MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…

MRegular followers of this blog will know that I – and some of those commenting on my posts – have been bringing to public attention the appalling hypocrisy of MIND, an organisation claiming to be the ‘voice of the service user’ whilst concealing serious abuses in the mental health services and even entering into ‘partnerships’ with abusive services and individuals  (see posts such as ‘The Mysterious Silence Of MIND’, ‘Newly Discovered – Parabl’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’).

I have explained that I first became aware of the corruption of MIND when I went down to see William Bingley, their Legal Director, in 1987 regarding the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services. Bingley admitted that he knew all about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and indeed he knew a lot more than I did. I gave Bingley yet more evidence re Jones et al but not only did Bingley continue to keep quiet regarding Dafydd and co but when Bingley later became Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission, he and that organisation continued to collude with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), although they knew about the continued illegal detention of people and abuse of the Mental Health Act in north Wales. I knew from my meeting with Bingley that he knew an awful lot about Dafydd – including the deaths in Dafydd’s ‘care homes’, the allegations that the wrongdoing in north Wales was linked to Freemasonry and the existence of Dafydd’s extensive ‘sex therapy’ practice and the possible purposes of that business. I have no idea whether Bingley knew that Dafydd et al were concealing the paedophile ring that was operating in north Wales at the time though – the paedophile ring that was concealed again at a higher level by Thatcher’s and Major’s Gov’ts. However before Bingley began working for MIND, he worked as a research assistant for Matthew Parris, A Tory MP who had previously worked as Thatcher’s correspondence secretary. A man whose autobiography told of his summer trips – in the company of friends – to a place in Italy that they named the ‘villa of shame’, where they would be visited by ‘boys’ whom Parris described as ‘always willing’. For more background on Parris and his connections, see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’.

I had thought that I had previously dug up a substantial amount of shit and compromising info on MIND, but I’ve spent a bit of time doing more research on a few other key figures in that organisation and I’ve found much more worrying info – that organisation has been compromised for decades. Here are a few of the highlights that I have dug up.

The current Chief Exec is the disgusting Paul Farmer whom I have blogged about previously. Farmer’s reputation is plummeting fast as a result of his enthusiasm for MIND to land contracts from the Dept of Work and Pensions, contracts that are all about forcing ‘service users’ into employment that may well be unsuitable and for which they may well be too ill. Farmer’s enormous salary has also been made public by disability activists – he trousers in excess of £100k pa for his role as the Voice of the Service User – and I’m delighted to say that this unscrupulous git has been met with protests on his travels around the UK. I was expecting the BBC to wheel him out for him to give his comments regarding the latest round of bad news re the UK’s mental health services, but mercifully we were spared that for once. Had he done the rounds of the BBC studios perhaps somebody would have finally asked him why he and his lame organisation have kept so quiet about the crisis – which has been evident for many years. Of course Farmer also knew all about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services many years ago. When I wrote to Peter Hain in his capacity as Secretary of State for Wales in approx. 2005 giving him full details of what had happened to me t the hands of the mental health services, I cc’d the letter to the Chief Exec of Rethink (I didn’t cc it to MIND because I knew that they were ignoring what was happening in north Wales) – who at the time was one Paul Farmer. I never received a response, although a few months later Farmer then became Chief Exec of MIND!

But what of previous CEOs of MIND? Before Farmer, the CEO was Richard Brook, who was appointed in 2001. Brook was CEO when I e mailed MIND HQ about the assaults being carried out by Hergest Unit staff on patients – only to receive an e mail back written as though it was to a small child telling me that what I had to do was go to the yellow pages and look up ‘solicitors’ and go and talk to one of them…. At this time the ‘service user reps’ for the Hergest were heavily involved with MIND – those reps who wet themselves at the thought of confronting Hergest staff and managers concerning the gross abuses that were endemic. One of those ‘service user reps’ admitted to me that she knew that residents in Prestwood Homes were being abused – furthermore, Prestwood Homes were taking full advantage of free MIND facilities such as walking groups, drop in centres etc without paying MIND a penny, although Prestwood were charging thousands of quid a week for a ‘placement’. Somebody else involved with MIND knew about the abuse of residents at Prestwood as well – Geoff Lees, who is now Director of Vale of Clwyd MIND. I told him about it, whilst he was still working as a social work tutor at Coleg Menai in Bangor. I know that a number of other people told him what was going on at Prestwood as well. For details of the horrors at Prestwood and the unfortunate death of a young woman support worker there who witnessed even more that I did, see posts ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’.

