The Human Stain

Yesterday’s edition of the Torygraph published the obituary of Gwilym Edffrwd Roberts, the Labour MP for South Bedfordshire, 1966-70 and Cannock, 1974-83, who died in March 2018.

Gwilym Roberts was educated at Brynrefail Grammar School and UCNW (Bangor University), where he did a degree in economics and maths. He taught at Northampton Institute, 1952-57 and at Hendon College (now Middlesex University), 1957-66. Roberts specialised in scientific management techniques.

Gwilym Roberts stood unsuccessfully for Ormskirk in 1959 and for Conway in 1964. So a man who had grown up in the bosom of an earlier generation of paedophiles’ friends targeted a seat which was at the heart of another abuse ring and then had a go at the paedophiles’ friends’ favourite seat of Conway, which was won that year by paedophiles’ friend the Tory Peter Thomas (see post ‘The Cradle Of Filth’).

Roberts was said to have ‘put down roots’ in Luton – although why a Welsh speaking Welshman who flagged up his Welshness at every opportunity and had wanted to be an MP for a seat in north Wales decided upon Luton as a suitable site for growing his roots is not explained – and served as a councillor on Luton Borough Council from 1965. Roberts won the seat of South Bedfordshire in 1966, but lost it in 1970.

Roberts was subsequently selected as the Labour candidate for the seat of Cannock Chase, which Jennie Lee had lost in 1970.  Roberts held Cannock Chase from Feb 1974 until 1983. Cannock Chase was a constituency located at the site of a notorious child abuse ring which finally became public knowledge in 1989 as a result of the Staffordshire Pindown Scandal. A Public Inquiry into Pindown was conducted by Barbara Kahan and Allan Levy QC, which as usual admitted that serious abuse had happened but didn’t admit how serious or that it had been known about for a long while and concealed.

Kahan and Levy themselves had concealed the abuse of children for years. Kahan was rotten through and through and as a social worker had worked with Louis Minster, who later became Richmond-Upon-Thames Council’s Director of Social Services and was named as a notorious paedophile in the south London ring who abused children at the Elm Guest House (see posts ‘Always On The Side Of The Children’ and ‘Another Episode of Friends…’). Kahan also worked with Peter Righton, the social work academic who used his work as a cover to abuse children. Kahan was appointed as senior adviser to the Home Office in 1970 and then to Keith Joseph when he was Secretary of State for Social Services. Khan continued working as a Gov’t adviser re children’s social work until 1980. Kahan was married to Top Doctor child psychiatrist Vladimir Kahan and they were based in Oxfordshire.

The child abuse gang in Staffordshire had a knock-on effect on the local NHS. The Mid-Staffs Scandal exploded in the early years of the new millennium, but there had been questions in the House about the NHS in Staffordshire whilst John Major was in power. Alan Johnson and Andy Burnham were the two Health Secretaries shamed as a result of covering up the many hundreds of deaths at Mid-Staffs, but things had gone wrong in Staffordshire many years previously – Councillors, MPs and the highest echelons of the NHS had sat on it all as death rates rocketed.

Between 1976-79, Gwilym Roberts was PPS to ‘Ministers in Industry’. So that would have been under Secretaries of State Tony Benn and Eric Varley. Both of whom knew about the abuse of vulnerable people but did nothing – even when I wrote to Tony Benn about north Wales… Eric Varley had such a deep and meaningful relationship with Gerald Kaufperson that after Kaufperson died it was discovered that Kaufperson had left everything in his will to Varley, cutting out his wife and children (see post ‘The Cradle Of Filth’).

Gwilym Roberts lost his seat to the Tory Gerald Howarth in 1983. In 1984 Roberts tried for the candidacy of Cynon Valley – just down the road from the molester George Thomas – but lost out to Ann Clwyd. In 1984 the paedophiles’ friends of Wales got a bit worried because George Thomas ended up in hospital as a result of the consequences of an STI and he thought that his cover was about to be blown. Thomas’s mate Leo Abse saved the day by organising the release of a statement claiming that Thomas had prostate trouble (see post ‘It Wasn’t On Our Radar’). Up in Bangor, the paedophiles’ friends were getting vexed because Brown and I refused to shut up about Gwynne the lobotomist.

So Gwilym thought that his services might be needed in south Wales at that time…

Gwilym couldn’t have been overcome with a yearning to return to his homeland just for the hell of it because after not being selected to fight Cynon Valley, Roberts stood in Cannock and Burntwood (his old constituency which had been subject to boundary changes) in 1987, but the sitting MP Gerald Howarth increased his majority.

After Roberts lost his seat, he resumed his career in local government, serving as leader of Cannock Chase District Council, where he represented the Rugeley ward of Brereton and Ravenhill until losing his seat in 2002. He served as a Labour Councillor on Staffordshire County Council, representing Brereton and Ravenhill, 1985-93 and again between 2001-09, which incorporated a slightly larger area than the district council ward of the same name. Roberts retired from membership of the County Council in 2010.

Gwilym Roberts was a Director of the South Staffordshire NHS Trust.

After Roberts died, Philip Atkins, the leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: ‘Gwilym was a well-respected figure in the Council chamber, who brought a great deal of knowledge and insight from his own Welsh upbringing to bear on the issues facing the authority. He devoted his life to public service and while strongly representing the people in his division, he worked for the betterment of everyone in the county.’

Except of course the victims of child abusers and the lethal local NHS.

Councillor Sue Woodward, the opposition Labour group leader on Staffordshire County Council, said: ‘Gwilym was a real battler for this area. He was always a conscientious MP and Councillor who showed great dedication in representing local people. These days it is hard to come by public servants of his pedigree. It is a sad loss, but he had a good innings and led a very fruitful and fulfilled life.’

Gwilym probably reached a ripe old age because he kept well away from the local hospitals as a patient.

Cannock Chase councillor Derek Davis, who served alongside Mr Roberts on the council for 20 years, said: ‘He had some wonderful attributes and was an excellent constituency MP. When he was elected he was like a breath of fresh air. A lot of us thought the world of him. I always remember that although he spent so much time in Staffordshire, he never got rid of his strong Welsh accent.’

Pass the Bara Brith, it’s always good for the image if one is a politician concealing serious crime.

Councillor Frank Allen, who represents Cannock North on Cannock Chase District Council, said: ‘It is fair to say that he was the best constituency MP that I have ever known.’

Yes, Pindown and Mid-Staffs didn’t become public for years…

 

