member from the NHS Trust which served the Wirral, also turned up on the Betsi Board a few years ago, after she had been obliged to leave the Wirral NHS in the wake of allegations of serious bullying and misconduct. Bernie is of course a mental health specialist. See post ‘The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’ and ‘Conflicts Of Interest – And Some Very Big Salaries’ for further information about Bernie.

 

Adrian Francis describes himself as:

‘An experienced lawyer who is a specialist in adult social care law specifically in the law relating to elderly & vulnerable clients, mental incapacity law, mental health law, care home fees, community care challenges, ordinary residence disputes, s117 aftercare funding disputes and all matters that are before the Court of Protection.

With over 10 years post qualification experience as a solicitor prior to qualifying as a barrister having advised local authorities nationwide on all legal matters relating to adult social care law and policy over the last decade.

Advocacy experience before the Magistrates Court, County Court, Mental Health Tribunal (First Tier Tribunal), HM Coroner and Court of Protection having appeared before the Courts nationwide from Newcastle in the North to Bournemouth in the South. A Welsh speaker and member of Grays Inn, The Law Society, Royal Society of Medicine & Court of Protection Practitioners Association (COPPA).’

 

When Adrian was at school and his parents were abusing us while pretending to be ‘caring’ for us, they used to tell us that Adrian wanted to be a Human Rights lawyer. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Surely a job with Cherie Booth is a must for Adrian now?

 

Two other rats who knew nuzzing are Sian Williamson and her husband Anton. Sian and Anton were Angels in north Wales for years. Sian worked on the psych wards at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Seiriol and Dwynwen Wards, before the Hergest Unit was built and then in the Hergest Unit. Anton worked as an Angel in Manchester for a while, he was an alcohol specialist. Sian and Anton did not abuse patients themselves but they witnessed their colleagues abusing patients on many occasions. They knew that patients were being unlawfully detained and fitted up in court. I met up with Sian when I was doing my PhD and she told me that conditions at the Hergest Unit were so dangerous that ‘someone is going to get killed’ there. She told me that the senior managers of the NW Wales NHS Trust would not listen to anyone no matter who was warning them that neither patients or staff were safe and that whistleblowers were simply sacked. Sian also told me that the Trust was buying the silence of certain mental health staff by ‘looking after them’. Two of the people whom she named were Bob Ingham and Gareth Phillips, both Angels who had been involved in fitting up patients who had complained. Sian was very unhappy that the Trust hadn’t ‘looked after’ Anton, who had retired early due to a back injury. At the time, Sian was working with the drugs and alcohol team on Anglesey – who were part of Dafydd’s domain, so I expect that Anton will be very well looked after by now. Particularly as I have been told that when Sian found out that I was doing a PhD and was preparing to publish on the abuses of the north Wales mental health services, she rang a few former colleagues who had fled the area before the Waterhouse Inquiry and sent out an alert.

My post ‘A Demand From Gwynedd County Council’ and previous posts discussed Eileen Tilley, the UCU rep at Bangor University, who colluded with Lyn Meadows’s bullying of staff and unlawful practices and who tried to shoulder the blame for Meadows’ and Meadows’ associates wrongdoing onto senior staff who were uninvolved, including the VC. I was told that Tilley wanted to bag a seat on the national executive of the UCU and that this was the basis of her chummy relationship with Meadows.

Today’s ‘Morning Star’ contains a big advert for a TUC fringe meeting on Sept 11, being organised by the ‘Morning Star’, on the subject of ‘How can the Labour Party link be developed from the workplace upwards? One of the speakers is Vicky Knight, the President of the UCU. When Vicky stood for election, her profile on the UCU website was headed by the words Vicky Price – Independent candidate – putting members first’. It was quite clear to me when I worked at Bangor that the UCU was putting the paedophiles’ friends first.

Vicky provided the following biography:

I have more than 25 years’ trade union experience in the public sector: within the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and UCU as a local, regional and national representative.  I am an elected member of your national negotiating team and sit on your National Executive Committee, Further Education Committee, Equality and Women’s Committees. I have the honour of representing UCU at numerous events, on committees and platforms including; UCU Congress, TUC Congress, TUC Women’s conference, TUC Northwest Regional Conference.  For the last 3 years I have represented UCU on the TUC Women’s Committee where I’m proud to have been elected as Chair for the last 2 years.