Richard Brook was able to publicise unacceptable practice if he felt like it though. In 2004 the ‘Daily Mail’ ran an article entitled ‘Why I Resigned Over This Disgraceful Happy Pill Cover-Up’. The article explained that Brook had resigned from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Authority) after he discovered that they had known about the side effects of the anti-depressant Seroxat but had not publicised them. Brook claimed that he had been threatened with legal action by Prof Kent Woods, the CEO of the MHRA, if he revealed that the MHRA had been ‘sitting on’ it’s knowledge of Seroxat’s side effects. Brook stated that MIND had been ‘tracking Seroxat’ for a decade’. So MIND knew about Seroxat and it’s problems as well then – but then they’d known about the problems in north Wales since 1979 at least, when Mary Wynch was illegally arrested and imprisoned (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’) and had done or said nothing. In this article, Brook mentions the ‘Panorama’ programme about Seroxat that had been screened the year before – that will be the programme that featured Dr David Healy, who worked at the Hergest Unit! So MIND had got into bed (so to speak) with two psychiatrists from north Wales – Dafydd, who years before had been involved with MIND and David, as he Bravely Spoke Out. Brook told the Mail that following the ‘Panorama’ programme, MIND held a demo outside the offices of the MHRA. As opposed to outside of the Hergest Unit, where patients were being assaulted, framed for serious crimes, refused treatment no matter how ill they were and were committing suicide.

Brook maintains that he went to see the Health Minister Lord Warner to tell him of his concerns regarding SSRIs and Warner told him that he would speak to the MHRA. Warner then simply issued a guide to doctors detailing the max recommended dose of Seroxat (that must have been why Dr Richard Tranter, Healy’s friend, protégé and PhD student prescribed a friend of mine three times the maximum recommended dose of Seroxat then). It was at this point that the man of principle Brook resigned from the MHRA. Brook told the Mail that there was an urgent need for an inquiry into the MHRA and stated that many people involved with the MHRA also have connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Which is true – but then MIND’s hands are as dirty as those of any advisor to the pharmaceutical industry.

In Jan 2006 Brook featured in a BBC News online report and commented on the mental health of people living in rural areas. He stated that ‘the extent of mental health problems in the countryside is likely to be hidden’ – it was in north Wales, it was hidden by MIND, they knew that huge numbers of people were being given a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ and refused care after being told that they were ‘untreatable’. At the time the area served by the Hergest Unit had the second highest rate of suicide for women in England and Wales.

After defending people with mental health problems so successively, upon leaving MIND Brook was appointed CEO of the newly created Office of the Public Guardian! Just the sort of person that was needed in such a position obviously. After a year guarding the public, Brook then became CEO of the deaf-blind charity SENSE.

MIND’s CEO before Brook was Judi Clements, who was in post between 1992-2001. So she oversaw those crazy years in which I was repeatedly arrested by the mental health services for ludicrous reasons, in which Dafydd resisted efforts to shut down the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and for his pains walked away with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for North Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) – the years which also saw the massive cover-up of the paedophile ring in north Wales which was the Waterhouse Report, in the wake of which a lot of people who’d been victims of that gang as children were found dead after becoming ‘users’ of the mental health services. Judi’s tenure also spanned the years in which Prestwood Homes were established and became big business within just a few months, what with the constant supply of vulnerable people from secure hospitals available for Prestwood to traffic them…

Something must have happened on Judi’s watch, because there is virtually no info from MIND available about Judi, it’s as though she never passed through their doors. However, there is some info about her in an article in HSJ from 2010. HSJ told us that after being Chief Exec of MIND for nine years, she was leaving due to health related problems, namely diabetes and arthritis. A David Peryer, the Chair of Trustees of MIND, stated that Judi would be ‘sorely missed’ – so that’s why they subsequently air-brushed her out of history. Preyrer mentioned that MIND was currently undergoing restructuring to concentrate on ‘supporting local offices’. These were of course the ‘local offices’ which included those in north Wales who were so helpfully providing free services to Prestwood Homes and who then began entering ‘partnerships’ with CAIS to provide yet more ‘services’ after being handed contracts by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – many of whose former staff and their friends were now working with MIND.

Judi didn’t just leave MIND, she did a Richard Tranter and left the UK for New Zealand. Despite the diabetes and the arthritis, Judi seems to have bounced back and in 2005 when she relocated to New Zealand, she landed a job as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Foundation over there. She ‘moved on’ in 2015. In Feb 2015 Judi featured on the website of the New Zealand Law Society, promoting her forthcoming seminar on Mindfulness for the New Zealand Law Society Auckland Branch. On this website Judi was described as an ‘experienced Chief Exec in the NGO sector’ with a ‘background in law, social policy, housing, local government and management practice’. It was explained that ‘after a successful career in local government service management, policy and practice development, Judi moved to the NGO sector’. So which failing local authority did Judi work for prior to keeping the lid on the barrel of shit in MIND then? Judi has an LLB – so she will recognise serious crime when she sees it. Or indeed conceals it – or even facilitates it.

Judi has sat on ‘several Gov’t advisory groups covering mental health, social policy and NGO development’.

