News Round Up, February 15 2018

There has been so much action in Wales over the past few days that I am going to just focus on that in this round up with the exception of one big English story, rather than the madness prevailing in the rest of the UK/world as well.

It’s business as usual in north Wales, with drug busts across the region, a human foot being washed up at Felinheli and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board about to fall of the edge of a cliff. The Daily Post Online also ran a story under the intriguing headline ‘Chest of Drawers Causes Havoc On A55’, but I haven’t had time to catch up with that.

The foot – still in a boot no less – was washed up at Felinheli a few days ago. The Post Online quoted a detective who stated that the foot was believed to have belonged to a man and that DNA tests are now being conducted in an attempt to identify which man precisely. The Post also reported that a body that was washed up at Trearddur Bay last November has now been identified – it was of a man from Dublin. It has been stated that the death wasn’t suspicious.

Things are falling apart at the flagship titan prison at Wrexham which so many of Wales’s politicians begged for. As well as the thriving trade in illegal drugs which seems to have existed from the day that HMP Berwyn opened its doors and indeed locked them again behind the first inmates, there has now been a dirty protest and a roof top siege. Which is quite impressive for a prison so new and one that was going to revive the Welsh economy.

The big news as ever is the NHS in Wales. A few days ago it was reported that Angels are now leaving the Betsi at a faster rate than they are being recruited. This is what happens when asinine excuses including violent mental health patients, salaries so low that Angels have to use foodbanks and schools that dare teach Welsh are trotted out to explain recruitment problems, rather than an acknowledgement that the region’s health and social care services are being run by the remains of a vicious paedophile gang and no sane person can bear to work with them. It might have escaped the attention of Peter Higson (the Chair of the Betsi), but one of the best and bravest nurses that he ever employed has been sacked by him and now struck off by the NMC for having sex with her own husband, after she blew the whistle on the serious abuse of elderly mental health patients at Tawel Fan ward in the Ablett Unit, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

The families of the patients who were abused in Tawel Fan are now seriously angry after they were told by Peter Higson and Gary Doherty (the Chief Exec) on Monday that both of the pending reports into the Tawel Fan scandal have now been delayed. Donna Ockenden – who has already compiled one utterly damning report about Tawel Fan (see posts ‘The Tawel Fan Scandal’ and ‘News Update Re Tawel Fan Scandal – Jan 17th 2017’) – has now reviewed the cases of more than 100 patients but she has been ill and will be unable to deliver her second report as planned on March 8th. The other report due from HASCAS (Health and Social Care Advisory Service) – they have also already produced one report – has been delayed as well. HASCAS are ‘looking at the impact on individual patients’. I’m not sure that anyone needs HASCAS to do that – the impact was obvious. One patient had an untreated fractured arm, others were crawling around naked on the floor which was covered in urine and faeces, they had all been drugged up to the eye-balls with anti-psychotics and the Angels were swearing at and threatening them. One patient had been barricaded into his bed with furniture.

Darren Millar, the AM for Clwyd West, has once more spoken out about Tawel Fan in the face of the rest of his colleagues remaining silent. Darren has not been reluctant to point out that it is scandalous that some NHS staff suspended after the Tawel Fan scandal have now been suspended on full pay for three and a half years – Tawel Fan was closed down in Dec 2013 – and that others were simply moved into new jobs within the Health Board. Darren commented that none of them have faced any action. He could have added that the only person who did face action was the nurse who blew the whistle – she’s been sacked and struck off by a kangaroo court who found her guilty of having sex with her own husband.

Rather worryingly the Post reported a few hours ago that a naked man running through Coronation Gardens in Rhyl was apprehended by 10 police officers and taken to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – where he will probably have been admitted to one of the mental health wards at the Ablett Unit and be treated about as competently as the Tawel Fan patients were.

Hannah Turtle’s trial for murdering her baby continues – Hannah is a mental health patient from north Wales and no doubt if the truth were known there will have been a long history of gross incompetence and serious neglect on the part of the mental health services before Hannah killed her baby.

