Design a site like this with
Get started

Suppression of dissent by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: a threat to democracy that puts patients at risk.

“She is complaining… her complaint is undermining professional reputations and is unacceptable. She must stop or else she must be made to stop,” Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, November 2014.


This is my story of being a patient at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust (DHCFT), Derby, and raising a complaint about negligent treatment that caused me harm and puts all patients at risk. As soon as I raised a complaint, I became a problem, no longer a patient. What followed was a disturbing sequence of lies, abuse of power and official obfuscation as the individuals at DHCFT were prepared to go to any lengths to cover up to protect their own personal reputations and interests.

My story illustrates how ineffective the plethora of regulators, commissioners and other professional bodies are in fulfilling their duty as a protective layer of accountability and in maintaining patient safety. Above all, it shows how hard it is for patients to have their voice heard when those in positions of power take every measure possible to suppress it.

I have documents to prove everything I say.


1. As a junior doctor, I was routinely working 100 hours a week in difficult and stressful conditions. I became burned out, common among medics, and was referred to Occupational Health for support. From here, I was referred for talking therapy and this is how the referral to DHCFT came about. However, DHCFT wouldn’t accept the referral because I was well, have no mental health issues and I am high functioning. Eventually, after a year, they did. Unfortunately, DHCFT did not carry out an assessment as required and I simply commenced weekly therapy with a psychotherapist, Mr Brian Denness. Not only was there no assessment, but neither was there any senior input or overview, no care plan, no formulation, no goals, no reviews, no monitoring, no therapist supervision, no MDT, no risk assessment, breach of patient confidentiality, no end planning, termination mismanagement etc ….

2. The therapy coincided with a time I was going through personal adversity and Mr Denness had become my main support. Suddenly and without warning he abruptly announced the ending of my therapy at the time I needed support most. When Mr Denness then breached my patient confidentiality, I began to lose my trust in the psychotherapy unit and tried to get help from outside it. Despite there being over 2,500 health care professionals at DHCFT, Carolyn Green, the Executive Director of Nursing and Patient Experience told me this was ‘not possible.’ I turned for support elsewhere. However, whatever direction I turned, I found out that the psychotherapy service manager, Ms Deborah Seed, intervened with the effect that I was denied the help I needed.

3. I now know from subsequent evidence that has come to light, that Ms Green and Ms Seed deliberately prevented me from obtaining help elsewhere because they wanted to ‘contain’ me within the psychotherapy unit. I believe, this could only have been done to prevent other health services and professionals from learning about my (bad) experience; however, it was extremely detrimental to me. Denied help and support by DHCFT at a time I was particularly vulnerable and going through an acute situational crisis, I attempted suicide for the first time in my life; the risk of suicide had been flagged in my records.

Complaint with DHCFT

4. In December 2013, I raised concerns with DHCFT about my treatment that had not been delivered in line with NHS treatment protocols as set out by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and had been abruptly ended at a time I was most vulnerable. From the moment I raised a complaint, DHCFT treated me as a problem not a patient and a cover up began, propped up by denial, deception and fraud. Henceforth DHCFT persistently dismissed me and smeared me in their attempt to silence me. 

5. Simply by virtue of raising a complaint, a history of occasional depression and burnout was blown out of all proportion and I was suddenly labelled with the most extreme and prejudicial stereotypes associated with mental health illness. According to DHCFT, raising concerns about treatment is a symptom of being mentally unwell and no one stigmatizes mental health issues more than DHCFT.

6. I found the responses I received from the Trust’s CEO, Mr Steve Trenchard, and the Executive Director of Nursing and Patient Experience, Ms Carolyn Green, confusing. They refused to investigate my complaint and flatly denied everything. There was also a complete absence of appropriate support provided to me during the complaints process. This was despite the fact DHCFT were well aware of my vulnerability at the time. DHCFT’s refusal to listen and learn from their mistakes also meant other vulnerable patients were left at risk too.

The action I took
i) The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

7. Unable to get a meaningful response from DHCFT, in April 2014 I submitted my complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). An investigation was carried out and the PHSO obtained independent clinical advice. Based upon that advice, the investigator told me she was going to uphold my complaint. She drafted a report in my favour and wrote to both me and DHCFT’s CEO, Mr Trenchard, putting us on notice to expect receipt of the draft report ‘any day now.’

8. Unexpectedly, following this, I was suddenly told the investigator had left the Ombudsman and my complaint was to be allocated to a new investigator. The draft report that upheld my complaint was destroyed and a new draft report was produced that no longer upheld any of my complaint. It upheld treatment that was in breach of NICE protocols and it excluded the independent clinical advice obtained by the Ombudsman that had supported failings in my care.

9. I later found out that the investigator hadn’t left the Ombudsman at all. I also found out that Mr Steve Trenchard (DHCFT’s CEO) was close friends with the Ombudsman’s Managing Director, Mick Martin, himself a former Executive Director of DHCFT and who was now responsible for overseeing all case decisions at the Ombudsman.

