The Crème de la Crème

It is clear that from the very inception of the NHS bad attitudes towards, as well as the neglect and even abuse of, certain groups of people were tolerated within the service, even by those who have been written into history as moving mountains in their efforts to establish the NHS as a result of their desire to see the poor and disadvantaged receive heath care. The politician who achieved hero status as a result of his work regarding the creation of the NHS was of course Nye Bevan, but there is someone else whose name is not well known outside medical and history circles whose reputation stands upon the towering achievement that is the NHS. That man is Sir George Godber.

Sir George Godber was a Top Doctor and civil servant who worked with both William Beveridge and Nye Bevan to establish the NHS and then was Chief Medical Officer, 1960-73. When Godber died in 2009 ‘The Guardians’ obituary described him as a ‘medical lay saint’. No-one seemed to have a bad word to say about Godber, absolutely no-one.

George Godber was born in 1908, went to Bedford Modern School and then read medicine at that educator of so many of the paedophiles’ friends, New College, Oxford (see post ‘A Study In Tyranny’). Godber trained at the London Hospital and London School of Hygiene, qualifying in 1933. We are told that it was Godber’s experience of working on a casualty ward in a municipal hospital in the London Docklands after qualifying where he encountered seriously ill people who were too poor to afford a doctor but too proud to ask for charity that convinced him that a state-funded health service was necessary.

Godber entered public health medicine as a route into the Ministry of Health. He worked as a county medical officer in Surrey and then joined the Ministry of Health as a medical officer in 1939. He was involved in providing health care services during WWII and organised maternity services in the suburbs for evacuees from inner cities. In 1942 with the publication of the Beveridge Report, Godber was part of the team which prepared the ‘Domesday Book’ survey of British hospitals, personally visiting 300 establishments in Yorkshire and the north midlands.

In 1950 George Godber became Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health and in 1960 he was appointed Chief Medical Officer at the succeeding dept, the DHSS. He remained as CMO until his retirement in 1973. Godber led a very active retirement – he lived to the age of 100, was driving until he was 97 and didn’t experience serious health problems even in old age. He was Chair of the Health Education Council, 1977-78 and seems to have socialised, given interviews, reflected on the past of the NHS and taken a keen interest in developments and plans. It is highly likely that Godber would have been called on informally for help and advice long after his retirement.

So that’s the bare bones of Godber’s career.

Godber was at the helm whilst Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr T. Gwynne Williams at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh illegally imprisoned, lobotomised, shocked and drugged the victims of the paedophile gang as well as people who were gay along with unmarried pregnant women – and in at least one case that I know of, a pregnant woman who was married but who had left her husband against her mother’s wishes. Godber was in post when people in the ‘care’ of Dafydd and Gwynne died under questionable circumstances which went uninvestigated, when they ‘disappeared’ ‘within the system’ after what was supposed to be a brief stay in hospital, when they remained in the hospital for decades for no explicable reason and when they were transferred to high security hospitals and prisons on the ‘evidence’ of people who had demonstrably lied in other cases. Godber was CMO during all those years when the physical and sexual abuse of patients at Denbigh was openly discussed. He was CMO in the 1960s when Dafydd was named in ‘The Times’ after he discharged many seriously ill patients into ‘community care’, only for them to be later discovered in unsuitable accommodation along the north Wales coast, uncared for and in some cases starving and covered in lice. At this time Dafydd was a leading light in MIND, promoting community care.

Godber was also CMO when the Top Doctors of north Wales flatly refused to provide abortion services after the 1967 Abortion Act, thus leading to the St David’s laundry of Bangor (see post ‘Every Sperm In Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’).

Godber’s responsibilities weren’t just to the DHSS. His role as CMO also spanned the Home Office and the Dept of Education and Science and thus included responsibility for approved schools, remand centres, high security hospitals, prisons and other educational institutions. Such establishments were also under the control of Dafydd, Gwynne, the paedophiles and their friends eg. Axwell Park Approved School Gateshead, Bryn Estyn, Risley Remand Centre, Broadmoor, Park Lane/Moss Side/Ashworth.

Did George Godber perhaps not know what was going on? Well it would have been difficult for him to have missed the article about Denbigh in ‘The Times’ – it caused a very great hoo ha, it was considered a major scandal, particularly when it was revealed that no-one, not even the patients themselves, knew that they were going to be transferred ‘into the community’. The story is that one day a number of coaches turned up at the hospital, the patients were loaded up and off they went. The patients who were transported and left to die seem to have been very vulnerable, frail, chronically ill patients. No doubt Dafydd and Gwynne kept the young attractive ones banged up to continue to provide sexual services to the staff and they won’t have dared let out any of the victims of the paedophile gang.

There’s another reason why Godber would have known just how bad Denbigh was. Because in the early 1960s the Health Minister Enoch Powell visited the North Wales Hospital himself. Dafydd and Gwynne’s work was proudly on display and Powell was so appalled at what he saw that he told the reception committee that he would not allow them to do this to people. When he returned to London Powell immediately proposed the closure of all the long stay psychiatric hospitals and made his famous ‘Water Towers’ speech.

When I found out about all this I was certainly intrigued. Not only because dear old Gwynne and Dafydd had impressed Enoch Powell so deeply with their expertise, but by the fact that they had actually invited him in the first place – well they were both crackers, I can only presume that they had spent so many years telling their lies about the wonderful facilities and care on offer at Denbigh that the mad old buggers had come to believe it themselves – and because Denbigh DIDN’T close. Not until 1995. Enoch Powell, a robust man with a big cult following, had been horrified, had determined to put a stop to Dafydd and Gwynne’s activities, had made a speech and ordered a policy change, but bugger all happened. Furthermore, Powell’s interest in the matter stopped. Completely. I contacted the archive at Cambridge University which holds Powell’s papers because I wanted to go through them and read everything relating to Denbigh, but guess what? There are NO references to Denbigh in the Powell papers.

Powell is someone who tore the Tory Party apart over the issue of race, he inspired dockers to march in protest over immigration and when he really wanted to kick the Tories in the knackers he defected to the Ulster Unionist Party. He also regularly confronted Tory grandees like Heseltine on the TV and told them that their policy with regard to the nuclear deterrent was ‘stupid’. Powell was very effective indeed at causing the maximum trouble on issues over which he felt strongly. Yet something had silenced him after he announced his intention to put a stop to Dafydd and Gwynne’s reign of terror – and references to his desire to do this have not been recorded.

Powell never spoke about Denbigh again but he did talk about his time as Health Minister, between 1960-63. He observed that ‘The unnerving discovery every Minister of Health makes at or near the outset of his term of office is that the only subject he is ever destined to discuss with the medical profession is money’. So he wasn’t destined to discuss the abuses of two maniacs in north Wales who were facilitating a paedophile ring.

‘The Daily Telegraph’ obituary of Godber mentioned that Enoch Powell had described Godber as his ‘bodyguard and lightening conductor’.

The Torygraph also explains that Godber ‘helped found and plan the NHS’, had ‘played a leading role in shaping it over its first 35 years’ and that between 1960-73 Godber ‘wielded immense influence as CMO in the Department of Health and Social Security’.

Could Dafydd and Gwynne’s continued survival and gross abuses after the visit from Mr Powell possibly have been down to Sir George Godber?

So what else did Godber’s obituaries say about him? Well they retold the entertaining Top Doctoresque anecdotes that were Godber’s favourites. Godber enjoyed telling people that minutes after the NHS was established in 1948, he was on duty at the Ministry when he received an SOS from a GP who was requesting leeches. Godber thought that this was a hoax, but it transpired not to be – it really was a GP after leeches, to treat an eye injury sustained by the US ambassador. The leech has made an experimental comeback recently under certain circumstances. However leeches had rather gone out of fashion in 1948 and Godber knew that. Nevertheless, the T. Gwynne Williams of general practice had obviously been summoned in an emergency and had called for leeches – which Godber had supplied. We are also told that later in life Godber used to reminisce about newspaper coverage concerning the waste of NHS resources, such as stories that people were asking for cotton wool on prescription and then using it to stuff their cushions or asking for ambulances to take them shopping. Godber’s favourite story was that of the bald prisoner who had persuaded a psychiatrist that he needed a wig – only to escape using his new disguise.

Godber did not reveal that in north Wales there was a crumbling huge asylum costing a fortune to run and employing hundreds of staff which was used as the personal prison of two men who were facilitating a paedophile ring. Neither did he mention the ambulances which were summoned in the dead of night to deliver people who had been arrested unlawfully to the asylum under cover of darkness. Nor did he mention the legal expense incurred as patients who dared complain were dragged through the courts repeatedly on trumped up charges. Godber knew of much more serious abuses of NHS resources than people making cushions, going shopping or indeed escaping prisoners – if indeed any of those things ever did happen.

There is firm evidence that Godber knew that all was not well in the NHS. He implemented the proposal for the confidential inquiry into maternal deaths in 1952. OK – so mothers were dying at a rate that alarmed even this complacent old fart, so he set up a CONFIDENTIAL inquiry. That is, one that the mothers who might be at risk of dying knew nothing about. This inquiry was then used as a model for later confidential inquiries into deaths associated with analgesia and surgical operations. So the Top Doctors were killing people under anaesthetic on the operating table as well but that was kept quiet too. Could there possibly have been a confidential inquiry into Dafydd and Gwynne that no-one knew anything about on Godber’s watch? It wouldn’t surprise me – a MIND worker who didn’t realise that he was talking to a service user with a brain fessed up to me in 1987 that there had been a big investigation into the mental health services in north Wales, that ‘one man had everything sewn up for himself’ and that ‘it was something to do with Freemasonry’. Yes, that was Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends that the man from MIND was talking about. It was something to do with organised crime involving some of Thatcher’s friends as well.

One of Godber’s obituaries tells us that ‘one of [his] strongest publicity campaigns was against promiscuity, venereal disease and unwanted pregnancy’ but that after his retirement Godber admitted ‘limited success’ in this area, because no-one had a clear idea how to teach young people about sex. No-one rescued them from the clutches of a paedophile gang either and they put a stop to Enoch Powell when he wanted to shut down the prison that the paedophiles were using to incarcerate their victims.

Sir Douglas Black claimed that Godber ‘saw and pursued his duty in promoting the rights of others’. Unless they’d been illegally incarcerated by a paedophile gang obviously. Sir Douglas Black played a key role in the development of the NHS himself. In 1974 he became the first Chief Scientist at the DHSS. He was President of the Royal College of Physicians, 1977-83 and President of the BMA. He was commissioned by Jim Callaghan’s Gov’t to lead an investigation into inequalities – the resulting publication, the Black Report, made Thatch very angry.

Fifty years after the creation of the NHS Godber was quoted as saying that ‘we need to provide the most we can for the most people, not everything for the privileged few’. Presumably this only applies once an exception has been made for the salaries of the Top Doctors and the writing off of huge swathes of people who aren’t considered worthy of their very precious time.

On the 60th anniversary of the NHS – 2008 – the BMJ reported that Godber was too frail to attend the anniversary service at Westminster Abbey. I remember the 60th anniversary of the NHS very well. I was still living in north Wales then and the threats and harassment towards me on the part of the paedophiles’ friends had become very public and well-known locally. I phoned the A&E Dept at Ysbyty Gwynedd for advice and help on that evening. I didn’t dare actually go to hospital in person because the last time that I had done that I had been threatened by two male nurses, refused treatment, accused of abusing the staff and the police were called to throw me out. CCTV had recorded the whole scene so my lawyer subsequently requested release of the footage. The Chief Exec of the North West Wales NHS Trust, Martin Jones, admitted destroying the footage – AFTER the Trust had received my complaint. So on the 60th anniversary I rang in order to avoid further attempts to arrest me. Stephen Gallagher, the senior nurse who had previously refused to treat me and made fallacious allegations about me to the police, slammed the phone down on me. I rang back and he slammed it down again. A friend of mine and her husband rang Gallagher and expressed concern about his conduct. They were insulted by him. My friend then told Gallagher that she worked in the hospital herself and she would be making a complaint about him – he responded by making threats to her career. She told him that she had lost her daughter to suicide which is why she took such a dim view of someone with a mood disorder being denied treatment. Gallagher told her to stop being ‘manipulative’. When my friend went into work the next day she was met by a posse of managers who interrogated her and told her that I was ‘using’ her to ‘get at’ the hospital managers. There was a flat denial from Martin Jones to my lawyer that I had ever been refused treatment. It transpired that Gallagher had previously been the subject of a complaint by a doctor and a note had been put on his staff file stating that his competence and integrity could not be relied upon. Another senior nurse involved in the first incident in which I was denied treatment was some years later arrested and charged after another member of staff witnessed him throw a patient in her 80s against a drinks machine and injure her. Then Gallagher found himself under the spotlight yet again after he was the last person to see a patient who was turned away from the A&E Dept without treatment and found dead in the Cathedral Gardens in Bangor hours later. See post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ for the full details of these incidents.

Martin Jones is now Director of the Workforce at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

BBC News Wales Online reported the other day that Gruff Rhys, the frontman of the rock group the Super Furry Animals, is planning to take part in a concert to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Gruff Rhys is the son of Ioan Bowen Rees, who was Chief Executive of Gwynedd County Council whilst it’s Social Services Dept hosted a paedophile ring, perjured themselves in order to frame complainants and ran the toxic Arfon Community Mental Health Team who neglected psychiatric patients so badly that some of them were living rough in the local villages and towns (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’) and were even found dead.

 

George Godber had a fellow civil service mandarin to assist him, Sir Bruce Fraser, who was appointed Permanent Secretary in the DHSS in 1960, when Powell became Health Minister and when Godber was appointed CMO. Fraser had been moved over from the Treasury and Godber’s obituary describes Fraser as therefore ‘not scarred by the experience of setting up the NHS’. Which says a lot about the pitched battle that was fought between the Top Doctors – in the form of the BMA – and the Labour Gov’t when the NHS was established. The BMA did not want the NHS at all and fought tooth and nail to stop it. Hence Nye Bevan’s now notorious method of persuading the Top Doctors to agree to accept the NHS – he would ‘stuff their mouths with gold’. The interests of the patients have never been foregrounded by the NHS – although I accept that there were many genuine people who did campaign for it – and an enormous degree of secrecy pervades every part of the NHS, particularly with regard to patient harm.

Bruce Fraser was born in 1910 and like Godber went to school in Bedford, but to a different school – Bedford School – and then studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1933 he was appointed to the Scottish Office and then to the Treasury in 1936. He was briefly the Minister for Aviation in 1960 and then became the Permanent Secretary at the DHSS. Between 1964-65 Fraser worked in the Dept of Education and Science and then in the Ministry of Land and Resources, 1965-66. He was Comptroller and Auditor General, ie. the head of the Exchequer and Audit Dept (now the National Audit Office), 1966-71.