Today there was a debate in the Senedd on mental health. Conservative AM David Melding spoke about his panic attacks and Vaughan Gething the Health Minister praised Mr Melding’s ‘bravery for sharing his experiences’. This is the Vaughan who ignored pleas from me re the abuse that was dished out by the mental health services in my direction, failed to respond when Karen Hughes – who was raising concerns of illegal conduct, workplace bullying and neglect of patients so severe that a death resulted – contacted him concerning Flintshire MIND and has no doubt ignored correspondence from other people supplying Vaughan with first hand accounts of the brutality and inhumanity which is now so prevalent in the mental health services. The Vaughan who gave Mark Isherwood and Darren Millar a bollocking a few weeks ago as they begged him to address the deaths and chaos happening at the Betsi on the grounds that they were ‘talking down the NHS’.

BBC News Wales reported that the Senedd passed a motion expressing regret ‘that some people with mental health conditions face injustices and challenges when accessing services’. When I read the wording of that motion, I presumed that it could only have been written by Jane Hutt/Mark Drakeford/Julie Morgan/Lesley Griffiths, but I note that the Conservative AMs tabled the motion. I presume therefore that they had taken advice from the aforementioned people when they decided on phrasing it. ‘Injustice and challenges’ does not really describe thugs of male Angels screaming at you to get out or they’ll have you arrested/kicking the chairs next to you with jackboots whilst accusing you of impersonating a GP/perjuring themselves in an attempt to have you imprisoned or an on call GP claiming that they’re busy with other patients when they have seen two patients for five minutes each in the last three hours whilst you have been waiting/telling you that they are waiting for a room to become vacant when there are two vacant rooms across the hall available to them which have been vacant since you arrived. However at least I have managed to survive the injustices and challenges – some years ago one man who encountered injustices and challenges from both the Hergest Unit and Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E when trying to access services was found dead in the Cathedral Gardens a few hours later (see post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’).

Vaughan mentioned that the Welsh Gov’t have dedicated nearly £650 million to mental health services in the next financial year. Vaughan, do the nation’s public purse a favour and save your money. Don’t give the mental health services anything – at present the ‘services’ are abusive and damaging and less harm would be done if they were simply not there. Furthermore if they weren’t there, no-one would waste their time and energy trying to access ‘services’ only to be faced with quite mad Angels, Top Doctors and social workers hurling abuse at them, accusing them of malingering, occasionally assaulting them and then trying to fit them up in court when a complaint is made. You can save on the CCTV as well, because when the Ysbyty Gwynedd CCTV filmed the A&E Angels threatening and harassing me, Martin Jones the Chief Exec of the NW Wales NHS Trust destroyed the footage, so there seems to be little point in spending all that money on CCTV. Or indeed on Martin Jones – particularly in his present role of ‘Director of External Investigations, NHS Wales’ (see post ‘A Major Coup – Or A Complete Disaster?’).

The BBC also reported that the use of a new single number to access the NHS – 111 – has now been trialled in the area served by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board. This service is due to be extended across the whole of Wales over the next three years, although a warning has been given that this is not a ‘golden bullet’ to solve ‘NHS pressures’. It won’t be a golden bullet to solve anything unless someone takes rather greater care in selecting and supervising those who answer the calls – if the phone is repeatedly slammed down on patients asking for help (or if ‘professionals’ flatly refuse to attend even when the phone is not repeatedly slammed down), if Angels answer the phone by screeching ‘oo is it?’ when someone rings or tell callers that ‘we’re not allowed to speak to you’, the new number is not going to be any better than the old one. It wasn’t the number itself that was the problem, it was the responses that people were being met with when they rang the number. When Ffion Wyn Roberts from Porthmadog rang 999 in 2010 and told them that someone had got into her house and that she was frightened, only to be told by the ‘trained call handler’ to ring back ‘when you’re not drunk’ and was then murdered by the intruder, the outcome would not have been any different if the number had not been 999. The outcome would have only been different if there hadn’t have been a monster handling the call. That particular monster was not dismissed – in fact I don’t think that they were even disciplined – so they could well still be answering a 999 call near you. Or indeed a 111 call.

