News Round-Up, 21 September 2017

I haven’t had time to do a news review recently, but over the past few days a few things have occurred which are worth noting here.

Earlier in the week Southern General NHS Trust pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety law after a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive – sentencing is due on the 12 October. The prosecution followed the death in 2013 of 18 yr old Connor Sparrowhawk who had epilepsy and learning disabilities – he drowned in the bath whilst in the ‘care’ of Southern at a ‘specialist’ unit.

This case was only ever investigated because of the remarkable tenacity of Connor’s mum, Dr Sara Ryan. Not only was Sara Connor’s mum and for most of his life his carer, but she’s an Oxford University sociologist who’s research interests include learning disability. So Sara is a pretty competent person and one would have thought that her opinion counted for something. No. Sara was roundly insulted and abused by Southern and attempts were made to smear her and even to accuse her of failing to care for Connor properly. Sara was described as ‘toxic’ by the negligent fuckwit of the psychiatrist who was responsible for Connor’s ‘care’, she received anonymous abusive telephone calls from a member of Southern staff and the son of one of the Southern Board members read a confidential report into Connor’s death and sent out a tweet calling Sara a ‘fucking pest’. Southern lied, denied and mislead constantly and when the story became public they tripped over themselves to speak to the media but still failed to communicate with Sara.

Just before the HSE prosecution, the GMC held a fitness to practice hearing concerning Connor’s psychiatrist. Sara was a witness and was cross-examined and insulted all over again. You’ve guessed it – the psychiatrist was allowed to continue practicing.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, as a result of campaigning to discover the truth about Connor’s death – which was certainly not made easy for Sara – Sara discovered that there had been 722 unexplained deaths of learning disabled or mentally ill people in the ‘care’ of Southern. Only 272 of those deaths were even investigated. Southern’s CEO throughout all this was Katrina Percy, the Martin Jones of England – an incompetent bully who boasted of the achievements of her organisation whilst hundreds of people died. Sara was assisted in her campaign by the able Dr George Julian, another social scientist, who did a fantastic job on the research and dissemination front. Together they uncovered the mountain of shite that was Southern and NHS England.

Other patients and relatives of those whose lives had been wrecked by Southern came forward and finally Katrina Percy was forced to resign. However Sara then discovered that Percy had been moved sideways into a new role created especially for her in the NHS at her old enormous salary (which was exactly what happened to Martin when the disastrous North West Wales NHS Trust that he ‘led’ was abolished). Furore broke out. Finally the dreadful Katrina did actually go and eventually the Trust Board collapsed. Every one of them resigned and an interim management arrangement was made.

Sara has stressed throughout that all she ever wanted was for no-one else to die so unnecessarily ever again. Sara, George and their colleagues have moved mountains, but there are layers and layers of Katrinas and Martins in the NHS and they are far from being dealt with. Somebody should have been imprisoned at Southern, just as somebody should be imprisoned in north Wales. Hundreds and hundreds of deaths in both regions, all a result of crass stupidity and complete negligence. I fear that the ordeal for Southern patients is far from over. It has been announced that a new CEO, Dr Nick Broughton, is due to take up the appointment in November. Nick Broughton is the leader of Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. I have friends in Somerset and all is far from well in the NHS down there…

Sara has kept a blog for the last few years entitled ‘My Daft Life’. The full story – as well as many interesting thoughts and insights of Sara’s – is recorded there. It’s worth reading the comments in response to Sara’s posts as well – time and again the relatives of learning disabled people who had been scandalously neglected at the hands of the welfare state wrote in. The stories were depressingly familiar – in the face of harm to patients occurring a flat denial from everyone involved followed, then aggression and abuse towards complainants and carers, then attempts to blame the patients’ relatives/carers and in some cases the use of the Mental Health Act or Mental Capacity Act to remove the patient from the influence of the people who had complained. One lady, Shirley Buckley, is in her 80s and has been banned by the Courts from contacting her own son with learning disabilities, who is now living in a ‘unit’ in south Wales against both his and Shirley’s wishes. Shirley has been threatened with imprisonment for contempt of Court if she contacts her son. The event that precipitated the authorities obtaining a Court order against Shirley? She expressed concerns that her son was being neglected and possibly abused in a previous ‘care setting’. I have given Shirley’s name here because Shirley has gone public about what has happened to her and her son – she was one of the first people to write to me when I began this blog.

At times staff from Southern also commented on Sara’s blog – anonymously of course, they all lived in fear – stating that the general public would never believe the madness that had prevailed at Southern under Katrina Percy.

So we now await the sentencing of Southern – after getting on for a thousand people died whilst Katrina raked in nearly 200k pa and was named as ‘CEO of the Year’ by HSJ (Health Services Journal)….

The Daily Post has been reporting on the inquest of seven year old Katie Pierce. Katie died as a result of complications arising from the severe brain damage that she suffered when she was a few months old. As a baby she was taken to Wrexham Maelor where she was diagnosed with ‘viral tonsillitis’. Katie was sent home but her parents returned with her the next day. She actually had meningitis – it was too late to prevent brain damage.

