MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…

MRegular followers of this blog will know that I – and some of those commenting on my posts – have been bringing to public attention the appalling hypocrisy of MIND, an organisation claiming to be the ‘voice of the service user’ whilst concealing serious abuses in the mental health services and even entering into ‘partnerships’ with abusive services and individuals  (see posts such as ‘The Mysterious Silence Of MIND’, ‘Newly Discovered – Parabl’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’).

I have explained that I first became aware of the corruption of MIND when I went down to see William Bingley, their Legal Director, in 1987 regarding the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services. Bingley admitted that he knew all about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and indeed he knew a lot more than I did. I gave Bingley yet more evidence re Jones et al but not only did Bingley continue to keep quiet regarding Dafydd and co but when Bingley later became Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission, he and that organisation continued to collude with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), although they knew about the continued illegal detention of people and abuse of the Mental Health Act in north Wales. I knew from my meeting with Bingley that he knew an awful lot about Dafydd – including the deaths in Dafydd’s ‘care homes’, the allegations that the wrongdoing in north Wales was linked to Freemasonry and the existence of Dafydd’s extensive ‘sex therapy’ practice and the possible purposes of that business. I have no idea whether Bingley knew that Dafydd et al were concealing the paedophile ring that was operating in north Wales at the time though – the paedophile ring that was concealed again at a higher level by Thatcher’s and Major’s Gov’ts. However before Bingley began working for MIND, he worked as a research assistant for Matthew Parris, A Tory MP who had previously worked as Thatcher’s correspondence secretary. A man whose autobiography told of his summer trips – in the company of friends – to a place in Italy that they named the ‘villa of shame’, where they would be visited by ‘boys’ whom Parris described as ‘always willing’. For more background on Parris and his connections, see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’.

I had thought that I had previously dug up a substantial amount of shit and compromising info on MIND, but I’ve spent a bit of time doing more research on a few other key figures in that organisation and I’ve found much more worrying info – that organisation has been compromised for decades. Here are a few of the highlights that I have dug up.

The current Chief Exec is the disgusting Paul Farmer whom I have blogged about previously. Farmer’s reputation is plummeting fast as a result of his enthusiasm for MIND to land contracts from the Dept of Work and Pensions, contracts that are all about forcing ‘service users’ into employment that may well be unsuitable and for which they may well be too ill. Farmer’s enormous salary has also been made public by disability activists – he trousers in excess of £100k pa for his role as the Voice of the Service User – and I’m delighted to say that this unscrupulous git has been met with protests on his travels around the UK. I was expecting the BBC to wheel him out for him to give his comments regarding the latest round of bad news re the UK’s mental health services, but mercifully we were spared that for once. Had he done the rounds of the BBC studios perhaps somebody would have finally asked him why he and his lame organisation have kept so quiet about the crisis – which has been evident for many years. Of course Farmer also knew all about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services many years ago. When I wrote to Peter Hain in his capacity as Secretary of State for Wales in approx. 2005 giving him full details of what had happened to me t the hands of the mental health services, I cc’d the letter to the Chief Exec of Rethink (I didn’t cc it to MIND because I knew that they were ignoring what was happening in north Wales) – who at the time was one Paul Farmer. I never received a response, although a few months later Farmer then became Chief Exec of MIND!

But what of previous CEOs of MIND? Before Farmer, the CEO was Richard Brook, who was appointed in 2001. Brook was CEO when I e mailed MIND HQ about the assaults being carried out by Hergest Unit staff on patients – only to receive an e mail back written as though it was to a small child telling me that what I had to do was go to the yellow pages and look up ‘solicitors’ and go and talk to one of them…. At this time the ‘service user reps’ for the Hergest were heavily involved with MIND – those reps who wet themselves at the thought of confronting Hergest staff and managers concerning the gross abuses that were endemic. One of those ‘service user reps’ admitted to me that she knew that residents in Prestwood Homes were being abused – furthermore, Prestwood Homes were taking full advantage of free MIND facilities such as walking groups, drop in centres etc without paying MIND a penny, although Prestwood were charging thousands of quid a week for a ‘placement’. Somebody else involved with MIND knew about the abuse of residents at Prestwood as well – Geoff Lees, who is now Director of Vale of Clwyd MIND. I told him about it, whilst he was still working as a social work tutor at Coleg Menai in Bangor. I know that a number of other people told him what was going on at Prestwood as well. For details of the horrors at Prestwood and the unfortunate death of a young woman support worker there who witnessed even more that I did, see posts ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’.

Richard Brook was able to publicise unacceptable practice if he felt like it though. In 2004 the ‘Daily Mail’ ran an article entitled ‘Why I Resigned Over This Disgraceful Happy Pill Cover-Up’. The article explained that Brook had resigned from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Authority) after he discovered that they had known about the side effects of the anti-depressant Seroxat but had not publicised them. Brook claimed that he had been threatened with legal action by Prof Kent Woods, the CEO of the MHRA, if he revealed that the MHRA had been ‘sitting on’ it’s knowledge of Seroxat’s side effects. Brook stated that MIND had been ‘tracking Seroxat’ for a decade’. So MIND knew about Seroxat and it’s problems as well then – but then they’d known about the problems in north Wales since 1979 at least, when Mary Wynch was illegally arrested and imprisoned (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’) and had done or said nothing. In this article, Brook mentions the ‘Panorama’ programme about Seroxat that had been screened the year before – that will be the programme that featured Dr David Healy, who worked at the Hergest Unit! So MIND had got into bed (so to speak) with two psychiatrists from north Wales – Dafydd, who years before had been involved with MIND and David, as he Bravely Spoke Out. Brook told the Mail that following the ‘Panorama’ programme, MIND held a demo outside the offices of the MHRA. As opposed to outside of the Hergest Unit, where patients were being assaulted, framed for serious crimes, refused treatment no matter how ill they were and were committing suicide.

Brook maintains that he went to see the Health Minister Lord Warner to tell him of his concerns regarding SSRIs and Warner told him that he would speak to the MHRA. Warner then simply issued a guide to doctors detailing the max recommended dose of Seroxat (that must have been why Dr Richard Tranter, Healy’s friend, protégé and PhD student prescribed a friend of mine three times the maximum recommended dose of Seroxat then). It was at this point that the man of principle Brook resigned from the MHRA. Brook told the Mail that there was an urgent need for an inquiry into the MHRA and stated that many people involved with the MHRA also have connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Which is true – but then MIND’s hands are as dirty as those of any advisor to the pharmaceutical industry.

In Jan 2006 Brook featured in a BBC News online report and commented on the mental health of people living in rural areas. He stated that ‘the extent of mental health problems in the countryside is likely to be hidden’ – it was in north Wales, it was hidden by MIND, they knew that huge numbers of people were being given a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ and refused care after being told that they were ‘untreatable’. At the time the area served by the Hergest Unit had the second highest rate of suicide for women in England and Wales.

After defending people with mental health problems so successively, upon leaving MIND Brook was appointed CEO of the newly created Office of the Public Guardian! Just the sort of person that was needed in such a position obviously. After a year guarding the public, Brook then became CEO of the deaf-blind charity SENSE.

MIND’s CEO before Brook was Judi Clements, who was in post between 1992-2001. So she oversaw those crazy years in which I was repeatedly arrested by the mental health services for ludicrous reasons, in which Dafydd resisted efforts to shut down the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and for his pains walked away with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for North Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) – the years which also saw the massive cover-up of the paedophile ring in north Wales which was the Waterhouse Report, in the wake of which a lot of people who’d been victims of that gang as children were found dead after becoming ‘users’ of the mental health services. Judi’s tenure also spanned the years in which Prestwood Homes were established and became big business within just a few months, what with the constant supply of vulnerable people from secure hospitals available for Prestwood to traffic them…

Something must have happened on Judi’s watch, because there is virtually no info from MIND available about Judi, it’s as though she never passed through their doors. However, there is some info about her in an article in HSJ from 2010. HSJ told us that after being Chief Exec of MIND for nine years, she was leaving due to health related problems, namely diabetes and arthritis. A David Peryer, the Chair of Trustees of MIND, stated that Judi would be ‘sorely missed’ – so that’s why they subsequently air-brushed her out of history. Preyrer mentioned that MIND was currently undergoing restructuring to concentrate on ‘supporting local offices’. These were of course the ‘local offices’ which included those in north Wales who were so helpfully providing free services to Prestwood Homes and who then began entering ‘partnerships’ with CAIS to provide yet more ‘services’ after being handed contracts by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – many of whose former staff and their friends were now working with MIND.

Judi didn’t just leave MIND, she did a Richard Tranter and left the UK for New Zealand. Despite the diabetes and the arthritis, Judi seems to have bounced back and in 2005 when she relocated to New Zealand, she landed a job as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Foundation over there. She ‘moved on’ in 2015. In Feb 2015 Judi featured on the website of the New Zealand Law Society, promoting her forthcoming seminar on Mindfulness for the New Zealand Law Society Auckland Branch. On this website Judi was described as an ‘experienced Chief Exec in the NGO sector’ with a ‘background in law, social policy, housing, local government and management practice’. It was explained that ‘after a successful career in local government service management, policy and practice development, Judi moved to the NGO sector’. So which failing local authority did Judi work for prior to keeping the lid on the barrel of shit in MIND then? Judi has an LLB – so she will recognise serious crime when she sees it. Or indeed conceals it – or even facilitates it.

Judi has sat on ‘several Gov’t advisory groups covering mental health, social policy and NGO development’.

Between 1989 and 1992, Ros Hepplewhite was Chief Exec of MIND. Whose reign also spanned the Dafydd years, but then the Dafydd years have gone on for the last five decades so everyone’s implicated where Dafydd is concerned. So perhaps it’s more helpful to mention that Ros’s reign spanned the period of time during which St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital colluded with Dafydd – although they knew what he was up – to in his attempts to have me labelled dangerous and banged up. The early 1990s of course also saw allegations that a paedophile ring was active in north Wales involving political figures appear in the London based media. Dafydd and his mistress Lucille Hughes were concealing and facilitating this paedophile ring – it was Dafydd and Lucille to whom St George’s Hospital and Springfield turned for ‘evidence’ of my dangerousness. It was in 1992 that five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack on a flat in Brighton (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs). So Ros was pretty close to some serious action.

However I can’t find any references to Ros’s activities at MIND. Although Ros did hit the headlines after she left MIND. In 1993 Ros was appointed CEO of the Child Support Agency – which was a Gov’t disaster as big as the NHS IT system that had to be shelved after a few billion had been spent on it. Although unlike the CSA, the failed NHS IT system was not thought to have contributed to anyone’s suicide…Ros was famously removed from her post and the CSA metamorphosed into something else because Gov’t could not withstand the embarrassment any longer.

I have found a reference to Ros on the blog of the Labour MEP for London, Mary Honeyball. Mary’s post dated Jan 11 2010 discusses examples of what she believed was outrageous sexism. Honeyball believes that Ros was removed from her post as a result of such sexism – nothing to do with the suicides of distraught parents then, or the numerous parents who were never able to collect their maintenance payments, or the absent parents who used every trick in the book not to pay up leaving their former partners destitute whilst the CSA refused to listen to their pleas for help… Tragedies as a result of the chaos that was the CSA involved both men and women – and of course the children. Honeyball entertainingly stated that Dame Barbara Mills the DPP was also the victim of sexism. Babs has featured on this blog previously – she was the DPP whilst the CPS found excuse after excuse not to mount prosecutions against numerous paedophiles despite stacks of evidence being presented (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’). Mary Honeyball also extended her ‘sympathies’ to the former Home Secretary Jaqui Smith, who was ‘hounded’ for being a ‘high profile woman’. No, Jaqui Smith became a source of national entertainment when it was revealed that her husband had rented porn films, the cost of which Jaqui had then reclaimed on her Parliamentary expenses. In a desperate attempt to salvage herself in the eyes of a nation rolling around laughing, Jaqui then tried to construct herself as a latter day Mary Whitehouse and began speaking out about Porn and Sex, which culminated in her presenting a documentary about prostitution. Unfortunately she did this whilst wearing one of those brightly coloured plastic macs when she was filmed under street lamps, which caused one of the better Radio 4 comedians – it might have been Sue Perkins – to comment that Jaqui looked like something out of ‘Band of Gold’.

Mary Honeyball ends her post by explaining that she speaks as someone ‘who ran’ the Association of Chief Officers of Probation in the mid-90s – she mentions that she didn’t have a background in probation, but that she was appointed on the basis of her other talents. So that’s why at that time some of those accused of molesting children in north Wales or failing to act when their colleagues were molesting children found it possible to move into careers with the Probation Service.

Ros Hepplewhite was CEO of MIND whilst the most dreadful scandals involving the abuse and even murder of patients occurred at Ashworth and Broadmoor. Don’t remember the Voice of the Service Users saying much about all that at the time.

At the time of my initial encounters with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in the mid-80s, the CEO of MIND was Christopher Heginbotham – he’d been appointed CEO in 1982. He was in post at the time that I had my meeting with William Bingley. I suspect that Chris and Bingley might have been chums – Heginbotham was appointed CEO in 1982. Bingley was working as lobbyist for MIND at that time and landed his plum full time post there in 1983. Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was also a bigwig in MIND and was Chair 1978-84. Furthermore Heginbotham departed from MIND in 1989 – Bingley ‘moved on’ into the post as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission in 1990. Bingley eventually wound up in the Chair of Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire and then in a role at the University of Cumbria after resigning from his post as Chair of an NHS Trust when a few awkward questions were asked about his business interests. Heginbotham also eventually secured a position at the University of Cumbria. References to William Bingley seemed to have disappeared from the MIND website recently, but I know that MIND named a building after him in Lancashire, ‘William Bingley House’. I wonder if it’ll be a bit like the fall out after Jimmy Savile’s death and MIND will end up renaming the building in a desperate attempt to pretend that they’d never met Bingley? But guess what? Heginbotham ended up in Lancashire too – where I presume that he still is.

Bingley and Heginbotham were at MIND when Savile was appointed General Manager of Broadmoor. I do not remember them questioning the appointment. What’s the betting that there’s some photos somewhere of dear old Jim with folk from MIND that are now well hidden? Should anyone know of any, please do let me know…

Heginbotham is a Director of something called ‘Values Based Commissioning Ltd’ in Lancashire, which began life in 2011. The other Director is a Christine Heginbotham. It is described as ‘health and social care consultancy’. Christopher Heginbotham has also published a book on Values Based Commissioning of Health and Social Care. So what is this all about?

According to an article in HSJ from June 2013, ‘Values Based Commissioning’ (VbC) ‘aims to put users’ views at the heart of reshaping services’. The discussion concerns the commissioning of mental health services by CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and it is explained that ‘expertise’ in this area is ‘varied’. However, as readers may have guessed, a few aficionados are on hand to help! HSJ quotes words of wisdom from Rethink’s Associate Director of Policy, Research and Campaigning, Victoria Bleazard, as well as Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at MIND. A Joint Commissioning Panel on Mental Health (JCPMH) was established in 2011, which is co-chaired by the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners – this Panel produced ‘guidance’. VbC is ‘a new type of commissioning’ (which must be why it involves the same old people and institutions as the previous commissioning did), ‘prioritising service users’ values and experiences’ (the Royal Colleges mentioned, Rethink and MIND have such good track records in that area don’t they).

HSJ identifies a Dr Neil Deuchar as the architect and champion of VbC – he’s a psychiatrist from Birmingham, a specialist advisor on commissioning and JCPMH Co-Chair. The other Co-Chair is Liz England, a GP who is Mental Health Lead for a Locality Care Group within a CCG and National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Deuchar is quoted as saying that ‘patient power is the key’ and that ‘co-production between patient and carer groups, clinicians and commissioners is vital’. There then follows a bit of asinine text headed by the words ‘what do service users think?’

So Christopher Heginbotham saw an opportunity then – an insane system was devised by a Gov’t that had relied on the likes of Heginbotham and his mates at MIND for advice, this insane system was then explained to the world by HSJ and promoted by MIND and their friends, by which time Heginbotham had written his book and set up his company – presumably with Mrs Heginbotham – to serve the insane system. The insane system was entirely dependent at every stage on the involvement of the very same people and institutions that were colluding with the likes of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends.

Is it surprising that five years down the line we have Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Courts, hitting the roof because there is virtually no provision in the whole of the UK for a suicidal 17 year old girl who is due to be released from ‘secure custody’? Although no-one has explained why a girl in her state is IN secure custody, allegedly alone in a seclusion room from which everything has been removed except a mattress on the floor. That’s going to do her a power of good isn’t it. Furthermore I guarantee that I know how that barbaric regime will be described on that girl’s records – there will be a reference to her being ‘nursed’. I have heard mental health nurses taking about ‘nursing’ people in ‘seclusion’ or ‘nursing’ them ‘on a mattress on the floor’. The whole system is completely nuts and the people working within it have been sent nuts by it if they weren’t already nuts when they took up their employment.

If readers have been impressed by the calibre of MIND CEOs described so far, hold on to your hats whilst I tell you about Heginbotham’s predecessor, Tony Smythe, CEO from 1974-82.  Smythe’s incumbency pre-dated the internet, but Smythe was quite something and info about him is still available online. Smythe’s full name was Clifford Anthony Smythe. He categorised himself as a radical anarcho-pacifist until the day that he died in 2004 and was involved with a number of political causes. He was appointed General Secretary of the NCCL in 1966, a post that he held until 1971. It was in the 70s that it became clear that the NCCL had been infiltrated by paedophiles who had conflated their cause with gay liberation – paedophiles also infiltrated the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) at this time and a number of those guilty of abusing children in north Wales were active in CHE. Smythe was at one point Vice-President of CHE. In 1971 Smythe became involved with MIND. His obituary describes him as establishing an ‘executive committee’ which led to ‘service users becoming involved in management and policy decisions’ and that this ‘chimed with Tony’s anarchist belief’.

Now this talk of the active involvement of ‘service users’ also surrounds Bingley and his mother. Which ‘service users’ do people think that the Bingleys and Smythe liberated? Psychiatry was dreadful in the 70s and early 80s – it was particularly gross in north Wales but it was pretty grim everywhere else as well. There is no way that ‘service users’ had any voice anywhere in the 70s – who are MIND actually talking about? Radical ideas were bandied around by people like Laing et al but these ideas didn’t touch mainstream psychiatric practice – it is dishonest to pretend that they did.  I am wondering if all this guff about the active involvement of ‘service users’ in MIND is simply a glorified reference to one or two influential people in the organisation who may have had mental health problems themselves at some point. Of course Dr Dafydd Alun Jones told everyone that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’ himself – it was a good excuse when he was challenged about his appalling conduct.

CHE was usually led by people who were gay themselves, so I was interested to read that Smythe had a ‘lifelong partner’ Jeanne and five daughters. Jeanne died in 2001.

Smythe and Jeanne were involved with Haringey MIND long after Smythe had stepped down from his post as CEO. Tony Smythe was listed as a Director of Haringey MIND between 1998-2000 and Jeanne between 1990-92 and between 1996-97.

I have mentioned previously that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had a contact in Haringey Social Services – when I finally got out of the North Wales Hospital in Jan 1987, he told me that he had rung Haringey Social Services to ‘let them know’ that I would be living on their patch. This was not any sort of referral for aftercare – this was just the way that Dafydd conducted himself. I have also mentioned that I now have copies of letters between Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services in Gwynedd and Laurie Wood, the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in which they discuss their ‘friend’ at St George’s trying to find out which dept I was working in when I started working there in 1989 – there is also a reference to their friend accessing mail that was sent to me at St George’s in an attempt to discover my home address. There is no clue as to the identity of this friend in my documents, but whilst I was working at St George’s I was visited by a junior doctor called Jimmy Schroff who had come to find me because he’d heard that there was a girl from Bangor working there – Jimmy Schroff seemed to know everyone whom I had made a complaint about in north Wales and furthermore he had done his GP training in the practice of Dr D.G.E. Wood (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’). Jimmy Schroff died some years ago – his widow works at the Betsi.

Tony Smythe was also a Director of an organisation on the Embankment called Reach Volunteering in 1990/91. In 1992 and again between 1995-2001 Jeanne was a Director of ‘an inclusive community hub’ called the Markfield Project.

Tony Smythe kept interesting company. He was acquainted with an actress called Adrienne Corri who died in 2016. Corri had a cult following and was noted for being rather excessive, sometimes swearing aggressively at her own audiences. She was friends with Ronnie and Reggie Kray. In the days before they were both banged up when it dawned upon everyone that despite hanging out with Barbara Windsor and Adrianne Corri they were a pair of vicious thugs. Who had also murdered people. Ronnie of course ended up in Broadmoor and there was a lot of huffing and puffing from some Tory MPs when it was revealed in the press that he had superstar status in Broadmoor, was politely called Mr Kray by the prison officers (who according to the likes of Professor Robert Bluglass were ‘nurses’) who generally pandered to him. What the Tories expected from an institution which Edwina Currie had appointed Jimmy Savile to run I do not know. Perhaps they should have taken a bit of notice of the other patients who complained that they were being beaten up and sexually abused by the ‘nurses’. As well as by Savile.

In 1968 whilst Tony Smythe was still leading the NCCL, they sponsored a production of Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Come and Go’ which starred Adrienne Corri. It was advertised as ‘gala entertainment concerning depravity and corruption’. The evening included other entertainment as well and was compered by George Melly. The George Melly who was famously promiscuous but whose wife was very tolerant of his desire for an open marriage. Much has been written about Melly’s bisexuality and his penchant for numerous extra-marital relationships, but his wife was I suspect much more tolerant than most people realised. Many years ago, George Melly came to do a gig at Theatre Gwynedd in Bangor. I know a man who was at the time of Melly’s performance in Bangor 16 yrs old. Melly paid to have sex with him. This was whilst the age of consent for gays was still 21. I have never seen Melly’s name included among the Rolfs or the Saviles or the Gary Glitters, which is extraordinary, particularly as some years before he died Melly gave an interview to a newspaper mentioning how much he enjoyed caressing the thighs of pre-pubescent boys. Yet no-one commented on this at all. Melly retired to Wales of course – to the Brecon Beacons.

Tony Smythe’s years as CEO of MIND covered the period of time which saw Mary Wynch unlawfully arrested and illegally detained in Denbigh for a year by Dafydd. Whilst she was in Denbigh Mary told me that she witnessed the patients in Dafydd’s ‘young people’s ward’ having sex with each other – after being encouraged to do so by Dafydd – whilst the nurses watched the show. Mary approached MIND for advice regarding her unlawful imprisonment. William Bingley admitted to me that MIND received grant funding from Gwynedd Health Authority and that Dafydd wrote to MIND telling them that he would block their dosh from Gwynedd if they advised Mary. Bingley told me that they didn’t succumb to Dafydd’s threats. However I now know that Bingley wasn’t in the least bit truthful regarding his stories of fighting for patients rights. What’s the betting that they slung Mary overboard lest they lost their dosh from Gwynedd Health Authority? Bingley also admitted to me that Dafydd had been a ‘leading light’ in MIND himself in the 1960s.

The General Secretary of MIND immediately prior to Smythe was Mary Appleby. She was CEO from 1951-74. Whilst Dafydd was a leading light in MIND! At the same time that Gwynne was lobotomising people and the paedophile ring was growing and growing, assisted by John Allen’s collection of children’s homes, the Bryn Alyn Community, which was doing a roaring trade in accepting children from across the UK but particularly from the London boroughs and the West Midlands…

Appleby died in 2013 and her obituary in the ‘Guardian’ mentioned that she became involved in MIND because there were mental health issues in her family. The ‘Guardian’ tells us that it was as a result of Mary’s efforts that MIND (then still called the National Association for Mental Health) became hugely influential, employing 200 people and was consulted by the Gov’t, the judiciary, the NHS and social workers’ organisations. In the early 70s a group of Scientologists tried to join MIND. Scientologists, although they are a rather eccentric group of people themselves, famously loathe psychiatry. They attempted to join MIND after alleging that psychiatrists were illegally imprisoning people, torturing people and were ‘carrying out perversions’. Mary fought the Scientologists in the High Court to keep them out of MIND. However, she allowed Dafydd to remain in.

Mary Appleby worked in both the War Office and the Foreign Office. She Chaired the Bench of Magistrates in an inner London juvenile Court for many years. She contributed to Gov’t Inquiries on mental health and social services. She sat on the appeals panel for the BBC and ITV and was a Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunals. She also sat on the Selection Committee for the Civil Service. A pretty well-connected and influential lady then – even at Whitehall level.

