News Round Up, August 20 2017

There’s been a number of high profile Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board failures over the last two days.

David Roberts, a man of 70 from Amlwch, is in severe pain and waiting for a knee replacement. Mr Roberts has been on the waiting list since August 2016 and has been told by the Betsi that the waiting time for the relevant operation is now 98+ weeks… Mr Roberts is remarkably understanding and has commented that ‘I understand that it’s all down to funding, low staff and cut backs’. No Mr Roberts, sadly that is not true – it is down to incompetence and corruption. The Betsi has plenty of money and Vaughan Gething and the Welsh Gov’t keep giving it more as well, it is being wasted. They are short of staff but that’s because no-one will work in north Wales because the NHS there has such an atrocious reputation. People do know that abusive staff are catered for and protected whilst whistleblowers are sacked. That is not the way to attract good staff but it’s what Martin Jones and Peter Higson have done for years, which is why the Betsi is in this state.

Another Betsi story in the news at the moment concerns Brooke Cheatle. Brooke is eight years old and had her leg amputated when she was younger. She wears a prosthetic leg but the Betsi is involved so things are not going smoothly. Brooke is now using a wheelchair whilst her mum battles with ‘Betsi chiefs’ in a desperate attempt to secure decent treatment for Brooke. Brooke has had a number of prosthetic legs which have been faulty. The foot of the last one actually fell off, so Brooke’s mother returned it to the Betsi. It was sent back through the post with the foot crudely glued on at the wrong angle. Furthermore it was returned to Brooke without a fitting, so it didn’t fit properly, cut into Brooke’s skin and caused pressure sores and blisters. Medical professionals have now deemed the prosthetic leg ‘unsafe to use’. Who has been providing this splendid service? The Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre at Wrexham. Brooke’s mother made a written complaint to the Betsi and attempted to transfer Brooke’s care to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. This necessitated writing to their GP for funding – the Betsi refused the funding without any explanation, so the transfer has not happened. Brooke’s mum has been told that Brooke’s care must remain with the Wrexham centre. She has now stated that she ‘has lost all faith’ in the Betsi and wants Brooke treated in England. Well good luck with that Brooke’s mum – I know of a number of mental health patients, including me, who after the most dreadful negligence and sometimes all out abuse tried to transfer elsewhere. The dear old Hergest Unit refused to let us go. They made it quite clear that they loathed us and were waiting for us to drop dead, but no, every time we tried to get care from elsewhere the Hergest threw a hissy fit and stated that we were ‘their’ patients. I realised that the Hergest was going to end up either killing me or imprisoning me for something that I hadn’t done after yet more attempts to frame me, so in the end I walked away. I know a number of other people who sought private care in other parts of the UK and one man who went abroad.

The Daily Post Online is reporting yet another bizarre mental health services story. Judge Niclas Parry has given James Harland an 18 month suspended prison sentence and a restraining order after Harland  told a number of people that he was planning to kill himself and his wife. Harland made it quite clear why he was making these threats – it was because he wanted help for mental health problems and couldn’t get it. He told the local mental health team who failed to respond, so he put two knives in his vehicle and showed them to the mental health team, telling them that this was how desperate he felt. No response. So he then rang the office of the Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside Mark Tami to complain about the mental health services. Mr Harland repeated his threat – and a member of Mr Tami’s staff called the police and Mr Harland was arrested. Niclas Parry has described it as a ‘seriously worrying case’ – because ‘a professional person’ (ie. the mental health social worker) saw the knives and ‘did not call the police’. They didn’t offer him any help with psychiatric care either. Neither did Mr Tami’s lot – they did call the police but did that rather than respond to Mr Harland’s complaints about the mental health services. Niclas Parry told Mr Harland in Court that ‘you are now going to be offered help’. What a pity that didn’t happen before – when Mr Harland asked for it. Parry also stated that a ‘robust risk management plan…to protect the public’ would be put in place. Which there is no need for – Mr Harland isn’t a risk to anyone. He was showing social workers’ knives because nothing he did resulted in an offer of mental health care, so he tried to demonstrate to people how desperate he was. Niclas Parry also sentenced Mr Harland to 40 days rehabilitation. What a bizarre, traumatic and very expensive way of getting Mr Harland the help that he needed. Except that he’s got a criminal record now as well, for carrying a blade and threatening behaviour. So when he’s recovered he’s not going to be able to get a job is he. Ooh it’s the stigma you see…there’s so much stigma against people with mental health problems, that’s why they don’t get jobs.

Niclas Parry said that he was ‘alarmed’ at this case. So am I, but for rather different reasons than Niclas Parry. But then I’m alarmed at Niclas Parry’s presence as a Crown Court judge. Back in 1996 when he was just a whippersnapper, Niclas Parry appeared at the Waterhouse Inquiry as Solicitor-Advocate to a particularly nasty paedophile (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Niclas’s biography also demonstrates that he has close personal and professional links to many others who concealed the paedophile ring in north Wales. Niclas’s career has gone from strength to strength and now he’s on the Circuit in Wales regularly making the most bizarre decisions and comments.

 

BBC News Wales online today ran a report about how ‘job sharing’ might be a possibility for future AMs. The Assembly Commission said that a change of electoral rules might be possible under the forthcoming Wales Act 2017 which will give new powers to the Assembly and that it might be possible to introduce a system of job sharing which at the moment isn’t permissible. It was stated that this might increase the proportion of women and disabled people willing to stand for election to the Assembly. Sarah Rees of the Women’s Equality Party spoke in favour of the idea and said that Wales should lead on this. Sarah has two young children and stood as a candidate in the last election. I know Sarah, she’s very committed and a very hard worker – she’d be an excellent candidate whether she chose to job share or not. Sarah was speaking for women’s interests. Who spoke for ‘the disabled?’ A former candidate with a disability perhaps? Of course not. It was Rhian Davies, Chief Exec of Disability Wales, who stated that ‘more creative solutions are needed to encourage disabled people into politics’. I think she said something about stigma as well.

The most creative solution would be to get rid of Disability Wales and to stop Rhian Davies mouthing off lame clichés on behalf of disabled people. Rhian Davies has been Chief Exec of Disability Wales since 2001 and has achieved bugger all for disabled people. A look at the Disability Wales website shows the hundreds of thousands of pounds pouring into the coffers of Disability Wales from the Welsh Government but this blog alone – indeed this post – shows how grim things are for people with health problems or disabilities in Wales (and indeed in the wider UK). It is nothing to do with ‘stigma’ or the need for ‘creative solutions’ – a functioning health and care system would work wonders. Or for Theresa May to stop butchering disability benefits to such an extent that disabled people are being made destitute. I’ve never heard Rhian Davies utter a word on these topics. Guess who’s building up a nice little career for herself on the back of ‘disability issues’ though? Rhian Davies!

Rhian is Chair of the Coalition on Changing Cymru; a member of the Welsh Gov’ts Tackling Poverty External Advisory Group; between 2007-12 she was a member of EHRC’s Statutory Wales Committee; and she played an active role in the Inquiry Into Disability Harassment. In 2010 she completed an MSc in Equality and Diversity from Cardiff University!

I don’t think that there’s going to be many creative solutions coming from Rhian. However I know what will happen if the Welsh Government introduces any sort of initiative at all in order to help people with disabilities stand for election. A sharp elbowed person – who will probably have followed a career of the sort that Rhian Davies has – will flag up an inconvenience as a ‘disability’ and use that to demand special consideration. In the way that Theresa May suddenly announced that she had a ‘disability’ – she’s a diabetic – after she was accused of shafting disabled people with the welfare reforms. Diane Abbott developed a disability – again diabetes, but Diane Abbott has type 2 diabetes which means she doesn’t have to inject herself with insulin, she just has to watch her diet. Diane declared her own disability after a dismal media performance during which she couldn’t answer questions. But that is a regular occurrence with Diane Abbott and she’s never mentioned diabetes before. She usually just accuses whoever has put her on the spot of sexism and racism. That is the danger of ‘initiatives’ – if they are not very carefully thought out they are just used by the same old culprits to ruthlessly elbow everybody else out of the way.

My post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ reported on the inexplicable twitter storm that followed a recent innocuous tweet sent out by Leanne Wood. The appalling Katie Hopkins has now joined the fray and tweeted ‘What is Welsh for ‘get back down the mines’?’ If you want to know that Katie, enrol in a Welsh class and bloody well learn instead of spitting poison at the rest of the world via Mail Online or LBC. And in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t any mines left in Wales – the Tory Party that you so robustly support closed every one of them down. That’s why Leanne’s dad became unemployed you total ignoramus. By the way, despite coming from a region of Wales wrecked by Thatcher and Heseltine and despite having a dad who was shoved onto a dole queue whilst she was growing up, Leanne has become the leader of a political party. Which is more than you’ve achieved – all you managed to do was to lie to get into Sandhurst and then get caught out.

More Summer Reading!

I’ve been digging around in book shops recently and I managed to pick up a second hand book which might be of interest to readers of this blog.

‘NHS plc’ was published in 2004 and was written by Allyson Pollock. I read quite a lot of Pollock’s work some years ago and what always struck me was that although Pollock undoubtedly knows exactly what goes on in the NHS, she was rather mealy mouthed when it came to admitting the full horror of it all. I always attributed this to Pollock being a policy advisor and therefore maintaining a discreet silence regarding patients’ being maimed and killed – I also was under the impression that Pollock had a background in social policy and such researchers very often do have trouble admitting just how much blood there is on the carpet. But I discovered yesterday that Pollock is actually a Top Doctor – she’s a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and has been since 1986. Since Jan 2017, Pollock has been Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research and Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Pollock set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at Edinburgh University (2005-11). Before then she was Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. Her earlier career is not mentioned on her wiki entry – but guess what can be discovered if one reads ‘NHS plc’? That Allyson previously worked at Sin City – St George’s Hospital Medical School! She mentions that she worked there ‘before’ New Labour’s 1997 election victory. As she has been a consultant since 1986, presumably she was a consultant at St George’s. So she was there at some point in the 90s then – when the madness and malpractice that I have detailed on this blog prevailed there (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’), under the ‘leadership’ of the dreadful Sir William Asscher…

Allyson Pollock is best known for her work on the gradual privatisation of the NHS with the associated imposition of a ‘business culture’ and the introduction of ‘new public management’ techniques. Her work on this is very, very good. I have never been able to fault her analysis of what this process has resulted in or her historical detail of the steps by which it has taken place. But reading ‘NHS plc’, it is clear why Pollock’s work never details the chaos and tragedy that is happening in the NHS, although she obviously loathes the privatisation agenda and could add considerable weight to her argument if she was prepared to go public on the excesses of the NHS. It is because Pollock is only telling half the story. The bit that Allyson Pollock just won’t mention is the contribution of the Top Doctors themselves to the mess.

Throughout ‘NHS plc’, Pollock paints a picture of a medical establishment that always does and has always done the best for NHS patients and which has been forced off course by the privatisation agenda – an agenda which Pollock suggests that nearly all Top Doctors have fought against for noble reasons. She does name the occasional sinner, the odd Top Doctor who has encouraged and personally benefited from privatisation, such as the odious Dr Chai Patel. Pollock describes Patel as a ‘millionaire doctor’. He is far from the only one Allyson as you well know. Patel of course notoriously ran a huge chain of private ‘care homes’ which were eventually exposed as being riddled with the most dreadful abuse and neglect of patients – it was this that forced him to step down from his role as a Dept of Health advisor on the care of the elderly. Among Patel’s business interests was his acquisition and expansion of the ‘Priory Group’. That is the Priory Group that currently employs two of Allyson’s former colleagues from St George’s and the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, Dr Robin Jacobson and Dr Adrienne Key! Likewise Allyson names a few of the biggest scandals that there have been in the NHS – scandals so big that she can’t avoid naming them, such as the Bristol Children’s Heart Surgery Scandal or Harold Shipman. There is not a mention of the fact that actually the NHS for a very long time has been dogged by scandals in which patients suffered greatly and were known to be suffering but no-one acted. According to ‘NHS plc’ the problems only began when Thatcher’s administration began privatising the NHS, a process which escalated under New Labour. It is New Labour into whom Allyson really puts the boot – she hates them.

Whilst Allyson highlights the idiocies that that Tories imposed upon the NHS in the name of the ‘internal market’, she makes no mention of why they were able to convince voters at the time that this might be a good idea. It was actually because there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the NHS. I can remember the debates very well – the allegations made again and again were of Top Doctors who were so fucking arrogant that they would not listen to patients or respond to their needs. It wasn’t simply a case of affluent patients wanting a private room or special treatment, although that was indeed Margaret Thatcher’s personal interpretation. There had been for example massive dissatisfaction among women concerning the way in which many of them had been treated whilst giving birth, which led to practitioners like Michele Odent establishing private practices to which middle class women swarmed. There was the emergence of ME and the Top Doctors’ complete refusal to accept that this might have a physical cause – seriously ill people were dismissed as suffering from ‘Yuppie Flu’. People with an interest in alternative medicine also fumed at the way in which they were mocked and belittled by Top Doctors. I’m of the opinion that much ‘alternative medicine’ is indeed ineffective, but if one is a Top Doctor faced with anxious patients enquiring about such matters, taking the piss out of them to their faces is not the best way to proceed. The London surgeon Michael Baum was interviewed on TV regarding alternative medicine and he explained that patients enquiring about this were usually middle aged women wearing ethnic weave clothes who read the ‘Guardian’. That’s the sort of observation that is best made to one’s friends in private, not made on prime time TV – it caused massive offence and actually did him a lot of damage (which was unfortunate, because some of Baum’s opinions are worth listening to). I remember an episode of ‘Any Questions’ in which the biggest cheer from the audience was given to a Tory MP who when talking about the Tories reforms of the NHS, had robustly said of hospital consultants ‘they’re not God, they’re just guys doing a job’. People had really had a bellyful of the Top Doctors by the mid to late 1980s and that feeling was exactly what the Tories utilised to sell the voters their agenda for the NHS. Allyson mentions that ‘some’ hospital consultants were ‘downright arrogant’, that they were not ‘directly accountable to anyone’ and that team working was ‘often poor’, but she does not get anywhere near to admitting the extend of the greed, the bullying, the autocracy, the abuse of their positions and the overall preservation of their own vested interests that did – and still does – go on.

The attitude of the Top Doctors to patients was exemplified by the ‘reviews’ that the Top Doctors who fancied themselves as thespians used to put on themselves in medical schools at Christmas. Those stage shows were essentially a series of sketches in which the Top Doctors patted themselves on the back and sneered at patients for all being a bit ignorant or neurotic. I attended two such Christmas Reviews whilst I worked at St Georges – they were virtually identical and basically served to consolidate what someone the other day termed the ‘professional superglue’ that causes NHS staff to close ranks in the face of malpractice or patient harm.

Allyson mentions the concession to accept ‘pay beds’ that Bevan made when establishing the NHS. Bevan of course admitted that he was forced into doing this in order to get the Top Doctors to accept the idea of the NHS. (The Top Doctors REALLY objected to the idea of the NHS.) Pollock I note doesn’t quote Bevan’s most famous words – that in order to overcome the Top Doctors’ objections to the NHS he would ‘stuff their mouths with gold’. Allyson tactfully states that Bevan had accepted the existence of pay beds ‘in order to secure consultants’ participation in the new free health care system’. Pollock mentions that in 1975 Barbara Castle abolished pay beds – and my God wasn’t that one of her biggest battles – but her decision was later reversed and ‘by the 1980s pay beds were justified as an income earner for hospitals’. I don’t remember the Top Doctors objecting to their re-introduction Allyson – in fact when you and I were working at St George’s there was plenty of private practice going on. To be fair, some of the Top Doctors doing it were re-investing their earnings into their research programmes and of course there was a limit placed on the amount that medical academics were allowed to earn through private practice. Which was why so many Top Doctors didn’t want academic posts… Some of Allyson’s non-academic colleagues at St George’s were known to be very rich indeed as a result of their private practices.

Again and again Allyson portrays these very wealthy people with interests in private practice who ignored the wrongdoing of their colleagues as selfless barefoot doctors. She maintains that when ‘concerned NHS staff’ critiqued public-private partnerships they were dismissed by Gov’t as ‘self-interested’. However did anyone come to that conclusion? So who were the concerned NHS staff that Allyson was talking about? The cleaners? The canteen staff or the porters? The Angels perhaps? No, it was the BMA and the NHS Consultants’ Association.

There are plenty of clues in Allyson’s book as to what the beef of the Top Doctors really was. It was not that the Top Doctors were taking a principled stand against privatisation. It was a power battle. The Tories wanted to flatten the BMA in the way that they had flattened the NUM because the BMA were causing havoc behind the scenes and that’s what much of the obsession with imposing a business culture and managerialist practices on the NHS was all about. Unfortunately the Tories tried to fight the Top Doctors by giving huge power to an equally toxic group of people – NHS senior managers. The Tories were well aware of the damage that the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynne the lobotomist were inflicting upon the NHS and it’s patients, but their solution was to give as much power to the likes of Alun Davies and Martin Jones. It was not a good idea and for years now a full-on battle has raged between these two groups who are substantially made up of shites. Top Doctors who do have integrity are not going to be told what to do by Martin which is why so many of them are now leaving the NHS and good managers aren’t attracted to working in the NHS because most of the other managers there are like Martin. A few years ago I was friends with a newly qualified law graduate who landed himself a job in the management offices of Ysbyty Gwynedd. He memorably described Martin and co as ‘corrupt as fuck and thick as shit’. Of course, when the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was first established, they had an excellent CEO, Mary Burrows, who was very bright and genuinely committed to improving the dire state of the NHS in north Wales. Mary was effectively hounded out by the Top Doctors and Martin et al. The last thing that a bunch of unscrupulous, abusive Top Doctors lining their own pockets want is a high calibre senior manager. Which is why you don’t tend to find such creatures in the NHS.

Allyson writes of the battle that the BMA had with Ken Clarke regarding GP fundholding and describes how the BMA were ‘defeated’ and ‘would never again challenge the Gov’t on matters of principle’. Allyson is being somewhat economical with the truth here. The BMA continued to fight Gov’ts tooth and nail, but they adopted a new tactic. Instead of presenting themselves as Top Doctors Who Knew Best overtly confronting the Gov’t, they constructed themselves as People Who Cared About The Disadvantaged – which is exactly the way in which Allyson presents herself! ‘NHS plc’ is full of warm words for the BMA – except towards the end of the book, in which Allyson accuses them of selling out, upon the appointment of a particular Chief Exec. Allyson wrote that book in 2004. In 2007 the BMA famously screwed the Gov’t over regarding the negotiation of the GP out of hours contract which was so favourable to the Top Doctors that one of the BMA negotiators described it as ‘a bit of a laugh’. It was this that led to enormous problems concerning GP out of hours provision. But Allyson’s heart must have melted at some point because in 2014 she was appointed as a Member of the BMA’s Council! She is still there.

Pollock’s own attempts to categorise herself as a barefoot doctor are interesting. She mentions going to dinner with a merchant banker before the election of New Labour to discuss PFIs (I wonder why Allyson was doing that?) and describes how the dinner was held in the ‘bank’s private dining room’ with ‘black coated waiters’ who ‘served lunch that lasted almost three hours’. Allyson compares that dining room with the ‘hospital canteen’ at St Georges and how she ‘could not help thinking of the rows of terraced houses in the impoverished community of Tooting from which St George’s mainly female, mainly black ancillary workforce was drawn’.