The inquest has concentrated on Katie’s care at Wrexham Maelor when she was misdiagnosed. Dr Sarah Piper was the registrar on duty in 2006 who supervised the junior doctor who misdiagnosed Katie. Dr Piper maintains that she does not remember being asked for a second opinion. The junior doctor, Dr Halenahalli Vijayakumar, stated that he did consult Dr Piper. No-one can produce any evidence that he did or that he did not. Furthermore Katie’s parents maintain that Dr Vijayakumar examined Katie whilst she was asleep – Dr Vijayakumar maintains that he would never have done this.

So someone is telling porkies.

The Daily Post also recently ran an article about Rhyl Councillors summoning the Chief Constable of North Wales Mark Polin before them to demand answers to the havoc that has prevailed in Rhyl over the last few months in terms of street disorder and robbery, thefts and burglaries, drug taking, drug dealing and the violent assaults and murders that have taken place as a consequence of the turf wars between drug dealers. Cllr Chamberlain Jones told Mr Polin that ‘you are failing miserably’ and that residents felt ‘unsafe’ in their own homes.

So imagine my surprise when this morning the Post ran a feature on an awards ceremony held by the North Wales Police regarding North Wales Police Problem Orientated Partnership Awards. First prize went to Ty Golau, a project in Rhyl which ‘tackles anti-social behaviour and street drinking’ with agencies including substance misuse services, probation, housing, GPs surgeries and the police ‘working together’, following a ‘significant increase’ in reports of violence, street drinking, theft, shoplifting, disorderly behaviour, begging and drugs and alcohol related anti-social behaviour in Rhyl. The police maintain that they have ‘identified problems and shared information with partners from Denbighshire County Council and Clwyd Alun Housing Association’ and that over the last year, the number of anti-social behaviour complaints has dramatically reduced within Rhyl.

Which does not seem consistent with the state of despair exhibited by the Rhyl Councillors and residents. So why are the police giving themselves a prize? Here’s a clue:

The police remarked that in Rhyl ‘eleven known street beggars and rough sleepers were regularly causing a nuisance’, but there are now no rough sleepers or beggars in the town centre. OK, so a small group of destitute people have been kicked out of the town centre – so like the homeless folk in Wrexham they’ll now be dossing down somewhere on the outskirts of the town – but the gangsters dealing in drugs are still maiming and murdering each other and terrifying the residents of Rhyl.

Second prize went to the Youth Engagement project in Caernarfon. Following an increase in criminal damage, arson and physical assaults, the police held a meeting with the Army based in the town and activities were provided for youths. Stephen Gallagher, the dishonest and aggressive nurse at Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E who sends patients off into the night without treatment to their deaths, is a leading light in the Territorial Army. He lives – or did live – in Caernarfon.

Other finalists included the modern slavery project in Llandudno. Prestwood People Trafficking Ltd was based in Llandudno. When the trafficked mental health patients ran away they were returned by the police with no questions asked about how they had sustained serious injuries. Another finalist was Wrexham ‘Burning Your Future’ campaign – goodness knows what that was all about, but like the prize winning Rhyl, Wrexham is a town dogged by destitute people and people using and dealing in drugs.

Chief Constable Polin commented that ‘a huge amount of fantastic work’ was going on which was ‘really making a difference in keeping communities safe’.

CAIS and Dafydd continue to receive millions from the Welsh Gov’t for providing ‘services’ for substance abuses, people with alcohol problems and the homeless.

The Mail Online today reports that the CQC have finally admitted to the dire state of the nation’s care homes and that they are ‘probing four failures every day’. Which they should have been doing years ago rather than ignoring reports of serious neglect and standing back whilst elderly people died.

BBC News Wales tells us that Sarah Rochira, the Older Persons Commissioner, believes that data regarding the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication in care homes should be collected to monitor inappropriate prescribing. Sarah refers to the ‘range of evidence published in recent years’ suggesting that elderly people with dementia are being dosed up. The Alzheimers Society told the Assembly’s Health Committee Inquiry that the Welsh Gov’t should start audits of anti-psychotic prescriptions in care homes to patients with dementia.

I don’t know why it has taken Sarah et al so long to wake up to this. Everybody has known for decades that this was going on – GPs across the UK obediently dosed elderly people up when they knew perfectly well that they weren’t psychotic on the grounds of ‘ooh it’ll calm her down’, their fellow GPs watched this silently even if they didn’t do it themselves, health visitors went in and out of those homes and witnessed large numbers of people dosed up, when elderly people were admitted to hospital from those homes their ‘medication’ list accompanied them with ‘melleril’ written upon it, when they were discharged from hospital back into the care home more melleril accompanied them, it really was not a world secret. This was so well-known that back in the 80s when Fay Weldon wrote her book ‘The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil’ she included in the plot an appalling home for the elderly in which they were all dosed up and a visiting GP knew that none of them should have been prescribed the drugs but took the view that the home was so bad that the elderly were probably best off dosed up into a comatose state so that they remained unaware of their surroundings.