10. In 2015, Mr Trenchard and Mr Martin were both defendants in an employment tribunal that found they had colluded to ‘cover up’ misconduct by individuals at DHCFT and they had worked together to ‘prevent a proper independent investigation’ in order ‘to protect professional reputations’. Mr Trenchard and Mr Martin were subsequently removed from their posts in disgrace in 2015 after they were found not fit and proper for public office (to put it politely). I feel they had done exactly the same with my complaint, both being the chief persons responsible for it, there can be no other explanation for how the draft report had changed into a fundamentally different one in those peculiar circumstances. It was an appalling coincidence and failure of justice for my complaint against DHCFT to be taken on by the PHSO at a time when Mick Martin worked there and was able to influence the case so that it wasn’t upheld in order to protect his former colleague and workplace from my legitimate complaint. Little did I know at the time that once the PHSO had made its deeply flawed (manipulated) decision it was to become an albatross around my neck.

ii) The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

11. I took my complaint to the Professional Regulator, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Although the UKCP was duty bound to investigate, I found out, via FOI requests, that DHCFT intervened in that process too. DHCFT persuaded the UKCP not to carry out any investigation of its own but instead simply accept the (manipulated) report from the Ombudsman, which it did.

iv) The Clinical Commissioning Group

12. I turned to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Hardwick CCG. They closed ranks with DHCFT and agreed with DHCFT to wait for the (manipulated) report from the PHSO and simply uphold that.

iv) The Care Quality Commission

13. I contacted the Care Quality Commission (CQC). They did not respond. I later found out that Mr Trenchard, DHCFT’s CEO, was a CQC insider and acted as inspection chair for CQC.

14. I turned to other professional organisations and bodies in my efforts to get my voice heard, however they told me that only DHCFT could deal with my complaint. But DHCFT was doing anything but address my complaint. 

v) Peaceful protest

15. I was at rock bottom. I had never felt so low. I also had an adjustment disorder but was without any support because DHCFT had denied me access to help and were refusing to address my health needs. On top of this, DHCFT was refusing to listen to my complaint and had prevented any independent investigation; I was left in utter despair.

16. Eventually, in November 2014, out of desperation, I turned to peaceful democratic protest in my attempt to get my voice heard as a last resort after all other measures had failed. I created banners and set up an online petition requesting accountability from DHCFT and an independent investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). I called for the resignations of the therapist, Mr Denness, and the manager responsible for the psychotherapy service, Ms Seed, in accordance with individual accountability in the NHS. I made no threats, I made no personal insults and I did not use any offensive language. I simply wanted to get management’s attention in the hope they would finally take notice and respond to my complaint in the interests of all patients. My banners were taken down immediately by DHCFT and nobody saw them.

17. In response, on 25 November 2014, Ms Green invited me to a meeting in person with herself, another executive from DHCFT’s legal department and her friend, Tracy McGonagle, from Hardwick CCG. Although I told Ms Green I had had a breakdown and was psychologically not up to it, she insisted and told me to attend alone. I attended on the basis that we had agreed that the purpose of the meeting was to address my complaint. However, at the meeting, Ms Green continued to refuse to address it. I agreed that minutes could be taken at the meeting, but Ms Green refused to give me the minutes afterwards. Immediately after the meeting, Ms Green reported me to the Police for things she alleged I had said at the meeting but which I hadn’t. The next morning, on 26 November, two Police cars turned up outside my home in front of the neighbours. I found myself handcuffed, arrested and thrown in a police cell for 24 hours. The false allegations that Ms Green had reported to the Police were quietly dropped once I was arrested because they were entirely fictitious, but Ms Green and DHCFT pursued this course of action and I was subsequently charged and convicted of harassment… for being a patient with a complaint.

18. I have since discovered (via FOI requests) that Ms Green had gone to considerable effort to achieve my arrest. The Police records show that DHCFT arranged and held on their premises three meetings with the Police. At these meetings, Ms Green reported to the Police that she wanted me to stop my complaint. However, the Police recorded that I was allowed to complain, I was following the formal channels and that “there are no criminal offences to report”. The Police told DHCFT they could not take any action against me as I had not broken the law and I was exercising my right to free speech.

19. Despite this, DHCFT documented it had ‘negotiated’ with the Police to take action; I did not know that Police action was negotiable. Indeed, DHCFT continued its negotiations with the Police until eventually, by making up things I had said at the meeting, Ms Green, in her position of considerable power and influence, successfully persuaded the Police to arrest me.

20. Fast forward a few years to 2019, and Ms Green told the civil court under oath “The draft minutes of that meeting [25 November 2014] are now shown to me, marked CGl, and are exhibited to this witness statement. These minutes were sent to Victoria so that she might revise them if she disagreed with the content, but she did not return them so that they might be ratified. The minutes are therefore a draft and are both unsigned and undated.” Ms Green was unable to provide evidence that the minutes had been sent to me because it was not true. I had asked her at the time in 2014 for the minutes but she had refused to give them to me. I believe the only reason why Ms Green i) had told me to attend the meeting on 25 November 2014 alone; ii) refused to allow the meeting to be recorded and iii) refused to provide me with the meeting minutes afterwards was because she intended to refer to false minutes in order to persuade the Police to arrest me, which is exactly what happened. It was a total stitch-up on the part of Ms Green. However, a few years later not only did Ms Green lie under oath to the court, but she sought to place the blame on me, as she did in many other ways too.

21. I was arrested on 26 November 2014, and the first hearing for my plea was listed in the Magistrates Court in January 2015. On 28 December 2014, Ms Green rang me and offered me money but only on condition I removed my online petition that called for an independent investigation into my complaint. If I were to do that, she told me, then DHCFT wouldn’t pursue the prosecution. I told Ms Green that I couldn’t remove the petition until there was an independent investigation and this was in the interests of all patients. DHCFT refused and used (more) public money to get the petition deleted themselves and continued with the criminal prosecution.

22. The records I obtained via FOI requests show that DHCFT kept labeling me with different things at different times to suit them. They told the Police that I do not have any mental health issues, which meant I could be prosecuted without a court diversion, but they told the investigating bodies that I do, which DHCFT used to stigmatize and undermine me.

23. My legal representative fully expected nothing more to come of the arrest. He invited CPS to drop the prosecution saying my actions could not be deemed to be criminal and were freedom of expression that I was allowed to engage in. However, CPS is victim led and DHCFT, the ‘victim’ here, was keen to continue with the prosecution. What is more, from the FOI requests I have obtained, I have seen that DHCFT pursued the prosecution hoping I would receive a prison sentence-they wanted me out of the way.

