69% of Children in NHS Out of Area, inadequate hospitals pledged 1.4 billion.

out of area mental

The British Medical Assassination FOIA notices revealed 69% of child and adolescent admissions to mental hospitals in 2016/17 were classed as ‘out of area’

7 out of 10 children are sent away miles from parents, family, school and friends


The highest rise was in south-west England with a 106% increase in inpatients treated out of area, the second being a rise of 92% was in Yorkshire and Humber.

And this is years after a government pledge to end all such placements by 2021.

But instead, the definition of ‘out of area’ appears to have changed to allow NHS England to claim children sent up to 200 miles from home are “in area”.

So children sent from Cornwall to Gloucestershire are not now ‘out of area.’

This new method of calculating out of area placements, only came to light after the BMA’s FOIA requests last year.

After NHS England stated, it had “toughened up” its stance on out of area placements.

So the huge costs of transport, the devastating affect of being isolated with strangers, and breach of childrens and families human rights to a family life, is getting worse, not better.

In 2014 NHS England stated the definition of ‘out of area’ was

where young people are harmed by the distance and disconnection from local services, family and friends”.

Which appears from a Parliamentary Answer last month to have now been reinstated


But the definition of ‘out of area’, actually used from 2015, was any postcode outside

the footprint of the specialised commissioning hub covering where the patient resides”

And, as each of these 10 hubs, covered many counties, patients could be counted as being treated ‘in area’, even if placed up to 200 miles from their home and families.

Another important matter is the childrens continuity of treatment by their GPs , raised by The General Practitioner’s Council’s deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey :

These are children who will be looked after solely in specialist centres, so GPs won’t be involved directly with their care during their admission. However they will often be aware of the patient and are also likely to be supporting other members of the family who are often impacted by the distress caused by this situation.


Patients and their families who are forced to travel for hours and hours to hospital will not have their beds counted as out-of-area. This is a very real harm that is not being accounted for,”
remarked Dr ”BuGary Wannan, BMA consultants committee deputy chair and child and adolescent psychiatrist and added;.


Health and Social Care Trusts’ treatment is increasingly inpatient, and, for profit, as mental services are increasingly privatised.

More and more distressed children, find themselves whisked far away from family, friends and school.

This in itself would be enough to cause a mental issues, let alone exacerbate distress, manifesting itself as an anxiety disorder , anorexia, depression or attempted/threatened suicide.

And what treatment do they receive ?

Medication and containment.

Below are just a few examples of such ‘treatment’ that managed to reach the media.
Amy at 14 in the Priory


George Werb at 15 in the Priory


Jodie at 15 in Cygnet


Will and Mathew 12 and 15 Cygnet , St Andrews


More than half of parents with children in mental hospitals do not feel their child’s mental health improved while in care and a quarter (24%) thought it had “deteriorated”.

448 parents who had had children in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Tier 4 (inpatient ) hospitals over the last five years, were surveyed by Young Minds and the National Autistic Society .

In some cases, young people were trapped in inappropriate care for years, with their mental health deteriorating, while their parents desperately tried to find a way to get them out.

The survey revealed 44% of parents felt unable to challenge decisions about their child’s treatment and 52% didn’t know what rights their child has while in hospital.

A third (33%) said they were not consulted about decisions about medication,
And 40% were uncomfortable with decisions made about medication.

Fewer than a third (29%) of parents felt sufficiently involved in their child’s care and 53% were not confident that their child was receiving appropriate care.

More than a third (39%) said their child had not been supported to have a suitable education.

Despite the law providing in s131a MHA ,

.That equal access to educational opportunities as their peers’

How will these children ever catch up with their education, gain qualifications, jobs and a social life ?

And all this ‘treatment’ costs the NHS £13,000 a week on a secure ward, with a minimum average of £900 a day.


As ‘mental’ health moves into schools, and we are told a fifth of our children have a ‘diagnosable disorder’.

Within a mendacious system that gerrymanders ‘out of area placements’ to, at worst , place vulnerable children wherever commercially convenient, or at best, treats them without having the correct infrastructure in place.

Allowing children to linger for years, hundreds of miles away from their families regardless of the damage caused.

We must consider the outcomes of such ‘treatment’ and the huge amount of money spent on it.

And ask why ?



NHS pours Billions into ‘mental’ profit, out of Area Placements and Asylum ‘Treatment’.



