How many deaths in St Andrews, Northampton? Who is accountable?


Who protects the vulnerable voiceless, like Bill, and Kristian, paying £6,000 (£4,500 tax free) per week, for their enforced ‘treatment’?

How many of them  have died in St Andrews?

A freedom of information request, revealed, the CQC, apparently, indicating, they were not prepared, to investigate the deaths at St Andrews,

“CQC was aware of the service’s own reviews, following the deaths and, following a meeting with the provider in 2011, we wrote asking for information about their clinical governance and assurance processes with regard to how natural-cause deaths are identified and investigated.”

But how can they be ‘natural deaths’?

A ‘natural death’ is defined as

‘death due to a disease running its full course with no other intervening factors’.

But nobody,  dying in St Andrews, appeared, to be suffering from any disease, as far as could be gleaned, from the hospital’s ‘routine’, if not refused, health check.

And if they were, why was their disease not treated, for the providers £4,500 per week payment ?

I was unable to find Care Quality Commission Reports for St Andrews for 2010/11.

But four years later, a CQC report stated it still

requires improvement’,

Yet, St Andrews own website, appears to boast it is ‘outstanding’.

And, why is St Andrews, still the only alternative, particularly for young autistic/ learning disabled/ behavioural problems ?

And, as beds in public ATUs, are all to be phased out, on the much publicised excuse, of the abuse in Winterbourne View, (which was a private institution), together with huge political clout, St Andrews, along with Cygnet and a few others, all private, will be the only places mental patients can be sent.

And, its newly opened, 120 bed adolescent unit, was found, by the CQC, to be so understaffed, patients were forced to restrain each other.

How can this be ‘treatment’ and, how can it justify  £6,000 per week, per patient, when tax free element factored in.

So, we have a provider, being paid a fortune, for what, the scant, government controlled oversight of the CQC has, in its light touch inspections, revealed ‘inadequate’.

No accountability for services, and use of huge sums of public money, and no measure of outcomes for the service users.

The perfect business model.

As 3% of St Andrew’s patients, were residents of Northamptonshire.

The Local Healthwatch Northamptonshire, had a statutory right/duty, to go into  this publically funded, privately run local health  service, to assess the care provided, from the perspective of patients, and service users.

They visited St Andrews, and reported in 2014.

‘that the mix of staff means there are a high proportion of relatively inexperienced and unqualified staff meaning that patients are not always receiving the clinical expertise and knowledge’.

‘ staffing levels, ( 2 registered nurses per ward), are putting patient safety at risk.

Patients who talked about low staffing levels said this has a knock on effect on the quality of care including the ability to increase their level of relative freedom, for example being able to go out in the grounds.’

The Healthwatch, had particular concerns, about the physical healthcare of patients, finding 38% of physical complaints were upheld.

But then, surprisingly, in view of these findings,  Healthwatch concludes,

‘its expectation is that, as commissioners of the service, NHS England, is robustly holding SAH to account for the quality of all aspects of service provision, including physical healthcare’.

But it clearly isn’t holding SAH to account.

But, they do recommend, that SAH reviews, the 7, unexpected deaths during 2013/14, to establish whether there were any actions, that could have been taken, to prevent them.

One, would surely have thought, reviews, would automatically result from  a patient’s death, as a basic safety issue in respect to future treatment, and not need, an external body to recommend them.

Remember, these patients are only mentally ill, not physically, so why are they dying in such numbers ?

This surely says a lot about the lack of their care, and actual treatment ?

Keeping mentally disordered patients alive, surely should be the most basic requirement of care costing £6,000 per week.

And, if patients die, then the service provider should be held liable, particularly, if the patients care costs so much, and they are not physically ill.

Why is the NHS paying that amount. How could it be justified ?

It is unknown, why the report in para 6, states 7 deaths in 13/14.

6. We recommend that SAH reviews the 7 unexpected deaths during 2013/14 to establish whether there were any actions that could have been taken by SAH to prevent the unexpected deaths. We further recommend that SAH commissions an independent review into the 7 unexpected deaths’.  