Frank added that ‘He was on the ball and really knew what was going on’. Other people all remembered Gwilym as a man who, whilst both a Councillor and an MP, went out and about meeting people and finding out what was happening on the ground. Roberts took an interest in the quality of spectacle frames offered by the NHS and the price of spuds. In 1968 Roberts wanted a ban on excessive pop music because he believed that it gave his constituents headaches. In 1970 he entertained the House by attempting to pass legislation outlawing witches. Other matters with which Gwilym concerned himself included the safety of fireworks, the risks from old fridges which had been abandoned, motorway safety with regard to coach travel and football hooliganism.
As leader of Staffordshire County Council, 1992-99, Gwilym Roberts was instrumental in helping bring new industry to the area after the colliery closures, specifically the multi-million pound development of the Towers Business Park in Rugeley. Keele University Science and Innovation Centre is located on the Towers Business Park.
Keele University is located in Staffordshire. Peter Righton worked there as did Jane Tunstill, who was Prof of Social Work Studies. Jane Tunstill was one of the panel on the Jillings Investigation into the abuse of children in care in Clwyd County Council. The 1996 Jillings Report was so heavily redacted that it was meaningless and on the legal advice of Michael Beloff QC, Cherie’s colleague and friend, it was witheld from everyone, even the Clwyd Councillors, for 17 years (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’). Jillings and his team did state that they had concluded that the most serious abuse of children had taken place since the late 1960s and probably for much longer. They refused to comment on whether they thought that a paedophile ring was in operation. There was a belief that Jillings had played down the seriousness of the abuse of children in north Wales.
It was whilst the Jillings Investigation was underway that I wrote to Michael Mansfield about what was happening to me in north Wales. Michael wrote me a one line reply thanking me for my letter. And probably picked up the phone straight away to his mates Beloff or Cherie. Michael Beloff’s dad Max wrote the glowing reviews for a book written by Ioan Bowen Rees, who was the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council whilst the paedophile ring was in full swing within the Gwynedd Social Services (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’). Ioan was in post when I was harassed and threatened by his social workers – which is what I wrote to Michael Mansfield about in 1993.
Jane Tunstill is now Emeritus Prof of Social Work at Royal Holloway, University of London and currently appears on the King’s College London website. Jane is the Making Research Count Advisor and has conducted evaluation studies for Action for Children. Action for Children was previously known as the National Children’s Home. People involved with the abuse of children in north Wales had previously worked for NCH and George Thomas was Patron of NCH. Jane has also advised Gov’t on Sure Start and Safeguarding. Jane has conducted a review for the NSPCC and is now working for local authorities. Jane has so many fingers in so many pies that I can only recommend that readers google her.
Witnesses and victims were killed in north Wales Jane and you knew how serious the situation was.
Charlotte Williams, a colleague of the paedophile gang of north Wales for years, left her post at Bangor University some 10 years ago and was given a Chair at Keele (see post ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’).
Alun Michael, the former First Secretary of Wales, was a student at Keele University and became a youth worker. Alun Michael resigned as First Secretary at the precise time that the Waterhouse Report was published.
So how did Gwilym Roberts persuade Gov’t to invest all that money in the Towers Business Park?
In 2001 Gwilym was listed as a Director for Staffordshire Business Support Ltd…
Gwilym Roberts campaigned on matters relating to industrial diseases, including silicosis. Silicosis clobbered a lot of the slate quarrymen in north Wales and there was a long running battle over the matter of their compensation. Successive Gov’ts made themselves very unpopular by refusing to stump up for the quarrymen and then when they did finally agree to, by taking as long as possible to organise the payments, by which time most of the quarrymen had died. Dafydd Wigley earned many brownie points by taking up the quarrymen’s cause. Lord Wigley did not take up the cause of the victims of Dafydd and the paedophiles. In Bethesda and the surrounding villages, there were quarrymen disabled by silicosis as well as the victims of Dafydd and the paedophiles. The quarrymen were scandalously sold short. The victims of the paedophiles were framed and sent to prison or found dead.
In 1969 Gwilym marched with Cap’n Bob in protest at the proposed siting of the third London airport on the frignes of Gwilym’s constituency.
Gwilym Roberts was the Vice-President of the Institute of Statisticians. So he would have spotted the sky high mortality rates in the Staffordshire NHS. He was also a consultant for Littlewoods.
In 1980 Gwilym – who was on the left of the Labour Party – suspected that his phone had been tapped when his voice was broadcast over a tannoy in Staffordshire whilst he was talking privately (or so he believed) to a constituent. Yes, he was on the left of the party, he will have been bugged. The folk doing the tapping will have known that Gwilym was concealing organised child abuse but that wasn’t what they were worried about…

 

After his time on Staffordshire County Council, Gwilym remained in the area, living in Rugeley. In 1855, Rugeley gained notoriety when a local doctor, William Palmer, was accused of murdering an acquaintance, John Parsons Cook (who is buried in a still visible grave in the local St Augustine’s churchyard). It was claimed that Cook had been poisoned and in the months that followed, Palmer was implicated in the deaths of several other people, including his own wife and brother and possibly even some of his own children. He was put on trial for the murder of Cook in 1856 and an Act of Parliament was passed to allow the trial to be held at the Old Bailey, as it was felt that a fair jury could not be found in Staffordshire. Palmer was found guilty of murder and hanged publicly outside Stafford Gaol on 14 June 1856.

They like keeping up local traditions in Staffordshire.

 

I mentioned that Gwilym was elected for Jennie Lee’s former seat. Baroness Jennie Lee was the Labour MP for Cannock, 1945-70. Jennie Lee was of course Nye Bevan’s wife. The ‘Express and Star’ newspaper published a photo of Gwilym Roberts unveiling a bust of Nye Bevan in Cannock Chase Hospital. Cannock Chase Hospital was managed by Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

No-one is allowed to say anything remotely rude about Nye Bevan these days, but Nye Bevan and Jennie Lee were not popular in some quarters.

 

The Top Docs famously hated Nye Bevan and would only co-operate with the establishing of the NHS because he famously stuffed their mouths with gold. But some people on the left also didn’t like Bevan and Lee because they maintained that they were over-indulgent champagne socialists – they certainly did live a very high life. Champagne socialists are OK by me if they continue to work on behalf of people having a harder time then them, but Jennie Lee and Nye Bevan ignored the needs of some very desperate people. Such as the victims of child abuse, as well as psychiatric patients and the learning disabled. People in Gov’t did know what was happening to them at the time but the extent of the abuse was concealed because it was so serious.

The child abuse rings in Staffordshire and south Wales were in place when Lee and Bevan were shopping in Harrods and spraying the champagne around. Nye’s new NHS continued to ignore what was going on and the abuse of vulnerable people was institutionalised in the NHS from its inception. If readers are sceptical, just look at the data and policies. Such as the export of the child migrants to Australia and New Zealand when children of poor dispossessed people were removed from their parents – who were told that their children were going to a better life – and sent down under to work as slave labour for people who were horrendously cruel to them. That policy was followed for years, the NHS helped implement it and it is only during the last 15 years or so that the fate of the child migrants has become public. The deaths and abuse of patients in long stay NHS institutions which it is now acknowledged was routine was also concealed and denied by Gov’t and the NHS. The serious abuse of children in care was endemic and it is now admitted has been going on for decades, as far back as the foundation of the NHS. Every analysis shows that better off people receive far, far better care from the NHS than poor people do. That was the case when the NHS was first established and it is still the case now. The NHS did not challenge the elitism of the Top Doctors, it included it in the system.

 

Jennie Lee was Harold Wilson’s Minister for the Arts, 1964-70. She played a key role in establishing the Open University. Jennie was applauded for establishing the OU in the face of opposition from her boss in the DES at the time, which was Tony Crosland, as well as her Ministerial colleague Richard Crossman and the Treasury and the commercial broadcasters. Crosland and Crossman both concealed the abuse of children – Crosland when he was at Secretary of State for the DES (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part III’) and Crossman when he was Secretary of State for Social Services, 1968-70 (see post ‘These Sharks Are Crap As Well’). Jennie was helped considerably by Lord Arnold Goodman, who provided an estimate for the cost of establishing the OU which was very much lower than the actual cost. By the time it was realised how much the cost was going to be, it was too late to scrap the scheme.

Lord Goodman was Harold Wilson’s solicitor, adviser and good friend and was one of those who some believe assisted Harold in the corrupt deals which it was thought that he and Marcia Falkender were involved in (see post ‘No Ordinary Methods’). Arnold Goodman acted for Jeremy Thorpe after Thorpe was charged with conspiracy and incitement to murder Norman Scott. Goodman was Thorpe’s solicitor before Sir David Napley took over.

Betty Boothroyd was Chancellor of the OU, 1995-06. In 1996 after the suppression of the Jillings Report, Betty Boothroyd refused to allow Ann Clwyd to ask any questions in the House about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

 

Jennie Lee renewed the charter of the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1967, which saw an expansion of its work in the regions as well of the creation of the new arts institutions at London’s South Bank Centre. The area around the South Bank Centre was the site of prostitution and rough sleeping. I wonder why there was a market for sex at that location?

Lord Goodman helped out on the Arts Council/South Bank Centre work as well.

 

Following the 1967 reshuffle, Jennie was promoted to Minister of State at the DES, after having been a junior Minister in the same Dept. It was during those years that Blair’s mate Ernest Armstrong used his connections with Tony Crosland to conceal the paedophile gang in the north east of England which had direct links to Dafydd and the paedophiles of north Wales. In 1968, John Allen opened the Bryn Alyn Community, which received loads of kids in the care of Councils in the north east of England.

 

Jennie lost her seat in 1970 to Lord Patrick Cormack, a friend of George Thomas, who was one of those who could not believe that Thomas was a child molester.

 

Jennie was Scottish and went to Edinburgh University, where she campaigned to have Bertrand Russell elected as Rector. Russell was a highly sexually exploitative man who inflicted serious damage on a number of the members of his immediate family with the help of Top Docs (see post ‘So Who Was Angry About What?’). For the last part of his life Russell lived in north west Wales and was networked to some of the people whom I know in an earlier era concealed child abuse in the region. I have uncovered a link between at least one of Russell’s circle and Dafydd, which I shall be blogging about further soon – the case of yet another abused woman who became an inconvenience and who ended up in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh for decades.

