History Repeats Itself, First As Tragedy, Second As Farce

A story in the Welsh news yesterday certainly illustrates Marx’s famous quote.

In my post ‘Police 5, April 20 2017’ I reported on the case of a custody sergeant, Jethro Christie, at Caernarfon Police Station who had been cleared of breaking a prisoner’s collar bone after holding him in a double arm lock. The prisoner concerned, Jason Pritchard, maintained that Christie – described as an ‘international martial arts expert’ – had held him in a ‘full Nelson’ and dropped him. A Top Doctor helpfully provided evidence at the disciplinary hearing at Colwyn Bay’s North Wales Police HQ that Mr Pritchard most probably broke his collar bone when he fell off the bed in his cell. Beds in cells are quite near the floor, I would imagine that it would be difficult to sustain a bruise by falling off one, let alone a broken collar-bone. My previous post mentioned a few other things about Jethro Christie’s account that didn’t quite add up.

Sgt Christie starred in the Daily Post Online again yesterday. He was the victim of a Horrible Crime – again the action involved a prisoner in custody at Caernarfon Police Station when Christie was on duty. Christie had been assaulted by a lady called Christine McKeever. The assault in question was the accidental spilling of a drink of hot chocolate over Christie. There was no mention of Christie being scalded, so it doesn’t seem to be like one of those McDonalds Apple Pie cases that became notorious in the 80s, in which enthusiastic Mac’s customers sustained injury after biting into the Apple Pies containing fillings well beyond temperatures that should be in contact with the human mouth. Ms McKeever explained to the Court that she didn’t mean to knock the hot chocolate over Christie. None the less, she was fined £150 for assaulting him and £155 costs.

As with the two well-built aggressive male Angels employed by Ysbyty Gwynedd, Stephen Gallagher and Alan Roberts (see post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’), Sgt Christie doesn’t have much luck when he’s on duty. This international martial arts expert who – like all police officers these days – will be well kitted-out with protective body armour, truncheon/cosh, spray to squirt into people’s faces and probably a taser as well (who knows, he’s probably carrying a gun too), finds himself in the company of prisoners who sustain serious injury after falling a matter of inches from their bed onto the floor – after CCTV confirmed that Christie has held them in a full Nelson and dropped them – and a lady who carries out a vicious assault upon him, accidentally, with a hot chocolate.

After Christie didn’t break Jason Pritchard’s collar bone, Richard Eccles, the Secretary of the North Wales Police Federation, commented that the disciplinary committee had produced the ‘right result’ and mentioned the ‘impact’ that the case had on Sgt Christie and his colleagues no less. So the whole station was traumatised after Christie did not break Jason’s collar bone. The North Wales Police Federation supported Gordon Anglesea until the day that he was convicted of molesting boys in care. The dear old Fed were even planning to support him in an appeal against his conviction, but most ungratefully Anglesea died in prison. So instead the North Wales Police Federation turned out in force at his funeral.

I await a statement from the North Wales Police Federation regarding the trauma suffered by Jethro after some hot chocolate was accidentally spilt in his presence, the amount of sick leave that was necessitated because of this and of course the counselling that was needed as a result of the PTSD that he subsequently developed. God knows how the rest of the station coped with the horror of it all, they’ve probably all booked themselves in for Indian head massages to relieve the stress.

 

Another case of history repeating itself in Wales now, but sadly this is yet another tragedy following on from a previous tragedy. BBC News Wales Online have been reporting on the death of 12 year old Ryan Morse in Dec 2012. Ryan died at his home in Blaenau Gwent from Addisons disease, after being ill for four months but remaining undiagnosed, despite being repeatedly seen by two GPs. Addisons is treatable – Ryan’s death was avoidable. Two GPs involved in the case have stood trial at Cardiff Crown Court for manslaughter. One doctor was cleared in May and the other doctor, Dr Joanne Rudling, has just been acquitted on the direction of Mrs Justice Nicola Davies. Dr Rudling still faces trial on a charge of perverting the course of public justice.

Like Jethro Christie, Nicola Davies is an old friend of this blog and featured in my post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’. Nicola, whilst she was still a barrister, was the QC whose opinion was sought by the Welsh Office during the Jillings investigation as to whether a public inquiry should be held into the abuse of children in care in north Wales. Nicola maintained that it would ‘not be in the public interest’ to do so. Nevertheless, the difficult questions just wouldn’t go away and the following year William Hague organised the cover-up that was the Waterhouse Inquiry. Nicola became a judge the year after Hague organised the whitewash.

Nicola has had many high points in her career. She was junior counsel to Dr Marietta Higgs and Dr Geoffrey Wyatt in the wake of the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal, which certainly proved a useful distraction to the activities of the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales (see posts ‘A UK Network’ and ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection’). She moved onto greater things – she represented the dangerous surgeons in the Bristol Heart Scandal who operated beyond their competence and killed their young patients; she represented Sir Roy Meadow before the GMC, the High Court and Court of Appeal after he invented a new illness and made up silly statistics in the witness box, resulting in the wrongful imprisonment of a number of mothers for allegedly murdering their children; and she really hit the jackpot when she defended a man called Harold Shipman. Although in Court Nicola styles herself Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, Nicola is actually Dame Nicola. Of course she is after defending all those lethal Top Doctors. In 2014 Nicola was appointed Presiding Judge of the Wales Circuit, which is how she came to be sitting in Cardiff Crown Court the other day acquitting yet another Top Doctor who had killed someone. What’s the betting that Nicola will preside over Dr Rudling’s trial for perverting the course of public justice as well? A charge that some of us might be tempted to suggest that Nicola herself should probably face.

Ryan is not the first schoolboy to die of Addison’s disease in south Wales after a series of GPs who were consulted failed to diagnose it. In 1990, 10 year old Robbie Powell died in Morriston Hospital in Swansea – after four months of ill-health and seven consultations with five different GPs in the two weeks preceding his death. The GPs involved in Robbie’s neglect had told so many lies and altered so many medical records that a police investigation took place. Oh guess what – no-one was convicted of anything. Robbie’s parents only found out after his death that a hospital consultant had recommended months before he died that he should be tested for Addison’s disease. This was not done. The fact that Robbie was even in hospital at all at the time of his death was bugger all to do with the lying, document-altering GPs – Robbie’s dad had driven him to hospital after Robbie collapsed at home and the GPs had refused to call an ambulance.

The full story about Robbie’s death was never revealed. What was revealed only ever became public because of Robbie’s dad William, who fought for twelve years before an investigation was carried out by Lesley Griffiths, the then Health Minister. On 9 Oct 2012, BBC News Wales online carried a report entitled ‘NHS Must Learn Lessons From Boy’s Death’. Well that’s why it’s happened all over again then. Lesley Griffiths compiled a report after the investigation and admitted that there had been a ‘catalogue of failures and missed opportunities’. Robbie’s dad maintained that Griffiths’ report was a ‘complete whitewash’ and a ‘waste of public money’ and he asked for a public inquiry into Robbie’s death. He didn’t get one, although Carwyn Jones apologised and had said that he’d be writing to the police to ask questions about the way in which the investigation into the GPs was handled. Carwyn admitted that Robbie’s family had been ‘let down badly by a system that should have protected’ Robbie.

In Jan 2013, Wales This Week reported that it had been discovered that Carwyn Jones had made 18 redactions to the Report into Robbie’s death.

Regular readers will know how often I and others are simply not believed when we tell our stories of serious institutionalised NHS corruption. I have found that if, after being accused of making it all up, I then produce some of the (mountains of) evidence that I have, a very common reaction is for the unbeliever to then tell me that ‘something might have gone wrong with your case, but the NHS treats thousands of people every day and they get excellent care’. (This line was trotted out in the face of complaint about Mid-Staffs.)

Well look what was reported by BBC News Wales as part of Lesley Griffiths’ statement in the Senedd when the (redacted) report into Robbie’s death was presented – Lesley Griffiths was quoted as saying that ‘thousands of people receive excellent care from the NHS every day but when things go wrong the service must take every opportunity to learn from these mistakes’. Not that the service ever does, because the service is screwing up constantly, misconduct is routinely covered up and denied and if some awkward sod does prove that their complaints are well founded, they’ll be given the ‘thousands of people every day’ patter. There will only very rarely be a public inquiry into a monumental cock-up and a report will often be redacted lest anyone find out just how badly things went wrong.

Now not only did Lesley know that among the ‘thousands of people receiving excellent care’ there were some of us who were not only being unlawfully refused all care after nearly dying at the hands of the NHS, but that we were being harassed and threatened as well by NHS staff. Lesley also knew that ‘the service’ was doing anything but ‘taking every opportunity’ to learn from its mistakes. How do I know that Lesley knew all this? Because at the time that she was reciting this glib, dishonest sanctimonious clap-trap, I was e mailing Lesley Griffiths about the appalling things that were happening to me at the hands of the NHS in north Wales. And I did not receive any replies – although I was writing with details of serious misconduct, in some cases criminal misconduct.

Of course the outrages that I was enduring at the hands of the NHS were nothing new, but they did become a lot worse after 2005 or so – when Brown and me started appearing in the press and academic journals discussing mental health service failure. As well as the usual arrests for ludicrous reasons and refusal to provide appropriate care, I was also being openly threatened and harassed. Some of these incidents were witnessed by members of the public who were so aghast at what they had seen Top Doctors and Angels doing that they made statements and complained to the senior managers of the North West Wales NHS Trust. Following this, these people were then threatened and harassed themselves. Whilst some of this was going on, Edwina Hart was Health Minister.

Now initially I believed that Edwina was ignoring my correspondence, because all I’d get would be a thank you and an acknowledgement and then it would go quiet. But then a friend somewhat more worldly than me stated ‘when letters like this land on a Minister’s desk they’re so hot they’ll be handled with tongs’. This man assured me that something WOULD be going on behind the scenes but because I was in a position to sue the arse off so many people in view of what was happening to me, Edwina would have to be careful what she said. He turned out to be right – following the initial acknowledgements, Edwina came up trumps, she took up my case with Martin Jones and Elfed Roberts, the two barking mad idiots running the North West Wales NHS Trust. They were rude to her and flatly refused to carry out her request to investigate my complaints. The threats and harassment continued. Edwina really did try – she acknowledged and replied regularly and when I realised just what a bloody nightmare Martin and Elfed were, I decided that it would be easiest for Edwina if I just sent her info about what was happening to me and let her deal with it, without me demanding details and updates. Edwina abolished the North West Wales NHS Trust, which in view of what was happening to me and many others at their hands was probably the only thing that she could actually do. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board came into being – and the BMA hounded Edwina out of her job. She was moved to another Ministry.

The new CEO of the Betsi, Mary Burrows, was a very different kettle of fish to Martin and Elfed, she was actually very nice and very obviously tried to take on the institutional corruption in the Betsi. And was she hated for it. I have described elsewhere the witch-hunt and vendetta against Mary from the BMA, the Top Doctors and the paedophiles’ friends. Unfortunately Martin Jones was now the Director of Workforce in the Betsi and was causing havoc – for Mary and me. I was told by a mole in the NHS that Martin blamed me for the abolition of the NW Wales NHS Trust and hated me with a vengeance. A lot of rather extreme things started happening to me – my office was rifled through on a number of occasions, post arriving at the university for me was opened and presumably read before I picked it up, my car was tampered with repeatedly and broken into on a number of occasions, someone tried to get into my house late one night but my dog saw them off, cars were driven recklessly in my direction at a high speed, a lorry tried to run me off the road, there was an attempt to run Brown and me off the road one day when we were out in the car together, a poison pen latter was sent to the authorities at the university where Brown worked stating that he was a ‘known paedophile’ (the letter was postmarked Cardiff) (see post ‘A Nasty, Ludicrous Poison Pen Letter’) – and I was followed and threatened by a policeman with a gun which I don’t think should have been in his possession. Amidst these highlights, every time I went into Bangor or Caernarfon, I would find myself followed and insulted by members of staff from the north Wales mental health services. I ended up having to move house twice and then live at an undisclosed location.

Whilst this was happening Lesley Griffiths was Health Minister. I presumed that like Edwina, Lesley Griffiths would find it easier to act if I just gave her info and left her to it for a bit without hassling her asking for answers. So I sent Lesley an awful lot of e mails, detailing just some of what was happening to me. And I waited. A long time. I do not think that I received one reply. And no, she did not seem to be acting behind the scenes either. As far as I could see, Lesley Griffiths completely ignored the very serious matters that I was e mailing her about. She knew how bad things were in the north, she’d witnessed what Edwina had to deal with.

At first I presumed that Lesley Griffiths might be a good choice for Health, because before she had been elected for Wrexham, she had been a medical secretary in Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Medical secretaries know an awful lot about troubled hospitals, they handle the letters of complaint and those threatening litigation. Wrexham Maelor, like all the hospitals in north Wales, was very troubled indeed. As Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths would have a lot more power than as a medical secretary – and she would know exactly where the problems lay. When she did absolutely sod all, I wondered if she was perhaps like a previous Health Minister, Jane Hutt – a drip of an ex social worker who was frightened to challenge the Top Doctors and co. But two years ago I attended a lecture by Lesley Griffiths in which she talked about her brilliant career. She explained that before she became an AM, she was a Councillor in Wrexham and it was really great because as a Councillor she could get streetlights fixed and ‘help the mums’ of the local kids. She could Change Things.

For what were the Councillors of Wrexham most well-known? Colluding with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Apart from Malcolm King, none of them would stick their necks out at all and ask the questions that needed to be asked about the serious abuse of kids at Bryn Estyn, the children’s home on the outskirts of Wrexham, or the Bryn Alyn Community nearby. Local doctors also colluded with the paedophiles of Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn. Those kids were turning up at GPs surgeries and local hospitals with broken bones and other injuries and no questions were asked. Sometimes the kids were sent away untreated. One teenaged boy went to a local GP with a ruptured anus. He was told that he had ‘piles’. He had been anally raped repeatedly. Meanwhile Lesley fixed the street lights and helped the mums – not the mums whose kids had been taken into ‘care’ by a gang of paedophiles obviously, they were ignored, as I was.