When the only deaths revealed publically, that I could find, were the 5, in 2010/11.

Have additional deaths, occurred under the radar, after the 5 in 2010/11?

The Healthwatch, wrote to NHS England, requesting  a published independent review.

But, how could this review, be independent, if commissioned, by NHS England, who themselves  commissioned 90% of St Andrews service?

This means they are investigating into their own chosen services.

If failings were to be revealed, NHS England as the commissioner ,would be liable for them.

The Healthwatch, further recommends a lay summary of the review be published.

As they want,

‘to be assured that SAH has a culture of continuous review and learning from unexpected deaths’.

How about  being  accountable, for them ?

They recommend, that SAH invite the charity Rethink, to talk to the senior management team and the Board about Rethink’s 2013 report “Lethal Discrimination”, which calls for action to tackle ‘premature mortality’ in secure mental health settings.

The latest guidance for investigation by coroners, into deaths of those subject to a DOL under MCA

see link

Gil Baldwin, Chief Executive Officer, St Andrew’s Healthcare, commented,

‘our charitable status means that any money we make is used to grow and improve our services for the benefit of our patients’.

But says nothing, of the executives’ huge salaries, as revealed in St Andrews Financial Report to the Charity Commission for 2013/14.’s%20Accounts%20for%202013%20to%202014%20(reduced%20size%20for%20web).pdf

So how many  more deaths per se let alone ‘unexpected’ deaths, in healthy people in a mental, not physical hospital,have there been in St Andrews since those in 2014 ?

And where were they revealed ?

And, why was there so much publicity, about the deaths in SLOVEN public provision and none about the deaths in private St Andrews provision

And worse still, this publicity, used to move all mental patients to St Andrews, or, other private provision, as a matter of NHS policy ?

Surely, patient safety, should be paramount not private profit.






Why are mental health patients herded to St. Andrews, in Northampton ?

Adults and children, are being, forcefully herded, under MHA section/’best interests’ MCA, from all over the UK, to St Andrews Northampton, on the pretext, of no local provision.

The government policy is to phase out all NHS public mental health hospital admissions by 2017, so all will be private.

Anticipating this  multimillion pound units  were built at St Andrews to accommodate  hundreds of under 18s.

Here is a BIJ investigation into their under 18 provision of 110 beds each charging a minimum of £220,000 a year tax  free and parents forced to pay top up fees on top for basic facilities.

St Andrews has the  largest under 18 mental facility in Europe.

Large means more efficient and therefore more profitable.

NHS England are paying this ‘charity’, £5,000, minimum, and yearly increasing, public money per week for each patient.

If under 25, more money can be claimed now under education funding.

Bi polar Sophie is a beautiful 21 year old ‘bi polar’ patient whose Mum  has a facebook and Petition to the PM for her release . Please sign.

Read the sad story, of a mother miles from her 13 year old autistic daughter Maesie.

Tom Costello, at 72, found himself being driven 100 miles from Hampstead, against his, and his family’s wishes, and detained illegally, for four months, because, St Andrews, was the only place, his difficulty, with the, most common form of dementia, could be contained.

A dementia spokeswoman commented, that such a patient, should be able to be treated at home.

And, Tom would still be in St Andrews, but, for his family, and high profile.

Tianze, a high functioning autistic, poet, and piano player’s risperidol, was stopped at 16, when he started lactating, resulting in violent episodes.

When Tianze refused an assessment, he was forcefully removed, to Westlane Hospital Middlesbrough, 200 miles, from his home in Scotland.

He was to be sent to St Andrews, even further away, but campaigning, and publicity, appeared to have averted this move.

But, despite a tireless campaign by his parents, he was not returned to Scotland, and, they had to sell their home, and company, to live near him.

Tianze,is 18 next month, and despite a home care package, and promise of a return to the love of his family, another, adult hospital has been recommended.