It is 7 years since Winterbourne aired, the head of the Care Quality Commission resigned, and Mencap published a report warning similar abuse could be going on elsewhere calling for the closure of large institutions far away from patients’ families.

And the Government set a national ambition to eliminate ‘inappropriate’ out of area placements for adults ( not children? ) by 2020-21

So what has happened ?

The British Medical Association has been forced to obtain out of area placement figures under the FOIA.

Which show the number had in fact risen by 40% and continues to rise.
5,876 in 2016/17 up from 4,213 in 2014-15.

And the cost of such placements has risen from £108 million to £159 million.

3 years earlier The Daily Mail’s FOIA figures revealed 22 mental health trusts spent £38.2million on out of area placements.


One patient from Somerset was sent over 587 miles to the Scottish Highlands, another two from Oxford over 532 miles to Inverness and Grampian, a Dorset patient was sent 323 miles to Darlington. and another sent from Leeds to Plymouth.


The affect of such journeys on mentally vulnerable people and being left captive with strangers unable to see anyone familiar can only be imagined, but could only worsen their mental health.

When David Knight 29, killed himself after being sent 150 miles from home, the Coroner noted the out of area placement ‘very likely’ had a bearing on his death.

Why is this happening ?

We are told it is a shortage of beds, but is it just factory farming, commercial awareness and ‘care pathways’ ?

Before our government ‘transformed’ mental health, people were inpatients for as brief a time as possible, as a last resort in a ward in their local hospital costing far less.

Now they are whisked off by police/ foundation trusts to local acute holding bays, and then on to anywhere no matter how far, to anyone available to receive their £13,000 a week NHS bounty.

If commercially enforced outsourcing of our most vulnerable all over the country to any available ‘facility’ is allowed, what does this say about their treatment ?

UHS owned Cygnet owners of CAMHS were given £300m for 11 new care model programmes to create care pathways for low and medium secure adult mental health services, Tier 4 child and adolescent mental health and eating disorder services.


Yet at the time some of their hospitals had been rated requiring improvement and their CAMHS services are worsening.


Here is the latest damning Buzzfeed investigation into Cygnet  but there is no UK media coverage.


We have a core of autistic/learning disabled people holed up and newly harvested to mental hospitals.

Any meltdown at home or in public, can and does result in a swift removal by the police under s136 MHA to a local holding bay and then onto wherever hospital is available for years.

According to an HSCIC census, there were 3,230 hospital in-patients with learning disabilities, autism and/ or challenging behaviour on 30 September 2014, with an average length of stay of 547 days and living an average 34.4km from home.

In 2013, equivalent figures were 3,250 in-patients , 542 days and 34.5km.

Despite the government providing local LAs with 136 million to repatriate these out of area ‘patients’ to ‘community living’ near their home, today the figure remains at just under 3000.


And we do not know the number of new admissions, but do know Cygnet have built new hospitals for the autistic and learning disabled .

And UHS/Cygnet own most of the local ‘community living’ where the LD/ASD are institutionalised for life.

The first big player in ‘specialised’ mental hospitals was St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton, formally The Northampton General Asylum, funded 90% by NHS, and given £45 million to build a 110 bed CAMHS pathway residential unit for those with behavioural issues, autism and learning disabilities .

It now has a 900 bed capacity and is marketed as a national ‘specialist’ service for practically everything -autism, learning disability , dementia, bipolar, anxiety, brain injury, psychosis from anywhere Scotland, Wales, Northern and Southern Ireland .


In 2012/13, St Andrews then Chief Executive Professor Philip Sugarman was paid £653,000, an increase of more than 18 % on his previous year’s pay.

The current Chief Executive, Gil Baldwin’s basic salary was £328,000 in 2016.

All this is despite unexplained deaths and criticism


The latest being a Dispatches documentary.


Yet St Andrews was awarded mental health hospital of 2016.


Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals said
Away from the patient’s home, meaning people are isolated from their friends and families. In the 21st century, a hospital should never be considered ‘home’ for people with a mental health condition’

More than 50 years after the movement to close asylums and large institutions, we were concerned to find examples of outdated and sometimes institutionalised care,”

“We are particularly concerned about the high number of people in ‘locked rehabilitation wards’.

Yet this CQC report says nothing about the effectiveness of treatment, and outcomes for patients, merely going on to list waiting times to harvest for this ever greedy industry and a shortage of nurses.