It was reported by BBC News Wales that the paediatric service in Hywel Dda Health Board is ‘close to collapse’. Evidence suggests that it has collapsed. It was revealed that mid and west Wales NHS is unable to recruit paediatricians. An advert for consultant paediatricians at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth last year attracted no applicants and Withybush Hospital and Glangwili Hospital Carmarthen are currently advertising for six full-time paediatric consultants with little success. The paediatric care unit at Withybush reduced its opening hours last year due to a staff shortage.

A Dr Vas Falco who was a consultant paediatrician in Pembrokeshire for 22 years who retired early told the BBC that he ‘stood with thousands of people to keep the special care baby unit, obstetrics and 24 hour paediatric care at Withybush’ but that their fight was ‘unsuccessful’. Which was just as well because there weren’t any doctors to staff any of those services so it would be highly irresponsible to have retained them – but no-one admitted that to the angry crowd who were encouraged by Top Doctors and local politicians to gather outside the Senedd and wave placards.

Dr Falco commented that the job has become more ‘manager driven’ and that ‘in the past everyone at a senior level would contribute and take responsibility’ but later ‘decisions were made more by single people and small groups rather than the whole spectrum of senior doctors’.

I would never seek to defend the current cadre of NHS managers and I have every sympathy for the Top Doctors who do know what they are doing and try to do the best for their patients when they are issued with foolish diktats from the likes of Martin Jones. However, Dr Falco is ignoring a key point. That is, in regions with poor quality medical services, cartels of Top Doctors operated together to conceal rogue practitioners and unsafe services – everyone at senior level did indeed ‘contribute’ but no-one at all ‘took responsibility’.

Thus I had scores of Top Doctors expressing outrage at my complaints against Dafydd et al – they all agreed that I was ‘dangerous’, ‘deluded’ and ‘had to be stopped’. Particularly as I maintained that Dafydd was having sex with patients and breaking the law. Which he was. And the whole bloody lot of them knew it. Dafydd had even written medical records and made comments to other Top Doctors which made it quite clear what he was doing. This was the reality of Dr Falco’s ‘whole spectrum of senior doctors’ taking decisions. They were all in it together.

The mother of a little boy in need of paediatric services in west Wales, Miranda Trier, told the BBC that going to see her GP is ‘quicker’ than getting a response from the team at Withybush. Miranda is considering moving out of Wales ‘closer to decent health services’. It’s not just Wales Miranda – swathes of England have shite services too but no-one’s fessing up to it. Phil Kloer, the Executive Medical Director at Hywel Dda, stated that the ‘service’ is ‘stretched but improving’. That’s not what Miranda is saying – she commented that when her little boy was born the service was better than at present…

As with the care homes, this problem is not new – it’s been brewing away for years and as with the NHS in north Wales everyone remained in deep denial. Historically, west Wales children’s services had a problem with a paedophile gang. It was the children’s/mental health services in Pembrokeshire that in the 1980s ensured that two teenaged girls were banged up in Broadmoor for decades ostensibly because they refused to talk. When the dreadful Keith Thomson resigned from the North West Wales NHS Trust he lay low for a few months – and popped up again as a senior NHS manager in Pembrokeshire. Then when he was obliged to step down from that role, he remained as an ‘advisor’. Is anyone surprised that there has not been a happy ending? The Welsh NHS underwent a huge reorganisation some years ago and the new authorities were all given romantic names after figures from Welsh history but as the same old crooks were re-employed in the new bodies, things just got even worse.

The Daily Post reported that there has been a protest outside the offices of the Local Health Board about the lack of GPs in Wrexham. Another problem that has been a long time coming. But what did GPs in Wrexham do in the halcyon days before the crisis in Top Doctors morale and Eamonn Jessup and the BMA’s co-ordinated attempts to cause havoc? They ignored the paedophile ring that operated in the area. One boy who sustained anal injuries whilst living a children’s home was taken to a local GP who confirmed that he had ‘piles’. Other boys who turned up at GPs surgeries with broken bones and other injuries were sent back to places like Bryn Estyn with no questions asked, sometimes untreated. And GPs ‘referred’ complaining patients to Dafydd and sectioned patients in Denbigh knowing exactly what was going to happen to the patients there. When the GPs or relatives of the GPs themselves fell ill, they were not referred to Dafydd or Denbigh.

BBC News Wales has reported that a review by the Wales Governance Centre and Wales Public Services 2025 has stated that the Welsh NHS is gobbling up so much public funding that within four years there will be no money for other services such as leisure centres or libraries. Mark Drakeford the Finance Minister does not have a solution. When Mark Drakeford was Health Minister he was famous for saying that the way to resolve the problems in the NHS was to ‘sit around the table and talk to the unions’. Which he did. The BMA and RCN really loved old Drakeford – he rolled over every time that they threatened to scream and scream until they were sick. Now their ever hungry jaws are back for more dosh. If a top class NHS was in evidence, there would at least be a case for giving them so much, but instead most areas in Wales are fessing up to a crisis in every part of the NHS, scandals continue to emerge on a near daily basis and citizens have been protesting or beating a path to the doors of lawyers or the Ombudsman.