24. DHCFT refused to comply with their disclosure obligations to CPS. Eventually, the Magistrates Court had to make an order for disclosure but still DHCFT did not comply which put them in contempt of court. The trial was adjourned three times because DHCFT failed to comply with its disclosure obligations.

25. Despite DHCFT still failing to comply with its disclosure obligations and despite the court making an order for disclosure, the trial went ahead in July 2015 without disclosure. 

26. The trial was conducted in an exceptionally unorthodox way: it wasn’t a trial at all. Astonishingly, neither Mr Denness nor Ms Seed nor anyone else from DHCFT gave oral evidence which meant there were no witnesses to cross examination or challenge. Instead, DHCFT wrote carefully crafted statements that were read out to the court as ‘fact’, with no cross examination or challenge permitted, contrary to the most basic principles of a fair trial. DHCFT told the court ‘as fact’ that I was criminally guilty of harassment and must be convicted; while at the same time they prevented any evidence, disclosure, witnesses, challenge or cross examination.

27. DHCFT’s ‘facts’ comprised a bundle of lies and falsehoods. DHCFT lied to the court and told the court that all of themselves, the Health Ombudsman and the Professional Regulator had independently investigated my complaint, but had found there to be “no quibble” about my treatment.

28. Because there were no witnesses and no disclosure, the magistrates were disabled from making a full and proper appraisal of the evidence it heard; they were disabled from making any kind of assessment of the individuals involved or the evidence and yet, based upon DHCFT’s statements ‘of fact’ that could not be challenged, I had to be convicted and DHCFT obtained a restraining order against me.

29. I was horrified at the way the trial had been conducted and I immediately lodged an appeal. However, the solicitor gave me wrong legal advice. He told me to abandon my appeal until after sentence. By sheer bad luck, criminal lawyers were on strike at the time so I had to take his advice, but it turned out to be legally wrong advice on all counts. Having abandoned my appeal, it has proven impossible to reinstate it (but has cost me a fortune in legal fees, not to mention the psychological and emotional cost). It all felt like some Kafkaesque nightmare.

30. A number of lawyers have reviewed the evidence of this conviction, including a QC. It is the QC’s opinion that it was a ‘malicious prosecution’.

Alison Fuller’s attack

31. Shortly after this, I began to receive anonymous comments posted under my online petition. There were nearly 300 comments in total and they appeared at all hours of the day and night over the course of nearly a year. The comments were directed at me by name and were calculated to cause as much emotional injury, distress and hurt as possible. They were mocking, vile and deeply malicious and became increasingly threatening and oppressive: the troll knew where I lived. Eventually, I had to report the incessant abuse to the Police. The Police refused to investigate or protect me even as the comments became increasingly threatening and aggressive. The troll had gone to great lengths to conceal their identity and had set up a profile using fake details but it was left to me to identify the abuser myself and make them cease their abuse in the civil courts, action which I had to fund myself.

32. It turns out that my abusive stalker was Mr Denness’ committed friend and colleague at Lincolnshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, another therapist called Alison Fuller who lives in Wragby, Lincolnshire, and who was registered throughout the time of her abuse with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). Her aim was to bully me into removing the petition. I don’t know to what extent Mr Denness or DHCFT was behind Ms Fuller’s crimes but I believe the intimate details she knew about me can only have come from DHCFT and/or Mr Denness.

33. Ms Fuller’s cyber bullying led to her being found guilty of harassment. However, she was outraged to be held to account and felt totally justified in her actions and demonstrated a complete lack of insight. Bringing Ms Fuller to account cost me a huge sum in legal fees. The court awarded me most of this in damages and costs. However, Ms Fuller refused to comply with the court order and refused to pay a penny. When I took steps to enforce the court order she promptly declared herself bankrupt, which has little effect on her as she put everything into her partner’s name, Mr Martyn Fuller. Ms Fuller has never apologised to me or explained her involvement with Mr Denness and /or DHCFT. Her professional regulator, the BACP, refused to take any action against her, leaving all patients at risk from this bully.

Clinical negligence claim

34. I obtained independent expert advice that supported a claim of clinical negligence and in 2016 I brought proceedings against DHCFT. One of the country’s leading experts on psychotherapy reviewed all the evidence and wrote an independent report identifying numerous and significant failings in my care that had caused me harm. Based upon this independent evidence, it seems that DHCFT had made telling the truth a crime.

35. I acted as a litigant in person throughout proceedings (although I paid all the fees, costs, experts and a barrister on the direct access scheme). DHCFT was represented by a solicitor from Weightmans, Ms Melanie Isherwood, and barrister Iain O’Donnel from 1 Crown Office Row at trial. The claim went to trial in summer 2019 and judgment was handed down by a single judge, HHJ Nigel Godsmark, in August 2019. It was dismissed. However, it was an outcome obtained by deception and without due process, as shown below.

36. DHCFT’s defence strategy was founded upon denying everything and attacking me, the accuser. Their strategy turned the tables onto me, shifting the case away from “was their clinical treatment negligent” to “the patient cannot be believed .” They simply denied everything and launched a character assassination of me using prejudicial and stigmatizing stereotypes of mental illness to destroy the reputation of the person challenging them. DHCFT’s submissions and cross examination were filled with ugly criticisms, insults and falsehoods calculated to destroy me, my credibility and reputation and avoid substantive rational examination of the allegations. Instead of offering objective analysis of the records, their ‘experts’, Dr Michael Drayton and Prof Daniel Wilcox, focused on employing vilifying tactics to stigmatise, malign and undermine me and paint me in as negative a light as possible.