Between 1989 and 1992, Ros Hepplewhite was Chief Exec of MIND. Whose reign also spanned the Dafydd years, but then the Dafydd years have gone on for the last five decades so everyone’s implicated where Dafydd is concerned. So perhaps it’s more helpful to mention that Ros’s reign spanned the period of time during which St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital colluded with Dafydd – although they knew what he was up – to in his attempts to have me labelled dangerous and banged up. The early 1990s of course also saw allegations that a paedophile ring was active in north Wales involving political figures appear in the London based media. Dafydd and his mistress Lucille Hughes were concealing and facilitating this paedophile ring – it was Dafydd and Lucille to whom St George’s Hospital and Springfield turned for ‘evidence’ of my dangerousness. It was in 1992 that five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack on a flat in Brighton (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs). So Ros was pretty close to some serious action.

However I can’t find any references to Ros’s activities at MIND. Although Ros did hit the headlines after she left MIND. In 1993 Ros was appointed CEO of the Child Support Agency – which was a Gov’t disaster as big as the NHS IT system that had to be shelved after a few billion had been spent on it. Although unlike the CSA, the failed NHS IT system was not thought to have contributed to anyone’s suicide…Ros was famously removed from her post and the CSA metamorphosed into something else because Gov’t could not withstand the embarrassment any longer.

I have found a reference to Ros on the blog of the Labour MEP for London, Mary Honeyball. Mary’s post dated Jan 11 2010 discusses examples of what she believed was outrageous sexism. Honeyball believes that Ros was removed from her post as a result of such sexism – nothing to do with the suicides of distraught parents then, or the numerous parents who were never able to collect their maintenance payments, or the absent parents who used every trick in the book not to pay up leaving their former partners destitute whilst the CSA refused to listen to their pleas for help… Tragedies as a result of the chaos that was the CSA involved both men and women – and of course the children. Honeyball entertainingly stated that Dame Barbara Mills the DPP was also the victim of sexism. Babs has featured on this blog previously – she was the DPP whilst the CPS found excuse after excuse not to mount prosecutions against numerous paedophiles despite stacks of evidence being presented (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’). Mary Honeyball also extended her ‘sympathies’ to the former Home Secretary Jaqui Smith, who was ‘hounded’ for being a ‘high profile woman’. No, Jaqui Smith became a source of national entertainment when it was revealed that her husband had rented porn films, the cost of which Jaqui had then reclaimed on her Parliamentary expenses. In a desperate attempt to salvage herself in the eyes of a nation rolling around laughing, Jaqui then tried to construct herself as a latter day Mary Whitehouse and began speaking out about Porn and Sex, which culminated in her presenting a documentary about prostitution. Unfortunately she did this whilst wearing one of those brightly coloured plastic macs when she was filmed under street lamps, which caused one of the better Radio 4 comedians – it might have been Sue Perkins – to comment that Jaqui looked like something out of ‘Band of Gold’.

Mary Honeyball ends her post by explaining that she speaks as someone ‘who ran’ the Association of Chief Officers of Probation in the mid-90s – she mentions that she didn’t have a background in probation, but that she was appointed on the basis of her other talents. So that’s why at that time some of those accused of molesting children in north Wales or failing to act when their colleagues were molesting children found it possible to move into careers with the Probation Service.

Ros Hepplewhite was CEO of MIND whilst the most dreadful scandals involving the abuse and even murder of patients occurred at Ashworth and Broadmoor. Don’t remember the Voice of the Service Users saying much about all that at the time.

At the time of my initial encounters with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in the mid-80s, the CEO of MIND was Christopher Heginbotham – he’d been appointed CEO in 1982. He was in post at the time that I had my meeting with William Bingley. I suspect that Chris and Bingley might have been chums – Heginbotham was appointed CEO in 1982. Bingley was working as lobbyist for MIND at that time and landed his plum full time post there in 1983. Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was also a bigwig in MIND and was Chair 1978-84. Furthermore Heginbotham departed from MIND in 1989 – Bingley ‘moved on’ into the post as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission in 1990. Bingley eventually wound up in the Chair of Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire and then in a role at the University of Cumbria after resigning from his post as Chair of an NHS Trust when a few awkward questions were asked about his business interests. Heginbotham also eventually secured a position at the University of Cumbria. References to William Bingley seemed to have disappeared from the MIND website recently, but I know that MIND named a building after him in Lancashire, ‘William Bingley House’. I wonder if it’ll be a bit like the fall out after Jimmy Savile’s death and MIND will end up renaming the building in a desperate attempt to pretend that they’d never met Bingley? But guess what? Heginbotham ended up in Lancashire too – where I presume that he still is.