Earlier this summer, I was forwarded some more documents concerning the failure of the NHS to investigate my complaints. Among the many bizarre documents detailed elsewhere on this blog, there were some copies of e mails written by two notoriously dreadful NHS managers in north Wales, Simon Pyke and Adrian Jones. Pyke and Jones are no longer employed as managers by the Betsi, but they were notorious for failing to investigate complaints or respond to whistleblowers and for telling barefaced lies. Readers may remember their names from comments that other people have left on my blog. I have a copy of a seriously weird e mail written by Adrian Jones, in which he states that ‘SB’ (ie. me) has been complaining to Ministers in the Welsh Gov’t again and what a ‘nuisance’ I am. There is no record of any attempt to address the very serious matters that I was raising with the Welsh Gov’t. The Ministers that I wrote to – unsurprisingly – were the Health Ministers. Judging from the date on Jones’s e mail, he was referring to my correspondence to Lesley Griffiths and perhaps also to Mark Drakeford, who took over from Griffiths after a reshuffle. The only correspondence that I sent to Mark Drakeford detailed the major research fraud perpetuated by Professor Mark Williams at Bangor University. I did not receive a reply but a few weeks later, Drakeford took part in a photocall with Williams’s colleagues, in a PR piece promoting the research fraud that I’d given him full details of. Mark Drakeford is a former social worker who worked in Dyfed. Where a paedophile ring existed which was ignored by the social services. Dyfed Social Services were asked by Ioan Bowen Rees, the former Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, to ‘review’ Gwynedd Social Services children’s homes, after abuse was alleged. The abuse continued, so presumably that ‘review’ wasn’t very thorough. Before he was Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council, Bowen Rees was the County Secretary of Dyfed County Council (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).

So somehow Adrian Jones knew that I had written to the Welsh Gov’t about the NHS. I never wrote to Adrian Jones or indeed his colleagues. Yet Jones wasn’t given a copy of any of my complaints to respond to. So how did he know that I had written to the Health Ministers? I cannot help wondering if someone who once worked as a medical secretary in Wrexham might have known Adrian or one of his colleagues and told them that a nuisance was writing to Ministers about them. Heaven forbid that the same person might have told the paedophiles that the kids were complaining about being beaten and molested when people came to her with such matters in her previous incarnation as a Councillor.

‘Take a letter Ms Griffiths. I’ve killed yet more of my patients and I’m intimidating complainants so severely that they are moving house, leaving the area and going into hiding. I’m sure that I can rely on you to write exactly the same meaningless shite in response to the serious complaints that you have so helpfully written so many times before. By the way, I can see that you have abilities that far exceed those of your average medical secretary. How do fancy becoming a local Councillor? You could even move into national politics from there. Because with all these dead patients and investigations into organised child sexual abuse in the region, we could certainly do with a tame, lame, spineless fuckwit in the National Assembly representing Wrexham, where all the action is.’

Since Griffiths and Drakeford ignored my correspondence, the barrel of shit that was Tawel Fan exploded, it was admitted that the obs and gynae services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd were so dysfunctional that a hit squad was sent in by the Welsh Gov’t to ‘achieve normality’ and the recruitment crisis in the north Wales NHS has got worse and worse and worse. The Daily Post Online today reported that 37% of all medical vacancies in Wales are in the Betsi. No-one wants to work with insane, vindictive criminals who are killing and abusing their patients. Sian Gwenllian, the AM for Arfon, has Spoken Out yet again on the subject of how a medical school in Bangor is the answer. No Sian it is not. Because the medical school will be run by the criminals as well – no-one else will want to work or study there.

For fuck’s sake Carwyn, launch a police investigation into the north Wales NHS. The only good Health Minister that we’ve had has been Edwina and the biggest mistake ever was to allow the Top Doctors to hound her out. Appointing Paedophiles’ Friends to run Wales’s NHS has not been a good idea.

An article appeared on the Daily Post Online this afternoon explaining that the Councillors of Wrexham have voted against a proposal to take a pay cut in the face of their financial crisis. Services will be cut instead. I am sure that in the face of the local council tax payers complaining and becoming nuisances, the proud Councillors of Wrexham can rely on the support of their old mucker Lesley who’s showing What Women In Politics Can Do. And helping the mums whilst she Changes Things.

 

 

 

 

One Dangerous Fucker

Someone suggested to me recently that I should pay a bit of attention to a man called John Mills. John Mills has been mentioned on this blog before – he was the husband of Dame Barbara Mills, the DPP who just could not find it within her to prosecute members of the paedophile gang in north Wales despite mountains of evidence being handed over to the CPS and recommendations that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute scores of people. Mills is also the brother of David Mills – the man involved in that messy business regarding bribes from Berlusconi – who is of course the husband of Tessa Jowell. He was no longer the husband of Tessa for a short time during all the bad publicity re Silvio and the trial for corruption, but he became the husband of Tessa once again after the media had moved on to another scandal. That’s the Tessa who has worked for so many organisations at the heart of the abuse of children and the continued abuse of them when they entered the mental health system (please see previous posts). I mentioned in a previous post that John Mills had been a Camden Councillor whilst children in the care of that Council – some of whom were being ‘placed’ in children’s homes in north Wales – were abused by organised paedophile gangs. But I didn’t realise how deeply within that Council Mills was embedded. He was a Councillor between 1971-2006 and for much of that time Mills was responsible for the Council’s budget. He revels in the accolade that Camden Council received in 2003 – that of ‘Council of the Year’. This of course would have had nothing at all to do with the fact that in 2003 New Labour was well and truly ruling the roost and many past and present Councillors from, and residents of, Camden were key figures in New Labour – such as Tessa Jowell.

Now here’s a mystery – in the early years of the millennium, UK suicide statistics showed that Camden had the highest rate of suicides among women in England and Wales. The runner up was Conwy in north Wales. There was a fuss about this because Conwy is a lovely rural area and no-one could understand why so many women were committing suicide there. Of course everyone involved with the mental health services knew why – it was because the consultant for that patch was the lethal Dr Tony Roberts who constantly failed to identify patients with severe depression, told them that they all had personality disorders and refused to treat them So they topped themselves in very great numbers. No-one stopped Roberts though and when I complained about his conduct to the GMC at that very time, the GMC even went to the lengths of referring to a forged document that had somehow found it’s way into their possession purporting to be a letter from me as part of their ‘investigation’ into Roberts. No action was taken again him. Roberts had a partner in crime during that period of time, a truly dreadful GP from Penygroes who was the GP on call one night when I rang for help because I was suicidal. The GP, John Morris Jones, told me that the very good GP on call – whom I had spoken with earlier and who had asked me to ring back – was ‘unavailable’. He then hung up on me. At the time I just thought that I was speaking to yet another truly appalling Top Doctor but I now have obtained documentation relating to that night. The good GP who had tried to help earlier was still in the building but John Morris Jones had not told her that I was on the phone and he did not tell me that she was still there. Instead John Morris Jones took advice from the disgusting Tony Roberts – who sent out the order to ‘DO NOTHING’ (yes, the message was conveyed in capitals), in response to the earlier GP telling Roberts that I was ‘suicidal ++++’. That is why Conwy had such a high suicide rate. The Daily Post online today has a feature bemoaning the fact that John Morris Jones is retiring and now there will be no Welsh speaking GP left in the village. Local Plaid politicians and councillors Hywel Williams, Sian Gwenllian and Judith Humphreys have been photographed with sad expressions on their faces protesting over the loss of dear old John Morris Jones. They need to find a worthier cause – speakers of any language will be far safer now that Jones has shut up shop. It wasn’t just me that had unfortunate encounters with him – I heard from a number of Penygroes residents that he was a complete bastard. I suspect that like Tony Roberts, John Morris Jones was such a bad doctor that no doctor at all is actually a safer option.

But what about Camden, the Council of the Year where Tessa and John had reigned supreme? I know very little about the socio-geography of Camden but I’m wondering whether it is one of those London boroughs where rich and poor live separate lives but physically almost next door to each other. Could it possibly have been that by the time that Tessa had become a Minister – she was Minister for Young People at one point! – those kids who had been so badly abused whilst in council care had grown up into adults with mental health problems and as in north Wales were either being refused care or given care that was frankly abusive and were therefore killing themselves in great numbers? Conwy’s a great place to live if you’ve got a bit of money and don’t have to rely on Tony Roberts for mental health care and I bet Camden’s great if you’re a New Labour Minister. But not so great if you’re one of the more disadvantaged citizens who had been ‘helped’ by the services that Tessa, John et al oversaw.

John Mills’s involvement with the Labour Party didn’t stop at being a Camden Councillor. No, John is a very big fish indeed. John Mills is very rich – ‘a millionaire businessman and political donor’ – and it is on record that Mandelson did like filthy rich people. (Mills has a website which is dedicated entirely to blowing his own trumpet and that website is full of references to ‘Peter’.) John has made his fortune from his business JML, described by John as ‘an import-export and distribution company’. Which certainly covers a multitude of possibilities. He is Labour’s biggest individual donor and in 2013 gave Labour £1.65 million of shares. There were allegations that this was a tax scam but John reassured everyone that of course it wasn’t, just as he reassures people that giving millions to the Labour Party doesn’t buy one any influence at all. Not sure anyone believes you there John, it’s why the membership voted for Corbyn – they were sick to the back teeth of ‘Peter’ and his mates. John’s business career hasn’t always gone smoothly though. A former business of his, Fairlane UK, went bust, so shortly after Mills set up JML which he claims was founded in the basement of his house in Camden in 1986. Whilst those kids were being raped and trafficked by paedophiles and the idiots running the Council ignored all the alarm bells ringing in north Wales as Alison Taylor blew the whistle repeatedly but was simply sacked. Mills was once charged by Trading Standards for flogging ‘gold plated jewellery’ that was actually brass – Mills pleaded guilty and had to stump up £750.

Mills stood as a Labour candidate twice in 1974 and for the European Parliament in 1979. Mills seems to be the Nigel Farage of the Labour party in that although he desired election to the European Parliament he describes himself as a Eurosceptic. In fact it was Mills who bankrolled the Labour Party’s ‘Leave’ campaign.

Mills constantly refers to himself as an ‘economist’ on his website – you’re not Nobel material John no matter how much money you’ve managed to accumulate – and mentions that he was Deputy Chairman of London Docklands Development Corporation 1985-1987. And what a barrel of shit that was. John also tells us that for nine years he was Chair (or opposition leader) on Housing with the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the London Boroughs Association. Might anyone be taking an interest in the disastrous housing policies and decisions that John et al made in the wake of Grenfell Tower?

This blog has ended up touching on many areas of malpractice and sleaze, but it was set up to focus on mental health. John has an interest here, through his charitable work. John is a supporter and funder of none other than SANE – the mental health charity that has inflicted more damage on people with mental health problems than even MIND has. I’ve blogged about SANE and it’s crazed founder Marjorie Wallace previously and I do hope that new visitors to the blog will take the time to read that post ‘Another Confession From NHS England’, but I have some new revelations now.

Marjorie set up SANE in 1986. She was controversial from the start because under the guise of responding to the crisis in community care, Marjorie lobbied vigorously to prevent the closing down of psychiatric hospitals. Now Marjorie was correct in saying that there were insufficient facilities to care for patients in the community, there were, it was a joke to believe that vulnerable people unable to look after themselves would thrive when they were dumped in poor quality accommodation miles away from their contacts with no infrastructure to support them. But Marjorie did not put effort into campaigning for better community facilities. No, Marjorie was very keen indeed on the idea that people should remain sectioned and indeed locked up in institutions. Now Marjorie knew what was going on in psychiatric hospitals in the 80s because the more radical mental health activists like ‘Survivors Speak Out’ had been articulating the abuses to which they had been subjected and were confronting Marjorie on TV and in other situations. I too wrote to Marjorie about what was happening in north Wales – I did not receive a reply. All I knew in those days was that Marjorie was a ‘Sunday Times’ journalist who was also known as Countess Skarbek. I presumed that she was naïve and did not know what was happening in UK psychiatry. She bloody well knew alright and I suspect that is why Marjorie set up a charity in an attempt to prevent the closure of psychiatric hospitals. The prisons to silence dissenters – particularly people who had been sexually molested as children by some powerful people in public life – were in danger of closing. Including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – where the dissenters were ‘admitted’ and sometimes disappeared without trace…Do you know, Marjorie started her campaign not to close the asylums at the VERY TIME that it was admitted that Denbigh in particular was just so bad that it would have to close…

I have been aware for years that Marjorie is entirely establishment – the Top Doctors love her, she has collected endless honorary fellowships, awards and gongs after being nominated by them – but since researching for this blog I’ve noticed a much more sinister side to Marjorie’s connections. Her book on June and Jennifer Gibbons, two teenaged twins from Pembrokeshire who were elective mutes, gained Marjorie much publicity and Marjorie’s public utterances were designed to give the impression that she was sympathetic to the twins plight – they had ended up in Broadmoor allegedly for refusing to talk and their involvement in petty crime. Yet Marjorie just did not ask some very obvious questions. The decision to send those twins to Broadmoor was inexplicable. Before being banged up in there, those girls had been involved with the children’s health and welfare services in south Wales. The dynamics in those services and the behaviour of some of the staff involved with the twins was obviously dysfunctional. Of course we now know that there was a paedophile ring operating in that part of Wales as well, so that will have caused chaos in the region. Marjorie visited the twins many times in Broadmoor in order to write her book. Yet she never uttered a word about the violence and sexual abuse that Broadmoor patients – particularly women – were subjected to, although it was very well-known at the time among mental health campaigners. Instead Marjorie aligned herself with the institution and it’s Top Doctors, although she noticed that the ‘side effects’ of the ‘medication’ which those girls were being forcibly injected with was damaging their health. One of the twins, Jennifer, died as a result of her ‘medication’ days before she was due to be released. Not a word was spoken in concern by anyone. HELLO – MIND, SANE, they’ve just KILLED one of the girls who should never have been sent there before she got out and had the chance to tell anyone what the hell was going on in that place…

After the expose of Jimmy Savile, Marjorie was one of the many people associated with Broadmoor who popped up in the media with her pearls of wisdom. She said exactly what the Broadmoor staff said after Savile’s abuse was made public – that she knew that Savile’s appointment was inappropriate, that he was so odd that it was seriously worrying and gosh she thought to herself ‘the lunatics had taken over the asylum’. The lunatics were already running the asylum, the authorities at Broadmoor were incarcerating distressed people who had been brutalised and in some cases sexually abused whilst in the child care and mental health systems and evidence of the ‘dangerousness’ of these people was being fabricated by the Top Doctors named on this blog. Marjorie did not say anything about Savile or any other of the many worrying matters about Broadmoor at the time.