I remember those rows of terraces in Tooting as well – I lived in one of them. As indeed did many of the female, black workers of St Georges. So what did the Top Doctors of St Georges think about those workers and the other people who lived in those terraces? Well, one Top Doctor described the midwives as being ‘really thick especially the black ones’. Another Top Doctor told one of the researchers about a ‘really scummy family who live in Garrett Lane’ (Garrett Lane was one of the most deprived parts of Tooting.) A medical student was ostracised because he lived in a shared house in Garrett Lane. It wasn’t only living in Garrett Lane that made one persona non-grata – I attended a departmental meal in a restaurant in Wimbledon during which the wife of a senior registrar refused to speak to a junior doctor after she was told that the junior doctor lived in Brixton. Many of the Top Doctors at St Georges lived in Wimbledon or Clapham or further afield in affluent areas. I only knew of one Top Doctor who lived in Tooting who, as a result of having a number of young children from a series of broken relationships, didn’t have the sort of disposable income that his colleagues had and could only afford to buy in Tooting. He resented living there – although his house was a good deal better than everyone else’s – and he complained at length about the lifestyle enjoyed by another Top Doctor from Kings, who was sufficiently loaded that she was having a house built to her own specifications with a matching bathroom for each bedroom. That was Professor Linda Cardosa – I didn’t ever see her house which caused so much envy, but if any readers did do e mail me and tell me all about it. Should anyone ever see Prof Cardosa on a BMA protest supporting a pay claim I suggest that they ignore her.

As for merchant bankers – the brother of one of the researchers in the dept in which I worked at St Georges was a merchant banker. One of his bonuses was bigger than the annual salary of his sister’s boss. This caused much gnashing of teeth, but no-one used it as evidence that merchant bankers should be paid less – they used it as evidence that they should be paid as much as merchant bankers. As for the merchant banker’s sister – she grumbled at length about her own salary although it later emerged that some sort of ‘special arrangement’ had been made for her so she was earning much more than all the other researchers anyway. Not that she needed a higher salary than everyone else – she drove a Mercedes, but ‘only an old one’ which her father had given her and when she had enough of living in the inner city her parents allowed her to live rent free in the cottage on their estate in Surrey which had previously been inhabited by the gardener. I’m only surprised that mum and dad didn’t supply her with a butler as well.

Not all of my former colleagues at St Georges were as spoiled, as fuckwitted, as snobbish and as shallow as this, but one didn’t have to work too hard to find people who were. There were a lot of them cluttering up the place. The source of their discontent was the fact that so many of them did come privileged backgrounds and they had friends and family who were earning even more than Top Doctors did. So many Top Doctors, despite being among the most highly paid people in the UK, managed to convince themselves that they were very hard done by indeed. It is this phenomenon that propels the BMA and it’s campaigns. The notion of ‘public service’ does not enter into the equation.

In ‘NHS plc’ Pollock is also very critical of NHS organisations selling off buildings and land – the ‘NHS estate’ – to raise money. Such sales are often a very bad deal for the NHS and are effectively fleecing the tax-payer, but the example which Pollock provides is yet another reflection of Pollock’s sleight of hand. She refers to the proposed sale of Springfield Hospital and the accompanying proposed deal with a private care company. Springfield Hospital was an appalling place, in a dreadful state of repair with completely inadequate facilities. It was in no way suitable to be housing mental health patients in the late 20th century. The care was dreadful, abuses of patients were rampant (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and eventually there was a public inquiry after a series of murders there. I do not know what the facilities and care standards at the establishment where it was proposed to transfer the patents to were like, but no-one could defend Springfield Hospital. This example reminded me of the articles that ‘New Statesman’ ran back in the 80s concerning the closure of institutions like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Those articles accused Thatcher of selling off the ‘homes’ of patients – I really don’t think that the readers of the ‘New Statesman’ would have wanted a home like Denbigh. Of course, the first Health Minister to propose closing the asylums was Enoch Powell – after visiting Denbigh, which appalled him. Pollock compliments Powell for his ‘political inspiration’ behind the 1962 Hospital Building Plan, but she doesn’t mention a word about him wanting to close institutions like Denbigh and Springfield.

Again and again Pollock lays the blame for notorious NHS shortcomings on privatisation. She rightly mocks the deals that were done with celebrities like Lloyd Grossman which resulted in private companies being contracted to provide hospital food that turned out to be awful. But hospital food was known to be awful before privatisation – it was, like British Rail sandwiches, a byword for dreadful food. Whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd Alun Jones Brown worried about my diet – because he knew how bad the food was in institutions like that. In Denbigh most patients lived on chips – the fare was so grim that chips were usually the most edible thing on the ‘menu’. One patient at Denbigh who was actually receiving regular visitors – unlike most people who had simply been illegally imprisoned and abandoned in there – got her daughter to bring her meals in. Things were no better in Springfield in 1991 where Pollock’s fellow Top Doctors worked. One inpatient was a young South Asian woman who, for religious reasons, was being given meals that differed from everyone else’s (they certainly couldn’t have managed that at Denbigh). So Springfield could therefore tick the ‘catering for a multicultural community’ box – but this young woman was delivered a meal each day which no choice offered or no say in what it was. On one occasion a meal was delivered which for dietary reasons she could not eat (one of the ingredients upset her stomach). She explained this to the vile abusive ward manager – an Australian called Stephanie whose standard method of communication was to shout and swear at patients – and was simply told ‘you’ve got to have it, these meals are costing us a fortune’. The young Asian woman went without dinner that day. This was before there had been any implementation of the idea of privatising NHS catering.

Pollock writes some scathing passages about the dreadful neglect of the elderly in the private sector – again this is endemic and she is quite right to draw attention to what is going on. But this was happening before NHS privatisation was on the agenda. As far back as the 1970s I knew of a notorious nursing home in the Somerset town in which I went to school. It was owned and run by a nurse who had been sacked from Taunton hospital and it employed schoolgirls as ‘nurses’ (my friend worked there – at 15 years of age she was passed off as a ‘nurse’). Every Top Doctor in Bridgwater knew about that home – they’d have never allowed their own relatives to end up there but no-one put a stop to it. When I went to university in Bangor in 1981 I found out about a very similar establishment in Menai Bridge. The man who owned the nursing home was a drunk and the ‘matron’ in charge was a nurse who had been sacked by the C&A Hospital in Bangor – after she was found having sex with a male patient in his bed on the ward. This was common knowledge, as was the neglect to which the residents were subjected – Dr D.G.E. Wood had some patients there and visited regularly. No-one had the place closed down. Furthermore Chai Patel is not to the only Top Doctor who owned care homes with questionable standards. Brig-y-Nant in Bethesda was owned by Top Doctor Dr K. Shah, a mate of Dafydd’s (see post ‘Hippocratic Oath or Hypocritic Oaf?’ for details of my encounter with Shah). Shah’s wife ‘managed’ Brig y Nant and I heard allegations from one former care assistant that not only were ‘difficult’ elderly residents dumped in baths of cold water, but when injuries were sustained, one doctor would always be called to deal with the problem – a Dr K. Shah.

Something else that Allyson attributes to NHS privatisation is the silencing of whistleblowers and the appearance of dodgy publications in the BMJ. I can kill two birds with one stone here. Back in the 1980s I remember reading an article that a particularly courageous doctor had penned for the BMJ. He was a GP from Devon and he wrote an account of how he had been called out to visit a patient in a nursing home and had arrived to find residents tied to their chairs with pairs of nylon tights and what he described as a ‘sloppy’ young woman on duty. He attended to his patient and as he prepared to leave he was stopped by an old lady who asked him if he was a doctor. When he said yes, the old lady pulled her skirt up and showed him severe, extensive scalding over her thighs. The old lady told him that someone had poured a kettle of hot water over her legs. This nursing home was owned by a local Top Doctor. A few days later the GP heard that the old lady who had been scalded had died. He was so worried about standards at this home that he contacted the coroner regarding his concerns. The coroner told him that there were no concerns at all regarding the home. The GP discovered that the coroner was a business partner of the Top Doctor who owned the home. The GP contacted the GMC and was told to take a running jump. So he penned an article for the BMJ to let the world now exactly what was possible on Planet Care Home. Was this caring and diligent GP supported in his efforts to expose this scandal? Not at all. In the next issue of the BMJ there were a number of letters published from other Top Doctors, all pompously declaring that the BMJ was not the place to air allegations about one’s colleagues. But that was not the worst thing that appeared in the BMJ in the 80s. On one occasion they debated Homosexuality. One old bigot wrote in and stated quite categorically that homosexuality does not exist ‘in the animal kingdom’ and that it is most definitely a perversion of Man. I’ve got news for that particular high-flier – homosexuality DOES exist in the animal kingdom as any zoologist will confirm. Such was the shite that the BMJ felt able to publish in days gone by.

As for whistleblowing – Allyson’s off in fairyland regarding this: ‘formerly doctors could and did speak out in the interests of their patients’ and ‘in the past doctors were free to speak out – in fact they were under a moral obligation to do so – if they felt it was in the interests of their patients’. Of course Allyson – that is why, for many, many years pre-NHS privatisation, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were able to break the law, sexually exploit patients, sell drugs to addicts, lie on oath, illegally imprison people in Denbigh, conceal a paedophile ring and threaten and bribe people with many, many people knowing and no-one blew the whistle on any of it. In fact your own colleagues at St Georges and Springfield knew of at least some of what was going on and documented it – but told each other that I was ‘extremely dangerous’ and should be referred to the forensic services ‘for containment’ after I spoke to them about it. Other people who knew what Dafydd and co were up to included Dr James Earp from Leicester (see post ‘An Expert From England’), Professor Robert Bluglass (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE…’), The Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, Dr Chris Mawson (see post ‘Doctors Who Disappeared From The Medical Register’) and Dr Chris Hunter (see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dr Mawson and Dr Earp did not, unlike the others, suggest that I should be banged up without trial in a secure hospital, but not one of them raised the alarm regarding what was going on.

‘NHS plc’ also takes aim at the various inspection regimes that have been introduced in recent years, such as the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement). Pollock describes such inspectorates as ‘ineffectual’ and mentions that the review teams are ‘inevitably less qualified and less experienced than the hospital staff they were inspecting’. Which is true and it is insulting to good hospital staff. But those inspectorates have been a Godsend to Top Doctors who aren’t doing what they should be doing – such as in Mid-Staffs. Or indeed in north Wales. Dangerous troubled services have passed inspections with flying colours. But it has always been thus – the Mental Health Act Commission were actively colluding with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales to conceal their criminal activity before privatisation was underway.

There is a glaring contradiction in Pollock’s writing, in that among her attempts to portray Top Doctors as helpless pawns in the face of power-crazed Gov’ts there are actually plenty of indications that she knows just how powerful swathes of the medical establishment are, including her own colleagues and the institutions in which she herself has spent her career as a senior member of staff. She clearly explains how the London teaching hospitals and medical schools are invested with prestige and status enabling them to attract high calibre staff, which in turn gives them huge influence even over Gov’t policy – just like Allyson and her Public Policy Units based in those medical schools have sometimes enjoyed.

Allyson mentions the idea to close Guys and St Tommy’s that was put forward some years ago – but she admits that the notion pretty soon died a death because of course Tommy’s is the hospital that serves Parliament. No, no-one’s going to shut down the most elite joint in town with plenty of friends in the Palace of Westminster. Allyson also mentions the enormous power and influence that Great Ormond Street Hospital has, due it’s legacy from J.M. Barrie and it’s very successful fundraising arm. She explains that in 2000, Camden and Islington Health Authority along with the Medical Director at UCL Hospitals Trust, planned to integrate all paediatric services across the area, but that GOSH disagreed with this plan, ‘was in a powerful position to put it’s own priorities before patients needs or planning’ and was successful in ‘silencing debate’.

Yet elsewhere in her book, Pollock holds up GOSH and it’s satellite hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children as being all that is best about the NHS. Queen Elizabeth Hospital was linked to GOSH and a number of consultants at GOSH had shared appointments with Queen Elizabeth. Allyson explains how Queen Elizabeth served the severely disadvantaged area of Hackney where some of the poorest children in the UK lived. She states that Queen Elizabeth was a ‘model of how a hospital in a severely deprived inner city area should be run’, that it was ‘accessible, open and caring with exceptional expertise’ providing a ‘superb service to needy children’. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ mentions that Dr Robin Skynner, who had links with Top Doctors who were concealing child sexual abuse, was the Physician in Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at Queen Elizabeth between 1965-70.

As for GOSH – that was the hospital that employed the negligent doctor who contributed to the death of Peter Connelly in the ‘Baby P’ case a few years. GOSH has also just been at the centre of the Charlie Gard storm. And I doubt that either of those cases had much to do with privatisation.

Another inconsistency in Pollock’s book concerns Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ. He’s mentioned in Pollock’s acknowledgements section as one of the people who have ‘inspired’ her. Yet Smith is named elsewhere in the book as a baddie who jumped ship in 2004 and joined United Healthcare as CEO.

There are clues in the text as to what irks Pollock so much about New Labour as well as the root of some of her inconsistencies. Pollock seems to get to meet some very grand people. Not only did she dine with a merchant banker whilst her heart remained with the St Georges canteen in downtown Tooting, but she had an audience with Geoffrey Robinson in his capacity as Blair’s Paymaster General who afterwards invited her for a drink on the terrace of the House of Commons – although obviously she really wished that she was having a cup of char at a cleaner’s house in Garrett Lane – and she even met Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor. She described them as being on a ‘charm offensive’ and wanted to be ‘seen to be listening’. Pollock also thought very highly of Blair’s first Secretary of State for Health (1997-99) Frank Dobson – ‘a well-liked and competent Minister’. Not many other people shared that opinion – Dobson was widely perceived to be well-meaning but a bit gullible and dim (‘Private Eye’ named him ‘Dobbo’). The NHS continued to go pear-shaped and Dobbo’s scalp was demanded. There was another perceived problem with Dobbo as well – he rolled over for the Top Doctors…

Now although the Top Doctors are a very conservative bunch, they really didn’t like Thatcher and she didn’t like them. Thatcher loathed the professions (as well as academics) and very much saw them as being conspiracies against the layman. So the Top Doctors were most glad to see the back of Thatcher – I remember loud cheering breaking out in St George’s when she resigned. But the Top Doctors are not a bunch of lefties no matter what the Daily Mail says about them. However I suspect that when Blair was elected, Allyson and her fellow Public Policy/Public Health specialists may well have thought that their boat had come in. A Labour Gov’t that wasn’t socialist, with an authoritarian streak, wedded to the notion that Policy Experts should tell the plebs how to live. Which is probably why Allyson broke a leg in her efforts to meet Blair’s Ministers. A similar phenomenon occurred among HE specialists committed to widening participation – Blair maintained that he was going to pursue this policy and educational sociologists all got very excited, but of course he didn’t listen to any of them and a lot of them ended up very miffed. I suspect that Allyson fell into the same trap. Indeed, she makes it clear in her book that she feels that New Labour discredited and intimidated it’s critics, including her. Which they probably did – but then the Top Doctors discredited and intimidated those of us who discovered that their colleagues in north Wales were concealing a paedophile ring. At least Blair didn’t try to frame Allyson for serious crimes or state that she would end up in an institution for the ‘criminally insane’ as dear old Dafydd and Bluglass did with respect to me.

For all her griping though, Allyson knows that the Top Doctors can pack a punch if they are able to successfully construct themselves as the defenders of the NHS in the face of Bastards In Government. She reminds us of the lesson that no politician has ever forgotten – the election of Top Doctor Dr Richard Taylor in Kidderminster, who unseated the Labour MP David Locke. Taylor of course did this by running on a ticket of opposing hospital closures. Pollock mentions another similar event as well – the election of retired Top Doctor Dr Jean Turner in Glasgow in the wake of plans to close Stobhill Hospital. Pollock states that the Gov’ts announcement in 2003 that there would be no closures of smaller local hospitals after the election of Taylor and Turner was ‘a notable acknowledgement of the power of popular mobilisation’.

No Allyson, it was an acknowledgement of how bloody-minded the BMA are – they were fighting ALL hospital closures, including hospitals which were unsafe and harming or killing patients. They didn’t admit that any hospitals were doing this and they didn’t even work behind the scenes to raise standards – they did what they have always done and told the Gov’t ‘touch us and we’ll brain you’. Which indeed they did.

As all good Top Doctors do when they wish to ram home their arguments, Allyson makes references to popular media images of Top Doctors. We are told that the ‘frantic atmosphere in ‘Holby City’ is quite typical of the acute hospital today’. Which is rather like saying that the ‘Carry On’ films with Hattie Jacques giving terrified weedy men bed-baths and Barbara Windsor wearing an Anne Summers style nurse’s uniform whilst her bra flies off were an accurate depiction of life in an NHS hospital in the 60s. There is one big difference between Holby City and ‘an acute hospital today’ – in Holby City the staff never make mistakes and the complex cutting edge surgery is always successful, unless it’s an utterly hopeless case and the patient’s chance of life was unfathomably slim anyway. And from the episodes that I’ve seen, a lot of the surgeons are proud of their upwardly mobile journey from their disadvantaged childhoods – in one episode a female surgeon called Jac even revealed that she’d grown up in care and had been sexually abused. Er, no, as we know from the fate of the kids who grew up in care in north Wales, Jac would not be a heart surgeon, she’d be banged up in Denbigh with everyone calling her a dangerous liar. That is if she hadn’t actually been found dead in suspicious circumstances after having given evidence against the paedophiles that were employed in her children’s home.

Pollock also makes reference to a film called ‘As Good As It Gets’, which she appreciates because it makes some barbed points about US privatised healthcare. It stars Jack Nicholson. As of course did ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Which was a film that one of Pollock’s colleagues at St George’s, the occupational health physician Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, had a real problem with. Mitchell-Heggs had previously been a psychiatrist and maintained that ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ set out to deceive because it was modelled on an asylum from the 50s but pretended that such places were still in existence. Which of course they weren’t. Indeed not Nicky – at Denbigh the patients didn’t wear uniforms and there was no piped music. But all the other ingredients were there – a lobotomist, Nurse Rached aka Janice Davies, sane people imprisoned and drugged up because they had dared challenge corrupt Top Doctors and staff terrorising and blackmailing vulnerable people by threatening to release confidential info about them. Except that Denbigh also had a psychopathic psychiatrist sexually abusing the patients who was also concealing the paedophile ring that his mistress facilitated. And those were the two people from whom Mitchell-Heggs and her colleagues were taking evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’ so she must have known that they were there…. Mitchell-Heggs’s online profile describes her interests as theatre, opera and ski-ing! It’s those self-sacrificing Top Doctors again who fight tooth and nail for the NHS. I also seem to remember reading that both Mitchell-Heggs and her husband now run private practices.

In the initial pages of ‘NHS plc’ Pollock explains that she isn’t able to cover everything in a volume of that length, so there are some areas that she hasn’t commented upon. Such as mental health and learning disability services. Which is just as well considering how bloody shameful these ‘services’ are and were when she wrote that book. She also mentions that she doesn’t cover groups of staff such as cleaners, canteen workers, security officers and porters. In other words those staff who are treated and paid appallingly, whose presence is generally ignored by the Top Doctors and who are actually the very staff who have suffered most as a result of NHS privatisation.

