When I found out just prior to Christmas 2014, about my former psychiatrist Dr Darryl Watts’ criminal convictions, I was upset, to say the least. I decided to follow the appropriate channels and sent a complaint to the Chief Executive of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Trust, the local NHS for this area of SE Wales. They are ultimately the employer of Dr Watts and were responsible for him being assigned to my care in the first place. Judith Paget is the current Chief Executive and having attended a private meeting with her in the past to address mental health issues, I do know her personally. I addressed the complaint to Judith, as I discovered that she was part of the small committee that actually gave Watts the job in the first place. From the newspaper articles surrounding his conviction I know that he is forced to disclose the full details of his criminal history to any future employer. Therefore the Aneurin Bevan UHB had full knowledge of the character of the man that they were employing.
Here is the relevant text from the above cited NHS WALES document (pp13-14) surrounding the appointment of Dr Watts.
“3.3 Appointment of Consultant Adult Psychiatrist with a
special interest in Forensic Rehabilitation
special interest in Forensic Rehabilitation
The Health Board held interviews for the post of Consultant
Adult Psychiatrist with a special interest in Forensic
Rehabilitation on Friday 25th February 2011.
13Aneurin Bevan Health Board
Wednesday 23 March 2011
Agenda Item: 7.2
The appointments panel comprised the following members:
REPRESENTING THE CHAIRMAN:
Miss Sue Kent, Vice Chair, Aneurin Bevan Health Board
REPRESENTING THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE:
Mrs Judith Paget, Director of Planning and Operations, Aneurin
Bevan Health Board
REPRESENTING THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR:
Dr Stephen Hunter, Associate Medical Director, Aneurin Bevan
REPRESENTING THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF
Professor Gary Sullivan, Regional Advisor, Bwrdd lechyd Cwm
Taf Health Board
REPRESENTING THE ANEURIN BEVAN HEALTH BOARD:
Dr Steve Attwood, Consultant Psychiatrist, Aneurin Bevan
1 applicant was interviewed for the post.
The recruitment and interview process was conducted in
accordance with Health Board policies and procedures.
The appointments panel recommended Dr Darryl BallantyneWatts
for appointment to this post.”
I heard nothing for quite some time from the Trust and then received the below letter that I was told was a final resolution to my complaint about all the misdemeanours I suffered under the ‘care’ of Dr Watts over a two year period.
[Here is the body text of the letter, reproduced…]
“I am writing further to your email to the Putting Things Right Team on 22 December 2014 regarding issues you have raised in relation to the background of a clinician providing care for you within the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. Firstly, can I please sincerely apologise for any distress you may have experienced in relation to this matter.
On receiving your e-mail, I asked colleagues in the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Division to contact you before Christmas to discuss this matter with you and I am aware that you have been receiving ongoing support from our team over the last couple of weeks. I hope this support has been helpful.
Specifically in relation to the concerns that you raised, I should like to inform you that when the Doctor in question was appointed to the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, the appointment panel was aware of the individual’s past history and due process was followed including confirmation that the Legal and GMC restrictions had been served and that there had been no fresh issues since the original offence that would cause concern to prevent the clinician’s right to practice
In conclusion, I would like to thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. I understand that you have already received a copy of our information leaflet which explains how you may take matters further, through the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, should you remain dissatisfied with this response.”
My first impression of the letter was disgust. I was annoyed that Paget herself could not regard the matter sufficiently horrific to attend to the complaint. I felt the sarcasm of the fact that they admitted sending out mental health services and subsequently police to harass and detain me, over the festive period where I wanted to enjoy myself at home, while on a study break from my university courses. The last place I wished to be was under treatment from the very organisation about which I was complaining. I do not have faith in the mental health services of Aneurin Bevan UHB and do not feel safe in their environment. AT ALL.
They seemed completely nonchalant about Watts’ appointment and seemed to defend him to the hilt. He had a right to practise his medicine and who are they to deny that? I just wonder how many others have been affected by an irresponsible appointment? Now that the man is allowed back working with children in the area, as a psychiatrist, I find this sickening. When you hear about the convicted Welsh footballer, Ched Evans, facing such public outcry over his return to football it does make you question some of Aneurin Bevan UHB’s decisions here. A convicted doctor has a right to work and ‘sod the public’ – they have no need to know. It’s just ridiculous and smacks of institutionalised paedophilia that you here so much about in the media. I am unsatisfied with the response and have informed the trust of this and have taken the matter to the Public Ombudsman for Wales where I hope they will see some sense in my grievances.
I am annoyed that it seems that my whole meeting with Mrs Paget and some colleagues about a year ago, is now a complete waste of time. In our hour session we discussed from a patient’s perspective how the mental health services could be improved. In particular I talked of how Occupational Therapy could receive more funding and one of Judith’s colleagues suggested how they wanted to employ me in a education role, to help train their staff about how a mental patient actually perceives the services. After the meeting I left feeling like my voice had been heard but there was zero follow up and nothing ever transpired.
Quite frankly, having worked in an educational role: teaching music (DJing) for the government, Arts Council Wales, Newport Arts Council, Monmouthshire Youth Services, DOE Award Scheme, Newport Arts Disability, Nash Pilot Project, NASH homeless hostels, Young Offenders Orgs and various others – I cannot possibly accept a position as a teacher for an establishment that actually employs convicted child sex offenders. It is just ridiculous attempting to educate in a system where the very head is knowingly appointing such vile members of society to work at taxpayer wages of some ridiculous 6 figure per annum sum… How I am expected to maintain any sort of faith in this Health Trust from now on, God only knows, but I do know that they won’t be going away.
Yes, it may be victory for you, Dr Darryl Watts et al, but I’ll be the one sleeping tonight, with a clear conscience. Have a look in the mirror at your own mental health issues, all involved.
All I can say is that Aneurin Bevan, for all the good he brought to Britain, in founding the NHS, must be turning in his grave to see his name attached to such a vile organisation as the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Trust.
You may have won this round, mental-healthers, but the End Of Terror will fight on…