This Is Not The Solution To The Problems We’re Facing

There have been so many articles about Wrexham County Borough Council on Daily Post Online over the past few days that I considered Wrexham County Borough Council to be worthy of a post on this blog. It is almost de rigueur for the county councils in north Wales to hold civil wars among their own members and to make ludicrous decisions that are not in the interests of local residents, but Wrexham has come into its own recently.

In yesterday’s post ‘History Repeats Itself, First As Tragedy, Second As Farce’, I mentioned that it had been proposed by Wrexham Council officers that the Councillors should take a pay cut in order to preserve services, but the Councillors themselves had voted against this. I seem to remember that the comments of Cllr Marc Jones, the leader of the Plaid group on the Council, were published by the Daily Post Online. I think that it was Marc Jones who maintained that the Councillors would be crying crocodile tears if they now told the residents of Wrexham that it was unfortunate that services would have to be cut. I have a degree of sympathy with Marc Jones on that point – but the other Councillors maintained that they were not allowed to vote on their own remuneration, even if it’s to reduce it. I think that a meeting is planned to thrash it all out.

This morning there was another Wrexham Country Borough Council story in the Daily Post Online, this time reporting a huge row that the Councillors had among themselves regarding which flag should be flown over the Council offices. Some Councillors wanted only the Ddraig Goch (the Welsh Dragon) flown, other Councillors wanted the Union flag flown as well as the Ddraig Goch. Some interesting arguments were forward by the Councillors who wanted the Union flag flown as well, pivoting upon the fact that Welshmen had fought and died in the two World Wars of last century. I can’t quite understand how this is an argument for flying the Union flag, but another argument used by the group who wanted to fly the Union flag was that the leader of the group who wanted to only fly the Ddraig Goch supported Welsh independence, so they would vote against his proposal. Again I find myself confused – I do not support Welsh independence but where is the harm in flying only the Ddraig Goch above the offices of a Welsh Council in Wales? (I did support independence at one point, but found myself argued down by other people who maintained that Wales is too poor a nation to become independent at present. However the one thing that really caused me to reject the notion of independence for Wales was discovering just how many of those in our glorious National Assembly had colluded with/kept quiet about the organised child sexual abuse which has caused such havoc in Wales, particularly in the north. This blog makes it clear that Westminster by no means has clean hands regarding this matter either, but it was Wales that suffered so badly at the hands of a lot of politicians in Wales who betrayed their own people in a very big way. They can’t be trusted with the future of the nation until a major clean up has taken place.)

The Post reported the comments of one Wrexham Councillor in particular regarding the row about the flags – a Cllr Marc Jones. Cllr Jones was someone who wanted only the Ddraig Goch flown and seemed sufficiently angry at losing the vote to have contacted the Daily Post. Shouldn’t he really be able to compromise on such a matter and get down to business working on more important things?

So imagine my surprise this afternoon when yet another story about Wrexham County Borough Council appeared on Daily Post Online – a story featuring a Cllr Marc Jones. Were I a Councillor in Wrexham I think that I would have supported Cllr Jones over the matter of implementing a cut to Councillors salaries in order to preserve services and flying the Ddraig Goch only, but Cllr Jones really did get it wrong in this afternoon’s story.

Marc Jones was sounding off in the Post Online regarding the matter of patient access to beds at the Hafan Wen detox centre in Wrexham. Marc is furious that English patients can get a bed within a matter of weeks, but patients from north Wales have to wait up to five months. Hafan Wen has 25 beds, 13 of which are commissioned by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, but the remaining 12 beds are commissioned by Health Boards from England. Cllr Jones commented that until 2007 all 25 beds at Hafan Wen were commissioned for patients from north Wales and he wants a return to this situation.

Cllr Jones commented on the chaos that drug use is now causing in Wrexham and although he says of the Hafan Wen centre ‘this is not the solution to the problems we’re facing in Wrexham’ he goes on to state that ‘it’s one step to finding a complete answer’.

Not only is Hafan Wen not the solution to Wrexham’s problems, but it won’t even be one step towards a complete answer either. Why not? Because Hafan Wen is run by Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles’ friends ie. CAIS. As with everything run by Dafydd, the reality does not match the claims made and there is dissatisfaction with Hafan Wen. A patient recently died there in very questionable circumstances, although it was notable that the questions raised concerning this death did not find their way into the Daily Post. This blog was contacted by a former member of staff at Hafan Wen who maintained that care there is by no means what it should be or what is claimed.

Marc Jones mentioned that until 2007 all beds at Hafan Wen were commissioned by the north Wales NHS. By 2007 Mary Burrows, the one north Wales NHS CEO who challenged the institutional corruption in the NHS in north Wales, had taken over the management of the NHS in the region covering Wrexham – Hafan Wen is situated upon the site of Wrexham Maelor Hospital. What’s the betting that Mary had discovered what a con CAIS is and that she implemented that particular change in provision? No wonder ALL the beds at Hafan Wen had been commissioned by the NHS in north Wales – my post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’ described exactly how Dafydd and CAIS picked up the contract for ‘substance abuse services’ for the whole of north Wales and it was far from transparent and open.

Marc mentions the terrible problems that Wrexham has with drugs and the associated issues. I have mentioned before that Dafydd and CAIS were awarded the contract for substance abuse services in 1995 – so the current chaos, with the associated turf wars and murders, is a result of their ‘services’ for the last twenty years. I don’t know how Dafydd has managed to hoodwink English Health Boards into buying his services, but north Wales has suffered quite enough as a result of Dafydd’s services, it doesn’t need to commission any more of them.

I am interested to discover the existence of a fan of Dafydd’s on Wrexham Council however, indeed such a big fan that he has gone to the Daily Post in an attempt to secure yet more contracts for Dafydd from the Betsi. My post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’ explained the stitch-up which resulted in CAIS landing the contract for ‘service user and carer involvement’ across the whole of north Wales. Now not only do the paedophiles’ friends not have any credibility in the field of service user and carer involvement, but the awarding of that contract was inexplicable even before BEFORE the stitch-up that was the ‘tendering’ process. Before the contract was put out to tender – the commissioning process was operated in such a way that CAIS was the only organisation in a position to tender – the decision to put the contract out to tender and the way in which this would be done was made by Wrexham County Borough Council. North Wales is a huge region and Wrexham is actually very unrepresentative of the region as a whole.

Wrexham is very urban, English speaking and geographically located almost in England. Most of Wrexham is socio-economically disadvantaged, but on the outskirts of Wrexham there are places like Marford, which contain some of the most expensive properties in Wales. Many residents of Wrexham County commute to work in England. Wrexham is nothing like the rest of north Wales. So why was Wrexham County Borough Council given the remit for planning service user and carer involvement across the whole of north Wales? Areas like north west Wales – rural and Welsh speaking – never got a look in. From what I heard, ‘service users and carers’ in north west Wales didn’t even know that any of this was happening and they certainly weren’t consulted. Very few of them even knew about the ‘involvement’ vehicle that Dafydd et al established once they’d landed the contract that only they were in a position to apply for, a vehicle called CANIAD (see post ‘Introducing ‘Caniad’!’). Furthermore, CANIAD is overwhelmingly concerned with ‘service users’ with drug problems – there’s a surprise. If one is a ‘service user’ who does not have a problem with drugs or alcohol and one speaks Welsh and lives in rural Gwynedd, there’s sod all for you in CANIAD.

I tried very hard to discover exactly who decided to allow Wrexham County Borough Council to ensure that Dafydd got his paws on that £1.5 million for providing ‘service user involvement’ and on what rationale their decision was made, but I got nowhere. What was clear was that someone in Wrexham County Borough Council was determined to give Dafydd et al that contract – and that someone in the Betsi ensured that Dafydd’s little helper was in a position to make that decision, because it was the Betsi who decided that Wrexham County Borough Council would be running the commissioning process. As ever with matters Dafydd, nothing was open and transparent. But Dafydd and co have now trousered the dosh and this blog has already been contacted by someone who volunteered for CANIAD who claims that there is bugger all genuine ‘service user involvement’ happening and that no-one knows what CAIS has done with all the money because the ‘service users’ working for CANIAD are barely receiving their travel and lunch expenses.

In the light of Cllr Jones’s efforts to send more business in Dafydd’s direction, I looked up Cllr Jones’s background. Cllr Jones is the Plaid group leader on the Council, but the register of interests also mentions that Cllr Jones is the Press Officer for Plaid AM Llyr Gruffydd. Llyr tried whipping up a bit of business for Dafydd himself some years ago. Dafydd famously used to run a ‘nursing home’ called Ty Gwyn in Llandudno for ‘veterans suffering from PTSD’. Except that a former member of staff from Ty Gwyn told me that most of the patients there were not veterans at all, they were drug users who had got into trouble with the law and were staying at Ty Gwyn so that Dafydd would write them a favourable Court Report. I only know one person who stayed at Ty Gwyn and they described it as a ‘mediocre boarding house’. Ty Gwyn was unable to provide vegetarian food and this person was told to go into Llandudno and buy take-aways for his meals. He realised that he was being ripped-off (he was paying about £2000/week for the ‘nursing home’ and that was sharing a room and at 1990s prices), so he discharged himself. When he did this Dafydd turned up and tried to persuade him to stay ‘just another few weeks’. That was the first time that he saw Dafydd since his arrival. Nonetheless, during one election campaign, Llyr Gruffydd felt able to describe Ty Gwyn as a ‘beacon of excellence’ – Llyr was very angry because the beacon of excellence had gone out of business after the Welsh Gov’t refused to foot the bill for real veterans to stay there.

Before Marc Jones worked as Llyr’s Press Officer, he was a journalist. Marc worked for the BBC, ITV Wales, the Wrexham Leader – and for the Daily Post! Which might explain why he finds it so easy to get his views aired in the Daily Post when he clashes with the other Councillors or wants to put a bit of business Dafydd’s way.

In my post ‘History Repeats Itself, First As Tragedy, Then As Farce’ I mentioned that Wrexham Council was best known for colluding with the paedophile ring that operated in the north Wales children’s homes, particularly Bryn Estyn and the Bryn Alyn Community near Wrexham – the only Councillor who famously refused to collude was Malcolm King, all the others kept a very low profile. Much more recently, there has been one other Wrexham Councillor who repeatedly demanded further investigations into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – that was Keith Gregory. Keith Gregory had been in ‘care’ at Bryn Estyn. Despite the current demands that ‘victims should be listened to’ no other Councillors ever appeared alongside Mr Gregory in the press supporting his requests for further investigations. Mr Gregory has now stepped down from the Council because of poor health.