At the beginning of her book, Pollock gives a long list of acknowledgments and names the people who have ‘inspired’ her. They include Dr Richard Taylor, ‘all members of the NHS Consultants Association’, ‘members of the Medical Practitioners Union’, ‘Brian Potter formerly of the Scottish BMA’, ‘Sir Sandy Macara at the BMA’ and Richard Horton of the ‘Lancet’. She mentions ‘many others’ to have come ‘to the aid’ of the Public Policy Unit which she was directing when she wrote ‘NHS plc’. Pollock pays tribute to the ‘special stalwarts of the NHS including Charles Webster, the former official historian of the NHS’. I mention on the front page of this blog that a number of people have written ‘histories’ of psychiatry in north Wales. These histories are at their best highly sanitised and at their worst have about as much historical accuracy as a Barbara Cartland novel. One of those ‘histories’ was written by a Bangor University lecturer called David Hirst and I’m fairly sure that it was his book that was co-authored or assisted in some way by an ‘NHS historian’ called Charles someone. I’m fairly sure that it was Charles Webster. I’ve been googling to try and clarify this but all traces of that book have vanished from the internet. I wonder why – after all it was proudly on display in Bangor University for years, so it definitely exists….However I note that David has co-authored with a number of the Top Doctors from the Hergest Unit! He arrived in Bangor to begin his work in ‘social policy’ in 1973 – Christ almighty, Gwynne and Dafydd were in full swing then, they will have been lobotomising and subjecting people to ‘aversion therapy’ if they dared to be gay til the cows came home. And of course Bryn Estyn was still under the direct management of the Home Office and the systematic sexual abuse of the boys there will have been well-embedded by then. Fancy publishing anything about that lot then David?

Pollock makes several mentions in her book of a man who has acquired superhero status in the eyes of any Top Doctor who wants to pledge their commitment to the NHS – Julian Tudor Hart. Tudor Hart is very elderly now, but he is one of the few Top Doctors still practising who was practising before the establishment of the NHS. He has written about just how grim things were in those days – Tudor Hart worked in south Wales among people experiencing very great poverty and hardship. I am interested in Tudor Hart, because although I do completely accept his account of how dreadful it was to fall ill or have an accident before the establishment of the NHS, he does seem somewhat blind to some of what goes on in the NHS. He is an intelligent man and a keen scholar, so like Allyson Pollock he will know. And being a man of his age from Wales, he will know what Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd got up to as well. Tudor Hart has been very rude about Ivan Illich and sees Illich as someone who simply plays to an audience of privileged middle class rebels, which is pretty much what the psychiatric establishment used to say about Thomas Szasz. There is truth in that argument – one had to be affluent to afford sessions with Thomas Szasz – but it ignores why the work of people like Illich and Szasz caught the imagination of so many. It was because of what folk like Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were actually doing to them – people didn’t find it very helpful. There is also another factor about Tudor Hart that I cannot forget. He worked in the same practice as Dr Brian Gibbons, the former Health Minister for Wales. Who when I told him that I had evidence of the Top Doctors and managers in the Hergest Unit participating in criminal activities wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’. At the time the Hergest Unit had the second highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales.

I can only conclude that Allyson Pollock is one of the most articulate, useful PR mouthpieces that the Top Doctors possess and that she, along with the rest of the Top Doctors, are not very happy that Gov’ts are no longer commissioning their ‘research’ and seeking their ‘opinion’ on which to base policy.

As Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame might have said – ‘It’s the Top Doctors. They don’t like it up ’em’.

 

There is one Top Doctor in particular who certainly doesn’t like it up ‘im – David Healy. I’ve been interested to note that since I reviewed his appearance on ‘Panorama’ the other day and observed that the voices of patients were noticeably absent from that programme and that whilst the Top Doctors scrap amongst themselves global capitalism continues to screw up healthcare, Healy has retweeted a couple of things. One was from a patient claiming to have ‘lived experience’ – the use of that phrase alone suggests that he falls into the category of a ‘professional service user’ (my neighbours don’t talk about ‘lived experience’ when they discuss their the local health services). Another retweet was from someone whom I have corresponded with, Finola Moss. Finola is a blogger who is doing some brilliant work exposing just how much money the Top Doctors who are involved with private psychiatric provision are now making. One company very much in Finola’s sight is Cygnet Healthcare and it was info relating to the billions that Cygnet is now raking in that Healy retweeted. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe. Kehoe was the ‘expert witness’ who lied in a report about me, Brown, my PhD supervisor and even my lawyer after we had all made representation regarding the criminal activities and negligence of the Hergest Unit. David Healy was one of those named on the documents submitted to Kehoe in evidence. I later discovered that Kehoe’s business partner had a personal connection to Healy’s colleague at the Hergest, Dr Tony Roberts.

Yet More Crime And Punishment

The Daily Post Online today is running one of it’s regular shock horror stories regarding that which the hard pressed staff of the Betsi have to tolerate as they go about their daily heroics: ‘Sexual Abuse, Violent Attacks and Verbal Insults – The Crimes North Wales NHS Staff Suffer’. The article explains that ‘new figures reveal the extent of the appalling offences committed against NHS workers’. We are told that NHS staff in north Wales have been ‘attacked’ more than 7000 times since 2012, according to ‘shocking figures’ released as a result of an FoI request. In 2013 there were 1929 incidents and over the next three years there were more than 1700 incidents each year.

It sounds terrible doesn’t it. But these thousands of incidents do not represent the numbers of convictions – they are figures supplied by the Betsi, not the police. Neither have they been confirmed by any other body. I happen to know that the Betsi employs a very elastic definition when it uses the phrase ‘attack on a member of staff’. The statistics for such ‘attacks’ include instances of psychotic or learning disabled patients swearing – not even necessarily swearing AT staff, but merely swearing in their presence. It is entirely at the discretion of Betsi staff whether they report ‘attacks’ on them and some of those staff are known to be reporting the most trivial of incidences – particularly if the patient involved has made a complaint. I know of staff employed in the Hergest Unit who were routinely complaining of being ‘attacked’ by patients as a means of getting themselves out of trouble when the staff themselves were the subject of complaint. I know of a number of patients – including me – who were accused of ‘assaulting’ or ‘attacking’ staff after they had complained about being assaulted by staff themselves. Most of these complaints involved the same staff. Furthermore I have compared my own medical records with the records of some of the patients who contacted me after they too had been wrongly accused – the same phrases had been used about all of us by the same staff. Those staff were working to a script. In no case that I know of were the staff involved disciplined – yet there was complaint after complaint about them.

The problems with certain members of staff in the Hergest Unit reached a peak in the years before the North West Wales NHS Trust was abolished, when Keith Thomson and then Martin Jones were CEOs there. (Details of the violence and aggression that I encountered and that I witnessed other patients being subjected to can be read in my posts ‘Who Is In Need Of Restraining?’ and ‘The Real Story Behind These Figures…’.) Both Thomson and Jones were constantly briefing local newspapers about the problems of staff being attacked by mad psychiatric patients – they were undoubtedly doing this because a number of patients were consulting lawyers and writing to politicians after having been violently assaulted by staff in the Hergest Unit. A now retired member of staff from Hergest told me that they were convinced that evidence against some patients who had dared complain had been fabricated and that some patients had been wrongly convicted as a result.

There is one former member of staff from Hergest who was a willing accomplice in all of this – a nurse called Gareth Phillips. Gareth retired from nursing as a result of ill health, but was offered the post of RCN rep. It was Gareth who was happy to provide comments to local papers about the shocking number of attacks on Ysbyty Gwynedd staff. I knew Gareth for years whilst he still worked as a nurse – I never witnessed Gareth abuse anyone himself, but he certainly knew that some of his colleagues were behaving appallingly. And he knew that some patients were being arrested and fitted up for offences that they had not committed, after hospital staff had lied to the police. Furthermore Gareth knew that this had happened to me. Someone else knew about this as well – Gareth’s wife Penny, who also worked as a nurse at the Hergest Unit. I have mentioned in previous posts how under the regimes of Keith Thomson and Martin Jones, there was an exodus of the better staff from Hergest. I met one of those people after they had escaped to work in another part of the Trust and they told me that both they and their spouse (who was also a nurse) had been stuffed over and forced out of their jobs – interestingly enough after one of them warned the authorities at Ysbyty Gwynedd that the conduct of staff towards the patients was making the Hergest Unit unsafe. This person remarked that the Trust however had ‘looked after’ Gareth Phillips when he became too ill to work, by giving him a job as RCN rep. This person also mentioned that the Trust ‘looked after’ Bob Ingham when Ingham became too ill to work. Ingham was a notoriously aggressive CPN with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – on my first meeting with him he dragged me down a corridor after telling me that he was someone else and I know of another patient who was threatened with assault in his own home by Ingham when Ingham was making a ‘home visit’. So Keith and Martin were ‘looking after’ staff who agreed to keep silent about abuse and produce propaganda for the media and even staff who were abusive themselves. The people who did not get looked after were staff raising concerns about the level of aggression to which patients were subjected. Martin Jones is at present the Director of Workforce for the Betsi. Are we surprised that florid figures about attacks on Angels are still being bandied about?

If the figures being produced were accurate, anyone spending any length of time in any of the hospitals run by the Betsi would have witnessed at least one of these ‘attacks’. I have spent much time in their hospitals – the only thing that I ever witnessed that came anywhere near to an ‘attack’ was an acutely psychotic patient throwing a book at a psychiatrist which hit him in the face. Even that incident could probably have been avoided if the psychiatrist concerned, the dreadful Raj Sambhi, had built up any sort of rapport with his patients. He didn’t – he walked onto the ward for twenty minutes once a week and spoke arrogantly to distressed patients who barely knew who he was. With the exception of that incident I have never witnessed any patient physically attack any member of staff. I have witnessed an awful lot of rudeness towards members of staff, I have witnessed patients shout and swear at members of staff – but as with Sambhi and the book, many of those incidents were obviously a result of patients being treated very disrespectfully themselves. I have asked other people who have spent a long time in hospitals in north Wales if they have ever seen ‘attacks’ on staff and they haven’t either. One of them, like me, had witnessed an assault on a patient in the Hergest Unit by staff, but had only ever witnessed disorientated or distressed patients shouting or swearing at staff.

The Post article includes a comment from Gwenfair Jones, a Wrexham County Councillor who worked as a community nurse for twenty years before she retired two years ago. Gwenfair states that ‘it’s terrifying to think of the risks that NHS staff face every day at work’. She then relates an account of how a colleague was responding to a patient when someone tried to get in her car and having failed to do that, jumped on the bonnet. Gwenfair doesn’t state that it was the patient who did this, so presumably it was someone else – who actually might have been confused or distressed rather than out to attack the car driver… There is simply not enough info from that anecdote to suggest that it is an example of the terror that NHS staff face every day as a result of their work.

Gwenfair also mentions that when the NHS followed it’s lone working policy, staff were issued with alarms. Well I know of a situation in which the issuing of a piece of equipment to be used as an ‘alarm’ was ruthlessly used by the managers of the Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust and their partners in crime in the Arfon Community Mental Health Team in an attempt to frame a patient. In the mid-1990s I was prosecuted at the insistence of Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust for allegedly making an obscene and threatening telephone call to Bridget Lloyd, a CPN with the Arfon Team. I did not make this call. Florid statements were made about me to the police by Bridget Lloyd about her being terrified of me, indeed so frightened that the Trust had issued her with a mobile phone to carry with her when she went out in order to enable her to ring for help should she meet me and I attack her. There was also a statement made in Court by the Trust that I represented such a risk to Bridget and her ‘two young children’ that the Trust had organised a safe house for them should I be found not guilty. I did not even know that Bridget Lloyd had young children. I was found not guilty. Whether dear old Bridget and the kids then took up residence in the safe house I do not know, but when I requested an apology for being denied access to NHS hospitals during the course of this malicious case I was told very firmly that I would not be receiving an apology. A few months ago my lawyer forwarded me the documentation relating to this case. Among all the documents was a memo that Bridget Lloyd had written herself to her managers saying that she had only met me once or twice, that it was many years ago and that she was sure that if I saw her I would not recognise her. That memo was written before the case against me went ahead – it was also written at about the same time as her statement about the risk that I presented to her and her children and how she was ‘absolutely terrified’ of me.

Bridget didn’t mention on the memo the circumstances in which she had met me years previously. I met Bridget Lloyd when I had been illegally detained in Seiriol Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd after I refused to drop my requests for a copy of my medical records. Bridget was the nurse in charge of the ward. I challenged Bridget over my illegal detention, as well as over the threats that I had received from Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services – and over the mistreatment of other patients that I was witnessing. Bridget told me that ‘someone’ had decided that I ‘should be here’ and that no-one was being abused or illegally detained. Yes they were Bridget and you knew it. Now, off down to the police station with you to provide a statement giving the details of who it was who ordered you to perjure yourself in court in an attempt to secure a conviction against me.

The article in the Post makes a reference to the case of a man called Christopher Bambrough, who was jailed some months ago after ‘threatening to knock out a nurse’ at Wrexham Maelor. Sounds nasty doesn’t it. The facts of the case are that Bambrough had gone to Wrexham Maelor seeking help for mental health problems but had been refused such help and had been told to go and make an appointment with his GP. He became distressed and shouted a few rash comments that people were going to get hurt. OK, so a man whom it is admitted had mental health problems went for help – and was effectively told to piss off. Knowing just how damn near impossible it is to now access mental health care in north Wales I can imagine how desperate and frustrated that man probably was. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had made umpteen visits to his GP and the local hospitals trying to get help – I have witnessed people doing this and it is quite clear that there is no way that they will get treatment. Because the mental health services are no longer permitted to refuse to assess or treat people, the technique used in north Wales is now to send them from pillar to post, around and around in circles, with everybody refusing to treat them and telling them to see someone else.

So who was it who imprisoned a mentally ill desperate man for shouting a few rash things in the direction of the Angels? It was Judge Niclas Parry, who when he was merely solicitor advocate Niclas Parry, represented one of the most vicious of the paedophiles at the Waterhouse Inquiry (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’ for details of Parry’s glorious career, his shameful role in the Waterhouse Inquiry and his kid-glove handling of two other people involved in organised crime). Parry told Brambrough that ‘hospital staff will be protected by the Courts’. Yes, along with paedophiles and drug dealers thanks to Old Nick being on the bench.

Daily Post Online makes reference to the police ‘having to be’ called out to ‘attacks on staff’ 591 times in the last five years. I wonder what the opinion of the police is regarding those call outs – because when I still lived in north Wales I was told quite frankly by a police officer that they were sick to death of the Hergest calling them out to deal with trivial situations that the staff should be dealing with themselves. But this has been happening for decades. When Dafydd Alun Jones et al first began having me arrested in the 80s there was an officer called Sgt Tim Evans who was known to be telling people that the whole situation was farcical – a bunch of pompous braying consultants were on the one hand telling Sgt Evans and his colleagues that they were ‘experts’ and Had To Be Listened To, but on the other hand were ringing the police on an almost daily basis because I was refusing to drop my complaints about the mental health services and continued requesting copies of my own records. I was told that Sgt Evans noted just how much more than the police that bunch of fuckwits were being paid yet were demanding that the police clear up their mess. As an example of the sort of thing that the Top Doctors were doing, I have in my possession a document which is a copy of a letter written by Top Doctor Sadie Francis, backed up by her mate from the Arfon Team the appalling social worker Sheila Jenkins, complaining about me walking into a room at Ysbyty Gwynedd ‘carrying a rolled up newspaper’. Francis and Jenkins demanded that the police be called in case I was ‘concealing a knife’ in the newspaper.  I could have been storing weapons grade plutonium in the rolled up newspaper but I wasn’t – these crazy allegations with absolutely no grounds were being bandied around about me (and a number of other patients) constantly.

The Betsi told the Daily Post that their staff receive ‘violence and aggression training’ and ‘de-escalation’ training. That ‘training’ leaves a lot to be desired. It is delivered by staff who have learnt their own aggression at the knee of the north Wales mental health services – for many years, the man who ‘trained’ the local Angels in ‘control and restraint’ was a nurse from the North Wales Hospital, the institution in which victims of the North Wales Paedophile Ring were illegally imprisoned. More latterly the ‘training’ was delivered by the dreadful Alison Parry, the highly abusive nurse responsible for running the highly abusive Taliesin Ward. I have watched the Angels from the Hergest Unit use their ‘training’ – it involves jumping on patients from a height for no good reason and pinning them to the floor for twenty minutes. As for ‘de-escalation’ – well after Alun Davies, the former manager of the Hergest Unit, refused to answer questions from either me or my lawyer regarding Parry and co carrying out assaults on me, I asked Davies in person when he was going to reply to my lawyer’s letters. He stood in a corridor at Hergest and bellowed ‘shut up’ at me repeatedly. My lawyer suggested to him that this was rather unacceptable and she received a letter from Davies saying that he was using ‘de-escalation techniques’ and that they were so good that a psychiatrist had complimented him on them. I can only presume that the Top Doctor in question was actually taking the piss out of him, but Davies was far too thick to realise.

In addition to boasting about the ‘training’ that their staff receive, the Betsi told the Post that all three of their District General Hospitals have police and security on site. I have known some of the ‘police on site’ at Ysbyty Gwynedd. One of them was really good, a very nice man with an excellent relationship with the patients. This however was ruined because the Hergest staff kept telling him to threaten to arrest the patients, instead of allowing him to talk to them. On one occasion this resulted in him having to threaten to arrest a young female psychiatric patient in the locked ward at Hergest because she kept dialling 999. Yes, the Hergest staff wanted a psychotic teenager taken out of a locked ward where she was sectioned anyway, arrested and charged for dialling 999 for bizarre reasons. That policeman ended up leaving that post – and I can see why. After he left he was replaced by a Scouse Thug who threatened me over the phone when I rang the hospital to inform them that I would be attending the hospital in person to deliver a statement from a third party who had witnessed hospital staff lie about me in order to have me arrested. I’m sure that the authorities at YG thought that the Scouse Thug did a great job.

As well as on site police and security, a Betsi spokesperson also explained to the Daily Post that they employ a ‘violence and aggression case manager’. Yes, I’ve heard about this person – they’re the one whom I was told actively encourages staff to demand that patients are prosecuted even if staff don’t want to press charges. Interestingly enough, the Betsi spokesperson does admit to the Daily Post that it is ‘important to recognise’ that the figures provided ‘may not reflect the actions of some patients who may not intend to be deliberately aggressive and may act in this way by extent of their conditions’. So that’s them fessing up then. But nonetheless they were still happy to release these ludicrous misleading figures – which even they admit aren’t a true reflection of the situation.