Promoting the need to throw even more money at private mental to harvest and build new asylums.


Lelliott also added:
We were surprised at just how many of these wards there were and how many were locked.

We also had some concerns about the fact that they weren’t that discharge oriented, they weren’t actively enabling people to return back to their home environments.

Stays in such wards should be

“a step on the road back to a more independent life in the person’s home community”, and not a long-term treatment option’.

It appears private NHS mental lock patients in, more often than NHS trusts, allowing the maximum £13,000 a week to be claimed, fueling suspicions they hold on to some patients longer than necessary in order to maximise profits.

Mental health charity Mind report patients kept on locked rehabilitation wards are being denied their human rights.

The government has promised 1.3billion to ‘redesign’ mental health in waves .

The total budget of the programme across both waves is around 640 million, representing approximately 35 per cent of the Specialised Commissioning mental health budget (350 million for wave one).


Nearly a fifth of the total NHS budget is spent on mental, whilst 3.83 million non mental patients wait for NHS treatment and just 7% is spent on GPs.

It would appear, our Mental Health Taskforce’s real purpose is not to improve the lives of the behaviourally disabled and socially distressed, but to make as much profit from them as possible from our public money.

out of area mental


The Purpose of Baby P ? Care numbers double. Cuts . Perfect Conditions for Privatisation.

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‘Who would have anticipated in 2007 that within ten years one of the safest child protection systems in the world, based on 40 years of learning and development, would have been churned up and undermined by politicians using the ammunition provided by the tabloid press whipping up public hostility and in the context of politically-chosen austerity?’

Professor Ray Jones , author of the ‘Story of Baby P Setting the Record Straight’

56 murders of toddlers occurred in 2007, but only Baby P’s was raised by David Cameron at Prime Minster’s question time.

This jettisoned Baby P from a small newspaper column to headlines for months.

And the Sun launched a Justice for Baby P campaign screaming ’social workers had blood on their hands’ until the nation bayed for blood.


Cameron declared it “completely unacceptable” that the inquiry be led by Haringey’s own director of children’s services.

Yet Child Protection is still self regulating and even serious case reviews are few.

Tony Blair had legislated safeguarding authorities remit was not to apportion blame, but to ensure agencies were working together and communicating.

And Conservatives had adopted a similar approach in their policy paper ‘No more blame game’


As a sop to accountability, Blair had created a statutorily accountable role for each Local Authority- the Director of Childrens Services.

This proved useful to Ed Balls who summarily dismissed Haringey’s Director, Sharon Shoesmith live on TV.

Pacifying the public and demoting any dismissal claim to procedural ensuring Haringey’s protection machinations were never aired in an adversarial forum.

But it cost the tax payer over a milllon .

There was no inquiry into Baby P’s death other than a serious case review limited by its no blame safeguarding remit.

No public inquest let alone inquiry.

Trial was by the media but not of the system, just its tools.

A ‘good’ rating in an OFSTED report just days before Baby P’s death was shredded by a 3 month OFSTED retainment policy, and replaced by a new ‘devastating’ report.

Nevres Kemal, a senior social worker had tried to blow the whistle for months before she eventually sent a letter, six months before Baby P’s death (and OFSTED’s ‘good’ report), to the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt and three other Ministers. alleging procedures were not being followed and Haringey was ‘out of control’.

Hewitt forwarded this to the Department of Education and Skills, who advised Kemal to write to the Commission for Social Care Inspection, to whom she’d already written to and copied into Hewitt’s letter.

Anyway, by the time of their reply, Haringey had obtained an injunction banning her from speaking out ,so she couldn’t have informed the Inspectorate anyway.


Only 7 years earlier Haringey had been publically investigated by Lord Laming , because of the torture and death of Victoria Climbe.

And systems had been put in place ‘to ensure such deaths never happened again’.

But judging from Baby P’s timeline things were now much worse.


The catalogue of missed opportunities began at his birth and escalated from minor infections to increasingly distressing injuries.

28 different social workers, doctors and police officers saw Baby P and he was taken to hospital nine times.

The last occasion just two days before his death, when doctors failed to spot he was paralysed as his back was broken because he was “quite miserable and crying” and it was not possible to make a “full examination”.