I think that Marjorie knew a lot about Savile by the time that he was appointed to the Broadmoor task force – by which time he’d been a ‘volunteer’ at Broadmoor for donkeys years anyway – and I think that she knew that he was more than an idiot in a turquoise shell suit with a distasteful amount of bling. Because Marjorie had excellent media connections. She was a journalist, had been for years and the media world knew about Savile. Marjorie was a journalist for the ‘Sunday Times’ between 1972-89. Prior to that, in the 60s Marjorie had worked on the ‘Frost Programme’ and on BBC’s ‘Nationwide’. The BBC that employed Jimmy Savile. Post-Savile there have been a lot of memories from older people regarding the shagfest that was the BBC in the 60s and 70s. Even Grand Dames like Joan Bakewell freely admit that young female journos and researchers had plenty of opportunities to sleep with men who could advance their careers and social prospects and Bakewell is honest enough to admit that she had a great time. Others such as Esther – who knew nothing about Jimmy Savile of course – have reframed themselves as fighters against such sexism and Strong Women who broke the glass ceiling. Esther was someone who found her career considerably enhanced after she married her boss, Desmond Wilcox. I have dug up a touching little anecdote about Marjorie being offered the job at ‘Nationwide’ – that famously employed Frank Bough of cocaine and prostitutes fame – after a BBC producer complimented her on the ‘shapeliness of her legs’. Because of course in the 60s and 70s if a gentleman wanted to have sex with a lady he would beat around the bush with comments about her legs. I think that Marjorie would have got the message.

But Marjorie seemed quite good at receiving and sending out such messages. Even the most toadying of articles about Marjorie make reference to her rather complex domestic and/or ‘romantic’ arrangements. Marjorie enjoys being known as Countess Skarbek. No Marjory is not descended from a noble old British family, she married a Polish aristocrat, Andrzej Skarbek (who was actually known as Andrew Skarbek). Marjorie uses every opportunity possible to wax lyrical about her husband’s ancestors – there is a connection to Chopin which really impresses Marjorie – and throughout their married life and indeed even now after his death Marjorie refers to him as ‘the Count’. If Marjorie is to be believed it was only when she discovered that the Count was a Count that she was alerted to the possibilities – when she met him, she thought that he was merely an ‘émigré doctor’ working at UCL involved in clinical trials for anti-psychotics. But then she found out that he was a Count and my God her attitude changed. She embarked upon a romance with the Count – who at the time was married to someone else, a Countess, with a few kids. However being the mistress of a Count was so brilliant that Marjorie continued with this arrangement. In 1972 when she gave birth to her first child by the Count, she was sharing a flat with Mary Kenny, another journalist who evolved into one of those rather mad right wing women who scribbled for organs like the Telegraph. The Count did finally get around to divorcing the Countess and married Marjorie in 1974, so she then became a Countess! She has never been able to forget it – the dear old Count eventually abandoned her and went to Canada leaving her with three children, but Marjorie still reminded everyone that she was a Countess married to the Count. She kept on reminding everyone lest she forgot that she was a Countess, or at least that’s what she claimed in interviews. After the Count left the UK, Marjorie then acquired a new partner, Tom Marjerison, who died in 2014. Tom founded ‘New Scientist’ – but he also founded something else very much grander, namely London Weekend Television.

Of course Marjorie knew about Jimmy Savile.

The Count returned to the UK after a few years and by the time that she was in her 60s Marjorie was paying regular visits to the Count – who lived just down the road from her in Hampstead – and was looking after Tom Marjerison with whom she was living, who had developed Parkinson’s. But Marjorie had a bit on the side as well – she was Lord Snowdon’s mistress! Marjorie’s shagging CV dates her romance with Lord Snowdon from 2003, but she intriguingly described herself as having ‘been close to him for thirty years’, since they worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ (Snowdon was her photographer). If I know anything about euphemisms used by elderly luvvies/media folk, ‘being close to’ means pretty much the same thing as landing a job on account of one’s ‘shapely legs’. Lord Snowdon was of course bisexual, famously promiscuous and was alleged to have enjoyed recreational chemicals. This was admitted years ago after he split up from Princess Margaret, but after his death people became a lot more frank about his excesses.

My post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’ described how appointments to the Broadmoor task force, which was led by Savile, were arranged at a rather irregular meeting at the Athanaeum club in Pall Mall involving two senior civil servants, Jimmy Savile and Savile’s mate Alan Franey, who was appointed Chief Exec of Broadmoor. Savile was a member of the Athanaeum as are a lot of Top Doctors and academics and this was not the only meeting that was held there to discuss the senior management arrangements of Broadmoor. Edwina Currie attended at least one such meeting, Edwina being the Minister who actually appointed Savile to lead the Broadmoor task force after he told her how he would blackmail the violent, sexually abusive nurses of Broadmoor into ceasing their embezzlement of NHS funds. He didn’t mention stopping them from abusing the patients – which of course he was doing himself. At the very time that Marjorie was making regular visits to Broadmoor and chatting to the staff there about June and Jennifer Gibbons (read Marjorie’s book about them – there’s a few worrying breaches of confidentiality in there), Savile was sexually abusing the female patients. Savile’s targets were usually young. Those twins were I think the youngest patients in Broadmoor at that time. Don’t tell me that he resisted that temptation. Marjorie herself is no stranger to the Athanaeum. When she was awarded her CBE in 2008 she celebrated by hosting a lunch at the Athanaeum with Lord Snowdon! Savile was still alive and kicking then – come on Marjorie, who attended that lunch to celebrate your ill-gotten gains?

Now I had always presumed that Marjorie’s success as a mental health campaigner leading an organisation that is loathed by many people with mental health problems themselves and speaks for everyone but the patients was a result of her ingratiating herself to Top Doctors and never mentioning a word about their abuses – the MIND model of success. Then a few months ago I saw a passing reference to the Count having been a psychoanalyst. I wondered why a psychoanalyst would be in UCL conducting clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So I thought that it was about time that I found out a bit more about the Count. I wish that I’d done this a very long time ago, it would have explained a lot. Not only is the Count a Count but he is the ultimate Top Doctor.

Andrzej/Andrew Skarbek was born in 1925 in what was then Ukraine. His family arrived in the UK shortly after the war. He had begun his medical studies before they migrated, but obviously his studies were interrupted, although he resumed them in the UK. Later on he ended up doing a PhD at UCL, which was how he came to be running clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So he – and Marjorie – will have known just how much damage such ‘medication’ can cause if it isn’t prescribed carefully and care given to monitor patients symptoms. Yet Marjorie is very keen on that medication being given to people who are banged up against their will. Skarbek studied medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, whilst funded by family money. He qualified as a medical doctor in 1954. After graduation he worked as a paediatrician – but he ended up meeting Donald Winnicot and decided upon a career in psychiatry. Well guess where he trained? At the Maudsley! That fine institution at which dear old Dafydd Alun Jones also ‘trained’. Furthermore I suspect that they might even have known each other – Skarbek received his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1961. Which is pretty much about the same time that dear old Dafydd was ‘training’. Furthermore Skarbek’s interest was psychodynamic psychotherapy – so he will have been training under Bob Hobson, just like Dafydd! The Bob Hobson who afforded Dafydd a great deal of protection – because nobody wanted to admit that Bob Hobson had trained a total rogue. Skarbek qualified as an analyst five years after completing his Diploma in Psychological Medicine and then became involved with the Langham Clinic, along with R.D. Laing. Laing and some of his colleagues were known to have sexually exploited patients. Skarbek subsequently became Director of the Langham Clinic when it was renamed the London Clinic of Psychotherapy. In 1966 he became an Associate Member of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. There has been a problem in psychoanalysis for many years of analysts sexually exploiting their patients and their students. Skarbek worked at UCL, at King George Hospital Ilford and in 1977 was appointed consultant psychotherapist at Runwell, Rochford and Basildon Hospitals in Essex, where he was said to have developed a ‘community psychodynamic psychotherapy’ service. Skarbek’s career is a bit confusing. There is information stating that he received his PhD from UCL in 1977 – by which time he was well-immersed in psychodynamic psychotherapy and analysis. It seems a little odd for someone to be pursuing a research interest trialling anti-psychotics whilst being interested in analysis and therapy, they are not easy bedfellows. Unless of course he was the sort of Top Doctor who was very worried about anti-psychotics and was involved in trials to investigate how damaging – or ineffective – they are. But Marjorie has never said a word if he was.

However, a CV like this will have meant that Skarbek was very influential and very well connected. He will also have known an awful lot about a lot of people and like dear old Alice Levinson at St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital he will have been great at generating the psychobabble needed to discredit anyone who might have said something like ‘you know those Top Doctors in north Wales? They’re breaking the law, framing innocent people, sexually abusing the patients and concealing a paedophile ring which involves high profile public figures and politicians’. But Skarbek had worked as a paediatrician as well – now their opinion is crucial in deciding whether a child is being abused or indeed if a person is wrongly accused of abusing a child.

Skarbek’s influence did of course stretch further than the NHS. He was an advisor to the National Association for Mental Health. That was the old name for MIND. The MIND that later employed Tessa Jowell as deputy director at the same time as they were concealing the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. But guess what else William Bingley, the legal director of MIND, told me in 1987 when he admitted that they knew all about Dafydd? That in the 60s Dafydd had been a leading light in MIND – or as it was then the National Association for Mental Health!

I mentioned earlier that at one point the Count abandoned Marjorie and the kids and went abroad. In the early 1980s he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. The Count then returned to the UK and in the early 90s is described as having ‘led the group therapy programme at the Dept of Psychotherapy at UCL’. After he retired the Count continued with private work. Well as most Top Doctors discover, it helps to keep your oar in. Particularly if you’re concealing so much shit that you and all your associates will end up in prison if anyone ever finds out what has been going on.

Should anyone point out that just because the Count may have been party to information regarding wrongdoing in high places does not mean that the Countess will have been as well, I recommend that they google Marjorie. After the Count and Tom died and when Snowdon was on his last legs, Marjorie took to reminiscing about her younger life in media interviews. She talks about serving coffee and sandwiches at the meetings of psychoanalysts that took place at her home with Scarbek in Hampstead in the 70s, she talks of making so many visits to Broadmoor that she even used to take her children there at weekends and she talks of her long running affair with the Count before they married – they used to meet at the hospitals where he was working and she stresses how she used to chat to all the patients. When discussing her work as an ‘investigative journalist’ – but there were some things that you chose not to expose weren’t there Marjorie – she stresses again and again that her ‘method’ was to live with the people who had knowledge of the topics that she was investigating. What a sociologist would call an ethnographic approach. I doubt that Marjorie was really much of an ethnographer – she’d be far too busy telling everyone that she was a Countess – but she will have had skills in befriending people and extracting info from her work in journalism. Marjorie will have known that psychiatry was used to shut people up if they were making claims that powerful people didn’t want heard. What if Marjorie had heard via her media connections that there was an awkward social worker in north Wales who was alleging that there was widespread sexual abuse of children in children’s homes there? What if she knew that the Director of Social Services colluding with the paedophile ring in operation in those homes was the mistress of one of the Count’s former colleagues and that former colleague of the Count was also proving most useful in discrediting or incarcerating the people who were claiming that they had been abused in those homes – which were being visited by the Conservative MP for Chester and Thatcher’s aide, Sir Peter Morrison? Had Morrison et al been exposed at the time the damage to Thatcher’s Gov’t would have been enormous. The Times newspapers – and the Torygraph which employed Marjorie’s old flatmate Mary Kenny – were staunch supporters of Thatcher.

Did Marjorie have any other possible connections to north Wales apart from the Count’s old colleague from the Maudsley, Dafydd? Er yes – she was ‘close to’ Lord Snowdon. The excessive, bisexual, promiscuous Lord Snowdon who had north Welsh roots and – although I didn’t know this until recently – did used to visit north Wales. Snowdon is actually buried at Llanfaglan near Caernarfon. The Lord Snowdon who was in the House of Lords – which is choc a bloc with politicians who had a hand in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Lord Snowdon was so keen to remain in the Lords that after hereditary peers were excluded he accepted a life peerage that had been especially created for him. This caused quite a lot of criticism at the time, it was considered rather bad form. But Snowdon really wanted to remain in there – which is a bit weird, he was hardly a political animal. Just an animal.

Little wonder that Marjorie announced a ‘crisis’ in 1986 as Alison Taylor blew the whistle – the only remedy to the ‘crisis’ being to keep the abusive, discredited asylums open, including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Marjorie came in for so much criticism that latterly she tempered her language in interviews, but some of her early TV appearances were splendid. She would always be given far more air time than the patients who were trying to explain what was happening to people in psychiatric hospitals and I saw her make claims that she ‘knew’ that patients wanted to be kept in ‘secure’ places because they knew themselves that they were dangerous. One group of mental health patients set up an organisation called ‘MANE – Marjorie, A National Emergency’, but their voices were completely drowned out by Marjorie and the Top Doctors.

So what about SANE these days? Institutions like Denbigh have now closed but patients are simply abused and neglected in the ‘community’ instead should they cross the path of the Top Doctors, although they can of course still be banged up in secure units, tasered whilst sectioned, transferred to prisons or high security hospitals, assaulted or even killed whilst being ‘restrained when distressed’ and forcibly injected with anti-psychotics that can destroy their health or kill them and there will not be an investigation. Chin up Marjorie, there are many ways of destroying vulnerable people without an asylum. SANE boasts that it has a helpline for the suicidal/distressed. That helpline is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It is only open between 4-30pm and 10-30pm – which is weird because if someone’s going to despair they tend to do so during the night not at tea-time. Furthermore I have heard from people who have worked at SANE and from people who have run the helpline that the people answering the helpline are completely out of their depth regarding the distress that they are being confronted with. Which is sad, because if Marjorie was running a helpful helpline it would be a very useful contribution. Is Marjorie perhaps constrained in terms of funding for the helpline?

It would seem not. Marjorie has been remarkably successful at raising funds for SANE, but she hasn’t used those funds for the helpline. Marjorie has used some of the funds for Research into suicide and self-harm. Yet nowhere can I find details of exactly what this research is. Which is even more puzzling because SANE established a whole research centre, POWIC. Which stands for the Prince of Wales International Centre for SANE Research. Prince Charles is the Patron of SANE – well he and Marjorie are related by extra-marital sex aren’t they. In 2008 POWIC shared a building with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which is of course spawn of Professor Mark Williams, who knows all about Dafydd, the paedophile ring and the madness of north Wales, he was right at the centre of it for years (please see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Someone else who knows about Dafydd and north Wales also worked at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and led a strand of research for SANE – Professor Tom Burns. I know that Tom Burns knows because in about 1990 I TOLD HIM – and Tom admitted that he believed me and that psychiatry ‘attracted disturbed people’ which created problems. What Tom also did – but without my knowledge – was write to the corrupt occupational health physician at St Georges who had sent me to him, Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, and tell her that I wasn’t psychotic but I was over sensitive and might have a paranoid personality disorder. When I became suicidal the following year as a result of being constantly arrested for serious crimes after Dafydd’s colleagues Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) and his wife Dr Sadie Francis (Dr X’s wife) perjured themselves, Burns told Mitchell-Heggs that he ‘didn’t think that he had anything to offer’ when she contacted him again. I bet he didn’t because he knew what was happening and was going to walk away very quickly in the opposite direction. Which is how he ended up with a Chair at Oxford working with Mark Williams! SANE also had another person on board leading their ‘research’, based at the Dept of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford and that was the man who established POWIC in collaboration with SANE, Professor Tim Crow. Tim Crow worked with Dr Tony Francis before Tony Francis moved to north Wales and I think that it was Tim Crow who supervised Francis’s MD.