Tony Smythe took over from Mary Appleby in 1974, but Appleby remained a Vice-President of MIND until her death in 2013. She will have not only had substantial influence regarding the appointment of Smythe, but she wielded considerable influence over that organisation for decades. She will have known exactly what sort of people were being appointed, what they were getting up to and indeed what they were concealing, ignoring or colluding with.

 

So what about those who have Chaired MIND? Let’s take a look at some of them….

Between 1969-78 Christopher Mayhew MP was Chair. Mayhew spent many years as a Labour MP but in 1974 he defected to the Liberals. In 1974 the Liberal MP Cyril Smith was busy abusing boys (and had been for some years) but it is now admitted that there was assistance from the security services in ensuring that he was never prosecuted (see post ‘Dr Death’). Mayhew is perhaps most famous however for taking part in a mescaline experiment in 1955 with Dr Humphrey Osmond. The plan was to film Mayhew on a mescaline trip for ‘Panorama’ but the programme was never broadcast. Humphrey Osmond was a psychiatrist who was well-known for his research into hallucinogens and schizophrenia – he was the man who administered mescaline to Aldous Huxley in the 50s which resulted in Aldous Huxley writing ‘The Doors of Perception’. Osmond also experimented with peyote when he went to stay with Native Americans.

So Mayhew was a man up for experimentation. He was given a peerage in 1981.

Between 1978 and 1984, William Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was Chair. Juliet Bingley grew up in Harley Street – her father was a surgeon at Barts. She studied social administration at the LSE, during which time she undertook a placement in Liverpool at the Personal Services Society. In 1945 she qualified as a medical almoner (what we would now call a social worker). Her first job was at Barts. Juliet Bingley was married to Admiral Sir Alec Bingley who in 1959 was appointed NATO commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet in Malta. The family only spent three years in Malta but Juliet got to work out there. She became involved in the development of health services for elderly people – but she was also good mates with the former Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Mintoff. Mintoff had just resigned as PM, which meant that Malta was under direct rule from London – Juliet became the ‘messenger’ between Mintoff and the London Gov’t and continued to play this role throughout the 70s and 80s during the various crises in Anglo-Maltese relations. Alec Bingley died in 1972 which was when Juliet became involved with MIND. She was initially Chair of the Local Associations Committee before becoming Chair of the whole organisation. In 1973 she also took up a post as medical social worker at St Marks, a hospital for gastro-intestinal disorders in London and was Chair of the Heads of Departments Committee there.

Juliet Bingley was busy with other charity work as well as MIND. In 1979 she founded the National Association for Colitis and Chrohns and she was also a founding Trustee of the Carr-Gomm Society, a charity now working for the homeless.

Well with a mum and dad with backgrounds and connections like that William Bingley was certainly not going to do anything to put Dafydd out of action whilst he and Lucille facilitated a paedophile ring supplying boys to Westminster figures and others in London who were enjoying the protection of the security services at the time. Come to think of it I don’t think that Juliet would have been particularly inclined to put a stop to Dafydd’s activities either – and she was incredibly well-connected among the very Top of the Top Doctors as well as the highest echelons of Gov’t should she need to protect him…

How did the Bingley clan ever manage to convince anyone that they were the Voice of the Service Users?

The person who succeeded Juliet as Chair of MIND was Lord David Ennals – he was Chair between 1984-89. Ennals was a Labour politician. In 1967 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office under Jim Callaghan. The Home Office that was at that time directly managing Bryn Estyn, where a brutal regime overseeing the violent sexual abuse of teenaged boys was becoming established. Ennals became Minister of State for Social Services in 1969. He lost his seat in 1970 and it was then that he became the ‘Mind campaign’ Director for the National Association of Mental Health. This campaign was established to fundraise but also to clarify the policies and aims of the organisation – as a result of the campaign in 1972 the charity changed it’s name to MIND. It was whilst Ennals was Chair that Tony Smythe was appointed Chief Exec – supposedly on the basis of his ‘human rights’ experience. Ennals remained campaign director until 1973 and was re-elected to Parliament in 1974. He lost his seat again in 1983 and was elevated to the Lords – then he popped back to MIND again to become Chair.

Ennals has a few close relatives who are worth mentioning. His younger brother Martin was a human rights activist and Secretary-General of Amnesty International. His son Paul has fingers in numerous pies.

Sir Paul Ennals was Chief Exec of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) between 1998-2011. That’s the NCB to whom Peter Righton, a social care expert and academic who was a founder member of PIE and a convicted paedophile, acted as a ‘consultant’ (see post ‘The Waterhouse Tribunal – Who Was Involved And What Happened To Them Subsequently?’). Despite such worrying connections, the NCB, being an umbrella organisation, has links with many other organisations, including Barnardos – some of those involved with child abuse in north Wales had worked for Barnardos. The NCB also collaborates with the NSPCC – which works with Esther Rantzen’s Childline (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ for the questionable background of Valerie Howarth, the first Chief Exec of Childline) – and works in partnership with the Department of Health.

Paul Ennals is Chair of Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board; South Tyneside Local Safeguarding Children Board; Gateshead Local Safeguarding Children Board; Sunderland Local Safeguarding Children Board. I do not know why Ennals has interests in both Haringey and the north east of England but I presume that he does a lot of commuting. If anyone living in the north east hopes to escape Paul Ennals’s safeguarding when they hit 18, they’ll be disappointed – he also Chairs the Safeguarding Adults Board of Gateshead and South Tyneside.

Before Ennals was involved with the NCB he was Director of Employment at the RNIB. He has Chaired or played a leading role on numerous Gov’t taskforces, working groups etc concerned with SEN, disabled or very young children.

Between 1994-2001 David Peryer was Chair of MIND. Peryer had previously been Director of Humberside Social Services. On 23 April 1998 Peryer gave evidence to the Select Committee on Health, along with Liz Sayce (Policy Director of MIND), Peter Wilson and Dinah Morley. Wilson had been Director of Young Minds for six years, was a child psychotherapist and had ‘many’ many years ago’ been a social worker. He had also worked in child and adolescent mental health at another institution familiar to readers of this blog, the Maudsley. In addition Wilson stated that he had worked in ‘child guidance’ in London. Dinah Morley was the ‘professional services manager’ for Young Minds. She had previously been the Assistant Director of an unidentified London borough, responsible for mental health and children’s services. Before that she ran a multi-disciplinary mental health team. She is also a member of a Health Authority.

So these witnesses all had vast experience of working in organisations and fields that had screwed up badly. Indeed Peryer told the Committee that he began working the field of child protection in 1977 in East Sussex, ‘shortly after the Maria Colwell case’. Maria Colwell was the first high profile death of a child in recent decades that was attributed to the fuckwittery of the welfare services.

The Committee were happy to rely on the advice of this bunch nonetheless. Liz Sayce in particular had a lot to say to the Committee. She was keen to tell the Committee of the sort of problems that ‘service users bring to us’ – did they include abusive psychiatrists, mental health staff perjuring themselves in order to secure convictions against them or their illegal detention in secure units? No, the service users complained of being bored in day hospitals. So Liz recommended that day hospitals should be shut and service users encouraged to attend college. I remember the results of Sayce’s recommendations well. The day hospitals were indeed closed down – nothing replaced them, so service users had nowhere to go at all and lost touch with their friends whom they used to meet in the day hospitals. So service users ended up being bored at home, alone. In the two years following the closure of the day hospital at the Hergest Unit, service users could be seen hanging about in the local towns destitute. A number of them died. As for ‘going to college’ – well a very small number of ‘service users’ benefited greatly from this and it turned their lives around. However Sayce’s ‘encouragement’ of such activity was interpreted by mental health teams as ‘coercion’ and certainly in north Wales numerous ‘service users’ were frog marched into college courses – they were told that they would lose social services support if they didn’t ‘take responsibility for getting better’ and enrol. Many of them did not have the academic ability needed for the courses that they had been coerced into joining and even more of them were far too fragile emotionally to cope with a college course. I knew of one course in which at the beginning of term about 15 service users enrolled at the behest of their mental health teams – every one of them withdrew before the course was half-way through and two of them were so distressed that instead of handing in essays to their tutor they handed in suicide notes and accounts of how they had been sexually abused by members of their chapel when they were children. The college ‘counselling service’ was in no way equipped to deal with the difficulties that these students were encountering. Not that the mental health team cared – once the ‘service user’ had enrolled, the mental health team ticked a box marked ‘recovered’ and forgot about them. A lot of ‘service users’ paid a very high price as a result of Liz Sayce’s advice.

No-one noticed – Sayce fucked up peoples lives all over again a few years later once she had been appointed Chief Exec of the Disability Rights Commission and a leading light on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It was Sayce that advised the Gov’t – what with her unique insight and being the Voice of the Service User – to close the Remploy factories on the grounds that they were ghettoes. Hundreds of Remploy staff volubly protested that they loved working at Remploy, that their disabilities were such that they couldn’t hold down other jobs – Remploy staff came forward with the most harrowing accounts of their mistreatment in previous workplaces and begged for Remploy to be reprieved. But Nurse Liz knew best and in 2012 told anyone who would listen in no uncertain terms that Service Users must be Included, that Remploy was Old Fashioned and that the Gov’t proposed Access To Work Fund was far more Empowering (it was also much cheaper and merely involved chucking a few hundred quid at a few service users to pay for simple adaptions on things like cars). The Gov’t followed Sayce’s advice and shut the Remploy factories down. Many of the former Remploy staff never worked again and are now on benefits. Furthermore I think that Theresa May et al are now proposing to whittle away at the Access To Work Fund anyway.

The Gov’t is still grappling with the advice that Liz gave them in 1998 – she recommended that health care and social care should NOT be merged. That’s why there is still such extreme inequity in the treatment of those people classed as needing ‘social care’ as compared to those whose needs are categorised as ‘medical’. But somebody was stupid enough to allow Liz to ‘lead’ on creating the Disability Agenda forming the basis of policy for the next two decades….

In Jan 2017 Liz announced her retirement from the Disability Rights Commission – she’d been shortlisted for a post as a Disability Commissioner on the European Human Rights Commission! For fuckwittery, arrogance and sheer irresponsibility, Liz is only matched by Rachel Perkins.

In 2001 David Henry took over as Chair. I can find no info about David Henry at all other than that whilst he was Chair of MIND he was given two free tickets worth £1,500 for the opening ceremony to some grand event in his capacity as ‘leader’ of a UK charity.

The present Chair, Ryan Campbell, has been in post since 2012. He was formerly the CEO of a ‘drug, alcohol and mental health charity in the south east of England’ and is currently the CEO of Demelza Hospice Care in Hindhead, Surrey. Ryan was previously involved with Age Concern and has been an expert advisor to Gov’t on the development of health services; is the author of DoH guidance to commissioning in the Third Sector; has been an advisor and taskforce member to DoH guidance on High Impact Changes in Health and Social Care (2008); and was the UK rep to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Ryan is also a member of something called the ‘Association of Chairs’, which seems to be no more than a collection of freeloading dipsticks who become Chairs of outfits like MIND. Ryan explains on their website that he joined the Association ‘because I need a network’. Of course you do Ryan. To propel you onwards and upwards in the face of your dismal performance in order that one day you too can bag a seat in the Lords or a place on the EHRC alongside Rachel bloody Perkins.

 

It is because of people like this lot that so many other people are dying and suffering in the UK’s health and welfare system.

 

NB. BBC News Wales and the ‘Daily Post’ online are reporting that there is pressure on Wales to provide ‘fix rooms’ in which drug users can inject heroin. North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones – he who as a young PC chauffeured Gordon Anglesea to the venues at which Anglesea molested boys and who many years later as Police and Crime Commissioner ‘made a mistake’ which resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of his police pension although Anglesea died in prison as a convicted child abuser – is fully in support of the idea. Well it’s another great business opportunity for Dafydd and Lucille at CAIS – they can provide shooting galleries in which the CAIS clients can inject the goodies which they have been sold by their ‘peer guides’ and draw down a grant from the Welsh Gov’t to fund it all! I used to know someone who always quipped that CAIS stood for ‘Come And Inject Some’.

Anyone for co-production?

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More Summer Reading!

I’ve been digging around in book shops recently and I managed to pick up a second hand book which might be of interest to readers of this blog.

‘NHS plc’ was published in 2004 and was written by Allyson Pollock. I read quite a lot of Pollock’s work some years ago and what always struck me was that although Pollock undoubtedly knows exactly what goes on in the NHS, she was rather mealy mouthed when it came to admitting the full horror of it all. I always attributed this to Pollock being a policy advisor and therefore maintaining a discreet silence regarding patients’ being maimed and killed – I also was under the impression that Pollock had a background in social policy and such researchers very often do have trouble admitting just how much blood there is on the carpet. But I discovered yesterday that Pollock is actually a Top Doctor – she’s a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and has been since 1986. Since Jan 2017, Pollock has been Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research and Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Pollock set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at Edinburgh University (2005-11). Before then she was Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. Her earlier career is not mentioned on her wiki entry – but guess what can be discovered if one reads ‘NHS plc’? That Allyson previously worked at Sin City – St George’s Hospital Medical School! She mentions that she worked there ‘before’ New Labour’s 1997 election victory. As she has been a consultant since 1986, presumably she was a consultant at St George’s. So she was there at some point in the 90s then – when the madness and malpractice that I have detailed on this blog prevailed there (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’), under the ‘leadership’ of the dreadful Sir William Asscher…

Allyson Pollock is best known for her work on the gradual privatisation of the NHS with the associated imposition of a ‘business culture’ and the introduction of ‘new public management’ techniques. Her work on this is very, very good. I have never been able to fault her analysis of what this process has resulted in or her historical detail of the steps by which it has taken place. But reading ‘NHS plc’, it is clear why Pollock’s work never details the chaos and tragedy that is happening in the NHS, although she obviously loathes the privatisation agenda and could add considerable weight to her argument if she was prepared to go public on the excesses of the NHS. It is because Pollock is only telling half the story. The bit that Allyson Pollock just won’t mention is the contribution of the Top Doctors themselves to the mess.

Throughout ‘NHS plc’, Pollock paints a picture of a medical establishment that always does and has always done the best for NHS patients and which has been forced off course by the privatisation agenda – an agenda which Pollock suggests that nearly all Top Doctors have fought against for noble reasons. She does name the occasional sinner, the odd Top Doctor who has encouraged and personally benefited from privatisation, such as the odious Dr Chai Patel. Pollock describes Patel as a ‘millionaire doctor’. He is far from the only one Allyson as you well know. Patel of course notoriously ran a huge chain of private ‘care homes’ which were eventually exposed as being riddled with the most dreadful abuse and neglect of patients – it was this that forced him to step down from his role as a Dept of Health advisor on the care of the elderly. Among Patel’s business interests was his acquisition and expansion of the ‘Priory Group’. That is the Priory Group that currently employs two of Allyson’s former colleagues from St George’s and the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, Dr Robin Jacobson and Dr Adrienne Key! Likewise Allyson names a few of the biggest scandals that there have been in the NHS – scandals so big that she can’t avoid naming them, such as the Bristol Children’s Heart Surgery Scandal or Harold Shipman. There is not a mention of the fact that actually the NHS for a very long time has been dogged by scandals in which patients suffered greatly and were known to be suffering but no-one acted. According to ‘NHS plc’ the problems only began when Thatcher’s administration began privatising the NHS, a process which escalated under New Labour. It is New Labour into whom Allyson really puts the boot – she hates them.

Whilst Allyson highlights the idiocies that that Tories imposed upon the NHS in the name of the ‘internal market’, she makes no mention of why they were able to convince voters at the time that this might be a good idea. It was actually because there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the NHS. I can remember the debates very well – the allegations made again and again were of Top Doctors who were so fucking arrogant that they would not listen to patients or respond to their needs. It wasn’t simply a case of affluent patients wanting a private room or special treatment, although that was indeed Margaret Thatcher’s personal interpretation. There had been for example massive dissatisfaction among women concerning the way in which many of them had been treated whilst giving birth, which led to practitioners like Michele Odent establishing private practices to which middle class women swarmed. There was the emergence of ME and the Top Doctors’ complete refusal to accept that this might have a physical cause – seriously ill people were dismissed as suffering from ‘Yuppie Flu’. People with an interest in alternative medicine also fumed at the way in which they were mocked and belittled by Top Doctors. I’m of the opinion that much ‘alternative medicine’ is indeed ineffective, but if one is a Top Doctor faced with anxious patients enquiring about such matters, taking the piss out of them to their faces is not the best way to proceed. The London surgeon Michael Baum was interviewed on TV regarding alternative medicine and he explained that patients enquiring about this were usually middle aged women wearing ethnic weave clothes who read the ‘Guardian’. That’s the sort of observation that is best made to one’s friends in private, not made on prime time TV – it caused massive offence and actually did him a lot of damage (which was unfortunate, because some of Baum’s opinions are worth listening to). I remember an episode of ‘Any Questions’ in which the biggest cheer from the audience was given to a Tory MP who when talking about the Tories reforms of the NHS, had robustly said of hospital consultants ‘they’re not God, they’re just guys doing a job’. People had really had a bellyful of the Top Doctors by the mid to late 1980s and that feeling was exactly what the Tories utilised to sell the voters their agenda for the NHS. Allyson mentions that ‘some’ hospital consultants were ‘downright arrogant’, that they were not ‘directly accountable to anyone’ and that team working was ‘often poor’, but she does not get anywhere near to admitting the extend of the greed, the bullying, the autocracy, the abuse of their positions and the overall preservation of their own vested interests that did – and still does – go on.

The attitude of the Top Doctors to patients was exemplified by the ‘reviews’ that the Top Doctors who fancied themselves as thespians used to put on themselves in medical schools at Christmas. Those stage shows were essentially a series of sketches in which the Top Doctors patted themselves on the back and sneered at patients for all being a bit ignorant or neurotic. I attended two such Christmas Reviews whilst I worked at St Georges – they were virtually identical and basically served to consolidate what someone the other day termed the ‘professional superglue’ that causes NHS staff to close ranks in the face of malpractice or patient harm.

Allyson mentions the concession to accept ‘pay beds’ that Bevan made when establishing the NHS. Bevan of course admitted that he was forced into doing this in order to get the Top Doctors to accept the idea of the NHS. (The Top Doctors REALLY objected to the idea of the NHS.) Pollock I note doesn’t quote Bevan’s most famous words – that in order to overcome the Top Doctors’ objections to the NHS he would ‘stuff their mouths with gold’. Allyson tactfully states that Bevan had accepted the existence of pay beds ‘in order to secure consultants’ participation in the new free health care system’. Pollock mentions that in 1975 Barbara Castle abolished pay beds – and my God wasn’t that one of her biggest battles – but her decision was later reversed and ‘by the 1980s pay beds were justified as an income earner for hospitals’. I don’t remember the Top Doctors objecting to their re-introduction Allyson – in fact when you and I were working at St George’s there was plenty of private practice going on. To be fair, some of the Top Doctors doing it were re-investing their earnings into their research programmes and of course there was a limit placed on the amount that medical academics were allowed to earn through private practice. Which was why so many Top Doctors didn’t want academic posts… Some of Allyson’s non-academic colleagues at St George’s were known to be very rich indeed as a result of their private practices.

Again and again Allyson portrays these very wealthy people with interests in private practice who ignored the wrongdoing of their colleagues as selfless barefoot doctors. She maintains that when ‘concerned NHS staff’ critiqued public-private partnerships they were dismissed by Gov’t as ‘self-interested’. However did anyone come to that conclusion? So who were the concerned NHS staff that Allyson was talking about? The cleaners? The canteen staff or the porters? The Angels perhaps? No, it was the BMA and the NHS Consultants’ Association.

There are plenty of clues in Allyson’s book as to what the beef of the Top Doctors really was. It was not that the Top Doctors were taking a principled stand against privatisation. It was a power battle. The Tories wanted to flatten the BMA in the way that they had flattened the NUM because the BMA were causing havoc behind the scenes and that’s what much of the obsession with imposing a business culture and managerialist practices on the NHS was all about. Unfortunately the Tories tried to fight the Top Doctors by giving huge power to an equally toxic group of people – NHS senior managers. The Tories were well aware of the damage that the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynne the lobotomist were inflicting upon the NHS and it’s patients, but their solution was to give as much power to the likes of Alun Davies and Martin Jones. It was not a good idea and for years now a full-on battle has raged between these two groups who are substantially made up of shites. Top Doctors who do have integrity are not going to be told what to do by Martin which is why so many of them are now leaving the NHS and good managers aren’t attracted to working in the NHS because most of the other managers there are like Martin. A few years ago I was friends with a newly qualified law graduate who landed himself a job in the management offices of Ysbyty Gwynedd. He memorably described Martin and co as ‘corrupt as fuck and thick as shit’. Of course, when the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was first established, they had an excellent CEO, Mary Burrows, who was very bright and genuinely committed to improving the dire state of the NHS in north Wales. Mary was effectively hounded out by the Top Doctors and Martin et al. The last thing that a bunch of unscrupulous, abusive Top Doctors lining their own pockets want is a high calibre senior manager. Which is why you don’t tend to find such creatures in the NHS.

Allyson writes of the battle that the BMA had with Ken Clarke regarding GP fundholding and describes how the BMA were ‘defeated’ and ‘would never again challenge the Gov’t on matters of principle’. Allyson is being somewhat economical with the truth here. The BMA continued to fight Gov’ts tooth and nail, but they adopted a new tactic. Instead of presenting themselves as Top Doctors Who Knew Best overtly confronting the Gov’t, they constructed themselves as People Who Cared About The Disadvantaged – which is exactly the way in which Allyson presents herself! ‘NHS plc’ is full of warm words for the BMA – except towards the end of the book, in which Allyson accuses them of selling out, upon the appointment of a particular Chief Exec. Allyson wrote that book in 2004. In 2007 the BMA famously screwed the Gov’t over regarding the negotiation of the GP out of hours contract which was so favourable to the Top Doctors that one of the BMA negotiators described it as ‘a bit of a laugh’. It was this that led to enormous problems concerning GP out of hours provision. But Allyson’s heart must have melted at some point because in 2014 she was appointed as a Member of the BMA’s Council! She is still there.

Pollock’s own attempts to categorise herself as a barefoot doctor are interesting. She mentions going to dinner with a merchant banker before the election of New Labour to discuss PFIs (I wonder why Allyson was doing that?) and describes how the dinner was held in the ‘bank’s private dining room’ with ‘black coated waiters’ who ‘served lunch that lasted almost three hours’. Allyson compares that dining room with the ‘hospital canteen’ at St Georges and how she ‘could not help thinking of the rows of terraced houses in the impoverished community of Tooting from which St George’s mainly female, mainly black ancillary workforce was drawn’.

I remember those rows of terraces in Tooting as well – I lived in one of them. As indeed did many of the female, black workers of St Georges. So what did the Top Doctors of St Georges think about those workers and the other people who lived in those terraces? Well, one Top Doctor described the midwives as being ‘really thick especially the black ones’. Another Top Doctor told one of the researchers about a ‘really scummy family who live in Garrett Lane’ (Garrett Lane was one of the most deprived parts of Tooting.) A medical student was ostracised because he lived in a shared house in Garrett Lane. It wasn’t only living in Garrett Lane that made one persona non-grata – I attended a departmental meal in a restaurant in Wimbledon during which the wife of a senior registrar refused to speak to a junior doctor after she was told that the junior doctor lived in Brixton. Many of the Top Doctors at St Georges lived in Wimbledon or Clapham or further afield in affluent areas. I only knew of one Top Doctor who lived in Tooting who, as a result of having a number of young children from a series of broken relationships, didn’t have the sort of disposable income that his colleagues had and could only afford to buy in Tooting. He resented living there – although his house was a good deal better than everyone else’s – and he complained at length about the lifestyle enjoyed by another Top Doctor from Kings, who was sufficiently loaded that she was having a house built to her own specifications with a matching bathroom for each bedroom. That was Professor Linda Cardosa – I didn’t ever see her house which caused so much envy, but if any readers did do e mail me and tell me all about it. Should anyone ever see Prof Cardosa on a BMA protest supporting a pay claim I suggest that they ignore her.

As for merchant bankers – the brother of one of the researchers in the dept in which I worked at St Georges was a merchant banker. One of his bonuses was bigger than the annual salary of his sister’s boss. This caused much gnashing of teeth, but no-one used it as evidence that merchant bankers should be paid less – they used it as evidence that they should be paid as much as merchant bankers. As for the merchant banker’s sister – she grumbled at length about her own salary although it later emerged that some sort of ‘special arrangement’ had been made for her so she was earning much more than all the other researchers anyway. Not that she needed a higher salary than everyone else – she drove a Mercedes, but ‘only an old one’ which her father had given her and when she had enough of living in the inner city her parents allowed her to live rent free in the cottage on their estate in Surrey which had previously been inhabited by the gardener. I’m only surprised that mum and dad didn’t supply her with a butler as well.