At 17-month-old he had suffered more than fifty injuries over the eight-month period his mother’s new boyfriend moved in , all under the watchful eyes of social workers, managers, GPs, hospitals, etc.

The legal department kept insisting there was insufficient evidence to satisfy the care threshold, yet 80% of care orders were obtained without any physical abuse.

And guidelines advised a court application on a second sign of physical injury.

This staggering inability by everyone to do their job , could surely not be down to just incompetence/communication, it appeared a modus not to look for, or acknowledge abuse.

As the decision had been made that Baby P’s mother should keep him.

She was even videoed as a shining example of ‘rehabilitation’ for social work training purposes .

If this decision were shown to be a mistake, managers would be open to criticism .

Exactly the same attitude had allowed the torture and death of Victoria Climbie by her approved foster carers, Lord Laming remarking;

This Inquiry saw too many examples of those in senior positions attempting to justify their work in terms of bureaucratic activity, rather than in outcomes for people.”

But his words had not been heeded.

Did things change under the new £200,000 a year Director of Childrens Services ?

Read here, how Haringey dealt with a complaint just 3 years later.

Revealed after a 22 month fight and crippling legal costs forced Judge Anthony Thornton’s judicial review to draw the “inescapable conclusion”, that the authority had illegally escalated its abuse inquiry to the highest possible level purely because the mother had the temerity to complain.

And had broken all guidelines by telling police, the family GP and their child’s school that the child, EF, was the suspected victim of serious abuse – without any supporting evidence.


Here are a few of the cases where Haringey has failed children that managed to get out;

The scandal of the removal of 7 children to care from the Nigerian Musa family




Department of Health figures show that over 20 years, the number of children in care has more than doubled.

In the year to March 31 1995, there were 5,800 “looked after” children of four years and under.

In 1998 there were 8,200

2010- 11,200,

2011 12,300

So the  sensationalism of Baby P had worked.

But has all the extra money spent on child protection improved outcomes for children ?

We have no evidence that it has, outcomes for those in care are known to be grim.

And, as  for those adopted there is little research.

Nor, do we know if it even reduced the number of children being seriously harmed or killed by their parents.


MHA amendments 2017. Removal for ‘Treatment’. Private Mental’s Ultimate Harvesting Tool.


An English man’s home is no longer his castle from Monday 11th December.

This historic bastion of common law refuge is weakened by Mental Health Act 2017 amendments.

As police can enter anyone’s home, be it tent or shed, and search for and remove an occupier to ‘a place of safety’ and provide any enforced ‘treatment’, if they suspect he is ‘ suffering from a mental disorder.

And he can then be detained interminably under the MHA or MCA .

This may seem beyond belief but it is terrifyingly true.

It gives the  Nanny State and private mental health services the ultimate power.

The Mental Health Act s135 allows such an ultimate, disproportionate interference with a person’s human rights- the removal of his legal competence ,

‘with a warrant’ obtained form a magistrate without notice,  if there

‘is reasonable cause to suspect that a person believed to be suffering from mental disorder’.

or ‘Is or has been, or is being, ill-treated, neglected

or kept otherwise than under proper control, in any place

or unable to care for himself is living alone ‘.



Police can however, enter any building,  if not a place where the person usually resides or any public building or indeed have the power in any public area- street, park, bus, train, school  Without a warrant.

under the amended s136 to detain a person for mental assessment as it states;

s136 (1) If a person appears to a constable to be suffering from mental disorder and to be in immediate need of care or control, the constable may, if he thinks it necessary to do so in the interests of that person or for the protection of other persons

(a) remove the person to a place of safety within the meaning of section 135, or

(b) if the person is already at a place of safety within the meaning of that section, keep the person at that place or remove the person to another place of safety.

So now, if a constable sees an adult or child behaving, as if they have a ‘mental disorder’ in a  public place, and ‘feels it necessary’ in their interests, or of those around them, the police can remove that person and detain him at a ‘place of safety’ for assessment.

Warrants to enter and remove from a person’s own house, are now easier to obtain, on the evidence of ‘an approved healthcare professional’ which is very widely defined under s 135 .

Section 135 – Warrant to search for and remove patients.

(1) If it appears to a justice of the peace, on information on oath laid by an approved mental health professional, that there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person believed to be suffering from mental disorder—

Note a ‘mental disorder’, we have 375 to choose from, need not actually be proved.