37. DHCFT deliberately made much of my criminal record, thereby creating a natural bias within the judge toward me. Just as they had done in the Magistrates Court, they continued to peddle their lies that themselves, the Health Ombudsman and the Professional Regulator had all investigated my complaint, but none had upheld it, therefore the allegations of negligence could have no basis. According to DHCFT, to complain is to be mentally unwell.

38. Ms Isherwood deliberately manipulated court directions and Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) to obtain advantage and prevent a fair process from taking place. By adopting a creative litigation strategy and developing an array of procedural tactics plagued by misconduct and fraud, as outlined below, Ms Isherwood ensured due process did not happen. Ms Isherwood’s dishonesty and misconduct made it impossible for there to be a fair trial. In addition to her gross misconduct as outlined below, Ms Isherwood became so unreliable that it got to the point that I could not believe anything she said, from her falsely informing the court she was on holiday to obtain favourable time extensions, to her informing the Information Commissioner’s Office that she had sent me documents that she hadn’t…Ms Isherwood’s lies became routine.

39. Unusually for a complex, long running claim of this nature, Ms Isherwood did not direct a team of juniors but conducted the litigation and proceedings over the course of four years entirely on her own. I believe this was a deliberate step taken by Ms Isherwood to eliminate the natural checks and balances of peer review and accountability. It meant she could carry out fraud and deception unchecked.

The main areas of procedural irregularity and misconduct in proceedings were as follows:

i. DHCFT’s lead expert witness, Dr Michael Drayton, is a business performance coach. Dr Michael Drayton describes himself as a self-employed “organisational consultant and executive coach” and states that he specializes in ‘Executive coaching, workplace relationship building, building positive workplace environments …’ He works for himself for his own limited company called ‘Opus Performance’ (now, writes blogs and he is a Mediterranean cruise ship entertainer. He lacks expert credentials in NHS psychotherapy and hasn’t even worked in the NHS since 2004 and that was in a management role for a few months. It should be noted that Dr Drayton is not a medical doctor and, more specifically, not a psychiatrist, he is a private business adviser and an entertainer on Mediterranean cruise ships. Aside from the fact he never even met me, he has no medical qualifications which would qualify him to make a medical diagnosis or even medical comment in this case and he has no psychotherapy qualification or experience to provide any opinions, let alone expert ones, on psychotherapy treatment in the NHS. Dr Drayton’s online profile is provided below and his cv is provided further down.

ii. Dr Drayton misled the court on his expertise under oath and presented himself to the court as someone he is not. By way of examination in chief, Dr Drayton was asked to give his name and confirm he is a clinical psychologist. He was then asked ’Are you in full time clinical practice?’ to which he replied ‘Yes, I am’. When Dr Drayton was next asked where he practices as a full-time practicing clinical psychologist, he replied ‘8, St James’ Square, London’. However, Dr Drayton’s evidence was proven to be completely false. Evidence obtained from 8 St James’ Square confirmed it is a club house that hires out office space to private businesses and it does not offer psychological facilities. 8 St James’ Square confirmed that Dr Drayton has limited club membership and only attends ‘once every one to two months’ for a couple of hours for business purposes. Dr Drayton was exposed lying under oath about his expert credentials.

iii. While giving oral evidence under oath, it was put to Dr Drayton, ‘You’re not registered with a professional psychotherapy body, are you?” his reply was “Yes, I am.” However, all the UK professional psychotherapy bodies, including the BACP, UKCP and the psychotherapy section of the British Psychological Society, have confirmed that Dr Michael Drayton is not registered with them. There is no independent evidence that Dr Drayton is registered with any psychotherapy body or has experience and qualifications in psychotherapy, nor was he able to offer any himself. It can only be that Dr Drayton was once again deliberately misleading the court under oath about expert credentials that he does not have.

iv. It was not surprising, given Dr Drayton’s lack of expertise in psychotherapy, that he didn’t know what common psychotherapy terms meant. In his evidence, Dr Drayton demonstrated a careless disregard for patient confidentiality, he was dismissive of patient centred care and disrespectful of people as individuals; these are core values in NHS care. Dr Drayton, scoffed at NICE treatment protocols and told the court they do not apply in NHS practice, when in fact they are national policy; his claim that community mental health teams only accept psychotic referrals illustrates just how out of touch with clinical practice he is, and he was sneery about the psychological effects of trauma. Additionally, he has no understanding of burnout. According to Dr Drayton, multi-disciplinary teams are made up of only one discipline.

v. Dr Drayton wrote three psychological expert reports for the court without meeting me or having access to my evidence. All he knew, is what DHCFT reported to him and all the evidence he relied upon came from DHCFT. In breach of his fundamental obligations to the court to be impartial, independent and objective he made no effort to try to check DHCFT’s information with other, independent, sources or even take into account my evidence. Instead, he made savage comments about me and my character, despite never meeting me, and indiscriminately attributed psychiatric labels and diagnoses without formal evaluation. According to Dr Drayton, having a complaint is a sign of mental illness, pursuing justice is a sign of mental illness, mental illness has a strong social stigma and, therefore, nothing I said could be believed.

It’s remarkable that Dr Drayton said exactly what DHCFT wanted him to say. Willing to defend the absurd, this charlatan fronted DHCFT’s smear campaign and defence of denial. Malicious, maligning and demeaning criticisms of the patient were his weapon…he was someone paid by the NHS to bend over backwards to reinforce DHCFT’s strategy and persuade the court that nothing I said could be believed because my “perception is not real.” He had zero regard for whether something was factual or true or not. He even made up vile falsehoods about my family. He lashed out with personal insults at anyone who disagreed with him, including Dr Denman and Dr Thomas, because Dr Drayton has always got to be right.