Leo Andrade-Martinez’s 17 year old son, was placed in St Andrews.

And, it took a very public, and political campaign, to move him to another more suitable hospital

What local provision, would be needed, for the learning disabled, self- harming, common dementia, the autistic, or, those suffering the after effects of a recent brain injury?

And how much of this behaviour is actually caused by the medication the patients are put on ?

Autism, is not a mental illness, but at most a development difference yet it has recently be placed with learning disability in the Mental Health Act.

What these people need and would cost far less is a local NHS short stay, medication, if necessary, and then to be returned home to their family, where they can be individually monitored by, an independent of, a recycled profit making cabal?

Since when, did a learning disability/autistism/head injury, allow sectioning, under the MHA, or, incapacity encagement for life under the MCA ?

And warrant, the building of Europe’s largest, 16-18 year old residential unit ?

Since, it was realised, huge, stable, unaccountable profit from public funds, could be made by the mental health industry.

It costs the NHS at least £5,000 per week often much more per patient, for St Andrews commissioned care, which from CQR. and inspections is understaffed.

Here is a you tube video of a young autistic man sent from Spectrum to St Andrews, he describes the very painful restraints and encagement he suffered.

The National Audit Office produced a report, 4 years after the Winterbourne abuse was revealed by uncover media.

It reports,

‘The scale of the problem remains unchanged. According to the 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 (though this may have been an underestimate), 542 days and 34.5km.

Doctors take an oath, ‘to do no harm’.

Yet, those ‘treating’ patients in St Andrews, use largely unproven, unnecessary medication.

Producing, apparently, little other than sedation and greatly worsening the patients mental and physical condition and quality of life..

Side effects of medication, can cause great harm, and,result in mental illness, and even death.

The physical health of the patients is not monitored, other than a routine by nurse health check, which, if any resistance is shown, is tick boxed refused.

Even were deaths on similar medication, and symptoms on the same ward occur , these are not even discussed, or prevention taken to avoid further deaths.

Long term patients, will be subject to similar health concerns, as if, they were not mentally disabled.

And, are in a far more vulnerable position, because, they cannot describe their symptoms, and, the effects of their medication.

The anguish of pain, is indistinguishable from mental disturbance.

And, often made impossible by medication.

They will be given no pain killers, and may spend years in excruciating pain.

As my daughter did, with poo up to her chest internally, treated with Risperidol.

How must those in St Andrew’s, who died in similar circumstances have suffered?

Such vulnerable patients, need extra vigilant ,medical attention, not nursing oversight, easily refused.

That is why last year a staggering 1400 learning disabled died last year, probably more this year.

Mencap dismayed by lack of progress to stop avoidable deaths of people with a learning disability

That is 3 a day.

And, at least £7,000 and up to £13,000 per week, is paid for their care, the NHS is certainly paying for it.guilty_jpg312_910284464x220

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (lead for mental health), said:
“Overall we rated St Andrew’s Healthcare as Requires Improvement.
“Many of the children and young people admitted to St Andrew’s Healthcare have severe mental health problems and have a history of behaviour that has put themselves or others at risk. Despite that, we were surprised at the number of occasions when staff had resorted to physical restraint. The staff at St Andrew’s Healthcare must ensure that when restraint is used it is by the safest means to minimise the possibility of harm to the patient.
“St Andrew’s Healthcare has had difficulty recruiting nursing staff and many posts were vacant. It has been relying heavily on the on the use of agency and bank nurses “The service has given us assurances that it is making the necessary improvements and we have already witnessed some of these in action.
“People deserve to be treated in services which are safe, caring, effective, well-led, and responsive to their needs and this is what we look at when we carry out our inspections. We will continue to monitor this service closely and this will include further inspections.”

Fifth Death St Andrews Hospital, Northampton,Inquest Finding Quashed.

Less than two months, after Bill Johnson’s death, Kristian Thompson, a 19 year old talented cricket player, was found unconscious in a shower, in St Andrews Hospital, Northampton, where he later died.