Bingley and Heginbotham were at MIND when Savile was appointed General Manager of Broadmoor. I do not remember them questioning the appointment. What’s the betting that there’s some photos somewhere of dear old Jim with folk from MIND that are now well hidden? Should anyone know of any, please do let me know…

Heginbotham is a Director of something called ‘Values Based Commissioning Ltd’ in Lancashire, which began life in 2011. The other Director is a Christine Heginbotham. It is described as ‘health and social care consultancy’. Christopher Heginbotham has also published a book on Values Based Commissioning of Health and Social Care. So what is this all about?

According to an article in HSJ from June 2013, ‘Values Based Commissioning’ (VbC) ‘aims to put users’ views at the heart of reshaping services’. The discussion concerns the commissioning of mental health services by CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and it is explained that ‘expertise’ in this area is ‘varied’. However, as readers may have guessed, a few aficionados are on hand to help! HSJ quotes words of wisdom from Rethink’s Associate Director of Policy, Research and Campaigning, Victoria Bleazard, as well as Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at MIND. A Joint Commissioning Panel on Mental Health (JCPMH) was established in 2011, which is co-chaired by the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners – this Panel produced ‘guidance’. VbC is ‘a new type of commissioning’ (which must be why it involves the same old people and institutions as the previous commissioning did), ‘prioritising service users’ values and experiences’ (the Royal Colleges mentioned, Rethink and MIND have such good track records in that area don’t they).

HSJ identifies a Dr Neil Deuchar as the architect and champion of VbC – he’s a psychiatrist from Birmingham, a specialist advisor on commissioning and JCPMH Co-Chair. The other Co-Chair is Liz England, a GP who is Mental Health Lead for a Locality Care Group within a CCG and National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Deuchar is quoted as saying that ‘patient power is the key’ and that ‘co-production between patient and carer groups, clinicians and commissioners is vital’. There then follows a bit of asinine text headed by the words ‘what do service users think?’

So Christopher Heginbotham saw an opportunity then – an insane system was devised by a Gov’t that had relied on the likes of Heginbotham and his mates at MIND for advice, this insane system was then explained to the world by HSJ and promoted by MIND and their friends, by which time Heginbotham had written his book and set up his company – presumably with Mrs Heginbotham – to serve the insane system. The insane system was entirely dependent at every stage on the involvement of the very same people and institutions that were colluding with the likes of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends.

Is it surprising that five years down the line we have Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Courts, hitting the roof because there is virtually no provision in the whole of the UK for a suicidal 17 year old girl who is due to be released from ‘secure custody’? Although no-one has explained why a girl in her state is IN secure custody, allegedly alone in a seclusion room from which everything has been removed except a mattress on the floor. That’s going to do her a power of good isn’t it. Furthermore I guarantee that I know how that barbaric regime will be described on that girl’s records – there will be a reference to her being ‘nursed’. I have heard mental health nurses taking about ‘nursing’ people in ‘seclusion’ or ‘nursing’ them ‘on a mattress on the floor’. The whole system is completely nuts and the people working within it have been sent nuts by it if they weren’t already nuts when they took up their employment.

If readers have been impressed by the calibre of MIND CEOs described so far, hold on to your hats whilst I tell you about Heginbotham’s predecessor, Tony Smythe, CEO from 1974-82.  Smythe’s incumbency pre-dated the internet, but Smythe was quite something and info about him is still available online. Smythe’s full name was Clifford Anthony Smythe. He categorised himself as a radical anarcho-pacifist until the day that he died in 2004 and was involved with a number of political causes. He was appointed General Secretary of the NCCL in 1966, a post that he held until 1971. It was in the 70s that it became clear that the NCCL had been infiltrated by paedophiles who had conflated their cause with gay liberation – paedophiles also infiltrated the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) at this time and a number of those guilty of abusing children in north Wales were active in CHE. Smythe was at one point Vice-President of CHE. In 1971 Smythe became involved with MIND. His obituary describes him as establishing an ‘executive committee’ which led to ‘service users becoming involved in management and policy decisions’ and that this ‘chimed with Tony’s anarchist belief’.

Now this talk of the active involvement of ‘service users’ also surrounds Bingley and his mother. Which ‘service users’ do people think that the Bingleys and Smythe liberated? Psychiatry was dreadful in the 70s and early 80s – it was particularly gross in north Wales but it was pretty grim everywhere else as well. There is no way that ‘service users’ had any voice anywhere in the 70s – who are MIND actually talking about? Radical ideas were bandied around by people like Laing et al but these ideas didn’t touch mainstream psychiatric practice – it is dishonest to pretend that they did.  I am wondering if all this guff about the active involvement of ‘service users’ in MIND is simply a glorified reference to one or two influential people in the organisation who may have had mental health problems themselves at some point. Of course Dr Dafydd Alun Jones told everyone that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’ himself – it was a good excuse when he was challenged about his appalling conduct.

