Last Resort: a Hunger Strike

Running out of money, and no home, I decided to go on hunger strike on the steps of the Welsh Assembly, and force these people into taking this matter seriously.  Let’s face it, if it can happen to me it can happen to you, and someone has to make a stand and expose these people.  And I felt that job had fallen firmly into my lap, so hunger strike is exactly what I did.

Without any sort of plan, I just borrowed a sleeping bag, an umbrella, and a fishing chair and headed off to sit on the Welsh Assembly steps.  And from the time I arrived, the heavens opened up, and I just sat there under my brolly.

Lots of people came out to see me, and I told every one of them why I was there, and how I had so far been ignored. Then Rhodri Glynn Thomas, my local Plaid Cymru (The party of Wales) A.M. came out; the same Rhodri Glynn Thomas that ignored all the evidence I had provided him and Adam Price MP with about the corruption in the Financial Services. He crouched down beside me and asked what I was doing, and what I wanted.  I explained all about the medication, and how I found out I didn’t need to take it, and said I wanted a thorough investigation.

He assured me that Edwina Hart was looking into it now, and that she was the best person I could want on my side. ‘She told me to go to the GMC.’ I replied.

‘Yes, but that was before you turned up here.’

‘So she is investigating it now is she?’ I asked.

‘Yes she is.’ he assured me, before saying ‘Come on, let’s get you back home, and out of this rain, and then you come and see me.’

‘As long as she is going to investigate, then I will agree to that, but if I don’t get an investigation I will be back here, and that’s for sure!’

He replied, ‘That’s right Peter, if your not satisfied you can always come back, but it’s in the hands of the best person now, I can assure you of that.’

But once again I had just been lied to.  And on the first of September I was back on the assembly steps protesting again. This time, on the fourth day, I lobbied Edwina Hart and her secretary, and gave her a piece of my mind, and she said, ‘Right, I will get the CWC to contact you, and they will investigate matters.’

And about an hour or so later I received a phone call from ex-Lieutenant Colonel John Skipper, and he told me that for the first time ever, Edwina Hart had requested him to take on a case, and if I finished my protest he would be only to glad to help me.

‘Well,’ I thought ‘that sounds promising.’, so I agreed, and packed up my stuff and started home, thinking that as soon as someone who is there to fight for the patient’s case, sees what I have, and hears what I’ve got to say, these people will have nowhere to hide.

But once again I witnessed cover up, and had to listen to lie after blatant lie, although John Sipper talked the talk, he certainly didn’t walk the walk; although a few things did come about which eventually helped me.  But they came about not from any help received, but from me taping the two meetings I had with the doctors concerned.

The first was at PPH with Philip Avery himself, the Resources Manager, and another senior member of the Trust.

The second was at my GP’s Surgery with Dr. Duncan Williams and his secretary. And thank God for giving me the good sense to tape these meetings, because both Dr Williams and Dr. Avery said too much, and shot themselves in the foot.

I must add, both meetings were taped, with both of their consent, which means it can be used as evidence.

The last meeting took place in June 2009, almost a year after getting the CWC involved, and the things that made me decide I would be better off on my own were: firstly I noticed every time Dr. Williams got rattled, John Skipper would pipe up, and after one particular question which was, ‘Dr Williams, this letter here saying I kept an appointment in PPH, on the 21st December 1998, that you have in your files, is wrong, because I was not in Wales on that date. So what have you got to say about that?’

He panicked, and started trying to say the date must be wrong on the letter, but I interrupted him, telling him the hospital files said the same.  Then I looked down at my paperwork, and although I didn’t raise my head, I lifted my eyes just in time to see him mouth something to John Skipper, and I just thought to myself, ‘I see, so that’s it.  I now know I am on my own here.’

Two minutes later I said that there was no sense in carrying on with the meeting because I just wasn’t getting any answers, and that was when I got up and expected Skipper to do the same, but no, he just said, ‘You go down Peter, and I will see you in the reception.’ And I walked out, and sat there, and guess what my supposed representative, John Skipper, spent forty minutes with Dr. Williams, and that was longer than the meeting itself.

When he eventually did come down he asked me this: ‘you do trust me, don’t you Peter?’

‘Of course I do.’ I replied, tongue in cheek.

‘Well,’ he replied, ‘let Dr. Williams give you a medical, and make an appointment with the hospital to get you checked over.’

I almost laughed, I just said, ‘Not a snowball in hell’s chance of me being examined by him.’

But you should,’ he persisted, ‘that’s the only way to get a hospital appointment, and he is concerned about your health.’

I just waved my hand and said, ‘Okay, I will think about it.’

And then we both went our different ways, and that was the last time I saw John Skipper. I knew I was on my own.

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