Intriguingly, the Betsi states that there is a National Memorandum of Understanding across Wales between the police, the CPS and the NHS on how to ‘support staff’ following incidents of violence. Readers who have followed my posts about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and the associated cover-up will remember that it involved the police, the CPS and the NHS…Those bodies understand each other very well in north Wales – and if Old Nick is on the bench, there’s even more understanding…

People who have been following this blog for a while will also remember my posts describing the scores of errors, fallacious allegations and downright lies that I discovered entered upon my medical records. Highlights include entries that I ‘had held a nurse hostage’, ‘was in prison after attacking someone with a knife’ and had ‘sexually assaulted a psychiatrist’. What’s the betting that these lurid allegations have added to the statistics that the Betsi have made up? Despite protracted correspondence with Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, I have been unable to persuade them to remove the dozens of lies from my records. Gary did agree to remove the references to me sexually assaulting a psychiatrist because he admitted that never happened – I note that Gary did not carry out any investigation into how these gross slur ever found it’s way onto my records and that no-one was disciplined for writing it. Gary has refused to amend anything else – although I can prove that the comments are not true – on the grounds that his staff told him that these things had happened and thus they must have happened. Furthermore Gary is now stating that twenty years worth of my records don’t exist because he can’t find them. I have copies here with me which my lawyer obtained previously, but no, according to Gary those records don’t exist.

How can anyone believe any statistics at all collected by this bunch of lying dipsticks?

Another former star of this blog featured in the Post article – Tina Donnelly, the Director of the RCN in Wales. Tina warns that these attacks on NHS staff affect recruitment. No Tina, what is affecting recruitment in the Betsi is the dreadful standard of care that is known to exist up there – good nurses do not want to work with negligent abusive people – and the brutal treatment of whistleblowers. The nurse who blew the whistle on the Tawel Fan scandal was sacked, wrongfully arrested after being subjected to malicious allegations and has received death threats. The staff who abused the patients in Tawel Fan were subjected to no disciplinary action at all. Donnelly has sat in the RCN throughout scandal after scandal in north Wales – including Tawel Fan – and has done nothing to take action against her members who are abusing their positions. I have read plenty of her semi-literate articles in the Welsh media demanding higher salaries for her members, or indeed banging on about the way in which they spend every waking hour at work being viciously attacked by unhinged patients, but I have not yet read any condemnation from her concerning poor standards of care on the part of some Angels. Indeed Donnelly seems to be quite close to two particularly unpleasant Angels employed at Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E – Stephen Gallagher and Andrew Parry. Please read post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ for details of Gallagher and Parry’s lies, threats and dishonesty. Donnelly ‘serves’ in the Territorial Army along with Gallagher and Parry. For further details of Donnelly’s contacts and questionable background, see post ‘Oh To Be In Receipt Of Academic Honours’.

At the end of the article, the Daily Post chips in with their ‘opinion’. The Post maintains that ‘people join the NHS because they care…good decent human beings who want to make a difference…the vast majority of them aren’t in it for the money…these same decent people are routinely subjected to violence and verbal abuse – sometimes racist or sexual… [the offenders] should forfeit their right to free NHS treatment in the future…’

Now most people do indeed join the NHS for the right reasons – but there is a very big problem in north Wales. Until very recently a vicious paedophile ring operated throughout the region and it was concealed and facilitated by the mental health services. A lot of the people involved are still working in the mental health services – indeed one of them is the Chairman of the Betsi – and this has left a toxic legacy. These were not ‘caring’ ‘decent’ people and furthermore they were not subjected to violence and verbal abuse, they lied on oath in order to discredit people who were complaining about their own malpractice and abuse. They are using the same techniques now in a desperate attempt to detract from the train wreck that is the NHS in north Wales. I will remind the Daily Post of what happened at Tawel Fan – elderly patients were found to be crawling around naked on floors covered in faeces and urine; one patient had an untreated broken arm; staff swore at patients, trapped them in their beds by placing furniture on top of them and discussed their sex lives. Some of those patients died as a result of the neglect and abuse that they endured. The ward was shut down and the Board was placed in special measures after the Welsh Gov’t admitted institutional abuse of patients. It was the worst mental health scandal in recent years in the UK. And which newspaper carried ‘interviews’ with those staff, interviews in which staff insulted the patients and their relatives? The Daily Post.

Until the 1990s, people working in and managing children’s homes in north Wales were believed to be kindly avuncular folk working for modest salaries looking after ‘tearaways’, ‘naughty boys’, ‘disturbed teenagers’, ‘young thugs’, ‘streetwise kids’ or ‘criminals’. We now know that they were actually starving, beating and raping those kids before forcing them into prostitution and delivering them to the Westminster Paedophile Ring. When those kids told people what was happening to them they were discussed in exactly the same terms that the Post is using to discuss people whom they believe are ‘attacking’ noble selfless NHS staff.

As for people forfeiting their right to free NHS treatment – there are at present people in north Wales, particularly people with mental health problems, who CANNOT access the care that they need and to which they are legally entitled. Sometimes this is because the ‘service’ has collapsed and doesn’t exist to provide treatment, but a number of people have been subjected to a co-ordinated campaign to ensure that they will not be treated under any circumstances – because they complained about a fucking paedophile gang.

As for staff not being in it for the money – no many of them are not. But some undoubtedly are. This blog has exposed a number of scams being runs by NHS staff and those scams have been designed to line their own pockets. It is difficult to find highly paid work in north Wales and no-one but the Betsi is going to pay Martin Jones and his ilk £130,000 pa and Martin knows it. Which is why he is still sitting on that Board after years of disaster wearing cufflinks that cost as much as some people earn in a week. Martin with his rather poor degree (you weren’t up to much when you were at Bangor University were you Martin), Martin who is rumoured to have failed accountancy exams, Martin with his Mickey Mouse qualification in ‘Innovation and Change’, Martin who when he was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust flew first class to America on NHS expenses and lived it up with his mates for no good reason. Martin is most definitely in it for the money.

Although the Post article is about the NHS in north Wales, there is a link to an interview with someone employed by Cardiff and Vale UHB. That’s the Cardiff and Vale UHB that employs a consultant gynaecologist who many years ago was frozen out of the London circle because he was a relentless sexual harasser (see post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’).

Newsflash: Just appeared on the Daily Post website – a female paramedic with the Welsh Ambulance Service in north Wales has been convicted of assaulting another young woman. The ‘caring’ ‘decent’ NHS worker had ‘trained’ in the Army Medical Corps. Probably alongside Donnelly, Gallagher and Parry. She’s been travelling around in the back of an ambulance in a green jumpsuit for the last two years whilst the likes of the Daily Post told us that she was some sort of superior being.

As for all this talk of ‘decent’ people, in the early 1990s I attempted to enter Menai Bridge police station to make a complaint about a Top Doctor – one of those who was facilitating the paedophile ring – threatening me. What can only be described as a Ginger Pig in a sergeants uniform confronted me and told me that if I entered the police station he would arrest me. I told him that I had been threatened and I wished to make a statement. The Ginger Pig told me that he was here to protect ‘decent’ people like the Top Doctor and if I didn’t get out of Menai Bridge immediately he’d arrest me. He then pursued me as far as the Menai Suspension Bridge insulting me and told me to do everyone a favour and throw myself off the bridge. When I got home I rang Menai Bridge police station in an attempt to discover the identity of the Ginger Pig. Another policeman answered – whom I knew, because I had met him previously in Bangor Police Station after the Top Doctors had of course had me arrested. He was called Kelvin, he was nothing like the Ginger Pig himself, but he would not tell me the name of the Ginger Pig and he wouldn’t take down a complaint about him. On another occasion I tried to make representation about the Top Doctors and their harassment to an inspector in Bangor Police Station, an Inspector Beedham. As with Kelvin, Inspector Beedham didn’t conduct himself in the manner of the Ginger Pig, but no, he wouldn’t take a complaint about the Top Doctors either.

Sgt Tim Evans, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham all witnessed what was happening to me at the hands of the Top Doctors and Gwynedd Social Services. I now have possession of the documents that demonstrate that the Top Doctors et al perjured themselves repeatedly and ordered their minions to perjure themselves repeatedly, in order to conceal a paedophile ring. Come on Tim, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham, get your statements prepared and can you tell us who the Ginger Pig was as well….

 

I have mentioned in this post and in previous posts just how serious the wrongdoing of staff in the Hergest Unit and Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E was – unlawfully refusing people treatment, threatening patients, assaulting patients, lying to the police about patients, lying on oath, encouraging others to lie on oath etc. I have detailed how Alun Davies, Keith Thomson and later on Martin Jones simply did not investigate complaints (not just mine either – I knew of others who had terrible experiences whose complaints were never ever investigated). After Thomson wasted months of my and my lawyer’s time in a deliberate attempt not to investigate a series of assaults on me by his staff and their malicious allegations about me to the police, I tried the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. At that time the Ombudsman for Wales was Adam Peat. Getting a response out of Peat to my complaint was like pulling teeth, so in the end I rang his office. I didn’t speak to Peat himself, I spoke to his sidekick – who was either a Gethin or a Geraint, I can’t remember which. And guess what – he insulted and then threatened me. Just like the NMC did when I tried to make representation to them about Sian Ruth Lloyd’s misconduct. Now I was getting pretty used to this sort of behaviour from the Top Doctors and Angels, but this was the Ombudsman’s office…

Shortly after my brush with Adam Peat’s sidekick, I received a reply from Adam himself. He had decided that he wasn’t going to investigate my complaint against the North West Wales NHS Trust. Not in the public interest. (This was at a time when the North West Wales NHS Trust had the second highest suicide rate among women in England and Wales.) I mentioned this later to a Welsh politician who was honest enough to tell me that there was a major problem with the Ombudsman’s office, in that Peat was choosing not to investigate an awful lot of very serious complaints. I now have the documentation relating to that period of time – evidence of perjury and perverting the course of justice, the altering of medical records, a forged document allegedly written by me found in the possession of the GMC, evidence of dishonesty on the part of the Mental Health Act Commission, the illegal interference with my record on the Police National Computer and the forging of a certificate of indictment on the part of the Courts among much other wrongdoing.

Looks like Adam had knowingly ignored some very, very serious stuff.

Adam Peat retired as the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in April 2008. His final report before he retired covered the period 2007/08. This report showed that despite a 10% increase in complaints that year, the number upheld by the Ombudsman remained roughly the same. Out of 1420 complaints, Peat only upheld – either whole or in part – 139. He did not investigate 975 complaints. Of the complaints that Peat did uphold, 19 became public interest reports. So Peat was ignoring an awful lot of problems – and nearly all the 1420 complaints will have been a result of very serious problems because one cannot approach the Ombudsman until one has exhausted all other avenues of complaint and even then there are so many hurdles to overcome that no-one would ever get as far as the Ombudsman unless they had a real grievance.

So who was Peat, the man who decided that it was best to ignore thousands of complaints, even ones involving serious corruption in the NHS, social services, police, court service and probation service – for which he was paid £135k pa? Well between 1998 and 2003, Adam Peat was a senior civil servant in the National Assembly of Wales. For the previous nine years he had been Chief Exec of Tai Cymru, the body funding and regulating the housing association movement in Wales. Now my worries about Peat were always that he had prevented an investigation into such serious wrongdoing in the NHS – but his activities re housing are just as worrying. He had spent all those years involved with Tai Cymru, yet as Ombudsman he was responsible for investigating housing problems. Indeed, housing problems were something that he took a very big interest in – during his time as Ombudsman, one of his reports was devoted to housing allocation and homeless provision. So not only was Peat suppressing complaint into criminal activities in the NHS, but he had massive conflicts of interest as well.

So where is Adam Peat now? He’s back in the housing business! Adam Peat OBE is now Chairman of Magna Housing. Magna Housing is a community based housing association located primarily in Dorset and Somerset and provides over 8500 homes to let and 350 shared ownership homes. It’s annual turnover is in excess of £36 million. There is a notice on Magna’s website explaining that Magna has a confidential reporting process for employees to report serious concerns relating to trafficking and modern slavery. This organisation has a Chairman who suppressed a complaint about people involved in organised crime, namely a paedophile ring that was trafficking young people into prostitution. I wonder what’s going to happen if a Magna employee does report modern slavery or trafficking?

One of the blogs that I follow is Jac O The North. I don’t share the political views of Jac and most of his correspondents, but Jac does an excellent job of exposing corruption in Wales. There has been much on Jac’s blog concerning housing associations in Wales and the very odd things that seem to be happening in them. For example, the very great difficulty that some people even those who have lived in Wales for years have obtaining housing association properties. Many of Jac’s correspondents have written in with anecdotes of serious offenders from England somehow succeeding in obtaining housing association properties in rural Wales after they have been released from prison. A lot of those offenders have been sex offenders – and there was even a case in which yes, a whole paedophile ring were rehoused in Wales from England. When I first started reading these accounts, I presumed that these were the sort of myths one hears which don’t bear much relation to reality – along the lines of Theresa May’s anecdote to the Tory Party Conference about the terrorist who couldn’t be deported because his pet cat allowed him to use the Human Rights Act to remain in the UK. ‘I am not making this up’ said Theresa. It turned out that she was. However, it seems that Jac and his correspondents really are not making things up – sex offenders and people known to be involved with organised sexual abuse are being housed in rural Wales despite having no previous connections with the region at all. And it is happening too frequently for it to be a consequence of the general movement of people who choose to relocate. What if, as well as the network of corrupt people in the NHS, police, social services and legal services facilitating organised child sexual abuse and associated people trafficking, there were a few of them working in the housing association sector?

What do you reckon Adam?

 

 

 

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.

 

Are You Local?

My post ‘Local Accessories’ named a few former social workers from Gwynedd who undoubtedly had knowledge of the wrongdoing by the paedophile gang and their associates that operated in north Wales. Following all the bad publicity, the police investigation and Waterhouse Inquiry in the 90s, it was admitted even by those who were doing their utmost to conceal the extent of the abuse of children in care in north Wales that there was a paedophile gang that operated in the Wrexham and Cheshire area and that they abused children in care in the region. It is admitted that the most dreadful sexual abuse occurred at Bryn Estyn and at the Bryn Alyn Community in Clwyd and a number of ‘care staff’ were imprisoned. Even dear old Ronnie Waterhouse acknowledged that. Ronnie also identified Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation but she did nothing to stop it. Yet Ronnie really poo-poohed the notion that widespread sexual abuse had happened in the children’s homes in Gwynedd, even at Ty’r Felin, the children’s home in Bangor run by the dreadful Nefyn Dodd and his wife June, as detailed in ‘Local Accessories’.

Conditions at Ty’r Felin were known to be dreadful and Dodd was ferociously violent towards the children. ‘Local Accessories’ described how the complicit fool Waterhouse dismissed the fact that a teenaged girl was allegedly made pregnant by David Hughes, a staff member at Ty’r Felin. As with so many folk in north Wales who are ‘highly disturbed’ – that is who allege terrible abuse and wrongdoing – this girl was transported elsewhere, in her case to south Wales. Documents now in my possession demonstrate that this is what Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and his colleagues were trying to ensure happened to me. They had their mate Dr Chris Hunter from the Caswell Clinic in south Wales on tap and were busy behind the scenes with a highly organised attempt to have me declared dangerous and transferred to Hunter’s institution. Indeed Hunter HAD proffered his opinion that I was ‘very dangerous’ – although he had never met me. His opinion had been formed on the ‘evidence’ presented to him by Tony Francis, as well as Jackie Brandt and Keith Fearns, two social workers from Gwynedd whose colleagues were of course abusing kids and colluding with organised paedophilic activity. For full details of the ‘case conference’ that was held about me – whilst I was employed in a London medical school with no knowledge of what was going on regarding my planned future ‘care’ at the hands of these monsters – please see post ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’.

Readers who follow the ‘comments’ section of my blog will have noticed that a friend of Tony Francis’s, Kate, is becoming increasingly angry with me as I reveal more about his network and activities on this blog. I have left Kate’s recent comments up because they are an example of what I have had to put up with for thirty years after unwittingly stumbling across the associates of the paedophiles – manipulative sleights, suggesting that I am some sort of wicked master-criminal who uses many aliases and harbours a crazed obsession resulting in me maligning innocent Top Doctors. Kate and co continually maintain that I have no evidence for my claims, despite me offering to show them the documentation that my lawyer forwarded to me a few months ago. They’re going to get even more angry with me now, because the activities of the social services in Gwynedd and the Top Doctors who concealed them were, it would seem, far worse than even I knew.

I have received communication from a journalist who maintains that Nefyn and June Dodd and their colleagues were not just excessively violent to children – I had heard that time and again and people I knew who worked at Ty’r Felin confirmed that – but that there was en masse sexual abuse happening at Ty’r Felin, just as there was at Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn in Clwyd. This journalist tells me that numerous former residents of Ty’r Felin didn’t just detail the physical abuse that they suffered at the Dodd’s hands, but they described how they were forced into participating into sex with the Dodds, repeatedly. It is also alleged that the girls at Ty’r Felin were taken to ‘nightclubs in Bangor’ by care staff where huge quantities of booze was consumed and the girls were forced into returning to the homes of people who had financial arrangements with the staff of the home. The boys were not taken to nightclubs but were farmed out to private homes and hotel rooms to provide sexual services there. After children left Ty’r Felin, they were transferred to London and trafficked into prostitution.

Now I had never heard about boys from that home working as prostitutes, but the allegations regarding the girls certainly ring true. The journalist who sent me all this is London-based, so probably doesn’t know that in Bangor in the 1980s one couldn’t talk of ‘nightclubs’. There was ONE nightclub, the Octagon, and it was notorious. Everybody had really looked forward to the Octagon opening when word got round that a nightclub had come to town because there wasn’t anything of the sort in Bangor and never had been. There was a shed on Anglesey called Plas Coch which deluded itself that it was a nightclub – this caused much entertainment among postgrads who came to Bangor after having done their first degrees in cities with real nightclubs – but Plas Coch was essentially just a barn that sold drink, held discos and paid local Welsh rock groups to do a turn there. It had a very good atmosphere though and came highly recommended and I don’t remember there ever being any grief at Plas Coch. But for a real nightclub one had to go to Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool or Manchester. Bangor University Students Union also arranged trips to these cities to see rock groups because they did not come to Bangor, not even to the Students Union.

The Octagon opened I think in the summer of 1984 among much excitement. Samantha Fox came to the opening night and the lecherous old farts from the Daily Post and Bangor and Anglesey Mail could barely cope. People were really wowed by the Octagon because it had ‘moving coloured lights’. But within weeks students were telling each other not to go there. There were violent attacks on male students, sexual assaults on female students and the one thing that everybody was commenting on were the underage girls ‘from Maesgeirchan’ who were very obviously being sexually used by older men. Maesgeirchan is a big council estate on the outskirts of Bangor and in the 80s it was one of the most socially disadvantaged areas in Wales with a very high crime rate. One part of Maesgeirchan had such a fearsome reputation that people on the housing waiting list used to turn down the offer of a house if it was there. Ty’r Felin was located on Maesgeirchan.

At the time of the opening of the Octagon I knew a student who had been employed to help with the preparations. He told me that the club was being run by a bunch of gangsters from Manchester who were terrifying local businesses. Then the Octagon started hitting the local press on a regular basis. There were complaints that it was being used for large scale drug dealing. Then there were cases of passers-by being violently attacked and there was at least one rape of a young woman who had been in the vicinity. Yet the Octagon was not closed down. Considering how the good burghers of Bangor actually carried on in those days, that was incredible. Bangor famously didn’t have an M&S store because for some reason best known to themselves the Council had conspired to keep M&S at bay and when I first went to Bangor you still couldn’t buy alcohol in a pub on a Sunday. So everyone was mystified at Sodom and Gomorrah erupting in the form of the Octagon.