Jennie Lee had an MA, LLB, teaching certificate and had worked as a teacher. She knew child abuse when she came across it.

 

Before Jennie Lee married Bevan, she had been involved with Frank Wise, a married civil servant, until his death in 1933. Lee married Bevan in 1934. Jennie Lee had a number of affairs whilst she was married to Bevan.

 

In Nov 1997, the paedophiles’ friend Lord K.O. Morgan (see post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’) had an article published in the Indie entitled ‘Jennie and the Awkward Squad’ in which Lord Ken heaped praise upon his favourite Labour Party wimmin – Barbara Castle, Shirl and Jennie. I’ve got news for Lord Ken – they were not ‘awkward’, they were ruthless women who achieved their own positions by doing the dirty work of some equally ruthless men and concealed the abuse of some very vulnerable people for political advantage. Furthermore Shirl didn’t even manage to stay in the Labour Party, she ran away with Dr Death and then ended up at sea with David Steel et al when Dr Death stomped off on his own. The David Steel who covered up Cyril Smith’s abuse of children and who described Jeremy Thorpe’s downfall as a ‘tragedy’ for Jeremy and the Liberal Party. Had Andrew Newton succeeded in killing Norman Scott, it would have been a tragedy for Norman as well.

Baroness Patricia Hollis wrote a biography of Jennie Lee and it seems to have been enough to have propelled her into the Lords. Her partner Lord Alan Howarth was the Thatcherite Tory who famously crossed the floor and joined the Labour Party just when Blair really needed him to and he then picked up a peerage from Blair a few years later (see post ‘News From Sicily’ and ‘Cottaging At Castle Gate’). Hollis and Howarth have both come under fire for milking the Lords’ expenses system.

 

One of Nye Bevan’s biggest fans – indeed he has written about Nye being his ‘hero’ – is the famously leftie Top Doc and staunch defender of the NHS, Julian Tudor Hart. Tudor Hart is considered a communist revolutionary by the medical establishment and he has published a great deal in socialist vehicles, staunchly defending the NHS and opposing all forms of private medicine. Tudor Hart really hates Ivan Illich, who wrote about the iatrogenic damage that the medical profession inflicts on patients.

Tudor Hart is very elderly now but still busy. He qualified in 1952, shortly after the establishment of the NHS and for five years worked as a GP in London. After that he worked as a GP in south Wales. It was Tudor Hart who in 1971 coined the phrase the ‘law of inverse care’, in which he claimed that those who need healthcare the most don’t get it. This is undoubtedly true, but Tudor Hart has consistently failed to analyse the reasons behind this and neither has his work – including all that policy advice to Gov’ts – made any impact on this unfortunate situation at all.

Tudor Hart is a keen researcher and has been involved in long term community studies. He is as near to a sociologist as a Top Doc can get. He retired as a GP in 1987 but continued to be involved in MRC research until 1992. Tudor Hart is also active in leftist politics. He lives in south Wales, on the Gower. Tudor Hart will have known how terrible the conditions at Ely Hospital were before the Ely Hospital Scandal in 1969, he’ll have known about the horrors of Whitchurch Hospital in Cardiff and he’ll have known about the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Tudor Hart will have known that George Thomas was molesting children – Thomas’s little ways were concealed by the Top Docs in south Wales and in return Thomas did a great deal of medical charidee work. I bet that Tudor Hart knew about the paedophile gangs in west Wales, south Wales and north Wales which were all linked together, as well as linked to the gangs in London and in Europe.

Julian Tudor Hart has a post at the Swansea College of Medicine.

 

Julian Tudor Hart’s partner in his GPs surgery was Dr Brian Gibbons. Gibbons was Health Minister in the Welsh Gov’t, 2005-07. I wrote to Gibbons and told him that I had documentary evidence of serious crime in the mental health services in north Wales and he wrote back telling me that ‘this correspondence is closed’. My very serious complaints – which included as assault on me by Angels and perjury on their behalf in an attempt to have me imprisoned – were never investigated. Gibbons was in post when lies were told about the Chief Exec of the NW Wales NHS Trust Keith Thomson ‘retiring’ after he was threatened with imprisonment by a High Court judge in Cardiff for witholding my medical records. Thomson didn’t retire, although he gave an interview to the ‘Daily Post’ saying that he was going to – he was given the job of the Chief Exec of the NHS Trust covering Pembrokeshire and west Wales. There was further chaos down there and Thompson retired again. Except that he didn’t, he stayed on to ‘advise the Board’.

 

After Gibbons sneaked Keith Thomson down to west Wales, Martin Jones became Chief Exec of the North West Wales NHS Trust. Martin was Thomson’s buddy and right hand man and had been involved with all of Thomson’s wrongdoing.  Under Martin Jones, the criminality on the part of NHS staff and the abuse of patients continued, as did the deaths and suicides. Martin was very keen on privatisation, as well as fiddling stats and using agency and locum staff to run the Trust which cost a fortune. Under Martin’s reign of terror, mental health patients were moved out of north west Wales many miles away to private hospitals in England, against their and their families wishes. After the Winterbourne View Scandal broke, it was revealed that some NW Wales NHS Trust patients had been placed in other units run by the company which owned and ran Winterbourne View.

Brian Gibbons is a member of the Socialist Health Association and maintains that he is completely opposed to private healthcare.

Gibbons presided over serious crime, the abuse of patients and a rocketing suicide rate in north Wales. He failed to investigate the most serious of matters. Gibbons is Irish, his father was Hugh Gibbons, a Fianna Fail politician. Gibbons came to the UK in 1976 to train as a GP in Calderdale in Yorkshire. Where there was a paedophile ring in operation on the territory of Jimmy Savile.

Gibbons was a partner in Tudor Hart’s practice in west Wales. Ioan Bowen Rees, the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council who presided over the paedophile ring in north Wales, had previously been the County Secretary for Dyfed County Council in west Wales. Where a paedophile gang operated in the Social Services.

If anyone knows why the son of an Irish politician chose to relocate to the UK and then spend the rest of his career facilitating organised child abusers who had links to big time drug dealers, please do let me know.

In 2007, Gibbons was moved from hos position as Health Minister and appointed Minister for Social Justice and Local Gov’t. He was succeeded as Minister for Health by Edwina Hart.

 

My problems with Martin Jones and the paedophiles and their friends escalated after Edwina was appointed. I was threatened, harassed, accused of crimes that I hadn’t committed and Martin Jones destroyed CCTV footage which showed an Angel threatening me, after my lawyer requested the footage. Two members of the public who complained to the hospital after they witnessed what was happening to me were threatened themselves by Ysbyty Gwynedd managers. I was unlawfully refused treatment repeatedly. I wrote to Edwina after every incident, giving her full details. Unlike Gibbons, she didn’t tell me that the correspondence was closed. She ordered Martin to investigate my complaints and he ignored her. I told Edwina that if Martin Jones was going to unlawfully refuse me NHS treatment, then the Welsh Gov’t had an obligation to make arrangements for me to have care elsewhere or private care. Edwina then wrote to me saying that I would not be getting private care or care from England and that she had done all that she could to ensure that I had access to health services, ignoring the fact that I had no access to healthcare at all.

 

It was widely known that Edwina and Martin hated each other and that Edwina was also facing a co-ordinated campaign from the BMA to have her removed from her post. Edwina was alleged to have said that she would not let Martin Jones privatise the NHS. Not only did Edwina fail to stop Martin doing that, but she allowed him to wreak death and destruction in the NHS and one look at the mortality figures whilst Martin was CEO make it clear that people died in very great numbers on his watch.

 

I am not underestimating what a nightmare dealing with Martin Jones must have been for Edwina. But there was a solution. I gave Edwina enough evidence for Martin and some of his fellow criminals to have been arrested and put on trial. If that had happened, the nightmare could have been addressed and a clean-up begun. Instead my life was put at risk by a bunch of gangsters – and Edwina.

