MENCAP’s smoking worker and the real story behind that photograph?


So what is the real story, behind this now infamous photo, placed anonymously, on  MENCAP’s website.

Steve Baker Regional Director of MENCAP services commented,

Our priority now, as always, is ensuring that we offer the highest quality of care to our beneficiaries so they live the lives they choose.’

How could any person, designated to mental supported living have any choices?

As they are expressly, or impliedly deemed ‘ incapable’ of any decision under the MCA..

And every decision is then made for them by their care provider.

When they wash, how they wash, when they get up, what they eat, who they see, who talks to them, who ignores them, what medication they take, when, and where they go.

They are in law made non people, but still Mr Baker propagands the ‘person centred’ regime.

Everyone was quick to demonise  the ‘smoking’ care worker, immediately suspended..

But how, when most are volunteers, or itinerant, zero hour workers.

It is difficult to find a media outlet, local, or national that did not cover this photograph.

ITV, Mail, Telegraph, Mirror, Independent, Star.

Facebook  250,000 comments.

What does this tell us about our media ?.

When, similar images of our  disadvantaged, old, disordered, intellectually impaired ( the new term for retarded), are to be seen daily, everywhere in similar circumstances.

As, this is now their ‘life in the community’.

No longer, are they seen with their parents shopping, or in community centres , or with relatives/friends, neighbours, hanging around their homes.

But, in lines, policed , by ‘care workers’ in shopping molls, art galleries,  supermarkets, parks.

Appearing, at best scared and bewildered, at worst, swaying from side to side making noises and drooling, oblivious to their surroundings.

They were not born like this.

Society, has made them like that for their own benefit.

They are individuals, somebody’s son and daughter, sister, brother, friend, but remain alone, isolated, and tortured, prevented from forming any human, or even animal contact, in their risk assessed, profit hungry captivity.

Here, are just a few public observers’ comments of these vulnerable citizens, posted in response to this photograph..

‘I have never seen happiness in the faces of those herded sans choice round a shopping or town centre. I saw a miserable man who had wet himself in a group the other day. I drew a worker to one side, not well received, was pointed out only two to support two wheelchairs and 4 walking/trailing behind, an impossible task’.

‘This happens so often and worse. So often i see 2 carers taking patents out and totally ignoring them. Sometimes even dumping them at one table at costa coffee and them sitting at another a couple of tables away and when you complain you get rude remarks and told they are entitled to breaks.’

Thomas Rawnsley died at 20, in enforced care, after two years of known abuse, and no one covered his story, and all, is now silent about his inquest,

How did the photographer, know this was a MENCAP care worker, and how, and why did it get such totalitarian media attention?.

MENCAP’s care provision, in the last 6 months, has been made subject to, what appears to be a disproportionate amount of ‘unannounced’ inspections by CQC and, at least one has been put under special measures.

Thomas Rawnsley’s inspection of  Kingdom House, where he died was announced, even after concerns, were raised, and it was CQC’s first inspection.

In 2013 Midland Mencap, held the highest quality ratings with The Care Quality Commission, OFSTED & Supporting People

I wonder if this is still the case

The government’s future for all mentally disadvantaged, appears to be ever larger, monopoly, venture capital backed ‘supported living’, that control  all training, and facets  of its  care..

MENCAP has already sold some of its training colleges to Lifeways, now Cambian venture capital.

Maybe, the smoking care worker, the  media, OFSTED and CQC, are merely  tools, to ensure the government’s vision for all mental health care can be realised.





  1. Finola reading all your blogs – there are no gagging orders on me- all Mr Justice Charles’ judgments are in the public domain – although only one is on Bailii – but no-one is interested. His judgment on the interaction between the MCA and MHA over ruled the clinicians’ medical decisions – how illegal is that. No-one is even going to question him. I have no idea how we can fight this. Find me a barrister who isn’t corrupt


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