But it didn’t get closed down, instead it simply became a complete no go area for students and it was rumoured to be essentially a place where schoolgirls sold sex to very unsavoury men. Presumably all that was being facilitated by Ty’r Felin. Which would also explain why the Octagon never got closed down. It was the fucking managers of Gwynedd County Council who colluded with the paedophile ring, they weren’t going to shut down the brothel.

I note that the London journalist claims that boys from Ty’r Felin were sent to hotels with clients. Bangor was pretty devoid of hotels in the 80s as well. There was the Railway Hotel which may well have shut down by then anyway and the Temperance Hotel which also had probably shut by then. The two functioning hotels were the Castle Hotel and the British Hotel. The daughter of the family who owned the Castle Hotel studied at Bangor at the same time as me and achieved infamy for cheating in her finals – she was caught by an invigilator with sheets of crib notes from which she was openly copying – and then being allowed to graduate nonetheless. There was much bad feeling about that among the staff and there was speculation as to how she had managed to get away with it. The Castle Hotel had a cellar bar and my friends and I soon found out that going in there was not a good idea. The first occasion resulted in one of the boys from our house being approached by one of a gang of elderly rough-necks, who pointed to one of the other elderly rough-necks and said ‘did you know that he’s a former boxer?’ Whereupon my mate was rash enough to reply ‘with a face like that I didn’t think he’d be a brain surgeon’ and we had to flee. It transpired that the retired boxer was a bloke called Dai Davies from Maesgeirchan and his mates considered the cellar bar of the Castle their turf and the likes of us were not welcome. Street knowledge circulating around Bangor dictated that Dai Davies himself was not the problem, it was the meat-heads that accompanied him who were alleged to be into serious crime. There was an incident a while later in which some of them murdered a tourist on Anglesey. Dai Davies’s brother Steve Davies was a well-known maniac with a serious drug problem who ended up going to prison for a long time after terrifying someone so much that they jumped out of a window to escape what they were sure would be certain death at Davies’s hands and broke both of their legs. A few weeks after the brain surgeon comment, my mates and I were driving home from a friend’s house late one night when we encountered the Davies gang again in their beaten up elderly Mercedes and we had to escape their clutches once more. We were not the only people to have had an unpleasant encounter in the cellar bar, I heard of a number of other people who also had similar experiences there with the Davies’s and they pretty much colonised the place in the mid 80s. So it is possible that the Castle Hotel was being used as a location for the abuse of Ty’r Felin kids.

However I know for a fact that unscrupulous social workers had a nice little number going on with the British Hotel in the mid 1990s. I used to know a young learning disabled woman from Bethesda who one day couldn’t stop crying when she was on the bus. I asked her what the matter was and she explained that she didn’t like her job. This was weird because she was on benefits and was fairly obviously someone who wouldn’t have been able to hold down a conventional ‘job’, so I enquired further. It transpired that she was washing up in the British Hotel for 50p/hour between mid-morning and mid-afternoon every day and was being mistreated by her ‘boss’. I asked her why she didn’t simply leave the job and she told me that her social worker had told her that she had to do it. A pretty similar arrangement to the one that my friend’s wife uncovered when she worked at the teenaged boy’s hostel Ty Newydd (see post ‘Local Accessories’).

I suspect that the landscape for people with learning disabilities in north Wales was as grim as it was for kids in care or for people with mental health problems. There was a saga on Anglesey when it was discovered that a group of people with learning disabilities who had previously been staffing a café for 50p/hour had all been laid off and were told that if they wanted to continue working in the café, THEY would have to pay the café, because the jobs had been reclassified as ‘training’. I also discovered a bit of a dung heap in the late 80s when I naively applied for a job as an advocate at the hospital for people with learning disabilities at Bryn Yn Neuadd, Llanfairfechan. I was invited for interview, along with another candidate. When I arrived early (I get everywhere early, it can be interesting), I found the other candidate having a cup of tea in the office with the interviewing panel – they knew her because she was an employee of Bryn Yn Neuadd. The job was for an ‘independent advocate’ to ensure that nothing untoward was happening to the residents. I was also surprised when during the interview, one of the panel, a senior manager of Bryn Yn Neuadd, explained to me that most of the patients were ‘cabbages’. I did not get the job, so presumably they employed their own member of staff to safeguard the rights of the cabbages.

This lot are so fucking bad that they don’t even understand how bad they are.

Regarding hotels in Bangor, I note that there is a comment in the Waterhouse Report regarding one the of the former residents of Ty’r Felin who gave evidence that he was abused by Nefyn Dodd. This man explained that because he was on a ‘catering course’ at a hotel in Bangor, Nefyn Dodd made him do all the cooking and washing up at Ty’r Felin. Would that ‘catering course’ possibly have been one at the British Hotel which involved washing up for several hours a day at 50p/hour? And why was a schoolboy on a ‘catering course’ anyway? Ty’r Felin was a home for kids below the school leaving age. Ronnie doesn’t ask any difficult questions, as ever.

Previous posts (‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’ and ‘Local Accessories’) have detailed how Waterhouse blithely dismissed accounts of the most serious physical and sexual abuse of children or used the most flimsy and ludicrous explanations to point to why scores of witnesses could not be believed. I mentioned previously how at one point in the Waterhouse Report, Ronnie mentions that he was presented with a letter of ‘dubious authenticity’ written in Risley Remand Centre, sent to Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, in support of Nefyn and June Dodd, supposedly signed by a young man who’d alleged that they’d abused him. Ronnie accepts that the letter had been forged so ignores it. At no point does he wonder why someone would have gone to such lengths and the wrongdoing involved in the forging of the letter anyway. When people resort to forging documents, there is much at stake – as there is when they resort to inviting a load of people to a party and then petrol bombing the building (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’). So the Dodd’s protectors included folk working in Risley Remand Centre as well as Lucille Hughes who were happy to forge documentation. Just as Dr Tony Roberts’s protectors at the GMC were prepared to forge a letter from me (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).

If the Dodd’s were involved in the trafficking of children for prostitution such extreme efforts to get them off the hook would be understandable. The one person in north Wales who had corrupt colleagues working at Risley Remand Centre was Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Lucille’s bedfellow. The Dafydd who discredited and banged up people who complained about the activities of the paedophile gang.

Dafydd was the Top Doctor who handled many of the young men from north east Wales who had passed through the children’s homes in Clwyd, although Dafydd himself lived on Anglesey. Dafydd’s domain was primarily the North Wales Hospital Denbigh but previous posts have explained how he held clinics in Ysbyty Gwynedd – although he rarely bothered to turn up, he was usually at a private clinic somewhere else. But children in care – and indeed learning disabled people – being exploited and abused in Gwynedd would undoubtedly come to the attention of Top Doctors and not only with regard to mental health issues. Sexual abuse/exploitation usually involves unwanted pregnancies, demands for contraception by unlikely people eg. very young girls and STDs. The information that the London based journalist sent me alleges cases of STDs at Ty’r Felin. The Top Doctors of Bangor would have known about that. Including Dr D.G.E. Wood, whose patients included people from Maesgeirchan (who didn’t like him – I witnessed some less than satisfied customers in his surgery). My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ described how practices at St David’s Hospital in Bangor were nearly on a par with the Magdalen laundries in Ireland. So how were the unwanted pregnancies at Ty’r Felin – of which the London-based journalist alleged there were many and even Waterhouse admits that he heard about one – dealt with? It was famously nearly impossible for women to access abortions in north Wales in the 80s because of an arrangement made by the local Top Doctors who were anti-abortion, that’s why students went private to Chester if they wanted terminations. Abused schoolgirls in care wouldn’t have been able to go private to Chester.

Trafficking and prostitution at Ty’r Felin would also explain why children from Gwynedd with alleged psychiatric problems were being sent by Gwynedd Health Authority to the notorious Gwynfa Unit in Clwyd, where they were of course abused, as detailed in post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’. Waterhouse’s Report mentions that both children in care and living with their own families were ending up at Gwynfa. If children from Gwynedd in care were being sent to Gwynfa, they will either have been residents of Ty’r Felin, Cartref Bontnewydd, Queens Park Close or Y Gwyngyll. (Queen’s Park Close and Y Gwyngyll were children’s homes on Anglesey.) They were the only children’s homes in Gwynedd (Anglesey came under Gwynedd for NHS purposes). Nefyn Dodd lived on the premises at Ty’r Felin, but he was also the line manager for Queen’s Park Close and Y Gwyngyll. Not only did Gwynfa take virtually all it’s patients from Gwynedd, but Dr Barry Kiehn, the child psychiatrist responsible for Gwynfa, was employed by Gwynedd Health Authority.

So if Nefyn Dodd was trafficking those kids, not only did the social services know about it but the Top Doctors did as well. Including the Top Doctors at the Hergest Unit. Sorry Kate, this one leads to Dr Tony Francis and his colleagues again.

I have gained a further insight into the everyday story of Ty’r Felin folk over the past two days. Someone who was a resident there has been e mailing me. As a fifteen year old in Ty’r Felin he was visited by a man involved with voluntary work at Ysbyty Gwynedd who was 61. He began a sexual relationship with him and when he left Ty’r Felin he went to live with this man – who it turned out wasn’t just using a false name, but was also a businessman in Bangor who was a complete crook. This man was violent and also used to take pornographic photos of the former Ty’r Felin resident. During an incident of domestic violence the former Ty’r Felin resident pushed the older man, who fell over, hit his head and died. The former Ty’r Felin resident was charged with murder. However those charges were mysteriously dropped and he was subsequently charged with manslaughter. He then found out that the older man who had been allowed into Ty’r Felin to abuse him had previously served a prison sentence for buggering children. When his case came to trial he was only given probation. Furthermore, the details of his trial did not appear anywhere in the media in Wales. I suspect because no-one wanted anyone to ever find out how a teenaged boy who’d left care had ended up cohabiting with an older sex offender who was beating him up and using him for porn. Particularly when the said sex offender was a well-known volunteer at Ysbyty Gwynedd. The former Ty’r Felin resident is now in the care of the mental health services. Who will of course know all about his past. So the Top Doctors DO know what was going on in Ty’r Felin, as do the probation service. This man has also told me that as a teenager in Bangor he was paid for sex by a number of doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd. My post ‘Another Case Of Not Knowing’ describes how a young psychiatric patient at Ysbyty Gwynedd in the early 1990s was being sexually exploited by a group of junior gynaecologists who worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd, who made her pregnant twice and who coerced her into abortions that she did not want and that they arranged. Her psychiatrist whilst she was admitted to a mental health ward the night before one of those terminations was a man called Tony Francis.

It comes as no surprise to me that a crooked businessman who was also a convicted sex offender was volunteering at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Dodgy business deals were a hallmark of that place and indeed the wider North West Wales NHS Trust. There was the chaos of ‘Butty Wars’ (see post ‘There’s Going To Be A Hog Roast’) which erupted in the wake of the WRVS HQ cancelling the contract that the WRVS Ysbyty Gwynedd canteen had with the Menai Deli to supply sandwiches – the Menai Deli whose proprietors seemed to have many close links with Elfed Roberts, the former Chairman of the NW Wales NHS Trust. Then there was squealing when Mary Burrows, the first CEO of the Betsi who did her best to clean up, dared to cancel the contract that Ysbyty Gwynedd had with Blasus Ar Fwyd – a catering company that just happens to be owned by Deiniol ap Dafydd, the son of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. The backhanders and dodgy dealing of course extends into the Third Sector as well. Posts ‘The CEOs of St David’s Hospice’ and ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’ describe how St David’s Hospice at Llandudno is managed and supported by the former clapped out staff and managers of the local NHS who were responsible for much wrongdoing. It hasn’t stopped. Trystan Pritchard, Elfed’s old mate who formerly worked as a manager at Ysbyty Gwynedd and who is now CEO of St David’s Hospice, appeared on the Daily Post’s website today explaining how he was hoping to come to an agreement with the Betsi regarding the hospice using the ‘unused wards’ of the Betsi. Peter Higson, the Chair of the Betsi, is quoted as saying that he’s sure that they’ll be able to help. Of course they will, no-one will ask how a Health Board with waiting lists a mile long has spare capacity to donate to Trystan or will question the numerous conflicts of interest which will no doubt be involved.

My correspondent who spent time in Ty’r Felin mentioned something else as well. That he approached the S4C programme ‘Y Byd Y Bedwar’with his story and there was initial interest but then all went dead. In about 2006 I was in contact with a journalist from ‘Y Byd Y Bedwar’ and after they read the incriminating documents that I had regarding Alun Davies the former manager of the Hergest Unit, Martin Jones the former CEO of the NW Wales NHS Trust, Gwynedd Social Services and the mental health services, they were very keen to do a documentary about what had happened to me. I had many meetings with the journalist and she even got as far as preparing to go into Ysbyty Gwynedd with a hidden camera to film undercover. But the day before she had planned to do that, her boss pulled the plug on the whole documentary without explanation.

So who’s the Big Cheese at S4C ensuring that no documentaries featuring anyone who can name the culprits or produce documentary evidence of wrongdoing on the part of those we know and love ever goes ahead?

It would seem that Nefyn Dodd was afforded even more protection than those at Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn – at least some of their staff were imprisoned and named. For Nefyn Dodd to have escaped when the Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn contingent didn’t, Nefyn Dodd would have had to be useful to someone. The London journalist has given me the name of a lobbyist for the Conservative Party who was also one of Thatcher’s speech writers, whom he claims was receiving those kids trafficked from Gwynedd. This man has been named as one of those involved with the Westminster Paedophile Ring, but he has not been the subject of the sort of extreme Satanic sexual abuse allegations that Ted Heath for example has been. I have been sent a list of names that are business contacts of this man – one of whom is allegedly Neil Hamilton – and a list of MPs whom have stated themselves are friends of his, which include Edwina Currie and William Hague. The Edwina who appointed Jimmy Savile as manager of Broadmoor, an institution containing kids abused in care, at least one of whom was from north Wales at the time of Waterhouse. The Hague who organised Ronnie’s whitewash. I have also been given the name of a Tory peer whose son is alleged to have abused children from Ty’r Felin – not Tyrell-Kenyon whom I named in a previous post who was known to have abused boys in care at Bryn Estyn, but someone else. I note that the son of this peer studied at Aberystwyth University in the 1980s and now lives in Australia.

The London journalist also told me something else that I did already know. That the Welsh Office held one inspection of Ty’r Felin and hardly ever returned. Dyfed County Council’s officers were requested to investigate Ty’r Felin by Ioan Bowen Rees, the then Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council after complaints of serious abuse. Bowen Rees was formerly the County Secretary of Dyfed, so he’ll have known the investigators from Dyfed well. The investigators did as required, there was much criticism so everyone could claim to have dealt with the concerns. But no-one admitted the trafficking and coercing of children into prostitution or even that children were being forced to have sex with June and Nefyn Dodd. The collusion of Dyfed has present day ramifications. Mark Drakeford, the former Health Minister who proved so fucking useless in the face of the scandalous state of the NHS in north Wales, is a former social worker from Dyfed.

For the names, backgrounds and details of the extreme fuckwittery of the senior managers of Gwynedd Social Services and Gwynedd County Council whilst all this happened, please see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’

So Nefyn Dodd was left entirely to his own devices. There was of course a police investigation into Nefyn Dodd after Alison Taylor blew the whistle. No action was taken against him. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dodd was obviously mad, obviously abusive and was hated by everyone. But no-one scrutinised his activities and even in the face of the most serious complaints backed up by evidence, no action was taken against him. Because Dodd was supplying boys to the Tory lobbyist – who was also involved in huge business deals which were benefiting the Tory Party.

I really do think that just about every social worker and Top Doctor working in Gwynedd in the 1980s will have known something about all of this. They could hardly have missed it.

My post ‘Local Accessories’ named a few social workers who definitely DID have information and I requested that they now pay a visit to the police to make statements. There are a number of other people who definitely have some knowledge of these sordid events who need to be questioned by the police as well. One of those is Gwenan Carrington, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services and latterly of Anglesey County Council. Another is Aled Griffiths aka the Buffet Slayer, who is Gwenan’s brother and doubles up as senior lecturer in law and social policy at Bangor University. The other is Joanna Griffiths, the Buffet Slayer’s wife, who is the former Director of Conwy Social Services. Which I think took over the management of Gwynfa when Clwyd Social Services was dissolved and was also responsible for the staff of the inspection unit who threatened me when I contacted them about the abuse and possible trafficking of residents of the dreadful Prestwood Homes, as described in the post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’. Gwenan, the Slayer and Joanna have had their fingers in many pies for years and most of those pies involve concealing the wrongdoing in the social services. They know all the people named in my post ‘Local Accessories’ and are collectively known as The Mafia in north Wales. The Slayer himself attempted to block my path one day just before I left Bangor University and started bellowing at me – my complaints about the mental health services were making him even angrier than my blog is making the friends of Tony Francis. Well the party’s over now isn’t it you fat crook.

 

The day before yesterday a stranger who seemed to know about the contents of this blog suggested that I do a bit of research into a well-known politician who is also a Top Doctor – the stranger thought that this man knew either Tony Francis or D.G.E. Wood. I will be blogging more about this soon.

News Round Up – And Another Top Doctor Goes To Prison

This morning the Daily Post online is telling us all that the Betsi has overspent it’s budget by £80 million in the last three years, according to a report from the Welsh Auditor General. Janet Finch-Saunders, the Conservative AM for Aberconwy, is quoted as someone ‘who has previously spoken out about the underfunding of the NHS by the Welsh Gov’t’. Today Janet is maintaining that she ‘welcomes’ the Welsh Gov’t covering the extra spend, but ‘given that they are monitoring the Betsi’s finances, they should have taken action to ensure it didn’t get into this position’. Janet gives some suggestions as to how this could be achieved – for example by the Welsh Gov’t allocating a more generous initial budget or by the Betsi ‘weaning themselves’ off wasteful practices such as the use of ‘highly expensive agency workers’. The Post mentions that for two years of the overspend, the Betsi was in special measures after being placed in there by former Health Minister Mark Drakeford and that the financial problems have been managed through the NHS escalation framework, which brings the Welsh Gov’t, the Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales together to manage the solution. The present Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has stated that ‘cash support’ will continue to be provided when required to all Health Boards to enable them to meet normal cash commitments including payroll expenditure and that cash assistance is repayable in future financial years when appropriate. A Betsi spokeswoman has been quoted as saying that the Board need to improve their quality and performance whilst safely reducing operating costs and that their Action Plan for 2017/18 starts to address this.

