A glut of Top Doctors from north west Wales have featured in the media this week after finding themselves in trouble.
The Daily Post online reported that Dr Richard Sion Williams, an ENT Consultant at Ysbyty Gwynedd, appeared in Llandudno Magistrates Court after being charged with threatening behaviour. Williams has been involved in a long running spat with the National Trust who own the Vaynol Estate near Bangor where Williams lives and things exploded on March 13. Two NT rangers removed approximately eight large concrete blocks that they found on a grass verge and put them back over Williams’s hedge, presuming that Williams had placed them on the verge. It seems that this scenario had happened a number of times previously and the rangers were following legal advice. The rangers then drove off, but slowly because the track was bumpy with potholes. Williams pursued them and according to John Whitley, one of the rangers, was ‘driving like a madman, very close to us, beeping his horn and flashing his headlights’. It is alleged that Williams got out of his vehicle and ran towards the rangers, whereupon Whitley told him ‘I’m not talking to you, you’re dangerous’. Williams got back into his vehicle, followed them and managed to overtake them twice, blocking their way. At one point after Williams had left his vehicle it is alleged that Williams ran alongside the rangers’ vehicle, banging on the window, yelling ‘I’m going to fucking kill you’. Whitley told the Court about Williams’s ‘sheer aggression and loss of control’, stating ‘I did fear for my safety…I really thought my life was in danger. I could see he meant me harm’. Whitley’s colleague Will Westwood claimed that ‘I thought he was going to ram us’. Williams’s barrister Ellen Owen maintained that the rangers’ story was ‘a flagrant case of lying on oath as these Courts are as likely to come across’. I hate to burst your bubble Ellen, but I think it is I who have evidence of the most flagrant cases of lying on oath that the Courts are as likely to come across – thirty years worth of documents compiled by Top Doctors, nurses, social workers and managers who lied their arses off on oath again and again, even after their own lawyers had told them that they didn’t have the evidence for their claims…. The Betsi now claims to have ‘lost’ these documents – but I still have my copies and I’ve stored them somewhere very safe, a long way from the Betsi’s paper shredders…
Another story from the Post featured the GPs of Meddygfa Rhydbach Surgery, Bontwnog (near Pwhelli), in particular a Dr Adriaan Smits. The surgery’s former practice manager, Meryl Williams, took this practice to an Employment Tribunal, alleging that the bunch of shites who double up as the partners there bullied her so badly that she was forced to resign. She has just won her claim for constructive dismissal. The story behind all this is that Meryl began work as a receptionist at the surgery in 1986 and in 1996 became practice manager, although she had never received formal training for this role. However, it seems that the previous partners thought highly of her and all was well until they retired. By 2014 the partners were Dr Adriaan Smits, Dr Gwyn Morris and Dr Zameel Haque. It was stated at the Tribunal that there was a long-running history of difficult interpersonal relationships between the surgery’s staff and the partners, particularly involving Dr Smits. In 2010 ten staff signed a letter complaining about Smits. He was described as ‘direct, brusque, blunt’ as well as ‘aggressive, irascible, overbearing’. After repeated clashes with Smits, Meryl eventually lodged a formal grievance, although at one point she had been talked out of lodging a formal grievance by Dr Gwyn Morris and she had subsequently raised the matter with the Local Health Board. After she lodged the formal grievance, the partners ‘closed ranks’, tried to discredit her and even accused her of financial irregularities, although they had no evidence of this. The partners referred the matter to independent consultants but the grievance and Meryl’s subsequent appeal were dismissed. The Employment Tribunal judge ruled in favour of Meryl however, stating that the independent consultants acted in good faith but had been unduly influenced by the partners’ approach which left them suspicious of the claimant. The judge referred to the environment of ‘oppression’ and ‘suspicion’ that Meryl worked in and that the partners could not be trusted to act fairly and reasonably in any procedures concerning her. I’m sorry to trump a Post shock horror scandal once more, but I think that the Hergest Unit and dear old Dr Tony Roberts have bettered the Bastards of Botwnog, who merely bullied an employee, accused her of nicking the dosh when she complained about them and then dripped poison into the ears of the ‘independent consultants’. When Tony Roberts did his best to ensure that I died some years ago – after I was assaulted by four staff whilst in his ‘care’ – because no-one at the North West Wales NHS Trust would co-operate with the investigation of my (very serious) complaint, my lawyer and I were instead offered a ‘mediator’ to resolve the situation. The mediator was from south Wales and was selected and paid for by the Trust. My lawyer constantly stressed to me that no matter how dreadfully the Trust had conducted themselves, we had to give the mediator a chance. So I agreed. The four staff who assaulted me refused to attend the mediation or answer any questions from me about any aspect of their conduct. Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, refused to sit in the same room as me. Tony Roberts agreed to sit in the same room as me but only if I was accompanied by my lawyer and he was accompanied by the hospital solicitor, a duplicitous cow called Patricia Gaskell, whom I later discovered had done a very good impression of pretending to try to resolve the complaint when speaking to me and my lawyer, but behind the scenes was rolling over and reassuring violent staff and dangerous doctors that of course everything would be done on their terms. The heavily stage managed ‘mediation’ got underway and as the mediator finished outlining the terms of engagement, Roberts stood up, declared that ‘I’m not going to listen to this’ and waddled out of the room. Gaskell went after him and tried to persuade him to return but he wouldn’t. So that was the mediation. The mediator then wrote a letter stating that the situation was ‘unmediable’. Keith Thomson, Chief Exec of the Trust at that time, wrote a letter to my lawyer stating that the situation broke down because of my behaviour. He had to be reminded that it was Roberts who had walked out of the meeting before anyone had begun and that the rest of his staff refused to attend the meeting. Presumably the mediator who had witnessed all this didn’t feel able to write a letter explaining that Ysbyty Gwynedd was staffed by dangerous unhinged idiots throwing hissy fits, because it was the Trust who were paying him. At the time, Tony Roberts had such a high death rate among his patients that it showed up as a statistical outlier in the UK database. He continued to work at the Hergest Unit until last year.
There’s no guarantee of a better quality of practitioner if one ventures into the alternative medicine sector either, although having encountered Tony Roberts et al a lot of people do try this. Yet another story from the Post online features Michael Hammond, an osteopath from Llangoed, Ynys Mon, who has been bailed to appear at Caernarfon Crown Court next month to face trial for sexually assaulting a female patient and voyeurism.
As if to emphasise just how useless the Top Doctors of north Wales are, the Post was also reporting that a Paul Hanley was jailed for 21 months at Mold Crown Court for violently assaulting his girlfriend – he was described as ‘paranoid and controlling’, with mental health issues and had grown up in care. I can only imagine the sorry story that will have been his life.
The Mail online and BBC also featured a Top Doctor Fail story, that of the murder of 16 year old Christine Edkins, who was stabbed by Philip Simelane whilst she was on a bus on Birmingham. In 2013 Simelane, described as a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’, admitted manslaughter and was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act. A previous report into this event of course maintained that Christine’s death was not predictable or preventable, yet at the same time fessed up to ‘serious failures’ on the part of the mental health and prison services and paradoxically stated that had Simelane received mental health treatment the death could have been prevented. Yet another report has been produced regarding this case, one being commissioned by NHS England. It’s conclusions are just as confusing – that the death was not itself predictable nor was an attack on a member of the public, but it was clear that Simelane ‘would continue to deteriorate’ and was ‘likely to offend violently’. Simelane had previously spent time in prison for assault and battery on his mother, but even so her subsequent please for help were ignored – before he attacked Christine, his mother had rung the police six times in two days fearing that Simelane would kill her. The report admitted that the police and mental health services were aware of ‘multiple episodes’ involving Simelane and ‘multiple risk factors’. This is not the first mental health disaster from Birmingham by a long chalk – the Birmingham that boasts the University of Birmingham Medical School with it’s flagship ‘service user research’, the Birmingham that is living with the legacy of dear old Professor Robert Bluglass CBE, the UK’s leading forensic psychiatrist, until that was he asked for his name to be removed from the Medical Register and he disappeared from his academic posts…
In the face of all this extreme hopelessness, I notice that Stephen Crabb and Jeremy Hunt were making noises this week about paying the Top Doctors and Angels more after holding out for so long! Should Jeremy and Stephen need evidence of just how distressed the Top Doctors are, I recommend that they read a recent post on Rob Poole’s blog. Under normal circumstances I would not recommend anyone to waste their time reading anything by Rob Poole, but he posted up a wonderful piece recently, in which he waxed lyrical about meeting up with his old medical school mates again on a trip to London where they saved the life of someone whom they encountered in the street – this from a man who does not tell his patients who have appointments with him that he can’t make it because he’s off on a jolly to India, so those patients are left sitting on a ward believing that Dr Poole is going to appear for a long awaited consultation at any minute. After their heroics they all got talking over a few drinks (Rob is supposed to have a research interest in alcohol abuse no less) and Rob was reminded of their days in St Georges Medical School bar (start your career as you mean to go on Rob – in the bar) when they were all so bright eyed and bushy tailed. Rob looks at them now and is gobsmacked by how many of them are jaded and disillusioned and indeed have retired! As Rob explains they have retired to go sailing, to go on round the world trips, luxury holidays…. Cos it’s all just been so hard…Rob’s blog has taken on the quality of Jeffrey Archer’s writings after he was imprisoned when he would say things like ‘Are you listening Home Secretary?’ as he recounted the terrible conditions in whichever prison that they banged him up in – only Rob is appealing to the Labour Party to save the Top Docs and ensure that they continue to trouser £100k pa as the absolute basic.