I don’t know for how long Marc Jones has been a Wrexham Councillor, but I see that he originally came from Mold and moved to Wrexham nearly thirty years ago to study at NEWI (which later became Glyndwr University). Everyone who has lived in north Wales and certainly in Wrexham for the last thirty years knows about the north Wales paedophile ring. If they hadn’t heard about it directly on the grapevine they read about it in the press from the early 1990s onwards. Cllr Jones was a journalist… Intriguingly, the local papers didn’t report quite as much about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal as one would have expected. The Waterhouse Inquiry was held near Mold, Cllr Jones’s old stomping ground. Mold was certainly where the action was – after the embarrassment of the Jillings Report which confirmed the most dreadful abuse over many years of children in the care of Clwyd County Council, that Council was abolished and the newly created Flintshire County Council took over the handling of the Jillings Report’s aftermath. The offices of Flintshire County Council were located in Mold.

A number of the social workers who abused the kids in the children’s homes ‘trained’ at Cartrefle College – which became NEWI. Someone of Cllr Jones’s age who grew up and lived in north east Wales will also have known all about the dreadful reputation of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, which was run by Dafydd.

There is an interview with Cllr Jones available online at Wrexham.Com. He mentions that his best memory is the birth of his sons at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. The Wrexham Maelor Hospital which had such serious problems in it’s maternity unit some years ago that a number of babies and mothers died, but the hospital managers refused to call in the risk managers to try to identify the cause of the deaths because it would damage the hospital’s reputation. The Wrexham Maelor which employed staff who asked no questions when they treated children from the children’s homes with serious injuries – or in some cases sent them away without treatment. The Wrexham Maelor which used to employ Lesley Griffiths, Wrexham’s AM who subsequently became Health Minister, as a medical secretary. Lesley Griffiths was also a Councillor in Wrexham. She has remained remarkably silent about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal as well.

I can only wonder what with Cllr Marc Jones popping up so frequently in the Daily Post Online at the moment whether there might be council elections on the horizon in Wrexham. Whether there are or not, I think we should be told why Cllr Jones is batting for more dosh for Dafydd when he undoubtedly will have some knowledge of Dafydd’s less than impressive track record.

There is something else that Cllr Jones – and his fellow Councillors – should be concerning themselves with at present rather than scrapping over flags and trying to divert yet more of the NHS budget into the coffers of Dafydd and co. That is the plight of the homeless in Wrexham.

The Daily Post Online has reported a great deal about homelessness in Wrexham recently. The problem was dealt with by using the police to throw the homeless out of the bus station – which was where a lot of them had taken to sleeping because it had a roof – by the use of court orders. Because homeless people don’t actually magically disappear when they are removed from public view, after they were booted out of the bus station and indeed the whole of the town centre, a load of them set up a camp on the site of the old Groves School. The Wrexham Councillors were most irate about this and then they got even more angry when local residents who did have somewhere to live started helping the campers by giving them food. I thought that this was a very good reflection on the people of Wrexham, but the Councillors then stated that the homeless people would sell the food donated to them to ‘buy drugs’. Not all homeless people are drug users and furthermore drugs are a great deal more expensive that food, particularly the sort of food donated by sympathetic supporters. I don’t expect that the homeless of Wrexham had buckets of caviar to sell to restaurants in Cheshire, they were probably being given pasta and tins of beans which won’t fetch much on the second hand market. You won’t get many wraps of cocaine for the price of a packet of spaghetti.

There was yet more ranting about the homeless in today’s Daily Post Online. A group called Help Wrexham Homeless have been further over-indulging the homeless at the Groves School camp by providing them with extravagant luxuries such as sleeping bags and food. Cllr Hugh Jones, the lead member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, stated that the Help Wrexham Homeless group were ‘undermining’ the work of the Wrexham Community Safety Partnership by ‘negatively affecting our ability to resolve the long term issues from which they are suffering’. The only long term issue from which the homeless are suffering is that they don’t have anywhere to live and kicking them out of the bus station was not going to resolve that.

Wrexham Council members and staff have a rather odd view of homeless people. A major sociology project was carried out in north Wales a few years ago and I was part of it. Part of the study involved looking at how the housing officers perceived homeless people. References kept being made to homeless people having ‘multiple complex long term problems’, ‘usually mental health or drug problems’. Some homeless people do have these problems, but at the same time as constructing all homeless people in this way, the housing officials admitted that they had a great shortage of housing, with only five or six properties being vacant at any given time, yet thousands of people were on the waiting list. This suggests that the problem is not hordes of people with long term complex problems or drugs/mental health problems, it is a very great shortage of places for people to live.

Cllr Hugh Jones claimed that Wrexham Council are working with Wrexham Homeless Group and AVOW (a Third sector organisation in Wrexham) ‘bringing together all the resources needed to address the complex problems’. All the resources except places for people to live. Hugh Jones stated that he would ‘ask this group [Help Wrexham Homeless] to work with all the established voluntary organisations already working in partnership’. Those will be the established voluntary organisations which have left the campers of Groves School homeless. One of the established voluntary organisations with which Wrexham Council is already working in partnership is CAIS. Yes, Dafydd and CAIS claim to offer services for homeless people. Dafydd will be receiving Gov’t dosh for this ‘service’, just as he receives dosh for ‘substance abuse services’ and ‘service user involvement’, but I bet that he’s not building any houses for the homeless with all that dosh.

Angie Hammons, a member of Help Wrexham Homeless, maintains that despite Wrexham Council’s claims to be addressing the ‘complex long term problems’ of the homeless on the camp, her group have identified that there are gaps in even this provision. Angie’s quite precise about it as well, she claims that the homeless are left without between Thursday mornings and Friday evenings and at weekends, which is when her group steps in to provide additional supplies of food etc.

Help Wrexham Homeless organised a petition calling for a public meeting over the homeless issue, but Cllr Hugh Jones maintains that this is not a ‘real’ petition and that it contains fictitious names. Or perhaps names which Cllr Jones doesn’t recognise – the names of homeless people rather than Councillors or the CEOs of ‘established voluntary organisations’ perhaps.

The very obviously swelling number of homeless people in Wrexham and the massive drugs problem would seem to echo the questions that many people in Wales have been asking recently – in the light of the huge quantities of long-term Gov’t funding that the voluntary sector are in receipt of (CAIS doesn’t rely on coffee mornings and tombolas for it’s funds, it receives literally millions from bodies like the Welsh Gov’t and the DWP), what exactly are they doing with all the money? And why are these organisations so unaccountable – they very obviously are not assisting with the problems that they are being paid to resolve, yet the contracts and money continue in their direction and local residents who plug the very obvious gaps in provision are given a bollocking by Councillors on the grounds that they are not ‘established voluntary organisations’.

Perhaps Cllr Marc Jones can explain why Wrexham County Borough Council are so wedded to the ‘established voluntary organisations with which they work in partnership’ in the face of them very obviously not delivering the goods – in Cllr Jones’s own words, ‘this is not the solution to the problems we’re facing’.

 

News Round Up – And Another Top Doctor Goes To Prison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

News Round Up, June 8 2017

I’ve written a lot recently on this blog regarding the con that is CAIS, the Third sector organisation providing ‘substance misuse’ services. Previous posts have detailed the dodgy commissioning processes by which CAIS have received millions in funding from the Welsh Gov’t to provide services, including ‘service user involvement’ (see post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’), the huge contracts that they have been handed by the DWP despite their very limited success regarding ‘outcomes’, the scam that they seem to have operated to persuade George Osborne to cough up a lot of money (please see post ‘George Osborne Enters The Picture’) and the very questionable histories of many of the CAIS Trustees. I’ve also documented the burgeoning drug problem in parts of north Wales which suggests that CAIS are failing spectacularly in providing ‘services’. CAIS have now moved into the homelessness business, eg. providing ‘supported accommodation’. Again, a quick walk around Wrexham would suggest that CAIS are having bugger all effect in this domain. So I was certainly interested to read in the Daily Post online that a very angry lawyer in Wrexham has demanded that Wrexham Council should ‘get a grip’ on the drugs and homelessness problem – that’s the Wrexham Council that seems to have been tying itself in knots to ensure that the contracts for the ‘services’ to address drugs and homelessness are given to CAIS. The lawyer concerned, Mark Davies, has a client, Craig Nikolic, who has just been imprisoned. Mr Nikolic was imprisoned after he was found ‘asleep in Lord Street with his sleeping bag next to him’. Lord Street is the street in Wrexham where the homeless have been hanging out because it’s near the bus station, so they can go in there out of the rain (although it doesn’t provide much in terms of shelter, it’s usually freezing cold in there and the rain does get in), go to the loo, have a wash etc. Because they don’t have a home in which to do that. Mr Nikolic is a heroin addict and after being released from prison on an early release scheme he was ordered not to enter Wrexham town centre. But as his lawyer pointed out, he was homeless, so if he didn’t enter the town centre he had nowhere to wash etc. So he risked it and has been caught and returned to prison. The account of Mr Nikolic’s recent encounters with the Courts and law is fascinating because it makes it clear that this man is repeatedly ending up in prison because he doesn’t have anywhere to live. He is being punished far more harshly for his destitution than he has been for possession of illegal drugs. But then simply being very poor does now lead to people being criminalised. As if to rub in the dismal performance of CAIS where ‘tackling drugs’ is concerned, there have also been media reports of a recent major drugs bust in Llandudno with a number of dealers being arrested and the North Wales Police issuing a statement saying that they expected to make more arrests very soon – this has come hot on the heels of accounts of turf wars between drug dealers in the region, some of which have resulted in murders.

