I Don’t Believe It!

The main stars of this post have both feet in the grave rather than just one, but their poisonous legacy lingers on.

In my post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’ I mentioned that one of the many old pupils from Bishop Gore School (formerly Swansea Grammar) who had achieved great eminence was Professor John Howell, President of the BMA, 1989-90. As detailed on previous posts, at this time the Top Doctors in the mental health services in north Wales were busy perjuring themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned, actually documented their plans to do this and cc’d those plans to their partners in crime in various senior NHS and Social Services posts. In the case of Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), he was using the services of the MDU and Welsh Office lawyers to frame me – although the MDU lawyer, Ann Ball, was telling him not to proceed with litigation against me and the Welsh Office lawyer, Andrew Park, admitted that there was no evidence that I had committed the offences that Francis was alleging. Ann Ball and Andrew Park were well aware that I was raising concerns about Francis and his colleagues being involved in criminal activities – I spoke to Ann Ball about this myself on the telephone. Francis was also cc’ing the BMA into much of his correspondence. The BMA whilst John Howell was President.

John Howell was known as Jack. He died in 2015 and a Diana Brighouse wrote the BMJ’s obituary of him. Diana was one of his former students at Southampton. Diana explained that Jack Howell told her that if ever she needed advice or was concerned about anything, she could always go to him. I bet he did – that is the time honoured method which is used by Top Doctors to identify potential whistleblowers among medical students or junior doctors and get rid of them fast using methods of which they will be unaware and will probably only find out about years later – as I have discovered myself… Diana mentioned that Jack emphasised to her and the other students how important it is to persuade their patients to trust them and he showed them the way by sitting next to patients and asking them where they lived, what they did for a living etc. I remember it well – the corrupt Dr D.G.E. Wood pumped me for info regarding Brown and me and used it to stuff us over, as did Tony Francis. ‘For God’s sake don’t trust me, I’m a doctor facilitating a paedophile gang and the sexual exploitation of patients.’ Diana mourned not only Jack but the sort of medicine that he practiced. I’ve got news for Diana – she has nothing to worry about, Jack’s style of medicine is alive and kicking, even if Jack isn’t. Intriguingly Diana mentioned that all the students called Howell ‘whispering Jack’.

Jack Howell was the co-founder of Southampton Medical School. He was born in Swansea in 1926 and qualified at the Middlesex Hospital in 1950. He was Senior Lecturer and Consultant at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, 1960-69 and in 1969 was appointed Foundation Professor of Medicine at Southampton. He was President of the British Thoracic Society, 1988-89 and Chairman of Southampton District Health Authority, 1983-98.

Jack Howell was a friend and colleague of Donald Acheson who was UK Chief Medical Officer, 1983-91. Acheson was also involved in the foundation and development of Southampton Medical School. Acheson was President of the BMA in 1996-97 – as the Waterhouse Inquiry was launched and began taking evidence. Acheson also trained at the Middlesex Hospital and was a similar vintage to Howell. Dr T. Gwynne Williams, the lobotomist who worked at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and who assisted Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis in concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring, trained at the Middlesex Hospital. He was slightly older than Acheson and Howell but the Middlesex has loyal alumni – as do all medical schools – and they will have all known each other. Donald Acheson helped the Tory Gov’t out of a pickle whilst Thatcher’s aide Sir Peter Morrison MP – among others – were abusing children in care in north Wales (see post Professor Prestigious And His Associates’).

Both I and an embryologist who was a graduate of Aberystwyth University had very odd experiences when we were interviewed for jobs at Southampton Medical School’s newly created IVF Unit in 1989. I suspect that part of the explanation for this was my raising concerns about what was going on in north Wales at the time as well as wrongdoing in Southampton Medical School which the people interviewing us feared that we might notice. Please see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’ for full details.

