News Round Up, 19 January 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your dad kept some lovely company Antoinette.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News Round Up, August 24 2017

Recently the Morning Star ran a critique of the notion of ‘Mental Health First Aid’ courses. I was greatly pleased to read it, because I’ve long been of the opinion that ‘Mental Health First Aid’ is dangerous simplistic nonsense and as the Morning Star argued, it is being used to absolve the Gov’t of their responsibilities to people with mental health problems. ‘Mental Health First Aid’ is never going to address the problems of seriously ill people but it could lead to a false level of confidence among the folk who have been ‘trained’ with regard to their ability to solve the problems of people in serious distress and lead to the First Aiders being in danger of seriously screwing up. The Morning Star introduced the old chestnut of ‘more money for mental health services’ – there’s not a lot of point in giving the mental health services more money at the moment, it will just be metaphorically pissed up against the wall along with the rest of the money that they’ve already swallowed. There is no point giving them more money to do more of what doesn’t work. The Morning Star however did make the salient point that the Gov’t would be better off concentrating on matters like suitable housing for people with mental health problems, with which I would completely agree. People are subjected to expensive ‘treatment’ which is frequently ineffective or even abusive, yet their basic needs such as accommodation and income is being ignored.

The Daily Post Online has been brimming over with stories of serious problems regarding homelessness in north east Wales. It was reported that Flintshire Council have put a load of homeless people up in the Pontins Holiday Camp at Prestatyn. Flintshire Council have stated that their homeless service is at ‘breaking point’ – in Sept 2016 there were 1,600 people on the waiting list. Flintshire Council may be at breaking point, but Wrexham County Borough Council has actually broken. An ‘encampment’ of homeless people has been established on the site of the old Grove School in Wrexham – there’s a lot of people there and they’re living in tents. The Council has delivered some portaloos to the site, but Nigel Lewis, the Chairman of Wrexham Town Centre Forum, maintains that the facilities at the encampment are insufficient. He points out that the Third sector and the Council have failed to solve this problem and that a different approach is needed. Mr Lewis wants Wrexham to take a leaf out of Bristol’s book and house the tent-dwellers in shipping containers once winter arrives. Mr Lewis seems to have suggested this because he knows that there’s no chance of houses for any of them. What have we come to when moving into a shipping container is a step up? I know that a creative artist could, with time and a bit of money, probably work on a shipping container and convert it into a unique and interesting home, but I don’t think anyone’s going to do that for the people living on the site of Grove School. I suspect that what will happen is that a job lot of shipping containers – probably acquired on the cheap – will be unceremoniously parked on a brownfield site somewhere and that will be the ‘housing’. Furthermore, it will probably then be argued that anyone living in a shipping container is now ‘housed’ and they’ll never be offered anything else. If they move out of the shipping container, they’ll be deemed to have voluntarily made themselves homeless and they’ll never be allowed on a housing waiting list again.

It’s particularly ironic that these stories have emerged, because earlier on I was browsing through Hansard and I came across the account of the Commons Welsh Affairs sitting of 28 Feb 1984, the annual ‘Welsh Day’. Lord Crickhowell aka Nicholas Edwardes, the then Secretary of State for Wales – star of posts ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’ and ‘Corruption Bay Special’ – was speaking and being questioned by a number of Welsh MPs. Dafydd Elis-Thomas and other MPs were doing all that they could to tell Edwardes that if the Conservative Gov’t did not start investing in a bigger council house building programme, there would be a crisis in future years. Edwardes, in true Minister-of-Thatcher’s style, was having none of it and boasted about the Tories’ successful housing policies. If you’d built those houses Edwardes, there wouldn’t be people living in tents looking forward to moving into a shipping container when the inclement weather arrives.

Edwardes was also challenged by furious Welsh MPs who were quoting the figures relating to the problems that Wales had encountered since Edwardes became Secretary of State in 1979 in terms of the thousands of people who were unemployed, the number of major employers who had shut shop etc. Edwardes responded by using the discourse of ‘change’, that some businesses would die, some would grow, that failing firms would collapse but nonetheless the economy was growing, that ‘failure and closure go hand in hand with success and growth’ and that Wales had to ‘adapt to change’. Furthermore, under the Tories new technology based businesses would soon be erupting into life all over Wales, just like Silicon Valley. I’m still waiting Nicholas – they haven’t arrived yet. Edwardes’ warned everyone that there would be closures in the south Wales coalfield but they were of course necessary. He was however delighted to announce a huge new investment in the steel works at Port Talbot – although they’re about to go tits-up down there thirty years later under another Tory Gov’t.

Edwardes’ pride and glory though, the enormous ‘investment’ that he banged on about at length to explain how much Thatcher’s Gov’t was doing for Wales, was something that he called the ‘south Cardiff initiative’ – yes, Edwardes was hailing the arrival of Corruption Bay, the massive scam that I have detailed previously on this blog, from which Nicholas Edwardes and some of his friends made a mint because they were directors of the businesses and quangos who were central to the development. My interest in Corruption Bay was aroused by the Welsh blogger Jac O The North who provides full details on his blog – Jac has always argued that Edwardes and his mates had the whole thing planned out years before they joined the contracted companies as Directors and raked in the profits from the publicly funded bonanza themselves. In the light of the comments that Edwardes made in the Commons on Feb 28 1984, it rather looks as though Jac is spot on. All the proposed ingredients are mentioned by Edwardes – the millions and millions of Gov’t dosh that would be available for the ‘initiative’, the availability of dosh from the ‘urban development grant’ and the names of the companies chosen by ABP and LAW to carry out the work. Edwardes trumpets the central theme of the ‘initiative’ as being a ‘collaboration between the public and private sectors’. That’s right Edwardes, you planned the ‘collaboration’ whilst you were in office, you gave the green light to the huge amount of public money that was given to the quangos involved – quangos on which your friends and business partners were sitting – then once work was underway, you resigned from office, shuffled off into the Lords and then joined the Boards of the companies that your mates on the quangos had contracted to do the work.