Kristian-ThompsonOnly weeks before, Kristian, had lost more than 2 stone in weight, and, would ‘’zone out’’, and, be unable to concentrate.

His mother, had raised concerns about the effects of his medication.

His death, shortly afterwards, made her even more concerned, particularly, when she found out, that four other men, on similar medication, had died at St Andrews in the previous 10 months.

Kristian was a fit healthy young man, who found himself in St Andrews, after an assault, just 10 months before his death, which left his behaviour, ‘unpredictable’, and allowed him to be detained under the Mental Health Act.

At Kristian’s inquest, experts gave evidence, that Kristian’s death, may have been caused by sudden adult death syndrome, or, epilepsy.

The Coroner recorded an ‘open verdict’.

A spokeswoman for St Andrews said Kristian’s death had been investigated, in accordance with their procedures.

And St Andrews managers, dismissed claims by Bill Johnson’s solicitor, that the 5 deaths, could, be linked by the use of, the anti-psychotic drug clozaphine.

Merely on the basis of the logistics, that, they had occurred on different wards, and were treated by a  different teams of nurses.

Still, not knowing why, her physically fit young son, had died at 19, Kristian’s mother contacted David Miliband MP, who wrote to the coroner, asking to discuss his unexplained death.But the Coroner, replied that he thought there was no need for such a discussion..

So Kristian’s mother spoke to the coroner, and, asked to speak to the pathologist, but, who refused to meet her.

Desperate for answers, she then wrote to David Cameron, Prince Harry, the head of the CPS, and the Attorney General, and many other people, who all came back  with lots of sympathy, but said, there was nothing they could do.

But four years after Kristian’s death, two High Court Judges quashed the inquest’s verdict.

On the grounds, that without Kristian, having being diagnosed with epilepsy, before his death, an inquest, could not, have safely concluded it might be a cause.

And, this showed, there had been an ‘insufficiency of inquiry’, and there should be a fresh inquest into the matters put forward by Kristian’s legal team.

As there was insufficient evidence, Kristian was in fact, an epileptic at the time of his death.

The potential effect of his medication, and dosage before his death, were also not considered.

As was, no toxicology report done on Thomas Rawnsley, and his mother had to crowd fund to pay for one.

The High Court ruled, that this fresh inquest, should take place, ‘as soon as can be reasonably practicable’.

That was in May.

None of this would not have happened, but, for Kristian legal team.

And legal Aid, is not available for inquests, even under the government’s ‘exceptional funding’.

Bill Johnson’s inquest was re opened by family lawyers, after an initial finding of death by ‘natural causes’.

The only other inquest, into the 3 other deaths in St Andrews, recorded a finding of ‘natural causes’, but was not reopened.

In May this year, there was a successful application, under Article 2 European Directive, for ‘exceptional funding’, to cover legal representation in inquests.

But, there is still, no legal requirement, as exists in prisons, for independent investigations into deaths in hospitals, or residential care facilities.

Deaths at St. Andrews Hospital, Northampton

St Andrews Hospital, Northampton.

An inquest into the death of 41 year old William Johnson who had lived in St Andrews for 18 years, heard 3 other men on his ward had predeceased him, exhibiting  similar symptoms and on the similar medication.

The first death was on October 23rd 2010, second March 31st 2011, third April 3rd 2011 and then, Mr Johnson on May 31st 2011.

4 deaths, half the 8 bedded ward, in just 8 months.

This ward was costing the tax payer £ 36,000 per week tax free.

I think this figure needs to be revised if this as I think it was  a locked/secure ward where the standard fee for mental treatment is now £13,000 per week.

So back then the figure was likely to be nearer a staggering £96,000 per week.


A Coroner, delivered a narrative verdict on Mr Johnson’s death.

And he refused to reopen the inquest.

The only other inquest into the previous deaths had recorded death by ‘natural causes’.