I do not know how Vicky ended up as a Fire Brigades Union rep, but the FBU has certainly hosted a few interesting people. Someone with a background as an FBU national official is Ann Jones, Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd. Ann grew up in Rhyl, was educated in Rhyl and was a Rhyl Town Councillor and a Denbighshire County Councillor. Ann knew all about Dafydd and the gang and knows that the NHS in north Wales is endemically corrupt and is killing people, but Ann isn’t saying a word. Which is why she is still sitting in the Senedd.

I’m puzzled as to why Labour Wimmin have been involved with the FBU. The Fire Brigade until recently was famously macho, the firemen spent their time boozing and reading/watching porn and had ludicrous initiation ceremonies which involved new recruits being stripped and urinated upon. One very effective way which the Fire Brigade used to prevent women joining when they were obliged to stop their unlawful sexual discrimination was to subject the female recruits to the same initiation ceremonies as the male recruits.

Does this look like someone who has taken her fair share of being pissed upon by the lads and spent many enjoyable hours watching porn, downing pints and eating vindaloos?

  • Ann Jones AM - Assembly Member Profile

‘Don’t fancy yours much mate’.

What has been going on in the FBU?

 

The ‘Morning Star’ also had a short article reporting the concerns of MIND that ‘poor social housing’ was contributing to the mental ill health of tenants. If only MIND had spoken out about this during the 1990s, when Hergest patients were systematically housed – when they were housed at all that was – in the most ‘hard to let’ housing in the area. After they’d been living in appalling hostels for months, the lucky few would be offered accommodation on the rough end of Maesgeirchan, the housing estate on the outskirts of Bangor, which was also where the Ty’r Felin children’s home was located. One severely ill patient was left to be harassed and threatened by the paedophiles’ friends who ruled the roost on Maesgeirchan and was eventually found dead in his house. He was called Charles Pearce and well-known in Bangor because he was floridly manic, used to call himself the King of Bangor and wear a home-made crown and robes. The mental health services banged him up in Denbigh for a few months, declared him incorrigible, released and then abandoned him. Charles was repeatedly arrested and fined for ludicrous offences, which eventually pushed him into so much debt that he had to sell his properties – he was then fleeced of thousands by the North Wales Housing Association – and after that he could only afford a former council house on Maesgeirchan. Charles subsequently developed a disorder which resulted in him pulling flesh off himself. He was seen out and about with visible injuries and was later found dead in his house, having disembowelled himself. See post ‘R.I.P. The Previous King Of Wales’. Charles Pearce died slowly and painfully in full view of the whole of Bangor.

The other favourite location for housing Hergest patients was on the Morawelon estate at Holyhead. One part of Morawelon was so bad that absolutely no-one would live there. A homeless hostel opened on Morawelon and was managed by a young woman who did know what she was doing. Sadly some bigoted corrupt old farts of Holyhead Councillors constantly undermined her, sabotaged her work, forced her to employ inappropriate people – ie. their friends – the scheme fell apart and the hostel subsequently turned into a crack house. Hergest patients were housed nearby. They were harassed, threatened and occasionally beaten up. MIND knew all about it, because Holyhead MIND ran a much boasted about  centre for service users, The Priory. Dr Mike Jackson, a clinical psychologist who worked at Bangor University and for the mental health services, was instrumental in establishing the flagship which was The Priory. A leading light in The Priory was Sue Sayer, who later was given a paid job as an advocate at the Hergest Unit. Patients were abused and assaulted by staff, fitted up in Court and were found dead regularly. Sue Sayer was told about the sexual abuse and trafficking of patients in a chain of private ‘nursing homes’, Prestwood (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’).

MIND did not say a word about any of this to anyone, although they did ask me if I would provide free maths lessons for Prestwood residents. I of course said no, not wishing to be a source of free labour for a people trafficking organisation. I was told that if I didn’t agree to provide free maths lessons for Prestwood clients, I would not be allowed to provide free maths lessons for the other service users at The Priory, which is what I had offered. So MIND prevented service users from accessing free maths tuition, which the service users had told me that they really wanted.

When Mike Jackson and his wife Sonia heard that my lawyer had finally obtained my highly incriminating medical records, Sonia shrieked at me ‘I hope that you’re not going to mention Mike’s name’ and a few days later Mike told me ‘I know you suffered but I hope you never win a case against the Trust because it’ll cost them nearly a million and that should be spent on my patients’.