I really do not think that all of this can be a coincidence.

So where did the dosh for POWIC come from? From rather unusual sources. The Saudi Royal Family donated £1.75 million and this was then matched by a donation of another £1.75 million from the Xylas Greek shipping family. Marjorie needed yet more, so an appeal went out in the ‘Times’ and another donation from the Sultan of Brunei arrived.

If anyone can possibly think of a reason why the Saudi Royal Family, Greek shipping tycoons and the Sultan of Brunei would want to give large amounts of money to a bunch of charlatans who concealed a paedophile gang please do let me know. Because I am flabbergasted.

But other people have given dosh to SANE as well. Including the City Bridge Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the John Ellerman Foundation, the Sobell Foundation and of course the Big Lottery Fund.

The City Bridge Trust is the City of London Corporation Charity. The Garfield Weston Foundation describes itself as a ‘family foundation’ and nearly all of the Trustees are descendants of the man who established it. A lot of them see to be connected with Fortnum and Mason, which is probably where Marjorie buys her groceries. ‘Mason’ being the operative word where the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and Dafydd were concerned.

The John Ellerman Foundation has a number of interesting Trustees, many of whom are professional fundraisers on a very big scale. The Chair is Lady Sarah Riddell, who has a background in journalism – she’ll know Marjorie then. Riddell served as Vice-Chair of the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, which has now been incorporated into Imperial NHS Trust (see blog post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of wrongdoing at Hammersmith Hospital). Sarah has served as a lay member of research ethics committees and a Gov’t advisory body on clinical trials. She is a Trustee of the Pilgrim Trust, the Sir James Knott Trust and the Castle Aukland Trust. (There seems to be a great deal of crossover between the Trustees of these three Trusts, with a number of the same people sitting on the Boards of more than one of them. Justin Welby is a former Trustee of the Castle Aukland Trust, as are two Top Doctors (one of whom boasts that he has been a GP for ‘four bishops’) and various people with connections to the Royal Family and various Oxbridge Colleges. Trustees of these various charities include members of the late Lord Longford’s family, Professor Colin Blakemore the controversial Top Doctor and former Chief Exec of the MRC and an Oliver James, who I think may be the Oliver James that is the truly dreadful media psychologist who spouts shite that no sensible person could ever be taken in by.) Ellerman Foundation Trustee Brian Hurwitz was ‘a GP in inner London for 30 years’. He was also the Professor of Primary Health Care and General Practice at Imperial (again, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of the extensive wrongdoing by folk at Imperial). Hurwitz is the Professor of Medicine and Arts at Kings – he directs the Centre for Health Humanities. And like nearly all the medics now trying to get in on the Health Humanities bandwagon I bet that he knows sod all about it, but hey there’s Gov’t funding available. (The best anecdote that I heard recently from this field was from a friend who attended a Literature in Mental Health conference. My friend is a medieval scholar and was particularly underwhelmed at a presentation by a clinical psychologist who professed an interest in literature and mental health and then gave them details of all the self-help books that he recommends to his patients. No doubt the manual that he follows himself is ‘How To Get Rich Quick’.) Peter Kyle is listed as a Trustee – he is the Chairman of the University of Westminster and has an background in high arts. (I am wondering if this is the same Peter Kyle who is the Labour MP for Hove, the gay rights campaigner who has done his best to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and who is detested by many.) Well Marjorie loves her opera and classical music – and one of the Count’s ancestors was godfather to Chopin…Another Trustee is Gary Steinberg. Gary, ‘a manager of investment funds’, is the Chief Investment Officer of the Wellcome Trust; Chief Exec of British Petroleum’s UK Pension Plan; held a non-executive position with SUG Capital ‘a leading UK private equity company’; is on the Investment Committee of the Kings Fund and is Chair of the Investment Committee of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Children’s Charity. The GOSH that is currently embroiled in an international row regarding the care of the baby Charlie Gard, with hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition in opposition to GOSH and Trump and the Pope wading in to denounce them as a bunch of murdering gits as well.

Like Mother Theresa who famously accepted charitable donations from the Mafia, I am left with the impression that Marjorie’s not too fussy where her dosh comes from.

Like all good mental health charities, SANE has some ‘ambassadors’. Marjorie doesn’t seem to have attracted the big hitters like MIND who managed to con the likes of Stephen Fry, Melvyn Bragg and Alistair Campbell into appearing on their website. SANE has a woman called Rachel who is a journo on the ‘Times’ who’s written some truly lame self-help advice for the depressed and of course Ruby Wax, that mate of Mark Williams’s who purchased a Masters degree from Mark and has acted as his PR woman ever since. Ruby is not one for exercising sound judgement in terms of the good causes that she supports – she endorsed Kid’s Company and look what happened there.

Marjorie is getting on now, she’s in her mid-70s, but her efforts to assist those who have a lot to conceal continue. Before old Snowdon pegged out she was featured in a newspaper article which described her ‘an elfin-faced femme fatale’ (surely ‘Glenda Slagg’ as featured in ‘Private Eye’ would be a more appropriate description). Marjorie talked of the delights of her affair with Snowdon and described him as ‘my partner in crime’. Yes Marjorie some very big crimes indeed were committed. Now perhaps those of you who are not yet dead would like to make your way down to the nearest police station and give a statement concerning what you know about all those kids in care who were forced into providing sexual services for public figures and whose lives were ruined by the Top Doctors if they dared complain about what had happened to them. Oh and before you’re pushing up the daisies yourself Marjorie, would you like to tell us why those two teenaged girls from Pembrokeshire were incarcerated for decades in the nation’s most notorious high security hospital? Because it certainly won’t have been because they didn’t talk or were involved in petty crime. From what I remember of the case, the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding the alleged misbehaviour of those two girls was their claim to be prostitutes…They were in Broadmoor within months after that.

A lot of the people named on this blog could be described as dangerous fuckers in terms of their willingness to put other people’s safety and even lives at risk. But Marjorie is in a league of her own in terms of being One Dangerous Fucker.

 

Footnote: It must have been sometime in 1987 when I wrote to Marjorie. Because I thought that she was a genuine mental health campaigner at the time of writing I gave her full details, dates and names of the people involved in the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, including the name of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, the former colleague of the Count. Not only that but of course that letter had my own name and my address on. I was living in London at the time working in medical research. Some very unpleasant things happened to me after I wrote that letter and I do of course now have documentation demonstrating that those we know and love had contacted people whom they knew in London Medical Schools and were even using them to intercept mail that was being sent to me in an attempt to find out where I was living – I moved house frequently as a result of the unpleasant and bizarre happenings. I had a close friend who also lived in London at the time, my best friend from school. She knew what had happened to me in north Wales as did her mum and dad – they were mental health professionals themselves (but honest ones) and were advising me. Then unpleasant things started happening to my friend as well – she and her boyfriend had a small film production company and she wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales at the hands of the Count’s former colleague. My friend was also working at the Royal Television Society – at exactly the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School my friend was sacked from the RTS. My friend’s dismissal was very obviously the result of one particular manager there who just seemed determined to get rid of her for no good reason. The treatment of my friend caused a rumpus – there was a staff walk-out in protest and my friend later won an unfair dismissal case and was awarded several thousand pounds in compensation. Did you happen to know anyone who was in a senior position at the RTS in the late 80s/early 90s Marjorie? You might have shagged a few aristocrats Marjorie but I have nearly 10,000 documents in a safe place. Think about it.

 

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, May 11 2017

A bit of news from yesterday – after I’d written yesterday’s News Round Up, BBC News Wales reported that an elderly lady, Lily Baxendall, had died from a bleed on the brain after a five hour wait in an ambulance which was queuing at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Now for today! BBC News Wales is reporting that Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, is hopeful that the Board could be read to be taken out of special measures later this year.  He admits though that their performance in some areas remains unacceptable (er, like losing nearly all my medical records, sending me confidential info relating to another patient, sending another patient’s GP confidential info relating to me, failing to investigate and resolve a serious complaint into this and other matters- unless he’s of course he’s talking about all those patient deaths that I’ve been reporting on this blog…). Gary has fessed up to the existence of a ‘very big gap’ in terms of meeting expectations in mental health care. But the catastrophe that is the Betsi is simply entirely positive in Gary’s eyes – special measures has been a ‘catalyst for change’ (then why are the patients still unable to access care and dying unnecessarily?) and the Board has produced a mental health strategy!

BBC News Wales is reporting on a Plaid report that states how Bangor University is ‘ready to host a new medical school’. Professor Dean Williams explains that ‘relatively few extra academic staff’ would be needed, because the clinical teachers and researchers already working in north Wales could provide the training. That will include the clinical teachers who are so loathed by their peers working in the local hospitals that their presence in the School of Healthcare Sciences meant that at least two excellent local practitioners refused to apply for lecturing jobs there when approached and those researchers who have already been outed in previous posts on this blog as participating in research fraud. What a wonderful basis for a medical school! Particularly at a time when Bangor University is facing a financial crisis, when redundancies are feared and when there is speculation that the VC is about to get up and go… Sian Gwenllian AM once more states that the presence of a medical school in north Wales will solve the staffing crisis in the NHS in north Wales. No Sian it won’t – people will not work in the north because of the toxic culture and behaviour of so many in the NHS up there. The student nurses qualifying in Bangor are leaving for England as soon as they qualify – these are local people who have seen such appalling things during their training that they are voting with their feet after they graduate. The fact that nearly all of them are reporting a bullying culture in the School of Healthcare Sciences does nothing to persuade them to stay in north Wales either.

But the grim reality is reported in the Daily Post online. Rhun ap Iorwerth is sounding off about the state of the mental health services in north Wales, describing the mental health system as ‘on it’s knees’. (No Rhun it was on it’s knees years ago, it is now a corpse having breathed it’s last.) Rhun has revealed that in the last two years more than 200 patients have been sent out of area for mental health care, that some patients are travelling to London for care and that there is not one psychiatric consultant for mental health patients between 18 and 65 years old. It’s probably no loss Rhun – the ‘psychiatric consultants’ that were there were utterly vile, abusing and neglecting their patients. The mental health patients are better off being sent out of area, they might at least stay alive and out of prison then. The Betsi have stated that they are advertising for more consultants – that particular strategy has been failing for the last twenty years, NO-ONE other than the virtually unemployable wants to work in mental health in north Wales. Furthermore Rhun do you think that you might have added to this state of affairs with your constant praising of the region’s NHS and the ‘wonderful work’ being done by it’s bullying, negligent, sometimes criminal staff and by the complete silence of you and your colleagues regarding the serious problems that have existed in the mental health services for many, many years?

Lastly, the election campaign. Welsh Labour have distanced themselves from the ‘leaked manifesto’ produced by Jeremy et al in London. Welsh Labour have announced that they will produce their own ‘distinct manifesto’, building on five pledges for Wales. Well get your arse up to the north Carwyn and start doing something about the state of the Betsi rather than remaining silent, thus allowing Plaid to delude themselves that building a medical school on an utterly rotten foundation is a solution to the ongoing train wreck that is the Betsi. And whilst you’re about it, begin a police investigation into some of what has been going on.

Another Award Winner

This blog has commented a number of times on Plaid’s current inexplicable campaign to establish a medical school in Bangor – on the foundations of an effectively bankrupt Betsi Board in special measures for the ‘institutional abuse’ of patients and Bangor University, which although it has some excellent staff, would seem to have a substantial problem with what could best be described as research fraud in the context of healthcare research. This campaign doesn’t seem to have really taken off – presumably most sane people realise that giving this lot a medical school to play with on the basis of their past track record is not a good idea. But Hywel Williams, MP for Caernarfon, will not surrender (as I hear that one of the psychiatrists in north Wales who is in hot water has declared as well) – he has tweeted a photo of a headline from the North Wales Chronicle stating that not having a medical school is ‘harming our health’. Hywel is photographed along with Sian Gwenllian and a local GP, Dr Esllyt Llwyd, who are supporting the campaign.

So who is Esllyt Llwyd? Well she was (and probably still is) a GP at Waunfawr surgery. That is the surgery that I was registered with for a number of years during some of my worst battles with the mental health services, as I was refused treatment, constantly threatened, arrested for crimes that I had not committed etc. For a number of years I saw a GP there called Huw Roberts. He knew exactly what was happening to me at the hands of the mental health services but never seemed to be very pro-active in trying to resolve the problem – but by this time I had realised that there was a very big problem indeed and I assumed that Huw Roberts was just being a wise old GP, knew how bloody awful these people were and was doing his best to care for patients himself in the face of a rotten mental health service staffed by some very odd and abusive people. I knew that a number of other GPs in Gwynedd were taking this view and that they considered that the mental health services were so bad that they would be putting patients at risk by referring them there. But there was always something that I couldn’t understand. Huw Roberts never managed to diagnose a recurring very serious physical problem that I had – migraines that were so severe that it was speculated that they were ‘cluster headaches’, a form of migraine that used to be known as ‘suicide headaches’ because they are so painful and last for so long that patients used to commit suicide if they were left untreated. When I actually had one of these migraines I was in no fit state to do anything, I just stayed at home rolling around in pain for the three days until it had passed. But I was telling everyone what was happening, including Huw Roberts, after each one struck. But Huw Roberts just couldn’t make a diagnosis – on one occasion he even told me that I’d probably had a gut infection that had passed, speculating on a type of bacteria, which as Brown observed, would have killed me if I had really been clobbered with that. On a couple of occasions I rang NHS direct and they went into a major panic because they thought that I’d contracted meningitis – those messages were being sent through to Waunfawr surgery as well. But Huw Roberts remained remarkably unconcerned. (I only ever managed to obtain relief from these migraines when a friend witnessed them and shared her tablets with me, like all good middle-aged women do, because she suffered from a similar condition. So I then went to another GP and simply asked for those tablets.)