It  is enough, if ”an approved mental health professional’, a vague term, which I assume could be anyone- paid carer, nurse with ‘mental health training’, again an unknown quantity, merely ‘suspects’, and it ‘appears’ to the Justice that this is the case.

So, effectively anyone ( who has had any ‘training’ in the vague term of ‘mental health’)

On virtually nothing (what is a mental disorder ? These are conduct disorders as what else is being assessed. So are social conduct is being controlled, and can lose us our liberty and legal competency.  Who is trained sufficiently to suspect a person has one and how ?)

Can obtain a warrant, if it merely ‘appears’ to a single magistrate without a hearing,to enter anyone’s house and remove them, or a person living there, be they under or over 18, assess them, forcefully medicate them, and detain for as long as, now mainly private NHS mental services, want.

If the poor unsuspecting wretch tries to escape during any part of his encagement process, including from any place of safety hospital, he can be ‘retaken’ into custody under s138.


These powers also apply to children defined as under 18 and override parental decisions and control over their own childrens treatment and place of residence.

An order under the Mental Capacity Act from the Court of Protection or an emergency care order if under 18 had to be obtained first but not anymore.

Worse still, this is in a country where mental services and hospitals are monopolies, owned by venture capitalists and run for maximum profit like Cygnet, Cambian and Acadia .

The Home Office and Department of Health ran a year-long consultation in 2014, but strangely, some might say it was because the private provision infrastructure was not yet in place, the Bill did not receive Royal Assent until 2017.

But despite the seismic affect of this law, it has received no press or media coverage.

Here is an official summary of the changes and shows that the system in policing Triages set up throughout the country already operating s136 pathways.


Many MPs and Lords made various amendments, but one by one these were either defeated or withdrawn, and few amendments were actually made to the House of Commons draft of 2014.

800 years after the Magna Carta, anyone, including a child can be picked up in the street or shops, imprisoned, assessed and medicated, if it appears to a police person he is suffering from a mental disorder and needs care or control.

Anyone can be removed from their  own home by force  on the say so of any mental health worker employed by private corporations paid £13,000 a week guaranteed public money to ‘stabalise’ and detain him indeterminably.

A very dangerous audacious law, without any very necessary safeguards, that the public won’t know about until it is too late.

And who will remove a person from their ‘place of safety’ where not even deaths are investigated ?

There are no checks on now mainly private mental services and no one can complain or it would appear escape from their hospitals and enforced medication.




Media hides NHS rip off no mention of Cygnet billion £ ‘treatment’ out of area/no money as always.


Gillian Speke’s petition to get her grand daughter out of a Cygnet hospital has over 15,000 signatures and is blogged here


But the only media coverage she, or anyone trapped in Cygnet has had is shown here.


And this is deliberately spun to not mention Cygnet or any of the details of her granddaughters 8 year horrific over drugged treatment.

Nor the 4 million it cost the NHS.


And Gillian is described as a ‘Campaigner for treatment at home’, but ‘home’ is a euphemism for an in local area hospital .

Another lady, whose teenage daughter is hundreds of miles away in Cygnet Bury, due to her ‘self harm‘, Gillian, the News Reader and the Director of Mind Charity, all speak only  about the fact, that out of local area placements have a ‘detrimental affect on patients as they can’t see relatives as often and relatives worry about them.

No mention is made of Cygnet’s inadequate, interminable, over drugging ‘treatment’ and affect of enforced medication.

Or, of the £900 + a night minimum NHS payment with £13,000 a week for a secure ward.

Nor the unrecorded, not investigated deaths of their physically well. patients.


To which another recent death in Cygnet House, Derby can now be added by this comment made on the December 5, 2017

My sister Nina died after being given Clozapine within 4 months of being placed at Cygnet House Derby. My sister should not have been given this drug in the first place. The Drs didn’t even follow their own guidelines or any other for that matter (neglect) In fact they did not care about her or us Nina’s family or what they had done. They have got away with killing my sister.

Something needs to be done before someone else dies . Surely this is breaches all Human Right Laws?????’


Nor the many  complaints of inpatients and relatives.

The News item infers out of area placements are the only problem.

Yet family visits are supervised , regulated, and can be cancelled at any time and for ever, if deemed in a patient’s best interests.

And the new item tells us nothing about Cygnet’s ‘treatment’ except it is the ‘most appropriate’ .