It wasn’t a good idea to let the Top Doctors tell you what to do Mark. You’ve no more money to give them now and they’re going to come after you…

All media outlets across the UK are running numerous reports about how shocking it is that universities and schools don’t know how to look after students/pupils with mental health problems and that the staff need ‘training’. Whilst I have seen a few examples of lecturers and teachers showing a startling degree of fuckwittedness when faced with students/pupils who have developed serious mental health problems, to be fair, many staff in such positions are very supportive. The problem is not with the universities and schools – the problem is with a psychiatric system that simply will not care for people who are in need of help, even when their illness is life-threatening.  University lecturers and teachers are not supposed to be running a mental health service, they are running research and teaching establishments. If they are now going to be told that it is their responsibility to look after people with mental health problems and indeed are going to be required to undertake ‘training’ in this, I suggest that the mental health services are shut down and the considerable resources that they are consuming are re-invested into universities and schools. By the way, your average lecturer or teacher is paid between 30 and 40 k once they’re fully qualified and have a few years of experience behind them. A psychiatrist in that position will be trousering about 70k. Even a really shite one. To hit the 90k basic or so that every consultant psychiatrist gets, one has to be a head of a sizeable school or a professor who’s considered pretty good in their field.

The mental health services are so dismally bad – indeed lethal – that I think an argument could certainly be made for taking the remit for caring for the mentally ill away from them. If it is to be given to other parts of society let’s stop paying mental health professionals to blame people for their own distress.

During the mental health debates I note that the plight of the seriously ill is still going unspoken – they’re dying on the streets, in prison or in secure units. There is much discussion about whether today’s students are simply ‘snowflakes’ or whether there is an epidemic of depression, loneliness and anxiety in society. Sir Anthony Seldon was wheeled out on the Today programme this morning to tell us all that people suffering from loneliness can gain great benefit from an animal because animals effect one’s spirits. I’m not sure why we needed Blair’s biographer/the former head of Wellington School/one of those involved with the New College of Humanities to tell us that elderly widows often have cats for company. But the Today programme also featured an equally odd interview with Martin Amis who told Justin Webb that Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to be PM because he achieved very poor A levels and made no effort to improve them. Justin Webb started laughing and said ‘shouldn’t we move on from that’, whereupon Amis responded ‘I will not move on from that’. Martin Amis is best known for being the son of the misogynistic old git Kingsley who always undermined Martin. When Martin was young he had sex with a great many famous women most of whom subsequently denounced him as a total bastard. What I think is truly shocking Martin is that your old dad for all his pompousing was a lecturer at Swansea and made no effort to improve. By the way I did quite well in my A levels. Should I stand for election?

If Jeremy’s dad had been a businessman I presume that Martin would refuse to speak to him on the grounds that they were in trade.

I’m glad to say that MIND Cymru haven’t missed out on the action. Their director Sara Moseley was featured on BBC News Wales saying that OCD jokes ‘stop patients getting help’ ‘because of the stigma’. Sara has called for GPs to ‘receive training in mental health’. Yes, really – obviously a medical degree including a stint in psychiatry isn’t enough. Like school teachers and university lecturers, GPs need Training. Perhaps MIND could provide it. Many years ago I attended Training Provided By MIND and what a fucking joke it was. It consisted mostly of an ‘ice breaker’, then ‘role play’, during which the ‘trainer’ – someone with an MA in Wimmin’s Studies – yelled out ‘wow that’s BRILLIANT’ every five minutes. In fact it was so bad that I don’t want to think about it.

Interestingly enough, the BBC online feature on OCD inspired by Sara stated categorically that ‘OCD is genetic’. REALLY???? Since when was that demonstrated beyond all doubt? The BBC helpfully provided a little diagram of what they imagine a strand of DNA looks like. It didn’t come up to Crick and Watson’s original model, but who cares, nothing else about the article was accurate.

A psychology lecturer from Cardiff University helpfully told us that ‘our emphasis is on understanding the brain and the more we understand the networks in the brain that give rise to these thoughts, the more chances we have of developing the cure perhaps’.

‘Perhaps’ being the salient word among all this talk of training and genes and networks.

The main reason why so many people suffer with OCD is that it is very difficult to get access to treatment – although good old CBT is highly effective for OCD. Help for OCD on the NHS is pretty much non-existent in north Wales. I knew someone whose OCD – combined with agoraphobia – was so severe that she had been confined to one room in her house for more than a year. Her daughters had made contact with the GP who then referred her to the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. They sent her an appointment to come and see them in Bangor. She rang and explained that she hadn’t left her room for more than a year, let alone left the house. She was told that if she couldn’t get on a bus and go to Bangor they couldn’t help her. She stayed in her room and her family secured the help of someone who knew how to treat OCD and went out to see this lady, who then made a slow but complete recovery.