Donald Acheson had – quite incredibly considering what he concealed during his career – carried out work on health inequalities whilst he was CMO. He was assisted in this by one Michael Marmot, now Professor Michael Marmot, the go-to man globally where health inequalities are concerned – I suspect that Acheson and Marmot’s earth shattering contribution to this research is the reason why health inequalities remain stubbornly with us (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’). Tony Blair commissioned Acheson to Chair an Inquiry into inequalities in health in 1997 and then in 2008 Gordon Brown commissioned Marmot to review health inequalities. Marmot worked at UCL and was President of the BMA, 2010-11. UCL has a flagship health inequalities unit led by Michael Marmot – which is ‘supported’ by the Department of Health and the BMA.

In 1987 the Middlesex Hospital and UCL merged. The senior administrator who worked at the Court of the University of London who oversaw that merger was Ann Widdecombe. Despite having such a senior job, London University were most helpful to Honest Ann when she was seeking a Conservative seat – she was allowed extensive paid leave to campaign and was even given the use of a member of the secretarial staff from London University to assist her. Widdecombe was also overtly encouraged and supported by her boss at the University when she was involved in covert activity opposing CND. The Anglesey Conservative Association were particularly eager to snare Widdecombe as their Parliamentary candidate. Details of Widdecombe’s extraordinary path to Westminster may be read in my post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’.

Another old boy of Swansea Grammar who was of a similar vintage to Jack Howell was Lord Brian Flowers, who became Rector of Imperial College and then Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. My post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’ provides an account of Flowers’ career. I mentioned that Flowers was running the University of London whilst there was endemic misconduct and research fraud occurring at RPMS (Royal Postgraduate Medical School)/Hammersmith Hospital (see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’) and whilst St George’s Hospital Medical School employed Oliver Brooke – a key figure in a pan-European paedophile ring who was imprisoned for the possession of child porn – as their Professor of Paediatrics. Flowers was in post whilst the University of London was doing all it could to ensure that Ann Widdecombe became a Tory MP.

Whilst I was a postgrad at RPMS, I was told by a fellow student who’s husband was a member of staff there that it was known that one particularly questionable academic at RPMS – even by the standards of RPMS  – was Professor Julia Polak. Polak was famed for her utter ruthlessness. She was a Top Doctor who had qualified in Argentina but her qualification wasn’t recognised in the UK. When she arrived in the UK she was taken under the wing of one of the few really decent academics at RPMS who gave her research facilities and helped her to build her career. When he retired and wanted to remain as an Emeritus Professor – by which time Polak was managing the department – Polak refused him any facilities. I was told by more than one person that Polak would do anything to make a name for herself and that she was believed to be committing even more audacious research fraud than many of her colleagues. I met one person who had been shafted by her whilst a PhD student.

A few years after I left London, Julia Polak became famous. She was the centre of a story worthy of the script writers of ‘Holby City’. In the 1990s Polak had begun to feel a little unwell. Nothing serious or too worrying, just a bit of breathlessness really. At the time Polak was working with Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, the transplant surgeon at Harefield Hospital, researching ways of improving the treatment of patients with pulmonary hypertension.  Julia mentioned that she had been experiencing a bit of breathlessness and her colleagues urged her to get herself checked out. After a while she reluctantly agreed to be examined by one of her colleagues at RPMS/Hammersmith Hospital – specifically who does not seem to be public knowledge. To her absolute amazement, not only was she suffering from exactly the same condition on which she and Yacoub were working  – pulmonary hypertension – but she was seriously ill as a result of it! In fact she was at death’s door and Magdi recommended a heart and lung transplant. Julia was most reluctant to agree, but after a short while she realised that it was the only answer. She was whisked off to Harefield Hospital where she waited nearly two months in intensive care for organs to become available. The call came at 2am whilst she was on a weekend visit home – so back into Harefield she went and in 1995 the life-saving surgery was performed by the great man himself. Julia laid low for a few weeks, but once she was back on her feet, she realised that her life’s work was now to Discover A Cure for lung disease.