Edwina was the AM for the Gower. She is pals with Julian Tudor Hart. He was one of her advisers. Edwina set up the Bevan Commission – ‘a group of international experts’ – to advise the Health Minister. Every member of the Bevan Commission can be categorised as a paedophiles’ friend, many have featured on this blog and most have been responsible for serious NHS failure. The Bevan Commission is housed at Swansea University and was set up on the 60th anniversary of the NHS. I will never forget the 60th anniversary of the NHS. That was the day on which I was refused treatment and had the phone slammed down on me five times by an Angel at Ysbyty Gwynedd – the very same Angel who’s threats towards me had been captured on CCTV, the footage of which Martin Jones destroyed. Two members of the public who tried to help me were also threatened by the Angel. Edwina knew all about it, I e mailed her the next day.

The NHS in north Wales is no longer functioning. Theresa May is pointing at Wales and using their NHS as an example of all that is laughable. You’ve certainly done a great job for promoting socialist medicine Gibbons and Edwina.

In 2011 Edwina was appointed the Minister for the Economy. I heard on more than one occasion that Edwina was involved in corrupt deals regarding the issuing of Welsh Gov’t business support grants. Then I was told by someone that a businessman on Anglesey received funding from Edwina’s Dept after she had slept with him. I was given sufficient details to suggest that my informant was telling the truth on this matter. I was told this several years ago and decided to keep it to myself to protect Edwina’s dignity. However, the behaviour of almost everyone who has been charged with running the NHS in north Wales has been so criminal, so shocking and so dangerously irresponsible, that I am not interested in protecting their dignity any longer.

If you thought that you could get away with behaving like this Edwina you foolish old cougar, you must be even more deluded than the old idiot Gibbons. Anglesey is a small place and your demands for sexual favours in return for business support funding caused much entertainment. Unfortunately your collusion with serious crime whilst you were Health Minister led to numerous deaths. You have brought complete disgrace upon Wales, along with the gangster Gibbons and the two spineless paedophiles’ colleagues who followed in your footsteps as Health Ministers, Lesley Griffiths and Mark Drakeford. The whole lot of you should be prosecuted.

 

Michael Mansfield is a graduate of Keele University.

 

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This is a photo of Professor Robert Bluglass – who concealed the crimes of Dafydd and the paedophiles – quaffing champagne at an Old Warwickians dinner:

  • Old Warwickians - 1940s-1960s School House Dinner

 

Cheers!

 

I will be blogging more about Swansea College of Medicine and about those who organised the exchange of paedophiles’ friends between Wales and London soon.

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The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection?

My post ‘A UK Network’ speculated upon possible connections between north Wales and the north east of England. I described how I suspect that the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal did Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales a very big favour by muddying the waters just at the very time when Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were writing to politicians, Ministers and others regarding the criminal activities of welfare professionals in north Wales. At the time I didn’t realise that what I was witnessing and experiencing was a direct result of the paedophile ring in north Wales and I don’t think that Mary did, but Alison was of course a children’s social worker for Gwynedd Social Services who was blowing the whistle on the abuse happening in the children’s homes.

‘A UK Network’ named Dr Neil Davies and Professor Bob Woods as being two senior figures who worked in the mental health services in north Wales for years who had both previously worked in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Neil Davies read medicine at Cambridge and then worked in Newcastle, Bob Woods did his clinical psychology training in Newcastle and worked there afterwards. Bob Woods had also worked at the Institute of Psychiatry before moving to Bangor. Neil Davies was a Consultant Psychiatrist in north Wales (he has now retired) and Professor Bob Woods is a Clinical Psychologist who for many years ran the Clinical Psychology training at Bangor University, working in partnership with the mental health services in north Wales. Bob Woods is Professor of Old Age Psychology at Bangor University and specialises in dementia and Alzheimers.

Neil Davies was for many years a Consultant Psychiatrist in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – I met him whilst Dafydd unlawfully imprisoned me there in the winter of 1986/87. My post ‘How I Arrived At Denbigh’ details the entries that Neil Davies made upon my medical records in 1986 after being confronted by a nurse who told him that she was most unhappy about being implicated in Dafydd’s illegal activities and the ‘deal’ that he had done with a corrupt policeman at Bangor Police Station, a Superintendent Roberts. Davies reassured her that it wasn’t actually her who was breaking the law or participating in the ‘deal’ (that was the word that Davies actually used on my medical records), all she had to do was to refuse to let me out of the locked ward where I was being unlawfully held.

I met Neil Davies again some years ago. He was then a Consultant at the Ablett Unit, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. I went to see him after my lawyer had conducted a battle for more than a year to get me an appointment at the Ablett Unit, so that I would never have to risk my neck with the dreadful Hergest Unit again. The North West Wales NHS Trust had simply ignored my lawyer’s repeated requests – I don’t know why, because they hated me and the lethal Dr Tony Roberts of the Hergest Unit had made it clear that I could die before I’d receive any support, but no, they just couldn’t find it within them to refer me elsewhere. After a very long battle and my lawyer pointing out repeatedly that denying me care was simply illegal (although breaking the law has never bothered the north Wales mental health services), I did receive an appointment to see Neil Davies.

I remembered Neil Davies from the North Wales Hospital, but when I went to see him we didn’t mention meeting there, although I presumed that he did remember me. When I went to see him at the Ablett, I hadn’t yet gained access to the records that he’d written at Denbigh years earlier, so I knew nothing about these written confessions of illegal incarceration and deals with corrupt police officers. At the Ablett, Neil Davies was very chatty and pleasant – people always find Neil Davies chatty and pleasant, he is not conspicuously deranged like Dafydd – and we actually spent most of the time discussing my publications. I only saw Neil Davies I think about three times when I gave up again – dear old Tony Roberts reared his ugly head once more, throwing hissy fits and ordering junior doctors at the Ablett not to treat me no less, because I was ‘his’ patient, not Neil Davies’s. God knows what was going on, I just gave up with them at that point.

Last year however my lawyer forwarded yet more records to me, including the incriminating records that Neil Davies had compiled at Denbigh. But she also forwarded the records that he had compiled about me when I’d been to see him at the Ablett. I discovered that there had been no official referral. Alun Davies, the corrupt manager of the Hergest Unit, had simply ‘had a word’ with Neil Davies at a meeting about another matter in mid-Wales and asked him if he would see a ‘difficult patient’. I can only imagine what Davies said about me. Furthermore it came as no surprise that there was no appropriate referral – Alun Davies conducts his whole existence on the basis of ‘having a word’ with people (often his corrupt contacts) and if he ever was told that a third party had been critical of the Hergest Unit, his standard response was to bellow ‘I’ll be having a word with them’. He even bellowed that he would be having a word with Edwina Hart the Health Minister when she implemented a policy that he didn’t like.

The records from Neil Davies were illuminating. He had written a letter to my GP after my first appointment mentioning that he’d seen me, but he didn’t realise ‘who she was’ until I started talking about my work. Davies stated that he realised that he ‘knew me by repute’ – presumably he had forgotten completely about the corrupt deal and illegal detention that he had been party to in Denbigh. But then that sort of thing was an everyday occurrence out there.  Now when Neil Davies said that he knew me by repute, he didn’t mean hat he knew me as an academic. Davies meant that he knew me as the woman who had dared to complain about Jones and Denbigh, the women whom the mental health services had spent years trying to imprison because she was so phenomenally dangerous but who had recently completed a PhD and was now appearing in the press commenting about the failing mental health system. I even found copies of some of my academic papers among Davies’s records relating to me (good to know that you thought they were worth keeping Neil!). Davies’s letters to my GP didn’t mention me being a potential axe murderer as most of the correspondence about me usually did, but interestingly he talked about me being a ‘very disordered personality’ (yeh, that’s how I am such a prolific writer Neil, when you’re as mad and as disordered as me you can write even more publications than anyone else). Interestingly enough, in support of his claims of my ‘disordered personality’, the only thing that Davies managed to dredge up was that I had just broken up with someone after a ‘brief relationship’. The brief relationship in question had lasted nine years. Which I think is longer than any of Dafydd’s serial marriages lasted…

What was most telling though was the copy of Neil Davies’s hand-written notes that my lawyer forwarded. At the top of the first sheet of the ‘contemporaneous notes’ that he made during my first appointment with him, Neil Davies had written ‘DAJ issue’. ‘DAJ’ in north Wales psychiatry ALWAYS translates as ‘Dafydd Alun Jones’. In the Hergest Unit, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) even used to say ‘DAJ’ rather than utter Dafydd’s name. So although we didn’t mention Dafydd during our meeting and although no letter had ever been sent to Davies telling him that when I was younger I had made complaint about Dafydd, he knew that there was a DAJ issue. He also considered it to be so overwhelmingly important that it was the first thing that he wrote down. In doctor speak. Not mentioned again in any official correspondence. Which sums it up really – are you a prolific academic with an out-patients appointment after you happened to have ended a nine year relationship? Well of course you have a ‘disordered personality’ – because you’re the bastard who complained about Dafydd breaking the law and sexually exploiting patients 25 years ago and we know you ‘by repute’.