 

The noxious private company Kingdom which has caused chaos in the Conwy area after fining numerous people large amounts of money for trivial acts of civil disobedience has had its contract terminated by Gwynedd County Council after a matter of days – although I think someone needs to ask why Gwynedd County Council ever issued them with a contract for anything in the first place.

Elfed Wyn Jones, an international politics student at Aberystwyth University is undertaking a fast as part of his campaign for more Welsh language programming on TV. I presume that Elfed Wyn has taken a leaf out of Gwynfor Evans’s book – Gwynfor was the Plaid MP for Carmarthen, 1966-70 and then again 1974-79, who began a hunger strike and famously stated his intentions to fast until he died if Thatcher’s Gov’t did not keep their election promise to establish a fourth Welsh language TV channel, after Thatcher decided that this was an election commitment that could be forgotten about once she had been elected. The official story is that the prospect of Gwynfor – a pacifist who always sought to achieve his ends by non-violent means – starving himself to death was so terrible that Cledwyn Hughes visited Willie Whitelaw, the Home Secretary, in London and was able to persuade Willie to agree to establishing S4C and thus Gwynfor called his hunger strike off. The harsh reality is that Cledwyn, the Archbishop of Wales Gwilym Williams and Sir Goronwy Daniel, the Principal of Aberystwyth University, reminded Whitelaw of the paedophile gang in operation in north Wales of which Thatcher’s friend the Tory MP for Chester Sir Peter Morrison was a member (see post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’). The paedophile gang that Whitelaw, as well as many of his colleagues, had ignored and then concealed. Willie et al decided that S4C would be a small price to pay and the paedophile gang continued their business unhindered. Gwynfor may have been a pacifist, but he will have known about the organised abuse of children himself – there was a gang at work in west Wales on his patch with links to the gang in north Wales. Furthermore, Ioan Bowen Rees acted as an advisor to Gwynfor – Ioan Bowen Rees was the Chief Executive of Gwynedd County Council whilst the paedophile gang in north Wales abused children in homes run by Gwynedd Social Services. Before he became Chief Exec of Gwynedd, Bowen Rees was County Secretary of Dyfed County Council – whilst a paedophile ring was active in Dyfed (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing’).

So unless Elfed Wyn has info about another paedophile gang – one that Theresa May doesn’t know about, as opposed to the one that was facilitated by St George’s Hospital Medical School and included their Professor of Paediatrics Oliver Brooke which Theresa did know about when she was a Councillor for the London Borough of Merton (which covered an area served by St George’s) between 1986-94 – Elfed Wyn will be fasting in vain.

I am currently reading Gareth Price’s book about the history of BBC Wales, which is a mine of information about the people involved in launching S4C as well as in a lot of other things – I will be blogging about it soon.

 

Carl Sargeant’s son Jack has just been elected as AM for the seat of Alyn and Deeside that Carl held until his death.

 

Lastly, the leading news story in the London-based media today  is the conviction of Berry Bennell for more than 40 sexual offences against minors whilst he worked as a football coach. I’ve been so busy researching for some forthcoming posts that I haven’t been following the Bennell story, but I did notice that he abused youngsters at Manchester City and committed other offences in Cheshire. I have received an e mail from someone telling me that Channel 4 news mentioned that the Bennell story had a Welsh connection. I did wonder if it might have. The paedophile gang facilitated by Dafydd and the mental health services in north Wales operated in Cheshire as well and the delightful Keith Fearns, former team leader of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – who was always ready to give a kicking to anyone who had spilt the pints of the paedophile gang – was involved with football in Manchester many years ago. Since he has been in north Wales, Fearns has of course become notorious for managing his ‘ladies football team’, whom he takes on unlikely trips to Eastern Europe. Then there is Martin Jones who for some years has been coaching children’s football. I have no idea exactly what Fearns’s and Martin’s motives are, but I really don’t think that these two are simply participating in football with young people out of the goodness of their hearts.