Edwardes mentions that the famously corrupt WDA would be building the first centre for advanced technology at Deeside Industrial Park. The plan was for this centre to house Newtech, ‘an organisation for technical research, development and innovation formed jointly by Clwyd County Council and NEWI’. Edwardes stated that Newtech had recently received urban programme backing from the Gov’t. This all sounds very familiar. My post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’ detailed the backgrounds of the Chancellor and some of the governors at Glyndwr University (previously NEWI). There are multiple conflicts of interest in evidence – there is obviously an extensive game of musical chairs going on in north east Wales, with a network of people log jamming all the positions in the County Councils, the Boards of local companies, the Council of Glyndwr University, the Magistrates Bench etc. The people in those positions today have been circulating around for decades – some of them will have benefited from the investment in Deeside that Edwardes announced in 1984.

Keith Raffan, the Tory MP for Delyn, paid tribute to Edwardes and his colleagues at the Welsh Office regarding the setting up of the Delyn enterprise zone in Flint – there had been over £8.2 million in land reclamation. They had also received an urban programme grant of more than £1 million – much more than the local borough had expected. Raffan felt that this was  confirmation of the ‘excellent management’ of the borough.

But guess what else is recorded in Hansard? That there is a serious financial crisis in Clwyd County Council. They were flat broke and had to dip into their reserves. The situation is so dire that the Council planned an enormous rise in the rates, so high that it caused a row in Parliament. Nonetheless the Chief Executive’s office alone employs 34 staff and redundancies are not suggested. The Chief Exec in 1984 was Mervyn Phillips. Who was in charge of the Clwyd County Council that were running the dreadful mental health services and the children’s homes where children were being abused and trafficked into prostitution. Clwyd County Council were not spending their money on health or the social services. So where was it going? I have previously provided examples on this blog of occasions when funds from Clwyd Council had been embezzled and of Chief Execs of Clwyd who somehow managed to liberate huge sums of money to prop up the charities with which they were involved – which resulted in some of them receiving gongs. For the full details see post ‘Ain’t Nothing Clean – Not Even The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists’. In this post though I will confine myself to mentioning that one of the most serious offenders, Mervyn Phillips, was a Director of Bodelwyddan Castle Trust. Hansard 28 Feb 1984 records angry MPs raising questions about the ‘extravagant amount’ that was spent on Bodelwyddan Castle to transform it into a tourist attraction.

The Welsh Office knew about the paedophile gang that was operating in Clwyd, the wider Tory Party openly discussed the fact that Sir Peter Morrison the MP for Chester was sexually abusing boys and was visiting children’s homes in Clwyd. The Welsh Office were concealing both the abuse of children in north Wales and the abuses of the mental health services who were facilitating the paedophile ring. So Edwardes was faced with a bankrupt Council who ran the children’s homes that were trafficking children into prostitution – to other MPs as well as Morrison. At the same time he was giving huge quantities of public money to businesses on Deeside and in Flint – which were run by some of the same people who ran the Council, the Social Services and the Health Authority that facilitated the paedophile gang. People who also packed the benches of the local Magistrates Courts – no wonder so few of the members of the paedophile gang were convicted but so many of their victims were.

One doesn’t have to be a genius to conclude that the financial mismanagement of the Council and indeed overt theft by people in Clwyd County Council was being overlooked by a Welsh Office who rewarded them with millions in ‘grant aid’ – as long as the criminals in that Council’s ‘children’s services’ continued to supply the fresh meat to the Westminster Paedophile Ring…

One of the names mentioned in Hansard was that of the Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Wyn Roberts. Wyn told the Commons how good the prospects of a child born in 1979 would be, such a babe being born under the reign of Queen Maggie. Unless of course they were taken into care Wyn or found themselves in need of a mental health service… In Feb 1984 Wyn Roberts was plain old Mr. He soon became Sir and eventually became Lord. No-one in north Wales ever understood why Wyn Roberts was thought so highly of that he ended up in the Lords – particularly as he never made it to Secretary of State. It’s not as if he ever addressed the problems of the mental health services that constituents like me took to him. He never even raised concerns about the paedophile gang! Ah – I think I understand…