And the Newsreader makes sure to add:

As ever its down to money’.

All promotes the government agenda of yet more cash for private mental, yet 200million is the latest cash strapped NHS donation.

Already some  LA funds and now a fifth of NHS total spend is on mental health services.

It does not mention that the Government has already  set a national ambition to eliminate ‘inappropriate’ out of area placements for adults inpatients by 2020-21

But figures obtained by BMA through FOIA show the numbers sent out of area in England have  in fact risen by 40% in the last two years

In 2016-17, 5,876 travelled out of their area for treatment compared with 4,213 in 2014-15.

The Liberal Democrats health spokesman, Norman Lamb was “horrified” by the figures, which he claimed exposed the government’s abject failure to tackle mental health injustices-


’ Out of placement’ issue is a continueing distraction and irrelevant to the inadequate, dangerous, for maximum profit service provision.

And in any event, why do patients need to be sent all over the country when ‘treatment’ appears similar for all ‘disorders’ – medication and containment.

Mental health services were provided much more safely and cost effectively within local hospitals before the advent of the private mental health bonanza .

Which heralded the building, harvesting and herding of captive customers all over England and now Wales .

It is this NHS bonanza and its ‘commercial awareness’, that has caused the out of area placement problem.

As the Health and Social Care Act 2012  allowed CCGs via NHS England to choose certain monopoly providers as ‘the only qualified provider’, and this forced  patients all over the country to providers like St Andrews , Acadia and Cygnet

As more local health trusts are put into Special Measures by CQC, ironically, the worse services will become, as privatisation of both the NHS Trust and their providers increase .

Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Trust was the first to be put into special measures last year.



Isle of Wight MHT placed in special measures


And many more .

Sheffield Health and Social Care is already private since converting in 2015 and appears the only mental health trust with no out of area placements.

‘In area placements’ and more cash will not stop the deaths of inpatients nor improve our mental health services.

But the public deception will continue until all is privatised and  maximum NHS funds siphoned off into private profit .

And this increases as more are harvested, medicated and detained.

Creation of Adoption/Fostering Industry- The Blair Years.



Adoption was once voluntary, reserved for unmarried mothers and Church Adoption agencies surviving on charitable donations and the support of religious founders.

Then the Adoption Act 1976 made Local Authorities responsible for all adoptions and allowed adoption to be forced if a parent was acting unreasonably .

A once private, voluntary, and very personal matter was now controlled by the State.

And has grown into a multi million pound Corporate industry with over 90% of adoptions forced to strangers.

As only those in the care system are available, the definition of ‘harm’ has been extended ever wider effectively now allowing the state to decide who can parent.


How could this have happened ?

Tony Blair knew there was a shortage of children to satisfy the ever increasing social need for family units.

And this basic need could be financially and socially exploited.

Within 2 years of his Premiership he set upon a personal mission as his father was adopted to transform adoption.

Vowing to increase the number to 40% of those in care by 2004/5.


So began the biggest shake-up of adoption for 25 years launched with military precision.

£66.5m was provided to English LAs.

Financial allowances for adoptive parents and a streamlined systems were introduced.

LA adoption scorecards with national targets were introduced.


Councils were put under a legal duty to consider adoption within just six months of a child entering care, be it on a voluntary or on an enforced basis.

Allowing little time for ‘rehabilitation’ back to their birth parents.

A national adoption register was created matching children with potential parents.

Adopters were given the right to an independent review if rejected.

They were no longer ‘automatically excluded from adoption on grounds of age, health or other factors, except in the case of certain criminal convictions”.

CAFCASS was created to represent the interests of children in court proceedings..

The then and continuing Chair of the British Adoption and Fostering Agency, whose purpose was to promote adoption and fostering was made the chief executive of CAFCASS.

Every child was represented in court by a CAFCASS guardian who assessed his welfare for the courts.

Such was our common law’s abhorrence to the alienation of a parent’s right to their own children, adoption without consent had not been introduced until 1976.

But under Blair’s Adoption and Children Act 2002 parents had no rights.

The Act placed a ‘child’s needs’ at the centre of the adoption process, aligning adoption law with the ‘welfare principle’ in the Children Act 1989, allowing the state to dispense with a parent’s consent whenever it thought it necessary in a child’s welfare.

This welfare was based on the expansive threshold criteria in Childrens Act 1989, further extended by a new welfare checklist in s 1, ACA 2002.