I have never heard any allegations at all that Neil Davies sexually exploited patients. But he knew all about Dafydd and my records demonstrate that he colluded with Dafydd’s criminality. For all his pleasant manner, Neil Davies’s remedy was the same as everyone else’s – this patient must be discredited…

I have never had any dealings at all with Professor Bob Woods, although I know a number of people who have. However he has been working in north Wales for long enough to be well aware of the history and practices of the mental health services. Although his CV boasts of his status as one of the UK’s leading lights in dementia and Alzheimers, he also works in ‘partnership’ with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which was responsible for the abuse and neglect at Tawel Fan, a dementia ward in the Ablett Unit. Tawel Fan was the worst mental health care scandal that the UK had experienced for many years (see post ‘The Tawel Fan Scandal’).

I mentioned in my post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’ that one of the friends and protégés of the crazed psychiatrist and eugenicist Eliot Slater – who with his colleagues Dr Carlos Blacker and Dr Desmond Curran discussed the possibility of asking King George VI to donate sperm in order to artificially inseminate a patient of Curran’s – was Professor Sir Martin Roth. Martin Roth died in 2006 and was a very big name in UK psychiatry – he worked in Newcastle and it was there that he achieved his towering reputation. Roth’s speciality was old age psychiatry, particularly dementia and Alzheimers. I suspect that Martin Roth may have been yet another person who’s status and reputation was used to protect those screwing up so badly in the mental health services in north Wales for decades.

Roth was appointed Professor of Psychological Medicine at Newcastle in 1956, whilst Newcastle was still part of the federal Durham University. He stayed there until 1977. He will have been there when both Neil Davies and Bob Woods worked in Newcastle. Roth established units for child psychiatry, neurosis and psycho-geriatrics. His obituaries tell us that ‘he embraced the discipline of clinical psychology within his department’.

By 1959 Roth had an international reputation and was consulted by WHO (World Health Organisation). In the 60s Roth became known for his pioneering dementia research, demonstrating that the problems with a poor prognosis experienced by many elderly people in psychiatric hospitals attributed to senility and dementia were actually a result of treatable conditions eg. depression or infections. Roth instigated studies with Sir Bernard Tomlinson into Alzheimers and it is claimed that as a result of this, ‘patient care was improved’. Roth and his researchers undoubtedly conducted interesting work into the molecular pathology of Alzheimers, but in view of what happened at Tawel Fan and the standard of ‘care’ meted out to thousands of other elderly people with dementia or Alzheimers, I’m not convinced that Roth’s research has led to an improvement in patient care. Some of the recent scandals in the care of the elderly mentally ill have been as bad as the Ely Hospital Scandal in the late 60s.

In 1964 Roth was a member of the Clinical Research Board of the MRC and Director of the MRC Research Group in psychiatry at Newcastle.

Between 1965-75 Martin Roth was an advisor to the Ministry of Health on mental health and was involved with Keith Joseph in Gov’t plans to replace mental hospitals with units in District General hospitals and community care. Roth was said to have ‘expressed concern about the quality and scope of care, which went unheeded’. I have noted previously how when Denbigh was closed, the abusive practitioners who had been employed at Denbigh were simply re-employed in the new services and most of them carried on with their abusive and/or negligent practices. It wasn’t the building at Denbigh which was the problem. But Bob Woods and Neil Davies have never admitted that, at least publicly.

In 1971 Roth was elected as the first President of the newly created Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Roth was knighted in 1972 whilst he was at Newcastle.

After Roth left Newcastle he continued his Alzheimers research at Cambridge, where he was the first Professor of Psychiatry between 1977-85, then Professor Emeritus. Roth was a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge from 1977.

Roth was considered to have pioneered psychogeriatrics, but he was also described by Professor Claude  Wischik, a former PhD student of his, as being ‘a leading voice for biological psychiatry and was listened to throughout the world’. However Roth also had interests in anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia.

Along with Willy Mayer-Goss and Eliot Slater, Roth wrote ‘Clinical Psychiatry’, the standard text until well into the 80s. The first edition was published in the mid-50s, but further editions and revisions were published until 1977. Roth was also responsible for Camdex – the Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of the Elderly, published in 1988.

Roth is attributed with having done much work on the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders and it is said that it was Roth’s work that in the 1970s led to the task of differentiating between the affective disorders. Roth’s obituary in the Daily Telegraph in Oct 2006 maintains that ‘his greatest contribution lay in his emphasis on categorisation, on clinical diagnosis, on the formulation of reliable and objective systems for describing psychopathology’. How successful were Roth’s efforts? According to the obituary of Roth written by Claude Wischik, Roth emphasised a ‘quantitative scientific approach using mathematics, genetics, experimental biology and physics’. His ‘perceptions were enshrined…in definitions of distinctive forms of illness captured in DSM [the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistics Manual] and ICD [WHO’s International Classification of Disease]’.

I’m not quite sure where Claude has witnessed maths, genetics, experimental biology and physics being utilised in the diagnosis of mental health problems but I have certainly never seen it happening and I don’t know of any other patient who has. What I and most other people I have known observed was diagnoses being made after short superficial interviews and cases of numerous patients receiving a number of different diagnoses over a period of time. Dr Tony Roberts only had one diagnosis – borderline personality disorder. Dafydd only had one diagnosis for private patients – PTSD. Other diagnoses from Dafydd depended upon what was convenient for his purposes at that particular moment – over the course of a few months he told people that I had paranoid schizophrenia, a process psychosis, a disturbed personality disorder and then told me that I had manic depressive insanity. Two years later, after I had complained about him, he agreed with Professor Robert Bluglass that I was criminally insane. Which mathematical equations and laws of physics they used to make those diagnoses I do not know – there are no references to maths and physics on any medical notes of mine. Or even experimental biology and genetics. Whenever I have read DSM I have seen no references to the equations and physics necessary to make any of the diagnoses detailed within. I suspect that all of the psychiatry that I encountered was actually predicated on the Neil Davies methodology ie. ‘DAJ issue’ being the most important symptom to be taken into account.

During Roth’s career, psychiatry did of course come under attack and Roth defended psychiatry against its critics, the most famous of that time being R.D. Laing, Thomas Szasz and Ivan Illich. Roth challenged Szasz’s view that ‘psychiatry merely provides a police and custodial service on behalf of the socio-political establishment to deal with deviancy’. I have to contradict Roth – in north Wales, that is exactly what psychiatry did and Neil Davies and Bob Woods knew it. Critics of Szasz, including Roth, maintain that mental illness is ‘real’ and the problem is how to help. That is perfectly true – I witnessed numerous people in north Wales who were deeply distressed, who were suicidal, who were so clinically depressed that they could not talk, walk any distance or look after themselves or who were living with serious psychotic symptoms. But whether they received ‘care’ or ‘treatment’ and what ‘care’ or ‘treatment’ (or diagnosis) they received had far less to do with their symptoms or degree of distress than the vendettas being conducted against anyone who dared complain about Dafydd and the paedophiles. People were undoubtedly often left to die if they had dared cross the path of those we know and love. A common pattern was incarceration in the North Wales Hospital (when it was still in operation) and if that didn’t shut someone up it was transfer to Risley Remand Centre/prison/secure psychiatric unit, all the way up to the level of Broadmoor/Ashworth/Rampton if necessary. It is clear from my records that this was the course planned for me. Not because I’d assaulted anyone, committed violent offences etc – but because I had complained about Dafydd, Gwynne the lobotomist and Tony Francis (Dr X). This was also the path followed by so many of the children in care in north Wales who were abused by the paedophile ring. There really was no correlation with any degree of illness. After Denbigh closed, the solution was to fail to provide any care and support or indeed basics such as housing and disability benefits, whilst harassing and threatening the patient and then to stand back and wait for them to turn up dead sooner or later.