Julia set about publicising Her True Story, founded the Julia Polak Lung Transplant Fund and then along with her colleague Larry Hench she established and later led the Centre for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at Imperial College – RPMS/Hammersmith and the other London medical schools were merged with Imperial College at the behest of Lord Brian Flowers. Magdi Yacoub joined Julia’s new Centre.  Julia’s Story became the basis for a novel by Rosemary Friedman, ‘Intensive Care’. So business-like was Julia about her Life’s Work that she even produced her own old diseased lungs to show to students at RPMS.

Julia was made. She became Dame Julia and advised on Parliamentary Committees. She obtained funding from the Texas/UK Collaborative Research Initiative in Biosciences. Sadly in 2014 she died of ‘undisclosed causes’. At the time of her death at 75 years old, Dame Julia was one of the world’s longest surviving heart and lung transplant patients.

So someone with a reputation for being prepared to murder her grandmother if it would advance her, as well as for research fraud, who worked in an institution in which misconduct was endemic and in which other senior academics were known to be carrying out research fraud, managed to suddenly develop the condition which she was researching which was only diagnosed by an unidentified colleague in the fraud-plagued institution in which she worked herself, then nearly died of the condition which she was researching which had been diagnosed by her colleague, then made a Lazarusesque recovery after a double transplant performed by another colleague – which took place at 2am at the weekend, so there won’t have been that many people around to witness or indeed not witness the operation. In the wake of all this, a novel is written, heart-tugging charities are set up and the millions roll in. The benefactors are the institution which employed in a senior position everybody involved with saving Julia’s life and of course Julia, Magdi and their colleagues, including Lord Brian Flowers. As for the displaying of the diseased lungs to the students – diseased organs are ten a penny at RPMS, whilst I was a postgrad there we were given them to dissect every day. Organs and other specimens are frequently kept by hospitals without consent and sometimes unlawfully. When I worked at St George’s I came across a foetus in a jar and I asked the dreadful Dr Cathy Wilson – who’s lab this was in – the age of the foetus (because it looked fully formed) and she shrieked at me. Probably because that foetus should not have been in a jar sitting in her lab and she knew it.

Lest anyone unfamiliar with the everyday story of medical school folk have difficulty believing that Polak et al could ever get away with a fraud as substantial as the one that I suspect them of having committed, I wanna tell you a story to quote Max Bygraves.

Some two years after I left St Georges and their criminal wrongdoing behind, I read in the ‘Indie’ and the ‘Guardian’ that a consultant at St George’s had made history by saving an ectopic pregnancy. He had carried out an operation in which he had transferred the embryo from the Fallopian tube into the uterus, the pregnancy had progressed to term and had resulted in the birth of a healthy baby. The consultant who had performed this miracle was Malcom Pearce, who had been my boss at St George’s. Malcolm Pearce was very energetic and cleverer than a lot of his colleagues and I didn’t think was as poisonous as many of them, but people did used to grumble about him and his excessive drinking and there were whispers that a Chair in the US was going to be found for Malcolm before he somehow disgraced himself at St George’s. So when I read about the miracle that Malcolm had performed I presumed that he had sorted the boozing and had achieved something. In 1994 a huge scandal blew up at St George’s. It transpired that Malcolm had not performed the operation which he claimed. He hadn’t even attempted to perform it. He had made the whole thing up and published it. It was never made clear how Malcolm’s fraud was uncovered, but once it was, Sir William Asscher the ‘absolute bastard’ (to quote a former colleague) who was the Dean of St George’s conducted an inquiry. It was found that Malcolm had doctored (so to speak) medical records and had fabricated the results of some other clinical trials. Malcolm was subsequently struck off.