To return to Stephen and Jeremy – they are obviously worried that Theresa is going to crumble and that the other Jeremy is in danger of entering Number 10. However since Crabb and Hunt started falling in love with the NHS, Grenfell Tower went up in flames incinerating God knows how many not very well off Londoners who were crammed in there and charged £1,600/month rent and the Tories now have far bigger problems than the ever demanding Top Doctors. Perhaps a bit of that dosh that Hunt and Crabb wanted liberated could be sent in the direction of people really in need and be used to build some decent social housing. Not that it can ever be built fast enough to save Theresa’s neck -today she was reassuring the nation that the survivors from Grenfell Tower will all be rehoused locally. I don’t know how, because the only reason that any of them were prepared to pay so much rent for such poor accommodation is that there is no spare housing at all in London. Except of course for all those empty luxury properties owned by the Russian mafia.
There have been more drug raids in north Wales, class A drugs have been seized in Bangor. It transpires that all these drugs busts are part of Operation Rattle, active in Gwynedd and on Ynys Mon. Oh well CAIS is still a roaring success in controlling the substance abuse problem them.
The shenanigans at Conwy County Council continue. A recent post explained how Gareth Jones from Plaid had done a deal with Chery Carlisle, a Conservative, and a coalition was proposed. It caused an awful lot of trauma among the rest of Plaid who were horrified at the thought of the Council sharing power with the Tories and the arrangement has now been vetoed by the Plaid National Executive. Alun Ffred, Plaid’s Chair, has stated that Plaid will not form a cabinet involving Conservatives. Which is odd, because as my posts giving details of the public servants and politicians who turned a blind eye to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal illustrate, Plaid and the Tories both worked very hard to keep the lid on all that, it could have been described as a symbiotic relationship. A leaked e mail has stated that a Plaid/Tory coalition would have a ‘catastrophic effect’ locally and one Trystan Lewis has already fallen on his sword, resigning from the Cabinet because he fears that his presence has ‘put the party in a difficult position’. I think that Gareth Jones’s presence has put the party in an even more difficult position – not only did he come up with this brainwave for a coalition with the Tories, but long, long ago Gareth knew all about the sexual abuse of children in care in north Wales (please see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’) but his lips have remained firmly buttoned, all through the Waterhouse Inquiry, all through the years that he spent as the AM for Aberconwy…. Because no-one knew about those kids being beaten and raped did they, no-one at all…
Now to matters at Plaid-dominated Gwynedd County Council. They’re featuring in ‘Private Eye’ again. The latest issue supplies details of the generous allowances and payments that the Councillors are receiving, as they cut services and workers pay. It is mentioned that one brave Councillor told them that it appears to the people of Gwynedd that they are lining their pockets at the expense of the citizens. Nonetheless, the Councillors then voted for an increase in their allowances. Gwynedd Councillors and certain employees have enjoyed many perks and privileges that would probably precipitate a council tax strike if they were widely known about and it’s been going on for years – please see post ‘News Round Up, March 24 2017’ for the details of just the scams and fiddles that I knew about. Meanwhile, virtually all the public bogs have been shut down in Gwynedd and the parking charges have almost doubled. This affects local people as well, but it really clobbers tourists, whom the Council maintain that they are trying to encourage. (A lot of the Tourist Info places have been closed as well, which is a rather odd thing to do if you want to encourage tourists.) I’ll be surprised if any tourists return in the face of what is happening. The arguments regarding the closure of the bogs was bizarre. One Councillor some months ago when faced with allegations that this was discriminatory against people with certain health conditions maintained that ‘disabled people’ never take unplanned journeys anyway – she maintained that they always made travel plans that involved strategic bog stops. Try telling that to someone who has Crohn’s Disease, or IBS, or has had prostate surgery – the effect of these conditions is not in the least bit predictable. They certainly won’t dare visit Gwynedd in the future.