CHE was usually led by people who were gay themselves, so I was interested to read that Smythe had a ‘lifelong partner’ Jeanne and five daughters. Jeanne died in 2001.

Smythe and Jeanne were involved with Haringey MIND long after Smythe had stepped down from his post as CEO. Tony Smythe was listed as a Director of Haringey MIND between 1998-2000 and Jeanne between 1990-92 and between 1996-97.

I have mentioned previously that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had a contact in Haringey Social Services – when I finally got out of the North Wales Hospital in Jan 1987, he told me that he had rung Haringey Social Services to ‘let them know’ that I would be living on their patch. This was not any sort of referral for aftercare – this was just the way that Dafydd conducted himself. I have also mentioned that I now have copies of letters between Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services in Gwynedd and Laurie Wood, the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in which they discuss their ‘friend’ at St George’s trying to find out which dept I was working in when I started working there in 1989 – there is also a reference to their friend accessing mail that was sent to me at St George’s in an attempt to discover my home address. There is no clue as to the identity of this friend in my documents, but whilst I was working at St George’s I was visited by a junior doctor called Jimmy Schroff who had come to find me because he’d heard that there was a girl from Bangor working there – Jimmy Schroff seemed to know everyone whom I had made a complaint about in north Wales and furthermore he had done his GP training in the practice of Dr D.G.E. Wood (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’). Jimmy Schroff died some years ago – his widow works at the Betsi.

Tony Smythe was also a Director of an organisation on the Embankment called Reach Volunteering in 1990/91. In 1992 and again between 1995-2001 Jeanne was a Director of ‘an inclusive community hub’ called the Markfield Project.

Tony Smythe kept interesting company. He was acquainted with an actress called Adrienne Corri who died in 2016. Corri had a cult following and was noted for being rather excessive, sometimes swearing aggressively at her own audiences. She was friends with Ronnie and Reggie Kray. In the days before they were both banged up when it dawned upon everyone that despite hanging out with Barbara Windsor and Adrianne Corri they were a pair of vicious thugs. Who had also murdered people. Ronnie of course ended up in Broadmoor and there was a lot of huffing and puffing from some Tory MPs when it was revealed in the press that he had superstar status in Broadmoor, was politely called Mr Kray by the prison officers (who according to the likes of Professor Robert Bluglass were ‘nurses’) who generally pandered to him. What the Tories expected from an institution which Edwina Currie had appointed Jimmy Savile to run I do not know. Perhaps they should have taken a bit of notice of the other patients who complained that they were being beaten up and sexually abused by the ‘nurses’. As well as by Savile.

In 1968 whilst Tony Smythe was still leading the NCCL, they sponsored a production of Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Come and Go’ which starred Adrienne Corri. It was advertised as ‘gala entertainment concerning depravity and corruption’. The evening included other entertainment as well and was compered by George Melly. The George Melly who was famously promiscuous but whose wife was very tolerant of his desire for an open marriage. Much has been written about Melly’s bisexuality and his penchant for numerous extra-marital relationships, but his wife was I suspect much more tolerant than most people realised. Many years ago, George Melly came to do a gig at Theatre Gwynedd in Bangor. I know a man who was at the time of Melly’s performance in Bangor 16 yrs old. Melly paid to have sex with him. This was whilst the age of consent for gays was still 21. I have never seen Melly’s name included among the Rolfs or the Saviles or the Gary Glitters, which is extraordinary, particularly as some years before he died Melly gave an interview to a newspaper mentioning how much he enjoyed caressing the thighs of pre-pubescent boys. Yet no-one commented on this at all. Melly retired to Wales of course – to the Brecon Beacons.

Tony Smythe’s years as CEO of MIND covered the period of time which saw Mary Wynch unlawfully arrested and illegally detained in Denbigh for a year by Dafydd. Whilst she was in Denbigh Mary told me that she witnessed the patients in Dafydd’s ‘young people’s ward’ having sex with each other – after being encouraged to do so by Dafydd – whilst the nurses watched the show. Mary approached MIND for advice regarding her unlawful imprisonment. William Bingley admitted to me that MIND received grant funding from Gwynedd Health Authority and that Dafydd wrote to MIND telling them that he would block their dosh from Gwynedd if they advised Mary. Bingley told me that they didn’t succumb to Dafydd’s threats. However I now know that Bingley wasn’t in the least bit truthful regarding his stories of fighting for patients rights. What’s the betting that they slung Mary overboard lest they lost their dosh from Gwynedd Health Authority? Bingley also admitted to me that Dafydd had been a ‘leading light’ in MIND himself in the 1960s.