A few weeks ago, in one of the bundles of documents released to me, there are some documents compiled by Huw Roberts whilst he was my GP, which are certainly very illuminating. It seems that Huw Roberts considered me to be a very big problem indeed, although he states in writing that he has always got on with me well himself. So he didn’t actually witness the actions of a mad axe murderer personally then. But Huw wasn’t fooled! Following the involvement of my lawyer, who was desperate to get me transferred away from the dreadful Hergest Unit, Huw Roberts makes some extraordinary comments about my ‘culture of complaining’ (My God, look what was actually going on, is it surprising that I was complaining – along with scores of other patients who had been abused, framed for crimes that they hadn’t committed or left to kill themselves) and how it would be ‘very difficult to sell me to another doctor’ (!).  But the most revealing document of all is a letter that Huw Roberts had written to another psychiatrist. He had written this letter shortly after I’d told him that I was concerned that I could have put a senior academic in a difficult position by a controversial article that I had co-authored with a friend, so my friend and I had withdrawn the article. But in this letter to the psychiatrist that Huw Roberts was trying to ‘sell me to’ because I was refusing to have any more to do with the lethal, perjuring Hergest Unit, he states that I had just written a ‘rude letter’ to this academic whom I had always liked ‘but this is entirely characteristic of her behaviour’. Huw Roberts didn’t write that by mistake – he knew the full circumstances of the letter that I had written to this person, he knew the identity of the academic in question and he knew damn well that I had not written a ‘rude letter’, I had written a reassuring letter because I realised that the article that my friend and I had written could be misinterpreted if it was picked up by the lay press. Now if Huw Roberts was really trying to ‘sell me to another doctor’, why was he telling those sorts of barefaced lies about what was ‘characteristic’ of me? I don’t think that Huw Roberts was trying to facilitate any sort of care for me at all. I had a serious mood disorder and a serious neurological problem – both conditions which were known to be associated with an elevated suicide risk. I think that like so many of his colleagues, Huw Roberts was waiting for what he thought was inevitable. And then yet another person who had been witness to what a lot of people in north Wales would rather pretend had never happened would no longer be a problem.

Before I discovered what Huw Roberts had actually been doing without my knowledge, I found out that he had won a national award for being an ‘excellent’ GP. One of his colleagues told me and explained that they had felt compelled to nominate him because they knew him well and had seen how dedicated he was to his patients, beavering away in Waunfawr surgery without recognition. So who was this colleague of his who nominated a negligent man who was ensuring that one of his patients was unable to access any healthcare, even for life-threatening conditions? Step forward Dr Esllyt Llwyd, the lady now campaigning with Hywel for a medical school in Bangor! Presumably so that they can fill it with dangerous sadistic award winning doctors who will effectively execute any patient who dares complain about a mental health service whose staff are involved in criminal activities and who at one point were concealing the activities of a vicious paedophile ring.

But then Hywel has form. As the North West Wales NHS Trust was abolished, Hywel, along with his colleague Alun Ffred Jones, were photographed in the local media congratulating the Chairman, Elfed Roberts, on his successful leadership of the Trust. The Trust that was so dangerous and such an embarrassment that the only thing that Edwina Hart could do was to abolish it. But Elfed was used to leaving jobs under a cloud – he didn’t end his career in the North Wales Police covered in glory… Another person with whom Hywel has been happy to be photographed with for PR purposes in the past was the notoriously abusive Keith Fearns, former ‘leader’ of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team, who was eventually dismissed for neglecting patients. But that was before Keith spent years assisting Lucille Hughes, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was named in the Waterhouse Report as failing to respond to the presence of a paedophile ring in the Social Services although she knew about it, in trying to have me imprisoned by lying about me on oath. But should any of this surprise us about Hywel? This is after all a man who at the same time as writing rude e mails to constituents who were trying to bring his attention to the abuses of the mental health services actually held one of his post-election victory parties in the house of a Hergest Unit nurse – he was friends with her.  A man who when twitter first became widely used was connected to dear old Dr Dafydd Alun Jones via social media. A man who, before he entered politics, was a psychiatric social worker in north Wales! Whilst Gwynne Williams the lobotomist was still practicing at Denbigh! Ah Hywel will remember him well – and what happened to those poor bloody patients at his hands. Gwynne, Gwynne, rattling his chains all these years later…

So Hywel is basically Of Them. No wonder constituents concerns were being ignored. Interestingly, Hywel’s predecessor, Dafydd Wigley, was a hugely popular local MP who was known to be very worried about what was happening at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. One of the Great Mysteries of Plaid – at least to those of us who were never party to the details of their well publicised internal battles – is why Dafydd Wigley was knifed in the back and replaced by a tosser like Hywel. Could it be that some very unpleasant people felt the net closing in on them and wanted Their Man in Parliament? Hywel stood for election and won in 2001. The Waterhouse Report had been published the previous year. One persistent rumour about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal that refused to die was that the paedophile ring involved had connections at a Westminster level who were protecting them. Whoever they might be, they are most certainly harming our health.

Yesterday’s Betsi Board Meeting – March 17 2017

As promised (please see blog post ‘A Truly Splendid Letter From The CEO And The Chairman Of The Betsi’) I attended yesterday’s meeting of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, despite Gary the CEO and Peter the Chair’s silly letter objecting to the way in which I report these meetings on my blog. So here’s the latest review of at least part of the meeting – as usual I couldn’t bear any more than about two hours worth of these wallies, so I left just before noon. I understand that the meeting continued for sometime after this, so apologies to the Betsi Board if they suddenly geared up immediately after I left and presented detailed plans as to how they were going to extract themselves from the millions pounds worth of debt that they are currently in and prevent the ongoing slaughter of vulnerable people.

I was interested to see that Martin Jones (Director of Workforce and Operational Development) was present at the meeting, I have been missing Martin because he hasn’t appeared in public for a while. I’m glad that he’s back though, presumably someone suggested that he ought to be at least pretending to be making an effort in return for his protected salary of approx. £130,000 pa. Jo Rycroft-Malone (the Board’s Bangor University Rep) has also reappeared after last month’s absence and was having a cosy girly chat with Lyn Meadows (Independent Board Member). These two are prone to this, at a previous meeting Jo was standing protectively behind the dreadful Lyn, stroking her arms. I hate to think what is being cooked up between the two of them – Meadows was previously employed as HR Director at Bangor University and was memorably described to me by one person who had been on the receiving end of her as an ‘evil bitch’. Which was certainly interesting because exactly the same phrase was used to describe her by a member of staff at the Welsh Ambulance Service when Meadows was employed as a manager there. The phrase ‘evil bitch’ is obviously one that springs to mind after meeting Lyn. Rycroft-Malone is the former Head of the School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University and is now Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research there – Jo has in the past of course found herself in receipt of research funds from the Betsi as detailed previously on this blog. I’ve never heard anyone describe her as an ‘evil bitch’ per se, but I did hear allegations of serious bullying of students, racism and plagiarism levelled against her. I also had sight of a document that indicated that Jo had done some very interesting things with a research budget after a researcher walked out of a project before it had ended. Presumably by the time of the next Board meeting, Jo and Lyn will have progressed on to a ‘group hug’ in the carefully stage-managed manner of Leanne Wood, Nicola Sturgeon and Natalie Bennet during the last general election campaign. Women do things differently!

The meeting was late starting because there seemed to be a certain amount of disarray in the room, but eventually Jo and Lyn managed to prise themselves away from each other, everyone took their seats and Peter Higson (Chairman) began with a Piece of Good News. The Betsi has won an award! (Of course the Betsi announced that it had won another award earlier this week, but that turned out not to be all it seemed – please see blog post ‘How Did These Two Events Ever Happen?’). Anyway, the Betsi has been named in the Stonewall Top 100 Organisations for the ‘inclusion of diverse people’. Now I’m not sure how the Betsi has managed to achieve this. I know for a fact that Dr Alberto Salmoiraghi, the one good psychiatrist that they have at the Betsi, has been subjected to racism from ‘colleagues’ because he dares to be Italian. I know of one student nurse from Rycroft-Malone’s School of Healthcare Sciences at Bangor University, whilst Rycroft-Malone was Head of School, who was subjected to vicious work-place bullying during his time on placement at the Hergest Unit because he was gay. And I also know of two overseas medical professionals who went to work on projects in Rycroft-Malone’s School, again whilst she was Head, who were both subjected to naked bigotry. One man was so unpopular among his ‘colleagues’ there – on the grounds that he ‘stank’ and ‘couldn’t speak English properly’ – that there was an arrangement to prevent him gaining access to the building by failing to give him the new code to the door-lock. I was told by a witness to all this that the person who dreamt up this particular solution to the problems that Johnny Foreigner was causing was one Jo Rycroft-Malone. I also heard at first-hand from a lady from Kazakhstan who had the misfortune to work there that every time she told someone where she was from, people would start laughing and say ‘ooh like Borat’. She asked me what they meant – I didn’t actually tell her that those particular ignoramuses being ‘managed’ by Jo were referring to an offensive racist parody of someone from Kazakhstan by a British comedian. I can reveal the experiences of these people now because they have waved good-bye to the School of Healthcare Sciences and were probably very glad to have done so.

So the Betsi is now a Diversity Champion. To celebrate this ‘award’, all the Board members were presented with ‘rainbow lanyards’ to hang around their necks. Some of them did so but not everyone entered into the spirit of things and a lot of the lanyards were simply dumped upon the desks in front of them. So someone – presumably at Stonewall – wasted time and money manufacturing those lanyards and distributing them to the Racist In Chief and her colleagues on the Board. Nevertheless, Higson was delighted with this achievement and led the Board in a round of applause for themselves. (Whilst Higson was doing this, the Daily Post was reporting on two more Betsi-related deaths – please see blog post ‘Two More Deaths, March 16 2017’.)

Higson then welcomed everyone to the meeting and by means of introduction to the first topic said ‘we go straight into special measures’. Which must have been some sort of Freudian slip, because within a few months of Higson ‘taking control’ at the Betsi, they did indeed go straight into special measures. So they started discussing various aspects of special measures, which weren’t explained to the uninitiated observing members of the public like me, but as far as I could work out Gary the CEO had started a conversation regarding ‘Phase 2 milestones’. I presume that this is a reference to the ‘achievements’ that the Welsh Govt wants to see. Margaret Hanson (Vice-Chair) explained that they were still waiting for ‘formal feedback’ and regarding the ‘journey’ of the Betsi Board to come out of special measures, ‘progress was still being made’, although Margaret stated that they were at a ‘little bit of a loss’ as to their ‘progress’. Margaret I think that rather than being at a little bit of a loss, you are all completely clueless – one only has to read the local media to get some idea of the stream of avoidable deaths, scandals and general cock-ups happening in your organisation on a near daily basis to realise that.

Bethan Russell Williams (Independent Board Member, although deeply compromised because she’s married to the Chair of Gwynedd Community Health Council and manages a Third Sector organisation that receives funding from the Betsi), mentioned that there was ‘evidence of great progress’ in the maternity services. (The maternity services at the Betsi were so dysfunctional that part of the mentoring to which they have been subjected was categorised as achieving ‘normality’.) But Margaret had a word of warning – that they must not ‘mark their own homework’. The NHS in north Wales have of course been marking their own homework for years, that is how they ended up in this mess. Complaints were concealed, both by the Trusts that preceded the Betsi and by Higson during the years that he was CEO of Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW). They cooked the books, fiddled the stats and the whole lot of them claimed to be providing ‘excellence’. The reality was that north Wales had dreadful mortality figures and some of the poorest health outcomes in the UK. I suspect that despite Margaret’s warning, they are still marking their own homework – I noted that the fantastic ‘progress’ reported in the press recently regarding Fali Ward was simply an opinion proffered by the Betsi itself, there was no reference to an external assessment (please see blog post ‘Exactly How Bad Was Fali Ward?’).

The Rebel Member, Phil Edwards,  stated that they didn’t just need a verbal update on special measures, ‘we need evidence on paper’. (I’ve got plenty of evidence on paper Phil – evidence of thirty years of criminal activity and wrongdoing…)

Gary the CEO referred to special measures as being a ‘big question’, mentioning the ‘very wide-ranging areas’ that are under scrutiny. (Just about all activities of the Board as far as I can see.) He has noticed that with regard to the mental health services ‘we have a lot of work to get done…we are making good progress…our special measures challenge is the trust and confidence of many people’. Well there are suicides and suspicious deaths as well as a scandal most weeks, so I don’t think Betsi is quite there yet where the ‘trust and confidence of many people’ is concerned.

At this point Higson asked the Board for any declarations of interest. There were none, as usual – although this Board is packed with people who seem to have numerous conflicts of interest (please see blog post ‘Conflicts Of Interest – And Some Very Big Salaries’). The Board then started going through the minutes of the previous meeting.

Marian Wyn Jones (Independent Board Member) drew attention to the Finance Committee receiving approval for the business plan to develop the A&E Dept at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Marian claimed that this will be a ‘great boost’ to the economy in north west Wales. I’m not sure how that works actually – that hospital in a way is sucking the life out of north west Wales. It is receiving huge amounts of Welsh Gov’t money whilst offering a dreadful service. The local politicians dare not say a word about the appalling ‘care’ and malpractice because it is a major employer and one of the few places in Gwynedd that provides well-paid long-term jobs. The staff there really don’t want to join the ranks of most of the rest of the folk in Gwynedd, on incomes made up of low-paid work and benefits, so they lobby furiously to make damn sure that Hywel Williams MP and Sian Gwenllian AM toe the line. It is a rather unhealthy symbiotic relationship. Gary complained about the layout of the A&E Dept at Ysbyty Gwynedd and said that ‘the quality of the building is not what you would want’. Actually Gary, the quality of the staff is not what you would want – please read blog post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ for an account of the conduct of staff at the A&E Dept at Ysbyty Gwynedd. I am not the only person who has had such experiences. Gary did however observe that it was ‘great’ that this bunch of liars and thugs who abuse their patients are going to be given a new building in which to do so.

Bobby Feely (Independent Board Member) drew attention to the shortcomings in the mandatory training in infection control at the Betsi – she was worried ‘about our standing in Wales’. This does rather smack of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, their standing in Wales could not be lower. Marian commented that the level of mandatory training in infection control was ‘down from last year’. Of course the hospitals in north Wales have a long tradition of being rife with infection but not actually telling anyone lest it affects their ‘reputation’. Or indeed their standing in Wales. Please see blog post ‘The Tip Of Yet Another Iceberg?’ for further details of the state of hygiene in units run by the Betsi and some of their rather novel ideas to remedy the problem. Margaret mentioned that they’ll be ‘keeping the pressure on’ regarding training an infection prevention. We’ll expect some more bad news media stories soon then.