Sir Bruce Fraser co-authored a classic text for civil servants, ‘The Complete Plain Words’ with Sir Ernest Gower. This was a guide as to how to teach officials and others to write clearly and it was published by HMSO. HMSO did of course produce the guidelines for Gov’t Depts such as the DHSS. When I first began experiencing problems with the mental health services in north Wales I requested a copy of my medical records – by then I had been lied to, lied about, repeatedly threatened and my records had also been crudely doctored (so to speak) after I had complained about Gwynne the lobotomist. I was told that it was illegal for me to access my records – I knew that this was nonsense, so in the end I called at the office of the pen pusher who was at the time Mr Big Pen Pusher in Gwynedd Health Authority, Bernard Rhodes. I had acquired a publication from HMSO in which the guidelines re patient access to medical records was set out. Bernard started lying to me again – he had already done so by letter – so I quoted out of the HMSO publication. Bernard yelled at me that perhaps I’d like to have a conversation with HMSO then – HMSO wrote the publication from which I was quoting for Bernard’s guidance, so there’d be no point in me conversing with HMSO, it wasn’t them that were lying to me. I yelled at Bernard that the NHS was there for the sake of the patients not the doctors. At this point Bernard lost it completely, yelled ‘NO NO NO’ and threw me out of his office (see post ‘Former NHS Managers Of Notoriety Now Keeping A Low(er) Profile’). I now have a copy of a letter that Bernard wrote and cc’d to a number of people after that meeting which stated that ‘the less said to this young lady the better’. Presumably because I had caught them lying and breaking the law. I didn’t realise at the time that the mental health services were facilitating a paedophile ring, participating in serious criminal activities and had been doing so for decades. But Sir Bruce Fraser the man who wrote the guide for officials published by HMSO knew that they were, as did many other people. No-one took any action to stop them.

 

Earlier today I watched a 1968 episode of ‘Tomorrow’s World’ which featured a few Top Doctors from Godber’s time as CMO – he will have personally known some of them. BBC News Online made the clip available on their website because it has just been the anniversary of Christiaan Barnard performing the first human to human heart transplant – Barnard faced a great deal of opposition from the Top Doctors at the time and ‘Tomorrow’s World’ screened a question and answer session between Barnard and other Top Doctors following the transplant.

In 1968 Dafydd and Gwynne were in their heyday and many, many people in the UK medical establishment and in Gov’t knew just how serious their wrongdoing was. As with authorities who are now being faced with evidence of organised child abuse which they ignored, when the Top Doctors are faced with their wrongdoing of yesteryear, the excuse of ‘ooh society saw things differently then’ tends to be trotted out. No – child molesting has never been acceptable which was why so many people worked so hard to conceal it and even went as far as killing the witnesses. ‘It was different in the 70s’ – well yes the clothes people wore were of a different style and attitudes to things like mixed race marriages and gay relationships were different, but I was alive and kicking in the 70s and at no time do I remember molesting children being considered an OK way to spend one’s time. Likewise no Top Doctor would have publicly endorsed facilitating a paedophile ring, trafficking psychiatric patients into prostitution and illegally imprisoning young women because they have complained about one’s mate’s highly improper behaviour towards them. Would they Dafydd? Or come to think of it neither they would they have endorsed perjury, hounding complainants AND their friends out of jobs, threatening them and then trying to bribe them when the threats didn’t work.

The Top Doctors knew exactly how they should have been conducting business and this is exemplified on the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ clip. Christiaan Barnard is accused of breaching confidentiality, of putting patients at risk, of seeking publicity and thus cheapening medicine and of misrepresenting the success of his surgery. The level of debate was excellent – the Top Doctors certainly knew what they should have been doing and because they were being filmed they did indeed do it, whilst they paid attention and sat up straight in their suits with their ties done up, with freshly applied Brylcreem and a side parting and horn-rimmed specs. Christiaan Barnard was not even running a paedophile gang, but the Top Docs gave him a real grilling.

However the Top Docs gave the game away. They were happy to converse and debate with each other even when they strongly disagreed, but unfortunately someone had let in someone else who was Not A Top Doctor  – one Malcolm Muggeridge. Muggeridge actually raised many very similar points to the Top Doctors but they weren’t going to take that from a bloody journalist. They were consistently rude to him using every technique in their repertoire to undermine him. Muggeridge insisted on completely disgracing himself and the Top Doctors did what they did to me on every occasion when I faced them with evidence of their criminal activities – they all joined forces and refused to answer Muggeridge’s question and they ordered Barnard to ‘ignore that question’ as well. So what had Muggeridge said which outraged the Top Doctors so much? He had asked whether Christiaan Barnard had carried out this very controversial surgery in cape Town in South Africa using a ‘coloured person’ as a donor because of the apartheid regime placing less value on the lives of certain citizens. Christ those Top Doctors did not like that. It was as if Muggeridge had accused them of running a paedophile ring. As I watched the Top Doctors sharply draw in their breath and harrumph away in disgust at Muggeridge daring to suggest such a thing, I remembered how many medical techniques had indeed been pioneered on black people – or on psychiatric patients of course – until everyone was convinced that the technique or treatment was safe. In 1968 black people in South Africa routinely experienced far poorer standards of healthcare than white people. Black and white people did not usually use the same hospitals or even share the same doctors. Furthermore the South African police had a habit of violently assaulting and even killing black people and the Top Doctors were not overly concerned about this. We doctors???? Discriminate against black people???? In apartheid South Africa??? How very dare you. Don’t answer that man.

We doctors??? Lie on your medical records??? Then alter them??? Then threaten you and ensure that you were sacked??? Then illegally imprison you and perjure ourselves in Court?? Then ensure that your friends who know what we did were sacked as well??? Dr Dafydd Alun Jones is having sex with patients??? You’re mad – how very dare you. No we will not communicate with you under any circumstances particularly now that you’re in possession of documents written by us in which we admit that we did everything of which you accused us and a great deal more besides.

The Top Docs don’t like admitting this but in the NHS black patients are far more likely to be sectioned, detained in locked wards and forcibly ‘medicated’. They are also more likely to be killed by staff ‘restraining’ them or to be tasered by the police to ‘calm them down’. This has been the case for many, many years although the Top Docs are of course committed to fighting discrimination and stigma. Not that they’ve ever discriminated against or stigmatised anyone in the first place.

Let’s have a look at some of those who featured on the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ programme who stopped speaking to Muggeridge – simply because he suggested a very real possibility – who were leading figures in medicine whilst Dafydd and Gwynne were being allowed to do whatever they felt like by George Godber.

Lord Robert Platt: Platt was a kidney specialist but is actually most well-known for his debate with George Pickering in the 1940s-50s regarding hypertension. Although Lord Platt was a central figure in the UK medical establishment, he wasn’t your typical Top Doctor and was considered frighteningly liberal. He was born in 1900 in Marylebone and his parents established and ran a co-educational boarding school in Derbyshire – his mother was one of the first women to become one of HM Inspectors of Schools. His uncle was a close friend of Keir Hardie and his cousin had been involved in the Spanish Civil War.

Platt studied medicine at Sheffield University and qualified in 1921. He worked as a physician at the Royal Infirmary Sheffield in the 1930s and built up an extensive private practice at the same time. The Royal College of Physicians ‘Lives of the Fellows’ site explains that Platt became a ‘socialist’ during his war service. He resigned from the BMA in 1947 and never rejoined. Platt was an enthusiastic supporter of the NHS. He was awarded the Chair of Medicine at Manchester University in 1946 and for much of his career he was head of Central Manchester Health Authority. Platt was a member of the Royal Commission on Medical Education and a member of the first working party set up to review the medical staffing of hospitals. He Chaired the Merit Awards Committee and at various times was President of the FPA (Family Planning Association), ASH and the National Society for the Abolition of Cruel Sports. Platt was supportive of women in medicine.

Lord Platt was also President of the Eugenics Society. In the early part of the 20th century eugenics had not yet become toxic and many people considered quite respectable supported eugenics, but as the years passed, eugenics became associated with some rather worrying people (see post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’). I note that Lord Platt was still involved with the Eugenics Society in the mid-60s.

Platt was President of the Royal College of Physicians, 1957-62. The Royal College are most grateful to Lord Platt because he oversaw the relocation of the College into their present Regent’s Park building, in much the same way that the Royal College of Psychiatrists have been forever grateful to the man who bagged them their palatial residence.

Lord Platt sat as a crossbencher after he was given a peerage. It is noted that he spoke on pornography and euthanasia, but the Royal College of Physicians remarks that latterly he supported ‘less progressive concerns’ such as the preservation of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital and opposed the compulsory wearing of seat belts. It’s interesting that the Royal College categorise Lord Platt’s support for the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital as ‘less progressive’. When Camden Area Health Authority announced the closure of that hospital in 1976 it was not a bunch of Neanderthals who campaigned to keep it open, it was feminist groups as well as other women. The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was the only hospital which was for women and staffed entirely by women – women who had previously had bad experiences with men very much appreciated the Elizabeth Garett Anderson. Camden Area Health Authority ignored the protests and closed the hospital in 1979. In 1979 Dafydd was sexually exploiting patients and illegally imprisoned Mary Wynch for a year. William Kerr and Michael Haslam were raping and abusing female mental health patients in Yorkshire and were afforded complete protection (see post ‘All The Ingredients Of A Scandal’). John Allen’s paedophile gang and trafficking business in north Wales was booming and was being ably assisted by Dafydd and the mental health services in north Wales. Mental health patients and kids in care in Camden were also being abused and exploited, on the doorstep of Frank Dobson, Tessa Jowell and many others who later became leading lights in the Labour Party under Tony Blair (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part IV’).

Lord Platt was an accomplished cello player and was active in a variety of music organisations.

Lord Platt was rather different to the other Top Doctors of his era. He will have known about horrors like the appalling institutional abuse of vulnerable people by the NHS and was a very powerful figure in an era in which Top Doctors were even more powerful than they are now. But I can find no record of even Lord Platt speaking out against the abuse of certain groups within the NHS. Perhaps he just felt that it was a hill too steep to climb – the Royal College implied that he had evolved into a daft old buffer because he dared support a massively popular hospital providing a much needed service and because he dissented on the seatbelts business. The campaign to make wearing seatbelts a legal obligation was backed by the BMA – and promoted by a man called Jimmy Savile.

Another Top Doctor in the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ audience was Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors, a cardiothoracic surgeon. Sir Thomas went to Oriel College, Oxford and then to the Middlesex Hospital, where he qualified in 1926. He was some ten years older than Gwynne the lobotomist who also qualified at the Middlesex. My post ‘I Don’t Believe It!’ names a few other Middlesex alumni who became very big names in medicine whilst Gwynne and his protégé Dafydd were allowed to wreak havoc in north Wales. Sir Thomas developed open heart surgery units at the Middlesex, Harefield and the National Heart Hospitals. Sir Thomas himself worked at Harefield from the outbreak of WWII util he retired and it was he who put Harefield on the map. Harefield has an international reputation as does its star surgeon Professor Magdi Yacoub. My post ‘I Don’t Believe It!’ discusses some world-leading research conducted by Magdi Yacoub with Professor Julia Polak, who when I worked at Hammersmith Hospital was widely reputed to have been perpetrating research fraud.

Thomas Holmes Sellors was President of the Royal College of Surgeons, 1969-72 and President of the BMA in 1972.

Holmes Sellors was ‘active in the medico-political field’ from the inception of the NHS and he is remembered for having a taste for ‘gracious living’, with homes in London and Buckinghamshire. Holmes Sellors remained active for many years after his retirement and was, among other things, the Chairman and later the President of the Medical Council on Alcoholism. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was constructed as an ‘alcohol and drugs specialist’ (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).

Thomas Holmes Sellors had a stroke when he was older and  in 1986 spent time in hospital. Sir Reginald Murley, who wrote the tribute to Holmes Sellors on the Royal College of Physicians ‘Lives of the Fellows’ site, remembered that he went to visit Sir Thomas who was ‘chuckling with glee’ whilst reading a tabloid newspaper which he’d only purchased because no other newspapers were available in the hospital. Murley noticed Sir Thomas’s ‘unusual reading matter’ and observed that Holmes Sellors was reading about a ‘house of ill-repute on Ambleside Avenue, Streatham’ and remarked to Murley that ‘I had two respectable maiden aunts who lived there. Heaven knows what they would say if they could read that’. What a pair of jolly old buffers Holmes Sellors and Raymond Murley must have been. It was not mentioned in the ‘Lives of the Fellows’ that the house of ill-repute in question, Cynthia Payne’s brothel, was just down the road from St George’s Hospital Medical School and that a number of consultants were clients of Madam Cyn’s. As were a number of judges, MPs, peers, lawyers and clergymen. After Madam Cyn was first raided in 1978 she went to prison, although none of her customers did. Business continued after her release and she was raided again in 1986, which will have been what Holmes Sellors was reading about. No-one understood quite why but she was treated very much more leniently on that occasion, although it wasn’t because the Courts had become any more liberal or less hypocritical.

In 1986 Oliver Brooke, the Professor of Paediatrics at St George’s, was imprisoned for the possession of huge quantities of child pornography. He was released on appeal after a sympathetic judge commented that his collection of kiddie porn could be compared to a collection of cigarette cards. One of the detectives who worked on the Brooke case later revealed that Brooke was Mr Big in a pan-European paedophile network.

One person who had a great deal of knowledge about the activities at Ambleside Avenue and those who visited the brothel was David Sutch, who lived there himself with Madam Cyn for a while. Sadly he cannot enlighten us now because he hung himself in 1999 – so he was dead before the cover-up that was the Waterhouse Report was published in 2000. David Sutch suffered from manic depression and didn’t seem to get the care that he needed from the colleagues of the brothel’s customers. For more background on Ambleside Avenue and the convenience of David Sutch’s suicide, see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part III’.

Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors was among the very top of the Top Doctors – he is so revered that the Royal College didn’t just have the usual portrait of him painted, they had a whole sculpture made! There is a bust of this glorious man in the Royal College.

Between 1958-67 Holmes Sellors was Chair of the joint consultants committee, which links the BMA with the representatives of the Royal Colleges. Until I read this I didn’t know exactly what the joint consultants committee was, although I’d long since wondered. I’d wondered because in 1988 when I was told that my complaints about the mental health services in north Wales were finally going to be heard, it was the joint consultants committee who appointed Professor Robert Bluglass to investigate my complaints.

Bluglass ignored every part of my complaint relating to Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and Gwynedd Social Services and stressed that I had caused a lot of trouble and a lot of people great annoyance, although he had documentary evidence that Dafydd had broken the law and lied repeatedly (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). No action was taken against anyone. Much more recently I discovered that Bluglass was a close colleague of Professor Ian Brockington – Brockington had been Tony Francis’s boss immediately before Tony Francis relocated to north Wales (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’). Some three years after Bluglass blamed my unreasonableness for the wrongdoing of people who were facilitating a paedophile gang, a patient was murdered at Ashworth Hospital. Robert Bluglass was appointed to lead the investigation. He in turn appointed two nurses to help him – one nurse was one of the senior nurses from the Reaside Clinic, the clinic of which Bluglass was clinical director and the other was one of Dafydd’s senior nurses. Not only did Dafydd himself send ‘dangerous’ patients to Ashworth , but after I complained about a nurse who assaulted me whilst I was in Denbigh my complaint was not investigated on the grounds that the nurse concerned, Stephen Rose, had left Denbigh for a job at Park Lane Hospital. Park Lane merged with Moss Side to form Ashworth Hospital. There were a number of inquiries into the very serious problems at Ashworth, including the inquiry led by Bluglass. Problems included patients being violently and sexually assaulted by staff, children being taken into the hospital to visit paedophiles, child porn discovered on the premises and a number of deaths. Things just never seemed to improve, although I’m sure that Bluglass did his best.

I now have documents in my possession which demonstrate that one organisation who provided Tony Francis with advice and support after I complained about the wrongdoing of the mental health services was the BMA. Bluglass, Francis and Dafydd were all members and/or fellows of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Professor Catherine Robinson, one of the ‘suicide experts’ who works for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, used to be married to a psychologist who worked at Ashworth! Catherine herself worked at Denbigh! Time to make a police statement Catherine rather than simply warning all your former colleagues that I was preparing to publish what I knew?