In my post ‘George Osborne Enters The Picture’ I mentioned that a recent initiative of CAIS has been the establishment of a place in Cardiff called the ‘Living Room’. I was puzzled to discover that the Living Room was providing ‘after care’ and ‘sociopsychological support’ to Cardiff GPs and questioned why highly paid Top Doctors were receiving the services of a charity when their own patients usually cannot access such support. I have now been given further information about the Living Room. I have been told that the distressed GPs receiving ‘services’ are actually Top Doctors with addiction problems and are encountering difficulties because, for example, they have lost their driving licences. Now alcohol problems are very common in medical practitioners and drug problems are not unknown, and of course doctors with such problems deserve help and support (although the irony is that certainly in north Wales the Top Doctors loathe people with drug and alcohol problems and usually refuse to treat them; that is how CAIS picked up the remit for providing ‘services’ (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron’). However CAIS is Chaired by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and is still very much a reflection of all that he holds dear and follows the model of business that he has followed for decades. And Dafydd has form for ‘helping’ people who have ended up coming unstuck as a result of their addiction problems. This ‘help’ usually simply involves extracting people out of the shit that their addiction has landed them in (at a price of course) rather than tacking the addiction. A nurse who had formerly worked at Dafydd’s ‘nursing home’ for veterans suffering from PTSD, Ty Gwyn, told me that there were very few veterans in Ty Gwyn, but there were a lot of people with addiction problems who had ended up being prosecuted so they had checked into Dafydd’s facility for a few weeks and in return Dafydd would write them a favourable Court report, although he had virtually not seen them at all whilst they had been patients at Ty Gwyn. I was also told by another person that Dafydd’s ‘medical reports’ were equally useful to people who had encountered problems with driving licences and their insurance. Indeed Dafydd is so good at helping people who are in danger of losing their licence as a result of drinking and driving that he attempted to rescue his own son when he appeared in Court on a drink driving charge. The Court were given a real tear-jerker, a story of how Dafydd’s son worked as Dafydd’s chauffeur, enabling Dafydd to pursue his heroic line of work with of course veterans (Dafydd has found that invoking the image of distressed soldiers works wonders), that Dafydd did much of this work free of charge no less and if his son lost his licence the patients would Suffer. The Court didn’t buy it – Dafydd is notorious in north Wales, to be fair to them the more honest local magistrates stopped believing anything that he said years ago – and his son lost his licence. It transpired that this chauffeur who spent his time assisting his dad patch up veterans was actually a student at Aberystwyth University. I seem to remember that it was on this occasion that someone in Court remarked that it was odd that Dafydd had obtained Legal Aid, being a highly paid very wealthy man. But as ever, no-one investigated further. Dafydd bending the rules to selflessly help patients has a long and noble history – sometime in the mid 1990s, a photo of him appeared on the front page of the Daily Post under the headline ‘He Saved A Life – And Got A Fine’. The reality was that Dafydd had been caught exceeding the speed limit somewhere along the north Wales coast – in a big way as well, it was something like 50mph in a 20mph zone – and when he was caught he claimed that he was on his way to rescue a suicidal patient who was standing on the Menai Bridge waiting to jump. It didn’t occur to him to call an ambulance then.

A Story Of Our Time appeared in the media yesterday. Jacqueline Grayson, the manager of ‘Treflys’, a care home in Llandudno, was summoned to a fitness to practice disciplinary hearing by Social Care Wales for sharing Facebook posts that the ‘presenting officer’ for Social Care Wales alleged were ‘anti-Islamic’ and ‘discriminatory’. Social Care Wales seem to have very little understanding of what Islamophobia and discrimination are. Ms Grayson had shared among a group of Facebook friends posts discussing whether the wearing of burkhas should be banned in public areas. Discussions regarding the wearing of full face veils or not are held among many Muslims. Mrs Grayson’s other sin was to share a Facebook post involving a golliwog. Yes, the golliwog originated as an offensive parody of a black person, but most people who were children in the sixties only knew the golly as a toy or a badge that could be acquired by collecting pictures of gollies from Robertsons jam jars. It seems that was the reference that Ms Grayson was making on Facebook. So Social Care Wales doesn’t know the difference between recent cultural history and racism so serious that it questions a social care professional’s fitness to practice. A number of people defended Ms Grayson at the hearing. One was a Romanian colleague who described Ms Grayson as being ‘amazing’ with staff and residents alike. Another one was a Mr Bhusan Ramnath, the proprietor of the care home and Ms’ Grayson’s employer. His wife was a Muslim and he was supporting Ms Grayson. The panel heard that there was no evidence that Ms Grayson had treated any Muslim resident in any way differently to any other resident. The panel concluded that Ms Grayson’s fitness to practice was not impaired but nonetheless her crime was serious that she was reprimanded.

So in a field – the care of elderly people – where bad practice and even abuse is endemic, Social Care Wales have gone to the trouble and effort to haul Ms Grayson up in front of them on the basis of some laughable evidence that did not in any way reflect on her capacity as the manager of a care home. There had been no complaint at all regarding her practice, just a ‘whistleblower’ – who was not identified – who spotted some Facebook posts that she had shared among her Facebook ‘friends’. Llandudno is only a few miles down the road from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. It was at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd that four years ago elderly patients in Tawel Fan ward were sworn at by staff, barricaded into their beds with items of furniture and left to crawl around naked on a floor that was covered in urine and faeces whilst staff discussed their sex lives. One patient was found to have an untreated fractured arm. No member of staff has been disciplined or prosecuted – except for the nurse who blew the whistle on all this who was suspended, arrested after being the subject of malicious allegations and also received threatening anonymous letters. She now works in England. The two inquiries into Tawel Fan have yet to be completed – one has been hindered by the staff refusing to co-operate. I know there to be much bad practice in privately owned elderly people’s homes, but what the Betsi, an NHS Health Board, continues to get away with is breath-taking.

The flagship prison at Wrexham, HMP Berwyn, which so delighted local politicians – just imagine, a warehouse with nearly 2000 people banged up inside, mostly people with mental health or addiction problems, how exciting! – has run into yet more problems. It is in breach of a number of it’s planning conditions eg. landscaping, the providing  of two bus shelters and producing certain certificates demonstrating that various standards have been met – and Wrexham Council are threatening action.

The crisis at Bangor University continues and the Vice-Chancellor has stated that the financial situation is so serious there that there will have to be redundancies and even pay cuts. The unions have hit the roof, have stated that staff will be ‘pushed into poverty’ and one of the union reps has suggested that one way of solving the crisis would be to sell the Vice-Chancellor’s house, which was purchased by the University for him. That house has been a running sore ever since it was purchased – I think people are making a mountain out of a molehill, it’s not THAT posh -and furthermore there was more fuming last year when it was revealed that the Vice-Chancellor’s bedroom had received a makeover and that new furniture purchased from Laura Ashley had been installed. The Daily Post even provided a photo of a Laura Ashley inspired bedroom to feed the readers imaginations, although the photo that they provided was the sort of bedroom that a contemporary Barbara Cartland might have favoured, all in pink. I’m not sure that Professor John Hughes would have exactly the same taste, but you never know. It has not occurred to the union rep that even if John Hughes’s residence was flogged, it would only raise about £1 million, if indeed that. It would last me quite a long time, but it wouldn’t keep Bangor University afloat for long, particularly as they are currently footing the salary bill for great swathes of staff in ‘health and social care research’ or ‘psychology/mental health research’ whose output is very questionable indeed (I have detailed some of this dodgy research in previous posts). There are also a lot of younger modestly paid staff working their butts off whilst more senior people rest on their laurels. Among the senior academics, some are wonderful, supporting students and carrying out first class research – but others should not be in their present jobs and everyone knows it. It is true that there are some very badly paid staff at Bangor – they are the cleaners, the catering staff etc. No-one bothers to fight very hard for them – when I worked at Bangor, the people who consistently made the most noise every time they feared that cuts cometh, were the less productive (in some cases frankly bloody lazy) staff on permanent contracts who had been there years. They didn’t REALLY fear their contracts being terminated either – it is very hard to get rid of academics with permanent contracts no matter how bad they are. In reality, it is the better staff on short-term contracts who get the chop if belts have to be tightened because the useless old farts fight tooth n nail to hang on to their very comfortable existence. This is going on in every university in the UK and it is a very big problem, it’s not just a disease that affects Bangor. However union reps at Bangor do seem to have a history of developing strange obsessions with the way that they imagine Vice-Chancellors are spending money. When I worked there, at one point the UCU rep, one Eileen Tilley, was frothing at the mouth about the money that the VC was alleged to have spent on his office desk – how on earth did she know how much he’d paid for it? I very much doubt that he’d showed her the receipt. When I made comments to this effect, she changed tactic and complained about the style of the desk that he’d purchased. Que??? (It had too much glass in it apparently so it wasn’t suitable.) Tilley continued to make extraordinary allegations – which I suspected were in the realms of fantasy – regarding the VC’s office furniture and I got somewhat pissed off with her, because whilst she was making these allegations she was actually colluding with the truly vile Lyn Meadows, the Director of HR (Meadows is now a member of the Betsi Board), who was breaking employment law regularly and bullying and harassing people. The next allegation was that the VC had hired a chauffeur. No-one actually had any evidence that this had happened and I searched high and low for the said chauffeur and never found him/her. I think that the real story was that discussions were underway regarding the possibility of a chauffeur that would be made available to a number of senior managers – but the backstabbing Tilley was busy making plans for the revolution on the basis of the chauffeur. So I conducted an experiment and told her that I knew all about it, that it wasn’t a real chauffeur, it was a security man dressed up in a special uniform. And a few days later my lie came back to me on the grapevine, so it rather confirmed that none of these people actually knew what they were talking about. The irony was that while the revolutionaries on ‘only’ £40-50k pa grumbled and fumed about glass desks and chauffeurs, me and my ilk were doing their teaching and a good deal more research than them as well for far less. And because we were on short-term contracts we often had no salary at all. I’d have done the sodding chauffeur’s job myself quite happily at that time, at least it would have been a stable income.