Another name that I recognised popped up in Hansard as well. Edwardes told the House that the Kidney Research Unit for Wales Foundation and the private sector had been invited to submit tenders alongside NHS proposals for the NHS to operate two proposed dialysis units, one in Carmarthen and one at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor. The schemes for these units were to be evaluated by one Professor William Asscher, Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Cardiff Medical School. William Asscher approved the unit for Ysbyty Gwynedd and shortly afterwards landed a senior position in St George’s Hospital Medical School – where I was hounded out of a job in 1991 at the same time as psychiatrists from St George’s Hospital Medical School colluded with psychiatrists in north Wales to have me labelled as ‘dangerous’, although the St George’s psychiatrists were aware that psychiatrists in north Wales were sexually exploiting patients and were involved in criminal activities. One source of information regarding my dangerousness was Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but not acting on that knowledge. Lucille was the mistress of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – one of the psychiatrists who was sexually exploiting patients, breaking the law and telling St George’s that I was dangerous! The other psychiatrist from north Wales who told St George’s how dangerous I was, was Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). He was a graduate of Cardiff Medical School, had spent a number of years working there post-qualification and worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd whilst William Asscher gave the go-ahead for the renal unit. My post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’ explains how St George’s Hospital was a foundation that had originally been established by a donation from the Duke of Westminster. In the 1980s, the then Duke of Westminster was the president of the City of Chester Conservative Association. The fact that their MP Peter Morrison was molesting children was openly gossiped about among members of the Association (see post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’). It’s a small world – especially if there’s a paedophile ring which is part of an organised criminal gang with international connections supplying children to Westminster figures that needs concealing…

It is noticeable that the areas of Wales that were suffering so much under Edwardes – represented by some of the angry MPs who were trying to make him understand the damage that his Gov’t was doing – are the areas of Wales that remain wrecked today and are still the subject of regular political discussions regarding the disadvantage found in the communities within them.

 

Yesterday the Daily Post Online ran a feature on a local hero – a Top Doctor from Denbighshire, Professor Bim Bhowmick. Bim was described as being 77 years old with a ‘long and successful career behind him’. It was mentioned that Bim was a geriatrician and former Medical Director of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Not only is Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as mismanaged and as riddled with corruption as Ysbyty Gwynedd, but the wards for the elderly have been notorious for years. They are so bad that staff working at YGC warn friends not to allow their relatives to be admitted there. It was the ‘institutional abuse’ of elderly mentally ill patients in Tawel Fan ward in YGC that caused the Welsh Gov’t to place the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in special measures. Patients were crawling around naked on floors covered in urine and faeces whilst staff swore at them and discussed their sex lives. One patient was found to have a broken arm. It transpired that a nurse had previously raised concerns about conditions on the ward, but had been confronted by a doctor saying that he ‘didn’t want any more complaints’. The case of Tawel Fan was the biggest scandal involving care of the elderly that there has been for many years and the ward has been shut down. The nurse who eventually blew the whistle was sacked. No member of staff involved in abusing the patients has been disciplined or prosecuted.

Perhaps standards of elderly care at YGC have simply slipped since Bim was put out to grass? Not really. My post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’ details how some years ago a retired professor from Bangor University, Clare Wenger, was so horrified at what she witnessed when she was admitted to a ward for the elderly at YGC that she wrote a detailed report noting every incident of abuse and neglect and sent it to over 100 academic contacts and NHS officials. Clare Wenger was denounced as a stuck up cow doing down our wonderful NHS. Clare Wenger’s specialism was the care  and support of elderly people. Unlike Bim she didn’t work at YGC so didn’t need to lie about conditions there. Furthermore Clare Wenger actually has a track record of high calibre academic research which Bim, for all his ‘long and successful career’, doesn’t seem to have.

In spite of being Medical Director of the worst geriatric services in north Wales – and probably in the whole of Wales – Bim tells a good story and has managed to do alright for himself.

Bim came from a wealthy family in Bengal but left during the troubled time of partition in India. Bim’s family were targeted because they were wealthy and Bim left India before the rest of his family. Bim’s father’s parting words to him were – when Bim was 6 years old – ‘be a good doctor’. When Bim grew up he lived his father’s dream and studied medicine – Bim had to ‘beg’ a friend of his father’s to pay his fees. Bim triumphed and qualified. In 1969 Bim arrived in the UK. A BBC News Online report from July 2006 tells us that in 1974 Bim decided to settle in north Wales and worked as a consultant at HM Stanley Hospital St Asaph. Somehow, although Bim’s a geriatrician, ‘as a young doctor he developed a special interest in stroke care and progressed to become one of Britain’s foremost experts’ and ‘in 1989 he established a stroke rehab unit as YGC’. This is as puzzling as Bim’s expertise in gerontology. Stroke care in Wales as a whole was so bad that some years ago the Welsh Assembly Gov’t imported some stroke specialists from England in order to build a service for Wales. Stroke care in north Wales was the worst of the lot – there was no specialist service. One of the English imports got into a spat with someone because he was unable to deliver a service in Welsh and in his defence commented that ‘at present a service in Japanese would be an improvement because there is no service’. Stroke patients in north Wales had some of the worst outcomes in the UK – they were dropping like flies because they weren’t getting treatment soon enough. In a lot of cases no-one had even diagnosed them correctly.

I am wondering if Bim is rather like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones who told the local newspapers that he was ‘Europe’s leading forensic psychiatrist’ when he wasn’t even a forensic psychiatrist.

For some reason, after excelling in north Wales, in 2006 Bim departed for Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust where he became Clinical Director of Torfaen Intermediate Care Services. Bim retired in 2009.