Well Mike, I never received a penny from the dear old Trust, I and witnesses were simply threatened – including with guns – until I left Wales. But I don’t think that the million which was saved was spent on your patients was it – they’re still destitute and dying…

 

 

The extraordinary in-fighting in the Labour Party continues. Jeremy Corbyn has now subscribed to the precise definition of anti-semitism which Margaret Hodge demanded after she engaged lawyers to the Royals Mishcon de Reya because Jezza hurt her feelings, but Dame Madge is still not happy, because Jezza added a clause allowing people to have sympathies for the Palestinians should they wish. Dame Madge was given the prime time 8-10 am slot on the ‘Today’ programme this morning to tell the world that Jezza has ‘sullied’ the definition of anti-semitism by adding this outrageous clause. Dame Madge did quite a bit of sullying herself when she led Islington Borough Council and ignored the paedophile gang operating in its children’s homes, who murdered witnesses. Then the Dame did a bit more sullying when she was MP for Barking and ignored the fact that the local hospital was killing maternity patients at quite an impressive rate.

After Dame Madge had told the world how disgusting Jezza is now that he has added a conscience clause to the definition demanded by the Dame, the Dame and Baroness Shami Chakrabarti held a debate about Jezza and the definition. All I could think when I listened to the Dame and the Baroness discussing how much ‘hurt’ Jezza has caused by being too slow to adopt the right definition and then adding the conscience clause when he did adopt the right definition is that throughout this summer, some kids’ parents were too poor to provide lunches for them; some school girls are receiving free sanitary products because they cannot afford to buy them; the numbers of homeless are rising; disabled people and people on universal credit are becoming destitute because of changes to their benefits; most social service depts in the UK are under police investigation for grooming and people trafficking offences; social care for the elderly is virtually unavailable; and the mental health services have collapsed. And of course millions of people who aren’t actually in dire difficulties are still working long and hard to keep body and soul together.

Margaret Hodge’s immediate family, the Oppenheimers, moved to London after the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, concerned that anti-semitism had increased in the Middle East and started their family-owned steel-trading corporation, Stemcor. It is one of the world’s largest privately held steel companies, with an annual turnover of over £6 billion in 2011. Hodge is a major shareholder. Stemcor was run by her brother, Ralph, until September 2013.

Madge looks like she’s having a pretty good time, despite Jezza sullying things:

Dame Margaret Hodge
Official portrait of Dame Margaret Hodge crop 2.jpg

 

Why would anyone ever vote Labour when she is allowed to conduct herself like this?

By the way Madge, Lady Shami was quite correct this morning when she told you that much of what you claim to be anti-semitic is open to debate, even among Jewish people. One of my friends married a Jewish Canadian and this Jewish Canadian used to tell me that he didn’t like visiting Golders Green because he found many of the people there rather difficult. I asked why and he said ‘there’s a lot of Israelis there, I don’t really like them that much, they tend to be a bit arrogant’. He is as Jewish as you are Madge, when I went to visit him and his family, I would watch him carrying out every appropriate ritual. They aren’t Orthodox, but he is Jewish. Neither does he own a steel company with an annual turnover of £6 billion and he’s never colluded with a paedophile gang.

 

The think tank established by the Windbag which has served as a job creation scheme for the offspring of Labour big wigs, the IPPR, has produced a report with ideas to transform the UK economy. The IPPR haven’t really transformed anything so far and they weren’t even bothering to acknowledge applications from people who responded to their adverts for policy specialists a few years ago – I did notice IPPR, I had absolutely everything on my CV that you wanted and much more, but whoops my mum isn’t Harriet and my dad wasn’t Ralph! – so I doubt that their ideas for transforming the economy will be very exciting. Two people were invited to discuss the IPPR report on the radio – Lord Bob Kerslake and Kate Andrews. Lord Bob Kerslake is the former Head of the Civil Service and was also the Biggest Wig in the NHS at one point, so there’s a sound track record there. Kate Andrews is a rather irritating right wing American who works for the Institute of Economic Affairs who arrived in the UK a few years ago and has been doing the rounds ever since, telling us all how crap we are, how crap our country is and how we need to take a leaf out of the book of the US. Er, OK…

 

Donald Trump

 

In that case Kate, I want Stormy Daniels over here as well.

 

The Top Docs continue to discover a life-saving miracle on a daily basis. Today it was childhood leukaemia. Which is a little confusing because the big advances were made with childhood leukaemia many years ago, when it was discovered that a combination of vincristin and methotrexate did produce very, very good results. Childhood leukaemia was no longer a death sentence as a result.

