Failings In Care – But Another Narrative Verdict

The media have reported that a narrative verdict has been returned by John Gittins, the coroner who carried out the inquest on Sgt Lee Johnson who hung himself whilst a patient at the Heddfan Unit, Wrexham Maelor. Yet another narrative verdict in the face of what everyone acknowledges was the suicide of someone who was in the care of the Betsi mental health services. If anyone ever did have any doubts about what has been going on in north Wales, this case makes it crystal clear – inquest verdicts are being manipulated to conceal the size of the problem that is the mental health services in north Wales. It is only two years since Danielle Robinson hung herself in the Heddfan Unit. We were told then that ‘lessons had been learned’ – they haven’t. Anyone familiar with the physical layout of the Heddfan Unit will know how easy it is for staff to check on patients, the building has been designed for that. So how are people managing to hang themselves? Hanging is not a quick or easy method of killing oneself – and a key element of health and safety requirements of mental health units is the identification and removal of ligature points.

Another factor was introduced into the explanation for the death of Sgt Johnson – he had been drinking whilst in the Heddfan Unit and it was known that drink made him suicidal, but staff commented that he was reluctant to discuss this. I noted in my previous post ‘It’s Yet Another Inquest Into Yet Another Death’ that the standard response of the mental health services in north Wales to people with drink problems is to refuse to treat them and refer them to CAIS, a charity shot through with failure and dodgy practice. So that will probably have been why Sgt Johnson was reluctant to discuss this – Sgt Johnson and his wife were/are police officers and Sgt Johnson’s wife mentioned in the inquest that they had previously had dealings with Heddfan professionally. So they will have known about the attitude towards patients with drink problems (it is the police who are called upon to throw the patients with alcohol problems out of the hospitals). I also mentioned in my previous post that the acute mental health units run by the Betsi actually breathalyse patients and searches their rooms if they are suspected of drinking. Unbelievably, John Gittins commented at the inquest that this policy is effective but needs to be made more robust. No this policy is almost certainly what led to Sgt Johnson’s death – the policy on alcohol is so rigid and draconian that people with alcohol problems feel unable to discuss this and resort to sneaking in alcohol if their problem is that bad. The Betsi are carrying out their own version of Prohibition – it didn’t work in the U.S. in the 1920s and it’s not working in north Wales now. The only choice that people with alcohol problems have is to knock on the door of CAIS, an organisation with some of the sleaziest people in north Wales on it’s Board, including a number who concealed a paedophile gang (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) But wasn’t it concluded that Prohibition failed because it pushed the alcohol trade into the embrace of gangsters?

I notice that once more Dr Stuart Porter, the man who was memorably described to me as sporting a pair of ‘wanker’s glasses’ by a less than impressed patient – who was refused treatment by Porter et al although he was seriously depressed – has been wheeled out as the public face of the Betsi and was referred to as the ‘interim clinical director’. Porter’s previous stomping ground was the Ablett Unit – the Unit that released a patient with no aftercare maintaining that he was ‘feigning illness in order to secure accommodation’. That patient was actually seriously ill and went on to decapitate someone (please see post ‘Homicide Committed By Patient At Ablett Unit’). It was of course the Ablett Unit that hosted the infamous Tawel Fan ward, where elderly mentally ill patients were left to crawl around naked on a floor covered in urine and faeces whilst  nurses swore at them and discussed their sex lives. One of those patients was found to have an untreated broken arm. It was Tawel Fan that led to the Betsi being placed in special measures. So with Porter and his glasses at the helm it’s obvious that the mental health services are heading for the stars…