Not all of my former colleagues at St Georges were as spoiled, as fuckwitted, as snobbish and as shallow as this, but one didn’t have to work too hard to find people who were. There were a lot of them cluttering up the place. The source of their discontent was the fact that so many of them did come privileged backgrounds and they had friends and family who were earning even more than Top Doctors did. So many Top Doctors, despite being among the most highly paid people in the UK, managed to convince themselves that they were very hard done by indeed. It is this phenomenon that propels the BMA and it’s campaigns. The notion of ‘public service’ does not enter into the equation.

In ‘NHS plc’ Pollock is also very critical of NHS organisations selling off buildings and land – the ‘NHS estate’ – to raise money. Such sales are often a very bad deal for the NHS and are effectively fleecing the tax-payer, but the example which Pollock provides is yet another reflection of Pollock’s sleight of hand. She refers to the proposed sale of Springfield Hospital and the accompanying proposed deal with a private care company. Springfield Hospital was an appalling place, in a dreadful state of repair with completely inadequate facilities. It was in no way suitable to be housing mental health patients in the late 20th century. The care was dreadful, abuses of patients were rampant (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and eventually there was a public inquiry after a series of murders there. I do not know what the facilities and care standards at the establishment where it was proposed to transfer the patents to were like, but no-one could defend Springfield Hospital. This example reminded me of the articles that ‘New Statesman’ ran back in the 80s concerning the closure of institutions like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Those articles accused Thatcher of selling off the ‘homes’ of patients – I really don’t think that the readers of the ‘New Statesman’ would have wanted a home like Denbigh. Of course, the first Health Minister to propose closing the asylums was Enoch Powell – after visiting Denbigh, which appalled him. Pollock compliments Powell for his ‘political inspiration’ behind the 1962 Hospital Building Plan, but she doesn’t mention a word about him wanting to close institutions like Denbigh and Springfield.

Again and again Pollock lays the blame for notorious NHS shortcomings on privatisation. She rightly mocks the deals that were done with celebrities like Lloyd Grossman which resulted in private companies being contracted to provide hospital food that turned out to be awful. But hospital food was known to be awful before privatisation – it was, like British Rail sandwiches, a byword for dreadful food. Whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd Alun Jones Brown worried about my diet – because he knew how bad the food was in institutions like that. In Denbigh most patients lived on chips – the fare was so grim that chips were usually the most edible thing on the ‘menu’. One patient at Denbigh who was actually receiving regular visitors – unlike most people who had simply been illegally imprisoned and abandoned in there – got her daughter to bring her meals in. Things were no better in Springfield in 1991 where Pollock’s fellow Top Doctors worked. One inpatient was a young South Asian woman who, for religious reasons, was being given meals that differed from everyone else’s (they certainly couldn’t have managed that at Denbigh). So Springfield could therefore tick the ‘catering for a multicultural community’ box – but this young woman was delivered a meal each day which no choice offered or no say in what it was. On one occasion a meal was delivered which for dietary reasons she could not eat (one of the ingredients upset her stomach). She explained this to the vile abusive ward manager – an Australian called Stephanie whose standard method of communication was to shout and swear at patients – and was simply told ‘you’ve got to have it, these meals are costing us a fortune’. The young Asian woman went without dinner that day. This was before there had been any implementation of the idea of privatising NHS catering.

Pollock writes some scathing passages about the dreadful neglect of the elderly in the private sector – again this is endemic and she is quite right to draw attention to what is going on. But this was happening before NHS privatisation was on the agenda. As far back as the 1970s I knew of a notorious nursing home in the Somerset town in which I went to school. It was owned and run by a nurse who had been sacked from Taunton hospital and it employed schoolgirls as ‘nurses’ (my friend worked there – at 15 years of age she was passed off as a ‘nurse’). Every Top Doctor in Bridgwater knew about that home – they’d have never allowed their own relatives to end up there but no-one put a stop to it. When I went to university in Bangor in 1981 I found out about a very similar establishment in Menai Bridge. The man who owned the nursing home was a drunk and the ‘matron’ in charge was a nurse who had been sacked by the C&A Hospital in Bangor – after she was found having sex with a male patient in his bed on the ward. This was common knowledge, as was the neglect to which the residents were subjected – Dr D.G.E. Wood had some patients there and visited regularly. No-one had the place closed down. Furthermore Chai Patel is not to the only Top Doctor who owned care homes with questionable standards. Brig-y-Nant in Bethesda was owned by Top Doctor Dr K. Shah, a mate of Dafydd’s (see post ‘Hippocratic Oath or Hypocritic Oaf?’ for details of my encounter with Shah). Shah’s wife ‘managed’ Brig y Nant and I heard allegations from one former care assistant that not only were ‘difficult’ elderly residents dumped in baths of cold water, but when injuries were sustained, one doctor would always be called to deal with the problem – a Dr K. Shah.

Something else that Allyson attributes to NHS privatisation is the silencing of whistleblowers and the appearance of dodgy publications in the BMJ. I can kill two birds with one stone here. Back in the 1980s I remember reading an article that a particularly courageous doctor had penned for the BMJ. He was a GP from Devon and he wrote an account of how he had been called out to visit a patient in a nursing home and had arrived to find residents tied to their chairs with pairs of nylon tights and what he described as a ‘sloppy’ young woman on duty. He attended to his patient and as he prepared to leave he was stopped by an old lady who asked him if he was a doctor. When he said yes, the old lady pulled her skirt up and showed him severe, extensive scalding over her thighs. The old lady told him that someone had poured a kettle of hot water over her legs. This nursing home was owned by a local Top Doctor. A few days later the GP heard that the old lady who had been scalded had died. He was so worried about standards at this home that he contacted the coroner regarding his concerns. The coroner told him that there were no concerns at all regarding the home. The GP discovered that the coroner was a business partner of the Top Doctor who owned the home. The GP contacted the GMC and was told to take a running jump. So he penned an article for the BMJ to let the world now exactly what was possible on Planet Care Home. Was this caring and diligent GP supported in his efforts to expose this scandal? Not at all. In the next issue of the BMJ there were a number of letters published from other Top Doctors, all pompously declaring that the BMJ was not the place to air allegations about one’s colleagues. But that was not the worst thing that appeared in the BMJ in the 80s. On one occasion they debated Homosexuality. One old bigot wrote in and stated quite categorically that homosexuality does not exist ‘in the animal kingdom’ and that it is most definitely a perversion of Man. I’ve got news for that particular high-flier – homosexuality DOES exist in the animal kingdom as any zoologist will confirm. Such was the shite that the BMJ felt able to publish in days gone by.

As for whistleblowing – Allyson’s off in fairyland regarding this: ‘formerly doctors could and did speak out in the interests of their patients’ and ‘in the past doctors were free to speak out – in fact they were under a moral obligation to do so – if they felt it was in the interests of their patients’. Of course Allyson – that is why, for many, many years pre-NHS privatisation, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were able to break the law, sexually exploit patients, sell drugs to addicts, lie on oath, illegally imprison people in Denbigh, conceal a paedophile ring and threaten and bribe people with many, many people knowing and no-one blew the whistle on any of it. In fact your own colleagues at St Georges and Springfield knew of at least some of what was going on and documented it – but told each other that I was ‘extremely dangerous’ and should be referred to the forensic services ‘for containment’ after I spoke to them about it. Other people who knew what Dafydd and co were up to included Dr James Earp from Leicester (see post ‘An Expert From England’), Professor Robert Bluglass (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE…’), The Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, Dr Chris Mawson (see post ‘Doctors Who Disappeared From The Medical Register’) and Dr Chris Hunter (see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dr Mawson and Dr Earp did not, unlike the others, suggest that I should be banged up without trial in a secure hospital, but not one of them raised the alarm regarding what was going on.

‘NHS plc’ also takes aim at the various inspection regimes that have been introduced in recent years, such as the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement). Pollock describes such inspectorates as ‘ineffectual’ and mentions that the review teams are ‘inevitably less qualified and less experienced than the hospital staff they were inspecting’. Which is true and it is insulting to good hospital staff. But those inspectorates have been a Godsend to Top Doctors who aren’t doing what they should be doing – such as in Mid-Staffs. Or indeed in north Wales. Dangerous troubled services have passed inspections with flying colours. But it has always been thus – the Mental Health Act Commission were actively colluding with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales to conceal their criminal activity before privatisation was underway.

There is a glaring contradiction in Pollock’s writing, in that among her attempts to portray Top Doctors as helpless pawns in the face of power-crazed Gov’ts there are actually plenty of indications that she knows just how powerful swathes of the medical establishment are, including her own colleagues and the institutions in which she herself has spent her career as a senior member of staff. She clearly explains how the London teaching hospitals and medical schools are invested with prestige and status enabling them to attract high calibre staff, which in turn gives them huge influence even over Gov’t policy – just like Allyson and her Public Policy Units based in those medical schools have sometimes enjoyed.

Allyson mentions the idea to close Guys and St Tommy’s that was put forward some years ago – but she admits that the notion pretty soon died a death because of course Tommy’s is the hospital that serves Parliament. No, no-one’s going to shut down the most elite joint in town with plenty of friends in the Palace of Westminster. Allyson also mentions the enormous power and influence that Great Ormond Street Hospital has, due it’s legacy from J.M. Barrie and it’s very successful fundraising arm. She explains that in 2000, Camden and Islington Health Authority along with the Medical Director at UCL Hospitals Trust, planned to integrate all paediatric services across the area, but that GOSH disagreed with this plan, ‘was in a powerful position to put it’s own priorities before patients needs or planning’ and was successful in ‘silencing debate’.

Yet elsewhere in her book, Pollock holds up GOSH and it’s satellite hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children as being all that is best about the NHS. Queen Elizabeth Hospital was linked to GOSH and a number of consultants at GOSH had shared appointments with Queen Elizabeth. Allyson explains how Queen Elizabeth served the severely disadvantaged area of Hackney where some of the poorest children in the UK lived. She states that Queen Elizabeth was a ‘model of how a hospital in a severely deprived inner city area should be run’, that it was ‘accessible, open and caring with exceptional expertise’ providing a ‘superb service to needy children’. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ mentions that Dr Robin Skynner, who had links with Top Doctors who were concealing child sexual abuse, was the Physician in Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at Queen Elizabeth between 1965-70.

As for GOSH – that was the hospital that employed the negligent doctor who contributed to the death of Peter Connelly in the ‘Baby P’ case a few years. GOSH has also just been at the centre of the Charlie Gard storm. And I doubt that either of those cases had much to do with privatisation.

Another inconsistency in Pollock’s book concerns Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ. He’s mentioned in Pollock’s acknowledgements section as one of the people who have ‘inspired’ her. Yet Smith is named elsewhere in the book as a baddie who jumped ship in 2004 and joined United Healthcare as CEO.

There are clues in the text as to what irks Pollock so much about New Labour as well as the root of some of her inconsistencies. Pollock seems to get to meet some very grand people. Not only did she dine with a merchant banker whilst her heart remained with the St Georges canteen in downtown Tooting, but she had an audience with Geoffrey Robinson in his capacity as Blair’s Paymaster General who afterwards invited her for a drink on the terrace of the House of Commons – although obviously she really wished that she was having a cup of char at a cleaner’s house in Garrett Lane – and she even met Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor. She described them as being on a ‘charm offensive’ and wanted to be ‘seen to be listening’. Pollock also thought very highly of Blair’s first Secretary of State for Health (1997-99) Frank Dobson – ‘a well-liked and competent Minister’. Not many other people shared that opinion – Dobson was widely perceived to be well-meaning but a bit gullible and dim (‘Private Eye’ named him ‘Dobbo’). The NHS continued to go pear-shaped and Dobbo’s scalp was demanded. There was another perceived problem with Dobbo as well – he rolled over for the Top Doctors…

Now although the Top Doctors are a very conservative bunch, they really didn’t like Thatcher and she didn’t like them. Thatcher loathed the professions (as well as academics) and very much saw them as being conspiracies against the layman. So the Top Doctors were most glad to see the back of Thatcher – I remember loud cheering breaking out in St George’s when she resigned. But the Top Doctors are not a bunch of lefties no matter what the Daily Mail says about them. However I suspect that when Blair was elected, Allyson and her fellow Public Policy/Public Health specialists may well have thought that their boat had come in. A Labour Gov’t that wasn’t socialist, with an authoritarian streak, wedded to the notion that Policy Experts should tell the plebs how to live. Which is probably why Allyson broke a leg in her efforts to meet Blair’s Ministers. A similar phenomenon occurred among HE specialists committed to widening participation – Blair maintained that he was going to pursue this policy and educational sociologists all got very excited, but of course he didn’t listen to any of them and a lot of them ended up very miffed. I suspect that Allyson fell into the same trap. Indeed, she makes it clear in her book that she feels that New Labour discredited and intimidated it’s critics, including her. Which they probably did – but then the Top Doctors discredited and intimidated those of us who discovered that their colleagues in north Wales were concealing a paedophile ring. At least Blair didn’t try to frame Allyson for serious crimes or state that she would end up in an institution for the ‘criminally insane’ as dear old Dafydd and Bluglass did with respect to me.

For all her griping though, Allyson knows that the Top Doctors can pack a punch if they are able to successfully construct themselves as the defenders of the NHS in the face of Bastards In Government. She reminds us of the lesson that no politician has ever forgotten – the election of Top Doctor Dr Richard Taylor in Kidderminster, who unseated the Labour MP David Locke. Taylor of course did this by running on a ticket of opposing hospital closures. Pollock mentions another similar event as well – the election of retired Top Doctor Dr Jean Turner in Glasgow in the wake of plans to close Stobhill Hospital. Pollock states that the Gov’ts announcement in 2003 that there would be no closures of smaller local hospitals after the election of Taylor and Turner was ‘a notable acknowledgement of the power of popular mobilisation’.

No Allyson, it was an acknowledgement of how bloody-minded the BMA are – they were fighting ALL hospital closures, including hospitals which were unsafe and harming or killing patients. They didn’t admit that any hospitals were doing this and they didn’t even work behind the scenes to raise standards – they did what they have always done and told the Gov’t ‘touch us and we’ll brain you’. Which indeed they did.

As all good Top Doctors do when they wish to ram home their arguments, Allyson makes references to popular media images of Top Doctors. We are told that the ‘frantic atmosphere in ‘Holby City’ is quite typical of the acute hospital today’. Which is rather like saying that the ‘Carry On’ films with Hattie Jacques giving terrified weedy men bed-baths and Barbara Windsor wearing an Anne Summers style nurse’s uniform whilst her bra flies off were an accurate depiction of life in an NHS hospital in the 60s. There is one big difference between Holby City and ‘an acute hospital today’ – in Holby City the staff never make mistakes and the complex cutting edge surgery is always successful, unless it’s an utterly hopeless case and the patient’s chance of life was unfathomably slim anyway. And from the episodes that I’ve seen, a lot of the surgeons are proud of their upwardly mobile journey from their disadvantaged childhoods – in one episode a female surgeon called Jac even revealed that she’d grown up in care and had been sexually abused. Er, no, as we know from the fate of the kids who grew up in care in north Wales, Jac would not be a heart surgeon, she’d be banged up in Denbigh with everyone calling her a dangerous liar. That is if she hadn’t actually been found dead in suspicious circumstances after having given evidence against the paedophiles that were employed in her children’s home.

Pollock also makes reference to a film called ‘As Good As It Gets’, which she appreciates because it makes some barbed points about US privatised healthcare. It stars Jack Nicholson. As of course did ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Which was a film that one of Pollock’s colleagues at St George’s, the occupational health physician Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, had a real problem with. Mitchell-Heggs had previously been a psychiatrist and maintained that ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ set out to deceive because it was modelled on an asylum from the 50s but pretended that such places were still in existence. Which of course they weren’t. Indeed not Nicky – at Denbigh the patients didn’t wear uniforms and there was no piped music. But all the other ingredients were there – a lobotomist, Nurse Rached aka Janice Davies, sane people imprisoned and drugged up because they had dared challenge corrupt Top Doctors and staff terrorising and blackmailing vulnerable people by threatening to release confidential info about them. Except that Denbigh also had a psychopathic psychiatrist sexually abusing the patients who was also concealing the paedophile ring that his mistress facilitated. And those were the two people from whom Mitchell-Heggs and her colleagues were taking evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’ so she must have known that they were there…. Mitchell-Heggs’s online profile describes her interests as theatre, opera and ski-ing! It’s those self-sacrificing Top Doctors again who fight tooth and nail for the NHS. I also seem to remember reading that both Mitchell-Heggs and her husband now run private practices.

In the initial pages of ‘NHS plc’ Pollock explains that she isn’t able to cover everything in a volume of that length, so there are some areas that she hasn’t commented upon. Such as mental health and learning disability services. Which is just as well considering how bloody shameful these ‘services’ are and were when she wrote that book. She also mentions that she doesn’t cover groups of staff such as cleaners, canteen workers, security officers and porters. In other words those staff who are treated and paid appallingly, whose presence is generally ignored by the Top Doctors and who are actually the very staff who have suffered most as a result of NHS privatisation.

At the beginning of her book, Pollock gives a long list of acknowledgments and names the people who have ‘inspired’ her. They include Dr Richard Taylor, ‘all members of the NHS Consultants Association’, ‘members of the Medical Practitioners Union’, ‘Brian Potter formerly of the Scottish BMA’, ‘Sir Sandy Macara at the BMA’ and Richard Horton of the ‘Lancet’. She mentions ‘many others’ to have come ‘to the aid’ of the Public Policy Unit which she was directing when she wrote ‘NHS plc’. Pollock pays tribute to the ‘special stalwarts of the NHS including Charles Webster, the former official historian of the NHS’. I mention on the front page of this blog that a number of people have written ‘histories’ of psychiatry in north Wales. These histories are at their best highly sanitised and at their worst have about as much historical accuracy as a Barbara Cartland novel. One of those ‘histories’ was written by a Bangor University lecturer called David Hirst and I’m fairly sure that it was his book that was co-authored or assisted in some way by an ‘NHS historian’ called Charles someone. I’m fairly sure that it was Charles Webster. I’ve been googling to try and clarify this but all traces of that book have vanished from the internet. I wonder why – after all it was proudly on display in Bangor University for years, so it definitely exists….However I note that David has co-authored with a number of the Top Doctors from the Hergest Unit! He arrived in Bangor to begin his work in ‘social policy’ in 1973 – Christ almighty, Gwynne and Dafydd were in full swing then, they will have been lobotomising and subjecting people to ‘aversion therapy’ if they dared to be gay til the cows came home. And of course Bryn Estyn was still under the direct management of the Home Office and the systematic sexual abuse of the boys there will have been well-embedded by then. Fancy publishing anything about that lot then David?

Pollock makes several mentions in her book of a man who has acquired superhero status in the eyes of any Top Doctor who wants to pledge their commitment to the NHS – Julian Tudor Hart. Tudor Hart is very elderly now, but he is one of the few Top Doctors still practising who was practising before the establishment of the NHS. He has written about just how grim things were in those days – Tudor Hart worked in south Wales among people experiencing very great poverty and hardship. I am interested in Tudor Hart, because although I do completely accept his account of how dreadful it was to fall ill or have an accident before the establishment of the NHS, he does seem somewhat blind to some of what goes on in the NHS. He is an intelligent man and a keen scholar, so like Allyson Pollock he will know. And being a man of his age from Wales, he will know what Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd got up to as well. Tudor Hart has been very rude about Ivan Illich and sees Illich as someone who simply plays to an audience of privileged middle class rebels, which is pretty much what the psychiatric establishment used to say about Thomas Szasz. There is truth in that argument – one had to be affluent to afford sessions with Thomas Szasz – but it ignores why the work of people like Illich and Szasz caught the imagination of so many. It was because of what folk like Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were actually doing to them – people didn’t find it very helpful. There is also another factor about Tudor Hart that I cannot forget. He worked in the same practice as Dr Brian Gibbons, the former Health Minister for Wales. Who when I told him that I had evidence of the Top Doctors and managers in the Hergest Unit participating in criminal activities wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’. At the time the Hergest Unit had the second highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales.

I can only conclude that Allyson Pollock is one of the most articulate, useful PR mouthpieces that the Top Doctors possess and that she, along with the rest of the Top Doctors, are not very happy that Gov’ts are no longer commissioning their ‘research’ and seeking their ‘opinion’ on which to base policy.

As Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame might have said – ‘It’s the Top Doctors. They don’t like it up ’em’.

 

There is one Top Doctor in particular who certainly doesn’t like it up ‘im – David Healy. I’ve been interested to note that since I reviewed his appearance on ‘Panorama’ the other day and observed that the voices of patients were noticeably absent from that programme and that whilst the Top Doctors scrap amongst themselves global capitalism continues to screw up healthcare, Healy has retweeted a couple of things. One was from a patient claiming to have ‘lived experience’ – the use of that phrase alone suggests that he falls into the category of a ‘professional service user’ (my neighbours don’t talk about ‘lived experience’ when they discuss their the local health services). Another retweet was from someone whom I have corresponded with, Finola Moss. Finola is a blogger who is doing some brilliant work exposing just how much money the Top Doctors who are involved with private psychiatric provision are now making. One company very much in Finola’s sight is Cygnet Healthcare and it was info relating to the billions that Cygnet is now raking in that Healy retweeted. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe. Kehoe was the ‘expert witness’ who lied in a report about me, Brown, my PhD supervisor and even my lawyer after we had all made representation regarding the criminal activities and negligence of the Hergest Unit. David Healy was one of those named on the documents submitted to Kehoe in evidence. I later discovered that Kehoe’s business partner had a personal connection to Healy’s colleague at the Hergest, Dr Tony Roberts.

A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions

I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago that I was about to begin reading Jack Straw’s autobiography, ‘Last Man Standing’. I finished it this morning and it was very much a case of the Ghost of Private Eyes Past – Straw talks about all the things that provided Eye readers with so much entertainment throughout the Blair and Brown years. Lord Levy, the Millennium Dome, Prezza assaulting a member of the public, Hans Blix searching for Saddam’s WMD down the back of the sofa, Lord Derry Irvine of the very expensive wallpaper, Charlie Falconer, the Hutton Report, it’s all there. Jack talks a lot about his friend Condi Rice and mentions many things that will remind everyone of why so many people cancelled their Labour Party membership during the Blair years. Jack seems to think that he’s dealing with these matters in a way that constructs them as positive, but he doesn’t manage that very successfully.

Jack’s interpretation of history is rather different than that of many other people. ASBOs ‘were a success’ – no Jack, ASBOs criminalised thousands of vulnerable people including children with mental health problems, autism and Tourettes, they were a disaster which is why they were abandoned. The return of Mandelson to Gov’t was a ‘positive’ move – no, that was the final straw (so to speak) for many of us – and best of all, Alistair Campbell was a man of ‘integrity’. Er, OK Jack, whatever you say. So what does Jack have to say about that rather difficult business involving the death of Dr David Kelly? Well, Dr Kelly ‘tragically died in July 2003’ but Jack doesn’t mention the circumstances. I seem to remember it had something to do with a dodgy dossier, the most enormous row with the BBC and the hounding and scapegoating of Dr Kelly – the root of all this being Alistair Campbell.

Jack is very scathing in his book about someone who stood for election against him on one occasion, even more scathing than he is about the BNP. Who was this candidate who pissed Jack off so much? It was Craig Murray, the former Ambassador for Uzbekistan. I went to listen to Craig Murray speak when he came to Bangor a few years ago and it was fascinating. Craig was of course famously withdrawn from his post in Uzbekistan and was subjected to much Gov’t criticism because he drank, partied and had some relationships with local women. But Craig did something else which was probably what really bothered the Foreign Office – he refused to shut up about the appalling human rights abuses happening in Uzbekistan, which included people being boiled alive. Craig was told that he was ‘over-focussed on human rights’ and was transported back to England where he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. During his lecture, Craig described how he was interrogated and subjected to extreme pressure by British officials and at one point he was told that all this was being done on the personal orders of Jack Straw, who was at the time Foreign Secretary….