Brave Babs Windsor has had a pacemaker fitted after her Alzheimers meds caused her to collapse, or at least according to ‘The Sun’ that is what has happened. Which suggests that Babs is doing rather better out of the Top Docs than most other people are, when one considers the usual dire ‘care’ to which Alzheimers’ patients are subjected.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) are fuming because they have discovered that most people on the whole planet are not taking the required amount of exercise, as demanded by WHO. Uganda was mentioned as a particularly lamentable example. Call me naive, but I suspect that many people in Uganda probably have rather more pressing concerns than ensuring that they follow the WHO guidelines for daily exercise. For a start if they are gay, they’ll be terrified because should they be accused/caught they may well be executed.

The UK Cabinet are also concerned with First World Problems, they have agreed that every restaurant, cafe and other eating place should display the calorie content of the meals on offer on their menus, although there has been concern expressed regarding the cost of doing this for small businesses. The Cabinet are doing this because the scourge of obesity shows no signs of abating. Which suggests that the general public are not taking a blind bit of notice of ‘public education’ messages, so they’re not going to take any notice of calories printed on menus. Well Theresa May will, as will Chris Bryant, Jane Hutt, Julie Morgan and Stephen Kinnock, but they’ll probably be worrying about the calories before they choose anyway. Somehow I do not think that I’ll be witnessing the labourers with builders bums studying those calories when they order their fry-ups in the morning before starting work. Not that the Cabinet will realise that, most of them not having worked as hod carriers.

 

I look forward to hearing what lethal condition the Top Docs will announce that they have cured next, now that I have exposed Adrian Francis! I’ve had my eye on Adrian for a few years now, wondering if he was going to do the decent thing and resign as a lawyer after his father killed himself and then after I started this blog… No, Adrian’s going from strength to strength like the rest of them.

 

More names coming soon Top Docs…

 

Conflicts of Interest – and Some Very Big Salaries

Regular readers of this blog will by now have gained some idea of the wrongdoing, cronyism and mutual backscratching that is rife within the NHS in north Wales and other associated organisations and sectors. So at this point I will take the opportunity to introduce the following document to readers, the Betsi’s Annual Report and Accounts, 2015/16 http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/documents/861/BCUHB%20Annual%20Report%202015-161.pdf

Some of the information is now slightly out of date, due to the departure and arrival of various Board Members, but it’s worth reading this document. Take a look at pages 46-47, the Register of Director’s Interests. It is certainly illuminating.

Prof Angela Hopkins (now retired) was the Director of Nursing, Widwifery, Therapies and Health Sciences. It was on Angela’s watch that the disaster in Tawel Fan brewed and exploded – and Angela was one of those previously employed by the North West Wales Trust who failed to investigate complaints of nurses threatening me and abusing their positions. Recent blog posts of mine have described what passes for ‘therapy’ in the Betsi. And Bangor University recently withdrew midwifery students from certain placements in the Betsi due to serious problems, although the precise nature of those problems was not widely known. So Angela has not really excelled. Yet Angela was ‘Director in Wales with the Royal College of Nursing’, a ‘Member of the National Cultural Alignment Group, sponsored by the Royal College of Nursing’ and was awarded an honorary Chair at Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences in 2015 (by that time, everyone knew about Tawel Fan). So this woman, who presided over gross failure and naked abuse, held influential positions within her professional body and was rewarded with a Chair – a Chair in the School of Healthcare Sciences, which was previously headed by Jo Rycroft-Malone, who now sits on the Betsi Board after previously receiving research funding from the Betsi! I used to wonder why the Betsi was picking up awards from the Royal College of Nursing despite the horrors that existed there…

Bernie Cuthel (no longer sitting on the Board, but I think she still works for the Betsi), but former ‘Interim Director of Primary, Community and Mental Health Services. So she didn’t do too well in improving those services then during her time as Interim Director. Bernie of course arrived at the Betsi amid much media coverage, due to the enormous cloud under which she seemed to have left her last position as a senior manager in the NHS in England. Allegations of bullying and mismanagement swirled around and questions had been asked in the House…So Bernie is obviously the ideal person to be a member of the ‘Governing Body of Nugent Care’, a Third Sector organisation providing services to vulnerable adults and children. Bernie has a family member working in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Dr Peter Higson, OBE. Peter and his activities past and present have featured prominently on this blog – he’s the Chairman of the Betsi. But look – he’s also a Council Member at Bangor University (which seems to be dishing out funds and Chairs to people involved with the Betsi who often seem rather undeserving of these Chairs and funds). Peter’s sister is Ruth Hussey – until last spring, she was Chief Medical Officer for Wales. Ruth was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Bangor University. Peter also has a finger in the Third Sector pie, he is a Trustee of Cartrefi Cymru, an organisation providing residential homes for people with learning disabilities. Not sure that his track record suggests that he’ll be much use in that role.