Sara Moseley’s brother Simon works as a clinical psychologist for the NHS in north Wales. He is a colleague of those who refused to help the lady with OCD because she was unable to leave her room. I have been told that Sara is a personal friend of a member of the Betsi Board – which employs the staff of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team.


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…

17 thoughts on “News Round-Up, 21 September 2017”

  1. Benefits of Mental Health Officer (MHO) Status- applies to certain groups of staff who were members of the NHS Pension scheme prior to 1st April 1995 subject to conditions specified in regulations. The status affords them an earlier Normal Pension Age (NPA) of 55 rather than the age 60 NPA for other members.
    Each year or part year after completion of 20 years membership as an MHO is counted at twice its length. This is referred to as doubling.
    A member can retire on age grounds at any time after reaching age 55, providing he/she has 20 years or more MHO calendar service and is in pensionable employment as an MHO immediately before retiring.
    It should be noted that any increased MHO entitlements eg: doubled service years, retiral at age 55 will not incur additional contribution costs to either the employee or the employer.

    Definition: MHO- an officer employed whole time on the medical or nursing staff, (including nurse managers as above) of a hospital used wholly or partly for the treatment of people suffering from mental disorder, who devotes all, or almost all, of their time to the treatment or care of people suffering from mental disorder.

      1. I believe the dreadful duo of Simon Pyke and Adrian Jones at Betsi retired when they went into special measures under this entilement. I’m still waiting for replies to emails and letters from 2o11 and 2o12 sent to them ?????
        I’m sceptical to the extent and colaboration of senior North Wales medical professional but an on going court case adds credence to this:

        1. Mike – Yes I think that you’re right about the awful Simon and Adrian – and I bet that they haven’t really ‘retired’ either, they’ll have bagged a pension and knowing those two will now be set up in some arsey ‘consultancy’ somewhere advising on ‘service user empowerment’ or ‘inclusion’ no doubt.

          Thanks for this link. Well I’d missed this case and the dear old Betsi have certainly kept it quiet – one of their psychiatrists from the Heddfan Unit caught by a police paedophile trap. I’m tempted to ask ‘can it get any worse’, but we have been to similar places before in north Wales psychiatry. I’m gobsmacked to note that his lawyer is maintaining that his attempting to have sex with a 13 yr old is no reflection on his suitability to practice psychiatry…

          I’ve had to edit your comment Mike – you referred to a case that I’m not allowed to mention since I was served with a Court Order by a judge a few weeks ago, that’s why you can’t find any reference to the sentence online. There are still reporting restrictions in place, everybody was ordered to remove all information relating to the case from the internet. One of the victims of the crime and his family wanted to provide an interview for my blog but no-one is allowed to say anything about it, even though the person involved was found guilty!

          1. Sally your guilty of the same behaviour your accusing others of how dare you censor my post ….lol …….Why can’t we silence libellous medical records ??……..Gagging orders and internet censorship, isn’t this what President Erdogan of Turkey is being criticised in the EU for ??? but you have answered my enquiry and I’ve concluded that if your what possible chance do those employed and in bedded in the system have to voice mere concerns …none what so ever !!
            The settlements offered in the Ian Patterson case and the long connecting threads of the Savile exposure show the domino effect, which explains it all to me.


            Sometimes the consequences of a systemic failure out way the suffering of individuals. In his autobiography of Hitler Neil Kershaw says the reason for his rise from a fringe extremist party leader with 3% support, was the effect of the Depression completely destroying democracy in Germany. This was strained it in the UK, USA rocked in France and completely undermined by a military junta in Japan.

            I wonder if the outcome of this latest case will be subject to a media gagging order?

            Unlike a politician medical professionals are trained cultured employed and in beded in public service.
            No system is perfect but extreme dogma leads to the envitable blackmail, avoidance and cover up.
            Child abuse, sexism racism, domestic abuse are the present taboos. In the 1950’s it was the nuclear cold war, homosexuality, sexual morality etc In the early 40’s late 30’s fascism, depression was the focus. In the 1920’s Bolshevism, arms limitation and WW1 etc etc
            As you have continually pointed out the Medical regulation system is not fit for purpose.
            Imagine the damage this man could have inflicted once he became a consultant ????? However it may have been a solitary intoxicated perverted sexual indiscretion?

            However one thing is certain a culture of hubristic, unquestionable power and invincibility over the most vulnerable would have lead to any dark kink manifesting its self in a far worse manner in the distant future.
            Thanks for letting me know this is frightenly perplexing. It will be interesting to see the out come of the Conifer investigation into Ted Health.


          2. Believe me, I really am not happily censoring your comment, but I was told that if I broke the judge’s order my blog would be taken offline. A number of other people have written to me about the same case and I haven’t been able to put their comments up either. The victims of the crimes can’t publish anything about what happened to them, they are seething.

          3. I don’t think I can even reveal that Lydia – I had an e mail exchange with the Court and I was firmly told that I could say absolutely nothing about the case at all. The victims of the offender are also not allowed to publish anything about any of it, although they allege jury nobbling went on. It is disgusting, someone was found guilty of a number of serious offences that they committed during the course of their work and no journalists or bloggers can mention anything. The judge threatened to take my blog offline if I wrote anything that led to the case being identified.