Bim really did reach the dizziest of heights however. In 2003 Cardiff University offered him a Chair and a Fellowship. He was also offered a Fellowship by Glyndwr University. In 2009 he was given a Lifetime Achievement award from NHS Wales. He was a runner up for the Bevan Prize for his outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of the elderly. In 2000 he was awarded an OBE for his contribution to elderly care services in Wales. Bim won the Founder’s Medal from the British Geriatrics Society in 2005.

Bim is now Emeritus Consultant Physician for the elderly in YGC as well as Clinical Director of Medicine and Associate Postgraduate Dean, Wales. He helped initiate and Chairs the Equality and Diversity Committee of the Royal College of Physicians.

Bim is a Board Member of the Bevan Commission, which is dedicated to ‘promoting health and health services in Wales’. The Bevan Commission informs us that he has been ‘delivering excellence and innovation in geriatric medicine within the NHS for over 48 years’. So that’s why geriatric care is usually so shite and why geriatrics is the least desirable speciality among medical graduates.

Bim has even invented a model of care – and has called it after himself. It’s the BIM – the Bhowmick Innovative Model, bringing acute medical care to elderly patients in their own homes. It reduces bed blocking and introduces significant savings. It’s also a very well-kept secret, because the last I heard there was a crisis in the care of elderly people at home. Nonetheless Bim won the UK BUPA ‘charity’ medical research prize and was a finalist in the BMJ awards.

In Oct 2015 Bim gave a public lecture as part of a programme organised by Bangor University, Grwp Llandrillo Menai and supported by Public Health Service Wales: ‘The Elderly In Illness: Hospital Or Home Treatment With Dignity’. Well they certainly got that in Tawel Fan – as did Clare Wenger when she was given an enema on an open ward in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd whilst she was on the receiving end of a bit of Bim’s excellence.

Bim is of course a governor of Glyndwr University and a former Deputy Lieutenant of Clwyd. Bim wrote his autobiography a few years ago, ‘You Can’t Climb A Ladder With Your Hands In Your Pockets’. He seems to have climbed one by telling a lot of tall stories and relied on no-one daring to expose him because that would involve admitting the dreadful truth about standards of care at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

 

I came across another interesting document today. It dated from 2004 and was a list of the most senior Freemasons in the UK. There have been of course constant allegations that the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was connected with Masonic activity, although this was denied in the Waterhouse Report and then denied again by Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb after the Macur Review. The rumours persist though – I was told by somebody in MIND in 1987 that the problems caused by Dafydd and co in the mental health services involved Freemasonry and it was admitted that Gordon Anglesea was a Freemason as were a number of the judges and lawyers who have been involved in the inquiries, investigations and trials connected with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. St George’s Hospital was known to be dominated by Freemasons. Bangor University had it’s own lodge. The lodge in the town of Bangor had a number of police officers and lawyers as members.

So when I found the list of Masons today, I paid close attention to see if I recognised any names from north Wales lodges. I did. An R. Hefin Davies MBE was listed – that is the former Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust. Out of interest I then searched the Company Director’s register for Hefin Davies’s interests. He has been a director of a number of companies, three of them involved with the slate trade in north Wales. Being a director of companies involved with the slate industry might at first seem a little incompatible with being the Chair of an NHS Trust. But it’s interesting in the light of something that I was told some years ago when I lived near Bethesda. The Penrhyn Slate Quarry is situated near Bethesda and a lot of my former neighbours used to work there or have friends who worked there. There were always a lot of allegations that massive fiddles were being conducted on the part of some of the senior people in the quarry. Eventually I think it was three people who were put on trial for offences like fraud and theft. It wasn’t just a bit of pilfering that had gone on, the people involved were fleecing the quarry in a major way. There was one man who was caught and arrested however who was never charged. This was widely discussed in the village in terms of ‘how the hell has he got away with it when the others are in court’. The man concerned had been driving lorry loads of slate out of the quarry without going over the weigh bridge, he’d been stealing tons of the stuff. After everyone marvelled at no prosecution ever being brought, I was told by someone ‘not only that but he’s now just been given a seat on the Board of the North West Wales NHS Trust’. Hefin was Chairman at the time. Hefin was also Chairman when Ysbyty Gwynedd were slaughtering mental health patients and the staff were perjuring themselves in order to secure criminal convictions against patients who made complaint.

Another name on the list of senior Freemasons in north Wales was that of the Rev Canon Trevor Davies of Colwyn Bay. Another name was Gareth Lloyd Jones, a funeral director in Llanwrst. The Masons obviously do put a bit of business each others way, because Gareth Lloyd Jones organised the funeral of the Provincial Grand Master of North Wales 1990-2004, one Ian Lawrie Mackeson-Sandbach, who died in 2012. When Ian died, donations to the King Edward VII Hospital were requested. I presume that this is the same King Edward VII Hospital mentioned in my post ‘Update On Tainted Blood Scandal – The Culprit’, the hospital with Lord Simon Glenarthur as governor (who is also the Director of the MDU), the Conservative peer who was responsible for the tainted blood scandal which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. Ian’s mother Geraldine – who died in 2001 – was a descendant of the 2nd Baron Penrhyn. Geraldine inherited a Jamaican plantation of 4000 acres and two sizeable estates in north Wales. Geraldine was President of the Denbigh branch of the Royal College of Midwives 1955-75; a member of the governing body of the Church in Wales 1957-67; President of the Royal British Legion Women’s Section; a Magistrate on the Llanwrst Bench 1942-79 and was President of the Juvenile Bench.