Prof J. Rycroft-Malone. ‘Independent Board Member and University Representative’. The only interest that Jo declares here is that her spouse is an employee of the Betsi. But read my previous post an ‘Expert On The Betsi Board!’ and it is clear that Jo and people that she directly works with clearly enjoy a very cosy relationship with the Betsi and seem to have benefited from substantial funding from the Betsi.

Mrs B. Russell-Williams. ‘Independent Board Member.’ She’s also Chief Officer of Gwynedd County Voluntary Council aka Mantell Gwynedd – which receives funding from the Health Board (I’m becoming very familiar with this arrangement). Mantell Gwynedd is infamous to those of us who are familiar with north west Wales; no-one ever worked out what it did or what is was for, there were constant allegations of nepotism and cronyism in terms of who actually landed paid positions with Mantell Gwynedd and it was widely perceived to be a Welsh language equivalent of the Abbey Road Centre/MIND in Bangor, another Third Sector organisation which seemed to be achieving very little and dishing out jobs to friends. But look – Bethan’s husband chairs Gwynedd Community Health Council. For the uninitiated, the CHC advertises itself as the ‘watchdog’ that represents patient’s interests in the region. The CHC is notorious for having kept completely silent about the state of the mental health services in north Wales. I see that on her Board Member profile, it is stated that Bethan is ‘passionate’ about the Third Sector ‘particularly about the future role of the Third Sector in the delivery of public services in Wales’. I bet she is – ‘co-production’ is now Welsh Govt policy and the gravy train clearly cometh, particularly now that Bethan is on the Betsi Board.

Mrs L. Meadows. ‘Director at Bangor University’. Lyn Meadows is well-known to me and has featured previously on this blog, in relation to her unprofessional behaviour whilst she was HR Director at Bangor University, her activities when she was on the Board of an NHS Trust in the north west of England and her ‘previous’ at the Welsh Ambulance Service. (Please read, for example, my blog post ‘The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’.)

 

I have only highlighted the very dodgy connections and potential conflicts of interest that are obvious to me upon scanning this document. If I did a bit more research who knows what I’d dig up – readers of this blog may have spotted a lot more than I have. I do accept that people who work together often marry each other and that people with similar interests or working in similar fields get to know each other and build up networks. If these people were self-sacrificing geniuses, working for the good of the wider public in north Wales and involved in genuinely ground-breaking research and initiatives, such a network would be fantastic. However they are clearly not doing that and the evidence is an effectively bankrupt Health Board in special measures and deaths of mental health patients that are so frequent that I’ve found it worth my while keeping a tally on this blog.

Now scroll down to page 51 of the document and get some idea of what this bunch of charlatans are being paid (before expenses, allowances and other jollies that is). Gary the CEO: full year equivalent salary £200,000-205,000. Angela Hopkins was on £130,000-135,000. The dreadful Martin Jones (on a protected contract for 10 years after being recycled into the Betsi following his disasterous ‘leadership’ of the North West Wales Trust) is receiving £130,000-135,000. Grace Lewis-Parry (on a 10 year protected contract after being recycled into the Betsi following her previous lacklustre performance as CEO of the Local Health Board) nets £100,000-105,000. Higson, who can’t even answer an e mail and ‘cannot recollect’ when he has been told about the most serious abuses in the mental health services, is pulling in £65,000-70-,000 for ‘Chairing’ this catastrophe, after he retired from his failings at Health Inspectorate Wales. Even ‘Independent Members’ like Bobby Feely, Meadows and Bethan from Mantell Gwynedd are receiving £15,000-20,000.

How can this be justified in the light of the neglect and abuse in the NHS in north Wales? North Wales – and Gwynedd in particular – has swathes of people on benefit, in casual minimum wage jobs and some of the lowest incomes in the UK. Snowdonia hill farmers only manage to stay in business because of agricultural subsidies. But get your foot in the door of the NHS (or ‘Third Sector’), refuse to resign even in the face of public outrage when your failures are made public and you’ll be among the highest paid people in the region – even though the people on the receiving end of your ‘service’ will be dying.

The phrase ‘snouts in the trough’ comes to mind. Or, for a more literary reference, we can paraphrase George Orwell – ‘The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, and from Gary to Martin to Peter to Lyn to Jo, but already it was impossible to say which was which’.