Professor Anthony Clare interviewed Thomas Szasz on ‘In The Psychiatrist’s Chair’ many years ago and accused Szasz of cruelty in failing to recognise the suffering caused by mental illness – Szasz became very angry with Clare for trying to colonise the moral high ground. Szasz’s ideas certainly can be used to justify cruelty – the Arfon Community Mental Health Team used to quote Szasz when they justified abandoning their clients to suicide – but Dafydd et al have had a ball with conventional psychiatry. Except that of course when it suited them, they started quoting Laing and Szasz…

As for Ivan Illich, Roth claimed that he was ‘a brooding presence in night, like a dysfunctional lighthouse, emitting shafts of darkness to confuse unwary travellers’. Unwary travellers were confused far more by Dafydd facilitating a paedophile ring whilst utilising a network of psychiatrists across the UK – some of them being of international stature – to ensure that he was never held to account (let alone stopped) and that anyone who challenged him was ruined.

I note with some irony that Roth wrote about the use of psychiatry to silence Soviet dissidents…

Roth’s Daily Telegraph obituary maintained that ‘Roth never lost his sympathy for the individual patient or his awareness of the reality of his or her suffering’. I never met Martin Roth, he may have been an excellent, compassionate doctor. However, at least two who had worked in his empire at Newcastle ignored a great deal of suffering indeed…

In 2006 Roth’s former student Claude Wischik noted that ‘the times of vast psychiatric institutions housing populations in excess of 1000 souls in varying degrees of torment and hopelessness are still etched in the collective social consciousness and their residue lives on in the stigma which is still so often attached to mental illness’. I would argue that rather than stigma arising from the population’s collective memory of asylums, it arises from psychiatrists telling third parties that people are ‘criminally insane’ or ‘extremely dangerous’ or indeed merely ‘disordered personalities’ because of a ‘DAJ issue’ many years ago…

In terms of it’s status as a profession, it seems that psychiatry has a lot to be grateful to Martin Roth for. Not only was he the first President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, but his ‘expert early nurture’ was instrumental in it’s ‘robust growth’ into the powerful institution with political muscle that it is today.

Like all medical institutions that want to be taken seriously, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has a very grand office – it is situated in Belgravia. It was Martin Roth who assisted with the acquisition of this very upmarket building. Roth’s Times obituary explains that there was great difficulty in raising the money for the ‘splendid late-Georgian town house, 17 Belgravia Square SW1’, but with the ‘persuasive wiles of Roth, the influence of Lord Goodman and a very substantial gift from the charitable Trust of Marks & Spencer, it was done’. My first thought was what fiddle had Marks & Spencer been involved in, particularly as Arnold Goodman – Harold Wilson’s solicitor who was widely believed to have been a crook – played a role. Lord Goodman acted as legal advisor to Jeremy Thorpe after Thorpe was charged with conspiracy to murder and incitement to kill.

But I have found another article concerning the acquisition of 17 Belgravia Square by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, explaining that the building cost £750,000 (at early 1970s prices) and that ‘the money had to be borrowed and substantial amounts of interest paid’, although there was ‘additional help from generous sponsors’.

So how did a fledgling organisation ever raise and repay that money? £750k was a very great deal of dosh in the early 1970s – 17 Belgravia Square nestles among the residences of relatives of the Royal family. Much of Belgravia is of course owned by one particular relative of the Royal Family – the Duke of Westminster. The Duke of Westminster in the early 70s was Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, Prince Charles’s mate – who is now dead – but was the President of the City of Chester Conservative Association when Sir Peter Morrison was MP for Chester and molesting boys in care in north Wales (see post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’). Gerald Cavendish also had a claim on St George’s Hospital Medical School – who concealed Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends’ wrongdoing – because his family provided the money for the charitable Trust which founded St George’s (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’).

Not that setting up shop in a palatial building in the poshest part of London was ever what Roth and the Royal College wanted – Roth explained that ‘we didn’t chose to go to a fashionable place but we couldn’t find any other’. Presumably there were no tin sheds in Basildon available when Roth and the Royal College of Psychiatrists went looking for office space, so they were dragged kicking and screaming into Belgravia.

Martin Roth was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996, one of only three psychiatrists ever to have been given such an honour (one of the others was Sigmund Freud).

In his obituary in the British Journal of Psychiatry in April 2007, Roth was described as ‘the most respected and most successful psychiatrist of his generation’. Roth studied medicine at St Mary’s Paddington and although nearly every article available about him stresses his Messianic qualities, his deep compassion for his patients, his inspirational role as a teacher and a scientist, a Special Article in the British Journal of Psychiatry April 2007, ‘Sir Martin Roth: An Appreciation’, explains that Roth stated that his decision to embark upon a career in medicine arose out of ‘the necessity to qualify at something I could make a living at’.

My suspicions that two of the north Wales contingent passing through Roth’s empire helped ensure that the wrongdoing on their patch was concealed in the same way that Dafydd’s stint under Bob Hobson at the Maudsley ensured that no-one ever fessed up to exactly what Dafydd was doing lest the reputation of Hobson took a tumble, were fuelled by a comment of Claude Wischik, Professor of Geratology at Aberdeen, after Roth’s death. Claude observed that he was the last of the ‘Roth-Mafia’, the Professors of Psychiatry trained and inspired by Roth. That’s the problem with medicine – it really does operate as a Mafia, with a network that no-one is allowed to leave or dishonour. If you do, you’ll be sleeping with the fishes. Who ever was going to admit that two of those who had trained at the knee of one of ‘the most successful and most respected psychiatrist of his generation’ were working with old Dafydd who was colluding with organised crime? Far easier to perpetuate the myth that they’re all ’eminent’ up there in north Wales – although for some reason for donkeys years that quiet rural region had a terrifyingly high suicide rate…

 

Martin Roth was a lifelong friend of Eliot Slater – he who suggested procuring the King’s sperm – and they co-authored together. One account of Roth’s career states that Roth met Eliot Slater when he went to work at the Maudsley, but another account states that Slater invited Roth to come to work at the Maudsley with him. The lack of clarity could be significant because although Roth did work at the Maudsley after he qualified, things did not go smoothly and he left prematurely.

My post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’ provided some details of Slater’s unpleasant notions and running mates. Slater was not simply ‘a man of his time’, he clung on to his fondness for lobotomy long after it had become discredited and when he was younger he had worked with Ernst Rudin, the architect of Hitler’s eugenic sterilization policies. Slater was an enthusiastic eugenicist who worked at the Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry for decades. He will have been there when Dafydd ‘trained’ at the Maudsley.

Roth credited Slater with being ‘the greatest influence on his intellectual development, firing him with a conviction that scientific method could be used to elucidate clinical psychiatric problems’. Roth was ‘impressed by the scientific integrity and precision of Eliot Slater’s writings’.

Slater went to work at the Maudsley as Senior Registrar to Professor Sir Aubrey Lewis. The Maudsley was considered to be the ‘Mecca of academic psychiatry in the UK’.  One toadying commentator stated that Slater and Lewis were ‘both intellectual titans’ but ‘proved to be incompatible’. Slater himself stated of Aubrey Lewis: ‘at first I was impressed but later I found he poured jars of cold water on people, some of whom gave splendid presentations’. Whether Slater is referring to real or metaphorical jars of cold water I do not know – this lot were so crazy and so arrogant that they would have quite capable of drenching one another when lecturing. Whatever was going on, Slater felt that he had no option other than to leave the Maudsley after only two years. In his own words ‘I felt unhappy and it was clear that I had no future there’.

Aubrey Lewis was yet another mad eugenicist – he died in 1975. He was born in Australia and qualified as a doctor from the University of Adelaide. He then carried out some anthropological work on Aborigines – it can be assumed that was probably quite unsavoury. He arrived at the Maudsley in 1928 and became Clinical Director in 1936. Lewis was a member of the Eugenics Society and contributed to a 1934 volume ‘The Chances of Morbid Inheritance’, edited by Carlos Blacker (another psychiatrist who was in hot pursuit of the King’s sperm, along with Slater). This book has been described as being ‘remarkable for its total admiration for the German work and workers, including Ernst Rudin’. The ‘German work’ was of course all that eugenic thought that so influenced Hitler and which he put into practice…

In 1946 the Maudsley was designated the Institute of Psychiatry, under the auspices of the University of London. Aubrey Lewis was appointed to the inaugural Chair of Psychiatry at the Institute, which he held until his retirement in 1966. Aubrey’s wiki entry proudly reproduces a quote that stated that it is ‘said that the flowering of British psychiatry after World War II can be attributed to three things: a long humanitarian tradition, the NHS and Aubrey Lewis’.