For some unknown reason, a few years ago Bluglass asked for his name to be removed from the medical register and all references to him disappeared from the internet. He has reappeared online now though. There’s a nice photo of him drinking champagne with his friends and he and his wife Kerry – also a Top Doctor – enjoy themselves singing in an elite choir, the St James’s Singers.  Dame Judi Dench is their Patron. Dame Judi gave an interview recently in which she explained that she didn’t mind getting old but sadly her eye-sight is so bad that she can’t read anymore. She obviously can’t see who’s in her fucking choir either.

 

This blog has paid attention to wrongdoing and fuckwittery being passed down through the generations. Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors did not let the side down in this regard. He had a son – Sir Patrick Holmes Sellors. Sir Patrick died in 2010 but whilst he was alive he was certainly what my friend Brown would call a ‘highly effective shit’.

Patrick Holmes Sellors studied at Oriel College, Oxford and the Middlesex Hospital, like his father. He became an ophthalmologist and due to his general marvellouness he was appointed as a consultant at dear old St George’s when he was just 31. Sir Patrick was also a consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital and had an extensive private practice. He was honorary consultant to the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers and for St Luke’s Hospital for the Clergy. In 1974 Sir Patrick was appointed Surgeon Oculist to the Royal Household and in 1980 to HM the Queen herself.

Sir Patrick’s obituaries however tell us that his ‘main skill’ lay in ‘medico-legal work’. He must have been very skilled indeed if that eclipsed his Royal duties – his obits mention how Top Doctors would consult Sir Patrick for ‘help’. Sir Patrick was so good at getting Top Doctors out of trouble that he joined the Council of the MDU in 1977 and remained there until he retired in 2003, whereupon the MDU made him an honorary fellow.

When the Edward VII Hospital incurred all that bad publicity after a nurse killed herself, a glowering Lord Simon Glenarthur was wheeled out to intimidate the press. Simon Glenarthur was Chair of the Hospital – he had also been Director of the MDU since 2002. Simon Glenarthur was the Health Minister responsible for the ‘tainted blood’ scandal which resulted in the death of a great many haemophiliacs, although his name was kept under the radar (see post ‘Update On ‘Tainted Blood’ Scandal – The Culprit’).

It was the MDU who provided Dr Tony Francis and his wife, Dr Sadie Francis, with legal ‘advice’ throughout the years 1987-1995 – and I suspect after that as well – as I was repeatedly arrested and prosecuted on the basis of their perjury and the perjury of their colleagues. I have copies of letters that the MDU lawyers wrote to the Francis’s strongly advising them to cease their litigation against me and telling them that there was not the evidence for the claims that they were making. The Francis’s refused to drop the cases so the MDU went ahead regardless, in the knowledge that the allegations against me were untrue. One of the MDU lawyers, Ann Ball, had an extended telephone conversation with me and I told her myself of the criminal wrongdoing that I had witnessed in north Wales. Anne Ball told me that the Francis’s ‘didn’t know’ about any of it. Yet at that time Anne and her colleagues knew that the Francis’s were lying on oath and encouraging others to lie on oath whilst demanding my imprisonment. I also have copies of letters written by Tony and Sadie Francis cc’d to Dr Ian Sanderson of the MDU, complaining about the ‘threat’ that I presented to them and other staff – the ‘threat’ being that I was writing letters of complaint and arriving at Ysbyty Gwynedd in person when my complaints had not been investigated (see post ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’). The barrister employed by the MDU in the 1991 attempt to have me imprisoned on the lies of the Francis’s was Sir Robert Francis QC (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). Robert Francis is considered such a safe pair of hands that he has Chaired many investigations into NHS failures, including the inquiry into the care and treatment of Michael Stone after Stone’s conviction for double murder – Michael Stone has always maintained his innocence and was only ever arrested because a Top Doctor phoned someone and stated his belief that Stone Had Done It after watching the murders discussed on Crimewatch. Stone’s legal team are now back in Court once more with new evidence which they believe demonstrates his innocence. A crucial bit of evidence uncovered by Stone’s legal team previously ‘went missing’ on its way to the forensic labs.

Sir Patrick retired in 2003. At the time of his retirement I had just been charged with ‘threatening to kill’ Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, on the basis of numerous NHS staff lying in police statements about me – once again. The police who arrested me said that if I was found guilty I’d be looking at a prison sentence of seven years. The case collapsed two years later when it became clear that I hadn’t threatened to kill anyone (see post ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal System’). There was no investigation as to why so many people had lied to the police and had turned up to Court to lie in the witness box. Last year I found out that after that case, the PNC had been unlawfully accessed to record a conviction of ‘violent disorder’ against my name and a certificate of indictment had also been forged, stating that I had been found guilty of ‘violent disorder’ (see post ‘Even More Confusion Regarding Those Legal Conundrums’ and ‘An Update On Those Legal Condundrums’). I wrote to the North Wales Police’s legal services about this and am still waiting for their explanation.

Sir Patrick died in St Thomas’s Hospital after being taken ill at an MDU celebratory dinner in 2010. What they were celebrating I do not know but he died after his colleagues’ efforts at medical treatment proved unsuccessful. Which seems like natural justice after Holmes Sellors’ career of ensuring that dangerous, lying, criminal doctors got away with framing innocent people, refusing people treatment even in life threatening situations as well as running paedophile gangs and people trafficking rackets.

Tony Francis killed himself a few years ago when Operation Pallial re-opened the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I was surprised to hear that Sadie Francis had told neighbours that Tony had killed himself because of me no less – namely my ‘harassment’ of him. This presumably was the ‘harassment’ that Sadie’s own MDU lawyers told her to stop telling porkies about many, many years ago. I had not seen let alone communicated with either of the Francis’s for a number of years before Tony Francis’s death. My harassment of criminals aiding a paedophile ring must have had supernatural qualities – what a pity it didn’t cause them to stop their involvement in serious crime twenty years ago.

Time for a visit to the police station Sadie? This time to provide details of who else was involved in the paedophile ring, rather than a statement consisting of a pack of lies about me or indeed any other patient – I was not the only one arrested for ‘threatening’ staff or for other crimes that many people did not believe had been committed. Such as Lee Crabtree – a seriously ill young father who was arrested for ‘attempted robbery’, remanded in Altcourse Prison and who hung himself hours later. The details of Mr Crabtree’s ‘crime’ consisted of him ‘escaping from’ – ie. walking out of – the Hergest Unit whilst in distress and then trying the door of an Angel’s car in a rather ham-fisted getaway attempt. The police took him back into the ward – only to  be told by the Hergest Unit that they would not readmit him and insisted on him being charged with attempted robbery. His wife knew nothing about any of this until Altcourse Prison telephoned her to tell her that he had killed himself and that his ‘property’ (ie. clothes) was still at the Hergest Unit. She rang the Unit and an Angel told her that they were far too busy to go looking for lost property. Well they’ll have been needed down the station to lie their arses off to the police in an attempt to frame the next patient who had dared complain. And to man the hot-line to the MDU.

Tony and Sadie Francis’s son is a lawyer. He specialises in ‘medico-legal’ matters. He represents health and welfare organisations rather than patients who have suffered harm. At one point his CV was boasting of the many thousands of pounds that he had saved one local authority after challenging the provision of patients’ care packages.

At the height of the time of the Francis’s allegations that I was about to murder them in cold blood, a particularly foul police sergeant whom Tony Francis seemed to be on very good terms with told me to jump off the Menai Suspension Bridge because ‘decent’ people didn’t want me near them. This was just months before the five witnesses to the activities of the paedophile gang which operated in north Wales and Cheshire were murdered in an arson attack caused by a decent person chucking a petrol bomb into the building where the witnesses had been invited to a party (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’). I don’t know the name of the Ginger Pig, but he was the Sergeant in Menai Bridge Police Station in 1991. There will be records relating to him and his activities – unless of course they’ve gone up in flames as did the records off all of the children who had ever passed through the Bryn Alyn Community at the start of the Waterhouse Inquiry.

 

So what about Malcolm Muggeridge, the man who mentioned what is now called institutional racism, who so angered the Top Doctors? The caricature of Muggeridge subscribed to by comedians in the 70s and 80s was always that of a man as old as the hills wringing his hands and banging on about religion. So it was quite a surprise when Jean Seaton’s book ‘Pinkoes and Traitors: The BBC and the Nation 1974-87’ claimed that Muggeridge ‘groped incontinently’. Seaton is the ‘official BBC historian’. She accuses the BBC of being, in years gone by, log jammed with dreadful misogynist men and mentions someone ‘in authority’ who persistently asked young women if he could spank them. I presume that this was ‘Spanker’, a man whose name I have forgotten but who was the subject of a number of ‘Private Eye’ articles in the 1980s – unless of course the BBC were employing more than one man who asked his young female colleagues to participate in spanking sessions with him. Seaton records that after a group of outraged female employees approached the Governors about Spanker’s activities, he was relocated to America in another BBC post which came with a luxurious New York apartment thrown in.

I remember the case of Spanker well, because not long after there was another Spanker who hit the news – only this one was a GP in south London. He had asked a number of women patients to keep diaries of their sexual fantasies, read them with him and in return he spanked them. A number of patients made representation to the GMC. In his defence Spanker explained that he was a Committed Christian and he believed that his treatment was helping these troubled women. During the fitness to practice hearing, ‘Private Eye’ ran their spoof ‘A Doctor Writes’ column making reference to a doctor who is spanking his patients soon finding himself an ex-doctor. Of course because the GMC was involved Spanker didn’t become an ex-doctor, he was allowed to continue practising and probably spanking as well.

Seaton’s book refers to an incident in which Robin Day asked Joan Bakewell ‘do men stare at your breasts when you interview them?’. That’s the Robin Day who was a lifelong friend of Sir Ronnie Waterhouse who concealed rather more serious wrongdoing in north Wales than men staring at Joan’s boobs. I take Seaton’s point that the BBC was crawling with appalling old men who constantly propositioned younger women, but as I discussed in my post ‘A Secret And Forbidding Place To Work’ some of those women exploited that situation for their own benefit. In fact Joan Bakewell herself freely admits that she shagged a lot of people who assisted her career and Esther Rantzen achieved greatness by having an affair with and then marrying Desmond Wilcox. It’s not rocket science and it’s a lot easier than working long hours for years and competing on merit.

Seaton argues that Strong Women at the BBC eventually refused to be walked over and denounced the behaviour of their male colleagues and Changed Things. So that is why the Strong Women all remained silent about Savile, Rolf and Stuart Hall. It must also be why Jo Brand is wheeled out by the BBC constantly – and was again this morning on Radio 4 – as an example of a woman who’s not afraid to take on the Men, as exemplified by her giving Ian Hislop a bollocking on ‘Have I Got News For You’ a few weeks ago. That’s the Jo Brand who is a former psychiatric nurse who is married to a man who still works as a psychiatric nurse and who is an ambassador for MIIND – who has said precisely nothing about the abuse of psychiatric patients by the mental health services. Ian Hislop edits a magazine which regularly highlights cases in which psychiatric patients have been killed whilst in the care of the state. Which is probably why he isn’t a MIND ambassador.

Seaton’s book mentions that George Howard, the Chairman of the BBC Governors 1980-83, attempted to charge the BBC for what was thought to be the use of a prostitute. Seaton’s book does mention Savile – but only in the context of the only discussion about him by the Governors being one concerning how to ration Thatcher’s appearances on his radio and TV programmes.

Seaton’s book was published in 2015 – Dame Janet Smith who led the Public Inquiry into the extent of Savile’s abuse called for witnesses with evidence to come forward early in 2012 , so Seaton would have known what Savile had been up to by the time that she was writing that book. Shortly after Seaton’s book was published she had to offer an apology to the family of Huw Wheldon after she accused him of being one of the BBC gropers. Huw Wheldon came from north Wales, went to Friars School in Bangor and had close links to the paedophiles’ friends.

Malcom Muggeridge famously appeared on the TV programme Friday Night Saturday Morning in 1979 in the company of Mervyn Stockwood to denounce Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

Mervyn Stockwood was the Bishop of Southwark, 1959-80. He came from Bridgend in south Wales – where his father was a solicitor – and then went to Christ’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1934. Stockwood was the archetypal trendy vicar of his day and in the 1960s created what became known as ‘South Bank religion’. He was a liberal theologian who supported homosexual law reform and he blessed gay relationships, although he claimed to be celibate himself. Mervyn Stockwood, like many clergymen of his time, turned a blind eye to many things. He no doubt kept quiet about much in Southwark but Mervyn Stockwood was the honorary assistant Bishop of Bath and Wells and he kept quiet about a great deal in Somerset as well.

I went to junior school in Somerset with a girl from a church-going family whose dad was a churchwarden. Suddenly the family stopped going to church or indeed having any involvement with the church or village life at all. They were denounced as snobs by the much of the rest of the village, particularly when they took their two daughters away from the local school and sent them to a private school. The vicar remarked on how sad he was to see them turning their backs on the parish. What most people didn’t know was that the sister of the girl who I was in class with had been sexually abused by the vicar. No-one found out until she had a ‘nervous breakdown’ and was hospitalised in Taunton. The vicar went to visit her on the grounds that he was, well, the vicar. The staff let him in whereupon he then molested her in the hospital and was caught red-handed by a nurse. The vicar then rang the girl’s parents and told them that if they prosecuted him he would ensure that the village would discover the identity of their daughter whom he had molested and she would end up in an even worse state than she was already.  The girl’s dad went to the local policeman – only to discover that he had been threatened with disciplinary action himself if he took any action against the vicar at all. It transpired that the girl was by no means the only victim of that vicar. Before anyone had ever discovered that he had molested her, 36 women had complained about him harassing them to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. They had all been told that the Church would deal with it and although some of them knew that the vicar had made a nuisance of himself with other adult women, only three of them knew of the extent of it and they didn’t realise that he was abusing children as well. It was then discovered that the vicar was the biological father of one of the other children in the village and that this was such a common situation that the Church had made financial arrangements for such children and referred to them as ‘children of the Church’ (as opposed to the children of the vicars). It got better. One of the few people who did know about the extent of this vicar’s offending then found out that he had been transferred to the parish in Somerset after behaving in exactly the same way in a parish in Lincolnshire.

As for letting the Church deal with it – the vicar remained as vicar of that parish until he retired nearly twenty years later. His wife continued as Brown Owl of the village Brownie pack and her husband would kindly give lifts to the Brownies when they attended pack meetings. He continued to hold confirmation classes in the rectory, which was how he initially gained access to the girl whom he molested even on hospital premises.

That particular vicar came from a well-known legal family and a number of his relations were barristers and judges.

This was not the only degenerate vicar in Somerset whom I knew of. There was another one in a parish a few miles away who was a man in his mid-fifties married to a woman many years younger than himself – the story was that he had been a teacher and that she had been one of his pupils. What with him being a former teacher, he used to pop into the local primary school to give the kids R.E. lessons. On one occasion he hit one of the boys so hard that he injured him. This man disappeared from the parish a few years later, to the great relief of the local school kids. Not because he was violently assaulting them, but because he had stolen thousands from Church funds. The Bishop explained that he wouldn’t be prosecuted because he was in a difficult situation with that young wife and five children and he was an alcoholic to boot.

