‘What happened to Thomas was horrendous and was with a family fighting very hard, what must be happening to those without a family now out there, doesn’t bear thinking about’
Paula Rawnsley , Thomas’ Mother to the BBC.
Thomas died on the 4th February 2015 in Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.
The hospital sent a safeguarding alert to Rotherham Borough Council.
And, in the Borough Council’s capacity, as the Safeguarding Authority, they, investigated his death.
But this investigation, was limited by their narrow remit, and, their statutory duty.
Which provide, the Safeguarding Authority, cannot apportion blame, and, its duty, is merely to ensure, the various agencies, Thomas was involved with, at the time of his death, were communicating effectively, and if not, why not, to learn lessons, and make recommendations.
So one wonders by law how any ‘safeguarding’ authority can actually protect and safeguard our most vulnerable.
Additionally, as the Local Authority commissioned Lifeways’ ‘care’ of Thomas, it would be liable, if this care were inadequate, so there is a conflict of interests, between the LA’s safeguarding role, and, its commissioning one.
This was not an ‘investigation’, in any real sense of the word, and systemically could achieve little.
As, officially, Thomas died, from ‘natural causes’, and Downs syndrome , the police, and, the state, decided there would be no other investigation.
We have, at the very least, three ‘learning disabled’ a day dying ‘unexpectedly’ this is based on the 1% of deaths, that are actually ‘ investigated’.
And, if investigated, the conclusion, is normally death resulted from ‘natural causes’.
If these causes are ‘natural’, why were they ‘unexpected’ and if not, prevented?
‘Sudden adult death syndrome’, is another cause of death, proffered to inquests by state paid experts.
As it was, for fit, 19 year old Kristian Thompson, when he died, suddenly, in St Andrews Private NHS hospital, Northampton.
Like Kristian, Thomas, was a fit, physically well young man, before his ‘treatment’.
If, all these Learning Disabled, and, autistic, are so ill, they are dying in swarms, why are they not in normal hospitals, and, what are they dying from?
Mental illness, appears to be now equated to physical illness.
Logic dictates, with so many dying, and, becoming physically ill, during their treatment’,
The ‘treatment’, must at least, be a contributory factor, if not, the cause, of the illness, and death.
So, what did happened to Thomas in those final months ?
We have precious little, information in the public domain.
All was, and still is, strangely silent.
As a singularity, Thomas’ death, was only covered by the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
An untimely death, in a private, secret care institution, of a vulnerable fit 20 year old, after 2 years of constantly flagged up abuse .
Does not even warrant a mention, in the local Sheffield/ Rotherham media, where he died.
And, how many more Thomases, have and will die without a mention?
Channel 4 did pick up Thomas death but only inadvertently, to support the then Minister of Health, Norman Lamb’s push to move mental patients to local care provisions.
But, Thomas, had died in such local community living private provision, albeit, none could be found in Bradford but this was not mentioned.
Nearly a year later, the BBC, covered Thomas’ death, briefly as an add on, to the several others, who had died in NHS public adult treatment hospitals, inferring his death was yet another example of the public NHS’s neglect.
But neglect deliberately whitewashes the terrible abuse by the ‘care’ system of Thomas for years.
This was not failure of proper care, not an omission but continual actions by the state ie removal from family, over inappropriate unnecessary medication, severe physical and mental abuse, ignoring his unhappiness and complaints of bullying, dragging him around.
No media covered this.
And Thomas’ had rather inconveniently from a PR prospective, died in the very private provision, the government through a national media onslaught, was promoting, as the answer to such deaths and abuse in Winterbourne View.
So what did happen to Thomas after he arrived deeply traumatised, terrified, and still alone, and now, 50 miles away from his family, with strangers in Kingdom House.?