Narrative verdicts were created in 2004, and merely describe the circumstances of a death not how it was caused.

Dr Adewale Aromolaran, the senior doctor, in charge of the ward, when Mr Johnson died told the inquest,

He was not involved ‘in any discussions about the three previous deaths’,

Despite Mr Johnson’s similar medication and similar  physical symptoms.

Yet ‘Parallels’ between the deaths were noted by the inquest.

However, Dr Aromolaram was made aware, of the second, and, third deaths, on his becoming a member of the ward ‘team’.

But despite the quick succession of deaths, the last 2 men to die before Mr Johnson, dying within four days of each other, and Mr Johnson, ‘ vomiting large amounts of body salts.’

As his organs, slowly, filled up with a faeces impaction, a common condition in the autistic per se and a side effect of the high dosages of at least two different antipsychotics.

The doctor alarmingly gave evidence at the inquest that;

“There were no discussions. No talks at all about those deaths that I was involved in”.

All men were medicated with clozaphine which is known to cause constipation.

So, the managing doctor, of an 8 bedded ward where 3 deaths had already occurred in only 7 months before he became part of the ward management team was not informed of the first death, nor discussed the similarities of the second and third.

Nor, even, more crucially, did the doctor connect this latest death with the  two deaths, less than 2 months before William Johnson, who like William would have been presumably also ‘vomiting up large amounts of body salts’.

And, worse stilldespite a 3rd death, the hospital appeared to have taken no precautions, to find out the reasons, nor change the treatment of the others in the ward.

The medication was continued in the same high dosage to people incapacitated, throwing up  permanently in bed.

How can this be ‘treatment’ ?

And why did no one check on the physical health of these successively dying men as they were obviously seriously ill, throwing up and no doubt in constant agony.

The ‘hospital’ being paid a  small fortune likely over £80,000 per week.

The doctor gave evidence, that it had been impossible even to ‘try’ to examine Mr Johnson’s abdomen during a ‘routine’ health check as he would not let the examination proceed.

How likely is it that a man, bed ridden full of chemical coshes, vomiting up salt, would/ could/should  have not allowed a hand on his bowel area easily able to pick up such a serious impaction, which should in any event, should have been picked up from vomiting salt, the side effects of medication and three previous deaths in similar circumstances in less than 8 months ?

And if continual medication can be enforced why not a life saving examination ?

Did no one ask why all these men were vomiting up body salts ?

And, in any event, would such a ‘routine’ health check have checked for and detected an impaction. ?

And, why, was only a ‘routine’ health check, thought sufficient, when this man was obviously dying, in the same manner, in the same ward, as his 3 fellow ward occupants, in quick succession ?.

How many ‘routine’ health checks, are tick boxed refused, and, who actually performs them ?

On this basic safety/ care issue, staggeringly, Dr Aromolaram, was not aware  of any hospital strategy in place, if a health check was refused.

St Andrews glossy PR is on the internet

The tax payer, was, paying at least £9,000 per week for this ‘treatment’, when charitable tax exemption is factored in.

We do not know the figures that is charged and paid for with our public money.

The Priory and Cygnet charge a minimum of £900 per night and up to £12,500 a week for an autistic 15 year old in an acute mental health bed.

See the structure of the provision and ward system here:’s%20Accounts%20for%202013%20to%202014%20(reduced%20size%20for%20web).pdf

St Andrews, had a turnover of £187.5million in 2013/14.

And, its chief executive at the time was earning £675,000 per annum.

The service was private, and commissioned and paid for by NHS England.

3 learning disabled, a day, died of inadequate NHS care, last year- that’s a staggering 1200, and, it was probably more this year.

Mencap dismayed by lack of progress to stop avoidable deaths of people with a learning disability

And, billions of profit has been made from their care.

Care Quality Commission Report 2014 see summary – Requires Improvement.

See summary.

Since the deaths St Andrews have been forced to acknowledge the role medication might play



2011-2012 Issy in her National Autistic School 48 bruises, impaction.