The ‘Eye’ has another reference to wales as well. They have named a Cardiff haemophilia specialist, Professor Arthur Bloom, as someone who was putting patients at risk by using them as uninformed ‘guinea pigs’ for blood products of uncertain safety back in the 80s. Bloom had previously worked at the Oxford Haemophilia Centre, then moved to Cardiff, where he became the doctor of a little boy called Colin Smith. Bloom’s experimenting resulted in Colin becoming infected with HIV and hepatitis C and he died at seven years old in 1990. The campaign group ‘Tainted Blood’ have acquired letters written by Bloom which they maintain shows that he was criminally negligent towards haemophiliacs. That man of the people Andy Burnham, in his last Commons speech as an MP, threatened to take the letters to the police if the Gov’t didn’t act, claiming that there needed to be an inquiry as there had been a ‘criminal cover-up on an industrial scale’. Which I’m sure that there was – just like there was in the case of Mid-Staffs. In that case the name of the Minister who refused an inquiry for years despite evidence of criminal conduct and negligence was one Andy Burnham.
The ‘Eye’ also has two mental health failure stories, in this case two seriously mentally ill people killing themselves in prison when they should never have been in prison in the first place. The inquests into Callum Smith and Caroline Hunt both found multiple failures on the part of mental health services and prison staff. Both Callum and Caroline were suicidal and were ‘dealt with’ by being isolated in their cells. They both hung themselves. The coroners in each case wrote to both health authorities and the prison authorities regarding the prevention of further deaths. Which reminds me – the Betsi has by now received quite a few such coroners letters, but they don’t seem to be having much effect. Deborah Coles from ‘Inquest’ described Callum’s and Caroline’s deaths as ‘wholly preventable’, blaming the starvation of the mental health services which has led to a shortage of psychiatric beds and an over-reliance on a prison service that can’t cope. I’m a great admirer of Deborah Coles and have found her to be one of the few people working in the Third sector who is not afraid to be honest about how bad the nation’s mental health services are – note the complete silence of MIND on all these prison deaths of seriously ill people. However I do disagree with Deborah about the cause of this problem – the mental health services have been sending patients to prison now for years, regardless of the state of Gov’t investment in the services. Furthermore the mental health services in north Wales perjured themselves to ensure that patients ended up in prison if those patients had complained about the mental health services or if they were children who’d been abused in care. This is about negligent, criminal mental health staff, not money. As well as the vindictive targeting of certain patients, there has also been a philosophical and political shift, which has resulted in society failing to identify distress and instead demanding that people should ‘take responsibility’, even if their clinical condition precludes them from doing this. The sociologist Loic Wacquant has written extensively about this neoliberal penality and has taken a particular interest in how great swathes of black people in the U.S. have been criminalised and subsequently disenfranchised (actually as a result of legislation passed by Bill Clinton, assisted by that Heroic Role Model to the rest of us with ovaries, Hillary). I believe that in the UK the phenomenon is most obvious among people with mental health problems. When they don’t recover, it’s not because the care and treatment are crap or because they have a long term problem, it’s because they have a Borderline Personality Disorder and they are Untreatable and prison will show ’em. This approach very obviously led to the mortality rate that Tony Roberts presided over but such was the disaster involved that absolutely no-one would admit that this man was decimating patients and the GMC resorted to utilising forged documents to conceal the nightmare (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).