‘Humanitarian tradition’ is not a phrase that one readily associates with these unhinged adherents to the ideology which excited the Nazis so much. If British psychiatry did any flowering following World war II it could probably be best compared to the blooming of Amorphophallus titanium aka the Corpse Flower, a plant with a giant bloom that smells of rotting flesh.

The Maudsley is nothing if not good at promoting itself. Aubrey Lewis was credited with attracting ‘many of the most promising medical graduates from around the world’. So that’s how Dafydd found himself entering through their doors then.

Aubrey Lewis was a member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Research of WHO.

Lewis had a most effective PR man who worked with him, a psychiatrist called Michael Shepherd, who died in 1995. Shepherd worked with Roth. Shepherd notes that Lewis had an ‘austere appearance’, which was captured in portraits which some people stated made him look ‘mean’. Shepherd however was able to confirm that this was deceiving, Aubrey was a lovely old buffer.

Michael Shepherd was yet another towering figure in British psychiatry – the Maudsley churned them out – who was born in and went to school in Cardiff no less. Shepherd started working in psychiatry at the Maudsley in 1947 and in 1956 joined the staff of the Institute of Psychiatry as a Senior Lecturer. In 1961 he became a Reader at the Institute and in 1967 he was appointed to the Chair of Epidemiological Psychiatry, yet another world first. Shepherd was also a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Maudsley – he spent his whole career at the Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry except for 1955-56, which he spent at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. So Shepherd will have been another giant who was at the Maudsley when dear old Dafydd ‘trained’ there.

Shepherd was a Founding Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1971. Who knows, perhaps he contributed to the palace in Belgravia for which they had to beg, steal and borrow to fund.

In the late 50s, Shepherd established a GP Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry under the auspices of the DHSS. He remained the Director of this Unit until he retired in 1988. Shepherd maintained that the capacity of the mental health services could not be enhanced by an ever-proliferating number of psychiatrists, it could only be enhanced by GPs focussing on the more minor psychiatric problems. Thus Shepherd pressed for better support and training for GPs, rather than more resources for psychiatry which certainly pissed a lot of his psychiatrist colleagues off. Shepherd himself stressed the interpersonal and social aspects of a case and left the epidemiological studies to his team of young researchers.

Enhancing the role of GPs, emphasising the interpersonal and the social – are we talking about a human being for once among all the lobotomising eugenicists that Dafydd rubbed shoulders with? Probably not – I have only found one patient opinion as opposed to the many colleagues of Shepherd who recorded his splendours – the patient spoke of Shepherds ‘chillingly superior glance’. Yes, that probably summed up the extent of his communication skills. ‘You’re a piece of shit and of course no-one’s facilitating a paedophile ring or shagging the patients – now let me introduce you to Dr Gwynne Williams and his ice-pick…’

Michael Shepherd devised a classification system which involved identifying the dreadful Aubrey Lewis as a ‘representative psychiatrist’, whom Shepherd seemed to feel embodied all the elements of one who was great and good in that profession.

Shepherd was the founding Editor of ‘Psychological Medicine’, the go-to journal between 1969-93.

There are hints that Shepherd had help in achieving the status of a Colossus. It was observed that ‘it is important to note that he was served by generations of young research workers whose assistance helped him achieve the epidemiological studies for which he is renowned’. His former student the media psychiatrist Anthony Clare stated that Michael Shepherd was ‘without equal’ in his record of ‘selecting and nurturing young men and women who would go on to fill senior academic posts in Britain and throughout the world’. So they did his research for him – although I bet he still put his own name on the publications and he may even have left theirs off – and if they were lucky he ‘selected and nurtured’ them. There’ll be a lot of senior people who owe their careers to Shepherd – and probably a few who had their careers brought to a sharp stop by him as well. Clare explained that Shepherd ‘identified able and committed doctors in Africa, Asia, South America and East Europe on his travels…he often raised funds for their salaries and took a great personal involvement…securing them a foot on the ladder of academic achievement, whilst helping to maintain the Maudsley’s position as one of the world’s great postgrad centres for teaching and research’. So Shepherd had his paws on the purse strings as well then.

Michael Shepherd sounded as though he wielded a great deal of power in post-war psychiatry. No wonder everyone continued to hail the Maudsley as a fine institution, despite the Nazi sympathisers and pursuers of Royal sperm on which its foundations were built. No-one was going to dare admit the monster that was Dafydd had been spawned down there. Presumably Michael Shepherd didn’t ‘select and nurture’ Dafydd – he sent him back to north Wales when he realised what Dafydd was like. I can’t believe that they didn’t notice what Dafydd was like – there’s no way that he went from competent trainee at the Maudsley to lunatic facilitating a paedophile ring and sexually exploiting the patients the minute that he hit home turf. The attitude will have been what it was at St George’s/Springfield – we know what Dafydd is doing but as long as he’s not doing it on our patch we don’t give a damn.

 

As I read about the barking mad deeply unpleasant megalomaniacs at the Maudsley, I was struck by how many of them were described as highly cultured men, who loved arts and the ballet, literature, poetry and music and who spent much time pursuing such interests – as well as of course being scientific geniuses who overflowed with compassion for the poor wretches who filled their clinics. No I don’t believe it either.

In 1967 a collection of essays and articles by Aubrey Lewis was published. It was called ‘The State of psychiatry’. That State was an absolute disgrace then and it’s no better now.

 

 

 

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.

News Round-Up, March 11 2017

A couple of news reports have appeared this morning which readers might find of interest. Previous blog posts (‘Normal Service Resumed – News Round-Up, March 8 2017’ and ‘Update, March 9 2017: My Complaint to the Betsi, Wrexham Drug Problem, Anglesey Children’s Services, HMP Berwyn’) have discussed the alleged explosion in the drug problem in north Wales and how, if this is true, it suggests that the organisation CAIS, which continues to pick up lucrative contracts for substance abuse ‘services’, is spectacularly ineffective, despite their boasts of years of ‘expertise’ in this area. So one wonders why the state continues to throw money in the direction of CAIS, particularly as there would seem to be some very big questions that need to be asked regarding the way in which CAIS is securing these contracts (please see blog post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’).

BBC News Wales is reporting that there is now a substantial and increasing problem with drug use among the over 50s http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-39220676 The Welsh Gov’t advisory panel on substance abuse has stated that there is a ‘hidden problem’ of medication addiction. It is reporting that the use of multiple medicines over a long period of time in older adults is common and that they may become addicted. The report mentioned that late onset drug users often developed drug problems due to stressful life events, such as retirement, marital breakdown or bereavement. It was also reported that some of the older people with drug problems are people who have been using drugs for years who are simply ageing.

This report suggests something other than the usual shock horror of ‘the nation is turning to drugs’ style panic. Everything in this report reminds me of the work of Ivan Illich, the philosopher who wrote about medical nemesis and iatrogenic disease – problems caused by medicine itself. The report constantly refers to older people becoming dependent on prescribed drugs or problems arising from polypharmacy – these are not the ‘Wrexham bus station addicts’ immortalised by the Daily Post recently, these are people who have been given these drugs by their doctors. Regular readers of the blog who also read the ‘comments’ section might remember the conversations regarding mental health patients being forced to take damaging drugs which they do not want and do not find helpful. The same doctors who prescribe these drugs also tend to be very fond of prescribing benzodiazepines, very frequently and in very great quantities. Benzodiazepines are addictive. Such ‘medications’ are urged upon nearly everyone who enters the Betsi acute psychiatric units. I have previously blogged about how many psychiatric patients that I know who have been seriously damaged, or in a few cases, killed, by their ‘medication’. I too was prescribed a combination of drugs by Dr Richard Tranter from the Hergest Unit that was neurotoxic and could have actually killed me if I’d taken them. Furthermore, the comment that people are taking drugs as a consequence of stressful life events is interesting – if there were actually helpful services for these people, rather than the PR scams that currently double-up as the ‘talking treatments’ offered by the Betsi, people experiencing difficult life-events might not be resorting to ‘medication’ or other substances to cope.