But this list didn’t mention a parent’s right to their own children under s 8 HRA, nor their relationship with younger children, as parents were deemed not to have any meaningful relationship  with their own children, particularly as those parents were cast as abusers and/or incapable.

This was despite expert evidence that any interference with the bonding process in a child’s early years could result in a serious development disorder resulting in highly disturbed and distinctive patterns of behaviour, which was increasingly being diagnosed in adopted children.

Nor was the affect of root cutting, adoption per se and adoption breakdown in the list.

In fact the loss of a parent’s right to his child and that child’s right to his natural family was barely debated in Parliament, despite our adoption laws already at that time resulting in more permanent removals in the world, except for the US and Portugal being the only other European country to allow adoption without consent.

This draconian approach to family welfare and disregard of parents’ rights was also in stark contrast to the European Court of Human Rights’ decisions.

Which made a clear distinction between taking a child into care, where the European courts were prepared to give domestic authorities a wide margin of appreciation and was not normally in breach of Art 8, P, C and S v The United Kingdom [2002] 35 EHRR 31, as
“a temporary measure to be discontinued as soon as circumstances permit”

And the removal of parental rights by adoption, which can only be justified in exceptional circumstances.


In 2006 1,300 babies aged between a week and a month were removed from their mothers for ever, a rise of 141% in a single year and the number adopted rose from 970 in 1996 to 2,120 .

By 2016 2,700 babies were removed each year.


Fees  paid per adoption in 2008 were:

£12,660 for an adoptive family approved by another LA

£19,889 for families from VAAs with an additional fee of £3,315 to cover post adoption services

London LAs and VAAs are also able to charge an additional 10% London weighting

And then, just before the end of Blair’s Premiership, along came Baby P.





UHS/ Cygnet Behavioural Health Industry grows despite its inadequacy.


In 2011 the CQC made a routine announced visit to an Alpha psychiatric hospital in Sheffield and spoke to staff and patients on all three wards.

And found it failed to comply with seven of the government’s standards of quality and safety.

By law providers must meet all standards, but there is no sanction at best, and very rarely will a hospital be put into special measures.

And as confidential commercial contracts, we have no details of the lengths and contractual terms of NHS contracts.

Alpha Hospitals (NW) Limited were given 14 days to produce plans to show how it intended to achieve compliance.


Three years later Cygnet was bought by USA’s Universal Health Services for £205 million.


Simons Stevens 10 years chief executive of UHS’s global division , after leaving  his job as Blair adviser on NHS public investment is now chief executive of NHS England .


After UHS took over Cygnet bought all its three of Alpha’s Hospitals in Woking, Bury and Sheffield for 95 million.


But now 6 years on and billions of public NHS money later, ‘treatment’ appears even worse in the former Alpha Sheffield hospital.

So bad in fact, a Labour MP Louise Haigh wrote two months ago to the Health Secretary demanding an urgent meeting about care in Cygnet Sheffield.

The CQC had rated the hospital “inadequate” on safety.

Cygnet’s response was health and wellbeing of patients was its “absolute priority”.

Why would it not be ? They are paid  a minimum of £900 a day. £13,000 a week on secure wards.

The CQC inspected Sheffield 3 times in just 13 months, twice due to serious incidents.

The most recent inspection in July focused on the Haven ward, and identified a number of issues which caused the CQC to have “significant concern for the health and wellbeing of patients”.

Haigh mentioned to the House of Commons that a young woman was found by the inspectors to have MRSA with open wounds on a ward.

The CQC also found shortfalls in patient risk assessments, reporting of incidents and safeguarding procedures..

Haigh has since written to NHS England, Jeremy Hunt and Cygnet Healthcare over a “lack of learning” from incidents at the hospital


The Sheffield’s hospital’s latest CQC report of 17 th November is here

Comments of patients in Sheffield on the net are damning .

Maddie Colbrook -2 months ago

my brother got triggered because of all the blood stains on the walls you really need to sort that out of something bad will happen to him and I hate you for not listening to his period issues SORT IT OUT NOW OR I WILL BE SUEING YOU LOT

SL -a year ago

A lot of gossip with staff everyone knows everything about everyone. Not as professional as I would’ve hoped when it came to legal matters. No support given when it was needed.
Bullying from some staff members.
Doesn’t get cleaned as thoroughly as I would’ve thought with it being a hospital. Blood can remain on walls for months.
Over all pretty disappointed with the experience.