Yet another scandal involving the abuse of learning disabled people has hit the London-based media today. An organisation called the ‘Atlas Project Team’ who owned two homes in Devon – which were ‘isolated farmhouses’ has been prosecuted. The founder of the ‘Atlas Project Team’, a Paul Hewitt, has been fined £12,500 with £105,000 costs. Paul Hewitt is described as ‘a well known figure in mental health who helped formulate national policies on caring for people with learning disabilities in the community’. Well that’s pretty much par for the course – this blog has named scores of ‘experts in mental health’ or ‘service user representatives’ who have either colluded with or ignored the most dreadful abuses. It’s how one becomes an expert in those fields. Jolyon Marshall, the Director of Atlas, has been jailed for 28 months for conspiracy to falsely imprison and perverting the course of justice. A number of other managers and staff have received suspended jail terms or other non-custodial sentences. This case has been running for six years, but reporting restrictions have only just been lifted. The fascinating feature of this case is that a number of people have been prosecuted for doing what is almost standard practice in hospitals and ‘homes’ for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, namely locking people in what are euphemistically called ‘quiet rooms’ but what in reality are bare rooms with no bathroom facilities or furnishings except for a mattress on the floor. I am delighted to see someone prosecuted for this and I look forward to hundreds more prosecutions, because this is going on in just about every facility for the mentally ill/learning disabled across the UK. And the rationale for confining people to such seclusion rooms is also very shaky, as it was with Atlas. The prosecuting barrister Andrew Langdon QC stated that a ‘view was taken that residents had somehow learned to behave badly. That behaviour had to be unlearned. If they were kept in their long enough they would learn their lesson and change their behaviour’. This philosophy underpinned all ‘care’ on Taliesin ward in the Hergest Unit and I heard staff articulate this view constantly. Patients were not distressed, they were not ill, they were bad and locking them in a seclusion room (or of course having them arrested) was the answer. Indeed, now that Jolyon Marshall has gone to prison for conspiracy to falsely imprison and perverting the course of justice I look forward to a few arrests of Hergest staff and NHS managers because that is exactly what they did to me – and to a lot of other people.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of CQC, admitted that they ‘should have acted earlier’ over Atlas and admits that concerns had been raised. So once more, the CQC stood by whilst people were abused. But what do we expect – Sir Robert Francis QC is a leading light in the CQC. The Robert Francis QC who, whilst working as a barrister for the MDU, tried to have me imprisoned for ‘harassment’ – because I was writing many letters maintaining that people working in the mental health services in north Wales had illegally imprisoned me and had committed perjury (please see post ‘The Sordid Role of Sir Robert Francis QC’).

Perhaps someone would also like to begin mounting prosecutions in the face of another near universal practice in mental health, that of ‘not stimulating’ people who are deemed to be psychotic. This is going on in the Hergest unit and in the Heddfan Unit and in reality it means providing patients with an environment as bare as possible – not even pictures on the walls. Because patients might become ‘stimulated’. (I really don’t think that there’s much chance of that, as they’re parked in front the TV all day and loaded up with anti-psychotics.) In fact Taliesin ward in Hergest was so keen not to stimulate patients that the staff didn’t talk to them – and they told the patient’s families not to talk to them either. I know this because I knew the mother of a teenaged boy who became seriously unwell and spent a long time on Taliesin ward not being talked to, on the orders of the ‘experts’ who ran that place and presided over the constant suicides there. The staff did communicate with me whilst I was a patient in there though – indeed they shouted at me, they swore at me and on one occasion four of them assaulted me. Presumably it’s only talking to people or looking at pictures that causes over-stimulation.

Jan Tregalles, the Chief Exec of Mencap, and Vivien Cooper, the Chief Exec of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, put out a joint statement stating that Atlas offered ‘specialist care’ that cost up to £4000/week per person and that ‘poor commissioning’ from numerous local authorities and ‘weak inspection’ allowed an abusive culture to develop and sustain itself. Have they only just noticed? Bloggers like Mark Neary, Finola Moss and Sara Ryan have been trying to expose this for years. Indeed Sara Ryan seems to feel about Mencap the way that I feel about MIND – she has always termed them ‘Mencrap’. Mark Neary’s adult son Stephen was removed from his care for a year simply due to the fuckwittedness of their local authority and had Mark not been able to engage in a full scale battle through the Courts he would have lost Stephen for ever. Finola Moss had a similar experience with her daughter. Finola has taken a big interest in the huge amounts of money that are now being made by the private ‘care’ sector for housing learning disabled people in unsuitable, frequently abusive facilities, as well as in the constant supply of ‘expert witnesses’ and dishonest health and care professionals who are prepared to lie in Court in the face of carers complaining and simply accuse those carers of abuse themselves. The really great thing about most of these cases is that because they involve the Court of Protection, no-one can even publish what’s happening – until the learning disabled person dies in the ‘care’ of the ‘provider’. Mark Neary’s blog is doing an excellent job of exposing how this naked abuse and cruelty – and sheer idiocy – is disguised by the language of ’empowerment’, ‘independent living’, ‘service user involvement’ and associated hogwash.

 

 

Oh To Be In Receipt Of Academic Honours

Whilst researching for a future post, I had cause to access the list of people honoured by the University of South Wales in 2014. It was certainly a bit of a surprise, because a number of those people had something in common – they had been involved in concealing health and social care scandals and some of them have previously featured on this blog. What can be going on at the University of South Wales – if any readers can shed light on this phenomenon, please do. Anyway, here’s the lowdown on the names that jumped out at me…

Gerard Elias QC, presented with an honorary doctorate of Laws. Gerard was Counsel to the Waterhouse Inquiry, that massive whitewash regarding the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. (I will be blogging more about Waterhouse and those involved, including Gerard, very soon.)

The Rt Hon Paul Murphy MP, presented with an honorary doctorate of the University. Paul Murphy was Secretary of State for Wales under Blair by the time that Waterhouse had completed his Report and it was Paul Murphy to whom the Report was sent. Paul Murphy was delighted that the Report confirmed that no public figures had been involved in the abuse of children in north Wales, although it was confirmed that a paedophile ring had operated in the Chester and Wrexham areas and that Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, had known that a paedophile ring was operating through the social services. Paul was obviously greatly relieved that it was just the sheepshaggers abusing each other. Paul was of course MP for Torfaen and my co-researcher has dug up some comments from a few of Paul’s constituents who were less than flattering about him, believing him to be ‘anti-Welsh’, ‘Blairite’ and consistently voting against the interests of his constituents. It didn’t do him any harm, he’s now in the Lords. For a man who has spent so long in politics there is not much information in the public domain about Paul. He is known to be a ‘bachelor’, a devout Catholic and he was of course one of Blair’s men involved in the Northern Ireland peace process, so he will probably have been involved in whatever deals were done that prevented Martin McGuinness facing murder charges and ending up in Government instead. Murphy was at one point summarily removed as Welsh Secretary but nobody ever seemed to find out why. He supported Andy Burnham in the now notorious Labour leadership battle. That’s the Andy Burnham that consistently concealed the carnage at Mid-Staffs.

The Rt Hon the Lord Morris of Aberavon, presented with an honorary doctorate of Laws. Lord Morris was previously John Morris, Labour MP for Aberavon 1959-2002, Secretary of State for Wales, 1974-1979 and Attorney General for England, Wales and N Ireland, 1997-1999. Morris had an interesting special advisor who died recently, Lord Gwilym Prys-Davies (please see post ‘In Memoriam’). Prys-Davies was a member of the Welsh Hospitals Board which oversaw the horrors that occurred at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh under Gwynne and Dafydd and will undoubtedly have known at least some of what they were doing. Furthermore, Lord Prys-Davies came from north Wales himself, so of course he’ll have known about Denbigh. The Welsh Hospitals Board was abolished and it’s functions passed to the Secretary of State for Wales in 1974 – which was the year that Gwilym was appointed special advisor to Morris! Like Morris himself, Gwilym was a lawyer who had studied at Aberystwyth University – as were so many people who were involved with keeping a lid on the horrors of Denbigh and the abuse of children or passing judgement in Court on those who had dared cross the paths of those we know and love. Between 1997 and 1999, under Blair, Morris was Attorney General. I discovered this morning that in 1996, it was agreed by the Attorney General that nothing said by the witnesses giving evidence to the Waterhouse Inquiry could be used in a criminal prosecution against them. The witnesses did of course include the people who’d been molested whilst in the care of the social services as children and a lot of those people had criminal records for offences involving drugs or theft, burglary etc. But of course many of the witnesses had been involved in rather more serious activities – the sexual abuse of children. And they were the ones running and staffing the ‘services’. No wonder there have been so few prosecutions. The Attorney General who made this kind offer was Sir Nicholas Lyell MP, who worked under both Thatcher and Major (there will be more about Lyell in a future post). But in 1997, when Waterhouse was actually in the process of taking the evidence from witnesses, Blair won the election – and Morris took over as Attorney General and presumably continued with the same generous arrangement. Paul Murphy, the Secretary of State for Wales who received the Waterhouse Report, would have known about the protection that people potentially involved in very serious crime had been afforded – but was completely reassured by the Report nonetheless. No more questions to be asked on the matter. Morris was also President of the London Welsh Trust – just like dear old Sir William Mars-Jones, the man who protected Gwynne the lobotomist when Gwynne was causing havoc at Bangor University! – and Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed in 2002. (It’s extraordinary how many representatives of HM the Queen have been involved in some very sordid activities.) But best of all, in 2013 Lord Morris was appointed Chancellor of the University of South Wales. No wonder they honoured him. The University of South Wales was of course formed from the merger between the troubled University of Glamorgan and the mired in scandal University of Newport. Lord Morris had been Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan since 2002.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, presented with an honorary doctorate of the University. Well if we’re talking ignoring the presence of a paedophile ring, Margaret Hodge is up there with Lucille. Margaret was famously the leader of Islington Council when a paedophile ring was causing utter chaos in it’s children’s homes. One of the children molested whilst he had been in the care of Islington wrote to Hodge when he was older, only for Hodge to publicly denounce him as ‘disturbed’. He sued her and won and subsequently Hodge tried to excuse her dreadful conduct by claiming that we didn’t know about sexual abuse in those days. Yes Margaret we did, which is exactly why people like you discredited people who dared bring it to your attention. Margaret’s husband Henry was a judge – who when he was young had been involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties, which had been affiliated to PIE, a group that campaigned for ‘paedophiles rights’. (For more information on this whole sorry mess and the relevance that it has to the north Wales child abuse scandal, please see my post ‘The London Connection’.) Margaret was a good mate of a man called Tony Blair and she later was appointed as Minister for Children in Blair’s Gov’t. Had I ignored a paedophile gang whilst running children’s homes I would expect people to have a really good laugh at me if I then accepted a post as Children’s Minister, but Margaret is now a Dame as opposed to merely a Lady which she was when she was married to a Sir. Margaret is the MP for – most appropriately – Barking. Barking had a lethal hospital that was exterminating patients and at the same time that this establishment was the focus of much terrible publicity, Margaret was a guest on ‘Any Questions’. Someone was mildly critical of the NHS and Margaret let rip, yelling repeatedly that it was ‘my NHS’ that they were talking about and thus succeeded in shouting them down. She failed to mention that her NHS was killing people, in much the same way that she had trouble admitting that her social services were sexually assaulting children.