There are plenty of pointers in Jack’s book to his slipperiness – for example whenever a scandal broke, whether it was on his watch as Home Secretary or later as Foreign Secretary, he always seemed to be conveniently due to leave the UK that very night and thus was at the airport or on the plane, so it was inevitably a case of ‘I know nuzzing…’ At the very beginning of his book, Jack revels in the fact that even as a young man who had done little more than work for the NUS he had already gained a reputation as a duplicitous git – he boasts that Barbara Castle gave him a job as her political advisor because of his ‘low down cunning’. People who read the comments section of my blog might have noticed that one of my correspondents has been mentioning that Barbara Castle, Jack Straw and Norman Warner were covering up terrible things happening to disabled people in the mid-70s – Jack speaks admiringly of Norman Warner in his book and obviously really rated him. Jack mentions that Norman became Lord Warner – it’s becoming a familiar scenario isn’t it…

Jack did of course cause a bit of a stir at one point by going public on his habit of asking fully veiled women visiting his surgery in Blackburn to remove their veils before they spoke to him. At the time that Straw did this, The Veil was becoming an issue, seemingly because people believed that the country was teaming with Muslim women concealing bombs beneath their burkas. Straw represents Blackburn, a constituency with a high proportion of Muslims and I suspect that he has sufficient knowledge to know that Daily Mail columnists’ prejudices rarely reflect reality. He’d represented Blackburn for decades, had a home there and no-one had ever tried to blow him up with weaponry concealed in Islamic dress. He also will have known that for some fully veiled women at least, asking them to remove their veil is like someone asking him to remove his trousers. Jack spoke out about another sensitive subject in his part of the world as well – the sexual grooming of young white girls by some Pakistani men. Fearless Jack asks ‘what’s the point of being in politics and not saying what you think about the difficult issues…’

So was Jack always frank about difficult issues?

One massively difficult issue that landed on Jack’s desk when he was Home Secretary was that of Thatcher’s friend General Pinochet. Pinochet had arrived in England, had tea with Thatcher and a few other old mates and then found himself under arrest because the Spanish Gov’t wanted him extradited to face trial for torture. Jack stressed that he really did think long and hard about this, it took him months and he wasn’t going to be swayed by anyone else’s opinion – indeed he refused to discuss the matter of the murdering old bastard with anyone else at all. Readers may remember that Pinochet wasn’t extradited because some Top Doctors came to his rescue and presented ‘expert’ evidence that Pinochet was incredibly frail and far too ill to stand trial. Pinochet flew home and was famously filmed landing in Chile, immediately getting up out of his wheelchair, happily walking towards his supporters and greeting them enthusiastically.  Jack was horrified! Pinochet had tricked the ‘system’! He was another Ernest Saunders, just when Jack had assured everyone that no way would he allow another scam like that! So whose advice had Jack relied upon – whilst he was refusing to discuss Pinochet’s case with anyone of course? For a start, that of the Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson.

Liam Donaldson wasn’t quite as successful as other Chief Medical Officers had been at pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes – although he did keep bollocking on about successfully achieving ‘patient empowerment’ – and he ended up resigning as a result of the ‘modernising medical careers’ disaster, which screwed up the job application process for thousands of junior doctors. Liam was of course no rebel – indeed when Liam was CMO Mid-Staffs was quietly brewing away and he didn’t put a stop to it, Harold Shipman was brewing away and he didn’t manage to catch that in time either and of course the Top Doctors in north Wales were doing the most appalling things (I note that Donaldson studied at Bristol Medical School at the same time as Dr D.G.E. Wood…). However Top Doctors do get very angry if their paths are crossed in even a minor way and the BMA turned on their own and went after Liam’s blood. One Dr Richard Marks, Head of Policy at the BMA, very obviously wanted Donaldson’s head on a plate and was greatly pleased when he got it. I am wondering if Richard Marks is a member of the high profile Marks medical family, which includes the former Chair of the BMA Dr John Marks and Professor Vincent Marks, whom I worked for at the University of Surrey – both of whom kept quiet about the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors in north Wales (see post ‘The BMA At The Root Of Another Mystery’). I bet he is, being a Top Doctor who reaches the highest echelons of the medical establishment does run in families. Obviously the superior genes…

Liam ‘oversaw’ the medical assessment of Pinochet. I have long wondered who actually provided the dishonest expert report which enabled a vicious dictator to return home and die peacefully of old age in luxury when the bodies of many of his victims had not yet been recovered. It is very difficult to access such info, because a lot of secrecy surrounds Top Doctors’ expert reports to Courts. Of course, Court cases are (usually) public and the expert reports can decide whether someone is imprisoned, banged up for life in a special hospital or allowed to go free immediately, but not any old Tom, Dick or Harry can read those reports or even find out the identity of the Top Doctors giving evidence. I had always intended to publish the packs of lies that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr James Earp and Dr Robert Kehoe wrote about me in their capacity as ‘expert witnesses’ to demonstrate what the Top Doctors are actually capable of, but before I began this blog I took legal advice and was told ‘sorry, you are not allowed to ‘reproduce’ their reports in any way’. But they can lie about me… So I have just provided as many details about them as I am legally allowed on the blog. My friends have of course all read the reports and were suitably wowed by the lack of integrity of the Top Doctors who put their names to those documents.

However Jack’s book reveals the name of the Top Doctor who was so helpful to Pinochet! It was Sir John Grimley Evans, who is now Emeritus Professor at Oxford University. After Pinochet made his spectacular recovery as soon as he touched Chilean soil and the shit hit the fan, John Grimley Evans tried to shoulder the blame onto Straw, quibbling over the use of one word in his report. The uproar didn’t harm the long term prospects of dear old Sir John though – in 2005 Parliament still thought highly enough of him to receive written evidence from him for the Select Committee On Science and Technology regarding quality of life in old age. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and between 1999-2014 was listed as a Director of St Luke’s Hospital Oxford, which seems to be a care home. But there’s also a passing reference in Straw’s book to the ‘team’ of medical officers working for the Home Office who were employed on the Pinochet case! So there was Jack, John Grimley Evans and a team of Top Doctors – how did they all manage to get it so wrong?

I remember the case of Pinochet like it was yesterday, because by that time I had discovered how dishonest Dr Dafydd Alun Jones regularly was in his Court reports and I had shared this information with another Hergest patient who had also been stung by Dafydd. This patient entertained himself by ringing Dafydd whilst pretending to be calling from the Spanish embassy to ask Dafydd if he’d certify Pinochet fit for trial. Little did I know that that they might as well have asked Dafydd, his opinion would have been worth about as much as that of Straw, Evans and the Home Office medical officers.

The thing about poor old Jack and his claimed ignorance regarding the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors is that it doesn’t quite add up, whether it’s his Gov’ts lack of nous concerning the growing shit-storm at Mid-Staffs – or Top Docs concealing paedophile rings – or Pinochet’s health assessment. For a start Jack’s daughter Charlotte was a medical student and is now a Top Doctor herself. (Charlotte raised money for Cancer Research UK recently and requested donations to enable the noble scientists and Top Doctors at Cancer Research UK to find a ‘cure’. For  snapshot of what goes on at Cancer Research UK, see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’.) But Jack was very close indeed to someone who really will have known all about the Top Doctors and could have also found him a reliable expert witness to give an opinion on Pinochet – his wife Alice. Alice was a mandarin in the Dept of Health! Furthermore, Jack reveals that in 1997-8 Alice was a senior civil servant in the Treasury working for Gordon Brown, but shortly afterwards was appointed Director General in the DoH! Pinochet was flown back home in in 2000. Come on Alice – why didn’t you tell Jack? Ooh and why didn’t you explain to Jack that where grooming young people in care is concerned it really is not only Pakistani men up to no good – it wasn’t Pakistani men ‘grooming’ (ie. raping and trafficking) the kids in north Wales, it was the social services who were being assisted by the Top Doctors! And once those kids had been beaten into submission and were agreeing to have sex with anyone who asked, they were taken off down to London to have sex with folk in Westminster! Jack claimed to be clamping down on people trafficking in 2000…

Alice is not the only person who might have been able to enlighten Jack re child abuse/the use of psychiatry to conceal such abuse – that is if he didn’t already know something about it from his time working with Barbara Castle and Norman Warner in the DHSS between 1974-76. Jack’s early forays into politics were as a Councillor in Islington – which had a serious problem with a paedophile ring in it’s children’s homes. Jack was also a member of the notorious ILEA between 1971-74 and was Deputy Leader of ILEA 1973-74. Jack is not afraid to level criticism at ILEA in his book – he tells us that he knew that standards in inner London schools were often unacceptably low. There were close links between ILEA, the GLC and the London Councils – those Councils whose children’s services had been infiltrated by paedophiles.

Jack’s work on London Councils and with ILEA resulted in him rubbing noses with an awful lot of people who will have known about the paedophiles running riot in the children’s homes – because those buddies of Jack’s were running those Councils. Jack makes reference in his book to someone whom he admires greatly, the ‘inestimable’ Valerie Amos. Valerie is now Baroness Amos, but long ago at the dawn of time Valerie worked for Lambeth Borough Council – which had a child abuse problem among it’s children in care as big as that in Islington or in north Wales. Indeed, children from Lambeth were also sent up to homes in north Wales where they were molested. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association from Lambeth are publishing their own accounts of the abuse to which they were subjected, so fed up are they of Gov’t investigations going nowhere. Lambeth Council has paid out millions in compensation to children who were abused in it’s care and it accepts that it will be paying out much more. As in Islington and north Wales, the Council was told what was happening to those kids but the Council let it continue. Amos describes her work with Lambeth as one of her ‘career achievements’ – others include her work with Camden Council and Hackney. Camden – she’ll know this blog’s old friends Tessa Jowell (see posts ‘The London Connection’ and ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’) and John Mills (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) then! Like so many people who worked for or ran those London Councils in the 70s and 80s whilst paedophiles ran riot in the children’s services, Valerie used her ‘work’ on ‘equality and diversity’ with those councils as a springboard into a career in ‘equalities and diversity’ boosted by New Labour.

Between 1989-94 Valerie was Chief Exec of the Equal Opportunities Commission. In 1995 she formed Amos Fraser Bernard and was an advisor to the South African Gov’t on public service reform, human rights and employment equity. In August 1997 she was made a life peer and became the Secretary for International Development in Blair’s Cabinet. Amos acquired this position after Clare Short resigned. (Straw is incredibly rude about Clare Short in his book – did she have a few too many principles for you then Jack? Clare Short was not one for turning a blind eye as the shit that gathered under Blair mounted up.) In 2003 Amos took over as Leader of the Lords when the previous Leader, Lord Williams Of Mostyn, died. Jack liked him. Lord Williams of Mostyn featured in my post ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ – he defended Gordon Anglesea after Gordon Anglesea sued Private Eye after the Eye accused him of molesting boys in children’s homes in north Wales. Anglesea won the case and shortly after the trial Mark Humphreys, the young man whom had given evidence that Anglesea had abused him, was found dead. Last year Gordon Anglesea was convicted of abusing boys in north Wales children’s homes and imprisoned. Valerie – standing on the shoulders of greats! Indeed, it was onwards and upwards.

Although Valerie left the Cabinet when Gordon Brown became PM, her stellar career didn’t stop. In 2007 she became a Director of Travant Capital Partners, a Nigerian private equity firm. Poor old Valerie ended up mired in allegations of corruption when it was revealed that Travant Capital had received £15 million from DFID, the Gov’t Dept that she used to lead.  In his book ‘Catholic Orangemen of Tongo’, Straw’s nemesis Craig Murray claims that he was told by a Director of Travant that the company ‘had access to DFID funds because Baroness Amos was a Director’.

In 2007 Amos also became the EU’s representative to the African Union. In 2010 she was appointed Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-Ordination.

In addition to these plum appointments, Valerie has had numerous others – she was the British High Commissioner to Australia and in 2015 she was appointed Director of SOAS (University of London). She was the Deputy Chair of the Runnymede Trust 1990-98, a Trustee of the IPPR, was involved with project Hope (an NGO promoting healthcare), was a Trustee of VSO and was a Director of Hampstead Theatre. Guess what else? In Sept 2008 Amos Chaired the GMC’s Equality and Diversity Forum! She has also been a non-executive director of University College London Hospitals Trust and between 1994-98 she was Chair of the Board of Governors at the Royal College of Nursing Institute.

So like so many who have been closely associated with organisations in which children were sexually abused and exploited, Valerie Amos is a good friend of the Top Doctors and Angels. A number of people have noticed that throughout her career in the higher echelons of public life, Valerie Amos has not been democratically elected to one position, they were all ‘appointments’. Well considering that Lambeth Borough Council oversaw the worst excesses of child abuse and ended up in such a financial mess that many of it’s Councillors were banned from office, I very much doubt that anybody would vote for anyone who had played a key role in that Council.

 

Jack’s book mentions a close colleague of his who also knew all about the shortcomings of Lambeth Borough Council who has starred on this blog recently – Paul Boateng (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng And Tessa Jowell’). I have mentioned before that Paul’s wife Janet is a former Lambeth social worker. I have now read a bit more about the Tyra Henry case and Janet was involved up to her eye-balls. Tyra was a 22 month old girl who was murdered by her father Andrew in 1984. The case gained massive publicity because of the severe cruelty involved and the gross failings of Lambeth Borough Council. Tyra died two days after she had been left at a London hospital under a false name. She had suffered extreme physical abuse and there were 52 bite marks on her body. It transpired that her injuries had been inflicted by her father – Tyra had been allowed to live with him after he was released from prison, although there had previously been a decision not to allow this to happen. Before Tyra’s birth, her father had already assaulted her six month old brother, who was left blind and permanently brain damaged as a result of the attack – he was in care.  The Inquiry into Tyra’s death was led by Stephen Sedley QC – a colleague of Michael Mansfield and one of that generation of radical lawyers who did take on cases against the British state but who never seemed to be as outspoken as one would have expected about cases of abuse of children in care or the abuse of people in the mental health system.

In 1984 the Chair of Lambeth’s Social Services Committee was Janet Boateng. The Vice-Chair was Stephen Bubb. The aftermath of Tyra’s murder caused a massive rift between the Lambeth Councillors and the social workers employed by the Council (Janet of course had been in both positions.)  The Councillors and social workers both blamed each other for the dreadful state of the children’s services in Lambeth. It is reflective of the concerns of Lambeth Council at the time that the blame game wasn’t played out in terms of allegations of incompetence – it involved allegations of racism. Black Councillors maintained that white social workers were unable to work appropriately with black families and the white social workers made counter-allegations of not receiving ‘training’ and ‘support’ to work with black families. Where this left Janet Boateng who was black, a Councillor, Chairman of the Social Services Committee but had also worked as a social worker in the same Borough I do not know. I do know that it is ironic that the chaos and tragedy that presided in this Borough launched the careers of a group of people like Boateng and Amos, who were then lauded and honoured for their ‘services’ to equality and diversity. Amos’s biography is littered with references to her ‘firsts’ – the first black woman Cabinet Minister, the first black woman to become head of a UK university, one of the most influential black people in the UK etc. Whilst Amos and co played identity politics a little black girl was murdered – Tyra is not mentioned anywhere in the extensive guff about Lady Boateng or Lady Amos that is so readily available.

What was the fate of Boateng’s Vice-Chair, Stephen Bubb – a white man? Like the Ladies of Lambeth, Bubb has thrived. He is now Sir Stephen Bubb, Director of ‘Charity Futures’. His knighthood was awarded in 2011 for ‘services to the voluntary sector’.

Bubb describes himself as ‘influential in both the Labour and Conservative Parties’ with his ‘longstanding advocacy of charities replacing public services chiming with both parties’ policy of promoting competition and choice in areas such as healthcare’. Bubb has a website, ‘Bubb’s Blog’, and a recent post sees Bubb fuming angrily that the present Gov’t is ignoring the charity sector. I think that’s because of the embarrassment that was ‘Kid’s Company’ Stephen, it was a rather disillusioning process for those who promoted the idea of the ‘Big Society’. Bubb’s determined to ram his message home though, he’s very busy indeed working hard lobbying for the Third Sector. ‘Bubb’s Blog’ is currently hosting a ‘guest post’ by Henry Brook who is on ‘work experience’ with Bubb. Henry waxes lyrical about the global possibilities for the Third Sector and mentions that there’s a lot of wealthy people in China although Africa is still a bit too poor to participate in the jamboree.

Bubb is certainly a man who’s been on a political journey and who’ll work with anyone. In 1976 he was a research officer for the TGWU’s Jack Jones. In 1980 he was a negotiations officer for the NUT. Then there were his glorious achievements at Lambeth – Labour Party Member for Lambeth Borough Council from 1982 and Chief Whip to the Labour Group. In 1987 he was Lead Advisor concerning pay negotiations to the Association of Metropolitan Authorities (both Tessa Jowell and John Mills had positions on this body as well). In 1995 Stephen was Director of Personnel for the National Lottery Charity Board. Between 2000-06 he was Chief Exec for  ACEVO, the Association of Chief Execs of Voluntary Organisations. Since 2006 Stephen has been Chairman of the Adventure Capital Fund, a ‘social enterprise’ now administering ‘Communitybuilders’. He was Chairman of ‘Futurebuilders England’ in 2008. He founded ‘Charity Futures’ to ‘investigate the challenges to and provide support for the Third Sector for the next generation’ (does that translate as ‘my kids need a job now as well?’). In 2011 he was seconded to the Dept of Health as part of Andrew Lansley’s NHS ‘listening exercise’.

I haven’t actually researched all these different Third Sector organisations that Bubb has created – I know that’s remiss of me, but I suspect that I know what I will find. A very big gravy train, the passengers upon which will be other folk like Bubb, former Councillors from disastrous 80s Councils who did really well for themselves once Blair became PM and are still prospering as no-one dares mention the phrase ‘The King’s New Clothes’ now that they have been given gongs and been put in charge of so many things. Bubb became notorious for defending big salaries in the charity sector – he was paid in excess of £100k pa at ACEVO. ‘Bubb’s Blog’ tells us that he is ‘globally recognised’ and provides ‘strategic advice to Governments and businesses usually at Prime Minister, Minister, Mayor and Chairman level’. Bubb is Secretary General of the ‘European Third Sector Leaders Network’, which was ‘founded through his passion and drive’.

So what brought this globally-recognised-advisor-to-Prime Ministers’ career in local government to an end back in the 80s then? Lambeth Borough Council was one of the councils that refused to set a rate during the rate capping row with Margaret Thatcher’s Gov’t. Therefore the Councillors were surcharged for causing the Council financial loss through wilful misconduct. They were sacked and disqualified from office in 1986. Not that it held Stephen back from sitting in judgement on others – between 1980 and 2000 he served as a Youth Court Magistrate in Inner London.

Bubb has also dabbled with the Top Doctors – he was a member of the Local Health Boards of Guy’s Hospital and St Tommy’s Hospital.

Bubb found himself in the spotlight in 2013 when he held his 60th birthday party. I wouldn’t have thought that a birthday party could cause a diplomatic incident, but Bubb held a bash at the House of Lords with a number of cabinet ministers, Baronesses, media folk and charity leaders. They all had a great time and went back to Stephen’s place afterwards for champagne and fireworks. Stephen was particularly chuffed to receive a birthday card from Tony and Cherie. It was subsequently revealed that Stephen’s party had cost a great deal of money and that the bill had been footed not entirely by Stephen – although he is a very well-paid man – but partly by ACEVO. When questioned, ACEVO maintained that it was money well-spent because the party was ‘part of it’s [ACEVO’s] on-going work in building stakeholder relationships’.

The guest who made the welcoming speech at Stephen’s party – that was partly funded by people who were duped into believing that they were supporting charitable work – was Baroness Hayter. Dianne Hayter is the Deputy Leader of the Lords and is described as a ‘powerful advocate’ for the Third Sector. She is an old friend of Stephen’s from their Young Fabians days and was a founder member of ACEVO herself, whilst she was Director of ‘Alcohol Concern’. Bet she’s a mate of Tony and Cherie’s as well. Dianne is married to Professor David Caplin who works at Imperial College. David Caplin is a physicist – perhaps they have a bit more integrity than the Top Doctors at Imperial.

Whilst trumpeting the wonders of the Third Sector, Stephen tells us on his blog that ‘state provision often neglects the consumer or beneficiary’. That Stephen is because it was so often run by people like you and Janet Boateng – you neglected the beneficiary to such an extent that a little girl was murdered and even then you tried to tart it up as a race relations problem. The charity sector is now blighted with exactly the same problems as the state sector – because you lot have now moved in and colonised that. Stephen mentions on his blog that ‘more than a third of mental health services are provided by charities’. Yes and the leading story on all the news programmes today has been the scandalous state of the nation’s mental health services. This morning it was revealed that thousands of mental health patients are spending YEARS in hospital after they have been deemed to be fit for discharge because there is no accommodation for them and at lunchtime it was reported that Sir James Munby, the head of the Family Court, has been unable to find suitable psychiatric care for a suicidal teenaged girl. Munby has sated that if care for her cannot be found ‘society will have blood on it’s hands’. You obviously haven’t noticed Sir James – society has been awash with the blood of the mentally ill for decades. And you’ve only just woken up to it. No doubt Paul Farmer and Marjorie Wallace will pop up on the ‘Today’ programme tomorrow to give us all a lecture about the horrors of people remaining in hospital for years because of a lack of accommodation. Well why haven’t they mentioned it before? The rest of us knew that it was happening – in fact I e mailed a number of politicians about this some three years ago….

 

Many years ago a book was published called something like ‘The Court of The Blairs’ which was an account of some of the rather shallow, dysfunctional people lining their own nests who surrounded Tony and Cherie. Valerie Amos, Janet Boateng and Stephen Bubb are pretty good examples of the outer circle. (Blair’s inner circle was comprised of the likes of Silvio of course…)

 

Somebody else who might be able to enlighten us all regarding what was going on in Lambeth at the time of Tyra’s murder is a man whose name crops up in reports of the case from that time – the Chair of the British Association of Social Workers Southwark, John Wheeler. John Wheeler is now based in the north east of England – I suspect like some others who were previously associated with Lambeth, he’s air-brushed that bit out of his CV – and doubles up as ‘John Wheeler Solutions Ltd’. He has a website that bangs on about him having experience in ‘solution focussed’ practice and expertise in ‘training and development’. The site mentions his ‘thirty years experience as a social worker/family therapist’ and tells us that he has ‘co-developed a model for complex child protection issues’. Wheeler is a visiting lecturer in solution focussed practice, systemic practice and narrative therapy at the following Universities: Northumbria, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Teeside. He teaches on the following courses: social work, psychology nursing, systemic practice and child protection.

John has published too – in ‘Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry’, on brief solution focussed therapy. The Hergest Unit used to offer that – Brown observed that it will certainly be brief but there won’t be many solutions. There weren’t many solutions for the therapist either. He was a nurse with a PhD who had been told by the North West Wales NHS Trust to pass himself off as a clinical psychologist. One of the many patients whom the Hergest Unit tried to frame for a crime that she didn’t commit found out about this and complained. The therapist was subsequently sacked – not for false representation, because the Trust had forced him into that, but for allegedly having a relationship with a patient. The therapist knew a friend of mine and his story was that he had actually only begun a relationship with the patient a year after she had been discharged after meeting her again at a party. But Ysbyty Gwynedd were smarting with embarrassment that they’d been caught misrepresenting the status and qualifications of their staff, so he was the scapegoat.

Like the esteemed Professors Poole and Robinson of Bangor University, John Wheeler has been paying visits to India to dispense his pearls of wisdom. He’s also been popping over to Poland to show them how it’s done. John’s website is advertising an ‘online certificate of competence’. He has helpfully provided diagrams and instructions concerning how to fold and read your certificate of competence if you’re too incompetent to work out how to do it.

I really do recommend a visit to John’s website. It can be summed up by one phrase – ‘Clare In The Community’.

John’s website doesn’t only detail his expertise regarding focussing on solutions. He plays in a ceilidh band and also recommends singing as a way to deal with stress and to bond with other people.

One has to be careful if one’s a service user and one does a bit of singing though. Some years ago there was a young man who was a patient at the Hergest Unit – he suffered from bouts of severe depression – who had two young children. His first baby was a girl and he was delighted – a couple of years later his wife became pregnant again and this time he thought that it would be really great if they could have a boy, one of each. His wife gave birth to a little boy and the day after the birth, this young man took his little girl for a walk in Snowdonia. He was so happy about the birth of his second child that he was singing. He was stopped by a policeman and interrogated regarding who the little girl with him was – on the grounds that he might not be suitable to be responsible for a little girl, what with him being a singing service user. The incident caused quite a furore, because his fuming wife contacted the local media. Both she and her husband gave interviews regarding the idiocy of a young father being stopped by the police because he was singing in the woods. About ten years after this incident, the young man sadly became ill with depression again and killed himself. I knew his wife – she told me that it was heartbreaking, both she and he knew that he was becoming very depressed again but they didn’t know why. There was no help forthcoming from the Hergest Unit – by this time the day centre had been closed and Alun Davies et al had just about destroyed ‘the service’ completely. But at least north Wales was crawling with those experts in suicide prevention that I have previously blogged about and dear old David Healy was making regular media appearances.