The General Secretary of MIND immediately prior to Smythe was Mary Appleby. She was CEO from 1951-74. Whilst Dafydd was a leading light in MIND! At the same time that Gwynne was lobotomising people and the paedophile ring was growing and growing, assisted by John Allen’s collection of children’s homes, the Bryn Alyn Community, which was doing a roaring trade in accepting children from across the UK but particularly from the London boroughs and the West Midlands…

Appleby died in 2013 and her obituary in the ‘Guardian’ mentioned that she became involved in MIND because there were mental health issues in her family. The ‘Guardian’ tells us that it was as a result of Mary’s efforts that MIND (then still called the National Association for Mental Health) became hugely influential, employing 200 people and was consulted by the Gov’t, the judiciary, the NHS and social workers’ organisations. In the early 70s a group of Scientologists tried to join MIND. Scientologists, although they are a rather eccentric group of people themselves, famously loathe psychiatry. They attempted to join MIND after alleging that psychiatrists were illegally imprisoning people, torturing people and were ‘carrying out perversions’. Mary fought the Scientologists in the High Court to keep them out of MIND. However, she allowed Dafydd to remain in.

Mary Appleby worked in both the War Office and the Foreign Office. She Chaired the Bench of Magistrates in an inner London juvenile Court for many years. She contributed to Gov’t Inquiries on mental health and social services. She sat on the appeals panel for the BBC and ITV and was a Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunals. She also sat on the Selection Committee for the Civil Service. A pretty well-connected and influential lady then – even at Whitehall level.

Tony Smythe took over from Mary Appleby in 1974, but Appleby remained a Vice-President of MIND until her death in 2013. She will have not only had substantial influence regarding the appointment of Smythe, but she wielded considerable influence over that organisation for decades. She will have known exactly what sort of people were being appointed, what they were getting up to and indeed what they were concealing, ignoring or colluding with.

 

So what about those who have Chaired MIND? Let’s take a look at some of them….

Between 1969-78 Christopher Mayhew MP was Chair. Mayhew spent many years as a Labour MP but in 1974 he defected to the Liberals. In 1974 the Liberal MP Cyril Smith was busy abusing boys (and had been for some years) but it is now admitted that there was assistance from the security services in ensuring that he was never prosecuted (see post ‘Dr Death’). Mayhew is perhaps most famous however for taking part in a mescaline experiment in 1955 with Dr Humphrey Osmond. The plan was to film Mayhew on a mescaline trip for ‘Panorama’ but the programme was never broadcast. Humphrey Osmond was a psychiatrist who was well-known for his research into hallucinogens and schizophrenia – he was the man who administered mescaline to Aldous Huxley in the 50s which resulted in Aldous Huxley writing ‘The Doors of Perception’. Osmond also experimented with peyote when he went to stay with Native Americans.

So Mayhew was a man up for experimentation. He was given a peerage in 1981.

Between 1978 and 1984, William Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was Chair. Juliet Bingley grew up in Harley Street – her father was a surgeon at Barts. She studied social administration at the LSE, during which time she undertook a placement in Liverpool at the Personal Services Society. In 1945 she qualified as a medical almoner (what we would now call a social worker). Her first job was at Barts. Juliet Bingley was married to Admiral Sir Alec Bingley who in 1959 was appointed NATO commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet in Malta. The family only spent three years in Malta but Juliet got to work out there. She became involved in the development of health services for elderly people – but she was also good mates with the former Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Mintoff. Mintoff had just resigned as PM, which meant that Malta was under direct rule from London – Juliet became the ‘messenger’ between Mintoff and the London Gov’t and continued to play this role throughout the 70s and 80s during the various crises in Anglo-Maltese relations. Alec Bingley died in 1972 which was when Juliet became involved with MIND. She was initially Chair of the Local Associations Committee before becoming Chair of the whole organisation. In 1973 she also took up a post as medical social worker at St Marks, a hospital for gastro-intestinal disorders in London and was Chair of the Heads of Departments Committee there.

Juliet Bingley was busy with other charity work as well as MIND. In 1979 she founded the National Association for Colitis and Chrohns and she was also a founding Trustee of the Carr-Gomm Society, a charity now working for the homeless.

Well with a mum and dad with backgrounds and connections like that William Bingley was certainly not going to do anything to put Dafydd out of action whilst he and Lucille facilitated a paedophile ring supplying boys to Westminster figures and others in London who were enjoying the protection of the security services at the time. Come to think of it I don’t think that Juliet would have been particularly inclined to put a stop to Dafydd’s activities either – and she was incredibly well-connected among the very Top of the Top Doctors as well as the highest echelons of Gov’t should she need to protect him…

How did the Bingley clan ever manage to convince anyone that they were the Voice of the Service Users?