There is another interesting aspect to the drug problems detailed in this report – that is, the syndrome that many of the older adults with drug problems are long-term drug users who are now getting older and the business of being a long-term drug user is taking its toll on them. This report refers to the ‘over 50s’. I am 54, this is my generation. I remember the drug users who are now my age well – I encountered them at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and at the Hergest Unit. And who was the man to whom they were all referred, the ‘drug expert’ in north Wales? It was Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, founder and Chair of CAIS. And why did those substance abusers flock to Dafydd’s ‘clinics’? Because he prescribed them drugs – they used to openly boast about it. One of them memorably told me that ‘he’ll give you anything you want, anything’. The same man also said that he found Dafydd’s services very useful because Dafydd would also always ‘give you a good Court report’. This was a man with a long-term heroin problem, who had served a prison sentence for armed robbery and who was still dealing in hard drugs. At the same time as Dafydd was doing this, he was appearing on Welsh TV programmes (the one I always remember was ‘The Kane Debate’), waxing lyrical about the serious subject of ‘cannabis resin’ which Dafydd assured us all resulted in ‘cannabis psychosis’. Reefer Madness! Well Dafydd, plenty of mates of mine in my student days or the hippies that I knew in Bethesda blew dope – it made them rather boring and very lethargic, but I didn’t ever see it leading to the chaos that we are now told exists after three decades of you ‘leading the way’ in the fight against drugs in north Wales. Furthermore most of us gave up dope many years ago, no-one out of our crowd turned into a hard drug user carrying out armed robberies and needing a favourable Court report from you.

Now onto another conundrum. The Betsi’s problems with feeding patients and infection control. These subjects might seem to be odd bedfellows, but a Daily Post article today has linked. The Post is reporting that the Betsi has banned numerous types of food from it’s wards, presumably food that visitors take in for patients or that patients pop out to purchase for themselves. The Betsi’s rational for doing this is to reduce infection from handling of food. There is logic behind some of the foods that have been banned such as raw meats and poultry – although I don’t know many people who are going to take in an uncooked chicken for their relatives to eat when they are in hospital. However some of the prohibited foods are bizarre – pre-wrapped sandwiches with any filling, cakes, sweets, fruit juice, milkshakes and crisps. Not all of these foods are good for one, but when was the last time that anyone contracted Salmonella from a cake or a bag of crisps? Takeaway meals including pizzas, beef-burgers and kebabs have also been banned. Now that might not seem a big deal, but in my experience the only really nice get-togethers that the patients now ever have in the acute psychiatric units in the Betsi are in the evenings when they often club together and order a takeaway to be delivered to their ward. Everyone sits around and socialises, spends time together and in common parlance ‘bonds’. When I was admitted to the Heddfan Unit three years ago I didn’t know anyone because I’d never lived near Wrexham in my life – and the way that I got to know people was when they invited me to share their evening takeaway with them. There are very few activities on those wards and if you’re a non-smoker you don’t get to know anyone because nearly all of the socialising takes place outside during fag-smoking sessions. But the evening takeaways always engendered a really good atmosphere. Furthermore when I was there, the food was very, very poor, particularly for vegetarians – that was the reason why so many patients were buying their own food or having it brought in. Oh and as for cakes – I was stuck in that unit, imprisoned by the dreadful Dr Sambhi for months which also included the day of my birthday. So my friends – horrified at what Sambhi was doing – came to visit and brought a birthday cake with them to try and give me at least some quality of life. I was there over Christmas as well – fortunately the appalling Sambhi was nowhere to be seen at Christmas, so the staff relaxed and the atmosphere became much better and the staff made an effort and supplied decorations and snacks, including sweets and crisps. So I imagine that for future mental health patients, birthdays and Christmas’s in hospitals in north Wales will be seriously grim – although there’ll be plenty of drugs given out as usual, that certainly never stopped for Christmas. As for ‘infection control’ – the Betsi has far greater problems than visitors bringing in cakes – please see blog post ‘The Tip Of Yet Another Iceberg’…

But the Betsi seems to have turned its attention to the matter of patients food in a big way this week. A piece has appeared on the Betsi’s website concerning ‘Nutrition and Hydration Week’ http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/861/news/44244

So the Betsi is ‘hosting a series of exciting events across all our hospital sites’. They are going to ‘celebrate’ improvements in nutrition and hydration. How exactly does one ‘celebrate’ eating and drinking, particularly when one has just imposed a ban on birthday cakes and Christmas snacks? One of the highlights advertised is a ‘Global Tea Party’ to ‘showcase’ er, a tea party. Another event is the ‘Wise Up On Water’ campaign, which will be reminding us all that if we don’t drink we will eventually die of thirst. But the best event of all will no doubt be the ‘Power of 3 event which is a senior multidisciplinary approach to observing a service user meal time experience. We all look at the experience from different perspectives, and ask the patient their opinion’. Yes, a ‘senior multidisciplinary team’ is actually going to watch a patient eat their dinner, look at it ‘from different perspectives’ and ask the patient what they thought. The patient will probably be thinking that they’d rather have had their dinner in peace without a load of pillocks watching them. Of course there are some patients who do have problems eating and drinking – there was one such case highlighted the other day in the Daily Post, it occurred on Fali Ward in Ysbyty Penrhos Stanley, which is of course managed by the Betsi (please see blog post ‘Exactly How Bad Was Fali Ward?’). As for drinking  – well I’ve not yet heard of a case in which a patient from the Betsi has died of thirst, but that did actually happen a few years ago at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London. A young man who was bed bound and I think had diabetes knew that he was being seriously deprived of liquids, asked constantly for a glass of water but was ignored and in the end actually rang the police to try to highlight his plight. The police contacted the hospital – who continued to ignore that young man, ‘reassured’ the police that there was no problem, but failed to give the young man a drink. He died. Yes, he actually died of thirst in a ‘leading’ UK medical school. It made headlines for a couple of days, but that was about it. They killed him. But that was the end of the matter, no inquiry, no prosecution. But then I used to work at St Georges and saw what went on there – those particular adventures are detailed elsewhere on this blog…

As for NHS England, a reader has sent me this link this morning http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/10/diktat-every-hospital-change-nhs-logo-ignored-objections-chief/

So NHS England has been ordered to spend a fortune forcing Trusts to change their ‘logos’ on the advice of something called an ‘NHS Identity Team’. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are very angry at this perceived waste of money (although Jeremy Hunt is a former PR man, so he probably thinks that all this makes sense). However, there is sometimes an aspect to this sort of thing that people overlook. When Edwina Hart abolished the lethal North West Wales NHS Trust along with the other disasterous Trusts in the region and formed the Betsi, a lot of people caused a furore over the name of the new Health Board. There were allegations that Betsi Cadwaladr had actually been a prostitute as well as a nurse and that it would be a major embarrassment to have the new Health Board named after her and other people complained that the name was ‘too Welsh’. Obviously one cannot put up with a Welsh name in Wales. The row was particularly fierce at Ysbyty Gwynedd and there was much anger expressed about the ‘waste of money’ that was involved in printing all the new stationery and signs with the new name and logo. Then there was The Case of The Glass Doors. The very first thing that was done as the abolition of the North West Wales NHS Trust took place was the installation of some very expensive glass doors at the entrance to Ysbyty Gwynedd with the new Betsi name and logo. These doors were prioritised. It was a mystery to me so I mentioned it to my friend Brown who enlightened me. He explained that when an organisation has screwed up as spectacularly as the North West Wales NHS Trust did and has become that much of an embarrassment, the relevant authorities often do all they can to airbrush the previous organisation out of history, by removing names, logos etc. Brown also suspected that the glass doors were a symbolic two fingers up to Elfed Roberts (the previous Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust) and Martin Jones (the previous CEO) – their empire had fallen and the glass doors were the evidence. Sadly though Edwina didn’t sack and prosecute all those people from the North West Wales NHS Trust who had been involved in serious misconduct and the dreadful Martin was recycled into the new Health Board as ‘Director of Workforce and Operations’. No wonder it is still a mess. But the same mistakes were made when the North Wales Hospital Denbigh was closed – it was the building that was blamed for the abuse of patients rather than the staff. So dear old Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al all lived to fight another day…