Harassment: Rolf Harris to James Coyne to Doctor Who

October, 9, 2014 | 8 Comments


  1. The names all sound familiar to me 🙂

    I was thinking of writing a blog post about people’s apathy – this post has refueled my interest in writing such a blog.

    As far as I can see, the GMC are in the business of making a name for themselves, nothing more, nothing less.

    As for Higgo, Makin and Coyne, they may have a lack of authority in their own homes, hence the need to seek conflict in the workplace…just an observation by me.

    Shame about Shelley, she will, no doubt, bounce back. The BBC’s loss is her gain.

  2. This is chilling stuff. It seems to me that these individuals and institutions that behave with ruthless disrespect for the truth can get away with it because people tend to dismiss what the whistleblower says as being implausible.

  3. I am somewhat confused, Dr. Healy. You say:

    ” Let me make clear where the course is directed. I, and almost everyone else I work with here, would like to know exactly what is and has been going on in the mental health and wider services here. It is simply not possible to know how to keep people safe if we cannot orient ourselves within the currents flowing through the system.”

    I was under the impression that you had a fairly accurate picture of what is putting people at risk where you work. By saying you need to “orient yourselves within the currents flowing through the system”, I wonder if you mean that you have to provide solid evidence for what you seem to have already said, you suspect?

    Are you seeking to attain credibility from Betsi and the GMC as a means to push them towards long overdue, appropriate action against harassment and persecution of those who are truly committed to safe medical practices?

    I will continue reading– maybe you are writing the next post that will answer my questions…

  4. I noticed Sinead’s comment on untrained staff and academic nurses, now from experience in working in a general hospital ALL staff are trained in basic nursing skills. Some healthcare assistants will be trained to do extra certain tasks depending on what ward they are working on, they can be trained to take E.C.G’S or bladder scans e.t.c. e.t.c. they are NOT unqualified to carry out those tasks, they are trained to do it. The reason for this is because the wards are normally understaffed and it is to help the nurses to free them up to do other things, most nurses I worked with respected the healthcare assistants and were very happy for that extra help. At least half of the health care assistants would then go on to do their nurse training.

    The other thing I noticed is that some nurses are too qualified to the point they do not want to do ward work, they are only interested in furthering their career and getting into management. These are the people that most staff did not like working with. You could also say what is the point in doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists if you have academic nurses.

    I am defending Healthcare assistants because they are trained, hard working members of staff who are just as important as any other staff they are the ones who spend most time with the patients. How many academic nurses do you see bathing, feeding and looking after a patient and that is what nursing is about too.

    Please don’t undervalue Health Care Assistants, all staff are valuable and important.

    • Anne- Marie,

      I completely agree with the points you are making about Health Care assistants. I took issue with nurses who “do not want to do ward work” when I worked as a nursing assistant and after I graduated –. Doing hands- on patient care is what I was most interested in, and continue to be focused on. Those of us nurses who have this focus, work alongside and value Health Care assistants are in the minority.

      On a psychiatric ward there are patients who need much more than a nurse who administers meds and interviews them to assess their mental status and risk for self harm. Patients with complex medical issues are admitted to units with certified nursing assistants (CNAs are what they are called now), on a regular psych ward there are mental health counselors (MHCs) with no skills for direct *care* of patients, and various levels of any sort of after high school education or experience with people suffering severe mental states. When nurses have 6-8 patients, the disparity in ability to meet the care needs of patients in crisis is a recipe for an *unsafe unit*.

      Unit managers CAN foster a culture on these units that actually encourages the MHCs to disrespect the RNs. Management CAN reward MHCs who make complaints against nurses- and then focusing on the RNs who are problematic for their management goals, make these complaints cause for disciplinary action, in a a manner that basically finds the RN guilty without any debriefing to determine what exactly transpired to warrant a complaint.

      Of course there are legitimate complaints– I do not mean to imply that nurses, or any licensed mental health professionals are above reproach. The means for creating the fast track to employment termination is the issue. When it begins to be noticed WHO amongst the *higher cost* staff are being shown the door in a very unprofessional manner.

      Dedicated CNAs and MHCs who advocate for patients, or come to the defense of a nurse who disappears from the ward under circumstances that are speculated about via gossip, can and do also become targets for management as well.

      In this *new* work environment that is known and literally felt to be *absolute power of management*– even to the point of disregarding even the pretense of staff supervision and conflict resolution, or investigation of a POVA complaint; when this becomes the tone on a psych ward, it changes the therapeutic milieu into a jungle– and yes, the patients suffer most, but so do those who are the most concerned about their care, safety and well being–

      This is the current level of crisis– the current state of risk for patients on most psych wards, to receive more drugs and less care/treatment. Given the financial gain incentive of for profit psych wards, it cannot be ignored that both the best qualified and the longest tenured staff nurses seem to disappear first. It goes without saying that nurses in this business model system, who are vocal about the adverse effects of psych drugs will not last very long–

      What is harder to explain is this SAME management style in academic medical setting- psych units, where financial profit should definitely NOT be motive–

      Having experienced the corrupt academic- setting psych unit management before the easier to explain- for profit business mind set, I am all the more interested in DR. Healy’s adventures.

      There seems to be MORE going on– more than pharmaceutical money being pumped into academic medical centers, who give credence to bogus clinical trials and invent psychiatric illnesses to create larger markets for psych drugs– MAYBE,incentives for the creation and perpetuation of psych ward management to weed out the very staff that once were sought by them?; once hired to give credence to the concept of *academic medicine*, and now seen as somehow threatening to the academic medical institution itself.

      Patients are at risk for fatality– actually patients have died on psych wards where investigations prove out the disparity between qualified staff, adequate staffing AND the model of care *advertised*– or the standards of care set forth by psychiatric medical boards . The promotion of safe/quality care for patient’s is the commonality for all psych wards– BUT the management style has clearly become a sledge hammer that all but makes this *slogan* impossible–.

      It is more a mystery where Dr.Healy sits– but from my perspective, psych units in academic medical centers were the *inventors* of this management style– and for reasons that absolutely must become public knowledge!

  5. Professor Healy should be getting a medal as big as a dinner plate in my eyes instead he is harassed and persecuted because big organisations want him to shut up.

    I speak from personal experience my family are going through hell because of what SSRI withdrawal did to my son.

    David Healy uses his knowledge and scientific expertise for the good of people, perhaps he should use it instead to invent pills that change chemicals in the brain to make you feel drunk. If it wasn’t true it would be laughable.

  6. I shake my head in disbelief.
    Since I don’t have an academic background, to me, their “brawls” inbetween themselves seems to drag on forever.

    The truth that I so desperately need to come out, becomes hidden behind academic argueing. And I know only one side of this who benefits from it.
    Could it be possible they also want to drag it on further?

    Every day that dr. Healy has to fend for himself against attacks or allegations, is a day lost of his efforts to bring awareness of sideeffects and the need for transparency in pharmacology.

    If such transparancy and awareness were to be achieved, I would benefit from that. There you go, I’m biased.
    Biased towards dr. Healy.
    But I have also lived the truth he speaks off, 17 years of SSRI.

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