There is much to comment upon here. First, one wonders why Janet Finch-Saunders, as a fully paid up member of the fiscal responsibility party, is urging the Welsh Gov’t to throw even more money in the direction of this Board of fools and fuckwits. It is a Board dominated by the likes of Dr Peter Higson, Martin Jones, Grace Lewis-Parry, Lyn Meadows et al who have for years stuffed up big time in every role to which they have been appointed. None of them should have been allowed near this Health Board and things are not going to improve until they are removed, it is as simple as that. The reason that the Betsi is spending so much on agency staff is principally because no-one will work for them so dire is their reputation, but also because the Top Doctors and Angels who staff the nation’s NHS are fully aware that they can earn more by working for an agency than by conventional employment and that is why a lot of them choose to do so. It is a well-established scam that has been growing and growing for years and no-one has sought to address it – indeed before it was quite such a popular scam elsewhere, it was known to be a substantial problem in the North West Wales NHS Trust when one Martin Jones was the CEO. Can anyone spot a theme here? Of course the reason why honest capable staff won’t work for the Betsi is that they don’t want to work for a dysfunctional organisation rife with bad or frankly dangerous practices. Had politicians like Janet been honest about these practices which have been in place for many years now, bad practice could have been stopped and the Betsi would not now be comatose on the floor. But Janet and nearly everybody else said nothing at all – indeed Janet herself was even telling mental health charities not to send dissatisfied patients to her because she didn’t want to deal with their cases. So as usual too many people stood with the Top Doctors and Angels and ignored the terrifying mortality rates. But Janet is not the only one mentioned above who has added to the problems of the NHS in north Wales by colluding with abusive, lethal practitioners. Mark Drakeford knew damn well how dreadful things were, both throughout the years when he was special advisor to Rhodri Morgan and until he was finally forced to put the Betsi in special measures when Tawel Fan blew up in his face. But then this former social worker had received a long training in turning a blind eye to abuse and malpractice and instead sat around a table talking to the unions who were protecting their own members rather than the people who some of those members were harming (see post ‘News Round Up, June 11 2017’). As for the NHS escalation framework that is ‘managing the situation’, the troika of the Welsh Gov’t, Auditor General and Health Inspectorate Wales – the Welsh Gov’t no longer knows what to do in the face of this disaster (my co-researcher has suggested that someone just appoints the Chuckle Brothers in the place of the Betsi Board) and HIW ignored the slaughter and mayhem in the north Wales NHS for years (of course it did, it’s CEO was Peter Higson, who’d previously overseen the horror story that was the North Wales Hospital – Higson is now of course Chair of the Betsi). What about the Auditor General, Huw Vaughan Thomas? Well he featured in my post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’. He was Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council whilst their social services had been infiltrated by a paedophile gang and prior to that he had been Chief Exec of Denbighshire – whose social services had also been infiltrated by the paedophile gang! I’m sure that he’ll do a brilliant job of sorting it all out.

Vaughan mentioned that Health Boards will continue to receive extra cash, although he did make mention of the cash being repayable in certain circumstances. In other words, whoever finally takes over at the Betsi once Higson et al just HAVE to be removed will then be left to clear up the mess on a shoestring after Higson, Grace and Martin have broken the bank. Does Vaughan think that he’ll receive many applications for future ‘leadership roles’ at the Betsi? As for his generous offer to carry on bailing out Health Boards across Wales, let us look at how some of that tax-payers cash was spent by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

In 2009 Cardiff and Vale employed a gynaecologist called Dr Anthony Madu and paid him nearly £100k pa (the Betsi pay Martin Jones and Grace even more). Anthony Madu has just been sent to prison for two years, after failing to repay the NHS over £70k as ordered by a previous court – £70k that he defrauded them out of, by continuing to work as a locum whilst he was initially suspended and then on extended sick leave for ‘stress’. Whilst receiving sick pay from Cardiff and Vale, Madu worked at Middlesborough’s James Cook University Hospital, Sandwell General Hospital Birmingham, Scarborough General Hospital and the Royal Oldham General Hospital, Greater Manchester. I have a friend who lives in Scarborough who tells me that Scarborough Hospital has a similar reputation to the hospitals in north Wales and thus good doctors won’t work there. I suspect that the other hospitals that Madu moonlighted at will also have had similar problems. Madu had actually been found guilty of fraud in 2014 but had been spared jail on condition that he repaid the £70k. He appealed against the decision, lost but failed to repay the money anyway, hence the prison sentence. Although he was only ordered to repay £70k, the cost to the hospitals was calculated to have been £240k and he transferred £95k to a Nigerian bank account in an attempt to cover his tracks. So Madu was being treated pretty leniently. Yet there had been problems before he started fiddling – in 2009 he was suspended by Cardiff and Vale as a result of allegations relating to his conduct towards other staff and allegations that he’d falsified his post-graduate training record. And it seems that the GMC knew all about him! They had investigated him and placed restrictions on his practice – which he ignored. He also failed to co-operate with investigations. But no, they didn’t strike him off, so he just turned up at other hospitals in England. But Madu had been in trouble before he ever arrived at Cardiff and Vale. He had previously worked at the Royal Bolton Hospital and had mismanaged a labour so badly that the baby died. Weeks later Madu was employed by Cardiff and Vale. The inquest on the baby wasn’t held until 2012, but when it was held the coroner denounced Madu as an ‘unimpressive witness…largely unreliable’. No charges were brought against Madu, although the Royal Bolton did apologise to the baby’s parents.

At the conclusion of Madu’s previous trial, Judge David Wynn Morgan praised Cardiff and Vale for taking action against Madu when they caught him fiddling and stated that ‘it may be that tragedy was avoided by the timely actions of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’. Tragedy wasn’t avoided – a baby had already died, but not at Cardiff and Vale. No doubt had Madu caused any tragedies at Cardiff and Vale no-one would have been told anyway. Had Cardiff and Vale been told about the dead baby at Bolton when they employed Madu? If so, why did they employ him? Did they know about his run-ins with the GMC? If they didn’t know about any of this, why didn’t they? Who supplied Madu with references, either for Cardiff and Vale or any of his other jobs? Is there going to be an investigation into any of this or indeed into the GMC failing to stop him? I very much doubt it. Madu was known to be a problem at the Royal Bolton and they did what is always done with problematic doctors – they passed him onto someone else.

I can only compare the case of Madu, who had killed a baby and then swindled again and again yet was given chance after chance, with that of Dr Sian Caiach. Sian was a surgeon working in Wales who in about 2000 discovered two of her colleagues perpetuating a fraud by using NHS facilities to treat private patients without declaring it. Sian reported them to the Wales Audit Office. The WAO investigated and found that the fraud reported by Sian had indeed been committed. Those doctors were not dismissed. Nonetheless, Sian was suspended, sacked and eventually prevented from practicing by the GMC. At one point the rationale for stopping her working was that she would damage the ‘mental health’ of her colleagues. Presumably they might feel a bit anxious lest she discover what they were up to. Years later Sian was permitted to practice again after being subjected to the most offensive comments from the GMC – but only under very restricted circumstances. Honest whistleblowing surgeon with a commitment to the NHS? Christ we hadn’t better let her loose. It seems that Sian is too honest for party politics as well – her name was on the Plaid candidate list but was removed. Yet numerous members, councillors and politicians of that party were involved in colluding with the abuses in the mental health services and children’s homes in north Wales.

I mentioned earlier that a Betsi spokeswoman had stated that they needed to improve their quality and their performance. So how are they doing? Well, according to the BBC News Wales site, it’s business as usual. A 75 year old lady was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and died shortly after, having experienced the sort of dreadful care of the elderly that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is well-known for. The old lady suffered from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was admitted to Ysbyty Glan Clywd in Nov 2015 after a fall at home causing her to break her femur. She was given surgery and transferred to the HDU (High Dependency Unit). The trouble occurred when she was then transferred to an orthopaedic ward. Her family raised concerns when they discovered her sitting in her own faeces and after they had to visit her out of hours to give her food and drink because this wasn’t being done by the staff. The old lady’s son was told by a nurse that she had been ‘spoiled’ on the HDU (where presumably the staff actually did what they were paid to do). The old lady then developed pneumonia and died. At the inquest the conclusion was recorded as accidental death with the fall as a contributing factor. Which would seem to be a complete lie. The old lady’s family took their complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who upheld their complaint, stating that there had been inappropriate communication, inadequate nursing care and that the elderly lady had been admitted to an inappropriate ward. To show how seriously that the Ombudsman took the matter of an old lady being left sitting in her own crap whilst being given no food or drink, subjected to non-existent ‘nursing care’ – whilst her family were insulted by the staff – and then dying, he awarded the old lady’s family the grand total of £250. Martin Jones spends about that on a pair of his infamous cufflinks. As always though, the learning has been embedded and the service users empowered. The Betsi has stated that it has tackled the problem by appointing doctors from a range of backgrounds to support geriatric patients on orthopaedic wards, with a consultant to lead the service. Which seems to be missing the point – in this case it was the Angels who had disgraced themselves rather than the Top Doctors. Furthermore, ‘staff have received training in dignity and respect for patients’. Should this have been needed? If I were looking after a bed-ridden friend or relative even I would not leave them sitting in turds. But then I’m not an Angel.

As with Huw Vaughan Thomas, Mark Drakeford, HIW et al, there is a legacy involved with the problem that this old lady encountered. Elderly care at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been absolutely dreadful for many, many years as detailed in my post ‘How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?’. Staff ensured that their own families did not end up there and some ten years ago a retired Professor from Bangor University, Clare Wenger, was so appalled by what she witnessed as a patient there that she compiled a dossier and sent it to over 100 people. Clare Wenger’s specialism was in old age care and she had led a major 20 year study into this which was funded by the Department of Health. Notwithstanding all this, Clare Wenger was denounced as a stuck up old cow who expected special treatment. The elderly continued to be neglected and abused and throughout it all the former CEO of the Trust that ran Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before the Betsi was created, Gren Kershaw, was awarded the accolade of Best Chief Executive in the UK by ‘Nursing Times’. Kershaw has now retired and works as a ‘management consultant’. And the elderly are still neglected and abused by the staff who voted for him to be given an award by ‘Nursing Times’.

Now another story from the Daily Post online, combining two common themes of this blog, politics and the Betsi. It has been announced that Plaid and the Tories have gone into coalition to run Conwy Council. So the Counci leader is now Gareth Jones and his Deputy is Cheryl Carlisle. Gareth is a Plaid Councillor and is the former AM for Aberconwy. Many years before that Gareth was a member of a panel that conducted one of the numerous investigations that was held into the sexual abuse of children in care in Clwyd. So Gareth knew that there was a serious problem – but like so many people he’s remained silent for years. However he has announced that the new Cabinet is an ‘open administration based on inclusiveness and transparency’. If Gareth is now going all inclusive and transparent it’ll be a first for him. As for Cheryl – well she’s a Conservative and is a member of the Betsi Board! Cheryl now holds the Cabinet portfolio for ‘children, family and safeguarding’. We should just be thankful that it’s not Gareth overseeing those particular matters. The Plaid group in Conwy seem to have done something odd. There had been a previous agreement for Plaid, Labour and the Independent Group to work together, but this backfired when much of the Plaid Group voted for Gareth Jones in the leadership election. What can be going on? But then something else peculiar happened this week involving Plaid. Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym, a policy advisor for Plaid, publicly announced that they would be willing to support the Tories on ‘some matters’. Now some people are saying that they have no problem with that if it benefits Wales, but Leanne Wood – Plaid’s leader – and many of her colleagues, loathe everything about the Tories and have made ‘no deals with Tories under any conditions ever’ a central theme within Plaid. How does Leanne feel about her colleagues snuggling up to the Tories? Plaid are really proud of Eurfyl ap Gwilym because he famously floored Paxman on ‘Newsnight’ a few years ago. However, he does sometimes take surprising stances. I was at a conference where he spoke some years ago and he provided a devastating critique of Blair’s H.E. policy. I much appreciated this, because Blair imposed an ill thought out policy on UK universities which was never going to work with the staffing and funding available and it did very great damage, resulting in, among other things, a vicious snobbery between different universities. But Eurfyl seemed to be firing his ammo at the wrong people. After stating that he was an ‘unashamed elitist’, he went on to put the boot into graduates from less prestigious universities who had found themselves working at Tesco, saying that they didn’t deserve anything other than a job in Tesco. Those graduates were very much the victim of the problem not the cause. Most of them did not know that a degree from Glyndwr University doesn’t have the same currency as a degree from a Russell Group institution – New Labour led them to think that once one had a degree, one would waltz into a well paid professional job immediately after graduation. They were conned and it was not their fault. Furthermore, going to university on large amounts of borrowed money was sold to them on the promise of high salaries after graduation – no-one mentioned widening their horizons or gaining a liberal education or critical thinking skills, it was the mythical ‘graduate premium’ that was used as the carrot. Meanwhile the kids of Cabinet Ministers carried on applying for places at Oxbridge because their parents knew that there was a difference in status between institutions. As for deserving to work in Tescos – I’m not sure that anyone deserves the fate of that particular regime, where it’s minimum wage on the tills and insults from harried customers as well as a supervisor of questionable quality breathing down your neck. Perhaps Eurfyl would like to give it a go himself. I did try to speak to Eurfyl after his presentation when everyone started on the wine and nibbles, but he blanked me and proceeded to work his way around the room only speaking to the most important people there. People nearly as important as him.

Plaid’s cosy relationship with the Tories has echoes of the historical arrangement that this blog has revealed with regard to the child abuse in the north Wales children’s homes in the 70s, 80s and 90s. That abuse – as well as the linked abuse in the mental health services – was facilitated by many members of Plaid and their representatives, whilst certain Tory Ministers sat at the top of the tree concealing the whole mess. Meanwhile the likes of Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and Conservative MP for Chester, and Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, actually abused the children in care themselves. The state bureaucrats who grossly mismanaged the local authorities, as well as the health and care professionals, occupied various positions in the pecking order below them. Thus a whole structure was kept in place. The only people who didn’t benefit were the kids/patients – they were coerced into providing sexual services and either died, or spent a lifetime travelling in and out of places like Risley Remand Centre or the North Wales Hospital if they dared complain about what was happening to them.

Now I have arrived at one of my running themes on the blog – highly paid people who are pissing all over the rest of us whilst caring – I can report that my mates the BMA have been in the news again. Specifically the BMA GPs representatives. A Dr Sophie Quinney, representing a group called ‘Wales For GP Survival’, has been making claims that GPs are retiring early or cutting down their hours ‘to stay sane’. Which is odd, because I thought that they retired in their mid 50s because their pension pots were so big that they didn’t have to go on until they dropped. Furthermore, despite any stress that their job does involve – and if you’re a GOOD GP it is stressful – the GPs that I know who chose to work part-time were all honest enough to admit that they were so well-paid that they could just work three days a week and still live very comfortably. But members of the BMA representing GPs have been crawling out of the woodwork everywhere with their tales of woe and they all seem to be giving out the same message – that is, if the Gov’t doesn’t do what we say, we will all stop working and then what will you do? I presume that there has been a BMA conference somewhere and they all voted to take a leaf out of the book of Violet Elizabeth Bott i.e. that they would thcweam and thcweam until they were thick.

Indeed, one of those participating in the thcweaming is someone known to me, Dr Graham Thomas, who works in the Corwen Health Centre. Graham has appeared in the Daily Post online urging ‘politicians and patients to put pressure on the Betsi Board to help the practice out’. Graham is rattled because his surgery is in danger of losing it’s Rural Support Payment of £52k which it has received – presumably from the Betsi – for the last 15 years. The Post reports that this is a ‘cry from the heart’ and that Graham, as a GP, ‘speaks from experience’. Graham states that if the Betsi takes over the management of the practice – Graham is suggesting that if the Rural Support Payment is not forthcoming that is what will have to happen – patients will have longer waiting times. He makes reference to the time a few years ago when he assisted at the practice when it was managed by the Betsi and says that ‘I just knew that I was unable to give the time and attention that some of those patients required’. Now I happen to know that although he is a very capable doctor, Graham Thomas is also capable of very great deceit and like Councillor Gareth Jones mentioned earlier, Graham often keeps schtum about terrible things when he shouldn’t. I know this because I used to live in the same village as him, I was in the same hill walking club as him and I used to know him very, very well. He made quite big efforts to cultivate my company, just at the time when I had started making it known that I intended to publish my truly dreadful experiences with the mental health services. Graham knew exactly how bad those services were because he used to work at the Hergest Unit and he saw the neglect, the abuse and indeed the deaths himself. He did not raise any concerns with anyone. He still did not raise any concerns when he left the Hergest Unit and worked in the area as a GP. He still said not a word when he became a more senior GP. He knew that the Hergest was dreadful and he didn’t even bother to send his own patients there, but he did not raise a concern. Neither did he raise concerns when members of the staff at the Hergest Unit were perjuring themselves in an attempt to ensure that I ended up in prison. He knew about it, because I lived just down the lane from him at the time and he used to regularly ask me what I was going to do about the threats and harassment that I was receiving from his colleagues. Although Graham knew how bad many of the staff working in the mental health services were, he was still happy to ensure that they acquired yet another dodgy doctor. On one occasion I got into conversation with a psychiatrist in the hill walking group who had just taken a job at the medium secure unit in Llanfairfechan. I asked him why he had come to Wales and he told me that he hadn’t been able to gain employment after some unspecified hoo ha in his last job. But Dr Graham Thomas had very kindly helped him out and got him a job in north Wales! At one point some charming character threw dog turds at my house. Graham admitted that he knew who did it. I told him that I wanted to report this matter to the police – so Graham refused to reveal the identity of the culprit. He also knew that his colleagues were slandering me. I only discovered the extent of this when he asked me for advice. He had fallen out with a charity that he had been involved with – although I wasn’t ever sure of the details – but it seemed that he believed that they were accusing him of unlawful practices. He was worried that his reputation would be damaged and didn’t know what to do to challenge it. So he asked me for advice, as someone whom he knew to have been subjected to a smear campaign – by his own colleagues. The last time that Graham and his wife spoke to me was after I told them that I had finally had a bellyful of the mental health services and that I had instructed my lawyers to begin action and that I had every intention of one day publishing everything that I had witnessed. Graham and his wife Casi never spoke to me again.

I suspect that as in the case of Professor Catherine Robinson, someone else who was colluding with a great deal of wrongdoing, Graham only ever befriended me to find out what I knew about his colleagues and where or when I was going to publish and was very probably relaying everything that I told him straight back to those we know and love. Two other very odd things happened to me during the time when I was socialising with Graham and Casi. I was looking for a house to rent and I viewed one near where they lived. I told them that I had viewed it and they were very encouraging about it. So I handed over the deposit, rent etc and moved in. After a few weeks it was clear that not only did the landlady have quite serious problems herself but that there were a lot of structural problems with the house that were so bad that they constituted a health and safety risk. I mentioned them to Graham one day who, it transpired, knew all about them. He also knew that previous tenants had moved out of the house after discovering what I had discovered and had also had problems with the landlady. I didn’t remember him telling me about any of that when he encouraged me to move in. The other experience was even more weird. One day after my car broke down, Graham made a very generous offer. He had a car that he could sell me, at an incredibly low price. He said that he was more than happy to do a favour for a friend and I greatly appreciated being able to acquire the car. About a month later, I was driving the car when I was rammed from behind by a man who then became phenomenally aggressive when I asked him for his details. I persevered and eventually I extracted his name, insurance details etc from him. I discovered later that he was a retired officer from the North Wales Police – who I had begun to have quite a lot of problems with by then. In fact during the time that I lived a few doors down from Graham an awful lot of bizarre things happened to me, usually at the hands of people who I then discovered were friendly with Graham and Casi. After I left the village, I found out that Graham and Casi had over the past few years been asked to leave numerous chapels, community organisations and charities. Like me, a lot of people had some very odd experiences with them. I’m glad to hear that it’s onward and upward for them though – Casi is now aiming for ordination in the Church In Wales! And Graham obviously is going to thcweam and thweam until he’s sick. At the time that he was so keen to discover what action I was planning to take against his negligent, abusive, criminal colleagues, Graham was the BMA’s representative for the GPs group in north Wales.