So Geraldine and Ian seem to have some medical connections then, as well as a few other connections. The family estate is in the Conwy Valley near Llanwrst. So the Mackeson-Sandbachs could well know Peter Higson, Chair of the Betsi Board – he comes from Llanwrst and his sister is Ruth Hussey, the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales! Geraldine could well have known Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist too, with that medical connection to Denbigh – of course Peter Higson worked with Dafydd and Gwynne himself when he was a psychologist and then the manager at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, throughout the years when Dafydd was banging up people who’d complained about the paedophiles’ friends. One of Dafydd’s roles at Denbigh was to ‘assess’ pregnant women who had requested terminations on mental health grounds. The North Wales Hospital was an institution in which female patients were sexually exploited by Dafydd himself, in which unmarried mothers were still incarcerated in the 1980s and in which whilst I was there in 1987 was unlawfully detaining a young woman who had been abducted by three men, held in an attic and sexually assaulted (see post ‘The Distressed Young Woman Who Vanished’). They would have needed a colluding midwife on quite a regular basis wouldn’t they.

Geraldine’s granddaughter – Ian’s daughter – is famous! She’s Antoinette Sandbach, the former Conservative AM for north Wales. Antoinette always used to describe herself as being a ‘farmer’s daughter’. I didn’t quite believe her at the time. The farmer’s daughter always stressed how committed she was to north Wales, particularly of course to the farmers in the region. So imagine my surprise when in 2015 she stood for the safe Tory seat of Eddisbury in Cheshire. She won as well and the next day resigned her seat in the Assembly and now she’s buggered off to Cheshire.

In July 2013 Cheshire Life interviewed Antoinette. It transpires that the farmer’s daughter spent 12 years in London working as a ‘successful criminal barrister’. Cheshire Life asked her why she would ever want to leave such a career for the ‘country roads’ of north Wales and then ‘head for the Assembly’. Antoinette explained that after she gave a speech at a Save the Rhino fundraiser in 2007, a number of people suggested that she entered politics (I don’t quite follow, but never mind). So Antoinette rang the Conservative Office in Colwyn Bay – that’s the office of a former star of this blog, David Jones MP, who was Secretary of State for Wales for a while under Cameron – and within three months Antoinette found herself standing for the Assembly in Delyn! She didn’t win that seat, so she then ‘worked on the family farm for a low wage’ whilst at the same time working part-time for David Jones, putting her legal skills to good use (Jones is a solicitor). Then Antoinette’s name was added to the regional list and she was subsequently elected!

My post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’ details the many connections that David Jones has to the paedophiles’ friends. Like Antoinette, Jones initially entered politics via a seat in the Welsh Assembly – like Antoinette, he then legged it to Westminster at the first opportunity. David Cameron appointed David Jones to the position of Secretary of State for Wales in the months before Cameron announced that there was to be a review of the Waterhouse Inquiry in the aftermath of the constant allegations that Waterhouse was a huge cover-up. So Jones was Secretary of State whilst the discussions as to how to respond to the accusations of a massive, high level cover up of a paedophile ring involving Westminster figures were happening among Cameron’s inner circle. Jones was removed from the post once the Macur Review was well underway. Like Antoinette’s dad, David Jones is a Freemason.

Antoinette’s dad was Provincial Grand Master of North Wales throughout the police inquiries into child abuse in the region – which were alleged to have been hampered by Freemasonry – throughout the Jillings investigation into child abuse (which the police refused to co-operate with) and throughout the Waterhouse Inquiry. Whilst Antoinette’s dad was Provincial Grand Master, witnesses to the activities of the paedophile gang were found dead, the arson attack which killed five people connected to the North Wales Paedophile Ring happened and Gordon Anglesea won his libel case and the young man who gave evidence against him was subsequently found dead. Oh and I and two of my friends who knew what had happened to me at the hands of Dafydd et al were subjected to constant harassment and threats, unlawfully dismissed from various jobs, one of us was subjected to a violent assault and there were two attempts to set fire to my house.

When Cheshire Life interviewed Antoinette she explained that she became a barrister because she wanted to ‘represent those whose voices would otherwise be lost, whether a victim of crime or a wrongly accused defendant’. As a result of the activities of a number of people that your dad knew Antoinette, very many people were victims of crime and wrongly accused defendants. So would you like to explain to us why the ‘farmer’s daughter’ suddenly decided to enter politics in 2007  – because I don’t for one minute believe that it was anything to do with your outstanding performance at the Save the Rhino Society, or your desire to ‘learn about farming’. You had decided that you needed to be in Westminster and your network of Freemasons, lawyers and paedophiles’ friends swung into action immediately.

In 2009 Antoinette’s young baby died. She has talked extensively about how distressing it was, how she was treated as a suspect by the police and how little support there is for parents of babies who die. She made speeches about it in both the Senedd and the Commons and wept buckets as she spoke, invoking applause on both occasions. She now campaigns on that issue. Yet she has never spoken a word about the dreadful state of the NHS in north Wales, even about the maternity services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd which were so dysfunctional that Bangor University removed their students from midwifery placements there and a hit squad was sent in from the Welsh Gov’t with the aim of ‘achieving normality’. Numerous women had the most distressing experiences there and some lost their babies.