All this occurred when I presume Mervyn Stockwood was the Bishop’s assistant. I can only imagine what might have been going on that I never heard about. However I’m glad to say that the Life of Brian did come to the cinema in Bridgwater and we all enjoyed it. A few years later when I made friends with someone who had grown up in Pwllheli he told me that the Life of Brian had been banned there and he’d not yet seen it. Oh well, in Somerset we just had violent, thieving, dirty vicars – so the local teenagers got to see the Life Of Brian. In Gwynedd they had the paedophile gang run by Dafydd and Lucille, so obviously the very idea of screening a blasphemous film would be completely beyond the pale.

The man behind Mervyn Stockwood’s appointment was Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945-61. Fisher was a keen Freemason, the Grand Chaplain in the United Grand Lodge of England. He presided over Princess Elizabeth’s wedding and over her coronation. Fisher retired in 1961 and strongly advised Harold Macmillan against appointing Michael Ramsey as his successor. It is alleged that Fisher told Macmillan that Dr Ramsey was ‘a theologian, a scholar and a man of prayer and therefore is entirely unsuitable as Archbishop of Canterbury. I have known him all my life. I was his headmaster at Repton’. Former pupils at Repton School alleged that Fisher really enjoyed caning boys for no good reason, even by the standards of the time. Macmillan appointed Ramsey as Archbishop anyway.

 

To return to the man with whom I began this post, Sir George Godber. As with Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors, George Godber’s Top Doctor genes were passed onto the next generation, specifically to his son, Dr Colin Godber.

Colin Godber is a psychogeriatrician who is now a Trustee of Age Concern. He has lived in Hampshire since 1971 – when his dad George will still have been CMO. We are told that Colin Godber was ‘instrumental in the development of mental health services for older people in and around Southampton’. Hampshire mental health services were renamed Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2011. They have been in the news over the last two years or so after it was revealed that hundreds of people had died in their care but the vast majority of the deaths had not been investigated. The Southern Health Scandal only became public as a result of the tenacity of Dr Sara Ryan who refused to be fobbed off with lies or threatened into silence after her son Connor Sparrowhawk drowned in the bath whilst in the care of Southern. Sara received an insulting telephone call from a member of staff at Southern, the son of a Board member sent out a tweet calling her a ‘fucking pest’ after he had read a confidential report containing details od Connor’s case and the psychiatrist responsible for Connor’s ‘care’ referred to Sara as a ‘toxic woman’. Southern were eventually prosecuted by the HSE. Hundreds of people DIED. Southern were prosecuted by the HSE – for, I think, only Connor’s death. After the hundreds of deaths but before Sara kicked up a fuss, the CEO of Southern, Katrina Percy, won an award for ‘CEO of the Year’ from HSJ (Health Services Journal).

Colin Godber retired in 2005 and now provides ‘advocacy between the NHS, local authorities and voluntary services’.

In 2014 the journal ‘Old Age Psychiatry’ published a piece entitled ‘A Psychogeriatrician – The Crème de la Crème’. An intriguing title because psychogeriatrics is the most unpopular and least prestigious of any medical speciality. Jobs are going begging and if they are filled are filled by Top Doctors who for some reason have not been able to secure work elsewhere or overseas doctors. This has been the case for many years. The article opened with a piece written by Lord McColl of Dulwich, a retired surgeon, who related a story about Colin Godber and Professor Simon Lovestone in the Lords debate on ‘Mental and Physical Health: Parity of Esteem’ on Oct 10, 2013.

McColl explained that his own wife had suffered from Alzheimers and he wanted to pay tribute to the Maudsley Hospital who were ‘superb’, especially Professor Simon Lovestone. McColl explained that Lovestone had been inspired to become a psychogeriatrician, who, McColl told the Lords, were ‘the crème de la crème of the psychiatry world’, by one Colin Godber. The story was that Lovestone met Godber and Godber invited him to come and visit one of his patients at home. At the patient’s house, Lovestone witnessed the patient prepare ‘a nice cream tea’ and then play the piano for half an hour. Lovestone later observed that the patient didn’t seem to be much of a patient and Godber explained that the man whom they had visited wasn’t the patient, it was his wife who had been the patient and Godber had been her doctor. She had died some two years ago and on the anniversary of her death, Godber always went to have tea with her widower. Lovestone was so amazed by the experience that he dedicated the rest of his life to psychiatry.

I don’t know how true this story was – like a few other things that have come out of the mouths of Top Doctors and Angels, it is probably more worthy of Enid Blyton than ‘Old Age Psychiatry’. McColl had already told a whopper when he described psychogeriatricians as the ‘crème de la crème’, but he was telling that whopper to a bunch of Lords most of whom will have not known their arses from their elbows re the Top Doctors and their specialities because most of them are politicians who have been put out to grass to the best day centre in the UK – the others who are Top Doctors themselves have spent their careers lying through their teeth in exactly the same way that McColl was, so they weren’t going to blow the gaffe. I do know that EMI patients in Godber’s care will not have been treated to nice cream teas. Particularly if they were in the care of Southern Health.

As for Lord McColl, the man who was happy to kick-start this fantasy on behalf of the Top Doctors – he is of course a Top Doctor himself, the Professor of Surgery at Guy’s Hospital who retired in 1996 and will know damn well the state of mental health care for the elderly. If his own wife really did receive ‘superb’ care, it will have been because as the wife of a Top Doctor who is also sitting in the Lords someone at the Maudsley decided that she was deserving of a rather better service than the rest of the population. Ian McColl is a Tory peer who was given his peerage in 1989 as a result of his work for disabled people – which is so gobsmacking that I’d like to find out more. He was PPS to John Major, 1994-97 – during the years when Major and Hague organised the cover-up into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal… Between 1997-2000 McColl was Shadow Minister for Health and a Trustee and surgeon to Mercy Ships. I don’t think that I’ll dare step aboard one of those if McColl is all that will stand between me and death. McColl recently became an advocate to stop human trafficking and in June 2015 he introduced a Private Members Bill to prohibit the advertising of prostitution.

The Maudsley trained Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and certainly in 1991 Dr Paul Bowden, a leading light at the Maudsley, was still concealing Dafydd’s wrongdoing.

Godber seems to have spent many years perpetuating myths about the NHS and the care it offers. Godber was one of the signatories to a letter in ‘The Guardian’ on 7 April 2015 concerning the Coalition Gov’ts management of the NHS – written the month before the General Election. Godber et al write that ‘as medical and public health professionals our primary concern is for all patients’. Signatories to that letter included:

Dr Gwen Adshead, community psychiatrist: Gwen Adshead is both a forensic psychiatrist and a forensic psychotherapist and from 1996 for a number of years worked as a consultant at Broadmoor. She has been referred to the GMC on a number of occasions and I think that she has been involved in controversy regarding false memory syndrome. Gwen is the proud possessor of a degree in mindfulness based cognitive therapy which does rather destroy her credibiliy; Professor Richard Bentall, clinical psychologist, Liverpool University: Richard Bentall trained at Bangor University and spent many years working in north Wales. He knew exactly how abusive the mental health services were, he knew how many patients were left destitute or committed suicide, he will have known Dafydd and almost certainly Gwynne as well, he knew about the fraud that was mindfulness based cognitive therapy (see post ‘The Biggest Expert of The Lot’) and as a former Professor in the School of Psychology at Bangor University, he’ll have known about the wrongdoing in that School (see post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’). Before Richard Bentall waved goodbye to Bangor and popped over to Liverpool, a friend of mine was accidentally cc’d into an e mail from Bentall after my friend raised concerns about practice in mental health research in north Wales. Bentall admitted in the e mail that it was now virtually impossible to recruit people from north Wales for clinical trials for mental health projects – that was because the patients had all had such distressing experiences with the local mental health professionals that there was absolutely no goodwill left and they weren’t going to volunteer for anything. After seeing this e mail, I began to wonder where all those people had come from who according to Bentall’s colleagues in north Wales had taken part in trials and projects which were of course all written up as successes and published….

Other signatories were Dr Clare Gerada, the former Chair of the Royal College of GPs, who is married to Professor Sir Simon Wessley, the former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; Dr Roger Banks, the former Vice-President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; Professor Dinash Bhugra, the former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Bhugra was Patron of Mark Williams’s Centre for Mindfulness at Oxford University and has been associated with many other questionable things; Professor Allyson Pollock – who for years has said whatever is convenient and whatever will further her own interests and who featured in my post ‘More Summer Reading’; Professor Wendy Savage, who was a friend of Prof Geoffrey Chamberlain who took part in a major research fraud (see post ‘I Don’t Believe It!’) – Wendy Savage also spent a long time as a member of the GMC whilst they ignored dangerous doctors; and none other than dear old Dr David Owen (see post ‘Dr Death’).

‘Our primary concern is for all patients’ – every one of those signatories has remained silent about serious harm to vulnerable people and some of them have been personally close to people involved in scandals or have been at the centre of scandals themselves.

 

‘The Daily Echo’, 7 Sept 2011 reported that five Southampton doctors had signed a letter calling for the Gov’t to stop their NHS reforms because they would result in ‘irreparable harm to the NHS’. Godber was a signatory. The irreparable harm to the NHS in north Wales had occurred decades before, whilst Godber’s dad ensured that Dafydd and Gwynne remained untouchable. Ironically at the time that Godber signed this letter, the Betsi Board in north Wales did have a CEO, Mary Burrows, who was doing her best to confront the entrenched corruption – the crooks who were still alive whom Godber’s father protected and many of their children and friends hounded her out. Since Mary departed the Board has sunk deeper and deeper into the red, is completely unable to recruit and was put into special measures after the biggest scandal involving the abuse and neglect of elderly mentally ill patients that had yet happened in the UK. The crème de la crème! That’s why patients were filmed undercover crawling around naked on floors covered with urine and faeces, one with an untreated broken arm, whilst nurses swore at them (see posts ‘The Tawel Fan Scandal’ and ‘Update On Tawel Fan Scandal -Sept 16th 2016’). No member of staff was disciplined – except for the nurse who blew the whistle who was suspended, arrested, sacked and received death threats. A member of staff had previously raised concerns but they were told by a psychogeriatrician – obviously a member of the crème de la crème de la crème – to keep quiet and that he ‘didn’t want any more complaints’.

An earlier offering from Godber appeared in ‘The Independent’ on 16 Aug 1994, in which he blasted that ‘the care of the elderly and others with chronic illness’ has been ‘most blatantly betrayed under the smokescreen of the new double-speak of community care’. Godber mentions the ‘lame semantics’ of a previous correspondent and talks about the ‘concerted effort to squeeze much of NHS hospital respite care out of health’. Godber’s analysis of what was happening at the time was quite correct – I watched it myself in north Wales. The patients who had care withdrawn from them when the day hospital at the Hergest Unit closed down, many of whom died, were the very same patients who could remember what Dafydd had done to them decades previously when Godber senior had ignored it all (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part IV’). In 1994 the Jilllings Investigation into the abuse of children in care in north Wales since 1974 was underway. The abuse that had been facilitated by Dafydd and Gwynne whilst George Godber was CMO. When the Jillings Report was submitted in 1996 it was so damning that the Council’s insurers ordered it to be withheld from everyone – even the Council who had commissioned it – because what had happened in north Wales was indefensible. The Report was pulped. To this day the only people who read the full unredacted version were the Council’s insurers and legal advisors. See post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ for details.

George Godber retired in 1973. One of his obituaries observed that ‘the shape of the NHS in the mid 1970s was very materially determined by Godber’s influence’. The Jillings Report investigated the abuse of children in north Wales from 1974 onwards  – and the role played by the NHS and other agencies.

Both Godber Major and Godber Minor seem to have been particularly well-versed in the art of the smokescreen of double-speak themselves.

 

 

The Great And The Good

As promised I’ll provide brief reviews of those Top Doctors and their associates who have popped up in the media today. The first one that I heard was Cathy Warwick, Chief Exec of the Royal College of Midwives on the ‘Today’ programme this morning. As well as awakening to the Mental Health Crisis which has been with us for years, the UK has now awoken from it’s slumber regarding the Maternity Care Crisis. It has been revealed that during 2016 nearly half of the maternity units in England temporarily shut down at some point as a result of a ‘bed shortage’. Some of the media reports have attributed the problems to ‘women choosing to give birth at a later age’ thus increasing the number of complex deliveries, or ‘a higher number of obese mothers’. So it’s the patients’ fault then, I thought that perhaps it might be, they’re all old and fat. Now and then the real reason for the problem has been mentioned – the NHS is short of thousands of midwives. Discussions have been held about the possible reasons – such as pay or the loss of training bursaries. The one factor not mentioned is that good midwives won’t work in an NHS where women and babies are regularly put at risk or where the midwives are scapegoated for cock-ups that are beyond their control – I actually know midwives who have left midwifery who have not hesitated to state that these were the reasons why they left their jobs.

So Cathy was wheeled out to comment on Radio 4. She didn’t admit the real reasons why midwives are fast becoming an endangered species either. But then she is very much part of the problem. Cathy Warwick has led the RCM since 2008 and knows exactly how dreadful some maternity care is. Not only has she never spoken out about this, but when James Titcombe, a former advisor to the CQC, was a little too critical of the state of maternity services for her liking, she wrote to the Chief Exec of the CQC and asked them if they could persuade James to be ‘less antagonistic’ on social media. James ended up resigning from his post as a result of the relentless pressure that he was subjected to by the midwifery establishment.

James Titcombe had good reason to be blunt about the danger that women and babies are regularly placed in – his own baby died as a result of negligence at Furness Hospital. Not only that, but after James was faced with a less than honest response following his son’s death, he did a bit of digging and found that many other babies had died at that hospital and that there had been a major cover-up regarding the dreadful conduct of a small number of midwives. James faced extreme hostility and efforts to silence him after he had been appointed to his role with the CQC and at one point a midwife even sent out a tweet about it being difficult to disagree with a ‘grieving and angry man’ who was blaming a whole profession for his loss. James had every right to be angry and of course he was grieving, his baby had died. Furthermore he wasn’t blaming a whole profession for his loss, he had simply very skilfully demonstrated that the ‘whole profession’ closes ranks and risks patient safety and that it is a considerably dishonest profession. In 2015 James commented that the National Review of Maternity Care failed to examine the current quality and variation in safety on maternity wards. Anyone want to admit that he was correct?

Not only has Cathy Warwick failed to speak out regarding the many problems in NHS maternity services, but she’s kept very quiet about the systematic way in which independent midwives have been prevented from practicing. A number of them such as Beatrice Carla were subjected to high profile show trials at the hands of the NMC and were driven out of the profession in that way, but because a few dared to persist their insurance was then withdrawn and midwives are legally unable to practice without insurance, so it was curtains for them. It is unlawful for women to give birth unaided in the UK, so unless one is very wealthy indeed and books oneself into somewhere like the Portland Hospital – which provides lovely grub and rooms as good as the best hotels but has presided over some major clinical disasters itself – it’s off down to the local NHS Unit for everyone now, even if the one nearest to you is lethal. The only way around this is for a woman to lie about her delivery due date and give birth ‘accidentally’ at home. Which is actually what some women are resorting to if they’ve previously had a really bad experience in hospital.

This is no way to treat women is it. The biggest laugh of all is that whilst risking women’s and babies safety, Cathy Warwick maintained that as a feminist she would make an ‘executive decision’ on behalf of the RCM to support the abolition of any time limits on abortion – members were not balloted. Hundreds of furious RCM members who had conscientious objections to abortion protested but Cathy ignored them.