Dr Peter Carter OBE, presented with an honorary doctorate of the University. Peter Carter was the General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing 2007-2015. That’s the RCN that provides free assistance and legal advice to nurses who stand accused of abusing and harming patients. I accept that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and indeed are innocent until proven guilty but the RCN seem to go a little further than adhering to this. Alan Roberts, the nurse practitioner who threatened me and threw me out of Ysbyty Gwynedd after I’d been unlawfully refused treatment (please see post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’) was some years later caught red handed by a (very brave) whistleblower threatening an old lady, impersonating a police officer and then assaulting and injuring the old lady. Roberts was found guilty but then appealed. By the time that his appeal was heard the old lady had died. Roberts’s conviction was overturned – not because he hadn’t assaulted the old lady, but because it couldn’t be proven that her injuries were a direct result of his assault on her. After his appeal Roberts announced that he would be applying to return to work as a nurse in Ysbyty Gwynedd. I understand that he received advice from the RCN throughout. In 2013 in the wake of the Mid-Staffs scandal and associated enquiries, Peter Carter wrote an article for the ‘Guardian’ reassuring the readers that nursing had not ‘gone bad’ and placed the problems firmly at the feet of Mid-Staffs ‘management’. Some of those ‘managers’ were nurses and were members of the RCN – and some of the behaviour of those nurses was inexcusable even in the face of appalling management. One also wonders why the RCN themselves didn’t go public on what was happening at Mid-Staffs – because they did know. In 2011 Peter was awarded the inaugural President’s medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. That’s the Royal College of Psychiatrists of which Prof Rob Poole is a leading light in Wales. The Rob Poole who works for the Betsi – which is currently in special measures due to ‘institutional abuse’ in the mental health services. Peter is a former psychiatric nurse himself but I never noticed him publicly commenting on the dreadful state of the UK mental health services. In 2013 Peter was awarded an honorary fellowship with the Royal College of General Practitioners. The Royal College of General Practitioners of which Dr DGE Wood has been a leading light in Wales – whilst he concealed a mountain of crap in the mental health services in north Wales. Peter is a member of the Prince’s Trust, one of whose priorities is ‘young people in care’ (which obviously explains why Huw Vaughan Thomas, who was the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council whilst his staff were investigated by the police regarding the paedophile ring that was operating in it’s children’s services, is involved with it). Peter also appears on the website of the College of Medicine, which lobbies for the availability of ‘complementary medicines’ of no proven clinical benefit on the NHS. It is widely believed that the College of Medicine is a resurrection of the ‘Princes Foundation For Integrated Medicine’ which imploded in 2011 among allegations of fraud and money laundering. Peter is described as a ‘keen supporter of military medicine’, is the honorary Colonel to the 203 (Welsh) Field Hospital in Cardiff and in 2011 he spent a week in Afghanistan visiting troops and the medicals/paramedics.

One of Peter’s close colleagues is also keen on military medicine. That is Tina Donnelly, Director of the RCN in Wales since 2004. When Mary Burrows was Chief Exec of the Betsi and was doing her best to combat the corruption and dreadful care prevalent in that organisation, Tina was regularly found to be fuming in the Welsh press, reminding everyone of the hard-working selfless angels that staffed Wales’s hospitals. Those were the angels who abused and neglected the patients in Tawel Fan, who were left crawling around naked on a floor covered in faeces and urine – one patient was found to have an untreated broken arm. Tina has been a reservist in the Army medical services for 23 years and has completed two tours of Afghanistan. In 2008 she was Medical Group leader for Health Care Governance on operations in Afghanistan – Tina was also Commanding Officer of a Role 3 hospital at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in 2013-14.

Tina and Peter are in good company. Another nurse from Wales who enjoys marching up and down is Stephen Gallagher, a senior nurse in A&E at Ysbyty Gwynedd who refused to assess or treat me and told me that if I was suicidal I ‘should be in a cell’. Gallagher then called the police alleging that I’d threatened him. CCTV footage showing that I had done no such thing was destroyed by the hospital when my lawyer requested it to be released. After my lawyer had demonstrated that Gallagher had lied repeatedly and I then discovered that he had previously been investigated after a doctor complained about him and that it was acknowledged that Gallagher’s competence and integrity could not be relied upon, a good news story about Stephen Gallagher was released to the London based media by the North West Wales NHS Trust. It alleged that Major Gallagher, an Army reservist, whilst on tour in Afghanistan, had saved the life of a boy with a head injury. It transpired that Gallagher had done no such thing, he had simply made a phone call to somebody else who later collected the boy from Gallagher’s colleagues and took him elsewhere to be operated on. Some months later Gallagher once more refused me treatment unlawfully and this time threatened and insulted two members of the public who were trying to help me and was assisted in this by another nurse in A&E at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Andrew Parry. I understand that Andrew Parry is an Army reservist as well. Gallagher hit the local media again in 2010 – he had been the last person to see a patient who was later found dead in inexplicable circumstances. This amount of bad luck with patients hasn’t impeded Gallagher’s desire to continue marching up and down – last year I came across a reference to Colonel Gallagher no less. Gallagher and his colleagues from hospitals in north west Wales who are also Army reservists deeply impressed another man who even attended one of their awards ceremonies in Liverpool (Gallagher himself picked up an award at this event). The man who praised the work of Gallagher et al had spent the previous few years campaigning on behalf of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing home for veterans’ in Llandudno, Ty Gwyn, which was on its last legs because it was, well a con and the Welsh Gov’t refused to fund patients to stay there. The campaigner was Sean Tierney, one of Dafydd’s patients and told everyone that he was a former Major who had been shot in the Falklands campaign and had only survived thanks to battlefield surgery and now suffered from PTSD. He was actually a conman, was not a Major, had not fought in the Falklands and is now in prison after being found guilty of trying to murder two of his neighbours. (Full details of all these extraordinary events are covered in my posts ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ and ‘A Very Bad PR Man’.) Tina and Peter are in good company then. But guess what – Tina was also honoured by the University of South Wales, in 2012 they gave her an honorary fellowship!

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, presented with an honorary Doctorate of Science. The University of South Wales are cultivating Mr Big here, Sir Leszek is Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University no less (in view of the firm and ruthlessly hierarchical nature of the UK university sector, I can only wonder why Leszek would want an honour from the University of South Wales). Leszek is a medical academic and was formerly Chief Exec of the Medical Research Council. He was a consultant at Hammersmith Hospital (for an account of the dodgy activities of many of the grandest people at Hammersmith whom I encountered when I spent a year there doing an MSc, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’). Leszek then headed the Dept of Medicine at the University of Wales – details are not provided regarding Leszek’s position in relation to the many scandals and troubles that have emanated over the last few years regarding those associated with medicine in the University of Wales – and Leszek then was appointed Deputy Rector at Imperial College. He was responsible for ‘the overall academic and scientific direction of the college’.  So he will have been directing the activities of all those questionable people who worked at Hammersmith and then became part of Imperial when the institutions merged. Such as Professor Sir Nicholas Wright, now a bigwig at Cancer Research UK – Cancer Research UK also happens to fund much of Nick Wright’s research. Cancer Research UK is the latest incarnation of what used to be known as the Cancer Research Campaign. For an account of the research fraud, deception and haemorrhaging of funds that I witnessed at the Cancer Research Campaign laboratories at the University of Nottingham, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. I note that Leszek is a council member of Cancer Research UK – a wise move if he has been involved in the scientific direction of Imperial, he’ll be keeping schtum about a great deal. I, along with the other researchers in Nottingham, all took the view that if the general public actually saw what was going on in that lab and how zilch genuine research was being done by the ‘academics’ as the ‘leaders’ of that lab grandly titled themselves, no-one would ever donate to cancer research again.

Why the University of South Wales decided to honour most of this motley crew I do not know – I presume that honouring Sir Leszek does have much potential for toadying purposes, but the others…. The University of South Wales has been in the news recently, regarding the possibility of redundancies. I suspect that it is a very troubled institution beneath the covers, as both of the institutions that gave rise to it had problems. The University of Glamorgan did have a number of excellent staff but seemed to treat them appallingly and not understand how good some of them were – they all wanted to escape, either to other jobs or to retirement. I also had a friend who did her degree down there and there was huge amounts of dissatisfaction among the students. They didn’t seem to be critical of the staff, but maintained that the University had misled them as to the facilities that were available there. It was claimed that promotional material sent out to potential students was frankly untruthful. But that was nothing as to the troubles at the University of Newport. I was on a train in south Wales on one occasion and I found myself sitting next to a married couple who had both been tempted by New Labour’s ‘widening participation’ policy to apply to university. They weren’t from academic backgrounds and they didn’t have friends or family who had knowledge of the HE sector, so all they were relying on was advertising from Blair’s Gov’t and of course universities themselves. The husband had enrolled for an engineering degree at Newport and his wife had enrolled for nursing at Newport. They had children and they made considerable sacrifices to undertake full-time study, but they were reassured by the architects of New Labour’s HE policy that of course it would be worth it, being graduates they would obtain well paid secure employment eventually. They had one heck of a shock as they neared graduation, which was when I met them. The engineering student found that the course that he was on, although it was an engineering course, was not recognised by the professional body needed for him to obtain a position as a graduate engineer. At no point had Newport told him or the other students that their degree did not have the same recognition that most other engineering degrees had. They only found out towards the end of their course when Newport revealed to them that they would have to undertake another degree in order to achieve the recognition that they needed. As for the nursing student – she was spitting blood. She and all her peers had been positively encouraged to become nurses only to be told just before graduation that there was virtually zero recruitment of nurses in the hospitals in south Wales. So this couple had made sacrifices, were in dept, but had no prospect of the sort of professional employment that they had been led to believe would be a certainty. But that of course was the big Blair con – the working class people that he persuaded to get into debt to acquire degrees did not know about the pecking order in UK universities and most of them were completely unaware that a degree from Newport was not viewed in the same way as a degree from a Russell group institution. Blair’s own kids I note, did not go to Newport to do nursing themselves…

But I heard an even better story about Newport sometime after my encounter on the train. One of my friends with an excellent academic record applied for a job as Director of Research there. He told me that his interview was one of the more bizarre experiences of his career. Of the panel that interviewed him, only one of them had a PhD. That was a man with a background in IT, whom my friend observed was very bright and seemed to have a good understanding of what was needed for a university to achieve success in the research stakes. But this man was completely marginalised and frozen out by the ‘leading’ member of the interview panel, whom my friend observed did not have a PhD herself and seemed to know nothing about research at all. My friend described this woman as ‘objectionable’ and said that he had never been treated so rudely at an interview before. It was so bad that he decided during the interview that if he was offered the job he wouldn’t take it, because the thought of working with this woman was dreadful. At the end of the interview he was offered a cup of tea with someone else who actually seemed very warm and friendly, so my friend took the opportunity to remark upon the way in which he’d been treated and asked what on earth had been bothering this woman. He was told that she’d been ‘having a hard time recently’. He later discovered that a number of students were threatening to personally sue her. They had been halfway through their degrees when the objectionable woman, in her capacity as a senior manager, had taken a decision that that particular degree would stop running. Just like that. And those students could sod off. The students did eventually find a way of completing their courses but only after threatening the dipstick with legal action. My friend subsequently received a letter from Newport telling him that he hadn’t got the job. They had instead appointed a woman who until about five years previously had been a PE teacher and who had just finished a PhD. But she was a champion golf player. So who was the mad woman leading the panel who narrowly avoided being sued by the students, treated my friend appallingly during his interview and appointed a director of research on their golf playing ability? She was Amelia Lyons. Amelia Lyons was of course Head of Counselling at Newport. What else could she have been.