There is however a long and glorious history of people in the public domain colluding with the appalling mental health services in north Wales. I was reading parts of the Waterhouse Report yesterday in preparation for a future post and I was gobsmacked to read that Rob Evans, the senior manager of Gwynedd Social Services responsible for mental health services, had given evidence to the Waterhouse Inquiry and described the community mental health services as among the best in Europe. He was talking about the Arfon Community Mental Health Team there. Who perjured themselves in order to obtain High Court injunctions against people who complained about them, who perjured themselves again in order to try and have those people imprisoned for breaking the injunctions, who assaulted patients in the team’s office in Bangor and who threatened to assault patients in their own homes. The Arfon Team had done all these things by the time that Evans made that comment to the inquiry and what’s more Evans knew it. Furthermore, not long before Evans was called to give that evidence, he had been responsible for investigating a complaint of mine regarding the constant harassment and aggression that I was receiving from the Arfon Team. The complaint remained unresolved and the aggro towards me from the Arfon Team continued. I now have documents in my possession written by Rob Evans regarding my complaint. He had asked Keith Fearns, the psychopath who was the ‘leader’ of the Arfon Team, ‘what he wanted done’ with me. Fearns had replied ‘lock her up’. Evans had told Fearns that wasn’t possible. Fearns had repeated ‘lock her up’. Evans noted that the situation was unresolvable and that he was leaving his post imminently so he did not intend to pursue this matter further. The best in Europe? Before Evans had been appointed Director of Mental Health, he had been involved in child care. When Evans met me to hold a futile discussion regarding the problem that was Fearns and his gang of thugs, Evans kept stressing that ‘social work practice’ changes with time and what was acceptable at one point may not be acceptable in the future (what relevance this had to social workers lying in court and assaulting their clients I do not know). As an example Evans said that when he used to place children in children’s homes he used to take away their shoes to stop them running away ‘but you’re not allowed to do that now’. When the former residents of the north Wales children’s homes gave evidence at the trials of the men who had sexually abused them, one of them stated that he had tried to run away after being sexually molested. So someone took his shoes away to stop him. I think at the very least, Rob Evans should now be prosecuted for lying to the Waterhouse Inquiry. (Another thing that I remember Rob saying to me was that some children hated him for placing them in the children’s homes but he knew that he’d done the right thing because their parents ‘should look after their kids properly’. Rob thought that they weren’t doing this so he handed their kids over to a paedophile gang. Nice work Rob.) The Waterhouse Report also mentions that Rob Evans’s employment prospects were limited and that he wasn’t a Welsh speaker. So what did Rob do when he stopped being Director of Mental Health for Gwynedd? He became Director of Community Services for Anglesey! The last time that I saw the dreadful Rob he accused me of ‘arrassin’ him because I dared question him about the documents that he compiled about me after he met Fearns in the wake of my complaint. So I ‘arrased him. Well he handed fresh meat over to a fucking paedophile ring.

Rob was not alone in believing that an abusive service imprisoning it’s clients and driving them to suicide was leading the field on a European level. As the closure of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh loomed, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones made regular appearances in the local media and was described as ‘Europe’s leading forensic psychiatrist’. He wasn’t even a forensic psychiatrist. But he was banging up people who had complained about the abuse in the children’s services and mental health services.

What was it about the paedophile’s friends that made them obsessed with their status as Europe’s leading? Couldn’t they have just gone for gold and announced themselves as global leaders? Or were there better facilitators of a paedophile gang somewhere on another continent?