    1. I think that they’ve stopped this scheme now haven’t they – the last wave of psyche nurses who are permitted to retire at 55 are retiring at the moment.

      As far as I could see, this scheme was just another way in which the idea of people with mental health problems being so much more difficult and stressful to deal with than other patients was promoted – ‘ooh we’re burnt out at 55’. The reality was that they were far from burnt out – many of them ‘retired’, claimed their pension and then took another job. There is at least one nurse from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh who ‘retired’ at 55 who works flexi-shifts on the bank for Wrexham Maelor. He just works when he feels like it – because he has a place in Florida Keys and he likes to spend extended lengths of time over there. I knew another nurse from Denbigh who retired at 55 who also carried on working shifts when and where he fancies – he has a yacht that he keeps off Anglesey and spends time sailing.

      Stressed out psychiatric nurses being assaulted by patients and having to go to food banks??? I’ve yet to meet one – a Guardian columnists fantasy I think…

      Many, many decades ago, in the early days of the asylums, pre-anti-psychotics, pre-just about anything such as paraldehyde, looking after seriously mentally ill people was no doubt exhausting and one could well have got thumped – but in those patients were tied up anyway. Having spent years observing interactions between psyche nurses and patients, even very ill ones, I definitely conclude that what nurses do have to put up with is being shouted and sworn at a lot. Doors are slammed, tables and chairs are pushed about in anger and occasionally a cup of tea goes flying, usually over a wall rather than a person. But that really is usually the extent of it. I have HEARD at first hand of two incidents in which female patients belted female nurses. But that has been the extent of it – over thirty years. What I have witnessed – and experienced myself – is staff assaulting patients, sometimes leaving injuries and in the case of female patients using it as a vehicle for sexual assault. I have heard many other patients tell me that they too have witnessed or experienced this. I have also witnessed, continuously, staff being every bit as rude to patients as patients are to them – sometimes to patients who are polite and well-mannered. Some staff routinely conduct themselves like this.

      It is patients who are more likely to be abused by staff in psychiatry. Absolutely no-one needs to retire at 55 because they just can’t cope with those nutters anymore. Mental health professionals themselves are robustly promoting the myth of the mad, difficult psychiatric patient for their own ends. It is not true and is the source of much of the ‘stigma’ that psychiatry claims to be fighting.

  2. I know you are not happy about it my comments were tougue in cheek but illustrate the conundrum whistle blowers face. It is dangerous to blindly follow a particular belief because it suits your personal feelings but we are all instinctively guilty of it and default to the herd.
    It has recently been shown that the left wing anti Brexit lobby latched on to and highlighted the death of a Polish immigrant as an example of increased race hatred culminating with the BBC alleging Nigel Farage was ultimately responsible…..The truth is very different with the deceased man actually using racial abuse prior to his attack.

    Sorry to use the “Sun” but the internet is full of old Guardian reports using it for there justification of post Brexit race hate surge.
    Numerous cases are now appearing of false allegations of rape against totally innocence but named and shamed men while their accusers hide behind legal anonymity. The death toll of the Grenfield disaster has been reduced because of bogus claims yet there have been catastrophic administrative failure that has caused innocence deaths. Two wrongs never made a right !!!!!!!!!!!

    The flip side is the removal of Uber’s licence to practice by TfL the Daily Mail and other right wing business elements of the government are condemning Sadiq Khan who has consistently shown a pragmatic left of centre view on the extremism engulfing JC’s Labour. The truth can be found in the multitude of international concerns that continually question Uber’s ruthless pursuit of a monopoly. They simply haven’t adhered to the TfL criteria, all other taxi providers have too.

    Extremist witch hunts placate the herd but turn the innocent victims into counter extremists. The victor writes history …believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see because the reality is in the grey coloured zone.

    1. I didn’t have any option but to edit your comments Mike, although I did realise that they were tongue in cheek – the e mail that I received from the judge prevents me from publishing any comments whatever about the case that we’re talking about. I can’t publish a bloody thing – even your ironic comments about it – or my blog will be taken offline.

      I used to be an admirer of Sadiq Khan because when he was still a lawyer, it was Sadiq who took on the case of Rocky Bennett, the psychiatric patient who was murdered by the Angels who were ‘looking after him’. That was quite a few years ago now – but has Sadiq ever done anything similar since? No. You don’t hear a word, although he knows damn well that happens to mental health patients. Has he been leant on? Or is he yet another hypocritical politician? But the Rocky’s death was only ever investigated because his sister was a doctor and asked questions. Brown commented the other day that it would be interesting to see what has happened to her career since – I bet that there’s been an attempt to bring her down…

      I think it is important for rape victims to remain anonymous – some women will be OK about being named, but someone subjected to that sort of assault may want privacy and should be afforded it. I do think that there may well be an argument for the accused remaining anonymous as well – indeed I think that there’s an argument for ALL accused people remaining anonymous unless convicted. The dear old NHS had a great time dragging my name through the mud when I appeared in the press after they made ludicrous allegations against me, but that was the whole point – she’s challenged us, we’ll smear her…

  3. That’s my point anonymity when accused but not when guilty. A Turkish friend told me he finds it incredible the way President Erdogan is portrayed in the media here and commented that there have been significant improvements in Turkish heathcare under his leadership which contrasts with the dismal view most people have of the NHS. Even those employed by the NHS privately express indignation at their incompetent management!
    In fact everyone from first world nations I have had views from express how bureaucratically incompetent the NHS and GP services are compared to their own country.
    Unless you know better or have been subject to a complaints vendetta you succumb to there propaganda media bulletins ie like a mushroom kept in the dark and fed on shit !!!