Cathy rakes in a good deal more than the average midwife – in excess of £100k pa. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by that hallowed institution St George’s Hospital Medical School in 2007.

 

Then Radio 4 inflicted a Top Doctor upon it’s listeners on ‘The World At One’ – John Ashton, who was fuming away about the health of ‘northerners’ and maintaining that what was needed was more funding for public health in the north. Ashton’s angry near-rant followed clips of interviews with a number of northern men who all showed a healthy disrespect towards the BBC journalist when he quizzed them about their smoking habits and diets. Ashton banged on about the sins of Public Health England in spending far more per head of population in the south than they do in the north and also got in a mention of the ‘male identity crisis’ as well. The male identity crisis is not something that is going to be solved by the Gov’t giving more money to bodies like Public Health England or indeed by Public Health England upping their budget for the north. There is massive inequality between the south and the north but Public Health England is not the sort of body which will address the sort of inequality that needs addressing. John Ashton sounded so furious that I thought that it would be worth googling him because I hadn’t come across his name before.

Professor John Ashton has passed through the hands of a few institutions that have been named on this blog as concealing the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors – the University of Southampton, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool Medical School. Ashton is the former Director of Public Health for Cumbria – well the NHS had a few problems in Cumbria didn’t it John, which were of course concealed. Such as all those babies who died in Furness Hospital, one of whom was James Titcombe’s son. It was also the NHS in Cumbria which appointed William Bingley to a senior role in the regional Trust – the William Bingley who colluded with the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst he held senior positions with MIND and the Mental Health Act Commission. Bingley ended up resigning from the Trust after his business activities and associated conflicts of interest were made embarrassingly public. He ended up with a Chair in Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Cumbria, so he didn’t go far.

John Ashton might have known about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales himself. In 1986 John Ashton was employed as a Senior Lecturer in Liverpool Medical School. It was in 1987 that Dafydd told me that if I dropped my complaint against him he’d have a word with his friend who was a Professor in Liverpool Medical School and he’d get me a place there. In the summer of 1984 I had been told by a friend of Sonia Maxwell, the daughter of Terry Maxwell the Clinical Director of Ysbyty Gwynedd, that Sonia had been offered a place to study medicine at Liverpool regardless of her A level results before she had even applied ‘because they know her dad’. Ashton himself whilst he worked in Liverpool in 1986 established a pioneering needle exchange scheme for addicts. So I presume that Ashton knew the pioneering psychiatrist Dr John Marks from Liverpool who achieved impressive results regarding the reduction of harm among drug users, who in the early 1990s wanted to go to north Wales to work. Whose appointment was blocked by Gwynedd Health Authority because they wanted to give the contract for ‘substance misuse services’ to Dafydd. Which indeed they did (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’)

John Ashton originally trained as a psychiatrist. He has also worked in family planning and reproductive medicine. He’ll know all about the fertility treatment scams which have been discussed on this blog then.

In Feb 2007 the Manchester Evening News reported that Ashton was quitting his NHS post because he was fed-up with Gov’t reorganisations of the NHS and ‘red tape’. He stated that he was contemplating a career in politics.

He obviously changed his mind because between 2013-2016 John Ashton was President of the Faculty of Public Health. He was suspended from his post at one point after sending out a tweet referring to a group of people as ‘cunts’. I think that they had disagreed with him over something.

In July 2014 Ashton pledged his support for a change in the law to allow doctors to act in cases of ‘assisted dying’. The suicide statistics for north Wales suggest that Dafydd et al have been helping people on their way for years.

John Ashton has been very robust in his support of some other Top Doctors. In 2012 he took on the UK media after an article appeared in the ‘Independent’ stating that Clare Gerada, the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, had a vested interest in opposing the Gov’ts NHS reforms. Ashton charged into battle on her behalf, robustly defending her and later accused the Dept of Health of trying to gag him, saying that he had felt ‘bullied’. He should have just sent them all a tweet calling them cunts.

Who was the oppressed woman whom Ashton valiantly defended? Clare Gerada was the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2010-2013. She is a London based GP with interests in mental health and substance abuse. So she’ll know how crap the mental health services are then. Not that she’ll have ever publicly admitted it – because she’s one of the lot who trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley! In the 1980s – when the Maudsley’s finest alumnus Dafydd was concealing the paedophile ring and illegally imprisoning people in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. But Clare will already have been schooled in the art of keeping quiet in the face of people doing unscrupulous things – she studied medicine at UCL. In 1992 Clare began working as a GP in Lambeth – the Lambeth that, like north Wales, ran children’s services teaming with paedophiles. The Lambeth who – until the 1990s – was also sending children in it’s care to children’s homes in north Wales where they were abused. Did you really not ever notice any of this Clare?

In April 2016 Clare was elected to the Council of the BMA. Clare is also a member and honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

In Sept 2016 Clare was named as one of the Lib Dems new ‘Beveridge’ group of advisors – although she had been a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party until the EU Referendum. Perhaps she was one of these people who threw a hissy fit because they thought that Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t enthusiastic enough about the bankers club which is the EU.

Clare is a convenor of the cross party political group ‘More United’. I suspect that the only unity that Clare shows is with that of other Top Doctors.

There is a nice photo of Clare on her wiki entry. She is carefully posed – in a similar position to that famous pose adopted by Helen Mirren when she was photographed a few years ago to demonstrate that the over-65s can still look wonderful in a bikini. Clare isn’t wearing a bikini though, she’s wearing a boring but very expensive dress and for some reason is clutching an equally boring designer handbag in such a way as to ensure that it is featured in the frame. Clare must have spent ages getting that photo right, it even looks as though it was professionally done in a studio. The caption above the photo reads ‘Lady Clare Wessely’. Because that’s who she is – she’s married to a Sir!

The Sir to whom Clare is married is another Top Doctor, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, the Professor of Psychological Medicine at Kings College London and the Director of the Kings Centre for Military Health Research. If I presented ‘Woman’s Hour’ I’d call Clare and Simon a ‘power couple’.

Sir Simon is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Kings College Hospital and at the Maudsley! Indeed he studied at the Maudsley in the mid-1980s. And at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is a Civilian Consultant Advisor in psychiatry to the British Army.

He was knighted in 2013 for his services to military healthcare and to psychological medicine. In 2014 Simon was appointed President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Yet the mental health services are such a mess…

In an interview with the ‘Lancet’ in 2007 regarding the controversy over Wessely’s position concerning Gulf War syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome, Wessely excused himself by saying that he was ‘keen to get published’. So what else did he publish in a hurry without thinking about it? He maintained however that regarding chronic fatigue syndrome, he was subjected to ‘a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate’. Never mind Simon, at least you weren’t illegally imprisoned, fitted up for crimes that you never committed, hounded out of jobs, subjected to an organised slander and discovered two attempts to set fire to your house, which is what happened to me after I complained about Dafydd and the Top Doctors. Of course most of the people who gave evidence against the paedophile ring that Dafydd et al concealed were found dead. That is what constitutes a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate, not a bit of criticism of some rather sub-standard research and ill-advised public comments.

Simon Wessely is a member of the Gov’ts Mental Health Taskforce, that one Chaired by Paul Farmer – who’s known all about the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al for at least ten years. Ever since I wrote to him about it.

Wessely was instrumental in setting up the Committee on Acute Psychiatric Care investigating out of area psychiatric placements which was Chaired by Lord Crisp, the man whom Blair put in charge of the NHS at one point. Crisp resigned from his position running the NHS when he realised that he (Crisp) didn’t actually know what was going on. Acute psychiatric care is now so bad that some NHS organisations have placed patients in France because they were unable to find placements anywhere in the UK.

When Wessely ascended the throne at the Royal College he stated that his priorities would include improving the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists, improving recruitment to the speciality and ensuring excellence in education and training. He’s done brilliantly there hadn’t he, no doubt he’ll be elevated to the peerage soon and Lady Clare can purchase a new outfit for the occasion.

Health Services Journal named Simon as one of the ‘Top 100 Clinicians’ in 2014. But then HSJ named Katrina Percy as CEO of the year. Katrina Percy was CEO of Southern Health which oversaw the deaths of hundreds of patients with mental health problems and learning difficulties, one of those deaths being of Connor Sparrowhawk. The Top Doctor responsible for Connor’s ‘care’ at Southern Health is currently facing a GMC tribunal. Yesterday she admitted 28 ‘failings’ in relation to Connor’s care.

In Feb 2017 BBC News online reported that had been a 50% increase in unexpected mental health deaths – including those due to suicide, neglect and misadventure – in three years. The Dept of Health maintained that the increase was due to ‘changes in recording and investigating deaths’. Perhaps that meant that the DoH had stopped lying about the situation. Simon announced that the ‘services are about to get worse’. The services were so bad by then that they couldn’t get much worse – perhaps Simon meant that the horrible truth could not be concealed any longer. Marjorie Wallace (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) was gobsmacked that the DoH had started admitting the dire state of affairs as well – she  claimed to be ‘shocked’ by the figures.

 

Another guest on the ‘Today’ programme this morning was the barrister who is acting for the 17 year old girl who was the subject of Sir James Munby’s comments that society will have blood on it’s hands if a place in a suitable mental health unit cannot be found for her. The barrister described the girl’s current living conditions – alone in a cell, with only a mattress. As I have explained previously these are exactly the conditions to which some patients in mental health units are subjected – there is no guarantee that the treatment of that young woman is going to change in any way with a move from custody to ‘psychiatric care’. Her barrister also explained that at present, the way in which that young woman is restrained is by people ‘sitting on her’. The journalist conducting the interview was horrified. I’m sorry to burst her bubble, but ‘sitting on people’ in order to ‘restrain’ them happens in mental health care settings as well – and it is the Angels who do it. There was for many years a notorious dreadful building in Bangor called Neuadd Deiniol that was laughingly described as a home for people with mental health problems. The care was dreadful, one man choked to death in there and his body wasn’t discovered for a few hours – although he was being ‘observed’ every twenty minutes of course – and the only people who worked there for any length of time were people who couldn’t get a job anywhere else. At one point virtually all the patients there were Dafydd’s but after a while Neuadd Deiniol extended it’s welcome to patients of other Top Doctors as well. I got it straight from the horses mouth – I encountered a rather weird woman who was employed there as a nurse in charge and she cheerily recounted how they had to ‘sit on’ patients. A care assistant – who was no paragon of good practice herself – witnessed the conversation and challenged the Angel, saying that there were never any circumstances in which one should sit on a patient. The Angel was baffled and reiterated ooh no, you’ve got to.

 

As mentioned in previous posts I have suspected that once more the BMA are on a course of action in which they are going to scream and scream until they’re sick. It’s been confirmed by an article in Mail online today. The BMA have organised a ballot of ‘senior GPs’ across England regarding the possible suspension of new patient registrations. In other words, if the GPs vote yes, surgeries will refuse to take on any new patients. Which means that no-one will be able to change doctors, or register with a new practice when they move house or find a new doctor if their doctor retires or dies. Richard Vautrey of the BMA suggested a ban on new registrations as a form of industrial action in protest at ‘the lack of funding for surgeries’. It is reported that the Top Doctors are ‘angry’ at, among other things, the prospect of weekend opening. There is of course still quite a lot of funding for surgeries and for the salaries of Top Doctors. In fact GPs are still benefiting from the notorious out of hours contract that the BMA negotiated in 2004 which means that they can opt out of evening and weekend responsibilities but still earn in excess of £100k pa.

But did Top Doctors who worked as GPs offer a better service before they became as ‘angry’ as they are at present? This blog has posted much about a number of GPs who have conducted themselves appallingly, such as Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr K. Shah who assisted Dafydd et al in their criminal activities. But even GPs in positions further removed from Dafydd and his mates were capable of some pretty dreadful things. My post ‘A Trade In People – Between London And North Wales’ described how a group of Top Doctors, assisted by some crooked lawyers, swindled a vulnerable brother and sister from London out of their inheritance and relocated them to north Wales after their mother had died in suspicious circumstances in Warlingham Park Hospital, although they had never even visited Wales previously. The financial swindle was perpetuated by Top Doctors in London, as was the most serious abuse and neglect to which these this family had been subjected, but the full details of their history was known to the GPs at Bethesda surgery. Those GPs also witnessed the serious poverty that they were living in and the dreadful neglect towards them by the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. They were not the only patients who were neglected by that surgery, the village was alive with anecdotes of very poor practice and not only with respect to vulnerable mental health patients. I attributed nearly all of this to the general level of poor care offered by that surgery, although there was one GP there who was noticeably better than the others.

There was one GP in that practice though who was quite competent when he wanted to be – when treating his friends for example – but who seemed to be incredibly negligent or ‘make mistakes’ in certain other circumstances. I witnessed him completely blank someone when they reported a case of sexual abuse to him for example – neither did he ever follow that report up. He also seemed to want to exert an astonishing level of control over the brother of the vulnerable family from London. He refused to refer this man for specialist care when he requested it, he told the man ‘not to bother’ when the man expressed an interest in voluntary work and intriguingly when this man had a short-lived sexual relationship with another woman who lived in the village, he virtually demanded full details of their sexual activity. His interest in the details of this man’s life were inexplicable – the GP wasn’t ever interested in providing him with a better level of care, or better living conditions and the sexual relationship that he was so interested in was consensual, between adults and non-exploitative. Neither was an unplanned pregnancy an issue because of the age of the woman involved. A couple of years after this, the same GP was involved in the death of a patient, a young man, S.

S had an older brother, J. J was notorious locally. He was in care as a child, developed drug and mental health problems by his mid-teens and ended up in the notorious Risley Remand Centre for burglary. I was friends with one of his foster parents who not only told me about the violence and abuse to which J had been subjected when he was young but also told me of the beatings and abuse that he and other young men suffered whilst in Risley Remand Centre. My friend did try and challenge the authorities regarding what was happening but she realised that the prison service was a law unto itself and she got nowhere. When J was released from Risley Remand Centre, he resumed his lifestyle of hard drug use, petty crime and dossing down in other peoples houses when they allowed him to. My friend continued to keep in contact with him. However S, his younger brother, was much more stable. He never became involved in crime or drug use and at the time that he died he was actually performing very well at a local FE college. Despite the differences between them S and J were on good terms and communicated regularly.

Then something happened to J that really concerned my friend. He was referred to Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. J began telling my friend some very bizarre things about his encounters with Dafydd. Dafydd told J that he loved him. (A number of other patients also reported that Dafydd had told them that he loved them.) J then appeared on a TV programme telling a few porkies in support of Dafydd when there was an attempt to force Dafydd into retirement in the mid 1990s. My friend asked J why he had gone on TV saying those things and he replied that he’d been paid to do so. Although J had a drug problem, Dafydd did what he was notorious for doing – he supplied J with any drugs that J requested. Whilst all this was happening J could be seen in Bangor openly selling hard drugs to school children. A number of people reported this to the police but no action was taken.

My friend then moved away from Bethesda and I didn’t hear any further details of J’s interactions with Dafydd although I was aware that J was still ‘Dafydd’s patient’. A few months after my friend left the village, there was a huge pubic scene in the GPs surgery. S and J’s mother was screaming abuse at one of the GPs and calling him a murderer. It transpired that S had died the night before – he was 18. He had been taken ill at home and the family were concerned that he had meningitis. They had rung Bethesda surgery and a GP had visited and stated that he ‘didn’t think’ that it was meningitis, it was just flu. S’s condition deteriorated and a few hours later they rang the surgery again. This time a different GP arrived – the GP who took such a close interest in the activities of the man from London. Again S’s parents expressed their concern that S might have meningitis. The GP told them quite categorically that S did not have meningitis, told them to give S paracetamol and not to call the GP again. Later that evening S started to lose his vision. His dad drove him to Ysbyty Gwynedd. By the time they had got out of the car S told his dad that he could no longer see. S died a few hours later. He had meningitis.