 

 

 

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

The organisation responsible for the NHS in north Wales at the moment is the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. This was formed when the scandals and mismanagement emanating from the three NHS Trusts that previously served the region became so embarrassing that Wales’s then Health Minister, Edwina Hart, announced a massive restructuring – the three Trusts were abolished and the Betsi (as it is known locally) was created. There was serious resistance to this from local vested interests and an all out hate campaign against Edwina Hart followed, conducted in the local media – it seemed to be substantially driven by the BMA in Wales. Many of us who had been on the receiving end of the abuse and malpractice dished out by people from these Trusts (in my case the notorious North West Wales NHS Trust) were delighted to see what was happening but then we heard the bad news – there was an arrangement in place to avoid redundancies and the managers of the former Trusts would all be given new roles in the Betsi at their former salary levels. So the one chance that north Wales had to rid itself of some truly dreadful people was lost. My medical records alone contained enough evidence to justify sacking or even prosecuting some of these people – but they’re still blighting the region today. When the no redundancies and preserved salaries arrangement was revealed in the local media there was much public outrage – and a load of bad publicity for the Welsh Government. So the Welsh Government succeeded in alienating a lot of people who knew just how serious some of the wrongdoing had been.

I went to some of the early Board meetings at the Betsi and it seemed that some Board members were certainly committed to improvement – but the old regime was of course still lurking within the new organisation and there was an organised networked effort among them to undermine the new Board and the new CEO, the late Mary Burrows. Mary was a breath of fresh air – she was also the only person who ever apologised to me for what I had endured at the hands of the NHS. She was American and there was a lot of overt racism towards her as well as a smear campaign. The hate campaign snowballed, serious problems at the Betsi continued – because of course the practitioners and managers who had caused so many problems were all still there -and eventually Mary, the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman resigned. Today the Betsi Board is very lacklustre and contains a number of people who certainly should not have public appointments. Last year it was placed in special measures because of the ongoing very serious problems in the mental health services, although there are problems in almost every service run by the Betsi. The toxic behaviour of some key people in the NHS in north Wales is so well known that the Betsi is unable to recruit. They are begging for staff but no-one will work here. Good doctors do not want to work with bullying colleagues who are killing their patients. But it’s a longstanding problem -a school friend of mine studied medicine in Cardiff in the 1980s and told me that none of the students wanted placements in Bangor because of the horror stories that returning students told…

So let’s look at some of the members of the Betsi Board…

Dr Peter Higson, Chairman. Peter Higson has a long history in north Wales, a history of working in and managing the failing mental health services. He was originally a clinical psychologist at the notorious North Wales Hospital Denbigh. He will definitely have known about the allegations of the widespread sexual, physical and financial abuse of patients there – I was a patient there in the winter of 1986/87 and saw the conditions and practices myself (I’ll detail this elsewhere on my blog). Peter Higson then became a manager in the north Wales mental health services – I didn’t know him but my medical records (which I only managed to obtain many years later) contained information from Peter Higson indicating that he was one of the people who was receiving my complaints but failing to deal with them. I first became aware of Peter Higson when he CEO of Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW). He was there for many years and HIW failed to deal with a number of concerns that I continued to raise about the mental health services, which were still dreadful. At one point I received a letter from Higson’s sidekick at HIW, Mandy Collins, who wrote back to me telling me that he was on ‘annual leave’ and would deal with my correspondence as soon as he returned. I heard no more. I also approached HIW more recently, whilst Higson was still CEO, regarding a friend’s truly dreadful neglect at the hands of the mental health services, which I was witnessing. My concerns were ignored. HIW failed dismally in other regions of Wales and with regard to other services – further accounts of their failure and inaction can be found in ‘Responsible Citizens: Individuals, Health and Policy Under Neoliberalism’ (Brown and Baker, 2012 Anthem Press). Higson retired from HIW shortly after this and HIW was subsequently deemed to be ‘not fit for purpose’ – Higson had been CEO for years and I think was the only CEO they’d ever had at that point so one presumes that he should bear some responsibility for this. He was awarded an OBE – and then re-emerged in north Wales on the governing body of Bangor University. Soon after he was appointed as the Chairman of the Betsi Board. Which was put into special measures a few months later after yet another mental health services catastrophe. But this is what Peter tells people about himself http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/page/73871