Graham has already recruited one politician to his cause. Llyr Huws Grufydd has publicised Graham’s demand for £50k as a ‘cry for help from a busy rural GP practice’. But then Llyr described Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing home’ Ty Gwyn as a ‘beacon of excellence’, as it imploded after the population gradually realised what a scam it was. Llyr is a Plaid AM for north Wales. Unless he’s joined the Tories by now.

The Chinese military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu was alleged to have said that ‘if you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by’. As far as I can see if you watch the north Wales media for long enough the names of the people involved in the most dreadful abuses of their positions will float by.

 

 

 

News Round Up – And Murder Most Foul

MMail online have reported on yet another serious NHS mental health services failure. Jennifer and Graham Slack, a couple in their 60s, drowned in the River Yare near Great Yarmouth. They left a suicide note behind explaining that they were killing themselves because they were unable to get any help for Mrs Slack’s serious depression and anxiety problems, which she had endured for 20 years. The couple tied themselves together and jumped into the river. They also left behind another two suicide notes in their house, along with passports, financial documents and cash to pay for their funerals. It transpired that Mrs Slack’s GP had made an urgent referral to a psychiatrist at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust but the letter had not been marked ‘urgent’, so it remained unattended until it was too late. Further details revealed at the inquest painted a familiar picture. Mrs Slack, a former nurse, had been on anti-depressants for many years. Her father died, leaving her as the main carer for her elderly mother. She went to see her GP and was referred to a ‘Well Being Service’ run by the Trust and then had two telephone appointments with a mental health nurse. Although she did claim to benefit from this, she began feeling very bad again the following month and returned to the GP. She and her husband met with the GP, Dr Donna Machin, told her how desperate they felt and stressed that they wanted to actually see someone – it was mentioned at the inquest that they had been given a mountain of documentation concerning ‘advice’. Dr Machin decided not to make an immediate referral to a community mental health team because although Mrs Slack had stated that she was feeling suicidal, she did not describe a ‘clear plan’ to commit suicide. A verdict of suicide was recorded. This case illustrates very well what is happening in the UK mental health services – there is a plethora of ‘well being initiatives’ and stacks of ‘advice on ‘mental health’ for people with mild ‘problems’, but very little treatment or care available for people who are becoming desperate and seriously ill. It does not seem to have occurred to those with a touching faith in the benefits of ‘talking about it’ or ‘raising awareness’ or ‘self-help literature’ that such things are not going to make a blind bit of difference to someone who’s crashed out in a foetal position and who can’t stop crying. They won’t be able to ‘share’ or ‘talk’ or raise their awareness even if such things were effective (and there’s not much evidence that they are). It’s interesting that Mrs Slack was a former nurse as well – even healthcare professionals themselves are having difficulty extracting a ‘service’ out of the ‘services’ these days. As is customary when Mail online report a suicide story, there was a little note at the end of the article suggesting that suicidal people should contact the Samaritans for assistance. There’s no point bothering if they live in Bangor, the Samaritans there are remarkably unconcerned if someone with mental health problems becomes suicidal because ‘these people’ kill themselves anyway and furthermore the Samaritans ‘aren’t trained’ to deal with them (please see previous posts).

Recent blog posts have been charting the Top Doctors allies attempts to put the case for huge more quantities of funding for the NHS now that the pleas of the Top Doctors themselves have fallen on deaf ears. It’s now the turn of healthcare researchers to assist the Top Doctors in pursuit of dosh. The Guardian online is carrying an article explaining that a crisis (yet another one) is imminent, as usual attributed to people having the nerve to live too long and/or daring to develop dementia. The solution is more money please, to the NHS and to social care. I am entirely sympathetic to the notion of properly funded social care, but I notice that whenever the Top Doctors and their chums are leading the debate, there is not a robust argument put forward in favour of social care workers being paid properly. It is sometimes mentioned in passing, but the Top Doctors relentlessly present the argument for themselves being paid more, or sometimes nurses as well. Social care workers endure the worst pay and conditions of any group of non-trafficked workers in the country – you wouldn’t get a Top Doctor or indeed a member of the Royal College of Nursing lifting immobile doubly incontinent elderly people off beds and into chairs and then back again or feeding them by hand and changing incontinence pads for £8/hour, day in day out working twelve hour shifts. The outcry about this is indeed there, it rears it’s head when someone makes a documentary exposing the shoddy state of the UK’s social care infrastructure, but these workers are rendered invisible in most of the ‘the NHS needs more money’ debates. The Guardian quotes Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (she’s getting wheeled out in the media on a regular basis at the moment) as saying that not only is ‘more investment’ in the NHS desperately needed, but that it is a ‘great testament to medical research and the NHS’ that the population is living longer. Well although modern medicine has given us all effective pain relief which is a very great blessing, the real advances in terms of extending life span are of course attributed to the big public health advances such as infection control, decent housing, improved nutrition, sanitation and changes in the nature of employment meaning that people don’t die in industrial accidents before they are 40 which used to be commonplace. The average lifespan of the quarrymen at the bottom of the hierarchy in the slate quarries of north west Wales was 32 (or it might have been 36). That wasn’t because they didn’t have the NHS with Top Doctors earning £100,000, it was because their diet was subsistence, their housing was terrible and their work was very dangerous indeed. And of course even with the NHS and the Top Doctors there are still huge differences in lifespan between different socio-economic groups in the UK. As Top Doctors themselves know well, Sir Richard Doll saved many more lives by demonstrating the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer than highly paid Top Doctors with machines that go ping or access to the Cancer Drugs Fund. Helen Stokes-Lampard also made her comments with reference to dementia which was a bit puzzling – research hasn’t yet made a dent in dementia.

Now for Wales-related news. BBC News Wales have reported that four men have now been convicted variously of murder and manslaughter after Mark Mason from Rhyl was stabbed to death in the car park of Home Bargains in Rhyl. This killing was a revenge killing after somebody else was murdered – it is part of an on-going turf war between two rival gangs of drug dealers who are busy killing each other for the right to control the supply of drugs in Rhyl. So Dafydd and CAIS are continuing to do a really brilliant job with the millions of pounds that the Welsh Gov’t are giving them to ‘tackle substance abuse and associated problems’ then. (The joke among the dope blowers in Bethesda was always that CAIS was the acronym for ‘Come And Inject Some’, but I note that CAIS is also the acronym for Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, which is a pretty good description of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones where female patients are concerned.) I have heard from a reader today that as well as getting millions in funding from the Welsh Gov’t, CAIS are also raking in huge quantities of dosh from the DWP. Someone else who doesn’t seem to realise that CAIS has been a scam from the outset observed that CAIS has ‘lost its way’. This person works for the CAB – the dreadful Lucille Hughes of CAIS fame also of course has a role at a very senior level in the management of CAB, so I imagine that people in the CAB will have been led up the garden path as to the value of CAIS, so if they’ve noticed that all is not well it must be bad. If any readers know when Lucille became involved in the CAB I’d be interested to hear from them. I met the one honest solicitor in Bangor who very effectively defended me from the excesses of Dafydd and Lucille when he was doing sessions at the CAB in Bangor and Dafydd knew that was where I’d sought his advice. Within months of that solicitor advising me as to how to defend myself from Dafydd, CAB had stopped providing free legal advice sessions. Knowing how Dafydd and Lucille literally nobbled everyone who dared stand up to them and wreaked a Terrible Revenge on anyone who challenged their corruption I have always wondered if there might have been a connection with the disappearance of the lawyers from the CAB and this man’s effective fighting of my corner against Dafydd. After all, if word got around that there was an excellent lawyer providing free legal advice who wasn’t afraid to challenge Dafydd and who wouldn’t allow himself to be corrupted either, who knows what problems that would have presented for Dafydd, Lucille, the mental health services and the north Wales paedophile ring.

Kirsty Williams has taken a leaf out of Leanne’s book and has been giving media interviews about the trauma that she has incurred after being insulted by the electorate, both face to face and on social media. As part of her Misery Memoir she mentioned how frightened she was when she found that someone had put a ‘Vote Conservative’ poster in her hedge. She commented that ‘someone probably thought that was very funny’. Well it is quite witty in view of the fact that Kirsty’s in-laws are a well-known Tory family but support her because she’s a relative – presumably the poster in her hedge was a reference to this. Perhaps Kirsty’s in-laws are hoping that she will be Wales’s answer to Nick Clegg and form a ConDem coalition with the Tories. Another Strong Woman in politics suffered a trauma recently as well – Theresa May went to Wrexham campaigning and was confronted by a young man who was an anti-hunt protestor. He blew a bugle in her presence and this was deemed to be such a threat to national security that he was arrested. Theresa is clearly even more delicate than the rest of them, so much for ‘strong and stable’.

Earlier today, Radio 4 broadcast a programme that mentioned that a number of ‘expert witnesses’ who lied in court are facing imprisonment. In view of the number of times that various Top Doctors lied about me on oath my ears pricked up at this news. It transpires that there has been industrial scale perjury going on with regard to insurance claims after car accidents and someone’s finally decided to round everybody up and prosecute them. It was mentioned that police and barristers knew that this was going on but ignored it, so now there may be prosecutions mounted against some of them as well. Oh well perhaps the days of those we know and love lying through their teeth in court with impunity in order to secure convictions against anyone who has discovered their extensive corruption might be drawing to a close. I read in the Daily Post online that HMP Berwyn is opening another wing with capacity for 700 inmates. You could house an awful lot of dishonest Top Doctors, Top Lawyers and Top Judges in there and there’d still be a spare cell for Peter Higson and Martin Jones to share.

Discussing the corruption of the vile ones brings me neatly onto the next thing that caught my eye in the Daily Post online, an article by the man who found the body of Sophie Hook, describing his memories of that event. Sophie was a seven year old girl who’s body was found washed up on the beach in Llandudno in July 1995. Howard Hughes, a man with learning disabilities, behaviour problems and dyslexia who had previously spent time in Bryn Estyn, one of the children’s homes targeted by the north Wales paedophile ring, is currently serving a 50 year prison sentence for her abduction, rape and murder. Howard Hughes’s case has been taken up by INNOCENT, an organisation concerned with miscarriages of justice. There is certainly an awful lot to be worried about regarding his conviction.

Sophie was on holiday with relatives who lived in Llandudno and she and her cousins were sleeping in a tent in the garden when she went missing. Her body was found washed up on a beach a few hours later and Howard Hughes was arrested a few hours after that. There was no forensic evidence at all against Hughes, just an awful lot of people who knew that he was a Wrong ‘Un and some witnesses of very questionable character. Before Sophie was killed however, Hughes’s life had already been touched many times by those we have known. Howard Hughes looked frightening – he had a chromosome abnormality (XYY) which caused him to grow quickly to a very great height. So he was very tall even as an early teen and by the time that he stopped growing he was 6ft 8ins. He attended a series of special schools, including some residential ones, and his father, who seemed to have difficulty coming to terms with his son’s disabilities, paid for extra tuition. Hughes did not gain any qualifications. When he was 16, it was alleged that Hughes took a seven year old boy into a derelict house, exposed himself, made indecent suggestions and attempted to strangle him. He was convicted of assault and was given a two year supervision order and was sent under the Mental Health Act to St Andrews Hospital, Northampton and then to Garth Angharad near Dolgellau. Both of these institutions have previously featured on this blog. St Andrews is a very troubled institution and has been so for many years. It has recently been the subject of a number of scandals involving the mistreatment and deaths of patients. I have a friend who grew up in Northampton and he told me that St Andrews had a reputation like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, a lawless hell-hole. St Andrews featured in the Jeremy Bamber case in the 1980s (please see post ‘Family Annihilation’) and was alleged to have provided very substandard care to Jeremy Bamber’s sister. Garth Angharad of course was one of the personal prisons used by Dafydd and the paedophile ring (please see post ‘More On Those Prisons For Folk Who Dared Complain’). A lot of people who complained about them seemed to end up in there, an establishment described as a ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’. After his release Hughes lived with his mother in Colwyn Bay. By the age of 19, he had convictions for assault, burglary, theft, criminal damage, threatening behaviour, motoring offences and possession of weapons. Such a record sounds dreadful – but Hughes was living in north Wales in the 70s and 80s and was in the ‘care’ of the mental health services and children’s services, which were rife with corruption and concealing a paedophile ring to boot. At the time that Hughes clocked up this criminal record, Dafydd and the Top Doctors had tried to have me prosecuted for, among other things, trying to strangle a doctor, trying to stab a doctor, ‘five assaults’, criminal damage and threatening behaviour. I hadn’t done any of it – as a letter from their own corrupt lawyer Andrew Park at the Welsh Office admitted – but that didn’t stop them all documenting that I had. The only conviction that they secured against me was ‘staring at a social worker in Safeway’s’ no less – but then I was a young woman with two degrees and an excellent solicitor. They managed to cause quite enough trouble for me nonetheless – had I been 6ft 8ins with a learning disability I’m pretty sure that I too would have acquired a criminal record very similar to that of Hughes. It is also recorded that before Sophie’s murder, Hughes had been accused of indecently assaulting three girls aged three, five and nine and was interviewed in connection with five allegations ‘brought by or on behalf of children’. These cases were dropped by the CPS because it was considered that the children were too young to give reliable evidence. I would have thought that a nine year old was well capable of giving reliable evidence and indeed nine year olds do give evidence, so I wonder why that case went pear shaped. But it’s worth mentioning here that those we have known have a bit of a thing about ‘children’ (apart from running a paedophile ring themselves that is). At the cover-up which constituted the investigation into my complaint about Dafydd et al by Robert Bluglass (please see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’), Dafydd told Bluglass that I had used ‘foul and abusive language’ in front of his young children and anyone who does such a thing is ‘not mentally normal’. I didn’t even know that Jones had young children when this allegation was made. Jones was not asked to provide any evidence for his allegation and I wasn’t even told that he’d made it – I only found out when I read the report. It was documented as fact. My post ‘A Trade In People – Between London And North Wales’ describes how a young woman from a family of three people with long-term mental health problems who were swindled out of their inheritance by a group of Top Doctors and lawyers was taken to Bethesda police station and accused of having a sexual interest in children within days of moving into the village. I know of another person who, after he made a complaint about the dreadful Tom Harney, a CPN with the aggressive and dysfunctional Arfon Community Mental Health Team, years later discovered that Harney had documented that he’d threatened to kill Harney and his family. This man didn’t know that Harney had a family. On one occasion, Dr X (Dr Tony Francis) accused me of ‘frightening children’. God knows how I did that, as with Dafydd and the foul and abusive language, there weren’t any children present at the scene for me to frighten even if I’d wanted to do so. There is among my medical records a letter written by Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services, which has been cc’d to a number of people explaining that if Gwynedd Health Authority looked as though they are taking a ‘caring’ attitude towards me, this would stand them in good stead with the Courts next time they prosecuted me. Following the writing of this letter, the Top Doctors prosecuted me for making offensive telephone calls to a CPN in the Arfon Team, one Bridget Lloyd. I hadn’t done this and I was found not guilty (no I never received an apology). However, in her evidence to the Court, Bridget Lloyd stated that she was so terrified of me and that I was such a threat to her and her young children – again, more children that I didn’t know existed – that not only was Gwynedd Health Authority going to provide her and the legendary children with a safe house, but that she had been issued with a mobile phone to carry with her at all times lest she bumped into me and I attacked her. Some weeks ago when I received further bundles of evidence from my lawyers, I found a memo written by Bridget Lloyd just before this court case in which she states that I had only ever met her once, it was a very long time ago and that she was fairly sure that I wouldn’t recognise her. But that’s not what she said to the Court. This lot lie, they lie and they lie and they lie. And they really love introducing the concept of children into their tall stories. Indeed even Brown has had the children treatment from them. After we started publishing material about the practices of the mental health services and Brown provided a witness statement concerning their wrongdoing, a poison pen letter postmarked ‘Cardiff’ was sent to the authorities at the University where he works, which stated that he was a ‘known paedophile’ (please see post ‘A Nasty Ludicrous Poison Pen Letter’). Yes the paedophile gang and those who assisted them really enjoyed accusing other people of offences against children. Often people whom they had damaged themselves. Including possibly Howard Hughes.

Another thing that I need to mention here is those we have known take what a friend described as ‘pre-emptive action’ against people whom they might want to frame in the future. My own medical records show how Dafydd and Dr X (Dr Tony Francis) were very carefully building up a picture of me as a dangerous nutter for many months before they started court action against me. And it was all very skilfully done – letters detailing violent assaults that never took place were written and cc’d to people who had never met me. Those people would then make statements maintaining that they were frightened of me because I was ‘known’ to be ‘dangerous’ and then these statements were  used as evidence that I was so dangerous that people were frightened of me. I have collated all these letters and taken a note of the dates and what was cc’d to whom and it was very obviously co-ordinated and organised – and it began days after I made my first complaint about the mental health services. The friend who talked about ‘pre-emptive action’ also used a lawyer to obtain a full copy of his medical records and exactly the same process could be seen. Within days of making a formal complaint about the Arfon Team, it was documented that he had smashed down a door at their office and threatened female members of staff. He wasn’t told that this had been documented, but he was told that they were ‘upset’ because he had sworn at them and thrown a cushion across the room (which he did, he was at the end of his tether with them) and Tony Francis ordered him to write a letter of apology. He agreed – and Francis suggested wording which would be ‘helpful’. The wording that my friend was encouraged to use was to apologise for his ‘behaviour’ and for ‘upsetting and frightening’ staff. So he did as suggested. When, years later, he received his medical records, he discovered that his apology – as dictated by Francis – had been attached to an unsigned fallacious account of the incident, ie. the alleged smashing down of the door and threatening women. So this sequence of documents gave every impression that my friend had smashed down a door, threatened women and then realised how terrible his actions had been and he had thus guiltily apologised a few days later. This man is an accountant and a businessman. If those we have known fitted us up using these techniques I can only imagine the fun that they had with a man who had learning difficulties and literacy problems.