In January 2011, Issy was taken to her local GP about her periods.

We weren’t informed she was going.

She was kept waiting in the GP’s reception for half an hour.

And the same evening, NAS school rang to inform us of an incident there.

Issy had tried to leave the surgery, and ‘back up’ had been summoned by her care worker, Issy retrained, and taken back to her NAS home.

Issy returned home three days later, with bruises, all over her body.

Horrified, we asked how she got them, but received no explanation.

My husband noticed  a copy of the body map, completed the same day, as her restraint at the GPs.

It was kept in a separate incident book.

Yet, an OFSTED report had recommended, it not be kept separately.

It recorded 48 bruises.

But there was no paediatric assessment, or any medical examination.

And at Issy’s statutory review the same day neither the incident nor the bruising were mentioned and  as Issy had not yet been home for the weekend, we knew nothing about the incident.

In March 2011 Seamus, as always went to visit Issy on the Friday Issy did not come home and ate tea with her , he noticed  roughly 12 bruises were visible  on her left arm and 6-7 on her right arm.

He  asked one of the care workers what had happened  She said there had been an ‘incident’ at Robert Ogden School that day,, and that Issie ‘lay on the ground’.

On his return he wrote this email to her social worker Lletter to social worker 15th March 2011


A meeting was eventually held on 10 th May 2011.

A strategy discussion between Isabel’s independent reviewing officer, safe guarding services Barnsley, social worker, and head master.

Notes from this meeting state;

‘They (parents) had enjoyed a really good Christmas holiday with her (Isabel). However on her return to Robert Ogden things had been very concerning. On 11 January Isabel had attempted to abscond from the GP surgery appointment and they strongly felt that the GP should have been asked to visit her at Clayton Croft in the light of her difficulties with strange environments. When she returned home for the following weekend a total of 48 bruises had been documented on a body map. There was no discussion of these bruises at the looked after review meeting held the same day. The Easter holiday had been spent in Ireland and Isabel had been fine within the apartment but had tried to abscond when in town. There had been two incidents when she had exhibited signs of distress but there had been no need to restrain her and she had no bruises during this period’.

When I asked what they meant by ‘restraint’, the NAS head teacher said they took hold of her arms, either side, and walked briskly.

Disturbed by this horrific whitewash, of the infliction of 48 bruises on a vulnerable child, I pointed out, that blaming injuries on ‘self harm’, would hide, and therefore, encourage abuse.

I received silent, patronising nods.

Any bruises received at home, would not have been regarded as ‘self-harm’.

On  returning from our care. Issy was always checked by NAS, for marks, despite no reported incidents.

If there had been any, Issy would have been made subject to a s47 Childrens Act paediatric assessment, paid for by the LA, so not independent, us prosecuted, our  jobs lost, made social pariah’s, and worse still never allowed alone with Issy again.

Such was, and is, the terror of the State’s Damocles sword, that hangs over ours, and every parent’s heads.

In stark contrast, what can, anyone, do about state abuse?

We could not go to the police.

Who could they prosecute, in the extremely unlikely event, they decided it was not ‘self harm’.

And the Care Quality Commission, and OFSTED, do not consider individual’s complaints.

No one can, or will, even acknowledge state abuse.

The notes, show the meeting recommended the following actions;

-Any use of restraint will be notified to Mr and Mrs X as well as to Social Care.

-Body Maps will be made available .

-Wherever possible medical appointments will be arranged at Clayton Croft

-The referral to CAMHS to be progressed

None of these actions were ever taken, or implemented.

A follow up strategy meeting was set for 28 th June, as far as I am aware, it did not take place.

On Isabel’s return home in 2013, we complained about NAS’s abuse of Issy .

Her different social worker, attended a similar meeting in May 2013, we were not invited.

She fed back, the meeting had concluded, all bruises were self-harm.