S’s death caused a huge amount of bad feeling in Bethesda, he was a popular young man. His mum made a complaint and attempted to have an investigation into her son’s case opened but got nowhere. The GP who had told her husband that S didn’t have meningitis, to give him paracetamol and not to call them out again told third parties that S’s mother’s distress was due to guilt ‘because the wrong son had died’. At the time I just put S’s death down to yet another monumental cock-up on the part of Bethesda surgery. But something was brought to my attention this morning. That is, that S was yet someone else who will have known what Dafydd was up to – because J will have told him – who would be a credible witness but who died as a result of a ‘mistake’ on the part of the NHS in north Wales. J is still alive. But J is like all those witnesses who gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry – he has a history of drug abuse and mental health problems as well as a criminal record and people who didn’t know him would never believe a word that he said. The GP whose actions led to the death of his brother retired last year, although he’s only in his late 50s. He told some people that I know that he was fed up of working and could afford to retire so he would.

So was Dr Gareth Jones a truly incompetent GP who didn’t notice the terrible abuse and fleecing of a vulnerable family at the hands of a circle of crooked professional people and who just had an inexplicable desire to exercise control over this family – and a few years later made a disastrous mistake when someone who had been a witness to Dafydd’s wrongdoing developed the symptoms of meningitis? Or was something even more unpleasant happening?

 

The ‘Today’ programme doesn’t just provide Top Doctors with air-time, it does of course have a daily slot set aside for people with theological interests. So imagine my surprise when the person introduced as the presenter for Thought For The Day this morning was Rabbi Laura Janner-Krausner, Greville Janner’s daughter! This morning Laura was talking about ‘healthy holiness’, but of course the last time that I heard Laura on the ‘Today’ programme she was spitting blood in the direction of those people who claimed that her father had molested them when they were children in care in Leicestershire – Laura’s insistence that it is the easiest thing in the world to falsely convict an innocent peer for child sexual abuse prompted my post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’. Laura memorably said of Greville that ‘he was great and he was good’, which why she and the extended Janner clan were going to defend his name and silence those who had dared make allegations against him. (She didn’t manage to explain why the CPS admitted that there was enough evidence to prosecute Janner as long ago as the early 90s but for some reason they didn’t or that his own lawyer fully expected him to be charged with child abuse, which is why they had George Carman on speed dial.)

As well as being a lawyer and a politician, when he was younger Greville wrote a few books. I found one in a second hand bookshop some weeks ago. It looked a rather boring book called ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’, but in the light of Laura’s insistence that the author was ‘Great and Good’ in the face of many other people maintaining that he was a lying child molester who used his mates in high places to keep himself out of trouble, I thought that I’d buy the book and read Greville’s advice re writing letters.

Greville’s book isn’t simply a guide to correct grammar and style. The stated aim of ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is to show the reader how to achieve want they want. Greville seems to have made an in-depth study in Getting What You Want. He dispenses advice on how to write letters that will enable one to maximise profits, to fire staff without any comeback, to insult and upset people without using insulting or abusive words, to ingratiate oneself to people who are in a position to do one favours, to flatter, to praise and to appeal for money from very rich people.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ commiserates with the reader that one of the drawbacks of hurting someone by letter is that one isn’t there to watch the ‘enemy’ read it, although he does explain that if one later hears that the recipient of one’s letter has been seen moaning and groaning in the bankruptcy courts, the letter has obviously hit home. He helpfully supplies some examples of ‘final, rude, rebuffs’. He explains that if one is ‘attacked by a commercial loud mouth look for his business groin: take aim and fire hard’, that through ‘calculated coolness you can make the other man feel like a worm’, that ‘some lies are forgivable’, that ‘the letterwriter needs to know how best to disguise the truth’, that ‘sometimes the truth is just too horrible to tell’, that ‘courts of law are not courts of morals and justice is sometimes cruel’, that ‘if lies must be told at least tell them well’, that ‘the lying letter is as much a fact of business life as the lying witness is a regular occupant of the witness-box’, that ‘when the lie is a large one, you have two alternatives: you may either build up to it by a series of minor fibs, or you can shout the big fib from the start’ and that ‘the fact of course is fiction’. Greville chooses some interesting sub-headings for his chapters – ‘irony and sarcasm’, ‘at the expense of others’, ‘the sting in the tail’ are just a few examples.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is a masterclass into how to deceive, intimidate and manipulate without anyone being able to describe exactly how one is doing so. When branching off briefly into advice regarding how to conduct oneself in person, Janner explains that it’s most important to always smile, even if you are knowingly inflicting damage upon someone. One of the children who alleged that Janner had abused him made a reference to ‘the smiling man’.

In the introduction to his book Greville thanks his son ‘Daniel Janner, BA (Cantab), barrister’ for his help in preparing the book. That’s Laura’s brother, who since his father’s death has threatened to sue the arse of those who made allegations against his dad if they dare repeat them.

 

 

News Round Up, August 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

News Updates, Additional Comments and Observations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, May 10 2017

I’m somewhere at the moment where I don’t have access to wifi all the time, so I’m afraid that this is going to have to be a brief post, just drawing readers’ attention to stories that have been covered by this blog or which might be of interest.

I understand that Southern Health, the English NHS Trust that presided over the deaths of many, many mental health and learning disabled patients, is to be prosecuted over the death of Connor Sparrowhawk (I mentioned Connor and his mum Sara’s campaign to get to the truth regarding her son’s death in a post yesterday). When I first started writing this blog I was contacted by people who had experience of Southern Health – there are many similarities between the gross neglect that pervaded ‘care’ at Southern Health and the sort of thing that has been going on in north Wales. After the scandal at Southern could be concealed no longer, the CEO, Katrina Percy, was moved sideways into a role that had been especially created for her on a protected salary. This is exactly what happened to Martin Jones when Edwina Hart abolished the catastrophe that was the North West Wales NHS Trust. Come on then Carwyn, you cannot possibly stand by whilst a Tory led NHS England admits how serious the situation has become without acting yourself. When are the prosecutions going to start in Wales? And you know that I have 10,000 documents detailing the criminal activities of the mental health services in north Wales – and their associates in England – written and signed by those we know and love, because your Counsel General Theodore Huckle QC saw those documents before he too joined in the en masse cover-up (please see previous posts for full details on Theo and his colleagues at Doughty Street Chambers, those well-known specialists in Human Rights). I have copies of everything Carwyn…

Tonight the BBC are screening a special Panorama, dedicated to another story that I have covered on the blog recently, that of the thousands of haemophiliacs (2000 of whom have now died) who contracted hepatitis and HIV from the NHS using infected blood products, purchased from the US after Thatcher closed down the British lab that actually bothered to screen blood to ensure that is was free from infection. Thatcher and Ken Clarke, the Health Minister at the time, were told again and again what would happen, because the blood from the US had frequently been sourced from addicts and the destitute as a result of the policy in the US to pay blood donors. Regular readers will know that I have a lot of admiration for Ken Clarke as being the one former Health Minister who was not afraid to confront the ‘virulent’ BMA and who continues to speak about just how odious and selfish that organisation is, but his denial in the face of those warnings about the likely consequences of using blood products purchased from the US was shameful. No wonder both Cameron and May have refused public inquiries into the matter – it leads straight to the door of St Maggie…

Wales is holding a mass recruitment event in an attempt to attract nurses and other health professionals and Vaughan Gething, the Health Minister, has been all over the media. You need to begin the clean-up of the NHS Vaughan – there’s a reason that Wales has become a no go area for health professionals and it has bugger all to do with the local schools, despite the claims of one Dr James Davies MP. Even if you do dupe them into coming here, they’ll just do what everybody else chooses to do – leave again rapidly. Good people won’t work in an NHS riddled with corruption that is killing the patients and crucifying whistleblowers.

Lastly, I read on BBC New Wales online that there is yet another campaign to ‘fight the stigma’ of mental illness. Well we’ve been fighting stigma for years now but patients are still dying – which has a lot more to do with the dreadful state of the mental health services and the fact that they are permitted to abuse patients with impunity rather than any putative ‘stigma’. This campaign is being led by ‘Time To Change Wales’, which was established to ‘fight stigma’ in 2012. Well that was five years ago and bugger all has changed – the vile ones have not been sacked let alone prosecuted and patients continue to die. Anyway, this campaign is aimed at children – and we wonder why children are becoming so anxious as the adult world bombards with them with ‘awareness raising’ regarding paedophiles, FGM, mental illness and continues the national obsession with SATS tests… I was touched to read that Kirsty Williams the Education Minister is quoted as saying ‘I would encourage young people to seek help and talk with someone they trust…Where there are mental health issues it is really important to get help early, to help prevent problems from escalating’. Some twelve years ago now a young woman called Sylvan Money killed herself whilst in the care of Powys Local Health Board. Sylvan had been suicidally depressed and was supposed to be under constant observation. The two staff who were supposed to be observing her left the ward – to go shopping. Whilst they were on duty. Another person involved in her ‘care’ it transpired couldn’t read and write, although part of their job involved reading ‘notes’ regarding Sylvan. Sylvan hanged herself whilst her carers were out shopping and she was left alone unobserved for hours. The CEO of the LHB was so obstructive during the investigation into Sylvan’s death that the police threatened to arrest her. At the eventual inquest, there were I think 36 failings into Sylvan’s ‘care’ identified by the coroner. In the immediate aftermath of Sylvan’s death, her parents consulted their AM. This AM told them that Powys LHB was ‘a timebomb’. Subsequently, Sylvan’s parents went to see this AM again – but this time she walked out of the room, stating that she wanted no involvement with this case. That AM was one Kirsty Williams. I was told that Kirsty refused any further involvement because she was about to run for leader of the Welsh LibDems and didn’t want to be seen to be critical of the NHS. A few days after I was told this Kirsty announced that she was running for leader of the Welsh LibDems. I was also told that Kirsty’s in-laws are high Tories, but they support Kirsty because she’s one of the family (actually a very wealthy land-owning family, although Kirsty’s election material usually contains a few photos of her cuddling a lamb, in an attempt to convince the electorate that she hand-rears them all herself). When the BMA were doing their best to bring down both Edwina Hart and the first CEO of the Betsi Board, Mary Burrows, because both of them were trying to confront some of the shocking malpractice taking place in the NHS in north Wales, Kirsty repeatedly appeared on TV with members of the BMA stating how shocking it all was and it was all Labour’s fault. And now she’s joined their Cabinet (well she has no party left in Wales, so she had to do something to save herself). When I see photos of Kirsty these days I can see the blood on her teeth…I think the problems have indeed escalated since you walked away from Sylvan’s parents Kirsty. Many, many more patients like Sylvan have died. But you’ve managed to get yourself a job as a Gov’t Minister!

Those Who Care Are Concerned

Yesterday the Guardian reported that NHS staff were quitting ‘because pay was so poor’ – it was alleged that some NHS staff were using food banks and that some were working stacking shelves in supermarkets. This was attributed to the recent policy of limiting pay awards in the NHS to 1% and it was claimed that this was ‘damaging the NHS’. It was reported that in particular, people with mental health problems were experiencing delays and setbacks. This story emanated from claims made by an organisation called ‘NHS Providers’ which was described as representing almost all of England’s Hospitals, Mental Health Trusts and Ambulance Trusts, their spokesman being the Chief Executive, Chris Hopson. Hopson also turned up on Radio 4’s Today programme with his tale of woe, where again the alleged deleterious effect on mental health care in particular was commented upon. It was said that in recent months, the Medical Royal Colleges, the Health Trade Unions and health charities such as Cancer Research UK have all highlighted the effects on patient care of shortages of doctors, nurses, GPs and paramedics. Various representatives of the Medical Royal Colleges have previously been outed on this blog as having taken part in the neglect and abuse of patients – for example the delightful Professor Rob Poole of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I have also provided details of very bad behaviour – and research fraud – among leading lights in the Cancer Research Campaign, now known as Cancer Research UK. One of the people who starred was Nicholas Wright, who has picked up a knighthood. Furthermore, if doctors and GPs are either stacking shelves in supermarkets or using food banks they will be doing this for reasons other than being short of money – consultants and GPs all hit about 100k pa and many of them earn an awful lot more. Junior doctors and nurses do not earn as much as that but do not actually fall within the category of the ‘low paid’ – now a lot of them are leaving the NHS but talk to them about their reasons for doing this. It is nothing to do with pay. As I have stated repeatedly on this blog it is nearly always because they have standards which they feel are being compromised by the dysfunction, chaos, bullying and poor patient care that pervades so much of the NHS. The traditional get out clause of junior doctors to avoid the bullying and bullshit that rained down upon them was of course to enter General Practice, where they would in the end be self-employed and have some degree of control over their lives. But there were still hazards to be negotiated – one of the most conscientious medical students that I knew when I was young was sacked from his first post in General Practice. He remarked wryly that the main priority of the senior partner in the practice was the state of the carpet tiles and that medicine was far too much of a conservative profession to allow any trainee to disagree. This man was no firebrand – his ambition at school was to practice medicine for a while and then become a Conservative MP. He is now a hospital consultant and interestingly enough a Conservative Councillor who enjoys writing to the Daily Telegraph and Private Eye. His patients also report that he is a very good doctor – but he managed to get sacked. As for nurses – for years, nurses have been leaving nursing for other jobs if they cannot stomach what they are witnessing at work. They frequently move into teaching or lecturing, but some are so desperate to not remain in nursing that they do take up roles outside of the professions. The first person in this category that I encountered was a nurse who in 1984 was working as a waitress – she preferred to do that than participate in what was happening at Ysbyty Gwynedd which was where she had previously been employed. I have since met many more like her. Not one left nursing because of the pay – indeed if you are a nurse it is quite possible to end up on a very high salary if you go into NHS management and many of them do, particularly those with absolutely no principles at all (I’m thinking of one Grace Lewis-Parry here…). There are some very poorly paid people working in the NHS who may well be using food banks or working in a second job as well, particularly if they are the only wage earner in a family with children, but they are healthcare assistants, porters, cleaners, canteen staff and receptionists. They are treated like dirt although they are often playing a key role and I really don’t think that Mr Hopson the CEO from NHS Providers was thinking of them – he certainly didn’t mention them. Another person contributed to the debate as well, declaring the 1% pay restraint policy ‘stupid’ – that was Norman Lamb, the LibDem MP. Norman Lamb in recent months became well-known for his support for Sara Ryan and her family – Sara is the mother of Connor Sparrowhawk, the young man with learning disabilities and epilepsy who died as a result of neglect, along with hundreds of other patients, whilst in the care of Southern Health. Blame was attributed to Katrina Percy, the CEO, along with the rest of a deceitful dysfunctional Trust Board and a lying psychiatrist who simply moved to Ireland to practice after her cock-ups resulted in Connor’s death. Come on Norman, you know damn well that the death of Connor – and all the other patients – were nothing at all to do with pay restraint. The whole bloody lot of those responsible were on enormous salaries. Connor’s mum was a modestly paid academic and on her twitter feed frequently commented that she would have been sacked long ago if she’d been as bad at her job as Katrina Percy and co were – furthermore Connor’s mum had managed to look after Connor herself for most of his life without him dying. That only happened when she left him in the care of ‘professionals’.