Shortly after my friend’s encounter with Amelia it was announced that Newport was to merge with Glamorgan. As I remember Glamorgan didn’t actually want them, but were forced into it by the Welsh Gov’t. I wonder who is selecting those to be honoured. Amelia perhaps.

 

The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?

Recent posts have mentioned the turf wars taking place in north Wales between rival drug dealers – one such war recently culminating in a murder – and the drugs problem in Wrexham that is causing so much public concern that it hit the wider UK media a few weeks ago. Regular readers will know that the Welsh Gov’t is handing over millions to CAIS, the Third sector organisation, to tackle ‘substance abuse and associated problems’. Readers will also know that the DWP is another body parting with good money to CAIS and that CAIS has now landed the contract for ‘service user involvement’ across the whole of north Wales, after a ‘commissioning process’ that was very obviously designed to ensure that CAIS was the only organisation in a position to secure the contract (please see post ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’). CAIS have formed a vehicle called CANIAD to carry out the ‘service user involvement’ and I have already been contacted by someone who has confirmed that CANIAD is not what it pretends to be. In recent years CAIS have expanded and expanded and now have fingers in many pies eg. substance abuse, alcohol abuse, ‘care’ for forces veterans experiencing PTSD, housing, various ‘therapies’, education, training and ‘service user involvement’. It has been common knowledge across north Wales for years that some of the CAIS ‘volunteers’ and ‘peer guides’ are dealing in drugs to the ‘clients’ and at least two people known to me have quipped that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones (the Chair and founder of CAIS) must be the biggest drug dealer in north Wales. So imagine how gobsmacked some of us were when, some years ago, the former Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales, Clive Wolfendale, was appointed Chief Exec of CAIS. Clive has certainly been an asset to CAIS – they have now expanded into south Wales. The other day my co-researcher sent me a most interesting link, namely to the minutes of the oral evidence given to the Welsh Affairs Committee, 7 Feb 2012. The witnesses giving evidence are Mark Lovatt, manager, Blind Veterans UK, Llandudno; Alistair Maxwell, regional manager (Wales), Royal British Legion and Clive Wolfendale, Chief Exec, CAIS. They are giving evidence regarding the provision of services for veterans in Wales. Clive’s comments certainly shine a light on how business is conducted.

Clive introduces himself and then explains that CAIS provides ‘services for people with substance misuse problems across north Wales and Powys’, that CAIS has been around for ‘about thirty years’, that it receives ‘no funding whatsoever’ for the PTSD services that it provides for military veterans and that these are ‘provided as a ‘pro bono’ offering on the back of it’s general charitable remit to support people in need through substance misuse and allied issues’. Wolfendale goes on to mention that there are ‘gaps in provision’ in the statutory services for veterans. (He does not mention that there are gaps in provision for everyone and one reason why the provision in the statutory sector is so bad is that for years Dr Dafydd Alun Jones ran the show in north Wales where the mental health services were concerned and that they were so dysfunctional and so abusive that no good psychiatrist would work there.) Clive states that the landscape has been ‘complicated by issues associated with Forces For Good’. What Clive is referring to here is Forces For Good Ltd, a ‘social enterprise’ for veterans in north Wales whose leading light was one Christopher James O’Neill – he was arrested for fraud and theft, after trying to swindle the Welsh Gov’t out of hundreds of thousands of pounds and then embezzling some of the funds from Forces For Good. Clive claims that there are ‘too many organisations…often with good intent, involving themselves…certainly without proper governance arrangements, so that nobody knows where the money is going…without proper clinical governance in terms of therapies. The multiplicity of therapies is astonishing and there is a lot of dogma attached to that and resistance to change and acceptance which complicates the situation as well…among that a huge number of charities, some are not fit for purpose…’ Let’s look at this in detail.

Clive refers to ‘too many organisations’. Well an awful lot of those organisations past and present have been established by Dafydd himself, although they don’t always have his name above the door. (A lot of people wondered if Dafydd was behind Forces For Good – it had all the hallmarks of Dafydd, a ‘social enterprise’ mopping up huge quantities of money from the Welsh Gov’t, providing ‘help’ for veterans and futhermore all the action seemed to be happening in Llandudno, Dafydd’s HQ.) Indeed, CAIS itself is an umbrella organisation which serves as a front for a plethora of other vehicles – such as CANIAD. This is self-evident from the CAIS website – CAIS now quaintly refer to this multiplicity of organisations as the CAIS ‘family’. Clive refers to organisations in which ‘no-one knows where the money is going’. The question that everyone asks of CAIS is where is the money going? They are receiving millions, but only employ a skeleton staff – nearly all the work is done by volunteers – and the Board of Trustees maintain that they’re not pocketing a penny. So where is the dosh going Dafydd? Now for a real bit of entertainment – Clive stresses the need for ‘proper governance arrangements’. A previous post provided a link to the Board of Trustees of CAIS, but I’ll refresh readers memories here. The Chair is Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. Who illegally imprisoned people in the North Wales Hospital, who sexually exploited patients, who was incapable of telling the truth, who was involved in arrangements with corrupt police officers to have people arrested for crimes that it was known that they had not committed, who was said by addicts to ‘give you anything that you wanted’, who placed his patients in accommodation where they were assaulted and neglected, who had a mistress who was facilitating a paedophile ring and who tried to threaten and then bribe me into dropping my complaints about him (other crimes of Dafydd’s are detailed elsewhere on the blog, that’s just a taster). The Vice-Chair and Trustee of CAIS is Cledwyn Williams. Cledwyn describes himself as being, between 1983 and 1996, ‘Assistant Director, Social Services’, but doesn’t state WHICH social services. His biography then gives the info that he was after that ‘Director of Social Services, Conwy’. I suspect that Cledwyn is the senior manager who was mentioned in the Jillings Report into child abuse in Clwyd Social Services (Clwyd Social Services were dissolved at the same time as the Jillings Report was given to the authorities). That’s the Jillings Report that documented such serious abuse and malpractice that it was withheld for decades and then only published after being heavily redacted. Another Trustee is Lucille Hughes, former Director of Gwynedd Social Services and mistress of Dafydd’s. Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the Social Services but failing to act. Another Trustee is Dr Avril Wayte. She is the clinical director for the Clinical Biochemistry services at the Betsi – services that are alleged to be in chaos with constant serious mistakes being made. Avril is married to Dr Donald Wayte, the retired Home Office pathologist who not only discovered some extraordinary things in his post-mortems, but allowed a schoolboy to accompany him on his duties because he was friends with the boy’s mother and also caused a stir by once announcing to the press that most children who die as a result of cot death have been murdered by their parents – on the basis of no evidence at all. Another Trustee is Dafydd’s son, Dyfrig ap Dafydd. Another one is Brian Smith, who upon retirement ‘worked for the WDA’. That’s the WDA (Welsh Development Agency) that was so mired in scandal and allegations of corruption that it was dismantled. Yet another Trustee is Geoff Simpson, a ‘management accountant in the motor trade’. So far then, we have a corrupt psychiatrist who shagged his patients, his son, his mistress who assisted in the running of a paedophile ring, someone else named in a report into one the worst cases of child abuse in the UK, the wife of a dodgy pathologist, a refugee from a notorious now-defunct Government body that brought Wales into disrepute and a car dealer. PROPER GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS???

Clive condemns the lack of ‘clinical governance’ of therapies, as well as ‘multiplicity of therapies’ and ‘dogma’. Well Clive, when Dafydd was running loose in the NHS, his prescribing was appalling – huge doses of chlorpromazine for everyone no matter what their diagnosis and if they were addicts they got anything that they wanted on request, he was sued by one woman whom he sectioned for a year and diagnosed as having ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ when there was nothing wrong with her and a brief investigation into CAIS’s own offerings reveals what can only be described as a ‘multiplicity of therapies’. As for dogma -Dafydd achieved notoriety in the 90s for taking all the junkies off methadone and replacing that with huge doses of benzodiazepines which resulted in most of them becoming hopelessly addicted. He was told repeatedly that this was both dangerous and bloody stupid but he didn’t waver once. Regarding people who are ‘resistant to change’ – Dafydd, Lucille and Cledwyn are all well into their 80s, presided over the most shameful period of recent history in north Wales ie the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, and still won’t retire.

When Clive is asked by a Committee member what proportion of CAIS’s clients are veterans, Clive makes a guess – and admits that ‘the information systems are not sufficiently robust to be definite’. So CAIS, receiving millions in funding, having been in business for 30 years, has not even conducted a simple count of the number of people to whom they are offering ‘services’ who are veterans – although Clive claims that this is their ‘principle mission’. Clive then speculates at length regarding drug and alcohol use and PTSD, but no figures at all are provided – he then speculates a bit more regarding people ‘self-medicating with alcohol’ ‘in the absence of other therapies’. Well it’s Dafydd’s mates in the mental health services that are not providing the other therapies… Despite Clive’s previous mention of their ‘principle mission’, he goes on to tell the Committee that ‘it isn’t CAIS’s particular focus and never has been, to work with the military…we’d be very pleased to do so’. Of course they would, Dafydd’s spotted a gap in the market and he’s after a few more million.