Dr Denman, who is an independent GMC registered Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Director of an NHS Trust, was of the expert opinion that Dr Dayton’s reports were “exceptionally unreasonable and partisan” and ‘not evidence based’. She was highly concerned that someone acting as a court expert was submitting psychological reports to the court when they lacked qualifications to do so and furthermore, about an individual they had never met.

vi. Ms Isherwood manipulated court directions so as to follow them in reverse. This meant she obtained my expert reports on breach upfront and she then drafted carefully tailored witness statements to deny and rebut all the allegations. She then gave these tailored statements to her lead expert, Dr Drayton, to base his response to the allegations on. Of course, he disagreed with all the allegations of breach made by the independent experts because he based his opinion exclusively on statements carefully drafted in 2018 to deny and rebut each of them but which presented a different version of events to those under examination in 2012/13. Dr Drayton simply repeated what was written in DHCFT’s statements and gave an untrue and unevidenced version of events without even attempting to analyse the contemporaneous evidence or obtain independent evidence. In this way, Ms Isherwood saw to it that a just determination of the dispute had been substantially compromised. It amounted to a breach of his fundamental duties as an independent, objective and impartial witness to the court, on the part of Dr Drayton. It was also in breach of the court directions that ordered sequential and simultaneous exchange for parity and fairness to both parties.

This manipulation of court directions by Ms Isherwood was substantially prejudicial to my claim because it corrupted the entire process.

vii. DHCFT’s second expert witness, Professor Daniel Wilcox, is an American forensic psychologist who works in the private sector for his own limited company called ‘Wilcox Psychological Associates Ltd. He specialises in learning disabilities. He has no expert credentials in either psychotherapy or the NHS. Once again, in breach of civil procedure rules, Ms Isherwood withheld all my evidence and records from him so his opinions could only be partial. In breach of his own obligations as an expert witness, Prof Wilcox did not obtain my statements and evidence or even the contemporaneous records. Nor did he disclose his instructions or the source of his information in his reports, legal requirements of all expert witnesses. Based upon these fundamental breaches of his obligations to the court, it would seem that Prof Wilcox has little idea of what his duties as a court expert are.

viii. There are two reports from Prof Wilcox: a ‘final’ one dated 25 August 2017 and an ‘updated’ one dated 14 March 2018 which was the report that was filed and served. The March 2018 report is fundamentally different to the August 2017 report. Five new pages and two substantial paragraphs have been added. The new additions make legal argument; they make personal insults and excessively repeat over and over again that I am “duplicitous”– the basis of DHCFT’s smear campaign. However, Prof Wilcox continued to refer to his August 2017 report as if it was his final report: he did not know that his final report had changed into the new report of March 2018.

ix. I obtained a court order, dated 21 February 2019, that ordered Prof Wilcox to explain why, after the date of his purported 14 March 2018 report, he continued to refer to his August 2017 report as his final report. Before my barrister and myself, Ms Isherwood became visibly distressed, she turned sweaty, red faced, tearful and began to stutter and spit her words out. In the end, she was forced to accept the order but she demanded there be three weeks to respond instead of 24 hours or even seven days and demanded that everything to and from Prof Wilcox must go via her.

x. Despite ample time being granted for a simple request, the reply that I received to this court order was late and evidence obtained shows it appears to have come via Ms Isherwood and not Prof Wilcox. But, above all, it did not comply with the court order in that it did not even attempt to explain why Prof Wilcox continued to refer to the August 2017 report as his final report. Bizarrely, instead of providing the explanation required by the order, the letter addressed something entirely different. The letter wrote: “I hope I can clear up any confusion in relation to my assessment of you.” The letter also appears to be a photocopy and not the original as ordered by the court. It seems that the letter was not written by Prof Wilcox at all, as the court order required, but by Ms Isherwood and was an effort to deflect the matter and kick it into the long grass. It also meant Prof Wilcox was in contempt of court for failing to comply with the court order.

When I tried to make contact with Prof Wilcox and give him a second chance to respond to the court order, Ms Isherwood intervened to prevent it.

I also requested to inspect the original electronic versions of both reports. Although I was entitled to inspect these documents and despite requesting them, Ms Isherwood flatly refused to provide the original electronic versions of both reports to me. She also prevented Prof Wilcox from providing them.

xi. Prof Wilcox’s report of August 2017 is not very damaging to my claim; his report of March 2018 is. It seems to me that there can be no explanation other than the updated report was not his. There is no person who could have tampered with Prof Wilcox’s expert report other than Ms Isherwood.

Dr Denman’s independent expert opinion was that the updated report of March 2018 was “mean spirited and quite ghastly” that she could “take apart at the seams,” not what you’d expect from an impartial, objective independent expert.

xii. At trial, Prof Wilcox’s oral evidence revealed further alarming concerns with regards to his report dated 14 March 2018. By way of examination in chief, Wilcox was instructed by Ms Isherwood to confirm that his report dated 25 August 2017 was updated to the 14 March 2018 report after receipt and review of Dr Denman’s report, to which Prof Wilcox replied under oath: ‘Yes, it was’. However, Dr Denman’s report was dated 19 May 2018 so this was impossible, as both he and Ms Isherwood knew very well; they were both exposed lying under oath about something as significant as to how his expert had changed into a fundamentally different one.

xiii. In the course of his oral evidence, the Judge asked Prof Wilcox under oath if he had written his reports of August 2017 and March 2018 having ‘seen and read the transcript of the therapy sessions’. Prof Wilcox confirmed he had ‘read and seen the transcript’ for his reports. However, this is impossible because the transcript was only created in February 2019 and did not exist before hand. Prof Wilcox’s oral and written evidence under oath was proven to be entirely unreliable.