One of the final item’s on the Today programme was another mental health related report, featuring interviews with both the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation and a ‘service user’ called Kerry. The report centred around people sectioned under the Mental Health Act being detained in police cells and Kerry was introduced as someone who had endured that experience. Kerry was actually pretty brilliant, she was very articulate, very frank about the horrors and serious deficiencies of the mental health system – but Nick Robinson the interviewer cut her off mid-flow. Because she’d already spoken and they’d run out of time. But the reason that they’d run out of time was that Nick had allotted so much of the time to the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation – who obviously was going to speak for service users, rather than the one very competent service user being allowed to reveal to the nation just how bad the whole system is. I noticed that in the Mail Online yesterday the Mental Health Foundation was also expressing concern about the Serious Problem of Women Drinking Prosecco At Lunchtime. Now if an elderly male Methodist Minister who was temperance wrote an article expressing similar concerns, he’d be publicly pilloried at worst, a figure of fun at best. But if it’s a ‘mental health charity’ no-one comments on how ridiculous and condescending it is. The Mental Health Foundation also stated that ‘1 in 3’ people will suffer from mental health problems – my God, the figure has gone up, the dreadful Paul Farmer and MIND always claimed it was ‘1 in 4’! We’re all going mad, especially women – the only solution is for the Gov’t to part with millions in the direction of the Mental Health Foundation and MIND, appoint them all to Gov’t Advisory Committees and then give them gongs. Meanwhile they will remain completely silent about the serious neglect and abuse of people who really are mentally ill (far fewer than ‘1 in 4’, which is of course why they can be so shamefully treated without an outcry) by the mental health services themselves – people like Kerry, whose opinions mattered less than those of the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation…. And just to show how effective Radio 4 is at raising awareness and combatting stigma, directly after the Today programme Andrew Marr hosted Start The Week and one of his guests described how he’d written a book about a conman who had swindled him who was a ‘bipolar maniac’ who spent huge quantities of money shamelessly. It’s called acute mania, a serious illness which should not be conflated with criminality and a lot fewer than ‘1 in 4’ or ‘1 in 3’ experience it.

All these dire predictions of the consequences of the UK Gov’t not giving mental health professionals even more money than they get already (God knows what they’re doing with it, one look at the state of the nation’s mental health system makes it quite clear that it certainly isn’t being used to benefit patients) has come at a very opportune time. A few days ago I was sent an excellent PhD thesis written by Dr Vicky Long, completed some years ago whilst she was at the University of Warwick and I have been working my way through it. The thesis is entitled ‘Challenging The Public Representation of Mental Illness, 1870-1970’ and it provides much evidence for a number of things that I’ve noticed myself during my various encounters with the UK’s caring sharing mental health services. Particularly interesting is Chapter Two of Vicky’s thesis, which consists of a detailed analysis of how mental health patients were represented within the literature produced by the National Asylum Workers Union. This is a good deal more relevant to present day concerns than non-historical/sociological geeks might imagine. NAWU later evolved into MHIWU (Mental Hospital and Institutional Workers Union), which in turn evolved into COHSE (Confederation of Health Service Employees), whose successor was UNISON, one of the most powerful players in today’s trade union movement, let alone simply within the NHS arena.

Vicky’s analysis very clearly demonstrates that this Union skilfully controlled how ‘mental patients’ were represented in the wider media, which in turn dictated how they were perceived by the general public and that the union nearly always did this in order to improve the pay and conditions of the ‘attendants’ ie. mental health nurses, rather than to improve the care and treatment of patients. Vicky’s analysis and the material that she presents from the late 1920s onwards is striking – we think of this era as being ancient history where mental health care is concerned, but the attitudes and even some of the language still exists in mental health ‘care’ today. As I read Vicky’s chapter, memories of scenarios and phrases used by staff that I had witnessed and heard at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and at Ysbyty Gwynedd came back to me.

Vicky analysed in detail the journal of the NAWU as this was the forum for representations of mental illness among asylum attendants. The NAWU was formed in 1910 as a reaction to the poor working conditions of the attendants and it focused on the gulf between the privileges and pay enjoyed by the asylum Medical Superintendents (Gwynne Williams the lobotomist and Dafydd Alun Jones in the case of the North Wales Hospital, although of course they were Medical Superintendents later on in the century) and the very poor pay and conditions of the attendants. Very early on in the NAWU’s history, it seems that the working conditions of the attendants were so bad that they did actually have a lot of fellow feeling for the ‘lunatics’. However this didn’t last. Vicky’s analysis highlights other phenomena that can still be seen among mental health professionals – battles between different unions, the influence of gender and fights over status between nurses and social workers. The NAWU journal was strongly socialist and working class and viewed membership of the rival Asylum Workers Union as an act of class betrayal. The whole thrust of Vicky’s argument is that the living conditions of the patients were only scrutinised when the situation of the staff improved.

The usual strategy of the NAWU to obtain improved pay and conditions was to focus on the unpleasantness of the patients. In 1912 there was a reference to the ‘antics of deluded and degraded ‘mental deficients’ and ‘moral perverts’ and nurses are frequently described as having to ‘manage’ difficult patients. Vicky notes that in the main text used for training asylum attendants, the terms ‘nursing’, ‘management’ and ‘control’ of patients are used interchangeably. (My actions in complaining about the north Wales mental health services are referred to on a number of occasions in my medical records as ‘antics’ and the records are dripping with references to the ‘management’ of me, as well as yes, the occasional reference to the need to ‘control’ me. Because I was writing letters of complaint – about criminal conduct on the part of mental health professionals.) In 1929, as part of the description of the job of a mental nurse, it is stated that ‘patients may be unpleasant, abusive, filthy in habits and language, or ungrateful, suspicious, unwilling and resistive….sympathy, kindliness and tact must be abundant to overflowing for the mental patient…’ Again, I have heard many of these words used by mental health professionals to describe patients. I was constantly viewed as a problem for being ‘suspicious’ and ‘unwilling’ – although the staff using such descriptions for me were detaining me illegally in the North Wales Hospital after Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had concocted a ‘deal’ with a corrupt police officer at Bangor Police Station – the nurses had documented all this in detail on my records and had also stated their unhappiness with being dragged into the ‘deal’. Yet I was pathologised for being suspicious of their motives and not wanting to waste my time in their prison. Again and again I have heard staff complain about patients who swear – indeed, at the ‘hearing’ held by Robert Bluglass into the investigation of my complaint about the North Wales Hospital (which didn’t actually cover most of my complaint or the most serious aspects of it), as part of his rationale for labelling me ‘mentally ill’, Jones maintained that I’d used ‘foul and abusive language’ in front of his young children and that anyone who does this is not mentally normal. (How I managed to swear in front of his children I do not know – I did not at the time know that he had children and had certainly never met them. But Jones was not required to provide evidence of any of it – he said that I did it, so obviously I did.) Bluglass agreed that my language was indeed shocking. Bluglass has a daughter Amanda, who fancies herself as an avant garde artist. A few years ago she took to displaying her creations on the internet. One of them was a sampler of a county cottage, below which was embroidered ‘Happy Fucking Holidays’. Interestingly enough, in his final report in which Bluglass avoided commenting on many of the gross things that had happened to me at the hands of Dafydd et al although there was documentary evidence of these things, Bluglass summed up by stating that ‘doctors and others are caring individuals’ – these were people who had illegally imprisoned me, assaulted me, repeatedly lied about me, threatened me and then when that didn’t work tried to bribe me. Oh and they were concealing the activities of a paedophile ring as well. But their goodwill and patience had no bounds…. Another reference from an early edition of the NAWU journal represents patients as ‘alien, foreign, devious and different from normal people’. The SEN in Denbigh who eventually assaulted me, Stephen Rose, at one point described me as ‘scheming and devious’ (it was never explained why) – and in another reference to my alleged ‘abnormality’, on one occasion Jones lost his temper with me (because I didn’t succumb to the threats and bribery) and he yelled at me ‘any normal woman would have some respect’.

Again and again in the NAWU journal severely ill patients are represented as anti-social and violent and this was repeatedly used to justify better wages and conditions In 1928, the journal dealt with allegations that patients were being brutally treated and abused by attendants by alleging that it was the patients who were violently attacking the staff. Arguments were mounted that attendants deserved better pay and conditions not because they were skilled and professional but because they were managing dangerous violent individuals. Accounts are based on conjecture – a ‘seemingly quiet patient’ may suddenly become ‘violent to themselves or others’, ‘another blow’ from a ‘violent patient’ ‘could well have been fatal’. On one occasion a patient less dishonoured than others – a soldier with shell-shock – published in another journal an account of the violence and abuse that he’d witnessed being dealt out by the staff in an asylum. The NAWU responded by stressing the unreliability of patients accounts. This is all very familiar. At the North Wales Hospital and at Ysbyty Gwynedd, again and again I and other patients made representations about staff assaults on ourselves and other patients that we had witnessed. Throughout the course of thirty years the response from the NHS authorities was the same – either it was the patients who had attacked the staff, or the patients ‘had misunderstood’ the situation, or the patients were all mates and were colluding with each other. On the occasion that staff injured me whilst I was a patient in the Hergest Unit, my injuries were not documented and I was not released from a locked ward until the injuries had healed. When I tried to telephone both the police and a friend to report the assault the telephone was disconnected. The assault upon me was never investigated. Despite all the allegations of ‘violent’ patients made by the north Wales mental health services and the constant stream of scare stories and confected statistics regarding ‘attacks’ on staff that the north Wales mental health services have placed in the local media, I have only ever witnessed one assault upon a member of staff, which was when a very psychotic disorientated man detained on a locked ward threw a book at a psychiatrist. That has been the sum of it. Staff are sometimes assaulted by patients, but it is not a regular occurrence. Furthermore, one of the more robust pieces of research that has been done into assaults on staff by patients in psychiatric units – there has been virtually no research conducted into abuse of patients by staff which is extraordinary really, it can only be that it just doesn’t happen! – concluded that in every case, the assault had been precipitated by staff being extremely aggressive or rude to patients. As for ‘quiet’ patients being suddenly ready to launch into terrifying violence – again, another allegation that was levelled at me. When people outside of the mental health services volubly stated that the lurid allegations made about me by mental health staff were inconsistent with what they knew of me, they were told that they ‘didn’t know’ what I was like, or that I had ‘fooled’ them or best of all that I was ‘charismatic’. Only the mental health services could see my black, black heart. But interestingly enough I have recently obtained documents from my lawyer which include letters from the lawyers that the mental health services were using themselves telling them that there was no evidence that I had ever assaulted anyone and that they had to stop saying this in affidavits. Not that it stopped the ludicrous allegations, the psychiatrists concerned then progressed to stating that they thought that I was going to kill them. No evidence at all, although a lot of evidence that they had repeatedly lied about me, even on oath – but nonetheless I could murder the whole lot of them in their beds, they just knew it.

The journal of the NAWU also contains information very reminiscent of the way that psychiatrists today describe patients who allegedly have ‘personality disorders’: ‘…cannot support themselves…cannot resist criminal impulses…not actively dangerous but are a menace to the community…no idea of…social obligations…a danger to women and children…anti-social tendencies and habits of this kind are not be cured…’ or indeed the ‘social failure’ of an individual. This could have all come from a present day psychiatric textbook.

One Claude Bartlett was elected President of the NAWU in 1926 – and he stayed in that post until 1962 no less. Throughout this time he remained a mental charge nurse and with the exception of his time as Chairman of the TUC in 1959, he restricted his activities to the field of health care. Bartlett was one of the most vocal calling for the amalgamation of the health services trade union into COHSE and he was a member of the Royal Commission whose recommendations were incorporated into the Mental Health Act of 1959. In 1959 Bartlett was stating that he was pleased with the large advances made by the Union regarding the representation of mental nurses as professionals. He commented that ‘I often wonder whether some of my trade union colleagues are not trying to break down barriers which have long since ceased to exist. It is a far cry from the lunatic attendant of less than 50 years ago to the trained and qualified psychiatric nurse of today. I am naturally proud to have played some part, small perhaps, in raising a once lowly occupation into a skilled and honoured vocation’. That was in 1959. During the 1990s a nurse at the Hergest Unit who was one of the best staff there, who really was skilled and professional, was regularly ORDERED by Dr X and Dr David Healy to telephone the police to complain about distressed patients. On one of those occasions, it was because a patient had said that he was so suicidal that he felt like chopping a gas pipe. He ended up in Walton prison on remand, although all charges were eventually dropped against him. None of those grandiose, arrogant psychiatrists saw the nurse’s role as ‘a skilled and honoured vocation’. And that nurse did not feel able to challenge any of them, although she saw the consequences of their actions. Interestingly enough the same nurse, after she retired, told me that she never applied for a position as a lecturer in Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences because in north Wales she witnessed the very nurses who did not have good skills with patients applying for jobs there – her perception was that they didn’t actually like looking after patients and weren’t actually very good at it, so they became nurse tutors instead.

In 1959 and the early 1960s, COHSE’s allegedly patient centred view was undermined, suggesting that once more, the main concern of psychiatric nurses was their working conditions. At the 1959 conference, the new Mental Health Bill was debated and a conference resolution expressed concerns that there was inadequate funding for the proposed measures and the hope that mental nurses skills would be utilised in the new community care system. Psychiatric nurses were well aware that other professions might usurp their roles and threaten their careers. COHSE tried to protect nurses by framing themselves as crusaders for the users of the mental health services and leaders of public opinion. Theresa May has of course announced that a new Mental Health Act is to be passed, which will lead to far fewer people being detained against their will and will also enable them to refuse ‘treatment’. This has of course come hot on the heels of scandal after scandal in the UK mental health services, of numerous accounts of neglect and abuse and of course deaths of patients in the care of the mental health services. Have perhaps the mental health professions realised that they are about to be cut out of the picture and made redundant – because patients certainly aren’t going to agree to the shite abusive treatment that is forced upon them at present if they are given a choice – and is that why they are all busy reminding us at the moment of how they only have the concerns of patients at heart? And that the patients are Suffering because mental health professionals aren’t being paid enough? Oh, by the way, in the late 50s/60s when COHSE were worried about their jobs and pay, they organised demonstrations and pickets. Stand by Theresa, there’ll be a March through central London to show us all how much they Care – all the usual culprits will be there, the BMA, the RCN, the Royal Colleges, MIND and Paul bloody Farmer, Peter Beresford and Rachel Perkins and poor old Jeremy Corbyn will be completely taken in by the whole lot of them and will join in, thinking that he’s helping people who Care. Meanwhile psychiatric patients will continue to be tasered whilst sectioned in hospital, suffocated to death whilst being ‘restrained’, prescribed ‘medication’ that harms or even kills them etc etc. In fact I think I heard on the Today programme that a National Health Action Party has been established to field candidates in the forthcoming election. The Top Doctors must be in trouble then, is there a scandal on the way? Has one of them been arrested for doing something that they shouldn’t have, perhaps removing perfectly healthy bits of the body after telling the unsuspecting patient that they had cancer a la Dr Ian Paterson? Or has another Harold Shipman been discovered?