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…

One thought on “News Round Up, February 15 2018”

  1. The Guardian’s report on Barry Bennell mentions that as well as his offending in Manchester and Cheshire, he also targeted boys at the Butlins holiday camp in Pwllheli.

    The Butlins at Pwllheli was famous in north Wales for all the wrong reasons – just like the Butlins at Minehead in Somerset was. I used to share a house with a man who grew up on the Llyn Peninsula and one day we were watching Tarby on TV – Tarby was on stage at the Royal Variety Performance or something dreadful and joking about his days working as a red coat at the Butlins in Pwllheli. He was telling very patronising anecdotes – which were very obviously made up by Tarby – about the ‘little Welsh girls’ with whom he worked at Butlins. When he imitated the little Welsh girls, Tarby put on a south Wales accent. I commented on this and the man who used to live down there remarked ‘no local girls would have gone near that place anyway’. They preferred to avoid the fist fights, the out of control sex, the excessive drug use etc.

    However because the place had that sort of reputation, as with the children’s homes in north Wales, none of us lot ever got to know anyone who was at Butlins and the details of who was doing what down there – we just knew that nearly all the staff came from Liverpool. We used to see them on the train – young, disadvantaged people from Liverpool taking jobs out there for the summer.

    There were some people in north Wales who did know what was happening out at Butlins though – the staff of the mental health services in north Wales. At some point in the 90s, a young man who had been working as a chef at Butlins turned up at the Hergest Unit, having been sectioned. There was great confusion as to exactly why he had been sectioned – he was in massive distress, was making bizarre and serious allegations and then made friends with a few of the other patients in the Hergest Unit. As soon as he started socialising with them he disappeared. Sent back to Liverpool – very quickly as well. I wasn’t on the scene at the time but I heard about it from other patients – and what I heard was that the other patients were very worried about his welfare but Tony Francis had been heard shouting that he would not have that young man in the Hergest Unit. And then he disappeared – and I seem to remember that he wasn’t actually transferred to a hospital in Liverpool, he was just taken to the train station and put on a train for Liverpool – in the same way that a few years before Dafydd’s Angels had put me on a train to London, told me to ‘shut my mouth about DA’ and that if I came back to north Wales I’d be arrested.

    The other people who will have known what was going on were the corrupt lawyers and magistrates of Pwllheli – as explained previously on this blog, when the mental health services were particularly desperate to frame someone, they’d be taken to Pwllheli police station (even if they lived near Bangor and the courts up there were in session) where all the rules would be broken, where the local solicitors would be crapping themselves far too much to object and where the magistrates could be relied upon to do what they had been ordered by Dafydd et al.

    When I was taken to Pwllehi to be framed, the solicitor who witnessed the skulduggery and who was almost visibly trembling was Richard Robyns. Mr Big of the lawyers of Pwllheli was of course Robyn Lewis, the most pompous man in north Wales and former Archdruid of the Eisteddfod – it was in this capacity that Lewis inducted Rowan Williams into the Gorsedd. Lewis read law at Aberystwyth – where else? – and stood as the Labour candidate for Denbigh in the 1955 general election. Lewis later left Labour and in the 60s joined Plaid – by which time Dafydd was active in Plaid as well and stood for election in Denbigh in 1964. Lewis had another go at standing for Parliament in 1970 – he unsuccessfully stood for Plaid in Caernarfon.

    Robyn Lewis is still alive but can’t have many more miles left on the clock.

    So what was going on in Pwllheli Butlins then Lewis – yet alone in the police station and the magistrates court?

    Would Tarby like to dredge up a few more memories as well – without the fantasies involving little Welsh girls being over-awed by Big Glamorous Tarby from the Bright Lights because all they’d ever met before were sheep?

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