    1. People from the dear old UK continue to delude themselves that our NHS ‘is the envy of the world’. It may have been at one time but it certainly isn’t now. This is the line constantly fed to the mushrooms by the BMA and the Guardian – it is not true. I know of a number of people from the former eastern bloc countries who were so appalled at what they witnessed in the UK NHS that they flew back to eastern Europe for treatment. I fume when I read propaganda that such folk are ‘taking advantage’ of our NHS – they bloody well are not, even when they are legally entitled to use it. Your use of the phrase ‘first world countries’ is spot on – the UK NHS is now lagging a long way behind. If you’re from Nigeria and you have no money the NHS is pretty good compared to what you’d get back home, but not if you’re from most European countries. You are also right to say that people working in the NHS themselves admit that its dangerous and in chaos – but that’s not what they say in public or to the patients. Increasingly they also do not use the NHS themselves – or if they do, they tap the knowledge of their colleagues as to which practitioners to consult so as to avoid the dangerous idiots. This has always been done, but it’s being done to a far greater extent today.

      No-one is benefiting from the lie being propagated that the NHS is the envy of the world and only gets it wrong occasionally. Blair’s widening participation HE policy has backfired big time – he told hordes of working class families that their children would all ‘earn higher salaries’ if they went to university, any university any subject. It was not true, a lot of people got very angry and there is now much snobbery regarding ‘hopeless universities’ and ‘mickey mouse degrees’. Support for HE is now falling and the sector is imploding. The problems in the universities that are now being discussed openly have been evident since the early 2000s – it is probably too late to remedy them now. Likewise the reason why so many people are now prepared to entertain Jeremy Hunt’s ideas for privatising the NHS is that so many people have had such bad experiences within it, so they buy the idea that private care will be a solution. It won’t be, because the medical establishment call the shots in the private sector as well and rip off their patients there too, but people who’ve been nearly killed by the NHS don’t know that.

      I am so fed up with hearing Jeremy Corbyn and his front bench team lapping up the propaganda of the Top Doctors et al and appearing in the media demanding billions more. I LIKE Jeremy, I think he’s great, but God he’s wrong on this one. He needs to be brave enough to talk about what is actually happening to patients in the NHS – oh and tell the truth about the salaries that Top Doctors, senior managers and even the more senior Angels are earning. Top doctors and managers are pulling in very big salaries indeed, frequently in excess of the Prime Minister. And angels DO NOT use to ‘use food banks’ – it is a real whopper. Newly qualified Angels start on salaries somewhere about mid £20,000, Angels in charge of the ward will be pulling in nearly £40,000 and a good number of the despised senior managers on huge salaries are promoted Angels! It is healthcare assistants, cleaners, canteen staff and porters who are paid so badly that they might be in need of a food bank. You never heard a word about that.

      What sort of socialists demand more money for ‘professionals’ who are earning more than the PM, some of whom are also running lucrative private practices? Er – the sort of socialist that Andy ‘I’m from the north me’ Burnham was when he spent years concealing that thousands of patients had died in mid-Staffs?

      The one good thing is that John McDonnell has declared war on PFI contracts. Well done John, go for it, PFI was a complete con which cost the taxpayer a bomb. Now can John blow all the stupid buggers who supported PFIs out of the Labour Party?

      1. For example Melanie Walker who has flitted around several hospitals in management positions, mostly only lasting a few years before moving on – lastly from St Georges to North Devon currently earns just over £155,000p.a. Much to the disgust of local people. John Humphreys of the BBC defended his outrageous salary also paid by tax payers by saying he never asks for pay rises – he is just given it. As you have pointed out there is a real stink in the UK

        1. I’ve named a number of managers on this blog who have presided over terrible scandals and failures who have then moved on to an even fatter salary in another part of the country – it is not the exception, this is how serious disaster is routinely dealt with in the NHS, in the same way that in a previous generation the Church of England’s way of dealing with a child molesting vicar was to move them to a rural parish many miles away where nobody knew of their past. Where they usually molested children all over again. I don’t know Melanie Walker, but scores of people from St Georges have done really well for themselves – of course they have, it was a corruption hotspot, they’re keeping silent about wrongdoing involving those in high society, they’ll be very well rewarded indeed.