So, some time after all these offences against children that Hughes was ‘linked to’ but never charged with, Sophie was found dead and hours later Hughes was arrested. Within hours he was released on the grounds that the police had no evidence against him. But hours after that, they searched his home and very conveniently found indecent images of children, so Hughes was rearrested. Hours later he was charged with the abduction, rape and murder of Sophie on the basis of ‘further information’ that had been acquired. The details of this further information were not revealed. Hughes was remanded in custody until the trial in June 1996. There was no forensic evidence presented against him at his trial. However there were some very interesting witness statements. He had been spotted looking around on the ground in the area near the garden where Sophie and her cousins had pitched their tent. The witness claimed that Hughes had said that he was searching for some money that he dropped. It was stated at the trial that from that spot Hughes would have been able to hear the children talking in the tent – and that he would have heard them discussing how they were going to sleep in the tent. There was no evidence at all that he’d heard any such thing – but it was possible. You never know. It is recorded that later that day  ‘it is believed’ that Hughes tried to abduct six year old Alexandra Roberts who was performing handstands in a park but who then ran away. It is not explained why this was ‘believed’ – there is no record of any evidence that any such abduction attempt was made. (At one point on my medical records it is stated that ‘it is believed’ that I was in Risley Remand Centre after attacking someone with a knife. I’ve never been in Risley Remand Centre – not even as a visitor – and I’ve never attacked anyone with a knife. But someone believed that I was and I had. So it was written down and placed in my medical records.) At 2-55 am on the night that Sophie was sleeping in the tent, Hughes was spoken to by a policeman who saw him patrolling the promenade. Which was a convenient time for the policeman to have seen Hughes up and about in Llandudno, because Sophie’s cousin gave evidence stating that he woke up at 2-30 am and saw Sophie asleep beside him but when he woke up again at 7-15 am she was missing. At the trial, Hughes’s father – whom Hughes had not lived with for years – stated that Hughes had confessed to killing Sophie when he was taken into custody by the police. Hughes denied making this confession. Another witness, Jonathan Carroll – a career criminal who was in prison at the time that he testified – stated that he’d seen Hughes carrying a hessian sack along a street in Llandudno on the night of the murder and that he saw a glimpse of a naked body in the sack. He admitted that he was in the process of stealing property from someone’s garden when he saw the body in the sack which is presumably why he didn’t take action there and then. Unless seeing people strolling around Llandudno with a dead body in a sack is a day to day occurrence for him and thus he didn’t raise an eyebrow. A third witness was a convicted child sex offender, Michael Guidi, who told the Court that Hughes had boasted to him a few years before that he would like to rape a girl of four or five. Which sounds to me rather more like the fantasy of a child sex offender than a credible piece of evidence.

Miscarriages of justice tend to happen in cases where there is much emotion in the wake of a truly horrible crime. As well as hearing witness statements by Hughes’s father – who had always been rather desperate about his son – and two ne’er do wells, the jury also heard details of the injuries inflicted upon Sophie. It was stated that the injuries were inflicted before she died. Her arm and ankle were broken, her body was covered in bruises as though she’d been slapped about the face and head, she had internal bleeding and had been raped and sodomised. The Court was told that the sort of injuries that she sustained were normally seen on people who had been killed or injured in major car crashes. It was stated that her death had been as a result of manual strangulation and that her body had been thrown into the sea ‘to wash away forensic evidence’ (how would someone simply carrying out an examination of the body know this?). Sophie’s clothes were not found at the time that her body was. The court also heard that Sophie had been in so much pain before she died that there were teeth marks on both sides of her tongue and on the inside of her lower lip. So there will no doubt have been a lot of high emotion in that Court after hearing all this. Who was it who gave the evidence regarding Sophie’s injuries? None other than the illustrious Home Office pathologist Dr Donald Wayte. Wayte hit the UK media a few years before Sophie was killed because he announced publicly that nearly all children who were presumed to have died from cot death had been murdered by their parents. He had no evidence at all for saying this, but say it he did because He Knew. It caused a very big furore with many deeply distressed people who’d lost a child to cot death speaking publicly about the offence that Wayte caused. But no-one pointed out that the really worrying thing was that a pathologist who was responsible for giving evidence in murder trials felt able to spout hogwash on a subject about which he knew nothing on the basis of no evidence. And a few years later he gave evidence at the trial of Howard Hughes. But Wayte had a disregard for protocol on other matters too. I know someone whose mother was friends with Donald Wayte who, when this person was 15, was interested in ‘what goes on in a hospital’. So Donald Wayte took him in and showed him the lot. No worries about trivial matters such as ethics or procedure there… Interestingly enough, there is a Dr Avril Wayte who sits on the Board of CAIS along with Dafydd and Lucille – she’s a pathologist too. Very probably the wife or daughter of Donald. It’s a small world when you’re a Top Doctor.

Howard Hughes was found guilty of the abduction, rape and murder of Sophie Hook in July 1996. At Chester Crown Court. The Chester Crown Court where there was an attempt to imprison me after the Arfon Community Mental Health Team had perjured themselves (see post ‘The Arfon Community Mental Health Team’). The Chester Crown Court where the Rev Emyr Owen was found guilty and imprisoned for a crime that could not have happened (see post ‘Updates, Common Themes And News, May 5 2017’). The Chester Crown Court that was part of the Chester and Wales Circuit that was known to have a problem with corruption. But then the North Wales Police who investigated Sophie’s murder were also alleged to be riddled with corruption. The North Wales Police had been under the spotlight at the time of Hughes’s arrest and conviction. At the time of Sophie’s murder, the Jillings Report was being compiled. The Jillings Report was the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse scandal that was commissioned by Clwyd County Council. The Chief Constable of North Wales had refused to co-operate with the enquiry and the police had withheld 130 boxes of files from the enquiry panel. Jillings and his team encountered such obstruction and difficulties during their investigation that they nearly resigned. The Chair of Social Services and the County Secretary and Solicitor told the North Wales Police and the Home Office that what were described as ‘profoundly serious allegations’ against the police should not be investigated. The Jillings Report was famously not published after it was completed in 1996 on the basis of legal advice given to Clwyd County Council. They were effectively told that what had gone on was so bad that they should refuse to publish any of it and destroy all copies of the Report. One month after Clwyd Council accepted this legal advice, a reorganisation of the local authorities in north Wales very conveniently resulted in Clwyd Council being dissolved. At this point the Independent newspaper began calling for a public inquiry. In June 1996 William Hague, the Secretary of State for Wales, announced the North Wales Child Abuse Enquiry. The following month Howard Hughes was convicted and imprisoned.

But north Wales was going a bit mad between 1994 and 1996 anyway. The North Wales Hospital Denbigh was closing down and Dafydd was completely losing it – well there were all those people illegally detained out there, he must have wondered what he was going to do with them. Furthermore people just would not stop making allegations that they had been sexually abused whilst in children’s homes in north Wales – and those people had started turning up dead. The most well known of these people outside of Wales was Mark Humphreys. At the end of 1994, Gordon Anglesea, a senior police officer with the North Wales Police, sued Private Eye and The Independent for libel after they accused him of being a paedophile. Mark gave evidence that Anglesea was indeed a paedophile. Anglesea won the case. Mark was found dead two months later. Last year Gordon Anglesea was imprisoned – for sexually abusing children. He died in prison a few months after his conviction. Gordon Anglesea lived at Colwyn Bay – just down the road from Llandudno! The North Wales Police HQ was at Colwyn Bay as well! As for the lives of those of us who had dared complain about the mental health services – well it was in 1994 that the mental health services started moving heaven and earth yet again to have me convicted of something. Anything would do, it didn’t really matter what. I was charged with making the offensive phone calls to Bridget Lloyd at this time and Dr Tony Francis – who was one of the people who insisted that I should be arrested and charged – then helpfully wrote a report for the Court recommending what should be done WHEN I was found guilty. Only I was cleared, so that plan was out of the window. Regular readers of the blog will remember Mary Wynch, the lady who was illegally imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital for a year and who sued Dafydd and the Home Office. Well after the demands in Parliament for an investigation into her case suddenly died away, it was in 1995 that Mary, by now elderly and financially ruined, was given a pittance of a final payment authorised by the Home Office and told to finally piss off (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’).

The judge who presided over Howard Hughes’s trial was Justice Richard Curtis. In his summing up he denounced Hughes as a ‘fiend’. But from the minute that Sophie’s body was found – before Donald Wayte waxed lyrical about the detail of her injuries and people branched out into a bit of blue sky thinking regarding the reason why her body had been thrown into the sea – the police seemed to have a pretty good idea of the sort of person who would be arrested for this crime. The man in charge of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Eric Jones, declared that the person responsible for Sophie’s murder was ‘a brute who must be caught – quickly’. They found the brute that they were looking for a few hours later when they arrested Howard Hughes at the house that he shared with his mother. A remarkably snappy bit of detective work there from a police force who at that very time was refusing to co-operate with a major investigation into a possible paedophile ring operating in the institutions in which the brute that they arrested had spent time himself. As a learning disabled child. Who even if he had raped and murdered Sophie Hook would probably have never known that forensic evidence would be lost if the body was thrown into the sea and her clothes were not found. I tell you who would know all about destroying forensic evidence though – someone with knowledge of police investigations. Such as a policeman who was a paedophile.

In September 1997 the Court of Appeal granted leave to Hughes to appeal against his conviction. Six months later north Wales was further outraged when the brute claimed that he’d been abused whilst in Bryn Estyn and launched a claim for £50,000 compensation. Two weeks after the brute launched this claim, the Court of Appeal rejected his bid to have his convictions quashed. A second appeal was made in 2001 – the Court decided that there was no grounds to quash the convictions. The judges at this appeal ruled that there must be no more contestations unless new evidence was discovered.

So Howard Hughes remains in prison – he’s now serving a 50 year sentence thanks to the intervention of dear old Blunkett when he was Home Secretary – on the word of a career criminal, a convicted child sex offender and his father, whom he didn’t seem to have the best of relationships with. And upon the fact that he was obviously a fiend and a brute, after a life at the hands of a thoroughly corrupt mental health service, a children’s service that had a paedophile gang operating in it’s children’s homes and a police force that had a well-established reputation for corruption and that employed a senior officer who was a child molester himself. But if Hughes is ever let out of prison someone might have to ask who did kill Sophie and how did Hughes ever end up serving a fifty year sentence on the personal recommendation of David Blunkett on the basis of such flimsy evidence…

 

 

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.)

 

 

 

 

 

How Much Do Staff Surveys Really Tell Us?

I’m indebted to a reader from Bangor who has sent me this – as Cyril Fletcher would have said on ‘That’s Life’ in the 1970s, only at this point Fletcher would have made reference to a newspaper cutting with innuendo before the camera cut to Esther banging on about child abuse (and she really couldn’t ever remember that woman who popped up recently in the press informing us that she’d told Esther all about Savile years ago). However my reader has sent me a link to the North Wales Chronicle, which on May 14 published the results of a Betsi staff ‘survey’. Like many such surveys, one only has to have one brief read of the ‘results’ to conclude that it is flaky. The results are presented as a triumph for the Betsi Board – the staff ‘have a higher opinion of their bosses than they did three years ago’ (except that we are then told that a comparison is being made to the same type of survey conducted in 2013, which is more than three years ago). However, despite having a ‘higher opinion’ of their bosses, on all the following categories the staff have ‘far less confidence’ than in 2013: managers listening to employees, involving them in decisions, encouraging them to suggest ways of improving the service and managing change. Which pretty much sums up the role of the managers – so in what way did staff have a ‘higher opinion’ of them? We are not told. We are told however that 3,252 staff responded to the survey. That is a very small proportion of Betsi staff. I read a few weeks ago that they employ 6000 staff in their mental health division alone. So on that basis alone, statistically this survey is meaningless (although it is meaningless in other ways as well, because of the way in which the questions are phrased). Interestingly enough, the survey revealed that 82% of respondents stated that they were encouraged to report errors or incidents. This is not backed up by evidence. This blog hears again and again from staff confirming that the most appalling failings are being concealed and that managers do not want to hear ‘bad news’. The Tawel Fan scandal was revealed by a nurse who made an undercover recording – she did this because she tried to raise a concern internally about a member of staff assaulting a patient but was ignored. After she blew the whistle she was suspended, maliciously reported to the police which resulted in her being arrested but never charged and received anonymous threats. She now works in England. No member of staff reported any of the failings or abuses that I and other patients witnessed when I spent months – completely unnecessarily – in the Heddfan Unit. (Neither was my subsequent complaint investigated properly.) In recent inquests on patients who have died whilst in the ‘care’ of the Betsi, staff have lied in an attempt to conceal failings. Furthermore, a look at the Ombudsman’s website reveals that many complaints have been upheld against the Betsi. None of this would be happening if staff really were encouraged to report errors and incidents. The survey entertainingly tells us that 88% of staff are ‘happy to go the extra mile at work when required’. So 12% of them aren’t – is this not worrying in a care setting where ‘going the extra mile’ might be needed in a life-saving situation? So what if you’re the patient who has the unexpected heart attack when one of the 12% is just going off duty, putting their coat on and leaving? (I did once see a patient having an unexpected heart attack in the Hergest Unit. He keeled over and was in very great trouble. The consultant psychiatrist on duty watched, he actually watched. He then ordered a junior psychiatrist to carry out CPR – and the junior psychiatrist wasn’t sure how to do it. It was a nurse who was summoned by another patient who knew what to do, did it and almost certainly saved the man’s life. As she did her bit, the two psychiatrists strolled off. I presume they were both part of the 12%). Now for another 12%! It is of course the 12% of respondents who claim to have experienced ‘physical violence’ at work from ‘patients, service users, relatives or members of the public’. I do not believe this figure. If it were true, people who have spent time in hospitals – like me and correspondents to this blog – would all have witnessed a number of physical assaults on staff. We haven’t. I have only ever witnessed one ‘assault’ on a member of staff and that was when a confused, psychotic man threw a book at the dreadful Raj Sambhi. And even that might have been avoided if Sambhi had any communication skills. I have asked other patients and they too have never witnessed patients/families/the public assaulting staff – we have all witnessed staff being sworn at and sometimes spoken to very rudely, but not assaulted. However a number of us have been assaulted ourselves (usually in the Hergest Unit) or witnessed other patients being assaulted by staff. A number of us have experienced staff claiming that we had assaulted them when we didn’t. My own medical records contain letters from the Top Doctors own lawyers telling them that they had to stop documenting in affidavits that I had assaulted them because there was no evidence that I had (it didn’t stop the Top Doctors though, they just ignored their own legal advice). When Keith Thomson ad Martin Jones were running the North West Wales NHS Trust, florid allegations were constantly made about patients ‘attacking’ and ‘assaulting’ staff. This was routine if a patient had made a complaint. The system was particularly effective because the RCN ‘rep’ who was responsible for collecting these ‘statistics’ and giving lurid press interviews was a former Hergest nurse who was unable to work through disability but was offered the job as the RCN rep as a deal. He continued to receive a salary in return for concealing the mountain of shite at the Hergest and maintaining that the place was full of nutters launching assaults on the staff. I knew one of this man’s colleagues who was invalided out of nursing with exactly the same physical problem – Thomson and Martin refused to let him stay on. But then he and his wife, who was also a psychiatric nurse, had been honest enough to raise concerns about the standard of care at the Hergest Unit and had stated that the Unit was dangerous. The survey tells us that 17% of staff had experienced ‘harassment or bullying or abuse at work from patients/relatives/members of the public’. This tells us nothing – the Betsi construct patients writing repeated letters of complaint if their complaints aren’t dealt with as ‘harassment’ and psychotic patients swearing as ‘abuse’. Requests from patients that staff ignore are constructed as ‘bullying’ if patients repeat the requests. ‘Harassment’, ‘bullying’ and ‘abuse’ are very much in the eye of the beholder and the NHS uses very elastic definitions of these. However, the survey did state that 30% of staff are unwell due to work-related stress – which, if true, is an extraordinarily high number.

I first began to take an interest in ‘staff surveys’ in the NHS in north Wales when I found out what Keith Thomson and Martin Jones were doing in terms of ‘statistics’ in the North West Wales NHS Trust. But then something else happened that caused me to question very closely all ‘staff opinion’. A man called Gren Kershaw, the CEO of the Trust that was responsible for managing Ysbyty Glan Clwyd before the Betsi was formed, was voted by the staff in (I think) a Nursing Times ‘survey’ as ‘best CEO’ of an NHS Trust in the UK. I knew two people at the time who both knew him. One was a researcher at Bangor University who was a former nurse who had been serially sacked from a number of jobs and who was ‘leading’ a project in partnership with the NHS which subsequently imploded. She described Gren as ‘great’. The other person was a PhD student who told me that the ‘elderly wards’ at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd were terrible and that there was a massive cover-up – his sister was a nurse at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and was advising the wider family not to allow their grandmother to be treated at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Then I met someone at a seminar whose elderly terminally ill father had been in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – she described him being dumped on a commode and left there, ending up crying such was his distress, only to be insulted by the nurses. So she complained – and received aggression herself. This lady removed her father from the ‘care’ of Gren’s empire and he was cared for at home – they were fortunately a family who were able to afford to do this. But then there was evidence visible from space suggesting that all was not well in Grenland, despite his accolade. A retired academic from Bangor University, Professor Clare Wenger, was admitted to a ward for ‘older people’ in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and was truly horrified by what she saw. Clare Wenger was a specialist in old age care and knew bad practice when she saw it. And she certainly saw it at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. She compiled a detailed dossier listing all the gross events that she had witnessed and sent it to over 100 academic contacts so appalled was she. She appeared in the Daily Post and on Radio 4. The main thrust of her complaint was that which she had witnessed happening to other patients – extreme neglect. She did complain about the disrespect shown to herself but she took the view that she was a retired professor and could pretty much defend her own corner but the other very vulnerable patients couldn’t. Yet Clare Wenger was roundly abused and derided for daring to question the dear old NHS. Ysbyty Glan Clwyd entered a state of Complete Denial and constructed Clare Wenger as an insufferable snob who wanted ‘special treatment’ and the media followed suit. She was sneeringly referred to as the ‘lady professor’ who should have ‘gone private’. Now even if she had been the snobbiest old cow on earth, what everybody missed was that she wasn’t demanding special treatment for herself, she had been expressing serious concerns about the treatment meted out to the other patients. Nonetheless she was shot down in flames. Which is utterly bizarre, because not only is Clare Wenger an old age specialist but she has directed a number of major research projects concerned with the care and support of older people funded by the EU, the Department For International Development – and the Department of Health. Yes, the Department of Health paid Clare Wenger to lead a longitudinal study that lasted over 20 years looking at the ageing process and informal support. But when she dared raise concern about the abuse and neglect of elderly patients at Ysbyty Gwynedd that she had witnessed at first hand she was blown out of the water. So Clare was a stuck up cow and Gren was applauded in Nursing Times. And a few years later, the scandal at Tawel Fan broke. A ward for the elderly at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd where patients with untreated fractures crawled around naked on a floor covered in faeces and urine whilst nurses swore at them and discussed their sex lives. Probably the very same nurses who had voted Gren Top of The Chief Execs. No wonder they liked him – he shelled out the salaries and ignored complaints whilst they did sod all.

So what’s happened to Gren since the horrible truth about the hospital that he managed for so many years has become very public? He’s set up a management consultancy of course! Gren Kershaw Consulting Ltd. Registered office: 18 Bryntirion Drive, Prestatyn. Current accounts show £78-05k in the bank – that’s down £30.78k on the previous year, so Gren must have hit hard times. Furthermore, a Mr Grenville Robert Davison Kershaw was a company director from 18 March 2009 until 31 December 2015, whereupon he resigned. But on 31 December 2015, one Mrs Elaine Kershaw was appointed company director and she still is at present. If any readers could enlighten me regarding the scam that I suspect that Gren and his wife are operating I’d appreciate it.

As for the serially dismissed ex-nurse who was mates with Gren – well she has set up an ‘executive coaching’ business and her website boasts a rather untruthful CV. The Betsi have commissioned her to provide ‘training’ for the Top Doctors. I think even the Top Doctors would have seen through that ‘training’.