The Committee moves on to ask the witnesses questions regarding the possibility of a rehabilitation centre for veterans. Clive remarks that such units ‘come and go’ and referred to one called Ty Gwyn in Llandudno that ‘disappeared’ about 8 years ago. Ty Gwyn was owned by Dafydd – it ‘disappeared’ because it was a con. Dafydd charged thousands of pounds a week for what was described to me by a former patient as a shared room in a ‘mediocre boarding house’ – he was sent into Llandudno to buy takeaways because Dafydd couldn’t provide vegetarian food. This ‘patient’ with PTSD never received any ‘therapy’ at all and only actually saw Dafydd when he discharged himself, whereupon Dafydd turned up and recommended that he stay another few weeks. This man was paying for all this himself, but most ‘patients’ there were funded by the NHS. One former nurse from Ty Gwyn who walked out in disgust told me that most of the patients didn’t have PTSD at all, they had drug and alcohol problems, had got into trouble with the law and had checked into Ty Gwyn in order to receive a favourable Court report from Dafydd. Ty Gwyn ‘disappeared’ when the Welsh Gov’t refused to fund anymore ‘placements’ at this money-spinner. Clive goes on to mention a few more ‘places’ that have ‘come and gone’ – again, most of them were established by Dafydd. Clive mentions that people are ‘let down’ when these facilities close – Dafydd is a past master at letting people down, his business model is a medical version of slash and burn agriculture ie. he sets something up, milks it for as much as he can or until the goodwill has expired, then he shuts shop and opens up something else down the road.

At this point Clive arrives at the heart of the matter: ‘a facility with the ability to treat individuals with substance misuse problems, particularly alcoholism, is for my money, almost a necessity…the reason we are finding high numbers of people on our books is the support has not been there at the right time or the right place…Wales is a good place to be doing this sort of work [a residential rehab centre]…we have space, a strong tradition of supporting the military – there are lots of people around who can help – and the environment in terms of the therapies, the space, the mountains and the sea. Veterans find it an attractive place in which to recover, they feel at home’. So Clive, Chief Exec of CAIS, who is very obviously looking out for another opportunity, maintains that a residential centre is a necessity. How would he know? He’s already failed to produce any figures at all regarding how many veterans CAIS are catering for – so he wouldn’t even be aware if they did have ‘high numbers’ on their books. Of course the support hasn’t been there at the right time or the right place – Dafydd has been providing that support and it’s so dodgy that it keeps closing down. ‘A strong tradition of supporting the military’ – that’ll be a reference to the mediocre boarding house, there’s no other tradition in evidence. And there weren’t any ‘therapies’ on offer, just a Court report to get someone out of trouble. As for ‘the mountains and the sea’ – yes, north Wales has lovely mountains and sea, but you don’t find CAIS clients there. The CAIS clients are to be found in poor quality social housing in less desirable areas – if indeed they have homes to go to – and for recreational purposes they hang around the run down bits of local towns boozing or taking recreational chemicals. The only reason that they ‘feel at home’ in north Wales is that that’s where they end up, because that’s where Dafydd’s establishments are. As for ‘lots of people to help’ – is that a reference to the former facilitators of the paedophile gang or a reference to the scores of unpaid ‘peer guides’, some of whom are selling drugs to the clients?

One of the members of the Committee was Nia Griffiths (the MP who’s causing problems for Jeremy Corbyn at present). Nia comments that the ‘quality’ of St Dunstan’s (the centre run by Blind Veterans UK) is ‘superb’. There is no reference to the Committee having any in-depth knowledge of the work of St Dunstan’s, but it is mentioned that they’d received ‘hospitality’ the night before. So the politicians were given a good dinner, that always helps when the Third sector are after some funding.

Clive explains that the health service ‘cannot afford’ to do much ‘of this work’ and that ‘charities and the Third sector are sometimes in a much better position to deliver such services…we’re embedded locally with the tradition and history…we can certainly work more cheaply because we do not pay as much and we do not have the overheads and the infrastructure to support in the way the health service does’. OK, so Dafydd and co have log jammed all the positions in the region for decades and their ‘service’ is as cheap as chips because they don’t pay anyone properly and the ‘facilities’ on offer is a mediocre boarding house rather than a hospital so there’s no overheads or infrastructure. Clive then expands once more on the need for good governance, proper oversight, extremely tight financial governance and clinical governance. None of which CAIS provides. Clive states that the ‘therapies and the treatments’ on offer must equate with the best that the NHS can provide. Dafydd and co destroyed the mental health services in the region before they retired, so it won’t be difficult for the shite offerings from CAIS to match the NHS. Clive then really puts his cards on the table – he observes that it’s better if the NHS doesn’t provide these ‘services’, but where the NHS can ‘add value’ is through ‘exercising oversight, co-ordination and leadership of the whole agenda’. In other words ensuring that the shysters in CAIS land the contract. But Clive’s not one for competition in this brave new world of ‘co-production’ – he expresses concern about the number of charities in the arena, stating that the situation is ‘chaotic’ and ‘you just don’t know who to talk to next or who will approach you next’. I suspect that this translates as ‘we don’t want to have to compete with anyone else and at present we’re not sure who we approach to pull strings to land the contract’. Clive stresses that there must be ‘self-governance…we must hold our heads up high and be absolutely…clean in everything we do’. That won’t be a problem for the patient-shagging doctor and the paedophiles friends then. Clive is then blunt enough to refer to the ‘blank cheque’ that CAIS would like in order to establish a complete system of veteran rehabilitation based in Wales and to ‘somehow stop the explosion of charities that is taking place’ – he maintains that the other 800 charities in operation should be told to prove that they need to exist. Which of course they don’t, not with dear old CAIS there to provide the ‘services’ in return for more millions from the Welsh Gov’t, the DWP etc. It’s co-production and the Big Society! The learning has obviously been embedded and someone’s been empowered but it won’t be a service user. This must be the biggest gravy train that Dafydd, Lucille and Cledwyn have ever imagined. Clive gave this ‘evidence’ to the Welsh Affairs Committee five years ago – I will see if my co-researcher can find out whether Clive’s efforts were successful in loosening the purse strings of the Welsh Gov’t.

People who have not followed this blog from the beginning and thus have not read the older posts will probably be wondering how ever someone with Dafydd’s track record gained ‘credibility’ where substance abuse services are concerned. As with so much in the north Wales mental health services, I saw it happen…

The North Wales Hospital, where Dafydd was Top Doctor, had by the mid 80s become such an excruciating embarrassment that there was a lot of pressure for it to be closed and for Dafydd to be put out to grass. Previous posts have detailed the way in which Dafydd was unlawfully banging up people in there who had crossed the path of him or his mates or who had complained about being sexually abused in the children’s homes in north Wales. The Mary Wynch case (please see previous posts) had made legal history and hit the London media and subsequently there were calls in Parliament for an investigation. Dafydd weathered it all though – people in north Wales were tearing their hair out complaining that he seemed to be ‘untouchable’. In my posts about the north Wales paedophile ring I have described how it seems that Dafydd and the North Wales Hospital Denbigh were being afforded protection because of their role in concealing the paedophile ring and I have detailed the role of senior figures in the Welsh Office who were involved. However, people on the ground in north Wales were desperate to see the back of Dafydd and I was told at the time that there was a plan to use the newly opened psychiatric wards at Ysbyty Gwynedd to put Dafydd out of action. Before the exodus of the better staff from Ysbyty Gwynedd, one nurse described to me how the nurses loathed Dafydd so much that they planned to boycott his ward rounds to make it impossible for him to work. I was told that when he walked in, the nurses would get up and walk out en masse. After several weeks of this Dafydd stood up in public and said that his heart was broken and he could no longer carry on. I was told that he was ‘in tears’, although another nurse, who seemed to have some knowledge of just how serious Dafydd’s wrongdoing was, remarked to me that they were ‘crocodile tears’. It seems that he was right. Dafydd then started appearing in the Welsh media, making all sorts of allegations about the newly opened Hergest Unit and how appalling everything was there. Now things did go downhill very rapidly at the Hergest, but it definitely was not as bad as the North Wales Hospital Denbigh had been – Dafydd was so loathed that when he used to arrive at the Hergest for ‘clinics’ patients would hurl abuse at him and ask why he was allowed in. The people that Dafydd claimed to be defending on TV and in the press were patients with drug problems. When I had previously asked people why Dafydd was treating the most difficult but in many ways the most vulnerable patients I was always told that it was because the other psychiatrists refused to treat ‘the junkies’. Dafydd consistently appeared in the media waxing lyrical about how he cared for the drug addicts and how disgusting Gwynedd Health Authority was. It was never explained that there were so many complaints about Dafydd and so much unhappiness among his colleagues that everyone wanted him to retire. A series of managers from Gwynedd Health Authority were wheeled out to speak to the media and rather than saying ‘he has a record of sexually exploiting and illegally detaining patients’, they sought refuge in idiocies such as ‘Dr Jones has ways of working that his colleagues find difficult’. One of these managers, a clinical psychologist whom I remember as being much saner than his colleagues, seems to have had his career destroyed after daring to take on Dafydd – he left Wales and mental health work completely and went to pursue an alternative lifestyle in England. Dafydd then persuaded various people with drug problems to appear on TV stating that they feared for their lives if Dafydd retired. One of these people freely admitted that he’d been paid to appear.