My post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’ explains how in 2008 a substantial number of the paedophiles’ friends – in their attempt to have Edwina Hart removed from her post as Health Minister as she tried to clean up the NHS in north Wales – submitted ‘evidence’ to the Welsh Affairs Committee in the Commons. When I wrote that post I was wondering who was on that Committee because I suspected that the paedophiles’ friends were appealing to a sympathiser. I found out today that David Jones was on that Committee. The paedophiles’ friends sent up their distress flare just at the time that the farmer’s daughter decided that a lucrative career at the Criminal Bar (so to speak) was not for her and what she really wanted out of life was a ‘low paid job’ learning how to muck out the stock. Which is why she also bagged a job with a friend of the paedophiles’ friends, moved to Cheshire and has a seat in Westminster.

 

Two more pieces of news from BBC News Wales Online. David Boswell, 56, the Mayor of Pembroke and a Conservative County Councillor, has been charged with historical sex offences – six counts of indecent assault and one count of rape on two different victims who were both aged under 13 at the time. Mr Boswell was in the Army for more than twelve years and is a Marshall for the Royal British Legion.

It has also been reported that the long running saga of the Chief Exec of Community Health Councils in Wales who was suspended on full pay (£90k pa) for many months without anyone knowing the reason (see post ‘High-Level Shenanigans At The Community Health Councils’) is over. He has now been sacked without anyone knowing the reason. When he was appointed to the post he indicated that he wanted to shake up the CHCs and ensure that they represented a strong voice on the part of patients. Which they certainly didn’t before – in the north Wales CHC most of the members were retired or even still working Top Doctors or the paedophiles’ friends. The day after the sacking without reason of the Chief Exec was reported, there was a bad news story of dissatisfied patients of the Kinmel Bay Medical Practice having to queue up outside the surgery at 8am in order to book an appointment. Geoff Ryall-Harvey the Chief Officer of the North Wales CHC said that it was ‘totally unacceptable’, a ‘longstanding problem’ and that ‘we’d be happy to take on anyone’s complaint concerning this matter’. If it’s a longstanding problem the CHC obviously haven’t been very successful at dealing with it. But then they failed to deal with a genocidal mental health service and an unhinged dangerous maternity service and as a result the Betsi Board virtually collapsed and is in long-term special measures. At least they’ve now sacked the man who wanted to effect change.

 

 

 

Joint Betsi Board/North Wales CHC Meeting, March 24 2017

This morning I attended the Joint Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board/North Wales Community Health Council Meeting. Regular readers will know that I have long given up expecting to hear any sort of honest discussion at meetings involving the Betsi Board – or indeed the Community Health Council – but it is fascinating to observe these meetings, if only to marvel at the level of denial and the fact that Peter Higson, the Chair of the Betsi, has not resigned yet.

The most noticeable feature of this morning’s meeting was how many people were absent, both from the Betsi Board and the CHC. Peter Higson sent apologies from a list of people – including the delightful Martin Jones – and the Chair of the CHC (I’m afraid that I don’t know her name) noted that they were ‘very light on the ground’. Indeed I think there was only about five members of the CHC present – so much for the ‘watchdog’ that ‘holds the NHS to account’. There was another noticeable absence from the Board though – Jo Rycroft-Malone aka the Racist In Chief. Neither did Higson offer apologies for her absence. Has the dreadful Jo finally gone, having realised that her position was untenable on the grounds of her multiple conflicts of interest alone, yet alone what is passing for the ‘research’ that she is ‘leading’ in her capacity as PVC for Research at Bangor University? We can only hope. However Jo’s mate the equally dreadful Lyn Meadows was present. Another interesting absence was the husband and wife team ‘Independent’ Board member Bethan and her husband, who is Chair of Gwynedd CHC – never mind the conflict of interest, just get your bums on the seats of as many Boards as possible.

Higson continues to look like a very worried man indeed, which is hardly surprising in view of the fact that this Board sinks deeper into the barrel of slurry in which they are obviously drowning as each day passes. In a recent blog post I questioned why Higson was still hanging on, considering that he is past retirement age and has already picked up a pension and an OBE as a reward for his career of ignoring serious abuses in the NHS in Wales. A reader e mailed and suggested that because the previous CEO of the Betsi, Mary Burrows, seemed dangerously determined to try to put a stop to the flagrant abuses that are rife in the NHS in north Wales, when those we know and love finally brought Mary down Higson probably thought that it would be a good idea if he returned to the north to protect the many people whom he had spent his whole career protecting, as they were squealing loudly. This would certainly explain why certain mental health professionals whom I know to have been involved in some very sordid activities were cracking open the champagne at the thought of Higson returning. They have however done so much damage that even the Godfather cannot keep a lid on it any longer.

The meeting kicked off with the usual trawl through the minutes of the previous meeting. There was an extensive discussion concerning the Social Services and Well-Being of Future Generations Act, led by Board member Geoff Lang. He explained that under the terms of the Act the Board’s focus was on ‘individuals with care and support needs’ and that the Betsi were working with the Area Planning Board on issues like substance abuse. This blog had previously documented the extraordinary ‘commissioning process’ that has led to the Area Planning Board and the Betsi giving millions to CAIS, who are very obviously failing to deliver on substance abuse – but did anyone ever really expect a ‘charity’ in which Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Lucille Hughes play a key part to deliver on anything? What is the point of a grandiose Act when organisations like CAIS are being contracted to deliver ‘services’?