Someone else whom Jack Straw will know who has knowledge of the insanity at Lambeth is Lord Herman Ouseley, the former Chair and Chief Exec of the Commission for Racial Equality 1993-2000.  Before he made his career in ‘equality and diversity’, Herman was Chief Exec of ILEA and Chief Exec of Lambeth! (Herman has removed all references to Lambeth from his wiki entry, but he was very much there.) Herman has been at the ‘forefront of challenging institutional racism in organisations’. Like so many of his contemporaries who were involved in running the car crash at Lambeth, Herman is now a management consultant advising on equality and diversity issues. It was Herman who introduced Paul Boateng, husband of Janet, to the Lords when Boateng was given a peerage.

Following hot on the heels of Herman as the Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality was Gurbux Singh. Sing hadn’t worked for Lambeth but he had been just about everywhere else that managed to disgrace itself in the 1980s – the GLC, Hackney, Brent and Haringey. Gurbux ended up as Chief Exec of Haringey Council and he was there at the time that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones rang them up to have a word with them about me when Dafydd discovered that I would be living there after I left the North Wales Hospital Denbigh! Gurbux – how did you know a crazed old bugger in north Wales who was concealing a paedophile ring? Gurbux was a member of Jack Straw’s Race Relations Forum when Straw was Home Secretary and was also an advisor to the Association of London Government and a member of our old friend the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. No doubt Gurbux would have been elevated to the Lords by Blair as well if only he hadn’t come unstuck at a cricket match in 2002 by getting pissed, threatening a policeman and getting himself arrested. The incident caused him to resign from the CRE. This wasn’t because of the drunkenness or the arrest, it was because Singh told the policeman that he (Singh) knew Ian Blair the Deputy Commissioner of the Met – now Lord Blair, a big mate of another man called Blair – and would have the policeman sacked.

Yet another old lag who made a career out of her ‘expertise’ in equality and diversity was Judith Hunt. Judith used to edit the GLC magazine ‘Equalities’. Judith is now Judith Hunt OBE and runs an outfit called ‘Judith Hunt Associates Ltd’. She is of course an ‘executive coach’ and ‘consultant’ ‘working across the sectors’ dispensing advice on ‘diversity and equalities’. She is a Board Member for Transport for London and a Member of the Audit Committee there.

Judith’s previous positions include: National Officer and Assistant General Secretary of ‘a national trade union’ (she doesn’t say which one, so presumably there’s been a bit of trouble there); Director of Personnel at the GLC; Chief Exec at London Borough of Ealing for 7 years; Chief Exec of Local Gov’t Management Board 1993-99; Chair of Camden and Islington Health Authority 2000-02; Chair, London Health Observatory 2002-06.

Come on Judith, with a CV like that you’ll have known something about the abuse of children and the associated cover-up by the Top Doctors.

Judith was a Board Member of the CPS, 2002-05. The CPS that could not explain why it did not prosecute Greville Janner and numerous other high profile child abusers – including the dozens in north Wales against whom there was substantial evidence. Judith is now a non-executive director of the CPS and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. She has contributed to the delivery of the CPS Diversities strategy.

Judith has also contributed to the Civil Service Commission and the ESRC Research Priorities Board – so that’s why the ESRC does what it’s told by the Gov’t, even when the agenda is obviously so lame!

People actually pay Judith for her advice – including the NHS and Dept of Health.

The website of ‘Judith Hunt Associates Ltd’ is well worth a visit as they used to say on ‘Blue Peter’, because one can click on the various people who assist in her consultancy. They are all as equally vacuous as Judith and use very similar phrases to describe their work, phrases which are actually meaningless. Judith curiously claims to carry out ‘health checks’. Which is seriously weird, because I don’t think that she’s a Top Doctor, even if the NHS and DoH are wasting good money on her ‘advice’.

Another former leader of Lambeth (1986-88) who could answer a few questions is Linda Bellos – she too is now a management consultant, ‘Linda Bellos Associates’ – in equalities and diversity, although Linda specialises in LGBT issues. Linda was one of the Lambeth Councillors who resigned over the rate capping saga – and I think that she was the leader when the Council finally imploded. Linda has advised the British Army, the Met, the CPS and the Association of Chief Police Officers!

 

So there we have it, a bunch of people who ran the most dangerous, chaotic Councils in England – whose children’s services were pervaded by paedophiles – many of whom ended up being disqualified from office and who effectively bankrupted their authorities. Who better for Blair to elevate to the Lords and appoint to lead Gov’t Commissions, advise the NHS, the police, the CPS etc on ‘equality’? It was after all only the most disadvantaged children in the country who suffered and died in the ‘services’ that they ran.

There are two other people who might be able to answer questions as well, although they are not friends of Tony and Cherie. One is Ted Knight, who was leader of Lambeth Borough Council from 1978. Ted was disqualified from office but for many years remained active in Unite. However, when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, Ted announced his re-entry into politics and he’s now busy in Lambeth once more. The other is a man called John McDonnell, who was involved in the GLC and hung around a lot with Ted and co. This John McDonnell will know something. I wonder where he is now…

 

NB. I heard on the news earlier that Rogue Top Doctor Ian Paterson has had his prison sentence increased. The judge who increased it made a speech about a shocking breach of trust, how could any Top Doctor ever behave in such a way etc etc. I’ve got news for Lady Justice Hallett – plenty of them are capable of doing so. After all I’ve got 10,000 documents showing that scores of them concealed a paedophile ring and tried to have me imprisoned by perjuring themselves. No doubt when Paterson is eventually released, the GMC will put him back on the register and double his pension pot to compensate for his lost earnings whilst he was inside. There has also been a GP in east London arrested for numerous sexual assaults on patients. Is that the sound of loud snoring that I can still hear coming from the direction of north Wales?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, August 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

A Prescription For Murder?

I’ve just returned from holiday today and I found an e mail informing me that a star of this blog, Dr David Healy, appeared on a ‘Panorama’ programme, ‘A Prescription For Murder’, a few days ago. Naturally I watched the programme on catch-up.

Healy was doing pretty much what I thought that he would be doing – he was appearing in the guise of an ‘expert’, proffering his opinion that the consumption of a prescribed SSRI had caused someone to commit mass murder. The case featured in the programme was that of James Holmes, the PhD student from the University of Colorado who gunned down a load of people in a cinema a few years ago during a screening of a ‘Batman’ film. Healy went over to meet Holmes in prison after the murders and was happy to inform ‘Panorama’ that he definitely attributed Holmes’s killing spree to his use of the SSRI sertraline. Healy was not called to give evidence at Holmes’s trial – it was not explained why not – and Holmes’s plea of insanity was rejected by the jury. Holmes is now serving a sentence of thousands of years, one of those sentences that are sometimes handed down by American courts although everybody is well aware that no-one would ever live long enough to serve the sentence. A number of other ‘experts’ were featured on the programme as well. One was a psychiatrist who maintained that Holmes committed the murders because he was mentally ill and that his crimes were completely unrelated to sertraline, another pursued an argument that Holmes’s use of sertraline had disinhibited him sufficiently to commit the crimes and a Prof Peter Tyrer took the same line as Healy, ie. that sertraline was definitely responsible for causing Holmes to commit the murders. Holmes himself stated that he believed that sertraline caused him to commit the crimes.

Much of the programme was spent discussing Holmes’s alleged mental state, both before he got anywhere near murdering anyone and then in the weeks and days leading up to the murders. We heard much about his ‘social anxiety’ (presumably this meant that he was shy) his failure to embark upon a relationship with a woman until a relatively late age (he wasn’t 80 though, he must have been in his early or mid 20s) and his pursuit of a PhD in neuroscience because he knew that he was a bit messed up. Upon taking sertraline, he dyed his hair red, took some selfies whilst wearing coloured contact lenses and then began keeping notes which allegedly detailed his disintegrating psyche until the day that he gunned a load of people down. None of this was really very convincing. Scores of young men are shy and many people do not enter into sexual relationships until their twenties. Dying one’s hair really is not a sign of being unhinged (I had pink hair for a few years and I was always interested to note how many people told me that it was because I was bipolar – no, it was because I really liked having pink hair) and neither is wearing coloured contact lenses or taking selfies whilst gurning. As for doing a PhD in neuroscience – yes, it is very obvious that a lot of people who enter what Nikolas Rose calls the psy disciplines seem to do so in the hope of tackling their own problems (one look around the School of Psychology at Bangor University or indeed the Hergest Unit where Healy himself works will confirm that), but doing a PhD in neuroscience will have meant that James Holmes almost certainly had been exposed to the work of Healy and co who maintain that SSRIs can precipitate aggressive outbursts. So James Holmes might have been a young man with problems who then lost it completely after taking sertraline – or he might possibly have been someone who for reasons best known to himself was planning a massacre and thought that if he kept detailed notes documenting his own deteriorating mental state for a few weeks, notes that were consistent with the ideas of people who believe that SSRIs can cause violent outbursts, he might escape jail on a plea of insanity, especially if he could wheel out someone like David Healy as an expert witness. Healy’s views on SSRIs are well-known and he has held them for a very long time – a neuroscience PhD student would have to be a pretty poor student not to know about them.

The evidence presented on ‘Panorama’ was in no way sufficient to convince a viewer of anything really – Holmes might have been mentally ill or he might not; he might have reacted badly to sertraline or the changes in his mental state – if indeed there were any changes – might have been precipitated by something else. He might have suddenly developed a desire to make copious notes charting his mental state or this might have been a calculated action designed to enable him to produce those notes as ‘proof’ in the aftermath of a crime that he was planning. I am not aware that anyone has yet shown a statistical relationship between dying one’s hair, wearing contact lenses, taking selfies and murder.

So what we have to rely on here is the expertise and integrity of the experts – Healy and Tyrer. Can Healy and Tyrer’s expertise and integrity be relied upon?

My post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’ (as well as other associated posts) gives an account of some of the rampant research fraud and bad practice that I witnessed at the Hergest Unit in the early and mid-1990s when Healy et al claimed to be participating in cutting edge research. Healy’s blog makes reference to Nobel prize winners no less visiting the Hergest Unit. Er no, I never saw a Nobel prize winner there. I saw a bunch of utterly unscrupulous psychiatrists and their colleagues who were neglecting and abusing patients and some of those people were colluding with and even facilitating a paedophile ring that was known to be operating through the social services dept that employed some of that lot attending the ‘research seminars’. There was one high profile cutting edge researcher who did visit the Hergest Unit and that was Marius Romme, the psychiatrist who pioneered work on hearing voices. Marius Romme was working with Dr Phil Thomas who left the Hergest Unit a few years later.

Phil Thomas is the only member of staff who worked at the Hergest Unit at that time whose name does not appear on the documents now in my possession demonstrating that staff at the Hergest Unit were going to great lengths to have me prosecuted for crimes that they knew that I had not committed or declared dangerous and banged up without trial. The names of everybody else appears on those documents at some point – including Healy. Healy’s contribution was to order the staff to call the police and have me arrested if I approached the Hergest Unit for assistance. Healy was not my consultant and I did not know about the existence of this document until my lawyers retrieved it a few years later. Last year I e mailed dear old Healy via his blog to ask him to explain his actions, but I did not receive a reply. I know of another Hergest patient who was arrested on the orders of David Healy after this patient rang the Unit and told a nurse that he was so suicidal that he felt like chopping a gas pipe. He was taken to Walton Prison where he spent some weeks although he was never found guilty of any offence. David the radical!

During the ‘Panorama’ programme, Healy admitted that he sometimes prescribes SSRIs. However he stressed that if one sees unfortunate side-effects developing, one should stop increasing the dose immediately. The Hergest patient whom Healy had arrested for feeling like chopping a gas pipe was some years ago on SSRIs. Now this man believes, like Healy, that SSRIs CAN precipitate violence and aggression. He believes this because whilst he was in the Hergest Unit, after being prescribed SSRIs, he felt a level of aggression that he had never previously experienced and he threw a wardrobe across the room. He told his consultant psychiatrist – one of Healy’s colleagues – who told him not to be so ridiculous, of course it was nothing to do with the SSRIs. That particular consultant had attended all those research seminars with the putative Nobel prize winners. The same patient was prescribed SSRIs again a few years later. The prescribing psychiatrist continually increased the dose until the patient became so worried that he sought out information about the therapeutic levels of the SSRI concerned. He had been prescribed three times the maximum therapeutic dose. The prescribing psychiatrist was Richard Tranter, Healy’s friend and protégé, who like Healy is an ‘expert’ in psychopharmacology. But then Tranter prescribed me a combination of drugs some six years ago that was neurotoxic. I didn’t take them which made Tranter very cross but it probably kept me alive. A prescription for murder anyone?

Of course, Healy cannot be held responsible for the actions of his colleagues – although some of those actions of some of those colleagues have involved such serious negligence, malpractice and criminality that if Healy was anything like the public image that he trades on he’d have shopped them to the GMC or even the police by now. However, although Healy cheerily jets off around the world to dispense his words of wisdom to patients having problems with SSRIs when they have been prescribed by people unconnected with his colleagues, I’m wondering if he takes a rather different view if the problems erupt closer to home.

Some years ago I lived on a hill farm in Snowdonia with a farming family who had let out a caravan to a rather quiet man who told us all that he was involved in psychological research, although he didn’t seem to be attached to any university. The grandson of the farming family had a pet sheepdog, Rex. One day with no warning at all, the man in the caravan walked over to Rex with a carving knife and stabbed him to death. The farmer’s wife was the only person at home and was terrified, locked herself in the house, rang her husband and then me. By the time that we had all got back to the farm the man who killed Rex had been arrested by the police and was in custody. Later that night the police sent a message to the farmers saying that the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – the team attached to the Hergest Unit where Healy works – had ‘assessed’ the killer of Rex and had deemed him not to be mentally ill. So he had appeared in court and had been bailed – but he had fled the area because some animal rights activists were after his blood. Over the following few days we found out that he was actually a psychiatric nurse himself who had left his post after becoming ill and had been prescribed SSRIs by a GP in Caernarfon. A few weeks later he pleaded guilty to killing Rex and received a suspended sentence – he had left the area completely by then.

Some two years later I read an article in I think the ‘Guardian’ – it was by him. He explained in the article that he believed that it was the SSRIs that had caused him to kill Rex and he had set up a website discussing the danger that he believed SSRIs posed. I visited the website and I noticed that the man concerned had consulted ‘a world expert’ on SSRIs, one David Healy. But Healy had told him that he really couldn’t be certain whether it was the SSRIs that had caused him to kill Rex. The other thing that was mentioned on the website was that the Arfon Community Mental Health Team had broken the law when conducting their ‘assessment’. (This will surprise no-one with knowledge of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team.) This man knew this because he was a mental health nurse himself and he knew the appropriate procedures for assessing someone in those circumstances. Judging from that website, I don’t think that the man who killed Rex realised that his world famous expert was a colleague of the Arfon Team. But I bet Healy noticed that they’d broken the law when he reviewed the case. (Healy certainly knew all about the misconduct of the Arfon Team – they were of course some of the people attending the research seminars where Nobel prize winners did not make an appearance.)

So when Healy was confronted with the wrongdoing of his colleagues, as ever he remained silent – and he also concluded that the prescription of SSRIs had not caused the tragedy. If Rex and his killer had been living in America would Healy’s conclusions have been different perhaps?

During the ‘Panorama’ programme, they gave a plug for a previous ‘Panorama’ investigation into SSRIs – which again relied upon the expert opinion of David Healy. That was in 2002. Rex was killed in 2002. David Healy ordered staff to have me arrested rather than agree to treat me in 2002. In 2002 so many people were committing suicide in north west Wales that it showed up as a statistical outlier in UK figures. In 2002, despite Healy’s best intentions, I was eventually admitted to the Hergest Unit with depression. Whilst I was there I was assaulted by the staff and told by Healy’s colleague Dr Tony Roberts that I didn’t have a mood disorder, I had a ‘personality disorder’. I was discharged and refused further treatment – and was arrested for ‘threatening to kill’ a manager, when what I had actually done was tell his secretary, on the phone, that he was a fat idiot. The case circulated around the Courts for two years whilst numerous staff at the Hergest Unit perjured themselves (see post ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal System’). I was eventually convicted of calling the manager a fat idiot. There was never an investigation into my assault at the hands of Hergest staff or the perjury. Last year I found out that after the case a certificate of indictment had been forged stating that I’d been convicted of ‘violent disorder’ (see post ‘An Update On Those Legal Conundrums’). I am still waiting for the legal dept of the North Wales Police to sort it out. In the wake of the abuse and neglect that I was subjected to at the hands of the Hergest Unit, I complained to the GMC about Dr Tony Roberts. Last year I discovered that the GMC were in possession of a forged document which they had used to ‘investigate’ my complaint against Roberts and subsequently clear him (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’). I complained about another Hergest psychiatrist at the same time, a man who was my former neighbour so should never have been involved in my case and whom I knew to be suffering from a mental illness himself and to be violently assaulting his wife. I was branded as making ‘outrageous allegations’ and no action was taken against this doctor. He was later removed from the Medical Register after beating up his wife so badly that she was sectioned as a result of her own distress and his children were taken into care as a result of severe neglect.

So that’s what was happening on David’s doorstep in 2002 as he appeared on ‘Panorama’ as their expert. In 2002 people in north west Wales were openly talking about the chaos and neglect at the Hergest Unit and the hatred between the consultants there. GPs had started doing just about anything to avoid referring patients to the Unit and were privately conceding that the Unit was unsafe. One long-serving consultant, Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) had recently taken early retirement after open warfare with his colleagues. The documents now in my possession show that this man was concealing the paedophile ring that had been in operation in the region. Francis killed himself some three years ago, as Operation Pallial re-opened the investigation into the north Wales paedophile ring. I was told just before I went on holiday that Tony Francis had actually been under suspicion of having been involved in the child abuse ring himself.

Healy’s CV describes him as having been the leading consultant in the north west Wales mental health service for many years and having been responsible for the ‘development’ and ‘training’ in that service. So the carnage on the ground is presumably down to Healy and his ‘leadership’. Healy believes in the concept of a ‘fall guy’. In the case of the Hergest Unit it should most definitely be him.

It’s not much to boast about really is it David. Many years ago David Healy won a notorious case against a drug company after they withdrew a job offer. Healy was alleged to have won a substantial settlement. I cannot help but think that if the drug company concerned had known what Healy and his colleagues were doing at the time, they would ask for their money back.

What of the other ‘expert’ featured on ‘Panorama’, Prof Peter Tyrer? Tyrer agreed with Healy – sertraline caused James Holmes to commit mass murder. Most of Tyrer’s work seems to be concerned with improving the classification of personality disorders (I think the biggest improvement would be to stop using such an asinine term) and to bring about a halt to stigmatising patients with such diagnoses and to achieve better therapeutic outcomes for them. Which is the polar opposite of what has gone on at the Hergest Unit for years – that Unit has become notorious for declaring patients to have ‘borderline personality disorders’ after they have dared make a complaint about the abuse that pervades the place and then refusing to treat them. A number of patients have been literally left to commit suicide under these circumstances.

So who is Tyrer? He is the Professor of Community Psychiatry at the Centre for Mental Health at Imperial College. For info about malpractice, research fraud and general skulduggery at Imperial, see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. Tyrer was appointed to that post in 1991, but I cannot find any references to his biography before that, so whether he has passed through those hallowed portals of corruption St Georges Hospital Medical School and the Maudsley I do not know. Imperial’s website also tells us that the Centre for Mental Health is associated with the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. The Chief Exec of that Trust is one Claire Murdoch – who is also NHS England’s ‘Mental Health Chief’ and Director of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership, which currently has a ‘partnership’ with the drug company GSK (see post ‘News Update And A Few More Accessories’). That’s the GSK that manufactures the SSRI paroxetine that was the target of the 2002 ‘Panorama’ programme with David Healy. This week’s ‘Panorama’ programme stressed that Pfizer had omitted certain crucial case histories from the information that they released about sertraline. Well ‘Panorama’ seems to have omitted quite a lot of crucial info pertaining to Healy and his colleagues as well as to Tyrer’s links. ‘Panorama’ can’t plead ignorance re north Wales psychiatry either – I offered them a story and documentary evidence about the wrongdoing of the mental health services in north Wales about six years ago. I wondered if their failure to take up what would have been a far more devastating expose than even Winterbourne View was related to the media silence that surrounds anything to do with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’), but I wonder if it was because they’d given Healy so much free publicity that they didn’t dare run a story on what was happening in his own Unit? The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, which runs the Hergest Unit and employs Healy, is currently in special measures and is the subject of two external investigations into the institutional abuse of mental health patients.

Never mind ‘Panorama’ – all the info is going up on this blog, free to good homes. Including that drug company that Healy sued all those years ago…

 

 

News Update And A Few More Accessories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Ian Brockington’s Mischief

Since researching for yesterday’s post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ and realising that the Top Doctors in north Wales who concealed the paedophile ring that operated in the region over decades had even more friends in high places assisting them than I ever imagined, I’ve followed up on a few things that I should have followed up on before. One of those things is the academic and professional contacts of Dr X (Dr Tony Francis) before he went to work at the North Wales Hospital in the mid 80s. Previous posts have explained how documents that I only acquired earlier this year demonstrate that Tony Francis was involved in very serious wrongdoing, including industrial scale perjury in an attempt to have me imprisoned after I’d complained about the north Wales mental health services.

Francis killed himself a few years ago, after the re-opening of the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, I suspect because he feared – or indeed knew – that the net was closing in on him. (Readers of this blog who follow the comments section will have seen how recently a friend of Tony Francis became very angry with me for naming him.) I have for a while been interested in why Tony Francis ever went to work in a hell-hole like Denbigh. Denbigh was notorious, no way would any ambitious competent psychiatrist ever want to go there to join Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist and the paedophiles’ friends. I posed the same question about the arrival of Professor Mark Williams and David Healy in Bangor, but as a previous post explains I suspect that was because they knew that there was no research governance there and they’d be able to publish anything, claim miracles and not be questioned (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). But they arrived a few years after Francis and they did arrive at a time when Professor Fergus Lowe had embarked on his own bit of empire building in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. Francis arrived when Dafydd still dominated the School of Psychology and was wangling places there for his own children even if they weren’t appropriately qualified, when Gwynne the lobotomist was still causing havoc in the Student Health Centre and before there was really any in-patient psychiatric care at all available in Bangor, it was all still based at te North Wales Hospital Denbigh. I can only think – indeed I’m fairly certain now that I know what Francis was actually doing without the patients’ knowledge – that he disgraced himself in some way in a previous job and that’s why he was cast out into the Evil Darkness that was the North Wales Hospital and the paedophiles. Top Doctors are never cast out for incompetence or poor clinical skills, they are cast out if their senior colleagues believe that they are such a liability that the shit is going to one day hit the fan on their patch, as I witnessed when I worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School. Francis must have been causing a great deal of concern to someone to have been despatched to Denbigh, even if north Wales was desperately in need of new blood and an alternative to Dafydd and Gwynne.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ named Prof Tim Crow as one of Francis’s previous academic colleagues, but I think that Francis worked with Crow in the 70s. Before arriving in north Wales, Francis worked in Manchester. I have discovered a number of abstracts of publications written before he went to north Wales. A number of those publications, dated 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983 concern mood disorders and peuperal psychosis and are co-authored with an I.F. Brockington. That is one Professor Ian Brockington who is Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham. Brockington describes himself as a neurobiologist on his website – he is a psychiatrist whose research interest is neurobiology. His forte is women’s mental health and one of his most well-known books is ‘Eileithyia’s Mischief’, Eileithyia being the Greek goddess of childbirth and midwifery. In 1993 Brockington was the founder and first Chairman of the section on women’s mental health in the World Psychiatric Association. Between 1983-2001 Brockington was Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham and was responsible for training thousands of medical students as well as for training many psychiatrists at postgraduate level. Before that he was Senior Lecturer at Manchester between 1975-1982 and it was there that Francis worked with him.

Now one phenomenon that I have noticed in medicine is that although Top Doctors will ensure that a problem is removed from their own patch, not only do they not blow the whistle, but if the problem becomes caught up in a scandal later in their career – as Dafydd did constantly after ‘training’ at the Maudsley – they will deny that they ever spotted a potential problem, lest they are implicated. This is why those charmers at St Georges Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital felt able to conceal Dafydd’s criminal activities and misconduct when they were faced with it in 1991. Dafydd had worked with their mate Bob Hobson at the Maudsley and no-one was going to admit that Bob had trained an abusive nutter who then went out into the world and caused chaos. (Lord Robert Winston employed a serial sexual harasser at Hammersmith Hospital – Winston passed him on to St Georges who passed him on to Cardiff. He’s still there.) So if Tony Francis had disgraced himself whilst on Brockington’s team, it is highly likely that Brockington would never let anyone know what had happened even if Francis ended up in hot water subsequently.