The ‘Eye’s’ medical correspondent M.D. aka Dr Phil Hammond, discusses the Gov’ts lame anti-radicalisation programme Prevent. He compares the failure of Prevent with the failures of psychiatry and social work: ‘Every day psychiatrists in understaffed overwhelmed services have to prioritise the suicide risks of those who have only just started self-harming and those who have been doing it for years…social workers overwhelmed by their caseloads have to juggle the risks to abused children’. I’m not quite sure that it works like that Phil. It might now and again, for the few decent committed people trying to do a good job – and there are a few of them. However they are vastly outnumbered by their colleagues who are either punitive or simply don’t give a fuck. If you are a self-harmer you are highly likely to be met with mental health professionals who refuse to assess let alone treat you and as for children’s social services – er, the organised abuse and trafficking of ‘looked after’ children in nearly every region of the UK springs to mind… Interestingly enough Phil goes on to state that ‘some terrorists are doctors whose grievances are overfed by the UK military interventions and foreign policies…citizens must be supported to speak up’. Phil then recommends that Prevent should be widened to ‘encompass speaking up about any serious crime (child abuse, rape, murder, people trafficking, fraud, extremism) using the Crimestoppers model’. Well Phil your colleagues really have given me thirty years of hell – because I discovered that some of them were concealing a paedophile ring. This may have ‘overfed’ my criticisms of psychiatry but I have not yet resorted to locking any of them in a cage and slowly burning them to death, which is what the ISIS doctor did to someone. The ISIS doctor who had previously worked at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before he went into action with ISIS. As for Crimestoppers – I knew someone in north Wales who repeatedly telephoned Crimestoppers to report a psychiatrist who was involved in the illegal sale and distribution of drugs, in the concealing of child abuse and in the coercion of patients into prostitution. This man also reported the suspicious death of one of this psychiatrist’s patients. Names, dates and details of the offences were given. Nothing happened. So the man rang back a few weeks later to ask why no action had been taken – only to be told that his call had been classified as a hoax. So he gave all the details again. Still nothing happened. At the time that this man was making those calls, the colleagues of that psychiatrist in the social services were being investigated for child abuse and soon after that the Waterhouse Inquiry was held – denounced by many as a massive cover up. The same psychiatrist had been sued for false imprisonment and had been the subject of numerous complaints to the GMC. But no action was taken. Hoax call? I don’t think even Crimestoppers believed that was a hoax call. So there must have been some other reason why no action was taken. Phil Hammond provides many good insights – I remember that he memorably described the London medical schools as being run by ‘fat masons’, which I am told was the prevailing situation at St Georges – but I don’t think that he’s quite grasped the essence of Crimestoppers.
Which brings me onto the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA), who also feature in the latest edition of the Eye. SOSA are the group of the former residents of Lambeth Council children’s homes who have walked out of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. Just before they walked out, the third Chair of the Inquiry walked out, Judge Lowell Goddard. The ‘Eye’ reveals that the reason that both Judge Goddard and SOSA walked out was because the Home Office was trying to impose it’s own team of officials on Goddard. She rightly pointed out that would not make it an ‘independent’ inquiry. It is very clear that the Gov’t micromanaged the Waterhouse Inquiry and presumably they expect to do the same with the Independent Inquiry. Goddard and SOSA are still in touch and SOSA have published their own report into the happenings at Lambeth which is alleged to focus on the multiple failings of the Home Office. I have been in touch with SOSA but they have told me that their report isn’t available until later this summer due to legal constraints, but they have promised to send me a copy when it’s available. SOSA’s website names many of the paedophiles who were active in the children’s homes, so I asked them if they were going to name any of the councillors or politicians who colluded or covered up the abuse. They have named some councillors in their report but not any politicians. So if anyone wants to find out which politicians were involved – as well as other respectable members of society who believed that they’d actually got away with all this – Service Shenanigans is the site to follow.
Of course, some children from Lambeth were sent to children’s homes in north Wales. I will be posting up more soon about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal with more names of those involved at all levels.