xiv. Ms Isherwood was required to instruct a Consultant Psychiatrist. However, despite going from expert to expert over the course of a year not only was she unable to get support from a Consultant Psychiatrist, but she was unable to gain the support of any independent clinician, GMC registered doctor or even a registered psychotherapist to support her defence. This is ‘expert shopping ‘ and is forbidden by the court as an underhand tactic to try and ‘cherry pick’ favourable experts. She flatly refused any possibility of instructing a joint expert and turned immediately to her go to expert Dr Drayton, the businessman and cruise ship entertainer who she could rely upon to say anything to defend them, and she resorted to a private American forensic psychologist who specialises in learning disabilities, Prof Wilcox. These were her two ‘experts’ in NHS psychotherapy treatment; her requirement to instruct a Consultant Psychiatrist and psychotherapist was quietly dropped. She was invited to have me formally assessed by a Consultant Psychiatrist to support the diagnoses she had made up and was relying upon in her defence, but she refused.


40. Acting in person I did my best at court, but the judge, HHJ Nigel Godsmark, made no attempt to see fair play and he conducted proceedings in an extraordinarily irregular manner. After the defendant had given their oral closing submissions, the judge prevented me from making my own oral closing submissions. Instead, he told me to submit my closing submissions in writing and he took them away out of court. This means that the submissions I made and the evidence I relied upon were excluded from public record.

41. Just as the judge prevented me from making oral submissions that kept my evidence out of the public arena, he also excluded much of my evidence from his judgement. He makes no mention whatsoever of material evidence; he presents a distorted and inaccurate version of events that, in many areas, is not supported by any contemporaneous evidence at all, or even contradicts it, and he closed his eyes to the numerous breaches of duty on the parts of DHCFT, Ms Isherwood and her hired gun experts. His judgement makes it clear that he was determined to consider and include nothing against the trust, and he accepted at face value anything put forward by the trust or Drayton and Wilcox. This meant he had to pretend material documents and contemporaneous evidence simply did not exist. HHJ Godsmark’s long rambling 100 page judgement is an absolute failure because it fails to catalogue the true events and omits virtually all of one party’s (my) evidence and all incriminating evidence against DHCFT and their bogus experts. HHJ Godsmark’s findings are far more notable for what they omit than what they disclose and serve nothing other than to achieve his goal of protecting DHCFT.

42. Even when the facts behind DHCFT’s smear campaign had been demonstrated to lack proper foundation, my reputation remained tarnished and embedded regardless of the truth. The judge worked hard to represent DHCFT’s smear campaign and proven falsehoods while working hand in hand with DHCFT with a judgement that reads as a promotional press release for DHCFT. This was a theatre of the absurd in which the leading actor, HHJ Nigel Godsmark, played somersaults to defend the indefensible and close his eyes to the truth, no mater how unambiguous the evidence was before him. In attacking the truth, HHJ Godsmark made 2 +2 = 5.

In court, I legitimately queried Dr Drayton’s absence of expert credentials in NHS psychotherapy; tried to understand how Prof Wilcox’s report had changed into a fundamentally different one without him knowing it and highlighted the unreliability and gross inaccuracies of both expert reports — pertinent issues to raise in any claim of negligence, including my own. However, for doing this, the judge attacked me with vitriolic criticisms while at the same time excluding from the judgement the evidence upon which these allegations were based. It can only be that HHJ Godsmark was far more concerned with hiding the truth and protecting the public face of DHCFT than truth and justice.

43. Regarding the false evidence Dr Drayton gave to the court under oath about his current practice as a full-time clinical psychologist practising from 8 St James’ Square, the judge stated ‘I regard his initial acceptance of the term ‘full time clinical practice’ as an inadvertent slip’. It is inconceivable that an expert giving evidence to a court would make a ‘slip’ of this fundamental nature to a very direct, clear and simple question about whether he is or is not in full time practice and then to continue with this error when asked where he practices from. Far from being in full time clinical practice, Dr Drayton is not in clinical practice at all.

The judge also excluded entirely the false evidence Dr Dayton gave under oath that he is registered with a professional psychotherapy body.

44. Regarding Prof Wilcox’s report, the judge excluded all the evidence. Instead, he simply states: “For my part I accept Prof Wilcox’s evidence. I accept that he wrote the March 2018 report following further reflection upon the case. I find nothing sinister in the evolution of his thought processes about the case.’ However, the judge excluded the explanation Prof Wilcox gave in his oral evidence under oath that he updated the 25 August 2017 in response to Dr Denman’s report, which didn’t exist in March 2018. The judge excluded the evidence that twice after the March 2018 report had been served Prof Wilcox continued to refer to the August 2017 report as his ‘final’ report in court documents and expressly failed to provide an explanation for this, including at trial. The judge ignored the fact that Prof Wilcox was in contempt of court for failing to comply with the court order dated 21 February 2019. The judge excluded that Prof Wilcox had not at any time been able to explain how his ‘final’ report had changed from a moderate one into one that was mean spirited and ghastly and made legal argument without him knowing it.

45. In breach of civil procedure rules, Prof Wilcox did not set out his instructions in his report. In each of Prof Wilcox’s subsequent sworn court documents and again at trial under oath he gave widely different accounts of what his instructions were. It was strange, therefore, that the Judge felt able to decide for himself what Prof Wilcox was instructed to report on. Everyone is confused as to what Prof Wilcox’s instructions were, even Prof Wilcox, and it was wrong for the judge to make them up himself.