As for Claude Bartlett’s claims in 1959 that asylums and the mental nursing profession had been transformed, well I think that needs to be taken with a very big pinch of salt. After a visit to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, the Health Minister Enoch Powell was so appalled by what he saw that he is reputed to have told the assembled ‘professionals’ that he would not allow them to do this to people – Powell returned to London and announced the proposed closure of 75,000 psychiatric hospital beds over the next 15 years. (Of course when Powell witnessed something terrible, Gwynne the lobotomist was Medical Superintendent at Denbigh. Presumably Gwynne was so used to imprisoning, neglecting, abusing and indeed killing people that he had become complete immune to the idea that some people would not appreciate what was going on, hence he felt able to proudly throw open the doors of Denbigh to the Health Minster. Obviously the result of years of cap-doffing and toadying from small town society who could rely on the hideous Gwynne to deal with anyone who was a bit of a nuisance to them. COHSE really freaked out at Powell’s proposals and resurrected the spectre of the dangerous patient (they forgot their user-friendly bit) and wanted nurses paid danger money. COHSE were particularly irked with Powell’s proposals to only place psychiatric patients in Rampton, Broadmoor and Moss Side as a last resort. They also maintained that Powell’s policy of discharging patients on prescription would lead to a nation of drug addicts. Once more psychiatric patients were represented as violent criminals and Vicky Long suggests that this stemmed more out of the fear of the threat to the jobs, future and status of the mental nursing profession than any concern over more outpatient care. Again, I saw something similar when I was a patient at the North Wales Hospital in 1986/87. At the time the UK Gov’t were making much noise regarding closing down places like Denbigh and transferring patients into community care. All the nurses at Denbigh were raging about this, stating that the facilities in the community weren’t there (which was to be fair completely true) and that some of the very vulnerable patients would never cope (which again they didn’t). But the same nurses were concealing and colluding with the most appalling wrongdoing on the part of Dafydd Alun Jones et al – they KNEW that patients were in there illegally banged up, never having been assessed by anyone but had simply been arrested because they’d crossed the path of Jones or one of his mates. They KNEW that some of those patients were not ‘schizophrenic’ or ‘deluded’ as was being diligently documented. And one of those nurses, Iola Edwards – who was one of those who expressed such concern regarding the fate of the patients once Denbigh had shut down – actively stopped a young woman from telling me any more, when she heard the young woman begging me to help her and claiming that she had been abducted, held in an attic ‘by a doctor’ with a group of other men and molested. (Would you know anything about this perchance Dafydd, after all your mistress was named in the Waterhouse Report as having colluded with a paedophile ring whilst she was Director of Gwynedd Social Services). That young woman disappeared within hours – Iola Edwards obviously knew what had happened to her and must have been instrumental in flagging up to someone in authority that the young woman had told me what had happened to her, so they got her out of there quick. I bet they didn’t let her go though, or take her to the police. And of course the community care provided after Denbigh eventually shut was dreadful – because it was managed and staffed by the same people who ran and staffed Denbigh. Did anybody really imagine that their values and standards would suddenly change just because someone gave them offices and clinics in a different building?

The NAWU dwelt on some other familiar themes as well. In the 1930s their journal carried reports on the experimental use of leucotomies and ECT and the Government’s Athlone Report stated that ‘medical staff now require highly skilled mental health nurses to assist’. Although the historian of nursing Peter Nolan argues that physical treatments threatened to erode nursing skills by reducing nurses to doctors assistants, COHSE’s predecessor was enthusiastic about the ‘new therapies’. During the 1940s and 50s there was a reconceptualization of the image of the psychiatric patient as that of a client or guest. By 1961 glossy photos showing the luxurious aspects of public hospitals were displayed monthly in the journal and hospitals were described as if they were hotels. But when the Hergest Unit was built at Ysbyty Gwynedd there was much excitement and boasting about the new facilities – of course they were very much better than what had been on offer at Denbigh, but huge cracks soon appeared in the service, which still contained the former staff and managers from Denbigh.

The NAWU also reflected two other ideas concerning psychiatric patients that were expressed by some professionals – that either sterilisation or euthanasia would be a good idea. In 1929 the Gov’t considered sterilising ‘mental defectives’ and they were depicted as an economic threat to sane ratepayers. In 1934 Prof JA Berry, Director of Medical Services at Stoke Colney, Bristol, argued that some in his care should be killed, a ‘kindly euthanasia’ being the ‘only really kindly treatment’. A Dr EGL Goffe, a Kingston physician, suggested no other alternative for ‘idiots’ than the ‘lethal chamber’ as ‘such people should not be a drag on the community…a waste of money and energy keeping them alive…’ Many doctors wrote in favour of sterilisation – however one Dr Neil Montgomery showed an acute awareness of class power abuse issuing from doctor to patient, commenting that it tended to be the poor who should be recommended for sterilisation and at the same time expressed sentiments of duty to the patients which were not expressed by the working class members of the NAWU. (Remind anyone of the current Tory Govt’s new policy that people claiming tax credits for a third child can only do so if they can demonstrate that the child resulted from rape?) In July 1935, the cartoonist for the MHIWU journal (as it had then become) depicted the Board of Control Chairman’s view – a full page image of a physically deformed figure whose featureless ‘shadow’ fell menacingly over Britain. The figure was represented with palms outstretched, recalling the belief expressed in the journal by doctors, judges, Poor Law guardians and the Board of Control that ‘mental defectives’ were socially inefficient and an economic drain on the resources of the ‘normal’ population. Obviously a bunch of shirkers and skivers like all those people that George Osborne seemed to know of…

In 1963 an editorial in the journal commented that if the Lord Chancellor and Lunacy Commissioners were anxious for the welfare of the patients, the very first thing that they should turn their attention to is the conditions of asylum services to attract and retain the best types of men and women. Sounds familiar – here comes a nurses pay claim, just after revelations that patients were being treated dreadfully. By the end of the ‘60s, the situation of the patients had not improved. Barbara Robb’s famous expose of the appalling treatment of the mentally ill in hospitals, ‘Sans Everything: A Case To Answer’, elicited personal attacks on Robb and COHSE complained of a ‘witch-hunt’ atmosphere and parodied Robb’s expose as ‘Knock Everything’. COHSE was not the only body representing psychiatric nurses – the RCN did as well and in 1970 their conference attacked psychiatric nurses conditions of work. The Chairman of their Psychiatric Committee suggested the patients posed the main limitation to nurses work. Once more a dire representation of your average psychiatric patient was constructed, with it being claimed that being spat at, kicked, scratched and bitten was all in a day’s work and that nurses spent much of their times separating patients who were fighting or warding off assaults on themselves.

The journal of the NAWU also reflected the gender battle that took place within it’s own ranks. From the 1920s onwards there was much opposition from male asylum attendants to women nurses working on male wards. Sick patients were portrayed as violent anti-social misfits whose violent and sexually depraved behaviour would only increase at the hands of kindly female nurses – a similar argument was used at the Hergest Unit as the rationale for their callous treatment of those whom they labelled ‘personality disordered’. Indeed, a suicide attempt by one such patient was constructed by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones as being the result of ‘ire’ of all things. Yet Nursing Times, a journal dominated by women, opposed the NAWU, pointing out that ‘not a single complaint of any kind has been made by the female nurses’ – furthermore, a female nurse was quoted as commenting that constructing all ‘mental cases’ as ‘depraved’ was an ‘insult’ to many patients. This depiction of patients as violent and sexually perverted diminished when it was no longer in accordance with the image that the Union was trying to establish. This turnaround confused members – there is written evidence from one male nurse demonstrating that he was puzzled as to how the Union could have ‘forgotten’ what patients were like.

Throughout the twentieth century, the journal of the NAWU repeatedly published articles on themes that are still pursued at present. An article in the 1940s written by a patient, ‘David’, was the first time that the journal has offered any degree of respect to a patient’s account. David was completely uncritical of his treatment and maintained that it could only have been bettered if the asylum staff were paid more. This is startlingly reminiscent of much discourse from present day ‘service user involvement’. Two of the biggest figures in the UK in this field are Peter Beresford and Rachel Perkins. Beresford is a former social worker and this is very obviously still a major part of his identity and Perkins is the former clinical director of Springfield Hospital. Perkins oversaw a disaster, including a number of murders, and Springfield was subjected to damning comments at a subsequent public inquiry. Neither Beresford or Perkins have ever spoken out about serious abuse and neglect in the mental health services, criminal activity on the part of the ‘professionals’ or the problems of dishonest expert witnesses in psychiatry. Their concerns tend to revolve around ‘discrimination’, ‘stigma’ and the need for more funding and higher staff pay. Some years ago I received a series of very angry e mails from someone who had completed a PhD with Beresford, demanding to know why I would not ‘come out’ as an academic who was a ‘service user’, telling me that Peter Beresford could ‘help’ me. I have made it clear in my publications that I do not hide my involvement with the mental health services but I find the ‘service users movement’ for the most part strangely deradicalised, denatured and institutionalised and I explained this to the person who e mailed me. They became angrier and angrier and made it clear that I was some sort of traitor by not joining the merry band who remain silent about serious wrongdoing but who campaign for higher pay for the people involved in this.

Another article in the NAWU journal from the early middle years of the twentieth century concerned the activities of a charity dedicated to the after care of discharged asylum patients, supposedly committed to their economic and social reintegration. The charity’s President had commented that the work of the charity assisted the state by producing good citizens. Does this sound familiar to you Paul Farmer?

Another article published in the 20s stressed the important of asylum attendants completing the Certificate of the Medico-Psychological Association, in order that the work would be seen as highly skilled and professional. Nurses these days are encouraged to go for postgrad education, because nursing is ‘highly skilled’ and ‘professional’. Some years ago I was forwarded an e mail from a ward manager at the Hergest Unit which frankly declared that he didn’t want to do an Masters because he’d found completing a Bachelor’s degree very difficult, but his boss, the nursing manager Lena Henry, had told him that it would make the Hergest Unit look good if he did enrol for a Masters. Meanwhile patients died.

Again, as far back as the 1920s, the NAWU’s journal was maintaining that the general public only saw the worst side of mental hospitals and that if the public were allowed to enter such hospitals they would receive enlightenment. I witnessed two such Tours of North Korea myself, one in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and one at the newly opened Hergest Unit. Local dignitaries were guided around the best parts of the building by the nicest members of staff. At Denbigh it occurred on Christmas morning when the Mayor and his entourage paid a visit. They were all very friendly, but of course patients clamoured to desperately tell the Mayor et al what was actually happening to them in there. The accompanying nurses used obviously tried and tested techniques to deflect the conversation onto other matters, such as the Christmas presents that the staff had given us that morning – they did give us thoughtful presents and they gave us a good spirited Christmas dinner as well – but a lot of the patients that the Mayor met had been detained illegally, although he wasn’t told that. The nurses did tell me that the Mayor visited the hospital every Christmas morning – ah, so they knew that he would be coming then! When the doors of the newly opened Hergest Unit were thrown open to some local councillors I took the opportunity to tell them that one of the psychiatrists there was having sex with the patients. A sharp-witted nurse interjected with ‘that man does not have any beds in this hospital’. No, but they let him in every Tuesday to hold outpatient’s clinics…

In 1969 COHSE’s journal concerned itself with the struggle for status between psychiatric nurses and psychiatric social workers. The social work profession made it very clear that they considered themselves superior and expressed concern that nurses would ‘muscle in’ on community work. Interestingly enough, I know a psychiatric nurse who trained in the 70s who considers that social work training is too political, concentrates too much on the identity and place in the world of the social worker and does not pay enough attention to the concept of duty to one’s clients. This nurse believed that this was what lay behind so many of the problems that patients experienced with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – whether she knew that some members of that team were doing the bidding of people who were facilitating a paedophile gang I do not know. I note that Chapter Three of Dr Long’s thesis is concerned with the development of psychiatric social work. I look forward to reading her account of the evolution of the profession of which Hywel Williams was such a proud member.

Reading Chapter Two of Dr Long’s thesis one can only conclude that very little has changed – unions representing mental health staff in the UK have been very much more concerned with the pay and conditions of their members and have been prepared to denigrate the people that they are paid to care for to achieve this, ruthlessly manipulating public opinion. Was it really All A Very Long Time Ago and that Things Are Different Now? Well when I was in Denbigh a nurse called Bob reminisced about how he used to ‘manage’ the patients in his earlier years – he told me that the nurses had to make the patients more frightened of them than they were of their hallucinations. Bob told me that in 1987 – he may still be alive. As many of the older Denbigh nurses are. It is indeed informative to go on the website of the grandly titled North Wales Hospital Historical Society, which is actually a forum for former staff. There are a number of threads where staff have been chatting to each other – those poorly paid nurses who were constantly in danger from patients are certainly enjoying retirement. They discuss their exotic foreign holidays and one of them has a yacht that he talks about. Whilst I was in the Heddfan Unit a former Denbigh nurse who used to pop in there to do a bit of agency work told me that he owned a property in Florida and he spends his time between there and his place in north Wales. By the way, as mental health workers, all these people were entitled to retire at 55 yrs old with a full pension. Tory Cuts anyone? I know of someone else in north Wales who is both a psychiatric nurse and a psychiatric social worker. This man told me years ago that as a student, he was one of those who exposed the Ely Hospital Scandal – he claimed to have punched a nurse whom he saw assault an elderly man before he mobilised the students. Yet this man sectioned people in Denbigh, he knew about the horrors of Prestwood homes, he knows exactly how bad the mental health services are and he watched highly inappropriate people qualify as social workers when he worked in social work education at Coleg Menai. He has never spoken out about any of it. He now has a leading role in MIND in north Wales. Do you fancy punching a few other people Geoff? Starting with your senior colleagues at MIND who pay your salary and are doing such damage…

Bring on the protests then. Of those who are only protesting because they Care.

 

 

 

English NHS Trust Prosecuted For Mental Health Service Failures

I have just heard on the radio that Southern Health, an NHS Trust in England, is to be prosecuted over an incident in which a patient with mental health problems managed to fall from the roof of one of its units and sustained an injury. The news bulletin stated that this is the first case of an NHS Trust being prosecuted for mental health care failings. Here is the brief report that BBC News has released so far http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-39177472

Dr Sara Ryan, a sociologist from Oxford University whose son died whilst in the ‘care’ of Southern Health, has campaigned long and hard for this organisation to be held to account. Her blog has detailed the enormous failings and bad practice that pervaded this organisation and has also demonstrated how numerous regulatory bodies knew what was happening at Southern Health but took no action. Sara has also dug up a few other surprising facts as well, such as the former CEO of Southern Health, Katrina Percy, winning a ‘CEO of the year’ award whilst she ‘led’ this organisation that effectively killed so many, the enormous salaries that Percy and other Board members were receiving and continued to receive even after their dreadful record was made public, the millions that was spent on idiotic ‘management initiatives’ as well as Percy’s refusal to resign in the face of so many patient deaths – she was eventually ‘moved sideways’ into a job created specifically for her at her former salary level. Just like Martin Jones and Grace Lewis-Parry at the Betsi!

There are many similarities between events at Southern Health and the north Wales mental health services, although to my knowledge Sara has not managed to uncover the sort of historical corruption that my documentation has revealed regarding the NHS in north Wales. It would not however surprise me if a similar process had happened – services do not go this badly wrong quickly, it can only happen over a period of many years when everyone ignores and conceals serious problems. Furthermore my documentation demonstrates how a whole network of high profile figures in the medical and legal establishment colluded to conceal terrible abuses in north Wales. I presume that they will also have been doing this elsewhere.

NHS England is finally being slowly dragged, kicking and screaming, into facing reality where the state of the mental health services is concerned. How many more people have to die before the Welsh Govt take their heads out of the sand and do the same? My case alone provides ample evidence for prosecutions, let alone the cases in which people have actually died.