Lyn Meadows. Independent Board Member. I have personal experience of Lyn Meadows – I used to work at Bangor University where she was Director of HR. I was given a lot of first hand accounts of Meadows’s deeply unprofessional behaviour. Then Lyn decided that she had a problem with me. I had received indications of this for a while but I realised that there was a real problem when she said on the telephone to a senior colleague that ‘I can’t be seen to bully Sally because she has mental health problems’. As if this wasn’t bad enough – the person came to see me straight away and observed how outrageous the comment was – Lyn then sent me a course of bizarre e mails over a number of weeks which could only be described as harassing, demanding that I meet her but with no explanation of why. I was warned by a friend who had previous experience of Lyn Meadows in her capacity as a manager with the scandal ridden Welsh Ambulance Service that she was seeking to upset and destabilise me, that she was highly manipulative and that she used such meetings to elicit confrontation and then frame herself as a victim of unreasonable behaviour. Don’t meet her without a lawyer I was warned. So she was told very firmly by my line manager that I would not be meeting her. The e mails continued. I eventually had to seek advice from one of the University’s anti-bullying advisors – to protect me from the Director of HR herself. There was also an incident in which a member of staff unknown to me but known to one of my friends made an extraordinary statement about me containing unfounded allegations. After I successfully defended myself, this person was found crying – when she was asked what was wrong she said that she felt guilty about making the statement but ‘Lyn told me to do it’. I also know of at least one case in which someone who was suing a company owned by the University for disability discrimination received a phone call from Lyn Meadows, at their home, in the evening, in which she sought to silence and intimidate them. This person was very robust with a good sense of humour and they thought that Lyn’s activities were farcical -they later won their case. But there is a far more interesting part of Lyn’s glorious past than this. Lyn was previously involved in an NHS Trust on the Wirral – there was fraudulent behaviour on the part of a number of medical staff and a number of non-executive directors of the Trust were said to have colluded with the fraud. One of those involved was Lyn Meadows. The full details appeared on Frank Field’s blog and the story even made its way into Hansard.  I had told my line manager about this because I was sick of Lyn harassing me – I then received a mysterious e mail from Lyn saying ‘I don’t know what discussions you have been having with [name of line manager]…. Just before I left Bangor University I received a visit from the Registrar who had received a complaint about me from Lyn – she had complained because she didn’t like the way I’d looked at her no less. He advised me to work at home if possible to avoid her. I probably should have sued Bangor University for all this – but although they paid her a handsome salary I knew just how many problems Lyn was causing the institution and I didn’t want to add to them to allow her to manipulate the situation to her own advantage. I had heard an awful lot about Lyn’s activities at the Welsh Ambulance Trust from people who had given me information in confidence and I was well aware of what she was capable of. Here is the official (ie. highly sanitised) account of Lyn’s grubby activities http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/page/80640

Martin Jones. Executive Director of Workforce and Operational Development. Martin is infamous in north Wales and I had much first hand experience of his aggression and misconduct when he was the CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust. Under the ‘leadership’ of Martin the North West Wales NHS Trust was an utter disaster. He had been in a senior role in the organisation for many years so could not simply blame the disaster on the former CEO Keith Thomson (who was every bit as bad as Martin and who’s activities will feature elsewhere on this blog). I first encountered Martin in his capacity as CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust when he took over from Thomson. Thomson had so spectacularly failed to hand my medical records over to my lawyers that in the end we obtained a High Court Order and Thomson was summoned to Court and told to release the documents. He resigned very shortly after (a mole from the hospital told me within hours of him doing so) but this was repackaged in the local media as a ‘retirement’ because yes, he wanted to play golf and spend time with his family no less. Thomson was later awarded an OBE. (When we discovered what was in my medical records, we realised why Thomson had decided on a quick exit.) Because Thomson had failed to investigate serious complaints and failed to ensure that I could access the mental health services, my lawyers and I then had to deal with Martin. And what a nightmare that was. (My extensive experience of Martin Jones will be featured elsewhere on the blog – Martin’s wrongdoing was so great that I don’t want to detail it in this section.) Complaints still went uninvestigated -interestingly Martin then complained to the authorities at Bangor University about me. One of my complaints had been e mailed to Martin via my university e mail and I understand Martin then forwarded it to the University. The University were clearly deeply embarrassed by this, thought Martin’s actions were very unacceptable and asked me set up another account to communicate with the Trust so that they would not have to communicate with Martin about me. I was repeatedly thrown out of the hospital by the police at Martin’s request, fallacious allegations were made about me for which evidence could not subsequently be produced, CCTV evidence that showed a nurse threatening me and refusing to treat me was destroyed when my lawyer alerted Martin to its existence and requested its release – it was endless. I wrote directly to Edwina Hart, the Health Minister for Wales, about the endless problems with the Trust and the problems then escalated even more. As we investigated every incident, Martin was usually found to be at the root of it. Staff were absolutely terrified of him. Edwina then announced her reorganisation and it was clear that the North West Wales NHS Trust was going to be abolished. All hell broke loose and Martin went into overdrive. He spread misinformation regarding the reorganisation and many of his own staff were led to believe that he would be the CEO of the new Health Board. (The husband of one Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E consultant memorably told me that Martin was tipped to run the whole of the Welsh NHS.) As the harassment and intimidation to which I was being subjected became even worse and very public, I simply started detailing it all in e mails to Edwina Hart. So the Welsh Government had a chronological, blow by blow account of what Martin was doing. Some of that was worthy of investigation by the police. But Martin was recirculated into the new Betsi Board. Once there, he used his position to undermine the new CEO Mary Burrows. I witnessed this at Board meetings, where Martin tried to throw a spanner into the works at every opportunity. He also wrote a notorious blog which was used as a vehicle to undermine Mary Burrows. Those of us who knew what was happening behind the scenes noticed many veiled threats and insults directed at Mary on the blog. Mary has sadly now died but Martin is still with us. No wonder we still have problems. Here’s how Martin is described in polite company – and an awful lot of things have been omitted from this biography http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/page/40780