So Francis was despatched to north Wales in about 1983. In 1987 I made a very serious complaint which involved Tony Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones and a number of other staff. My complaint included unlawful imprisonment, assault and attempts to bribe and threaten me into dropping my complaint. My post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ details how difficult it was to even get that complaint investigated and how there was a complete whitewash when it was investigated. Documents in my possession demonstrate what was going on behind the scenes at the time (detailed in previous posts), including phone calls and letters being exchanged between the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen and one of Tony Francis’s mates, a GP in Bangor, DGE Wood, who was not part of my complaint in any way and who was no longer my GP. I had no knowledge of these communications at the time. The letters and phone calls were being sent and made to Owen at his home in Colwyn Bay. So all pretty irregular really.

One thing that happened at the hearing into my complaint led by Bluglass was that no part of my complaint involving Tony Francis was dealt with – although Francis was called as a witness. Huge aspects of my complaint about Dafydd weren’t dealt with either, but nothing at all relating to Tony Francis, the conduct of his SHO a Dr Perera, or the social worker who broke the law to do their bidding, Jackie Brandt, was mentioned in the final report. Perera and Brandt were not called as witnesses either. Previous posts have explained how Bluglass had co-authored with Dr Paul Bowden from the Maudsley – who will have known Dafydd’s mate Bob Hobson. I thought that was a salient connection. But at the time that I made that complaint about Tony Francis, the man with whom he had worked for a number of years, Ian Brockington, was the Chair of Psychiatry at Birmingham – Bluglass was the Chair of Forensic Psychiatry at Birmingham at the same time. No wonder Francis wasn’t investigated or even mentioned in Bluglass’s final report.

Brockington is a very big name indeed in women’s mental health. Tony Francis unlawfully detained and then repeatedly perjured himself in an attempt to imprison one woman who had complained about him. He encouraged other people to perjure themselves as well in an attempt to achieve this end. I know of another woman who at about the same time as me also made a complaint against Tony Francis and Jackie Brandt, again that she had been detained unlawfully. Some years later the same young women made another complaint against Tony Francis – she maintained that Tony Francis had exposed himself to her. There were no witnesses to the incident, the young woman was deemed to be psychotic and Francis was cleared. I have no idea at all whether he did do that, but I now have numerous documents demonstrating that Francis and his colleagues broke the law repeatedly, lied constantly and perjured themselves again and again.

Would Professor Brockington now like to tell us what it was that Francis did whilst he was on Brockington’s team that resulted in Francis being cast into the Evil Darkness? If Brockington is going to claim the same sort of sudden memory loss that Robert Bluglass experienced when I confronted him with his wrongdoing a few years ago, perhaps some of the others who worked with Francis and Brockington at the time could enlighten us. Francis’s co-authors on those papers with Brockington were: J.E. Helzer, V.F. Hillier, S. Wainwright, K.F. Cernik, E.M. Schofield, A.R. Downing and C. Keelan. Come on now, Francis did some very naughty things in north Wales – including concealing a paedophile gang, some of whose victims were found dead in suspicious circumstances. Cough.

But Ian Brockington may well have had connections with Dafydd as well as with Francis. Brockington too undertook his training in psychiatry at the Maudsley and is of a similar vintage to Dafydd. Like Dafydd, Brockington spent a few years doing a few other things before taking up psychiatry – Brockington was a cardiologist, whereas Dafydd just got himself thrown out of a chemistry degree – so what’s the betting that their paths crossed at the Maudsley? Even if Brockington did not know Dafydd personally, that stint at the Maudsley will have brought him into contact with many others who were keeping a lid on Dafydd’s crimes – Brockington also worked at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1969, so he’ll have had opportunities for further bonding there.

Brockington’s wife Diana is described as a ‘tribunal judge’. Now that could be employment tribunals – but just imagine if it were mental health tribunals…

Should anyone try to escape the Top Doctors of north Wales by emigrating, hard luck. Brockington, like the Count (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’), has contacts abroad as well. He was a visiting prof in Chicago. And he’s done a stint at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, an institution featured in previous posts.

Brockington’s previous at Manchester may explain something else as well. The protection afforded to the truly lethal Dr Tony Roberts, latterly of the Hergest Unit and one of Francis’s colleagues in north Wales, who managed such a high suicide rate among his patients that it showed up as a statistical outlier – the highest in Wales, the second highest in the whole of England and Wales. Roberts trained at Manchester at the time that Brockington was there – and of course Francis. Tony Roberts was so unpleasant, dangerous and dysfunctional that I don’t think anyone ever questioned why he’d landed a job at the North Wales Hospital, he was obviously virtually unemployable. Despite him being loathed by his colleagues and exterminating patients, the GMC felt it worth their while using a forged document to protect him (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).

Tony Francis also had links to Cardiff Medical School. He studied there as an undergrad (he was a student there whilst Neil Kinnock was the NUS President there) and in the 70s he was working and publishing with the Dept of Psychological Medicine at Cardiff. This alone will have ensured that he knew what a bloody dreadful reputation the North Wales Hospital Denbigh had, he’ll have heard the stories. Francis published with the team from Cardiff in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Perhaps his colleagues from that time would like to spill the beans. His co-authors were: D.M. Shaw, G.V. Groom, D. Riad-Fahmy, P. Williams, J. Link, E.N. Cole, D. Hughes, S.F. Tidmarsh, A.L. Johnson, A.C. Michalakeas, G.J. Riley and R. Blazek.

In 1979 Francis was the single author of a paper concerning brain structure and schizophreniform psychosis. Which sounds like the sort of work that Time Crow might have been involved with.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ described the possible links that the founder of SANE, Marjorie Wallace, had with the associates of the Top Doctors in north Wales. Marjorie has inflicted her damage by using her media contacts to provide much misinformation regarding the activities of the Top Doctors. Marjorie has excellent media contacts because she has worked in journalism since the 60s. As well as her relationship with Count Andrew Skarbek who was also a Top Doctor, as I detailed yesterday Marjorie has had relationships with Lord Snowdon and Tom Marjerison. All at the same time. I wrote a bit about Tom yesterday, who was obviously a very big hitter indeed, being the founder of New Scientist and London Weekend Television, but Tom had worked with those at the very top of the tree. One of the co-founders of LWT was David Frost, who provided never ending entertainment for the likes of Peter Cook, but was of course famous for ingratiating himself to just about every British PM and US President of the last forty years. Frost indulged in idiocies such as presenting ‘Through The Keyhole’ which led to me being completely unable for years to believe all the stories about Frost being seriously influential in Gov’t circles, but those stories were true – he toadied to the very best. Frost died a very odd death a few years ago. He was on a cruise ship without his wife which was alleged to have been unusual for Frost, when he had a heart attack. Frost had a lot of bad luck there – the heart attack happened at a time when the ship was at a location where Frost could not be helped, although the sort of ships that Frost travelled on have their own medics on board. Then a few months later Frost’s son died an equally odd death – he was a young man, who collapsed whilst he was out jogging. Both Frost and his son were alleged to have suffered from the same hereditary heart problem, but the Frost family subsequently claimed that no Top Doctors had ever warned them that Frost’s son had the heart problem. Then it was revealed that whatever had caused Frost’s heart attack, it wasn’t his heart defect. These two deaths were so weird that one could almost imagine them happening to people who might have known about the Westminster Paedophile Ring that was being discussed so extensively at the time and who were suspected of being about to investigate or even go public…

Talking of the Westminster Paedophile Ring, I received a very helpful e mail yesterday from a journo providing me with names and details of suspects, victims and accessories. It’ll take me a few days to read it all, but I’ve already spotted a few names that I recognise. Like me, this journo believes that north Wales and Lambeth were the areas of the most intense activity where the providing of youngsters in care for the purposes of sexual exploitation was concerned.

Marjerison did business with another very high profile person when he established LWT as well – Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch was an investor in LWT, but Marjerison fell out with him in a big way, which is what caused Marjerison’s departure from LWT in 1971. Marjerison may have fallen out with Murdoch, but Marjorie was of course a journo on the ‘Sunday Times’ throughout the 80s, when she launched her ‘keep the prisons for the paedophiles’ victims open’ campaign – Murdoch bought the ‘Sunday Times’ and the ‘Times’ in 1981. Murdoch’s press famously did Thatcher’s administrations great favours. Matthew Parris, Thatcher’s former correspondence secretary who waxes lyrical about having sex with ‘willing boys’ in his autobiography (see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’) also worked and still works for Murdoch on the ‘Times’. So I don’t think that any publication owned by Mr Murdoch was likely to run an expose of kids in care being sexually abused by public figures, some of whom were close to Thatcher. Indeed his publications might have welcomed journos and articles which distracted from or concealed what was going on.

There is however something much more fascinating about Tom Marjerison than even his work with Frost and Murdoch. That is the stories concerning his involvement with the security services. Although Marjerison spent most of his career in the media, he began life as a physicist and in the 60s was acknowledged as being an expert on Soviet technology. He was the BBC’s source of info for this and made a ‘Panorama’ programme about the Red Army’s ammunition production in Siberia. Merjerison’s obituaries relate anecdotes concerning the making of this programme that cannot be true. In the attempts to portray him as some sort of Super Hero, they explain how when he was in Siberia filming, he won the admiration of the Soviets by drinking even more than they did, swimming in a pool which was covered in thick ice, wore only a ‘light Marks & Spencers suit in -40c temperatures’, evaded his ‘Soviet minders’ and ‘the bugs in his room’. No matter how much of an expert on Soviet technology Marjerison was, he was still a human being and the reason why people in Siberia wrap up well – very well actually, more than any other place on earth, in layers of skins and fur – is that if they don’t do this, they die. History is full of examples of whole armies that died when they attempted to cross what used to be the Soviet Union because they encountered those temperatures in unsuitable clothes. Such as M&S suits. Furthermore, I very much doubt that Merjerison did evade his ‘Soviet minders’ – the Soviet Union in the 1960s was a very harsh place and the consequences of leaving your group would be very high indeed. And how did he know that he evaded the bugs in his room? If the bugs were any good he wouldn’t have found them anyway. So some tall stories were being told in an attempt to convince people that Tom smuggled state secrets out of the Soviet Union for ‘Panorama’. He didn’t. (By the way ‘Panorama’ wouldn’t even tackle the Top Doctors in north Wales let alone the KGB – I know because I offered them the story.)

The same obits lovingly recounted how the Soviets were so impressed by Tom’s Putin-like qualities that the KGB tried to recruit him as a spy by leaving him bottles of vodka in telephone boxes outside of West End theatres. If they really did that, the vodka would be picked up by a passing vagrant, it wouldn’t wait there for Tom to come out of the theatre. But so impressive was Tom that MI5 tried to recruit him as well! But Tom was having none of it – he met with MI5 at the Cumberland Hotel to discuss his future with MI5’s careers officer, but he saw so many other identical meetings going on in the same room at the same time that he turned MI5 down. These stories sound to me very much like the stories that are put about to muddy the waters – and some such stories are put about by people who did work for the security services. But there is other info about Tom available as well. That during the war, when he was still working as a physicist, he did ‘undercover work’ for the war effort, work that ‘continued for several years into peacetime’. So Tom did work for the security services then, which was probably how he got into the Soviet Union to make a documentary. Nothing to do with an M&S suit in the cold climate. Furthermore, Tom was Director of the Nuclear Electric information Group and a consultant for the British Nuclear Industry Forum. The Gov’t wouldn’t have given those jobs out to just anyone. Marjerison was sufficiently good friends with Yuri Gagarin to have accompanied him to a meal at Buck House when Gagarin was invited to meet HM the Queen. Tom’s obituaries also contain references to him being wheeled out to deal with ‘the unions’ at various times in his career.

The reason that I am interested in all this, is that it has now been admitted that Sir Peter Hayman, a diplomat who did work for the British security services, was a convicted paedophile, but was not prosecuted for a number of other offences when he should have been. There are allegations that members of the security services were involved in the Kincora Boys Home scandal and that the security services were involved in concealing the extent of child abuse in north Wales. Tom Marjerison ‘helped’ Marjorie Wallace in her work with SANE. Although Tom and Marjorie didn’t start living together until the mid 80s, they both worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ for a long while before that and as with Marjorie and Lord Snowdon, they were ‘close’.

Another friend of Marjorie’s that I mentioned in ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ was Mary Kenny, a rather eccentric journalist who has written for Tory supporting publications like the Torygraph and the ‘Spectator’. Mary Kenny is famously idiosyncratic, she was a leading light in the Irish feminist movement in the early 70s but is still very faithful to the Catholic Church in Ireland. I haven’t been able to find any info that suggests that Kenny might be closely associated with anyone complicit with organised child sexual abuse – but the Catholic Church itself isn’t too clean on that whole issue. (I am reading the book that Conrad Black, the former owner of the Torygraph wrote after he was released from prison, which is a mine of info. I’ll be using the info in future posts.)

‘One Dangerous Fucker’ detailed the way in which a close friend of mine was sacked from her job at the Royal Television Society – a friend whose parents had been supporting me in my battles with the north Wales Top Doctors/paedophiles’ friends and who was interested in making a documentary about it. The President of the RTS at the time was Sir Paul Fox. Fox began his career at the BBC in the 1950s and was controller of BBC 1 for six years from 1967. He spanned the height of Jimmy Savile’s abuse at the BBC then. Paul Fox was then head of programmes at Yorkshire TV and was the Managing Director of Yorkshire TV between 1977-88. Fox was Chairman of ITN between 1986-1988 and Managing Director of BBC Network TV between 1988-1991.

In July 1989 people working for Yorkshire TV approached the social worker who blew the whistle on the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, Alison Taylor, regarding child abuse in north Wales. In September 1989 Alison Taylor and a man who had been in care in north Wales who alleged abuse were filmed extensively for Yorkshire TV. In Feb 1990, Yorkshire TV abandoned the film about child abuse in north Wales for a documentary about another, far smaller, child abuse case. My friend was working at the Royal Television Society at this time. She was dismissed in early 1991, at the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School. My friend was subsequently awarded compensation for unfair dismissal. Paul Fox was knighted in 1991.

Top Doctors don’t have to be married to Marjorie Wallace to have media connections. One thing that Top Doctors really enjoy is rubbing noses with Royalty or appearing in the media. I would advise the Royals to be cautious where the Top Doctors are concerned though. The Top Doctors are certainly shameless toadies when they are in the presence of a Royal personage and if a Royal appears at a Top Doctors meeting or conference, no matter how inane the Royal address to the Top Doctors is, the Top Doctors will nod enthusiastically throughout the speech and then clap very vigorously at the end, with that weird expression on their faces that they use specifically for such occasions, a sort of over-determined expression. And of course the Top Doctors are delighted to have a Royal open a new wing of a hospital, it makes their day, it is only bettered when a Royal appears at a Top Doctors Charity Ball. However in the 1990s the gynaecological case history of a member of the Royal Family was being passed around the London hospitals, for the entertainment of everyone. It’s the Top Doctors you know – they’re really not all that they pretend to be.

Top Doctors enjoy hobnobbing with other celebs as well as Royals and one Top Doctor who had connections to those we know and love who became very well known for a celeb connection was the psychiatrist Robin Skynner. Skynner famously co-authored with John Cleese in 1989 and 1993. John Cleese with the BBC career that is. Cleese had been one of Skynner’s clients since 1975 and the books that they wrote together introduced family therapy to a lay audience.

In terms of being in a position to conceal the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al or indeed organised child abuse, Robin Skynner had a CV as good as that of the Count. Skinner qualified as a doctor from UCL in 1952 and trained as a child psychiatrist. He passed his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1957 and worked with S.H. Foulkes (originally known as S.H. Fuchs), a psychoanalyst. Foulkes was a pioneer and one of the founders of group analysis in Britain and his official history states that he attracted others who were keen to change the way that mental health patients were dealt with. Now there was a lot of this sort of thing alleged in the 60s, that the new generation of psychiatrists wanted change and I’m sure that many of them did. But change did not happen – psychiatry remained an incredibly abusive, oppressive speciality that was used to silence people who should have been listened to. What did happen though was some very abusive people like Dafydd Alun Jones and Tony Francis learnt the language of therapy and used that to inflict very great damage on people and conceal some real horrors. Skynner was attracted by the early stages of the ‘therapeutic community’ movement – just like Dafydd! In fact Dafydd told Dr Robin Jacobson of St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital in 1991 that he had treated me in a therapeutic community, rather than explaining that I’d been unlawfully arrested after having been threatened by him, illegally imprisoned and then assaulted by the staff. Documents in my possession demonstrate that Jacobson knew that Dafydd was lying and also knew that Dafydd was having sex with patients but no-one challenged Dafydd about any of it. in 1959 Skynner and disciples of Foulkes formed Group Analytic Practice and what followed was the emergence of the Institute of Group Analysis for training in group therapy. In 1977 Skynner formed the Institute for Family Therapy and Chaired this until 1979.

Skynner was the authority on family therapy, so intellectually and academically he was phenomenally influential. But he had the other usual powers of the Top Doctor as well, in terms of his professional network. He was invited to become a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists on it’s formation in 1971. He was then elected a Fellow of the Royal College in 1976. He trained as a child psychiatrist at the Maudsley – where else? Along with the Count and Dafydd and Bob Hobson and the rest of them and at a very similar time. It was at the Maudsley that Skynner met Foulkes. Skynner was the Director of the Woodberry Down Child Guidance Unit and between 1965-1970 was Physician In Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children. In 1970 Skynner gave up child guidance work. From 1971 he held a Senior Tutor post at the Institute of Psychiatry and a post as Honorary Associate Consultant at the Maudsley. So we’ve arrived back at those two establishments again…

Skynner retired from the NHS and from university teaching in 1982, but like the rest of them continued with his private practice. Well it doesn’t just keep the dosh rolling in, it means that one’s still in a position of influence should anyone start publicising anything that a lot of important people would rather they didn’t. S.H. Foulkes, the daddy of them all, worked at Barts Hospital until he retired in 1963, but continued in private practice after that.

Skynner didn’t work alone, he worked with his wife Prudence. Together they became leaders in family therapy and pioneered the development of therapy groups for couples that included groups for bishops of the Church of England and their wives no less. If I had come across this info a few years ago I’d have been a bit non-plussed and wondered why bishops of the C of E and their wives might be particularly in need of family therapy. But in recent months even Radio 4’s ‘Sunday’ programme has simply become one long roll call of bishops who either spent their lives molesting children or concealing other people in the Church who molested children. Skynner and Prudence obviously identified a market long before anyone else knew about this syndrome.

Prudence died in 1987. She was so highly regarded in the field that one London medical school named it’s family therapy unit in honour of her when it opened in 1990. Yes, it was St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital, who one year later were ignoring evidence of Dafydd’s and Tony Francis’s criminal activities and were consulting Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress and Director of Gwynedd Social Services, who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as colluding with a paedophile gang – for evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’.

After Prudence died, Skynner entered into a long term relationship with Welsh landscape artist Josh Partridge and they spent much time together at Skynner’s cottage in Wales…

As so many of those we know and love are, Skynner was ‘spiritual’. He had a long association with the Gurdjieff Society. I’ve been on their website and it’s pretty much what I expected – I also note that it involves something called ‘The Fourth Way’. As opposed to Blair and Giddens’s Third Way.

Like many spiritual people whom I have known who have made careers in therapy and analysis – which has tended to include discrediting or even lying about anyone who uncovers the sordid underbelly of the world of the Top Doctors – Skynner seems to have actually been quite a dysfunctional man. He had an incredibly ‘difficult’ childhood and in later life used to quip that his mother called him a lunatic but that he managed to enter psychiatric hospitals by the staff entrance. Skynner was always happy to maintain that he ‘needed treatment’. On a more sober note there were observations that as a bomber pilot during the war Skynner had some very bad experiences which profoundly affected him. There is mention of therapy sessions that were ‘chaotic’, with people screaming at each other and crying. If one is a half-competent Top Doctor it is de rigueur to admit that one has one’s own problems – it’s like having patients’ art work on one’s walls, it shows that you’re not like Gwynne the lobotomist.

Robin Skynner may well have been very genuine in his expressions about all this, but Top Doctors can find admissions of psychological problems or mental illness very useful. It gets them out of trouble. Dafydd was a pioneer in this field, he told absolutely everyone back in the 80s that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’, for which he received treatment ‘from a doctor in England’. One of my postgrad friends at the time observed that the beauty of this would be that if ever Dafydd was done for misconduct he’d just say ‘oh it’s my nervous illness’ and that friend was spot-on. Likewise Tony Francis had a mood disorder. Now Tony Francis was indeed a very troubled man, but in the months before he killed himself he spent a very long time in hospital in Manchester. (I note that he certainly didn’t use the services provided by his colleagues in north Wales.) When I told my friend Brown about this, he observed that one advantage of being in hospital would be that Francis wouldn’t have to answer any questions. I thought that Brown was being overly cynical at the time, but some time later I had a very interesting conversation with someone who was a neighbour of Francis and knew his wife. This person didn’t know that I had known Francis years before and she didn’t know that I’d ever been a patient of his. But she mentioned that he was suffering so much because of a ‘dreadful woman’ who had complained about him. After a few more sentences it became clear that the person whom she was talking about was me. I didn’t like to mention that I hadn’t even seen Francis for at least four years and that the complaint had been made some twenty years ago and had never been investigated anyway. And I certainly didn’t tell her that Francis and his colleagues had perjured themselves repeatedly and concealed a paedophile gang, because I didn’t have the documents then that I now have. So if a Top Doctor has a mental illness the narrative plays out somewhat differently to when the rest of the world does.

Robyn Skynner on one occasion did something that would be frowned upon by most therapists. He introduced one of his clients – John Cleese – to another therapist, whom Cleese subsequently had a relationship with and then married. That was the American lady whom Cleese divorced a few years ago among much acrimony, publicity and which left him feeling so bitter that he used the divorce as the basis for a comedy tour.

One comment in one of Skynner’s obituaries that is particularly significant was that he ‘worked with adults and children of an unusually wide range of socio-economic status, from the poorest districts of the East End to private practice’. This could apply to anyone working at the Maudsley. The Maudsley’s immediate catchment area is Lambeth. The Lambeth that, along with north Wales, had the biggest problem in the UK with children in care being abused and trafficked by paedophiles. Lambeth Council also sent many children on placement to children’s homes in north Wales. So theoretically, the Count or Dafydd or Bob Hobson or indeed Robin Skynner, could be treating both the trafficked kids and the paedophiles who abused them. If those paedophiles were celebs, people with connections to Westminster or members of the security services, the consequences are obvious.

There is of course a former Top Doctor from the Maudsley who is probably the most well-known media psychiatrist – Anthony Clare. (Raj Parsaud followed hot on his heels but unfortunately Raj was exposed as an outrageous and shameless plagiarist, which he had been for many years but no-one had dared mention it.) Clare is no longer with us, he died in 2007. He qualified as a doctor at University College Dublin in 1966 and after doing his initial training in psychiatry at St Patrick’s Hospital Dublin, he ended up at the Maudsley for five years as a registrar and then senior registrar. In 1976 he became a researcher in general practice at the Institute of Psychiatry, spending six years there. It was during this time that he began broadcasting on Radio 4 and in 1982 he began doing the programme for which he became famous, ‘In The Psychiatrist’s Chair’. He was applauded for getting to the soul of his interviewees and poor old Bob Monkhouse ended up in tears. Clare did of course interview Jimmy Savile – and he didn’t mention You Know What. Savile didn’t end up in tears. It would be unfair to let Clare off the hook by saying that no-one asked Savile the Big Question – which is what everybody claimed after his death – because actually there was one journalist who did ask Savile if he was a paedophile and that was Lyn Barber. I read the interview, it was in I think ‘The Observer’ and it passed pretty much without wider media comment – but Lyn Barber had said to Savile during the interview ‘they say that you like little girls’. And Savile had come out with the usual load of Savilesque meaningless tripe, but Lyn Barber did ask him. In 1983 Clare became Prof and Head of Dept of Psychological Medicine at Barts. In 1989 he returned to Dublin. Many years ago in ‘Private Eye’ an article appeared concerning a scandal that had happened in a hospital over which Clare had responsibility. A woman had been sectioned and detained for three days – because she had started divorce proceedings against her husband. It wasn’t the Maudsley, it was a hospital in Dublin to which Clare had returned to work after 1989. There was a fuss, the woman sued and there was media comment about how embarrassing this was for Anthony Clare. I’d be interested to know how that lady ever managed to make herself heard let alone begin legal proceedings – just look at what was going on in north Wales and indeed St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital at the very same time. So presumably whichever hospital in Dublin it was, it wasn’t involved in concealing a vicious paedophile ring – because if it was it would have been guaranteed complete protection from publicity or legal action.