The person who succeeded Juliet as Chair of MIND was Lord David Ennals – he was Chair between 1984-89. Ennals was a Labour politician. In 1967 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office under Jim Callaghan. The Home Office that was at that time directly managing Bryn Estyn, where a brutal regime overseeing the violent sexual abuse of teenaged boys was becoming established. Ennals became Minister of State for Social Services in 1969. He lost his seat in 1970 and it was then that he became the ‘Mind campaign’ Director for the National Association of Mental Health. This campaign was established to fundraise but also to clarify the policies and aims of the organisation – as a result of the campaign in 1972 the charity changed it’s name to MIND. It was whilst Ennals was Chair that Tony Smythe was appointed Chief Exec – supposedly on the basis of his ‘human rights’ experience. Ennals remained campaign director until 1973 and was re-elected to Parliament in 1974. He lost his seat again in 1983 and was elevated to the Lords – then he popped back to MIND again to become Chair.

Ennals has a few close relatives who are worth mentioning. His younger brother Martin was a human rights activist and Secretary-General of Amnesty International. His son Paul has fingers in numerous pies.

Sir Paul Ennals was Chief Exec of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) between 1998-2011. That’s the NCB to whom Peter Righton, a social care expert and academic who was a founder member of PIE and a convicted paedophile, acted as a ‘consultant’ (see post ‘The Waterhouse Tribunal – Who Was Involved And What Happened To Them Subsequently?’). Despite such worrying connections, the NCB, being an umbrella organisation, has links with many other organisations, including Barnardos – some of those involved with child abuse in north Wales had worked for Barnardos. The NCB also collaborates with the NSPCC – which works with Esther Rantzen’s Childline (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ for the questionable background of Valerie Howarth, the first Chief Exec of Childline) – and works in partnership with the Department of Health.

Paul Ennals is Chair of Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board; South Tyneside Local Safeguarding Children Board; Gateshead Local Safeguarding Children Board; Sunderland Local Safeguarding Children Board. I do not know why Ennals has interests in both Haringey and the north east of England but I presume that he does a lot of commuting. If anyone living in the north east hopes to escape Paul Ennals’s safeguarding when they hit 18, they’ll be disappointed – he also Chairs the Safeguarding Adults Board of Gateshead and South Tyneside.

Before Ennals was involved with the NCB he was Director of Employment at the RNIB. He has Chaired or played a leading role on numerous Gov’t taskforces, working groups etc concerned with SEN, disabled or very young children.

Between 1994-2001 David Peryer was Chair of MIND. Peryer had previously been Director of Humberside Social Services. On 23 April 1998 Peryer gave evidence to the Select Committee on Health, along with Liz Sayce (Policy Director of MIND), Peter Wilson and Dinah Morley. Wilson had been Director of Young Minds for six years, was a child psychotherapist and had ‘many’ many years ago’ been a social worker. He had also worked in child and adolescent mental health at another institution familiar to readers of this blog, the Maudsley. In addition Wilson stated that he had worked in ‘child guidance’ in London. Dinah Morley was the ‘professional services manager’ for Young Minds. She had previously been the Assistant Director of an unidentified London borough, responsible for mental health and children’s services. Before that she ran a multi-disciplinary mental health team. She is also a member of a Health Authority.

So these witnesses all had vast experience of working in organisations and fields that had screwed up badly. Indeed Peryer told the Committee that he began working the field of child protection in 1977 in East Sussex, ‘shortly after the Maria Colwell case’. Maria Colwell was the first high profile death of a child in recent decades that was attributed to the fuckwittery of the welfare services.

The Committee were happy to rely on the advice of this bunch nonetheless. Liz Sayce in particular had a lot to say to the Committee. She was keen to tell the Committee of the sort of problems that ‘service users bring to us’ – did they include abusive psychiatrists, mental health staff perjuring themselves in order to secure convictions against them or their illegal detention in secure units? No, the service users complained of being bored in day hospitals. So Liz recommended that day hospitals should be shut and service users encouraged to attend college. I remember the results of Sayce’s recommendations well. The day hospitals were indeed closed down – nothing replaced them, so service users had nowhere to go at all and lost touch with their friends whom they used to meet in the day hospitals. So service users ended up being bored at home, alone. In the two years following the closure of the day hospital at the Hergest Unit, service users could be seen hanging about in the local towns destitute. A number of them died. As for ‘going to college’ – well a very small number of ‘service users’ benefited greatly from this and it turned their lives around. However Sayce’s ‘encouragement’ of such activity was interpreted by mental health teams as ‘coercion’ and certainly in north Wales numerous ‘service users’ were frog marched into college courses – they were told that they would lose social services support if they didn’t ‘take responsibility for getting better’ and enrol. Many of them did not have the academic ability needed for the courses that they had been coerced into joining and even more of them were far too fragile emotionally to cope with a college course. I knew of one course in which at the beginning of term about 15 service users enrolled at the behest of their mental health teams – every one of them withdrew before the course was half-way through and two of them were so distressed that instead of handing in essays to their tutor they handed in suicide notes and accounts of how they had been sexually abused by members of their chapel when they were children. The college ‘counselling service’ was in no way equipped to deal with the difficulties that these students were encountering. Not that the mental health team cared – once the ‘service user’ had enrolled, the mental health team ticked a box marked ‘recovered’ and forgot about them. A lot of ‘service users’ paid a very high price as a result of Liz Sayce’s advice.