And this is how Martin describes himself when he’s let loose on Linked In – just read that ‘summary’ http://uk.linkedin.com/in/martinjones7   I’m touched to note that Martin has described himself as occupying ‘senior’ healthcare management positions since 1983. North Wales being what it is, I know someone who went to school with Martin, someone who knew him at University, someone who knows his sister and most interestingly someone who’s mum knew Martin when he first arrived to work at Ysbyty Gwynedd – he was most definitely not a ‘senior manager’ in 1983. Indeed Martin is still called ‘the office boy’ by my friend’s mum and her family – so that’s how much respect Martin’s got among the ‘workforce’ that he ‘directs’.

Bernie Cuthel, Interim Director of Primary, Community and Mental Health Strategy. I have never met Bernie but noticed her arrival at the Betsi because of the very big cloud under which she seemed to leave a previous post as Chief Executive of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust. There is loads about Bernie’s time there available on the internet with allegations of serious mismanagement, warnings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), questions being asked in Parliament and allegations of a bullying culture within that Trust. And now we’ve got her. As I update this post in October 2016 I notice that Bernie is no longer featuring on the Board’s website – has she quietly departed? If any readers have any information about this I’d be interested to hear it.

Grace Lewis-Parry. Board Secretary. I first encountered Grace in her capacity as CEO of the Local Health Board (her previous position before the NHS reorganisation). At the height of my difficulties with Martin Jones, when I was in need of care but completely unable to access it without fallacious allegations being made about me by staff and managers of the North West Wales NHS Trust and the police being called, I contacted Grace. I received a very inadequate reply from someone else which simply said that Grace had been ‘appraised’ of the situation. Considering what was actually happening to me I didn’t think that was a very helpful response. Grace was later recirculated into the new Betsi Board and I met her on a few occasions. I got the impression that somehow she’d be no match for Martin Jones and Keith Thomson, although she most certainly knew how they were conducting themselves. And here’s how Grace would like to be thought of http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/page/42974

So that’s the background of some of the Betsi Board. I have been given some very worrying information about another three Board members but it’s been given to me in confidence and at least one of my informants is in a vulnerable position in relation to the Board member concerned, so I’m watching and waiting.

Just a brief word about Gary Doherty, the relatively new CEO. I e mailed him a few days ago with an account of some of my experiences of the mental health services, because I’d been told that a public engagement exercise is underway. I also observed that he would know about Lyn Meadows’s previous activities because I noted that he was associated with the same NHS organisation on the Wirral that she was. I didn’t hear anything – but within a short time of sending my e mail I received an unsolicited e mail from a CPN offering me an appointment with a psychiatrist no less – because he’d just realised that it was such a long time since he’d seen me. It may have been a coincidence, but the north Wales mental health services spent many years maintaining that I was ‘deluded’ regarding my allegations – and then we found written evidence of the misconduct (and more) that I’d alleged once we obtained my medical records. So I e mailed Gary the CEO again. I received a nice reply from him explaining that he’d been busy, denying all knowledge of unexpected contact from psychiatrists and telling me that the new Director of Mental Health will be contacting me. I’m sure that Gary has been busy but there’s no way that Gary will be taking decisions regarding my correspondence or indeed ‘care’. That will be done by the Welsh Government’s legal advisors – who had much written evidence of the wrongdoing by the NHS (and others) four years ago but whose priority was to avoid an even bigger public scandal and preserve the careers and reputations of too many people.