A representative from the CHC called Eryl pointed out that during discussions with the matrons of community hospitals, he had been made aware that the NHS operates ’24/7′, but the Social Services stop at 4pm on a Friday. Eryl has raised a very old problem – mental health patients, even if they were deemed worthy of input from Gwynedd Social Services (which they usually weren’t), have long since found that there is no service on a Friday, no service at weekends, no service on a Monday and no service on any days before 9-30ish and 4pm. A discussion held regularly by mental health patients pivoted around who was actually receiving a ‘service’ if it involved Gwynedd Social Services. There was a plentiful supply of callous, negligent social workers on the books but no-one knew who was getting anything like a ‘service’. After Eryl’s comment there followed a discussion regarding the ‘challenge’ involved in providing care home beds for dementia patients – I think that we are talking crisis rather than challenge regarding this matter.

Gary the CEO then moved on to the matter of the ‘Phase 2 report’ – that is the report that has been compiled in relation to the ‘progress’ (or not) of the Betsi under special measures. Gary rattled on about the many areas that special measures covers – which seems to be just about everything. He maintained that ‘good progress’ had been made, that an ‘awful lot of effort’ had been put in but that there was ‘still an awful lot to do’. Presumably that’s why there’s a suicide, avoidable death or scandal involving the Betsi reported in the local media several times a week.

Eleanor Burnham, the former LibDem AM who is now a member of the CHC, then started giving the Board a very hard time regarding the case of a man who had waited so long for a wheelchair that he had developed sores. She told Gary very firmly that if they can’t even get a wheelchair to someone there is something wrong with the Health Board. Which is of course true, the Health Board is broken – but the north Wales NHS has been grossly dysfunctional for many years and I don’t remember Eleanor making much of an issue out of this when she was an AM. Furthermore Eleanor has a shameful past – she sat on mental health tribunals at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. This was an institution that illegally imprisoned patients who dared complain and where serious abuse of patients was pervasive. In her role of a member of the tribunal Eleanor will have gained much information about those abuses – perhaps she’d like to start publishing an account of what really went on out there, because it’s about time that someone did. However one of Eleanor’s colleagues also kept quiet about serious abuse and neglect in the mental health services in Wales. This colleague of Eleanor’s was approached by the family of a patient who had killed herself whilst in the care of Powys Local Health Board some years ago. The neglect was appalling – for example two of the staff who were supposed to be ‘observing’ this severely depressed young woman had GONE SHOPPING whilst they were ‘on duty’. At the eventual inquest there were I think 36 points on which Powys had been found wanting. But the AM whom the family of this patient approached refused to get involved, although she had described Powys LHB as a ‘time bomb’. Who was this AM? None other than Kirsty Williams – who, whilst all this was going on, had decided to run for the leadership of the LibDems in Wales, which no doubt was why she wasn’t going to do battle with the dear old NHS. Indeed when the various vested interests in the NHS were attempting to cause havoc for Mary Burrows, Kirsty was happy to share platforms with representatives from that institution riddled with corruption, the BMA. Kirsty is now the Education Minister for Wales and makes regular appearances in her Serious Woman in Power specs lecturing the nation. Pity about that young woman who died at the hands of an LHB that you knew was dangerous wasn’t it though Kirsty.

Gary the CEO then started discussing the Board’s handling of patient complaints. He defended himself robustly, maintaining that ‘we’ve made definite improvements’ and explained that the handling of complaints often involves a ‘meeting’ with the complainant. Followers of the blog will know that I made a complaint to the Betsi about a number of very serious matters before Christmas and my complaint has still not been resolved – on fact I’ve taken parts of my complaint to the Information Commissioner because it doesn’t seem as though the Betsi is making any progress with it at all. Furthermore the only meeting that I’ve been invited to was a meeting to ‘discuss’ this blog with Gary and Peter when they wrote a silly letter to me the other day complaining about the content of my writing here. Eleanor chipped in again refusing to accept Gary’s claims of an ‘improvement’ and reminded Gary that the Public Services Ombudsman ‘whom I know’ had dished out some very harsh words to the public services very recently. Which indeed he had, he had some very damning conclusions – however, once more I ask why Eleanor and her colleagues at the Assembly have done so little about the state of the NHS, particularly as a lot of them do know people such as the Ombudsman.

Geoff Ryall-Harvey, the Chief Officer of the CHC, talked about how the CHC handled complaints. He stated that some people don’t know about the CHC. Well I do know about the CHC and when I approached them with my complaints they variously told me barefaced lies, ran around in circles for months or ignored the complaint. Meanwhile the mental health services that I was complaining about continued to imprison and kill patients.

Eryl from the CHC asked whether special measures was affecting the recruitment of doctors. North Wales has had a major recruitment problem with doctors for years, particularly in specialities such as psychiatry. One only has to encounter some of the psychiatrists and it is very obvious that they are working in north Wales because they have not been able to obtain another job. Thus has been the situation since the days of the North Wales Hospital – whoever would have wanted to work in a place like that? Special measures probably could not make the problem any worse than it already is in psychiatry. The other specialities have long been troubled as well – for years medical students and junior doctors advised each other not to take jobs in north Wales, particularly at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Martin Jones was despised by the staff when he was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust – he is now the Director of Workforce of the Betsi. Is it surprising that their recruitment events prove fruitless?