No-one noticed – Sayce fucked up peoples lives all over again a few years later once she had been appointed Chief Exec of the Disability Rights Commission and a leading light on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It was Sayce that advised the Gov’t – what with her unique insight and being the Voice of the Service User – to close the Remploy factories on the grounds that they were ghettoes. Hundreds of Remploy staff volubly protested that they loved working at Remploy, that their disabilities were such that they couldn’t hold down other jobs – Remploy staff came forward with the most harrowing accounts of their mistreatment in previous workplaces and begged for Remploy to be reprieved. But Nurse Liz knew best and in 2012 told anyone who would listen in no uncertain terms that Service Users must be Included, that Remploy was Old Fashioned and that the Gov’t proposed Access To Work Fund was far more Empowering (it was also much cheaper and merely involved chucking a few hundred quid at a few service users to pay for simple adaptions on things like cars). The Gov’t followed Sayce’s advice and shut the Remploy factories down. Many of the former Remploy staff never worked again and are now on benefits. Furthermore I think that Theresa May et al are now proposing to whittle away at the Access To Work Fund anyway.

The Gov’t is still grappling with the advice that Liz gave them in 1998 – she recommended that health care and social care should NOT be merged. That’s why there is still such extreme inequity in the treatment of those people classed as needing ‘social care’ as compared to those whose needs are categorised as ‘medical’. But somebody was stupid enough to allow Liz to ‘lead’ on creating the Disability Agenda forming the basis of policy for the next two decades….

In Jan 2017 Liz announced her retirement from the Disability Rights Commission – she’d been shortlisted for a post as a Disability Commissioner on the European Human Rights Commission! For fuckwittery, arrogance and sheer irresponsibility, Liz is only matched by Rachel Perkins.

In 2001 David Henry took over as Chair. I can find no info about David Henry at all other than that whilst he was Chair of MIND he was given two free tickets worth £1,500 for the opening ceremony to some grand event in his capacity as ‘leader’ of a UK charity.

The present Chair, Ryan Campbell, has been in post since 2012. He was formerly the CEO of a ‘drug, alcohol and mental health charity in the south east of England’ and is currently the CEO of Demelza Hospice Care in Hindhead, Surrey. Ryan was previously involved with Age Concern and has been an expert advisor to Gov’t on the development of health services; is the author of DoH guidance to commissioning in the Third Sector; has been an advisor and taskforce member to DoH guidance on High Impact Changes in Health and Social Care (2008); and was the UK rep to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Ryan is also a member of something called the ‘Association of Chairs’, which seems to be no more than a collection of freeloading dipsticks who become Chairs of outfits like MIND. Ryan explains on their website that he joined the Association ‘because I need a network’. Of course you do Ryan. To propel you onwards and upwards in the face of your dismal performance in order that one day you too can bag a seat in the Lords or a place on the EHRC alongside Rachel bloody Perkins.

 

It is because of people like this lot that so many other people are dying and suffering in the UK’s health and welfare system.

 

NB. BBC News Wales and the ‘Daily Post’ online are reporting that there is pressure on Wales to provide ‘fix rooms’ in which drug users can inject heroin. North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones – he who as a young PC chauffeured Gordon Anglesea to the venues at which Anglesea molested boys and who many years later as Police and Crime Commissioner ‘made a mistake’ which resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of his police pension although Anglesea died in prison as a convicted child abuser – is fully in support of the idea. Well it’s another great business opportunity for Dafydd and Lucille at CAIS – they can provide shooting galleries in which the CAIS clients can inject the goodies which they have been sold by their ‘peer guides’ and draw down a grant from the Welsh Gov’t to fund it all! I used to know someone who always quipped that CAIS stood for ‘Come And Inject Some’.

Anyone for co-production?

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Author: Sally Baker

I am a writer and a sociologist, originally from Somerset, but I've been based in Wales for most of my life. I had my first encounter with a mental health professional in 1984 at the age of 21. My GP described this man to my then partner - who also became a sociologist - as someone who had experienced 'considerable success'. My meeting with this psychiatrist was a disaster and we attempted to complain about his insensitivity and highly inappropriate behaviour. That was the first time we were threatened and pressurised to withdraw a complaint against a mental health professional. This man is long dead - he was a retired psychiatrist from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, T. Gwynne Williams, who was working shifts in the student health centre at University College of North Wales (now Bangor University). We discovered years later that this 'successful man' was notorious - he had been an enthusiastic lobotomist...

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