Some other odd things happened at the time. The young man who had been paid to appear on TV was known to be selling class A drugs to schoolchildren in Bangor, quite openly. I knew someone who reported him to the police on a number of occasions. Yet he continued to ply his wares to the local kids on Bangor High Street. In daylight, as the kids were coming out of school. The other thing that this man did was burgle the house of the dreadful Judge Huw Daniel (please see previous posts for details of the wrongdoing of Huw Daniel). He was caught and admitted burgling the old bastard. But as I remember nothing happened to him. Now considering that Huw Daniel really loved sending the dispossessed to prison and clearly wanted to bang me up as well although it was very clear that I had not done what I was accused of (please see post ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal System’), I find it quite surprising that an addict who was pretty well-renowned as a general ne’er do well faced no consequences at all for turning Daniel’s house over. He even produced the camera that he’d stolen from Daniel at the police station. At about this time, there was a senior nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd whom I got on very well with. On at least two occasions I was told that he was forced by senior figures at Ysbyty Gwynedd to make statements to the police about me. I was also told that although he did their bidding, he was viewed with great suspicion by the authorities at Ysbyty Gwynedd because they feared that he was supplying me with the dirt on Dafydd (he wasn’t, he was always very professional in his dealings with me – there were plenty of other victims of Dafydd who willingly gave me the lowdown). This nurse was then appointed to a senior managerial position at Ysbyty Gwynedd and there was much rejoicing among the nurses because he was very popular among them and they all felt that they were kicked around badly by the psychiatrists and that perhaps things would now change with him in a senior position. He resigned from that position after a matter of months but I never discovered why. He then joined the exodus of staff from the Hergest Unit and took up a community position – with the drugs team on Anglesey. After a matter of weeks he went into hiding – a drugs patient had threatened to kill him and it seemed that this was a threat to be taken seriously (unlike many of the mental health staff, this man was not someone who threw around ludicrous allegations of harmless people being ‘dangerous’). Then something really nasty happened. He was due to visit me because this was one of the many times that the Hergest Unit prosecuted me (I was subsequently found not guilty as usual) and banned me from going to Ysbyty Gwynedd. Because this man had known me well from a few years previously he offered to fulfil the role of a CPN for me. He never arrived at my house though because his wife had died. She had collapsed at home – she was a nurse as well – and although he did all the appropriate things, she died later that night at Ysbyty Gwynedd. He was left a single parent although he did eventually remarry and then left Wales.

Whilst all this was happening, Dafydd used to hold ‘clinics’ for ‘his’ addicts on a Tuesday in the Hergest Unit. Those clinics were chaos. There would be so many addicts turning up that there was literally nowhere for them to wait. The waiting rooms were full, the corridors would be full, they were everywhere. So many people were turning up that they would be in and out of Dafydd’s room in 5 mins. There was no way that those were appropriate consultations for people with serious drug problems. The only way that some sort of order could be maintained was by having a receptionist from the Hergest standing outside Dafydd’s room shouting ‘next’ as soon as the last person had left. No-one even knew their names. None of the Hergest patients ever recognised any of them – because none of them were local. We discovered that they were coming from all over the place to see Dafydd, there was absolutely no catchment area allocation. They were making it very clear why they were coming as well – Dafydd was giving them drugs on request. I knew this because I was one of the patients protesting about Dafydd’s continued presence in the Hergest after serious complaints about him had not been investigated and one day I was standing outside of his door and I heard the transaction within taking place. Dafydd hit the roof when he found that I was outside and I was then banned from attending the Hergest Unit on Tuesdays, because I had discovered what was going on. But so had another patient – he was a former drug user who had spoken to some of Dafydd’s ‘patients’ who had been quite frank with him as to why they were turning up at this ‘clinic’. The Hergest staff were well aware of what the attraction was. Every time an angry patient asked why Dafydd was still allowed into the hospital, the staff would always respond with ‘the patients want to see him, they like him’. And one day the patient who was a former drug user said ‘they like him because he gives them drugs and I should know because I used to be like that myself’. There was silence. It was very clear that Dafydd used those ‘clinics’ to establish an enormous base of customers from right across Wales – and this was the customer list that he subsequently took with him when he left…

After a very long battle, it was agreed that Dafydd would retire when Denbigh shut down, in 1995. But a deal had been done. Dafydd was told that if he agreed to retire, the many outstanding complaints against him would not be followed up. Even better – as part of the deal, Dafydd was told that he would be allowed to continue with the remit for drugs and alcohol services and that these ‘services’ would be provided through CAIS, the charity that he had established and Chaired. Now lest anyone think ‘oh well if the other consultants were refusing to treat the addicts, the authorities didn’t have much choice’, let me enlighten you. There was a Dr John Marks from Liverpool who had an excellent reputation for successfully stabilising addicts and who WANTED to move to Gwynedd. Gwynedd Health Authority blocked his appointment on the grounds that he was ‘controversial’ because he prescribed maintenance doses of heroin to addicts (see post ‘Radio 4 Mentions A Name From The Past’). However he didn’t shag his patients or illegally detain people who’d been molested by a paedophile gang. But it was Dr Marks who was deemed controversial, not Dafydd. So, rather than a highly regarded man who really was a specialist in the care of drug users being employed once Dafydd had retired, Dafydd was allowed to use the Hergest to build up a huge business and then take it to CAIS with him when he ‘retired’. All funded by the NHS.

This could not have happened accidentally. At the same time that Dafydd was given this deal, Mary Wynch – who had by now been screwed over and financially ruined by Dafydd and his chums at Risley Remand Centre – was finally given an utter pittance as a final settlement and told to sod off forever and the calls for a Parliamentary investigation into her case suddenly stopped (please see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’             for the names of the politicians involved and their rewards for silence). All this was going on when John Jillings and his team were trying to carry out their investigation into the abuse in children’s homes in Clwyd but found themselves obstructed at every turn. The newly-appointed Chief Constable of the North Wales Police, Michael Argent, refused to co-operate with the team and the police withheld 130 boxes of evidence. The Social Services also failed to disclose all their evidence. (There will be more about the Jillings inquiry in a future post.) Jillings did of course conclude that the most appalling abuse of children had taken place in north Wales, that it had been going on for years and that it had been concealed by just about every agency and organisation. There were constant allegations of a paedophile ring at work involving ‘VIPs’ and the collusion of the security services. The Waterhouse Report subsequently admitted that there was a paedophile ring in existence but denied the involvement of ‘VIPs’. It has since been acknowledged by some of his former colleagues that Sir Peter Morrison, MP for Chester and Thatcher’s PPS, was having sex with under-age boys and visiting children’s homes in north Wales. Gordon Anglesea, a former senior officer with the North Wales Police, was imprisoned last year for sexually abusing boys in care in north Wales. No-one expects the questions related to all this to go away…

Previous posts have explained that the cases of Alison Taylor (the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the paedophile ring), Mary Wynch and me were all known about at the highest levels of the Welsh Office. We had all written to Welsh Office ministers and previous posts have detailed the documentation now in my possession demonstrating that both the Welsh Office’s lawyer, Andrew Park, and the Medical Ombudsman, Professor Robert Owen, knew that Dafydd et al had broken the law and perverted the course of justice but concealed it. The security services would have undoubtedly known about some of what was going on as well because they are responsible for the vetting of MPs – they must have known about Peter Morrison, it seemed that his colleagues all did, so MI5 will have. But there’s another reason why MI5 could have known about Dafydd. His work with addicts. If Dafydd was, as the addicts always claimed, prescribing them ‘anything’ they wanted, someone will have given him a Home Office licence. And the Home Office definitely knew about Dafydd – because when he unlawfully imprisoned Mary Wynch, the process also involved two corrupt doctors from Risley Remand Centre, one of whom was employed by the Home Office. The Home Office was one of the parties successfully sued by Mary and that case was heard by Lord Donaldson, Master of the Rolls. Of course the Home Office knew about it. And the Home Office are of course responsible for MI5. There was a barrel of shit in north Wales, Dafydd was responsible whichever way one looked at it and the Welsh Office, the Home Office and almost certainly MI5, knew what was happening. Previous posts have named the Secretaries of State and Home Secretaries involved in Mary’s case, but what of those with responsibility when Dafydd was allowed to retire without investigation once Mary was stuffed over and Denbigh closed down, in the middle of the Jillings investigation – allowed to retire that is whilst taking a substantial business of ‘providing services to drug abusers’ with him?

When the madness reached fever pitch, before the closure of Denbigh and Dafydd’s retirement, when nurses under suspicion of collaborating with me were being threatened with murder by drug users and their wives were dying in the ‘care’ of Ysbyty Gwynedd, when the Hergest Unit tried to frame me (again) and when Mary was stuffed over for good, the Secretary of State for Wales was John Redwood. He was in place between 27 May 1993 and 26 June 1995. David Hunt was appointed Secretary of State for Wales on 26 June 1995, but only until 5 July 1995. A two week appointment. Que?? Now David Hunt certainly knew all about Gwynedd Health Authority and it’s malpractice, because he had been Secretary of State for Wales previously between 4 May 1990 and 27 May 1993. There are letters in Gwynedd Archives from David Hunt to the Chair of Gwynedd Health Authority, Noreen Edwards. (Many of the insane letters about me written by various people at Gwynedd Health Authority were cc’d to Noreen Edwards.) Hunt knew that organisation was a car crash – there are mentions in Hansard and consultants from the Welsh Office had been sent in. William Hague was then appointed Secretary of State for Wales between 5 July 1995 and 2 May 1997. Hague had been Minister of State for the Disabled between 20 July 1994 and 5 July 1995. The North Wales Hospital was shut in the summer of 1995. As for the Home Secretary during this madness – that was Michael Howard, who was Home Secretary between 27 May 1993 and 2 May 1997. There’s no getting away from that is there – Michael ‘prison works’ Howard knew that a rogue psychiatrist in north Wales was illegally imprisoning people, was working in a region where there was the most serious abuse of children who were then ending up in the psychiatric system and often subsequently found dead – so someone allowed him free reign over a mass of people with serious drug problems… But there’s someone else who will also have been involved in this gory business as well. This all happened pre-devolution, so Dafydd, the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and the NHS finding of CAIS will have been the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health, which between 9 April 1992 and 5 July 1995 was one Virginia Bottomley. Virginia is a former psychiatric social worker and at least one of her children is a doctor. Come on Ginny, banging people up illegally, diagnosing ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ in perfectly healthy people, distributing drugs, having sex with patients and concealing a paedophile gang – you know that they shouldn’t have been doing it. Stephen Dorrell then took over as Secretary of State for Health between 5 July 1995 and 2 May 1997.

Unlike some of the people named in previous posts associated with Very Great Wrongdoing, Lord Howard, Lord Hunt, Lord Hague and Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone are all still alive and kicking. Would they like to explain why they thought that concealing the most serious abuses and then giving a kickstart to a drugs distribution network was a good idea? Furthermore Theresa, before you sling mud at Wales again, just consider the contribution made to the present problems in it’s NHS by those four fuckwits.

And that is the story of how the party of Law n Order precipitated the gang warfare over drugs that blights north Wales today.

 

News Updates, Additional Comments and Observations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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