Despite all this in June, Cygnet  announced NHS England had confirmed Cygnet Health Care, as a partner in 3 out of the 11 new programmes commissioned for mental health services.

This was the second commission following a wave including Cygnet announced last year.

The 11 new care model programmes will be given a £300m commissioning budget.

Worth  £75 million to Cygnet.

To create new models of care for low and medium secure adult mental health services, Tier 4 child and adolescent mental health services and eating disorder services.

‘By creating new partnerships ( presumably with Health and Social Care Trusts) to explore new opportunities to improve care pathways for our service users.’


Cygnet continues to increase its empire, building new hospitals the latest in Coventry, a 56 bed specialist mental health service is to be opened by Debra K. Osteen, President of the Behavioural Health Division of UHS admissions in March 2017


Cygnet has its own events company and hosts work shops, conferences, award ceremonies, and training on all aspects of behavoural health, the new mental.

It has created its own world from awareness , detection, diagnoses and treatment.

700 attended its latest UK Yorkshire Regional Conference https://www.cygnethealth.co.uk/events/the-evolution-of-involvement-conference-2017/

It has its own annual National Service User Awards.

It intends to control all aspects of behaviour ‘disorders’.

How they are diagnosed , treated, even socially perceived.

Personality disorders, anorexia, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, depression, PTSD, autism, learning disability, neurological injuries, even domestic violence.

But treatments appear similar- the most profitable, detainment and medication.
And all ages are harvested children via CAMHS and adults via AMHS

It’s PR and professional presentation is honed-

‘Cygnet Health Care has been providing a national network of high quality specialist mental health services for almost 30 years.
With a true focus on outcomes those who use or commission our services can be assured we are an experienced, service-user focused, provider of quality treatment, care and rehabilitation’.

But what are the comments and experiences of its service users ?

Cygnet Hospital Ealing



Christina Jacob  3 months ago

My relative went in as a voluntary patient in March.

By the end of the week they had them on a section 3 was giving them olanzapine injections. I told them the drug had been used in the past and didn’t suit.
Relative became really unwell was not taken care of sent to a god awful place came back months later.
I went to visit and they had had a meeting and put a safeguarding thing in place on me.
I am a woman in a wheelchair who has complained constantly about how my relative had been treated. This place could not organize a piss up in a brewery oh hang on the place is one big boozefest

Extremely poor level of patient care. Very unprofessional and incompetent staff including the managers. Vulnerable people with learning disabilities and those who self harm require a safe, therapeutic and positive setting to recover and receive treatment, and this is not the place!

Heather Maclatcy
A month ago
Cygnet I wouldn’t send anyone to this place is not compliant in my view with the mental health act or the code of practice ie restrictive practices form the hospital management down to day to day staffing and some of the practices as seen on hansa ward leaves a lot to be desired Like how some of the staff deal with patients when they are in distress ie restraint isn’t practices are like how you would treat prisoners in prison bending joints in the wrong way which is not at all acceptable, because it could lead people lifelong injury plenty of other ways in my opinion how to get someone to comply with instructions non-pain compliant techniques, lucky was not a issue with me I felt bad for other patients
And as well to get medical care at Cygnet leaves a lot to be desired I had to go Private for dental treatment because The RC would not grant leave to see specialist dentist is medical leave and these guys stretch the truth to the max like in mental health tribunals they lie through their teeth
You are CCG do not send your patients to this hospital under any circumstances
If you got a loved one in this hospital exercise your rights as nearest relative to get them discharge under the mental health act

And what  do Cygnet workers think ?


And here are stories of those trapped in hospitals.



And two of the many who have died in Cygnet ‘care’.

Jody -Bury Cygnet


Jonathan Chamberlian Ward Cygnet Stevenage

Buzzfeed here explains their investigation into Cygnet Services


Patients are being made much worse this is not ‘treatment’ as required by law under MHA.

We have a purported ‘cash strapped’ NHS, which is siphoning off public money to allow private US multi nationals to make as Cygnet has £6.3 million profit a year and pay nearly half a million salary to their head.

Worse still, the NHS appears not to care about the ‘treatment’ paid for and outcomes for service users.

And here are Cygnet CQC ratings.

CQC CygnetDO2Bl6qWAAELizv