Updates On Previous Posts, Including Inquest Verdict

Nicola Jones, the Coroner at the inquest of Michael Bryn Jones (please see post ‘A Tale Of Two Inquests’) has returned a verdict of suicide. Ms Jones commented that ‘there should have been more effort to persuade Mr Jones to come into Hergest for a full assessment of his condition. He went to that Unit looking for help and he didn’t get it’ (well that’s been the experience of a lot of people for at least the last fifteen or twenty years). Ms Jones suggests that ‘more effort’ was needed – but it wasn’t that the Hergest Unit simply lacked in effort, Mr Jones was turned away when he went to the Hergest Unit asking to see a doctor. Robat Hughes, the ‘senior nurse’ who answered the door to Mr Jones, stated that he ‘regretted’ not asking Mr Jones whether he was already having treatment. Hughes said that Mr Jones had asked for a doctor, but Hughes told him that the doctor had gone home sick but if he went to A&E there would be doctors there. So that was the ‘help’ that Mr Jones received. Is Robat Hughes really so thick that he didn’t twig that someone turning up at the Hergest Unit in the middle of the night asking to see a doctor might have been feeling very rough indeed? The Hergest Unit have now managed to kill so many patients by refusing to help them when they turn up at the Unit that one would have thought that, in the words of Peter Higson and Margaret Hanson, the ‘learning’ would be ’embedded’ by now. Patient turns up at night asking to see doctor followed by patient being turned away leads to patient later being found dead. It’s not rocket science. But the idiocy continues – the ‘incident’ ie. NEEDLESS DEATH was ‘reviewed’ by ‘consultant psychiatrist Dr Stuart Porter’, who concluded that somebody should have taken Mr Jones to A&E and that it is good practice to follow up with a phone call. Porter hasn’t mentioned the other numerous worrying aspects of this case – that Mr Jones was well-known to the Unit, that he’d tried to kill himself five times, that his family had only weeks earlier ‘begged’ for him to remain an inpatient when he was discharged, that the family stated that they weren’t listened to and that a care plan that they maintained wouldn’t work remained in place. But Porter doesn’t seemed to have commented on all this. Lest anyone think that Stuart Porter is some sort of ‘independent expert’, let me enlighten you. Porter is a psychiatrist who also works for the  Betsi, at the Ablett Unit. The Ablett Unit that kicked a patient out, homeless and with no aftercare, on the grounds that he was ‘faking mental illness’ in order to secure accommodation and who was said by a nurse to have been a ‘foreign type’ ‘speaking gibberish’ (he was speaking in Bulgarian) who later beheaded someone because he was actually completely psychotic (please see post ‘Homicide Committed By Patient At Ablett Unit’); the Ablett where care of the elderly mentally ill on Tawel Fan ward was so bad that it was described as the worst mental health care scandal that the country had seen, resulted in the Betsi being put into special measures and is the subject of two ongoing external inquiries (please see previous posts concerning Tawel Fan). This is not the first time that Stuart Porter has been used to paper over the very big cracks in the ‘care’ provided by the Hergest Unit – both Porter and Dr David Crossley are regularly wheeled out by the Betsi to do this and they both manage to usually agree that whatever crazy diagnosis and shite care has been dished out by the Hergest, it is quite appropriate. I know of a someone who for twenty years endured the usual neglect and abuse from the Hergest Unit and as many of us have, also managed to acquire multiple different diagnoses from them – after he had made a formal complaint, the usual strategy of announcing that he had an untreatable ‘borderline personality disorder’ was employed. After begging to be transferred to a unit away from the lethal Hergest, he finally wound up at the Ablett, in the ‘care’ of Stuart Porter. It was every bit as bad as Hergest, both in terms of the facilities and the ‘care’. Furthermore Porter consulted with the psychiatrists at Hergest who had been the subject of the complaint and read all their ‘records’ (much of which were factually inaccurate) before seeing my friend. He then told my friend that he had a borderline personality disorder. However at the same time, he did give my friend the Beck Depression Inventory to complete – my friend fulfilled the criteria for serious clinical depression. Porter then said that the Beck Inventory was irrelevant. So why did Porter give it to him? As well as Porter, my friend had one meeting with Porter’s colleague, a CPN. This CPN altered the date of the meeting by e mail, then denied doing so – even though my friend then produced the e mail. When the CPN finally did manage to get it together to meet my friend, during the course of the conversation my friend mentioned that when he was at university he often used to like going barefoot (this was in the late 60s where students going barefoot was almost de rigour in some circles). On the basis of this and this alone would you believe, the CPN diagnosed my friend with a ‘narcissistic personality disorder’. My friend pointed out to Porter that this was inconsistent with the previous diagnosis and Porter’s response was that my friend had a narcissistic personality disorder ‘as well’. So my friend was suffering from: bipolar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. All at once. But not depression, although the only appropriate diagnostic tool that had ever been employed in his case showed him to be severely depressed. But one Dr Marie Savage previously of the Hergest Unit – and at present I understand of the Ablett Unit – surpassed all others. She wrote on my friend’s medical records that he ‘has always wanted to be a woman’. How Savage managed to conclude this as she penetrated the mysteries of my friend’s psyche he did not know – and he didn’t realise that she’d even written this until his lawyer obtained his medical records after years of him being pissed about by that gang of fools. But my friend did have long hair and he sometimes wore pink climbing trousers, so it was probably based on that. I can only wonder if Marie Savage was the person who started off that notorious allegation that the Teletubby who used to have the handbag was gay. My friend observed that as well as sporting a pair of ‘wanker’s glasses’, Stuart Porter’s highly stylised attempt at playing the role of a psychiatrist ‘was so bad that it wouldn’t have landed him a part in one of Linda Snell’s pantomimes’.

Anyway Porter ‘reviewed the incident’ and the Betsi have now ‘changed their procedures’, offered their ‘sincere condolences’ to Mr Jones’s family and ‘fully accepted’ the findings of the Coroner. So we’ll wait for the next catastrophe at the Hergest and another review by the man sporting a pair of wanker’s glasses whose only observation after the Hergest Unit sends the next suicidal person off into the night to their death will no doubt be that everything was basically OK, but perhaps they could have made a follow up phone call. By the way after his encounter with Porter and his glasses, my friend gave up with north Wales psychiatry and went abroad for the care that he needed.

My blog post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’ detailed the research fraud, plagiarism and other dodgy dealings of the late Professor Fergus Lowe, of Bangor University’s School of Psychology. Fungus’s claim to fame was the ‘Food Dudes’ programme, designed to promote healthy eating in children (Fungus himself lived on a diet of coke and crisps). So great was the success of Food Dudes that Fungus established a company, Food Dudes Health Ltd. I have just read on BBC News Wales that it has gone into liquidation with debts of £1.2 million, and that the creditors include a number of public health bodies and councils in England, who are owed more than £800,000. Is this the beginning of the end of the Myth that is the School of Psychology? I think that the practices of that ‘world leading School’ would be revealed in all their horror if anyone bothered to take a long hard look at the development of the phenomenon that is ‘Mindfulness’ as developed by Professor Mark Williams – readers may begin this process by reading my post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’. One can only marvel that an academic empire was built on foundations as rotten as this – and Plaid are so impressed with both this and the dear old Hergest Unit that they think it’s worth developing into a medical school…