Margaret then moved on to a topic central to this blog – matters relating to the mental health services. She stated that assurances had been provided to the Board’s Mental Health Act Committee that there have been improvements in the assessment of young people, ‘but we’re not there yet’. Margaret finds herself making this statement at most Board meetings. However they are ‘in a much better place’ and their duties under the Mental Health Act are being fulfilled. I’d carry out an intensive search of the Heddfan Unit if I were you Margaret, perish the thought that there might be someone in there who has been sectioned for months by Raj Sambhi because they have complained that there is neglect and abuse in the mental health services and that a paedophile ring used to operate in the region…Margaret mentioned that there is a shortage of Section 12 doctors and that they need to look at why that is. I’ll tell you why it is Margaret. It is because for years senior posts in the north Wales mental health services have been log-jammed by the likes of Dafydd Alun Jones, Marie Savage, Tony Roberts, Raj Sambhi et al and no-one wants to work with these vicious, corrupt, dysfunctional people who are exterminating their patients. Indeed, the one good psychiatrist that you have got has been given a really bad time by them – and other psychiatrists who have unsuspectingly taken up posts here have walked away after a matter of weeks, horrified by what they have discovered happening. Margaret mentioned the possibility of ‘getting more GPs on board’ – she’ll find the same problem. The good GPs will not work with that shower – I knew of a number of GPs in Gwynedd who loathed David Healy and Tony Roberts, because Healy and Roberts were just so unhelpful when those GPs tried to refer patients to them. The GPs viewed Roberts and Healy as frankly negligent. And just to chuck a further spanner in the works, Healy and his protégé Richard Tranter – who left for New Zealand in a hurry when people started discovering what he was up to – were busy on Healy’s blog blaming the dysfunction, chaos and cruelty in the mental health services on everyone but themselves, advising other people not to work at the Betsi. I can heartily recommend any patients who have experienced the insanity of the Hergest Unit to read the piece on Healy’s blog entitled ‘Richard’s Story’, it’s a real tear-jerker. The tale of a Hergest Unit that attracted Nobel prize winners no less (yes, honestly, that is one of the claims made), that provided excellent care for patients, that was an innovative unit providing the best care in the UK until that wicked witch Mary Burrows came along – except that it’s all a pack of lies, about as honest as the ‘research’ that was being carried out by those we know and love in the mental health services.

The Board then held a long discussion about Wales’s ‘Wellbeing of Future Generations Act’. This Act is providing a very useful smokescreen for the state of the public services in Wales. Like a lot of things emanating from the Welsh Govt, the idea is good but it cannot actually work because our public services are so troubled. I have two friends in England who are very starry-eyed about this Act and are of the opinion that the Welsh Govt are leading the way. But how can one even begin to talk about the well-being of future generations when we have a health and welfare sector riddled with corruption and malpractice?

There were some prize contributions to this discussion from Board members. Rycroft-Malone claimed that ‘we in the university…are trying to pay attention to it…giving consistent messages about what we expect from students in training…’ The main ‘messages’ those students get from you Jo is that you have a very big problem with overseas students and colleagues and that if students witness malpractice on placement there’s no point reporting it because it usually won’t be dealt with. Margaret commented that it wasn’t just a matter of box-ticking, it was adopting a ‘hearts and minds’ approach. In view of the various catastrophes occurring in that Health Board I think it’s rather a matter of ‘shock and awe’ than ‘hearts and minds’. Then came Lyn’s contribution – the ‘evil bitch’ adopted her best old lady from Liverpool manner and asked ‘are we aware or do we have a measure of how our staff understand the legislation?’ Which was particularly rich coming from a woman who, in her capacity as Director of HR at Bangor University, bent the rules so often and to such a degree and showed such an ignorance of all relevant legislation regarding bullying, harassment and discrimination that most of us wondered whether she really did have a law degree as she claimed. Geoff Lang (Executive Director of Strategy) wisely stated that if a straw poll was carried out, the staff probably understood ‘very little’ regarding the legislation. I have sympathy with the staff on this point – if they’re any good, they’ll be so busy trying to care for patients in the midst of chaos, dysfunction and aggressive management that considering esoteric legislation will be the least of their concerns. Peter Higson suggested that an online survey be e mailed to all staff  – they’re going to love you for that Peter, you’re already running an organisation full of staff going off sick with stress and depression who are consistently reporting burn-out and bullying from managers… Bethan then chipped in with the extraordinary comment that ‘a lot of agencies in the Third Sector’ that are commissioned by the Health Board are ‘achieving a great deal’. So who do you have in mind then Bethan – CAIS and MIND perhaps, who seem to be running some of the biggest scams imaginable, as previously described on the blog? Bethan stressed the importance of ‘monitoring’ these Third Sector organisations – I wish someone would, including Mantell Gwynedd, the Third Sector organisation that Bethan herself runs, some of us have wondered for years what services they are providing and to whom. Bethan stated that the sums involved in commissioning these organisations are ‘small’ – this blog has described how CAIS has recently received £1.5 million for ‘service user/carer involvement’ and nearly £5 million for ‘substance abuse services’ (which CAIS are very obviously not delivering on). £6.5 million might be cat’s piss to you Bethan, but if the Board gave that money to me I bet I could do a better job than CAIS. Bethan maintained that ‘a lot of the Third Sector bodies are measuring social value and doing it in quite a sophisticated way’. Is this Third Sector speak for ‘we are visibly not making a blind bit of difference, so we’re going to pretend that our critics are too daft to understand our ‘sophisticated’ ways of measuring ‘social value’? Meanwhile CAIS will continue to rake in millions for providing shelter and detox services, whilst towns like Wrexham fill up with homeless drug users. And from what people contacting this blog are reporting, no-one is actually managing to get a service out of ‘Parabl’, aptly described by one reader as ‘the love-child of MIND and CAIS’.

Gary the CEO gave a little spiel about all the e mails and letters that he receives ‘every week’ no less from patients bowled over by the Betsi. Presumably he just ignores the e mails – such as mine – who tell him when things are going dreadfully wrong. He also mentioned the ‘nutrition and hydration’ week, which featured on this blog recently, one of the ‘events’ involved being a ‘multi-disciplinary team’ of senior staff who were going to observe a ‘service user meal experience’ – translated this means that a collection of managers were actually going to watch someone eat their dinner. Lest anyone ever thought that even the Betsi couldn’t possibly do this, I’m glad to say that they did. Gary reported back to the Board and mentioned that ‘I appeared out of the blue, people didn’t know about it, they were surprised’. I imagine they were completely gobsmacked Gary, you’re paid something like £200,000 pa and you’re watching someone eat their pudding. Gary then moved onto other matters such as infection control and storage of medicines and commented that there are ‘other Boards doing better than us’. That’s why you’re in special measures Gary.

Then Martin spoke. This was certainly illuminating to someone like me who has some knowledge of how Martin conducted business in his previous incarnation as CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust. The fact that Edwina Hart felt obliged to abolish that organisation and undertake a massive rebranding exercise in the (vain) hope that we’d all forget what happened there, hasn’t however prompted any inner reflection on the part of Martin. Martin started talking about staff performance. This is the man who literally terrorised staff at the North West Wales NHS Trust, the man who removed the beds from junior doctors rest rooms because he wasn’t going to pay them to lie down – even though these were junior doctors who were working extremely long shifts – and of course the man who was part of the management Board of a Trust that achieved fame when they purchased custom-made crockery for many thousands of pounds embossed with the Trusts ‘logo’, for their personal use. Meanwhile patients died – in great numbers. Martin hasn’t changed. He opened with the phrase ‘MY staff’, with the emphasis on the ‘my’. Not ‘our team’, but ‘MY staff’. They are not your staff Martin, you all work for the NHS. But this was characteristic of managers in the North West Wales NHS Trust. Their risk manager, John Bowles, actually used to refer to ‘my subordinates’. Martin then unveiled his latest Regime of Terror. After mentioning ‘staff health’ and stating that there’s a lot that can be done to ‘help staff adjust’ and build ‘resilience’ (resilience to Martin’s aggression, that’ll take some building), Martin stated that he was going to ‘discuss with people how they are progressing’. God, can you imagine what that will entail. Martin explained that there was going to be ‘an increase in the number of training days’ and that this ‘will result in staff being excluded without pay if they fail to attend’. Now I heard the details of the ‘training’ that was ‘offered’ at the North West Wales Trust when Martin was CEO. The staff were seething, because they maintained that it was very obviously not ‘training’ at all, it was always a tick-box exercise on a computer that trained no-one in anything and furthermore everyone maintained that there was only one purpose to this ‘training’ – so that in the event of complaint, litigation or even tragedy, Martin could maintain that the staff had been ‘trained’ and that member of staff would therefore be deemed fully responsible and would be hung out to dry by Martin in order to protect the wider organisation and of course Martin himself, from scrutiny. Furthermore I was told that because there were many more staff required to do the ‘training’ than computers available for use, it was often impossible to complete the training. These were of course the same computers that staff had to use for clinical work, to update patients records etc. I was told that the ‘training’ was sending the Trust into chaos and preventing people from seeing their patients. And Martin is doing it all over again – this time accompanied by a threat to withdraw pay (would that even be legal?). The Betsi Board recently hit the headlines when it was revealed that staff were refusing to co-operate with the external investigation into the Tawel Fan scandal, in which elderly mentally ill patients were found to have been seriously abused and neglected on Tawel Fan, a ward in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. No-one mentioned withdrawing their pay. But if anyone sticks two fingers up to Martin’s dodgy ‘training’ or even just isn’t able to find a computer… Martin then announced to the Board that he of course had been ‘compliant with my management training’ and began to talk about the computerised system that is so easy to use – staff just have to log on and away they go. No excuses!

As Martin has learnt absolutely nothing despite having ‘his’ Trust abolished and being removed from his previous job, may I suggest that someone at the Betsi starts carrying out DBS checks on ALL staff. When Martin was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust, I was told that criminal record checks were not being carried out. This resulted in the employment of at least one person with previous convictions for assault in a role with direct patient contact….

I left the meeting after hearing Martin explain his latest plans to ensure that the recruitment crisis and breakdowns among staff at the Betsi will continue for some while yet. As I left, I spent a long time pondering on why the Betsi Board are actually putting themselves through this. They cannot run the Board, things are getting worse by the day and now they’re getting touchy about my comments on this blog. Higson looks like a bag of nerves, Martin spent the whole meeting staring downwards at the desk in front of him – even when he was unveiling his plans for the Great Terror – and Phil the Rebel Member had the distinct appearance of a very guilty man facing a police investigation for serious crimes. Which is odd because Phil is the former Police Federation chief for north Wales. Phil doesn’t need to be on the Betsi Board, he will have a generous police pension, even Gordon Anglesea’s widow received one of these, thanks to Arfon Jones, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner. Higson is past retirement age as well, he will have a state pension as well as a gold-plated pot from his many years concealing wrongdoing in the mental health services and I bet that he’s paid off his mortgage by now as well. If anyone knows why Higson has not sailed off into the sunset on a Saga cruise, please do let me know.

Normal Service Resumed – News Round-Up, March 8 2017

What with all the hacking that’s been going on and the technical problems with my site, I haven’t blogged as much as I wanted to over the last few days, but I’m glad to say that after taking some technical advice, I seem to be back in business again on the blog. So here’s a summary of a few things that caught my interest over the past few days.

A news story that was sparked off in the Daily Post that took north Wales by storm and even ended up featuring on the main BBC News site (next to a story about Trump no less) was the report that Wrexham bus station was some sort of centre for ‘addicts’ and the use of hard drugs. It began when the Post published a series of photos that they maintained was ‘evidence’ of hard drug use in Wrexham bus station. However all was clearly not as we were being led to believe. The ‘shock horror’ photo that caused the biggest sensation was a photo of someone flat out, lying face down on the ground in the bus station. Yet the small print under this photo actually admitted that there was no evidence that the person in the photo had been using drugs. A correspondent of this blog commented that this person looked as though they were in need of urgent medical attention, so why someone was snapping away rather than checking on this person’s well-being I do not know. Other photos of further ‘evidence’ accompanied this one – photos of hypodermic needles on the floor accompanied by a smear of blood and most interestingly a photo of a home-made knife. Well anyone could have scattered a few syringes about and smeared a bit of blood on the ground and the relevance of a home-made weapon to drug taking was not explained. Considering the sleight of hand that had been employed in the case of the photo of the unfortunate person flat-out on the floor in the bus station, nothing at all could be deduced from the other photos. But it was enough to start a major news story. Further features appeared on the Post’s website, featuring comments from a number of different people, some maintaining that the story had been an exaggeration, others maintaining that addicts were using Wrexham bus station and that the problem had been ignored. Then the Post ran interviews with two women, one of whom was ‘confessing’ to being a ‘Wrexham bus station addict’, the other one being her sister who claimed to be fearful that the Wrexham bus station addict would lose her life. I couldn’t help noticing though that the Wrexham bus station addict looked remarkably healthy and well-dressed for one so allegedly ravaged and her main problem seemed to be some missing teeth – which could have been simply caused by too many sweets/sugary drinks and the lack of NHS dentists in north Wales. The interview with the bus station addict was interesting though – heroin (thus the photos of the syringes) was not mentioned. The bus station addict instead waxed lyrical about Black Mamba, a ‘legal high’. Note – a LEGAL high. So the bus station addict wasn’t even breaking the law with her bus station addiction. There were other inconsistencies in the bus station addict story as well – the bus station addict in question stated that the addicts congregate in the bus station because it’s warm. It isn’t. I know that bus station well because I used to travel through there several times a week for about 18 months until about a year ago. It is absolutely freezing in Wrexham bus station because there’s no doors between the waiting areas and the bus bays, the wind just whistles straight through – and if it’s raining it gets wet in there too. The seats are moulded metal and are really uncomfortable, not at all suitable for anyone to doss down on should they so wish. At no point when I was waiting in that station did I ever see any drug users. I was occasionally there very early in the mornings and late in the evenings and even then I did not even see any anti-social behaviour. I saw a few homeless and dispossessed people walking around, but they weren’t causing any problems for anyone. However, the bus station addict’s story now clearly had a life of its own. Hot on the heels of the interview with the bus station addict was another news story, this time reporting that the MP for Wrexham, Ian Lucas, had demanded a meeting with the Lord Chancellor, Liz Truss, to discuss the alleged happenings in Wrexham bus station. Then Liz Truss announced that they’d all be seeking advice from the ‘experts’ at HMP Berwyn, the monstrosity of a prison that has just been built in Wrexham after Hywel Williams MP and David Hanson MP begged for a prison in north Wales on the grounds that so many of us up here needed banging up. And which ‘experts’ might these be? Black Mamba has been reported as being the ‘drug of choice’ in Altcourse and Walton prisons and is alleged to be causing havoc, rendering those prisons unmanageable. If prisons that are already well-established and staffed by ‘experts’ can’t control the use of Black Mamba within the institutions, how on earth are the ‘experts’ from a prison that only opened its doors a matter of days ago going to control the use of Black Mamba in a bus station?