This is now accepted, as the truth, by the LA, and will be used as the excuse to encage, and drug her.

Ofsted report for Robert Ogden 2010-11 was ‘outstanding’.

After this incident, poor Issy was a changed girl.

As her restraint had been whitewashed, its likely effect on Issy,-  poo impaction, loss of trust , and post traumatic stress disorder, could not be considered.

Instead, the ever present, corporate self- preservation, kicked in;  her risk assessment level was,  no doubt, raised, and she was rarely taken out, and when she was, was reluctant to get out of the NAS van.

She now, totally, refused to go into her classroom. And spent her time, mainly  in her bedroom.

But Isabel’s National Autistic School Progress File , still needed to be completed.Scan0046

And above, is a page from that File, Science 2, Making Choices, dated 2/5/12. Note Issy was not even standing during this activity.

It states, Isabel did a cooking activity where she observed the ingredients changing texture. When the buns had cooked, staff showed Isabel the buns and explained that the runny buns had set to create a solid bun.

Such is education costing £200,000 per annum.

She went from 12 to 7 stones, her periods stopped, and she became poo incontinent.

But despite frequent requests, no GP would visit Issy to examine her in her NAS home, and, after the incident on her last visit to the GP they would not take her.

Instead Issy was fed build up drinks, and vitamin tablets, both, exacerbate impactions.

The independent reviewing officer, repeatedly claimed medical care, was our responsibility, even though she was registered with their home’s GP, 25 miles away.

We rang this GP, but only a locum was prepared to go out, and she never did.

One of our recent agency workers, had worked shifts at that time in the NAS home.

She told us Issy’s meals were put into her room via the window. And she had been the only person, who had got her to eat a filled nachos, by taking the filling out.

Nor did it help her meals were quickly removed, on health and safety rules.Scan0045

In October 2012, whilst driving home for the weekend, Isabel attacked me in the back of our car.

We were forced to stop at the side of a very busy A road, 5 miles from her NAS home.

I got out with Eleanor, and stood on the grass verge, whilst Issy wrestled with Seamus in the drivers seat.

I rang for help from her NAS home, they sent their van out, and drove behind with Issy.

Despite warning of such an incident for months, we could not secure transport, so I had videoed the struggle on my mobile.

On Monday, our social worker emailed that the NAS workers had noticed bruising on Isabel’s arms, and the social services were considering a s47 paediatric examination.

NAS knew of the incident, and the bruising, as they had driven her home, but the incident was not mentioned.

We were beside ourselves, thinking we could be prosecuted, and, cut out of Issy life, for ever.

I showed him the video. Thank God I’d taken it.

The bruises now became indicative of defensive action, and to prevent Issy getting of the car.

And we got a van, and a harness.

The wonders  of irrefutable evidence.

In November CAMHS became involved.

We met up with their psychiatrist in Issy’s NAS home, she visited Isabel in her bedroom.

We were not allowed to.

The psychiatrist looked visibly shocked.

And agreed that it would be better for Issy, if she could live at home, but this was not possible.

She prescribed antidepressants.

We were not happy with this, but relieved it was not risperidone.

My constant pleas, that she had all the signs of a second faecal impaction were ignored.

Issy received no physical examination.

No GP  ever visited her.

As ever, her physical problems were ignored.

The National Autistic Society were being paid, at this time, just under £6000 per week for Isabel’s care, factoring in her time with us, equal to an unbelievable £9,000, as  tax free.

For which they provided minimum wage care staff, and agency carers, to sit outside her room, attempt to wash and dress her, but not apparently to feed her.

She did not go out, or, to school.

Issy’s behaviour  worsened on the antidepressants.

She became more aggressive and agitated.

Over our two weeks Christmas holiday in Ireland, she would not go out, so we thought the only thing to do, was to see if her behaviour improved without the antidepressants.

Immediately she became less aggressive, and we were then able to take her out in our hire car  on trips to the sea, for walks and café lunches.


Isabel at Christmas in Ireland.