A member of the CHC who I think was introduced as Mark raised the matter of the mental health services. He stated that it was not yet evident that the ‘work’ that the Betsi is doing is having an impact on the patients. It certainly isn’t – the tally that I am keeping on this blog regarding the constant stream of deaths of people with mental health problems testifies to this. Gary the CEO admitted that ‘we’ve got a long way to go’ – and you’re not going to get there until you start dismissing the scores of abusive and neglectful staff that you have on board Gary. Andy Roach, the Director for Mental Health, commented that they would be presenting a ‘comprehensive document’ to the Board in April and that ‘they were on a journey’ (a journey that a lot of patients are not surviving) and that they are doing a ‘lot of work’ with service users and carers – well what they have done is pay the bunch of crooks and charlatans at CAIS £1.5 million to deliver ‘service user/carer involvement’. Meanwhile people carry on dying. Gary commented that a number of people are unhappy but don’t complain – that Gary is because they have witnessed the all-out witch hunts of people who have complained. Furthermore that is the purpose of those witch-hunts – to make damn sure that no-one else dares to raise concerns.

The Board moved on to a discussion about the urology service, with which there would seem to be much dissatisfaction. There were allegations flying that patients are being left so long with catheters in that there is a suspicion that this was being done instead of offering surgery. The discussion became incredibly bad-tempered with Eleanor Burnham and Christine Evans, another member of the CHC, shouting at the Board. Christine Evans is of course a retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd who is the former Chair of the CHC. At that time, she wrote a blog in her capacity as a councillor that made it quite clear that her priority was to protect the jobs and empire of her former colleagues. At one point during the urology discussion it was mentioned that the Betsi had ‘lost a urologist’ and Christine Evans stated that ‘I have to say that he will be no loss – I know that’s a rude thing to say’. I don’t know the urologist in question, perhaps he was bloody awful, but when Christine Evans was Chair of the CHC she knew that north Wales was heaving with dreadful doctors who were abusing their positions and she did not utter a word. In fact I happen to know that Christine Evans was the consultant who treated one of the psychiatrists at the Hergest Unit who had busied himself making very serious allegations against me that he knew were baseless in an attempt to ensure that I ended up in prison. But then doctors in north Wales sometimes dispense a rather different style of treatment to each other than they do to the rest of the population…

A discussion about orthopaedic surgery followed and the unacceptable waiting times. Again Eleanor and Christine went into battle fiercely – if only they could feel this passionately about the mental health patients that are dropping like flies. However someone mentioned something that interested me during this discussion – that the Police and Crime Commissioner was previously a member of the CHC. I presume that this was a reference to Arfon Jones, who used to chauffeur Gordon Anglesea to the locations where it was later revealed that Anglesea sexually molested teenage boys and whose ‘oversight’ ensured that Anglesea’s widow ended up with 50% of his police pension although Anglesea died in prison as a convicted sex offender. No wonder that CHC has never done what it should…

I left the meeting at this point after realising that as ever, nobody was going to take Higson to task regarding the horrors that still prevail in the mental health services.

Update On Bryn Hesketh Investigation

In October of this year six mental health workers were suspended from Bryn Hesketh, an EMI Unit in Colwyn Bay, after an unspecified allegation concerning patient care. The Daily Post has reported that after what the Betsi Board has described as ‘an independent safeguarding investigation by external authorities’ the allegation was not upheld http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/six-colwyn-bay-mental-health-12366127

However it is reported that the Betsi is now conducting a further investigation into four members of staff at the Unit, although this investigation does not concern care provided to patients. The Health Board are not releasing any further details whilst the investigation continues.

Once more, problems at the Betsi are shrouded in secrecy. No-one knows what the original ‘allegation’ was; no-one knows if any of the members of staff suspended and investigated were among the members of staff who were redeployed to Bryn Hesketh in the wake of the Tawel Fan scandal; no details have been given regarding who the ‘external authorities’ who conducted the ‘independent investigation’ were; and of course no-one knows why the four staff who are facing another investigation are being investigated.

Geoff Ryall-Harvey, Chief Officer of the North Wales Community Health council, has stated that he believes that the investigations are ‘reassuring’ – but how can anyone be reassured when so little information has been released about this matter by the Health Board? I certainly am not reassured simply because the Community Health Council are reassured – the Community Health Council have stood by for years and said nothing about the appalling state of the mental health services. And at least two members of the Community Health Council in north Wales are retired consultants from the region, one being a retired psychiatrist from the Hergest Unit.

I suspect that there have been problems at Bryn Hesketh for a very long while. Some four years ago I was friendly with a student nurse who was on placement in an older persons mental health unit in Colwyn Bay – I presume that this was Bryn Hesketh – who reported witnessing patients being sworn at and abused by staff. Within a week of starting the placement, she witnessed a patient who had fallen onto the floor being ‘supported’ by staff – this ‘support’ consisted of a male nurse shouting at the patient ‘come on you old cow, get up’. The nurse then helpfully explained to my friend that this might look like abuse, but it wasn’t, it was the only way ‘to deal with’ the patient concerned. Ah well, he was the expert and my friend was just a student and didn’t understand the complexities of mental health nursing…