After Clare died, one of his obituaries mentioned that during the 1990s Clare ‘completely’ ‘turned his back on the media’, refused to do any media work at all and wouldn’t even review a book. Anthony Clare was the ultimate media tart for years and the media loved him. So what happened?

Clare is fondly remembered by other Top Doctors. Prof Peter White, now Emeritus Prof of Psychological Medicine at Queen Mary University London and before that of the Maudsley and Barts, remembered how Anthony Clare had flown from London to Sydney to give a keynote speech just three hours after landing and how during the flight the airline had lost Clare’s slides and notes and that he was also jet-lagged. But Clare had the audience ‘spellbound by a speech in which he used his Irish charm, humour and passion to remind us that so long as we truly listened and put the patient first, all would be well in psychiatry’.

I think that something’s gone wrong somewhere despite Clare having snogged the face off the Blarney Stone.

 

 

In recent posts I have mentioned how, like Marjorie Wallace, another ‘mental health campaigner’ in the media ignored correspondence from me regarding the misconduct of the Top Doctors in north Wales back in the 80s – Esther. So my ears pricked up when I heard the allegations that someone had written to Esther about Jimmy Savile when dear old Esther launched Childline, but had been ignored. I had heard allegations that Childline was failing to help children who had contacted them who had been abused whilst ‘in care’.

I have now been sent some information about Esther which is in the public domain but hasn’t received much coverage – it explains a lot. Esther founded Childline in 1986 with her cousin, the wife of Nick Ross, the former presenter of BBC’s ‘Crimewatch’ programme. My correspondent has also told me that Nick Ross’s colleague Jill Dando – who was shot dead by an unknown assassin – was at the time of her murder working on an investigation concerning allegations that people with connections to the BBC were involved in a paedophile ring. Barry George, a man with mental health problems and learning difficulties, was convicted of Jill’s murder but was released from prison when it was demonstrated that a lot of lies had been told and that he’d been fitted up.

The first Chief Exec of Childline that Esther appointed was a controversial and rather rash choice. It was Valerie Howarth, who is now Baroness Valerie Howarth, a cross bencher in the Lords. The appointment was controversial because Howarth was Director of Brent Social Services at the time of the death of Jasmine Beckford, a four year old girl who died as a result of the complete negligence and fuckwittery of Brent Social Services. Jasmine died in 1984 and Howarth was Director between 1982-1986. Furthermore, when Howarth later applied for the job of Director of Cambridgeshire Social Services, she failed to mention that the death of Jasmine had taken place on her watch (although I would have thought that they could have worked that one out). Esther however assured everyone that she knew that Valerie was sound. How did she know this? Because Valerie had trained Esther’s sister Priscilla Taylor, who was a social worker! They were both social workers for Lambeth. Howarth worked for Lambeth between 1963-1982 – she wasn’t just there for a few weeks. No wonder children abused in care found that Childline were not interested. Priscilla told Esther that Valerie was ‘a skilled and experienced social worker’. Who somehow didn’t notice that the kids homes were rife with child molesters. Valerie and Priscilla must have really excelled because Lambeth have now paid out millions in compensation to former residents, many more claims are due to be settled and the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, a group of people were abused in Lambeth children’s homes in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, have set up an excellent website with the names, details and mugshots of the paedophiles responsible and have published their own report into the matter.

In 2013 Esther wrote an article defending herself, Valerie Howarth and Sharon Shoesmith – who famously presided over Haringey Council at the time of the Baby P scandal. The death of Baby P, Peter Connelly, also involved gobsmacking negligence on the part of a Top Doctor at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She failed to notice that Peter had a broken back. I know somebody who told me that the Top Doctor in question didn’t actually examine Peter. It was admitted that at the time the ‘world leading’ GOSH was in chaos. Esther’s article was a mixture of fury directed at everyone who had levelled criticism at Shoesmith and Howarth, invective at the inadequate – or in Esther’s eyes bad/wicked/evil/manipulative ad infinitum – parents of the children involved and extreme defensiveness. As the defenders of senior social workers who screw up badly often do, Esther made much of the evil genius of such parents who pull the wool over the eyes of skilled and experienced social workers while they torture and murder their children. Such parents are of course not cunning geniuses, in all of the high profile cases of this nature social services had been told again and again by scores of concerned people that there were serious worries about the welfare of the child who later died. The parents were obviously hopelessly inadequate, chaotic and sometimes very brutal but the one thing that they were not was clever or competent. The parents were on low incomes, usually benefits – Shoesmith, Howarth and others at their level are paid hundreds of thousands a year to do an admittedly very difficult job, but part of the reason for the high salary is that they are expected to take responsibility. If they can’t do that and instead just blame the innate wickedness of the ‘service users’ in the face of serious failure, we might as well sack the whole lot of them and save on their salary bill.

Esther also stressed that the talented and wonderful Valerie and Sharon had ended up ‘unemployed’. They don’t stay unemployed for very long Esther, they used their contacts and their numerous excuses to get themselves further highly paid positions. Indeed Valerie landed a job as Chief Exec of Childline because she knew Esther’s sister. Esther uses the example of Valerie being in the Lords as an demonstration of Valerie’s enormous ability. Valerie is of course in the Lords because Esther gave her a job. Valerie’s on the up and up though, despite Lambeth and despite Jasmine. Valerie is on the Board of the Food Standards Agency, she’s a Trustee of ‘a number of children’s charities’, Patron of the Youth Advocacy Scheme, Vice-Chair of the National Care Standards Commission and Secretary to the All Parliamentary Children’s Group. She is a Board member of CAFCASS and in 2008 was Chair of CAFCASS. That is the scandal ridden disasterous CAFCASS which in 2008 was in such chaos that it’s staff were having nervous breakdowns as a result of their working conditions and were leaving posts a matter of months after being appointed, the CAFCASS which subsequently found that no-one wanted to work for them at all.

Esther mentioned in the article that her daughter Miriam was training to be a social worker – and that her daughter was clever, compassionate and dedicated. She won’t be working for Lambeth, Brent or CAFCASS then.

 

I have previously mentioned to Brown that in the light of how many people I know who have ascended the ladder by gaining knowledge of the wrongdoing of others and silently blackmailing everyone else about it, if I operated on the same principle I’d be President of the World by now. I think it also helps if one conceals organised child sexual abuse in high places, that seems to be the key.

I will soon be naming some more accessories.

 

 

News Updates, Additional Comments and Observations

We’ve had a temporary reprieve from the squealing of the Top Doctors – presumably the continued bad publicity surrounding Ian Paterson, the rogue surgeon who carried out unnecessary operations for non-existent breast cancers, has taken the wind out of their sails for a few hours. However, the pressure continues from their associates. I have recently reported on the demands from the ‘life sciences industry’ for billions more to be handed over to the NHS – now it’s the turn of a few others to announce the end of the world if the Top Doctors are not given a large amount of dosh very soon. On Saturday the ‘Guardian’ ran an article penned by one Niall Dickson, Chief Exec of the ‘NHS Confederation’. Who are the ‘NHS Confederation’? Well according to their website, they are ‘the authentic voice of NHS leadership’, comprising the ‘NHS Employers Organisation’, who it is claimed are ‘the voice of employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first’. This translates as the voice of NHS senior managers – the Peter Higsons, the Martin Jones’s, the Katrina Percys, the ‘senior managers’ at Mid-Staffordshire etc etc ie. that collection of liars and charlatans who have constantly concealed scandals and who never ever resign no matter how many patients die. They do not have a history of ‘putting patients first’. But then neither does Niall Dickson – for a number of years Niall was the Chief Exec of the GMC and received numerous e mails from me regarding the criminal activities of doctors employed in the north Wales mental health service. No, Niall did not investigate – of course I did not know at the time that the GMC themselves presented a forged document purporting to be a letter from me some years earlier when I complained about the dreadful Dr Tony Roberts at the Hergest Unit. (Please see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’.) Niall’s article in the ‘Guardian’ did not touch on forging letters from patients, or on psychiatrists with such high death rates among their patients that they showed up as statistical outliers though. No, Niall banged on at length about the necessity of NHS staff being paid more. Not of course the poorly paid staff, such as the cleaners, porters or healthcare assistants, just the Top Doctors and nurses. Dickson mentioned the crisis in staffing in the mental health services. There is a crisis Dickson because these services are so bad – and are run by people like Higson and Katrina Percy who then appoint ‘clinical directors’ such as Tony Roberts – that absolutely no-one wants to work in them. ‘Pay restraint’ doesn’t enter into the equation. Dysfunction, workplace bullying and having to witness one’s patients being neglected and abused does. Dickson states that ‘parts of the country are finding it almost impossible to entice GPs’. Like north Wales perhaps? I know GPs who wouldn’t work in north Wales but, as with the staffing crisis in the mental health services, that was because they didn’t want to work with negligent, abusive crooks. Furthermore, GPs are paid so well and have such generous pension pots that many of them choose to work only three days a week and retire in their mid-50s – hardly surprising that there’s a ‘shortage’. Of course there was one north Wales GP who waxed lyrical about the crisis in north Wales – one Dr Eamonn Jessup, Chairman of the North Wales Local Medical Committee. He ran a Facebook group entitled ‘higher pay for doctors’ and announced his retirement recently, yet even more recently cropped up in a clinic in Cyprus selling his services, along with another north Wales GP, the dreadful Dr DGE Wood, who coerced me into seeing Gwynne Williams the lobotomist and then spent the next few years telling anyone who would listen that I was ‘dangerous’ and that they mustn’t listen to a word that I said about Gwynne the lobotomist because I really couldn’t be believed. DGE Wood also had a very chummy relationship with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, he who was concealing and facilitating the north Wales paedophile ring. Along with Jessup, Wood was a leading light in the North Wales Local Medical Committee. The Secretary of the North Wales Local Medical Committee was one Dr Phil White, BMA representative, who at one point mouthed off regularly in the local media. However he went silent for a while after his son was imprisoned for drug dealing. He soon bounced back though and last year appeared in the Daily Post stating that parents who allow their children to become obese should have their children taken into care because they aren’t looking after them properly. Unlike proud dad Phil, who reared a drug dealer. Furthermore, anyone who has ever encountered Phil White will have noticed one thing – that he is absolutely enormous. But then I’ve known for a long time that Phil has a sense of the ridiculous. Many years ago he had a patient who was a rather chaotic 17 year old girl who consumed vast quantities of prescription painkillers. She had a particular affinity for distalgesic and she was also a very heavy drinker. She was obtaining the distalgesic from one Phil White. At the time there was much publicity regarding distalgesic, because there had been a number of deaths of patients who had taken it whilst drinking. Brown’s brother speculated that perhaps Phil White was trying to finish her off: ‘wash ’em down with a couple of whiskies…’ Oh and dear old DGE Wood knew about Phil’s lethal prescribing habits as well… But they all stand together on the Local Medical Committee! To return to the dire warnings from the ‘NHS Confederation’. Perhaps someone else in a ‘leadership role’ with them can be relied upon to be a bit more patient-friendly than Niall Dickson? Such as their Chairman? Their Chairman is a Stephen Dorrell. That’s the Stephen Dorrell who was for many years a Tory MP and who was in 1995, under John Major, appointed the Secretary of State for Health. In 1995 there were requests in the House of Commons for an inquiry into the problems at the Foundation Trust Stafford. An investigation was refused. And look what was revealed some years later… Between 2010 and 2014 Dorrell was Chair of the House of Commons Health Select Committee. In 2012 he was reported to IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) after he arranged to sell his London flat to ‘friends’ who owned a chain of nursing homes and subsequently rented the flat back to Dorrell for £1,400/month (funded by the taxpayer). The Health Select Committee at the time was investigating social care – the chain of nursing homes owned by Dorrell’s ‘friends’ had been criticised by the CQC. The other Committee members did not know of Dorrell’s financial connection. Cameron refused to intervene. In 2014 Dorrell announced his intention to stand down from Parliament to take up a ‘senior role’ with consultants KPMG, ‘supporting their health and public service practice’. For six months he worked both for KPMG and as an MP, whilst KPMG considered bidding for a £1 billion NHS contract. At one point a group of pensioners arrived at Dorrell’s office with a petition signed by more than 2000 people demanding his resignation. The police were called on the grounds that the penioners were ‘trespassing’. In 2016, Dorrell was appointed Chair of healthcare consultant LaingBuisson. Nicky Morgan, that not very bright stooge of Cameron’s who doubled up as ‘Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities’, is on record as saying that Dorrell has been ‘a really important political figure in Leicestershire since 1979’. That’s the Leicestershire that, like north Wales, had a paedophile ring operating in it’s children’s services. The Leicestershire that had another MP, Greville Janner, who, it is now acknowledged, should have stood trial for child abuse. (Of course there is another Leicestershire MP of note, one Keith Vaz. The Keith Vaz that ends up in scandal after scandal, the most recent involving male prostitutes and cocaine, but somehow just bounces back after every resignation.) Dorrell’s role as Secretary of State for Health was taken over by Frank Dobson when Blair was elected in 1997. So the ‘NHS Confederation’ is led by one man with a long track record of ignoring the serious wrongdoing of the Top Doctors and another man who has his nose deep in the trough of privatised healthcare. ‘Putting patients first’ really is not on the radar of either of them.

Dickson is not the only Top Doctors friend to be begging for more dosh for the NHS. Chris Hopson, CEO of ‘NHS Providers’ which ‘represents hospital trusts’ (in England), has stated that the mere £770 million overspend by English NHS Trusts last year – despite an extra £2 billion bailout funding from the Westminster Gov’t – represents ‘genuine success at cutting costs’. Hopson has featured on this blog previously – begging for more money for NHS staff salaries (see post ‘Those Who Care Are Concerned’). Two ‘health thinktanks’ have also joined in. Sally Gainsbury, senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust, has commented that ‘£770 million is a very poor measure of how much the NHS is actually overspending by…[it] overspent by significantly more that £770 million’. However both the Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund maintain that nonetheless the NHS is performing the most magnificent job, is underfunded and Must Be Given More. The present Chief Exec of the Kings Fund is Prof Chris Ham. The former Chief Exec is a Niall Dickson! And the Kings Fund have just jointly published a report on ‘future models of care’ with my old friends the Royal College of Psychiatrists… The Nuffield Trust, like the Kings Fund, is very much part of the medical establishment. I know the Nuffield Trust as a funder of research. Some years ago I and a senior colleague at Bangor University applied to the Nuffield Trust for funding to explore the experiences of mental health patients, including those who had been prosecuted by the NHS. Our bid was peer-reviewed and it came back with many compliments regarding our methodology, our research design and our background knowledge. However we were turned down for funding because ‘it is a great pity that a project claiming to research service users experiences does not contain a service user researcher’. I was named as the person who would be managing the day to day work of the project – but I wasn’t wearing my yellow star… So my senior colleague wrote to the Nuffield Trust explaining my background but commenting that it was intrusive and unethical to expect researchers to provide confidential details concerning their personal medical histories as part of their funding applications. He also observed that the Nuffield Trust seemed to be allocating research funding for reasons other than research-related criteria. He did not receive a reply to his letter. (If any member of the Nuffield Trust is reading this blog: you will now realise that I have more ‘lived experience’ of the mental health services than either Peter Beresford or Rachel Perkins. Furthermore, they have never been harassed, threatened, abused and framed for serious offences by the mental health services. I think that my yellow star is bigger and better than theirs even if I have a habit of not wearing it at all times as required. In the light of this, would you now like to give me some funding?) Just in case Niall Dickson, Chris Hopson, the Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund weren’t providing enough muscle for the Top Doctors, I noticed that it was also reported that a number of unidentified NHS ‘finance experts’ all maintained that none of the three major political parties manifestos were pledging enough extra money for the NHS during the next Parliament. Not even Jeremy and John McDonnell, who as far as I can see have promised to give the NHS everything, including the shirts off their backs.

Now for a bit of news from north Wales. Daily Post online excitedly reported that a Zoe Davies of Wrexham has been given a community award from the esteemed Arfon Jones, North Wales’s Police and Crime Commissioner. It was explained that Zoe, 39, is a former drug addict but has been clean for two years. Zoe started using cannabis and ecstasy at 13, sold LSD at 14 (Zoe maintains that this wasn’t very profitable, she only made enough to buy more drugs), was onto methadone reefers at 17 and also ‘got really good at blagging doctors for prescription drugs’ and was an addict at 18. She explained that the doctors in the Wrexham area stopped prescribing methadone but because she was addicted she experienced serious withdrawal symptoms. She moved away from Wrexham believing that would enable her to move away from drugs, but although she was away from north Wales she still ended up in prison for dealing, once in 2008 and again in 2013. Zoe now volunteers with CAIS and works as a healthcare support worker at Hafan Wen ‘detox centre’ in Wrexham. Zoe commented that she wants to ‘repay the people and community of Wrexham’ ‘for all the trouble’ that she caused. I’m not sure that Zoe was the one causing the trouble. Let’s look at this story closely. Zoe, a teenage drug addict, managed to ‘blag’ prescription drugs out of doctors. There was one doctor in north Wales who was notorious for, as one former addict told me, giving you ‘anything that you wanted, anything at all’. That was one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – Chair of CAIS. CAIS runs the Hafan Wen detox unit. Furthermore, it was Jones who was the mover and the shaker behind the campaign to stop doctors prescribing methadone – Jones was taking patients who had stabilised on methadone off it and loading them up with benzodiazepines instead. Indeed, in the 1990s Jones appeared on ‘The Kane Debates’ boasting about this practice. He was challenged by members of the audience who told him that benzodiazepines were highly addictive but Dafydd robustly defended his prescribing excesses, pompousing away about how ‘the profession’ understands the dangers and has regulated itself. So perhaps Dafydd can explain why in today’s Mail Online there’s a huge feature regarding the enormous numbers of people who have become hooked on benzodiazepines because of irresponsible prescribing by UK medical practitioners and how the BMA are spearheading a campaign to stop this. That would be the BMA that Dafydd and his colleagues were using for free advice and to back them up when they were perjuring themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned when I complained about Dafydd’s criminal activities. The GMC are involved in the stop the benzodiazepines campaign as well – yes, the same GMC who failed to take any action against Dafydd despite the numerous very serious complaints against him. Regarding Zoe’s failed attempts to get away from the drug scene by moving to another region – this is standard advice given to people with drug problems. It is the advice given to the people from Liverpool with drug problems and it is why they are encouraged to move to north Wales – as Dafydd well knows, because some of those people end up as his patients. I note that Zoe tried selling drugs when she was young but didn’t make much money. She obviously wasn’t linked into the right distribution network then, because I have been told again and again that a lot of the CAIS ‘volunteers’ and ‘peer supporters’ are dealing in drugs and are doing very well out of this. The real winner has to be Dafydd though – CAIS are being paid millions by the Welsh Gov’t (as previously detailed on this blog) for their part in the battle against drugs in north Wales. By the way, a reader recently sent me more info regarding CAIS. Business must be booming, not only have they colonised mid-Wales but they’re now in south Wales as well. The same reader also wondered whether CAIS Chief Exec Clive Wolfendale is about to launch his own enterprise. This reader sent me a link about Clive and his ventures and I notice that before his time with the North Wales Police, Clive was a member of the Greater Manchester Police Force. That was another force alleged to be rife with corruption, the force that ignored the sexual exploitation of hundreds of children by criminal gangs in Rochdale recently, the force that violently assaulted the student demonstrators at Manchester University in 1984, one of the students being threatened and assaulted so seriously that he fled abroad to hide. Furthermore, when I was able to access the details of Elfed Roberts’s Facebook friends because he hadn’t set his privacy settings – Elfed being the former north Wales police officer who left the force under a very big cloud and was subsequently appointed as the Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust, only to achieve notoriety by demanding that I be arrested because I had pink hair, had called his car a penismobile and he was sick of my complaints – some of them were former officers in the Greater Manchester Police Force. So Clive’s just the sort of man one wants involved with a drug charity then. On a pan-Wales level.

What of the man who presented Zoe with her award, Arfon Jones? Well it transpires that as well as presenting her with the award, he nominated her for it as well. Arfon is of course a regular on this blog, Arfon being the former police officer who used to drive Gordon Anglesea to the venues where he molested children and Arfon being the man whose ‘oversight’ led to Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of a police pension, even though her husband died in prison a convicted child abuser. Arfon told the Post that Zoe was a ‘beacon of hope’ for the community. Just like Llyr Huws Gruffydd (Plaid) described Dafydd’s mediocre boarding house aka Ty Gwyn nursing home as a ‘beacon of excellence’. The beacon that charged patients more than a thousand a week for a shared room, that told patients to go into Llandudno and buy takeaways for meals, the beacon where patients received no face to face counselling or therapy from Dafydd or anyone else… There’s another person in the photo of Zoe receiving her award – Ann Griffiths, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales. Ann was ‘nominated’ for this role in July 2016. She trained as a psychiatric social worker! She has lived on Ynys Mon since 1984, when she took up a post as a social worker with a community mental health team. So that would be one of the local CMHTs who were complicit with the criminal activities of Dafydd and his colleagues at Ysbyty Gwynedd and the North Wales Hospital then. Who were banging up people who’d complained about being molested whilst they were residents of children’s homes in north Wales. Ann was later promoted to the position of line manager at Gwynedd County Council. So her manager would have been Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services (as well as Dafydd’s mistress), who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but failing to act on this information. Ann was then team leader in the Arfon Duty Team responsible for the initial assessments and joint investigation of child abuse with the police (it’s just terrifying isn’t it – no wonder so few of the paedophiles were imprisoned until very recently and so many of the witnesses were found dead). Ann then spent 10 years working for NSPCC Cymru! Again her responsibilities related to children who had been abused – presumably whilst in the care of Ann’s previous employer – and she set up the NSPCC Cymru helpline (which was dogged by allegations that callers weren’t being helped…) Since 2002 Ann has been an Independent Social Care Consultant employed in a range of roles across north Wales – again largely concerned with children who’ve been abused… So a social worker employed whilst the paedophile ring was active in the social services was later used to ‘investigate’ the abuse, ‘counsel’ the victims, chair the child protection conferences and was employed in very senior roles in this very abusive ‘service’. Which has still not been cleaned up – I know one social work student who left north Wales as soon as they qualified because they maintained that children in care were still being abused and I know someone who grew up in foster care in north Wales who was violently abused by her foster mother. She ran away from the foster home and called ‘her’ social worker and told him what was happening to her. He drove her to the police station, rang the foster mother, summoned her to the police station and asked the girl ‘would you like to repeat your allegations to your foster mother?’ The girl was then returned to the foster mother. That social worker still works in north Wales as a social worker. The abusive foster mother was rewarded in an honours list for her ‘contribution’ to ‘looked after children’. But Ann Griffiths is now Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. Furthermore in 2013 Ann was elected as a Plaid Councillor to Anglesey County Council. She has held the shadow portfolio for Social Services and Housing and Planning and was Vice-Chair of the fostering panel. She is currently chairperson of the Planning and Licensing Committee. Anglesey Council has appeared regularly in Private Eye’s ‘Rotten Boroughs’ column and some councillors have been imprisoned. There are constant allegations that the Planning Committee in particular is corrupt and one councillor is alleged to have become a millionaire through dodgy planning deals. In 2015 Ann stood in the general election as the Plaid candidate for Montgomeryshire and in 2016 she was the Plaid candidate for the National Assembly for Wales election. It can only be a matter of time before she joins that Strong Woman on her Independence Journey, Leanne, in the Senedd. ‘Jesus Christ’ as they used to say in Bethesda…

There has been a news report that someone called Matt Johnson is going to be starring in a film to be shot in the Brecon Beacons that will be ‘tackling mental health’. Johnson is described as being an ‘active ambassador for MIND’. The MIND that is colluding with abuse and criminal activity in the mental health services in north Wales and elsewhere and was recently outed on the Disability News Service as intending to bid for Gov’t contracts to assist the Tories in removing welfare benefits from people with mental health problems. Paul Farmer, the CEO of MIND, earns approx. £100,000pa. Other MIND ambassadors include those well-known underprivileged people Stephen Fry, Alistair Campbell and Melvyn Bragg.