However, the whole Wrexham bus station addicts story prompted some interesting comments from a reader of the blog. If there is a drug problem in north Wales – and although the bus station story was obviously very flaky, everyone keeps maintaining that there is a serious and growing drugs problem in north Wales, particularly in Wrexham – the reader asked then why does the Betsi keep throwing millions at CAIS, that anti-addiction charity that boasts of its success in combatting drug addiction? CAIS is expanding and expanding, picking up more and more contracts to ‘treat’ and ‘detox’ drug users – well they’re obviously not that successful are they. CAIS have been in business for decades and the man that established it and still chairs it, dear old Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, has for donkeys years styled himself as an ‘expert’ on drug problems and in his younger day made regular appearances on TV maintaining that He Should Be Listened To. Yet if we are to believe what we are being told by the police, the probation service, the Courts, the Betsi Health Board etc, the drug problem in north Wales is completely out of control. CAIS have now expanded into mid-Wales and I understand are putting feelers out into south Wales as well, trying to pick up a few more lucrative NHS contracts no doubt. So we can expect the drug problems to get much worse in mid and south Wales now that Dafydd’s come to the rescue…

Just as Dr Dafydd Aun Jones is to be found at the root of many bizarre news stories in north Wales,  recent news reports in the Daily Post featured another old favourite in terms of bad news stories in north Wales – yes, Anglesey County Council have hit the headlines once more. It was reported that a CSSIW inspection of Anglesey’s children’s services has resulted in a truly damning report. Inspectors found that services ‘were not always delivered by a skilled, competent, suitably qualified and experienced workforce’, with a ‘particular vulnerability’ at team manager level. Although acknowledging that ‘prompt and proportionate action’ was taken in cases of potential significant harm to children on Anglesey, it was not always followed-up adequately. Partially blaming the failure on a lack of capacity and experience at operational manager or senior practitioner level, inspectors said they looked closely at the quality of outcomes for children in need of help, care, support and/or protection. Inspectors also found ‘insufficient attention to improving practice’ and the quality and timeliness of child protection enquiries to be ‘inconsistent’. Other concerns included the council’s information, advice and assistance services that were found to be ‘insufficiently developed’ with ‘too many’ cases not progressing to referral when they should have. The report noted that ‘we found that management oversight of safeguarding, access and assessment arrangements were insufficient and the pace of change in improving the provision of help, care and support and/or protection for children and families in Anglesey must be accelerated’. Of course, no-one should actually be surprised by this. Anglesey children’s services have previous. A 2011 CSSIW report noted a failure to improve, dating back ‘over many years’, with the assessment and care management of children on Anglesey to be ‘poor’. This is a council whose shenanigans have regularly featured in the media in Wales and have also made it into the London-based media and Private Eye. A number of Anglesey Councillors have gone to prison and the Council is alleged to be rife with bullying, bad practice and corruption. Why is anyone even trusting them to run a children’s service in the first place? (I seem to remember that many years ago as the horrors of the lives of children who were ‘in care’ in north Wales gradually seeped out into the media, one of the worst cases of child cruelty had occurred on Anglesey. A teenager had been fostered out to a couple who had hung up in a barn by ropes and regularly beaten him.) Anglesey children’s services have been given a year to improve. It’s a fairly safe bet that when the inspectors return next year things will be as bad as ever. No-one will have been held to account yet alone dismissed and they will carry on in the same way – they won’t actually know how to do things differently. As with the NHS, even if things are so bad that a head has to roll, that head won’t roll very far, it’ll be given another job nearby at the same level on the same salary. This happened a few years ago in Gwynedd County Council. A terrible report was produced about Gwynedd Social Services after an inspection absolutely slated the senior management. Gwynedd held out as long as they could in the wake of this report, but eventually Gwenan Carrington, the Director of Social Services, announced that she was stepping down. The region breathed a sigh of relief – but not for long. Shortly after, it was announced that Gwenan had been appointed to a senior management position in Anglesey. Some months after that, a Grade A row broke out when it was revealed that the council-run old people’s homes on Anglesey were in crisis and that some were going to be flogged off to the highest bidder. The senior manager responsible was one Gwenan Carrington. I don’t even know why Gwenan wanted to land another job after the catastrophe that she oversaw at Gwynedd – she was around retirement age with a gold-plated pension and had enjoyed a lifetime’s worth of a salary that most people in Gwynedd never manage to obtain….

And so to today. I was expecting our elected representatives to be tweeting like mad about Phil Hammond’s budget, but they’re not. They are however very excited indeed – because it’s International Women’s Day. The first twitter feed that I read was Sian Gwenllian’s, AM for Arfon. Sian had tweeted a cartoon of a group of women (dressed up in Wonderwoman outfits) of various shapes, sizes and ethnicities, with one in a wheelchair, under the words ‘forward to equality’. So much for ‘equality’ and including the ‘disabled’ Sian – you have continually refused to utter a word about the lethal local mental health services, which are damaging and killing women. There is also another local politician who has been tweeting his support for women and disabled people like there’s no tomorrow – Sian’s colleague, Hywel Williams MP (who shares an office with Sian). Hywel has been tweeting his ire at cuts in disability benefits and has been expressing concern about disabled people facing ‘isolation’. Regular readers of this blog know that like Sian, Hywel also remains completely silent about the lethal mental health services. However Hywel goes one better – he is actively friends with some of the local mental health professionals (he’s a former north Wales psychiatric social worker himself) and held one of his post-election victory parties at the house of a Hergest nurse. Prior to this however, a very interesting photo of Hywel was available on the internet – it featured Hywel along with the appalling Keith Fearns (please see blog post ‘The Arfon Community Mental Health Team’ for the background on Fearns and his colleagues), at a ‘conference’ that Fearns had organised. Readers who have followed the blog for the past few weeks will know the lengths to which Fearns went to take me to Court, to deny me healthcare and indeed to get me the sack from jobs – because I had complained about the mental health services. Fearns achieved notoriety when I began teacher training by telling a third party that he would ensure that ‘no decent person’ would have anything to do with me. Yes Hywel, your mate Fearns certainly knows all about disabled people facing isolation…

There has of course been another enthusiastic tweeter today because of International Women’s Day – Leanne Wood, ie. Sian and Hywel’s leader. Leanne retweeted a curious tweet from someone called ‘Chicago Tafia’ which had pictures of some well-known Welsh women – including Leanne – and the message ‘Happy International Women’s Day to the ballsy and fierce women of Wales…’ I find this a little perplexing. The word ‘ballsy’ is I presume a reference to testicles, not something that women possess. It is also a rather crass macho phrase and I always find it sad when women feel that they have to describe themselves, or each other, as ‘ballsy’ if they want to pay a compliment. I dunno about you Leanne but I possess ovaries, I’d be bloody horrified if I found that I had suddenly grown a pair of testicles. And I’m quite happy with my ovaries, I don’t feel the need to purloin some daft macho phrase used by butch meatheads to give me credibility. Leanne also retweeted the tweet that Sian sent out, ie. that of the ‘diverse’ Wonderwomen. Like Sian, Leanne has remained absolutely schtum concerning the women who have been exterminated by the mental health services in north Wales. But then I am a little worried about the brand of feminism that is emanating from some people in Plaid at the moment. It’s the Harriet Harman brand of feminism – Harriet is the daughter of a Harley Street doctor, a very privileged woman who has had an awful lot handed to her on a plate. Yet Harriet believes that she is oppressed – because she is female. Harriet has bags more power and privilege than most men in this country by dint of her class. Leanne and Harriet’s brand of feminism doesn’t seem to embrace fighting on behalf of women who are at the bottom of the social heap – who are being screwed over by the mental health services for example – it is about assisting other privileged women, usually their friends with careers in politics. I was interested to see a few ripe comments about the style of ‘feminism’ that is currently pervading Plaid on Jac o the North’s blog earlier today. I don’t share Jac’s political outlook – and I’m sure that he’d absolutely hate me, a leftie English immigrant – but I do follow his blog and there were some very pertinent comments made in his responses section regarding the ‘feminism’ of present day female politicians. But then Leanne has had a rather unusual understanding of gender matters for quite some time. After Theresa May announced the re-investigation into the north Wales child abuse scandal and it was stated that there was to be another police inquiry and an appeal for witnesses to come forward, Carwyn held a press conference and emphasised that this was a serious criminal investigation and if any politicians were approached by witnesses with information, they must not talk to the witnesses themselves but must refer the witnesses to the police. Leanne then put out a public appeal – for witnesses to come forward and talk to her. The inevitable furore followed and Leanne was then interviewed and said that she thought that the witnesses might like to talk to her rather than the police ‘because I’m a woman’. This was a criminal investigation into a vicious paedophile ring who had evaded prosecution for years. A lot of people who had suffered at their hands had killed themselves and some witnesses had died in suspicious circumstances. But Leanne wanted to get to the witnesses before the police did – because she was a woman. Que?? I always thought that interfering with witnesses was a serious offence. I’m sure that if I did it I would be arrested. Now if Leanne had been an utter dipstick of a first year student on a social work course with a rather simplistic idea of gender roles, her appeal for witnesses to talk to her rather than the police might be understandable. But Leanne was the leader of the opposition in Wales. She is also a former probation officer – and was actually co-chair of the National Association of Probation Officers – as well as a former lecturer in social policy at Cardiff University. Presumably then Leanne knows what a criminal investigation involves – and she will also know that the last thing that anybody should be doing whether they are female, male or intersex, is interfering with the witnesses. Especially when so many of them have been found dead. So a message to Leanne, from one women to another on International Women’s Day: that paedophile gang Leanne had tentacles throughout the UK, particularly in the mental health services, and they destroyed lives, including my own for many years. I was lucky enough to escape their associates constant attempts to frame me for serious crimes (although I’m not sure how) and unlike so many other people whom they targeted I did not actually end up dead in questionable circumstances. But I am not an idiot and I know a real progressive feminist when I see one – and it is not you. Oh and Sian also managed to tweet about her dissatisfaction that the Welsh Labour Gov’t had failed to commit to making ‘healthy relationships education’ compulsory in schools. I don’t think that anyone has much to learn about ‘healthy relationships’ from someone who has stuck her head in the sand regarding the dreadfully unhealthy relationships between mental health professionals and their patients in the way that Sian has. There was however one worthwhile International Women’s Day tweet from a north Wales politician today – Liz Saville Roberts sent out a nice photo of the Asda workers from Pwhelli. And I bet that not one of them will have had a father who’s a Harley Street doctor – but Harriet would probably just view them as the sort of women that she’d employ as cleaners…

A Tale of Two Pre-Inquests At Caernarfon

The Daily Post is reporting on two pre-inquests at Caernarfon. One is on Michael Bryn Jones from Llandudno who was found dead in woods at Bangor in June 2016, 80 days after he went missing from Ysbyty Gwynedd. It is reported that Mr Jones was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd on March 21 after taking tablets. He was assessed on March 23 by psychiatric nurses at the hospital and again on March 24 by a doctor. On April 1 he walked into the sea at Llandudno and was driven to Ysbyty Gwynedd by the police. It is believed that he may have then walked back home to Llandudno. On April 2 he caught the last bus to Bangor and then took a taxi to Ysbyty Gwynedd, before leaving the hospital. His body was later found in a wood nearby. Assistant coroner Nicola Jones has said that she will get as many people together as possible to piece together what happened in Mr Jones’s last hours. The full inquest will take place in May. There certainly should be questions asked – once more, someone in distress is found to have made repeated visits to Ysbyty Gwynedd, on one occasion having been taken there by the police and at one point having undergone a mental health assessment, only to be subsequently found dead. When one considers how many first-hand accounts there are from people who have gone to Ysbyty Gwynedd asking for help only to be unceremoniously thrown out – or threatened with police action if they dare try to press for some support and do not leave – the circumstances of Mr Jones’s death are indeed worrying.

Another pre-inquest also is reported by the Daily Post, this one highly unusual. It was on Siaron Lowis Bonds, who died in 1994 at Ysbyty Gwynedd. There is clearly very great concern over what happened to Ms Bonds. She was a cancer patient who died two days after being admitted to Alaw Ward. The coroner, Nicola Jones, stated that the inquest, which will take place in September, will investigate whether the level of care caused or contributed to Ms Bonds death. It was also revealed that Miss Bonds had taken part in a clinical trial and that there were ‘issues of consent’ regarding this. Ms Jones wants to find out who conducted the clinical trial and stated that it is crucial to find the nursing staff who prescribed potassium for Ms Bonds, at different dosages to that prescribed by a doctor. A review of Ms Bonds case by Health Inspectorate Wales in 2006 found that her care on Alaw Ward was ‘inadequate’. Furthermore it concluded that ‘a series of errors and omissions from Trust staff contributed directly to her death’. At the time of Ms Bonds death, the body managing Ysbyty Gwynedd was Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust.