46. The judge made the bizarre statement that Dr Drayton’s evidence was ‘impartial.’ This is a perverse statement to make when it was impossible for Dr Drayton’s evidence to be impartial because Dr Drayton had never met me and did not have access to any of my evidence or statements, this is in violation of Dr Drayton’s duties to the court. The judge excluded all the ways the experts’ reports breached civil procedure rules and their overriding obligations to be independent, impartial and objective. He excluded entirely the way the court directions were manipulated by Ms Isherwood whereby Dr Drayton relied exclusively upon the tailored evidence of the defendant. These were fundamental procedural irregularities that amount to abuse of process and contempt of court, but the judge closed his eyes to them.

47. DHCFT instructed a pseudo expert for which permission had not been given and for which I was not permitted the equivalent. Laura McAra, service manager for DHCFT, had never met me, was not given access to any of my evidence or even the contemporaneous records, she merely recited DHCFT’s defence. This is one more example of how HHJ Godsmark breached his judicial duties to uphold civil procedure rules and ensure fair play between parties.

48. Carolyn Green made numerous statements under oath which were verifiable lies. She has a tendency to change her version of events to suit the situation with zero regard for the truth or facts. Paragraph 20 above is one example that illustrates how unreliable her evidence was and the lengths she went to try and place the blame for everything onto me, the patient: having refused to give me meeting minutes she told the court under oath she had given them to me but I had not returned them. Making false statements in her sworn testimony and oral evidence under oath means that Ms Green was in contempt of court, for which HHJ Godsmark showered her in praise. 

49. The judge’s finding that Dr Drayton is a ‘properly qualified expert’ in NHS psychotherapy is perverse, even a cursory glance at Dr Drayton’s cv demonstrates a complete lack of expert credentials. The judge ignored the evidence Dr Drayton gave under oath about his expertise that was independently proven to be false. What is even more perverse, irrational, is that HHJ Godsmark preferred the opinions of Dr Drayton, a businessman and cruise ship entertainer, over those of Dr Denman, an NHS Medical Director and a practising medically qualified psychotherapist who is registered with a psychotherapy professional body (the BACP).

50. Dr Chess Denman acted as one independent expert witness. She is a Consultant Psychiatrist, one of the country’s leading experts on psycotherapy and the Medical Director of an NHS Foundation Trust similar to the one that had treated me. She wrote a detailed report setting out a number of significant failings throughout the course of my treatment and afterwards. Her report was supported by evidence and based upon analysis of all the contemporaneous records and evidence available from both parties. The systemic failings that she identified in her report mean that all patients at DHCFT are exposed to risk.

51. Dr Denman considered the reports of Dr Drayton to “take up exceptionally unreasonable and partial positions;” it was her expert opinion that he lacked the clinical expertise for this case and she was alarmed he wrote psychological reports to the court about an individual he had never met. It is incomprehensible how a judge could dismiss the opinions of this independent leading expert over those of a one sided cruise ship entertainer, who is not medically qualified, who lacks expert credentials, who did not see any of the evidence and who has been shown under oath to have no regard for the facts or truth.

52. Dr Drayton describes himself as an ‘organisational consultant and coach“, he writes blogs and is an entertainer on Mediterranean cruise ships; according to himself, he is “devastatingly entertaining.” Based on the widespread evidence available, it seems that Dr Drayton has an inflated sense of his own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration and a lack of empathy for others. He is extremely self promoting, believes he is superior to others and always has to be right. When he is challenged, he lashes out with aggression and bullying. From what I see, he would be better off applying to be a candidate on Lord Sugar’s the Apprentice than trying to act as an expert in niche areas of which he has little or no experience or knowledge. His CV is provided below.

53. The available evidence shows that Dr Drayton is used repeatedly by the same corporate legal firms, including Weightmans, in a number of different areas of expertise. He tends not to work for individual claimants but for big organisations and insurance companies who can afford to pay him enormous fees and from whom he can secure repeat business. In one court judgement, acting to defend Loughborough College, he was accused of being a ‘stooge;’ in another he argued that the defendant who he was acting for, a large Primary Care Trust, ‘always acts properly’, unlike the claimant, an individual who Dr Drayton launched a personal attack against in order to undermine and discredit. It seems that this is a tactic that Dr Drayton relies upon: in return for huge fees and repeat business, he defends his instructing party by launching spiteful and contemptuous personal character attacks upon the claimant to undermine and discredit them.


54. The judge, HHJ Nigel Godsmark, has left out material evidence; his judgment is not consistent with the contemporaneous records or evidence and he conducted the trial in violation of judicial laws and with extraordinary procedural irregularity. His outright perverse findings have led me to suspect that his dismissal of my claim had very little to do with the merit of the case itself, but was deliberate and he made up a judgement to suit his purpose of dismissing it.

The judicial system requires that courts must not only be impartial and independent; they must also be seen to be so. Thus, an apprehension of bias, if reasonable, would entitle an aggrieved litigant to have the adverse decision set aside.

55. I lodged an appeal. My appeal was dismissed without a hearing. The grounds of my appeal were not addressed.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority

56. Weightmans takes millions of pounds of public money to defend the NHS against patient claims and the public has the right to trust this is done properly and with due process. With the increasing number of claimants acting for themselves, it is essential corporate legal firms act properly and do not take advantage of the situation. I requested Ms Isherwood’s professional regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), carry out an investigation into Ms Isherwood’s conduct as a matter of public interest. However, on hearing of my complaint, Weightmans responded in an exceptionally heavy handed and aggressive manner. Instead, of allowing due process to proceed and an investigation to take place in the public interest, they did everything possible to prevent any investigation at all. In a spectacularly devious twist, they presented the judgement as Holy writ as their ‘evidence’ of Ms Isherwood’s probity, when this ‘evidence’ had been obtained by a corrupt process- Ms Isherwood’s own corruption. Predictably, Weightmans’ aggression persuaded the SRA not to investigate. At the same time, Weightmans’ multi million pound contracts with the government to defend the NHS against claims was renewed.