          Yes, people have had an absolute bellyful Lydia – but some of the worst offenders are now simply pretending to be Of The People themselves. In the way that dear old Springfield Hospital – the mental health unit attached to St Georges – claimed to be pioneering ‘service user involvement’ whilst patients were abused by the staff, left to kill themselves and were even murdered by other patients (a member of staff was killed as well) and the clinical director Rachel Perkins then transformed herself into a ‘service user expert’ and is now on the EHRC, the worst Top Doctors and their spoilt, corrupt associates are now busily retweeting articles from the Guardian or other tweets to show their radical credentials. I have just had a good laugh at Professor Catherine Robinson’s retweeting of a Top Doctors insistence that ‘service user consultants’ must be paid, as well as the ‘professionals’. This is the same Catherine Robinson whose own brand of ‘service user involvement’ consisted of referring to the ‘service users’ who helped her as ‘and others’ on the outputs – she didn’t even cite their names; the same Catherine Robinson who retweeted her support for ‘CANIAD’, the totally discredited ‘service users’ arm of CAIS, the charity run by Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles friends – which does not pay the ‘service users’ for their input!; the same Catherine Robinson who pumped me for info regarding how much I knew about the Top Doctors wrongdoing and what I intended to do with the info and then warned the Top Doctors! The Catherine Robinson who did her first degree in psychology at Bangor University whilst that dept was under the influence of Dafydd and the paedophiles and whilst the Principal of Bangor was the paedophiles friend Top Doctor Sir Charles Evans; the Catherine Robinson who then worked at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and witnessed the shocking abuses out there – whilst Dafydd was in charge of that hospital of course; the same Catherine Robinson who then did her PhD in the psychology dept with dear old Dafydd’s daughter who should never have been given the place there because her degree was very poor, but Dafydd did a fiddle. The same Catherine Robinson who yelled and shouted at me when I maintained that paedophiles were rather sad people who did deserve therapy. I think that poor old Robinson is a bit confused about sex offenders – she built her career by toadying to Dafydd and his acolytes and then remained silent about their wrongdoing, yet she behaves like Mary Whitehouse if one tries to have a rational discussion about preventing sex offenders from doing more damage. I’ve got news for Robinson – not only is her thinking years behind the rest of us as ever, but my blog has a far bigger readership than her twitter feed… I look forward to her retweeting a column of Polly Toynbee’s to show how right-on she is…

          PS Catherine – you were always very keen to find out what Brown and me were up to because you knew that we were sharper than you – if you want to know where the best source of info for the ‘service users perspective’ is, it is currently probably John Pring’s website the Disability News Service. Get reading, you might actually learn something about real disability activism. John Pring exposed a care scandal before he set up that website, so if you try to get yourself introduced to him as is your habit, I’d keep it quiet that you colluded with Dafydd and his ilk.

  4. A quick comment on your piece on Craig Brown’s book about Princess Margaret, ‘PM’. My father, a very busy cardiologist at the Brompton, was working on a very full day list when, at about 11am, the director arrived and told him to break off and see a VIP. My father was furious but reluctantly agreed. He then met the PM, with her entourage, in a private area. She was smoking, and treated everyone with contempt. My father examined her and told to stop smoking immediately, and take exercise in increasing amounts. She refused, with a sneer: whereupon my father, again furious at having his time wasted, replied “The psychiatric unit is in the basement,” and left. The director was aghast, and apparently the PM held a grudge against the Brompton that lasted for years. My father, who had been through WW2, and Bergen-Belsen, etc, didn’t care less. His patients included most Middle Eastern top royalty, most VIPs of the 1960s-1980s, and various of the Queen’s personal favourites, eg poet John Betjeman. He did, however, refuse to become a royal physician as it entailed – believe it or not – going to Buck House once a month, sitting there all day, doing nothing or reading the back copies of ‘Country Life’. Those that did royal physicians often did get knighthoods. My father didn’t – not that he cared. Things got worse with the palace when many of the Middle Eastern royals would first visit their house near Harley St for consultations before they’d been to the palace. The royal equerries said this was against protocol. My father told them to get stuffed.

    1. This is very interesting Marcus, many thanks.

      I heard many accounts of Princess Margaret behaving atrociously – Princess Anne was also alleged to regularly insult people at horsing events.

      My ears pricked up when you mentioned the Brompton. I know of several unexplained/suspicious deaths of people in dangerous hospitals whose bodies/organs were sent to the Brompton and the Brompton were honest enough not to collude and stated that there was no explanation for their death. The dangerous hospitals kept the Brompton’s conclusions quiet.

      One such death was that of Prof Duncan Tanner, an historian whom I was working with at Bangor University. Duncan died during a non-risky routine procedure at Ysbyty Gwynedd at the age of 51. He should never have died and the Brompton found no reason as to why he died in the ‘care’ of that lethal hospital.

      Duncan knew what was happening to me at the hands of the paedophiles’ friends, he knew what Fergus Lowe was up to and furthermore Duncan was a Welsh Labour historian. He knew about Ron Davies’s activities, he knew what Kinnock was keeping quiet about and Duncan knew a great deal more besides…

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