This blog has concentrated on mental health failures and related matters, but regular readers will know that sometimes I branch out into other matters that may be of interest. I have a number of observations regarding Ms Bonds case. Firstly, there is mention of a nurse prescribing – readers are welcome to correct me because I may have got this wrong but it is my understanding that back in 1994 nurses did not prescribe, I think that they were only allowed that responsibility more recently. There is obviously a lot of concern regarding this clinical trial that Ms Bonds was participating in. Now there seem to have been some rather odd things going on at Ysbyty Gwynedd in the name of ‘clinical trials’. Ysbyty Gwynedd is not part of a medical school, yet there seems to have been some very questionable clinical trials run up there. I can remember an incident when the North West Wales NHS Trust was still in existence and running Ysbyty Gwynedd and someone died whilst participating in a ‘clinical trial’. If this had happened at one of the UKs leading universities there would have been an outcry – people are not supposed to die in clinical trials. So how did Ysbyty Gywnedd not only manage to kill someone in these circumstances but get clean away with a only a few reports in the Welsh media? Furthermore, in 1994, when Ms Bonds died as part of a ‘clinical trial’, Ysbyty Gwynedd was a fairly primitive establishment in terms of medical education. Reluctant medical students from Cardiff would undertake placements and subsequently return to south Wales with horror stories – and nursing wasn’t even a degree subject then. So who was running these ‘clinical trials’ and where was the research governance – I would not imagine that Ysbyty Gwynedd would have had the infrastructure to conduct clinical trials appropriately (I have mentioned this previously in other blog posts eg. ‘The Biggest Expert of the Lot’). Another thought struck me on reading the Post’s article. Followers of my blog will know that as well as commenting on current events, I am also gradually telling the story of my trajectory through the mental health system in north Wales. I haven’t quite got to the events of 1994 yet, but I’ll be there shortly and I have been reading the relevant documents. In 1994 that hospital and the grandly titled ‘Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust’ were in chaos. The law was being regularly broken, patients who had complained were being vindictively prosecuted, staff were at each others throats and yes, there were claims of ‘research’ being undertaken in the Hergest Unit that no patients ever seemed to have participated in. Documents in my possession demonstrate that this misconduct was condoned at the highest levels of the Trust. What if there was this sort of environment in cancer care as well?

I’m wondering whether any of our local politicians will break their silence regarding the dreadful conduct of certain NHS staff in north Wales in the wake of these two pre-inquests, or whether Darren Millar is still the only north Wales politician who is brave enough to stick his head above the parapet and comment in the face of avoidable patient deaths. Plaid are busy enjoying their conference in Newport and earlier today Rhun ap Iorwerth tweeted that the NHS in Wales has ‘excellent staff’. Rhun grew up on Ynys Mon and is now the AM for that area – before he became a politician Rhun was a BBC journalist. I suspect that Rhun is well-aware of the series of deaths and disasters emanating from the north Wales NHS. Another Plaid AM for north Wales also grew up in the area and worked as a journalist – Sian Gwenllian, AM for Arfon. Sian is also on record as describing the staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd as ‘excellent’ and is currently campaigning for a medical school in Bangor. They’ve already managed to kill two people in clinical trials Sian (and that’s just the ones that are known about, Ysbyty Gwynedd has never excelled in transparency, for all we know there might be more), that is not a good foundation for a medical school… Rhun and Sian both like to blame the sorry state of the NHS in north Wales on the Welsh Labour Gov’t in Cardiff. There wasn’t a Welsh Labour Gov’t in 1994 when mental health patients were being prosecuted after they’d complained and cancer patients were dying in ‘clinical trials’ at Ysbyty Gwynedd, it was pre-devolution – Thatcher was PM and the Welsh Office was still in existence… Rhun was probably still at school so may not have taken much of an interest in such things, but Sian wasn’t.

 

News Round-Up, Feb 27 2017

There’s been a few items in the news over the past few days which, whilst not involving the mental health services, may still be of interest to readers because they touch on topics often discussed on the blog, so I’ll review them here.

BBC News Wales reported that a five year old girl from Newport died of an asthma attack after a GP refused to see her because she was five minutes late for an appointment http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-39095656 The GP who refused to see this little girl was one Dr Joanne Rowe – a specialist in safeguarding children. Of course she was. The details available regarding this case make very sober reading – this was not a little girl who’s mother waltzed into the surgery hours late with the cavalier demanding attitude that some people would like us to believe that so many patients have. She had been sent home from school because teachers were concerned that her asthma was ‘deteriorating’. Her mother made an emergency appointment at the surgery and was told to get there by 5pm. This left her mum with 25 mins to arrange childcare for her two month old baby (a pretty challenging task alone) and ask a friend to give her a lift to the surgery one mile away. She managed to get to the surgery at four minutes past five, but had to queue at the reception desk – she was turned away and later that night her little girl suffered a seizure and stopped breathing. She died shortly after in hospital. Interestingly enough, computer records show that due to a number of cancellations Dr Rowe did not see any patients between 4-55pm and 5-20pm on that day. So she wasn’t saving lives during that time, she was simply having a hissy fit about a child’s mother – who had a two month old baby as well as an ill five year old to care for and no transport – being four minutes late for an appointment.

It seems that Dr Rowe was reported to the GMC but was not struck off, she was given a warning and is now practicing in Splott in Cardiff. The GMC ruled that she failed to consider the medical history of the child (who it seems had been previously identified as having a serious asthma problem) and told Rowe that her failure to see and assess the child did not meet the standards required of a doctor and that it ‘risks bringing the profession into disrepute’. (That profession is already in disrepute, look what’s been going on in north Wales and the GMC have failed to take action against any of them over three decades – I’ll be giving full details of my encounters with the GMC in future blog posts.) It was stated in a Serious Concern report that reception staff were frightened of Rowe who was known for ‘repeated angry outbursts’, that she is ‘unapproachable and volatile’ and that staff were afraid to challenge her decisions or ask for a second opinion and that it was her usual practice to refuse to see patients who were late for routine or emergency appointments. So an autocratic, unhinged woman who regularly terrorised people and whose arrogance and pomposity led to the death of a five year old has just moved off down the road to Splott to continue practising, where presumably the locals don’t know about her previous. I don’t know whether it has now been gentrified, but Splott was always known to be an area of high disadvantage. So unless Splott has gone upmarket, Joanne Rowe – who will be earning in excess of £100,000 pa if she works full-time – is going to have a great time there with all those not very affluent, not very well educated people to intimidate.

BBC News Wales is also reporting that the A&E dept at Ysbyty Gwynedd has been allocated £14 million from the Welsh Govt for an upgrade http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-39098438  Health Minister Vaughan Gething stated that it would ‘make a real difference to patients’ and Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, commented that it would ‘help us transform medical and emergency care’. Better facilities are always appreciated, but my own and other people’s experience of the A&E dept at Ysbyty Gwynedd suggests that it is not the building that is the problem but some of the staff. (Please see blog post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ for an account of some of my experiences at Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E with two nurses there, the glorious Stephen Gallagher and his side-kick Andrew Parry.) I also know of other patients who have been refused treatment or even assessments there. If Gary wants to transform services he needs to start dismissing nurses who lie about and threaten patients. I fear that the Betsi are making the same mistake that the authorities made when they finally closed the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – they believe that the building is the root of the problem rather than the people working in it. In much the same way that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al just continued in their own sweet way in their new environments after Denbigh was closed, Gallagher et al will be just as abusive in the new facilities at Ysbyty Gwynedd, because their misconduct has been concealed rather than addressed.

BBC News Wales online is also reporting a successful ‘trial’ with regard to the Welsh Ambulance Service response times http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-39102493  Response times for all but life-threatening calls have been dropped and Vaughan Gething, the Welsh Govt’s Health Minister, has hailed this ‘pilot’ as a success, announcing that this change is now to become permanent. The Welsh Ambulance Service has been a source of much dissatisfaction for many years and it would seem that the only way that Vaughan Gething has been able to repackage their performance as ‘improved’ and ‘a success’ is by abolishing their targets, so they don’t keep failing to meet them and causing embarrassment all round. Vaughan’s declaration of the success of the Welsh Ambulance Service’s performance does not sit easily with an item reported in my post ‘News Round-Up – Feb 22 2017’, which described how a Flintshire man who suffered a head wound from a machete during an armed robbery waited three hours for an ambulance. He eventually got a lift to take him to hospital. Nonetheless Vaughan claims that interest from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, England and Scotland has been attracted by this scheme. One is tempted to suggest that these nations either do not know what is actually happening in the Welsh Ambulance Service or they too need to move the goalposts.

Today the Daily Post online is reporting yet another Betsi disaster, the case of 52 year old Geraint Jones from Denbigh, who died from cancer as a result of the shortcomings of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Mr Jones had previously been diagnosed with cirrhosis, then suffered a gastrointestinal bleed after which he was scanned and told that there were ‘no interval changes’ in his liver. A follow-up scan was six months overdue because clinics were ‘overbooked’. A scan eventually revealed that he had advanced hepatocellular carcinoma which was incurable and inoperable. Mr Jones has since died and the Betsi has written to his widow admitting that had he been seen earlier, his disease would have been ‘potentially curable’. A Betsi spokesperson stated that they were unable to comment on individual cases, but that they could confirm that ‘this matter is progressing through Putting Things Right process’. Have the Betsi not noticed that Mr Jones has died and thus this cannot be put right by any process? (I’m not sure that Putting Things Right is putting many things right anyway – my own complaint about the Betsi is allegedly somewhere in the pipeline along the Putting Things Right process but we’re not getting very far.)

A bit of news from NHS England now – I do occasionally report on events regarding NHS England because for years I watched Westminster politicians maintain that the NHS in Wales was the only branch of the NHS that was going badly wrong and I knew that this was not true. It has become very obvious recently that NHS England is just as troubled as NHS Wales. The Guardian is running a feature today claiming that the NHS in England concealed a huge data loss that put thousands of patients at risk. More than 500,000 pieces of confidential patient data went undelivered between GPs and hospitals between 2011 and 2016. It is reported that NHS England is spending millions trying to clean up the mess left behind in the wake of this chaos, which resulted when the private company contracted to deliver the correspondence, NHS Shared Business Services, stored the correspondence in a warehouse instead. (This is a private company, owned jointly between the Department of Health and a French firm, Sopra Steria.) Jeremy Hunt stands accused of being less than transparent about all this. Ah well Jeremy, this will be an event from which you might learn that privatising the NHS is not actually the solution to its many substantial problems.

There was also a feature on BBC News Wales online regarding ‘Human Rights in a Post-Brexit Wales’ that I was intending to report but I haven’t been able to find it again. However I have found a much more informative blog about the same subject, ie. the Senedd enquiry and its follow up into the effect of Brexit on human rights in Wales. Regular readers of my blog will be aware of just how badly and routinely the mental health services in north Wales flout patients human rights. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that one of the organisations that gave evidence in the original enquiry was the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. This was done at the same time as patients were routinely denied basic dignity, were subjected to abuse and whilst some of them died – and of course complaints into such matters were not being investigated. And who are two of the members of the Senedd Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee who took evidence from the Betsi for the enquiry? Why Janet Finch-Saunders (Con) and Sian Gwenllian (Plaid) of course – two north Wales AMs who have remained strangely silent about the plight of mental health patients in north Wales.

Time To Change Wales

BBC News Wales online is reporting the suicide of yet another farmer, this time in Pembrokeshire, which has resulted in Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies (Con) leading to call for more mental health support in Welsh rural areas http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-38858020

This blog has previously documented the case of a farmer on Anglesey known to me who killed himself with a shotgun after a prolonged period of severe depression, as his family begged for more support for him to no avail. After numerous suicide threats from the farmer, the esteemed mental health team on Anglesey eventually paid him a visit and removed one of his two shotguns. Shortly after they left he shot himself dead with the other one. After his death his widow observed that there was ‘no help at all’. Farmers and vets are two cohorts known to have high suicide rates. Wales is a predominantly rural area, with hopeless mental health services. Paul Davies AM is rightly calling for more mental health support for people in rural areas, but his comments seem to suggest that he thinks more ‘investment’ will solve the problem.

But then demanding more ‘investment’ in NHS Wales – even in the north where, as this blog has described, millions are being wasted by gross mismanagement by the Betsi or being diverted into the pockets of people with connections to the Betsi under the guise of ‘charity’, ‘research’ or ‘therapeutic initiatives’ – is all the rage at present. A quick read of Sian Gwenllian’s tweets reveal that she recently retweeted information regarding ‘enterprising Welsh MPs’ who tabled an amendment demanding £17.5 million a week for NHS Wales. Who were these ‘enterprising Welsh MPs’? None other than Hywel Williams, Liz Saville-Roberts, Jonathan Edwards and Albert Owen. Three of these – Hywel, Liz and Albert – are MPs in north Wales and know all about the disaster (and drain down which money disappears) that is the Betsi. And not one of them ever speaks publicly about the neglect and abuse that is occurring in services run by that Health Board, even though I know for a fact that Hywel and Liz have received correspondence from constituents about this – and I bet Albert has as well. But then Hywel is a former psychiatric social worker who is personally friends with a number of people who work in the mental health services and who has a track record of being very rude to constituents who have tried to raise questions relating to neglect and abuse in these services. When Hywel was employed as a psychiatric social worker the ‘services’ were centred around the North Wales Hospital Denbigh so presumably Hywel will be used to ignoring the screams of patients. And all these years later he’s using his position in Parliament to try to extract a few more million for the ‘services’ rather than to expose their scams and abuses. Furthermore yesterday Sian tweeted that ‘conversations about mental health change lives’. Not if those conversations refuse to ever acknowledge that there is rampant neglect, abuse and institutional corruption in the mental health services they don’t Sian. Immediately after this tweet, Sian tweeted again – posing for a photo opp with a consultant from Ysbyty Gwynedd, pledging support for the campaign to build a medical school in Bangor. So we’re back on familiar ground – many more million please, to be squandered and misused by a Health Board already in special measures. By the way Sian, a google search reveals that the man that you are photographed with runs a private practice, in parallel with his highly paid work in the NHS. How is this consistent with Leanne Wood’s ‘progressive politics’, ‘social justice’ and battle against neoliberalism which she is no doubt promoting on her current tour of north Wales? A few hours later, Sian retweeted another Plaid supporter suggesting that a medical school in Bangor is the answer to the ‘brain drain’. No Sian, Catrin and Liz it is not – there is a brain drain in the medical services in north Wales because these services are so bad that good doctors won’t touch them with a barge pole.

If any readers of this blog are tempted to fall into Plaid’s trap of believing that a medical school in Bangor will attract the brightest and the best and will constitute a world-leading research institution, they are invited to read some of my previous posts regarding the ‘research’ in health and social care that has been/is being carried out at Bangor University and Glyndwr University and some of the people doing that research (eg. ‘Experts In Suicide Prevention??’, ‘More Experts and Their Expertise’, ‘Compassion, Intelligent-Kindness and Shame’, ‘An Expert On The Betsi Board!’, It’s Those Experts From The Betsi Again!’, ‘Conflicts Of Interest – and Some Very Big Salaries’, ‘Time To Talk’ and ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’.) Who would ever trust this lot with a medical school?

Sian’s tweet regarding the value of talking about mental health whilst ignoring the fact that people are being neglected or abused – or indeed are dying – at the hands of the mental health services was sent out as part of the ‘Time To Change Wales’ campaign. It certainly is time to change Wales. Perhaps we could start with our politicians.