A friend told me that they had heard Dr David Healy on Radio 4 and then another friend observed that Healy has positioned himself as a defender of ECT rather than anti-depressants. Which is interesting because there’s been an awful lot in the media recently about how ECT is actually really good and ooh its nothing like ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ and a nurse held my hand and it was lovely and I’m really glad that I had it. It may be coincidental but I wonder if David ‘you’ll never take me alive’ Healy has been doing a bit of PR? After all he has good media connections, he may well be gearing up for one of his summer appearances at Hay or somewhere in front of an audience who have no idea of what he has been complicit with at the Hergest Unit and Healy is of course the psychiatrist with responsibility for ECT at the Hergest Unit. I witnessed someone who was being ‘prepared’ for ECT at the Hergest Unit on one occasion – she had experienced it previously and I presume that it wasn’t a beautiful experience with a nurse holding her hand, because she was incredibly distressed, shouting at nurses ‘you’re not going to do that to me again’, tried to run away from them and then tried to hide. Three of them yelled at her ‘right if you won’t walk you’re going in a wheelchair’, picked her up and man-handled her into the said wheelchair and pinned her in there whilst they carted her off. This was a lady of about 70. I bet David Healy isn’t going to tell the Radio 4 listeners about that…

There has been some shock-horror figures released and discussed in the ‘Guardian’ regarding the number of students who are withdrawing from universities because of mental health problems. Brown and I published on this many years ago, but I see that the same problems exist now – students cannot get care and instead of the focus being on an NHS that is seriously letting them down, universities are being blamed. Universities are being told that they must provide more ‘support’ for students. Aren’t the Top Doctors paid to do this? University staff aren’t paid half what the Top Doctors are and anyway they are supposed to be teachers and researchers. Indeed the Top Doctors in north Wales were so bloody hopeless that other mental health professionals were actually advising local people to enrol for courses at the University because the University had a counselling service and counselling wasn’t available from the NHS mental health services. Furthermore I knew a number of students who were just completely unable to access any mental healthcare at all – they all told me that their tutors had been far more supportive to them than the bunch of thugs that constituted the Arfon Community Mental Health Team or the psychiatrists who refused to see them, telling them to ‘go home’ (ie. back to their parents) if they were ill. One of my friends is a retired academic and she told me that she regularly took distressed suicidal students to Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E for assessments, only to be kept waiting for hours and told ‘take them back to their parents, if they’re students we won’t treat them’. I knew of one member of staff who was allowing two seriously depressed students to stay over at her place on the grounds that she was not going to stand by and watch them kill themselves. The same member of staff told me that she had contacted the dreadful Keith Fearns, ‘leader’ of the Arfon Team, to tell him that one of ‘his’ clients was threatening to kill himself by jumping off the Menai Bridge, only to be told by Fearns to let him go on and do it then and that if ‘the little bastard’ bothered Fearns again, Fearns would section him. How on earth has anyone got the temerity to suggest that the deficit lies with universities when ‘mental health professionals’ behave like this? There are even some people making noises about the possibility of suing universities for lack of a duty of care – surely it is the NHS that has a duty of care? In my own case, whilst I was doing my PhD, my supervisor and his wife very kindly did what the mental health services were being paid to do but refused to – throughout my PhD they flatly refused to treat me, threatened and abused me when they saw me around the town and rang my supervisor and other members of staff to tell them that I was ‘dangerous’. And of course tried to frame me for a serious crime, only for the case to collapse when it became evidence that a number of ‘mental health professionals’ had committed perjury. Believe me, the problem of students being unable to get support for mental health problems does not lie with the universities.

Mail online reported that a nurse from Scotland confronted Nicola Sturgeon and told her that she was having to use foodbanks. There was then an accusation that the nurse in question was a Tory plant, which was robustly denied. Sturgeon apologised and ‘paid tribute’ to hard-working NHS staff. Photos were then found online of the nurse knocking back champagne and enjoying herself on holiday in New York. Of course if Nicola really wants to know what goes on in the Scottish NHS, instead of relying on nurses telling tall stories during an election campaign, she could just pay a visit to Parkhead Hospital in Glasgow, where I had the misfortune to spend a few weeks about three years ago, after a neurological problem was misdiagnosed. I was assaulted by nurses myself and witnessed this happening to other patients. Staff regularly swore at and insulted the patients. There were patients who had been sectioned there for months who didn’t even have a change of clothes. Myself and another patient caught staff altering drug sheets and stealing drugs – this wasn’t even for their own use, they were selling the drugs to another member of staff from another ward who arrived at about 5am each morning to collect the package. One young male patient was delighted to discover that he could access hard core porn on the ward TV – because someone on the hospital staff had subscribed to those channels and was obviously watching it whilst they were on duty. An elderly lady fell over in a corridor and injured herself whilst the staff looked on – it was other patients who helped her. As ever on such abusive wards, there were two or three staff doing their best – one encouraged me to document everything that I was witnessing and make a formal complaint. I did and there was of course never any investigation. When I finally got out of there I did a bit of research – there had been a number of deaths there, the hospital had been deemed unsafe and had been earmarked for closure some years ago. But somehow Sturgeon just hadn’t got round to that. Whilst I sat in there making field-notes, I watched the Scottish news where Scottish Ministers regularly made an appearance boasting about the fine state of the NHS Scotland. I discovered that one reason why Parkhead was in such a state was that all the resources were going into Southern General, the flagship hospital and neurological centre a few miles away. Southern General is one of the best hospitals in the western world and has had literally billions invested in it. So I thought that I’d find out a bit about it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the clinical director was one Dr Gwen Jones-Edwards – I recognised that name. She used to work at the Hergest Unit of all places and disappeared in the mid to late 90s. If anyone knows how a mediocre jobbing psychiatrist from a dump like the Hergest Unit whose colleagues were concealing the presence of a paedophile ring ended up ten years later as clinical director of Southern General, please do let me know. It is so improbable that I know that there’ll be a story worth blogging about behind it.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack yesterday in Manchester, both Andy Burnham and Tessa Jowell were interviewed on the ‘Today’ programme this morning. Burnham was his usual hideous self – but then he was someone who in his capacity an Secretary of State for Health, along with Alan Johnson, ignored 81 requests for an investigation into the very high death rates in Mid-Staffs. Andy had something far more important to think about – he wanted to become Prime Minister… He didn’t make it, so now he’s settled for Mayor of Manchester. Tessa was just wonderful – you could picture her taking the onion out of her pocket, as she put on her special social workers voice and kept referring to ‘loving’ and ‘caring’ for all the people in Manchester, oh and ‘connecting’ with them. She also kept mentioning ‘leadership’ as well for some reason and remembered Ken Livingstone’s wonderful ‘leadership’. That’s the Ken who signed the Early Day Motion to keep Garth Angaharad open, one of Dafydd’s prisons where the kids who were abused in the children’s homes ended up (please see ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’). The man who owned Garth  Angharad, Paul Hett, also owned ‘schools’ and ‘children’s homes’ which were the centre of allegations of cruelty and sexual abuse. Some of the children placed in those homes/schools came from London boroughs. Such as Lambeth – where Ken was a councillor. Tessa also had a connection to Lambeth – she was a children’s care officer there. Lambeth Council have now paid out several million pounds to children in their homes in the 70s and 80s who were abused by paedophile gangs – Lambeth admitted to knowing that the gangs were at work but failed to protect the children. Before working for a council that allowed paedophiles free reign Tessa was a psychiatric social worker. At the Maudsley. Where Dafydd trained! Tessa was also deputy director of MIND. At the same time as MIND was concealing criminal activity in the north Wales mental health services. And now Tessa is in the House of Lords talking about loving and caring. For more information on Tess and her appalling New Labour cronies, please see post ‘The London Connection’. (NB. Tessa – you need to be a bit careful with regard to talking about loving people. Dafydd used to tell his patients that he loved them, but what he meant was that he was sexually exploiting them. And Suzanne Hamlet of Prestwood Homes fame told the patients that she loved them and she was operating a people trafficking business. Of course, MIND knew about both Dafydd and Prestwood.)

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, May 17 2017

First, I need to pay tribute here to Kathy Mohan, someone with learning disabilities and mental health problems who has had her disability benefits butchered but who has nonetheless been rather more effective at challenging Theresa May than our well-paid opposition politicians backed by their well-funded campaigns. Kathy encountered May campaigning in Abingdon and floored her over the Tories welfare reforms. It was as good as when Thatcher was carpeted by what was then called a ‘housewife’ over the sinking of the Belgrano on a TV programme. (Thatcher famously refused to ever take part in a live ‘questions from the public’ show again.) The only disappointment was Kathy stating when interviewed that one of her friends had suggested that she should throw a few eggs at May, but Kathy felt that would be going too far. Should you ever get the opportunity again Kathy I’d urge you to go for it – until Prescott violently assaulted an egg thrower and got away with it without being charged, throwing eggs, ink, flour etc at politicians was a Great British Tradition. May is pushing disabled people into destitution, an egg upon her much boasted about £1000 leather trousers would not be out of place.

The ‘Today’ programme has reported that after the case of Ian Paterson – the Top Doctor who performed numerous unnecessary operations upon people in order it would seem to boost his earnings – there are calls from the Royal College of Surgeons for ‘greater regulation’ of the private medical sector. Er, so what’s happened to the role of the document-forging GMC then? Are they not responsible for the registration of all doctors, whether they are employed in the private sector or in the NHS? Where were they when Paterson was busy mutilating and maiming patients? Furthermore Paterson also butchered NHS patients, so not only were they left unprotected as well but it would seem that they have been completely forgotten. Oh and the Royal College of Surgeons are well aware that in many cases, the doctors working in the private sector are exactly the same people who are employed in the NHS. There’s bugger all real accountability anywhere and this is as a result of bodies like the Royal College of Surgeons failing to admit that very real problems exist with rogue doctors. Regular readers will remember that the man who co-ordinated the whitewash when I complained about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al and their law-breaking and abuse was the Medical Ombudsman at the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen. Robert Owen was a surgeon, indeed he was a very big name in surgery – and very much part of the Royal College of Surgeons. Robert Owen is probably still alive as well – when the Top Doctors were organising their en masse assault on Edwina Hart, one leading light in the campaign to oppose her plans for neurosurgery arrangements for patients in north Wales was one Professor Robert Owen, a retired surgeon.

BBC New Wales has reported that in mid-Wales, a non-clinical member of staff repeatedly unlawfully accessed patients confidential records with no good reason. The person concerned has been fined (no mention of her being sacked though!) and the Information Commissioner’s Office had a few harsh words to say. I’m still waiting to hear from them regarding the Betsi sending me the confidential records of other patients and leaking confidential information about me to a GPs surgery, a social services and a police force in England. I made formal representation months ago, as documented on this blog – it hasn’t been sorted out yet, indeed they seem to have forgotten all about it.

There has been much media coverage regarding a Lavinia Woodward. Woodward is a medical student at Oxford who has ambitions to become a heart surgeon. She has been on trial at Oxford Crown Court after she got pissed, stabbed a man whom she met on Tindr in the leg, punched him in the face and then threw a laptop, a glass and a jam jar at him. She seems to be surrounded by some very understanding people. Judge Ian Pringle has deferred sentencing and has indicated that although such offences would normally result in custody, he does not want to damage the career of this ‘extraordinary’ young woman, who is so spectacular that she’s even managed to have a few journal articles published. Christ Church College are refusing to comment on a student’s ‘personal circumstances’. Oh, Woodward is also a drug addict who has helpfully supplied a photo of herself to the Daily Mail that could best be described as constituting her entry for a wet T shirt contest on an 18-30 holiday. It is mentioned that she lives in Milan. This is a wonderful story for those of us interested in social stratification. If Woodward had been male and on benefits and had stabbed and punched a woman whom he met on Tindr, then hurled a variety of household objects at her whilst pissed and enjoying the status of an addict, I really don’t think that anyone would be thinking of protecting his future career. But there we are, Lavinia lives in one of the most expensive cities in the world, flies in and out of one of the world’s elite universities, enjoys herself with recreational chemicals and vast quantities of booze, violently attacks and injures people that she meets online – and she’ll be operating on you in the very near future! She probably sent the judge a copy of the photo that appeared in the Mail, prompting his ‘most extraordinary young woman’ comment. Higher salaries for the Top Doctors anyone? And what’s happened to the NHS ‘zero tolerance’ policy? On the ‘Today’ programme John Humphrys questioned Francis Fitzsimmons, the Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, about the judge’s reasoning – Humphrys kept questioning Fitzsimmons along the lines of ‘why should this young woman be treated differently because of her intellect’. It’s not the intellect that’s the factor John, social class is the key to this conundrum – if Lavinia had been even the highest peforming student at Glyndwr University and was living on Caia Park in Wrexham rather than Milan, she would be heading off to prison. During the interview, Fitzsimmons stated that he’d never seen a judge who wasn’t in control – what a pity he wasn’t in Caernarfon Crown Court to witness dear old Huw Daniel when he heard that the trumped up case against me of ‘threatening to kill’ Alun Davies, the NHS manager who had broken the law to conceal the wrongdoing in the mental health services, had been dropped. He roared, he bellowed, he really lost it… Now I wonder what that was all about…Should anyone really have been rash enough to subsequently appoint Huw as HM the Queen’s representative in Gwynedd? But when Huw accepted that appointment no-one thought that I was ever going to get my hands on the letter that the GMC had forged or indeed the forged certificate of indictment claiming that I’d been convicted of ‘violent disorder’ at the Court case presided over by Huw!

‘Today’ also held an intriguing interview with Dr Mene Pangalos, the ‘executive vice-president of AstraZeneca’s innovative medicines and early biotechnology unit’, explaining that the life sciences contribute billions to the UK economy and could be ‘a major driver of prosperity’ for the UK post-Brexit. So why was he on the ‘Today’ programme? To explain that to do this the Gov’t must invest many more billions in the NHS. Sorry Dr Mene, I really don’t quite follow your logic – you are either contributing billions or you are demanding billions, you can’t really be doing both. I sense an air of desperation on the part of the Top Doctors – some of whom will of course be sitting on the Board and advisory committees of AstraZeneca – they are really desperate for Dosh and they are faced with a Tory Gov’t who is determined not to give in. Furthermore they remember that when the junior doctors went on strike a few months ago public goodwill expired the minute people realised that lives were about to be put at risk, so they can’t hold another strike and embarrassments a la Ian Paterson and the surgeon who was recently prosecuted for rape are popping up regularly. So I’m wondering if the Top Doctors are now wheeling out their mates in the ‘life sciences’ industries to try to bend Theresa’s arm. I think I’ll ask my co-researcher if he can find out the identities of some of those advising AstraZeneca.

I’ve just picked up the latest edition of ‘Private Eye’ and I see Dr Phil Hammond’s column is discussing the sorry state of NHS mental health care. He raises the plight of the seriously mentally ill which is good to see – they are being utterly abandoned among the current tidal wave of people with ‘mild to moderate’ problems pressing for their needs to be met among the bandying about of not very accurate statistics of ‘1 in 4’ people experiencing mental health problems and claims that all we need is to ‘raise awareness’, ‘fight the stigma’ and a bit of ‘access to psychological therapies’. Not forgetting Mindfulness which just proved so successful when Mark Williams pioneered it in Bangor (please see blog post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Sadly however Dr Hammond maintains that what is needed is more money. Yes I’m sure that it would help, but what is really needed are competent practitioners who are not breaking the law and abusing the people that they are paid to care for. Phil Hammond may not know that some of the biggest names in UK psychiatry concealed serious criminal activity in the north Wales mental health services and were prepared to lie through their teeth whilst doing this (please see blog post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’), but he has been a doctor long enough to know that the mental health services have been very bad for a very long time and that a major problem for decades has been attracting high calibre graduates into psychiatry, although their salaries will be just as high as the salaries of their colleagues in other specialities. They really do not want to do it – even those who as medical students think that they might like to specialise in it witness such bad practice and such bad attitudes in psychiatry that many of them give up and walk away. Furthermore I’m fairly sure that Hammond worked in Taunton at one point – I remember reading a jolly little quip that I’m fairly sure was penned by him regarding the acronym ‘NFB’ on medical notes. It translated as ‘normal for Bridgwater’! What wags the Top Doctors are – I went to school in Bridgwater Phil and the dads of everyone at our school would have loved your salary, the salary for which you were being paid to deliver treatment to the bumpkins of Bridgwater. Furthermore, when Phil worked at Taunton, he will have known about the notorious Tone Vale, the local mental hospital – it killed the boyfriend of one of my former school friends and completely fucked her life up as well, but what the hell, they were only from Bridgwater. At Tone Vale, patients died avoidably, on one occasion a patient known to have a contagious disease was not isolated because they were all just nutters anyway so who cared if the whole lot of them were put at risk and serious cock-ups were concealed on a regular basis. And Phil will have known about the shambles that was the Somerset mental health services after the closure of Tone Vale…I also suspect that Phil will know about the notorious Taunton orthopaedic surgeon who intimidated his way around the hospitals, insulting patients whom he considered to be a bit NFB himself whilst he amassed a fortune, one Mr Rainey… Would he have treated patients with more respect if he’d been given more money? He was reputed to have been a millionaire, how much money did he need not to reduce the patients to tears in the ‘consultations’?

After the death of Ian Brady in Ashworth, the media has been awash with people stating the obvious ie. that he wasn’t a particularly nice man. A retired policeman from Pwhelli who once sat next to him appeared in the news to describe him as ‘devilish’. A stream of Top Doctors and other police officers have taken to the airwaves talking about his ‘narcissism’ and ‘need to control’. Gothic horror stories have been related of Brady revelling in his media coverage, of sitting at an angle in a room at Ashworth when being interviewed and of not looking the Top Doctors in the eye, of going on hunger strike but secretly enjoying snacks and of trying to get himself transferred to prison. Well, it was the tabloids who carried on publishing photos and stories about Brady and Hindley – for donkey’s years Brady was secreted in Ashworth and no-one had sight nor sound of him – and it’s hardly surprising that Brady tried to secure a transfer to prison, conditions at Ashworth and abuse of patients were so bad (murders had happened) that at one point it was almost closed down and certainly should have been. Ashworth was formed from the merger of two other institutions, Moss Side and Park Lane. That’s the Park Lane that employed Stephen Rose, the SEN who assaulted me when he worked at the North Wales Hospital. The Park Lane where children were being taken in to the wards by corrupt staff for the use of paedophiles…

But then there are some very confused emotions on the part of some people who worked in the mental health services and who remember Brady and Hindley. One of the periodic flare-ups of public interest in their crimes happened whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital by Dafydd. We all sat there watching TV whilst the parents of the children that Brady and Hindley had killed were filmed crying on camera, one father equipped himself with a knife and made a rather half-hearted murder threat towards Hindley whilst he was being filmed – I think that Hindley had been taken to the scene of the crimes by the police in an attempt to pin-point the possible burial sites of some of their victims – and everyone on TV were providing their insights, those insights being that Brady and Hindley were ‘evil’. I was having a conversation with another patient regarding the inadequacy of this analysis and a most extraordinary scene broke out on Bryn Golau Ward. One of the nurses, a lady called Ingrid, became very upset with me indeed and started crying. She told me that she had been in the public gallery at Chester when Brady and Hindley were tried, had sat through the whole of the trial, that the evidence had been dreadful and that the jury and the people in the public gallery had all ended up in tears. I don’t doubt any of this, that trial was notorious because recordings of one of the children that Brady and Hindley had murdered was played to the Court and she could be heard crying and asking for her mother. After Ingrid revealed this, the other staff all joined her in offering their diagnoses of ‘evil’ as well. Now these were staff employed on a ward where at least three people had been unlawfully imprisoned by Dafydd Alun Jones. They were staff employed on a ward where at least one male member of staff was physically assaulting female patients. And they were staff employed on a ward where a young woman had been unlawfully detained after being abducted and sexually assaulted by a group of men that included a doctor – a young woman who then disappeared from that ward without explanation or trace when a nurse, Iola Edwards, heard her telling me what had happened to her (please see blog post ‘The Distressed Young Woman Who Vanished’). This ward was part of an institution in which it’s very own Top Doctor, Dafydd Alun Jones, was sexually exploiting female patients and imprisoning people who had complained about being molested by the north Wales paedophile ring whilst they were in children’s homes in north Wales. Oh and Dafydd’s mistress was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services that she was the Director of, but failing to act. And of course the North Wales Hospital was unlawfully keeping patients in some sort of underground chamber, euphemistically known as ‘downstairs’. No wonder those nurses couldn’t cope with their own emotions when patients – illegally detained patients – discussed violent sexually motivated crimes. Regular readers will have noticed a further irony. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse the retired judge who led the Waterhouse Inquiry – which was widely alleged to have covered up the true extent of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and the names of high profile people who were involved – was junior prosecuting counsel at the trial of Brady and Hindley. Senior prosecuting counsel was Lord Elwyn-Jones – who was Lord Chancellor at the time of Mary Wynch’s unlawful arrest and imprisonment and who at that time observed that a judge called John Donaldson deserved promotion to the Court of Appeal but that it would be ‘more trouble than it was worth’. Years later John Donaldson did achieve the promotion and eventually became Master of the Rolls. Indeed, it was Lord Donaldson in his capacity as Master of the Rolls who later gave Mary leave to sue Dafydd et al. An honest judge – no wonder he was considered ‘trouble’. The presence of scoundrels on the prosecution team does not of course mean that Hindley and Brady were stitched up in the way that other people seem to have been stitched up by those we know and love, just as the presence of distressed nurses in the public gallery doesn’t mean that their crimes weren’t dreadful. But it might explain the hypocrisy and confusion of some of these people, not to mention their sheer desperation and extreme reactions every time someone tries to get to the bottom of child abuse in north Wales or expose the wrongdoing of the mental health services. They just can’t get rid of the bloodstains, no matter how much they wash their hands…

Readers who follow the ‘comments’ section on my blog will have read the recent comment from Kate, who is having difficulty accepting some of what I have discovered Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) to have been involved in. As I explain in my reply to Kate in the comments section, I think that it is highly probable that Tony Francis and his colleagues have all been under investigation in the wake of Operation Pallial, although not many of them seem to have realised it. I am aware that many in north Wales are still in a deep slumber up there, merrily tweeting and retweeting nonsense about campaigns for medical schools and bleeding heart messages from Louis Appleby about how the Mental Health Act isn’t the problem but discrimination is no less and how the NHS just needs MORE MONEY. Once again it is only David Healy who has envisaged what is coming, although he hasn’t worked out the timeline yet. By the way David, shagging one’s patients, breaking the law, concealing a paedophile ring, driving your wife’s lover to suicide and giving medical evidence against your own wife in Court to gain access to the kids that you have neither the time nor the inclination to look after and then cohabiting with female patients so that you can claim that they are employed as your ‘nannies’ or ‘housekeepers’, does not constitute an ‘expert’s private life’. Dafydd was no expert and all this was very, very public. And if you are daft enough to make ‘jokes’ in your publications about dodgy research and putting your patients in danger, then don’t be surprised if people think that it might be a good idea to publish this. In the wake of me being given that long list of names of people who have now been imprisoned for their part in the paedophile gang but knowing that not a word has appeared in the media, thus suggesting that an investigation is still underway but there are reporting restrictions in place to protect witnesses, I’ve been pondering on another mystery. That of the North Wales Hospital not having been demolished or redeveloped yet. There is alleged to be a compulsory purchase order on the building, yet there has been delay after inexplicable delay. It is still allegedly owned by an off-shore company who seem to be doing nothing with it – and last year it allegedly went up for auction for 2 million but ‘there were no bids’. ‘No bids’, come off it – old asylums in other parts of the country have all been converted into hotels or luxury apartments, people love those old buildings (they don’t know what happened in them), they have a niche value. And Denbigh was, architecturally, one of the finest examples of an asylum in the country. Yet it is being allowed to fall down – and this is being used as the rationale to maintain security out there, including the occasional police patrol and to impose a blanket ban on all explorers of old buildings (there’s another warning today in the Post online). It’s not credible. But of course some of us for a long time have been urging an investigation into Denbigh, into the patients that died out there but whose deaths went undeclared (as dear old David Crossley published when he worked there, ‘only ever one death’ – bollocks Crossley, Gwynne Williams carried out lobotomies there and none of the people involved or the facilities themselves were safe enough to perform such ‘operations’) and of course into ‘downstairs’. And what about the patients who disappeared without trace, or the patients whom Tony Francis admitted had been ‘hidden away’ out there by Dafydd, whom no-one knew what to do with as closure loomed? Anyone for forensic examination of the building and the grounds? If that has been happening no-one is going to want ‘urban explorers’ or ghost hunters traipsing around. And if the building has been deemed dangerous, police and security patrols can stop all access… However, I can still hear the sound of loud snoring from the direction of north Wales, except of course from the North Wales Dept of Psychological Medicine aka the Good Ship Healy.