The question that I have always been interested in is why was Malcolm Pearce hung out to dry for doing something that huge swathes of his colleagues were doing – research fraud – and for doing a lot less than some others – for example facilitating a paedophile ring in north Wales…

When Malcolm’s fraud became public, everyone followed the line of ‘We’re shocked and disgusted and we knew nuzzin…’ Well did no-one wonder where the baby that Malcom had successfully saved was? This was a medical first, surely that baby would have been of interest. As would be the baby’s mum. Where was she? What about the rest of the team who had looked after the mother and baby? Where were they? What about the theatre staff who would have been present at the medical miracle? There must have been some degree of collusion on the part of at least some other members of staff.

Somebody else suffered badly from the fall-out over Malcolm’s fantasy, but not as badly as Malcolm did – Professor Geoffrey Chamberlain, the Professor and the Head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dept at St George’s and at the time President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Chamberlain had co-authored the paper with Malcolm. Chamberlain gave evidence at Malcolm’s GMC hearing, blamed the whole business on Malcolm and made a few Dr Finlayesque comments about having trusted Malcolm and having been dreadfully let down by him. Chamberlain didn’t get the knighthood that he was expected to be in line for, but he wasn’t struck off or disciplined in any way.

I confess to having been very slow on the uptake about this matter. I have blogged about all it previously and because I have been so pre-occupied with why Malcolm was thrown to the wolves when others were doing so much worse, I have missed the obvious. Chamberlain CO-AUTHORED THE PAPER. Of course Chamberlain too would have wanted to meet the mother and baby involved – Chamberlain was famously sociable and clubbable, the patients loved him and he had a Harley Street practice with celeb patients as well. He would have wanted to be photographed with that baby and to have featured in feel-good stories.

Geoffrey Chamberlain was in on that fraud but he was the one who got away. Surprise Surprise!

Chamberlain was Welsh. His father Albert was Secretary to the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. Chamberlain went to Llandaff Cathedral School, Cowbridge Grammar School and then read medicine at UCL. He trained at RPMS, GOSH, Queen Charlottes and Chelsea Hospital for Women and King’s College Hospital, London. He was Professor of Obs and Gynae at St George’s, 1982-95. Between 2000-08 he lectured in the history of medicine at Swansea University.

Between 1955-74 Geoffrey Chamberlain served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and reached the rank of surgeon commander. Gwynne the lobotomist who facilitated the paedophile ring in north Wales had also spent a number of years as a surgeon in the Royal Navy.

Geoffrey Chamberlain had been a colleague of and was on good terms with Oliver Brooke. Oliver Brooke’s stash of child porn was discovered in the cupboards of an office in St George’s.

 

We cannot ask Geoffrey Chamberlain to explain his wrongdoing because he is now dead. However I believe that his wife, another Top Doctor, Professor Jocelyn Chamberlain, is still alive. Jocelyn spent much of her career involved with the cervical screening programme – another field of medicine in which lies have been told. In the 1970s Jocelyn Chamberlain worked at the Middlesex Hospital.

The victims of and witnesses to the paedophile ring in north Wales were found dead Jocelyn. Time for you to make a police statement before you too are no longer with us. Perhaps you’d also like to tell us why Malcolm Pearce was lynched – was he about to grass you all up? Because Malcolm Pearce was finished off at the same time as Gordon Anglesea the former senior officer with the North Wales Police was awarded nearly £400k damages after he was accused of sexually abusing boys in care in north Wales and as investigations into the possibility of a paedophile ring in north Wales began. In 2016 Gordon Anglesea was imprisoned for historical sexual offences against boys in care in north Wales. Weeks after giving evidence against Anglesea, the young man who accused him of abuse was found dead.

Every summer the Chamberlains used to hold a garden party at their house in Wimbledon. One of their neighbours was George Carman QC, the corrupt barrister who knew about the north Wales paedophile ring (see posts ‘No Ordinary Methods’ and ‘No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post’). Just down the road in Wandsworth lived Michael Mansfield, the radical lawyer who also studiously ignored anything to do with the north Wales paedophile ring (see post ‘Workers’ Play Time’).

 

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.