The SRA has been criticised time and time again for its incompetence and eagerness to protect its own kind, who are also the people who pay its fees. If a solicitor who tampers with expert evidence and generates false expert evidence to obstruct the course of justice cannot be struck off for professional misconduct, I wonder, what must she do to be sanctioned?

57. DHCFT’s experts Dr Drayton and Prof Wilcox were reported to their professional regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), for acting outside their competence, for failing to comply with their professional obligations and for contempt of court, which means their fitness to practice is impaired and they should be struck off the HCPC register in the public interest. Although the HCPC process has nothing to do with her, we were astonished to hear that Ms Isherwood intervened in the process and ‘represented’ Prof Wilcox. Once again, desperate to avoid any post event scrutiny, Ms Isherwood, Dr Drayton and Prof Wilcox went to great lengths to stall off any investigation into their professional conduct. Once more, they relied upon the NHS judgment as Holy Writ as their ‘evidence’, evidence which had been obtained through deception: their own deception. They persuaded HCPC not to investigate.

58. Since the NHS hearing, there has been a string of most peculiar court events which only serve to confirm concerns of bias on the part of HHJ Godsmark in the original NHS hearing. For what has happened since the NHS hearing and HHJ Godsmark’s perverse judgement, is that any application I make to the court is taken over by HHJ Godsmark. He has vacated hearings that are already listed, he has combined together unconnected claims and he has arranged for them to instantaneously fail, no matter how compelling the evidence or law, and without even allowing any examination or hearing of the evidence. As the designated civil judge, HHJ Godsmark has unlimited power to distribute cases as he wishes, without having to give any reasons. He has singled out all my applications to be dealt with either by himself or one of his brothers, HHJ Coe or DJ Davies, and thereby keep them close at hand among himself and his brotherhood and within his own court. So closely do they stick together, the brotherhood of judges, that my submissions are either dismissed or struck out and issued with the additional order that I am not allowed any review or appeal. Just to top it off, I am hit with an adverse costs order too. This one judge, acting alone and without any accountability, who is abusing his powers, has taken the judicial system into his own hands and is determined to deny me any justice at all, or even access to justice. It seems that the real priority of HHJ Godsmark is to protect the establishment from the public and maintain the corruption and cover ups of himself and his profession, rather than abide by his judicial oath and uphold fairness to ensure members of the public obtain some kind of justice when due.  

59. There is a website called Corrupt Judges on which HHJ Godsmark comes out top of the most corrupt judges in the UK. Other people (coincidentally all litigants in person) have recounted their personal experiences which are remarkably similar to mine. There is a pattern of conduct on the part of HHJ Godsmark that is in violation of his judicial duties and position of power, in which he interferes in legal claims and personally takes control of them, combines them and allocates them to one of his henchmen to see that they are dismissed/ struck out without due process. It seems that this is the tactic of HHJ Godsmark to dispense of challenge of the establishment by lay litigants thereby denying victims justice and maintaining a corrupt system.

Many patients, same story

60. Unfortunately, mine is not an isolated case. I have since come across other patients of DHCFT who have their own sad stories to tell about appalling care and treatment in the hands of DHCFT. Many of them have been left worse off than before receiving treatment from DHCFT. In just the same way as me, as soon as they or their relatives raise concerns, DHCFT fails to listen, refuses to accept any wrongdoing and acts with bias and stigma against patients simply by virtue of them having a complaint and a history of mental health issues.

Carolyn Green and DHCFT has covered up the patient safety issues that led to a number of deaths at DHCFT. Everyone who I have spoken to tells me that they do not trust DHCFT and no one who has had dealings with her, trusts Carolyn Green.


61. This has been an exceptionally bad period in my life and I acknowledge I made mistakes, but I am not a bad person and no patient deserves this treatment by the NHS. Everyone deserves to be properly treated in the criminal and civil courts, but DHCFT has to control the process with lies, deception and manipulation to deny anyone a fair process and secure the outcome it wants. It seems the real priority of our justice system, or at least HHJ Godsmark, is to protect the establishment from the public, rather than to ensure members of the public obtain any kind of justice.

63. To any patient who has a complaint to raise with DHCFT, you should be prepared for DHCFT to label you a trouble maker. They may lie, bully and employ vilifying tactics designed to intimidate, discredit and malign you and protect their own interests, no matter the emotional, psychological and financial cost to you. Do not expect any meaningful response or assistance from the regulators or other professional agencies; the formal channels don’t work when challenging a powerful organisation, they are a waste of time. Be prepared to lose your friends, family, home, career and your mind. Be aware that DHCFT may trash you personally and do anything to crush you into silence.

I make the following recommendations:

i. Executive Director and management accountability is required with a professional regulatory body to maintain standards of honesty, transparency and integrity among Executive Directors and ensure patient care and safety is prioritised and seen to be prioritised.

ii. There should be disciplinary action against any member of staff in the NHS who covers up, including Executive Directors.

iii. Trust Executive Board members should not hold simultaneous posts on their own regulatory bodies.

iv. Lawyers who act for the NHS and commit fraud, misconduct or contempt of court should be prosecuted and face hefty prison sentences as a deterrent

v. To avoid “cash for opinions” and the “hired gun” expert, a joint expert should be appointed from a panel based upon independently verified expert credentials and experts should be paid a fixed flat rate.

vi. Every patient who raises a complaint should appoint an independent advocate to scrutinise the complaints process externally and support the patient to get their voice heard.

vii. The NHS complaints process should not be controlled by the NHS but referred to an external independent body from the start- one that is truly independent.

%d bloggers like this: