“Natural Causes”

All Thomas’ suffering and ‘treatment’ ,in the 7 months, leading to his death, was in private care provision, not, in a public NHS ATU.

His shocking abuse, in his first independent living unit in Bradford, Norcott Lodge, was also by a private provider.

The boss of Lifeways, where Thomas died, earns £450,000 per annum.

When Lifeways , sold out to Cambian backed by USA venture capital, apparently over 100 million was paid, and managers of Lifeways got a 20 million pay out.

The new owners, Cambian, immediately, put support workers pay down, to below the minimum wage.

Read Lifeways workers’ comments about working in the supported living, similar to that, where Thomas died, and what big cash cows, the learning disabled/ autistic represent.

Read of the huge pharma profits, and drugs used to control these poor vulnerable for ever more efficient ‘care’.

Yet, Paula, had to crowd fund, to pay for a toxicology report, as none was done on Thomas’ autopsy..

Read about Thomas in his final weeks.

Read how provision, such as Lifeways, are the government policy for the future support of all LD/autistc etc for life.

Read how, any matters about this service, and, service users parents,  including Paula, are gagged by the court of protection, so, no one knows what is happening in supported/independent private provision, which has its own ‘specialist hospitals’, performing a similar purpose, to the public NHS ATU.

Read how, Thomas started his independent away from home living, being abused badly by a care worker in Norcott Lodge, owned by the care provider, taken over by Cambian, who now own Lifeways.

As with Connor, even if, Paula, has a jury in Thomas’ inquest, and, the findings are dire, there is no accountability within the system

7 Days of Action

Thomas Rawnsley died on the 4th February 2015. He was 20 years old. Thomas had a diagnosis of downs syndrome and autism. He was just 4ft 10″ in height. Thomas had been in three different ATUs, leading up to his death.

Here are the words of Thomas’s mother, Paula:


Someone told me at my sons funeral that time would heal. That I would never forget him but it would get easier. I don’t want to talk about his unspeakable, cruel death he suffered alone and away from me. I don’t want to think about the horror he faced in those final hours away from me. I hurt for him and me more and more every day. I fought so hard for my boy. They were always so powerful and Thomas was special to me.

I didn’t know how I was going to cope with him when I found out he…

View original post 902 more words

Workers Expose Life in Lifeways/Cambian Supported Living.



The Lifeways Group has grown both organically and strategically to become the leading provider of support services for people with diverse and complex needs ( LD/autistic procurement) across the UK’

Since when have we deemed the autistic and learning disabled to have ‘complex’ needs?

But despite this, dealt with them very simplistically by drugs to make them easily processed/managed by itinerant  carers in institutions- disingenuously labelled ‘care in  the community’/independent living.


Omers,  bought Lifeways’ care  of 1500  learning disabled  adults, including  Thomas Rawnsley  for £207 million  in 2013.

Ever greedy, for more profit, the new owners Cambian, whose boss earns £450,000 a year, reduced support  workers’  pay, to below the minimum wage.

Cambian now own practically all services for the LD, including the very lucrative autistic market.

Community NHS intensive support  services  were taken over by private companies, set up by GPs and community groups, that supported the LD/autistic in their family home.

Cambian is buying up these private companies, with huge pay outs to the group directors,  despite the conflict of interests, between Cambian’s role of home ‘support’ provider and that of, life time minimum £4,500 per week ‘community’, ‘independent’ living provider..


Enforcing LA/ NHS/ government policy, as ‘Supported/Community Living’ is now the only future for the autistic/learning disabled.

The Community Support team of psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, occupational therapist.  and developmental officer, will be employed by Cambian, and provide the reports for the secret Court of Protection, who decide if it is in a person’s ‘best interests’, to be removed to Cambian’s residential care homes.

So Cambian are allowed to create their own captive consumers.

And, as they are often the only commissioned by LA/NHS services they have the monopoly on service provision.

The only oversight of their services, is by the very local authority/NHS that commissioned the service, who are liable if the service proved inadequate or abusive.

And an occasional, usually announced, visit from the CQC, who check on paper staff ratio, safety, but not substantive adequacy of service and individual complaints are not considered..

Service users, nor, their family have any choice and effectively cannot complain.

And most are gagged by the COP from disclosing,  anything about the service on the excuse, that it is not in the service users ‘best interests’ as it might hinder future service provision.

And service users confidentiality.

Commissioning processes are usually in secret and any internal investigations into a provider , its profits, sub contracts, etc, subject now to corporate confidentiality.

Yet, Cambian/ Lifeways, are paid by the public purse, on the deemed support needed, based on the deemed severity of the condition. A basic  of  £4,500 and much more is paid for each resident.

Whilst no respite, support or equipment is provided to family carers who receive £62.50 per week Carers Allowance for 24/7 care and the LD/autistic £105 DLA.

It is only from comments on the internet, that we can  glean, what life is like in supported living, from where there is no escape.

Here, are some support workers comments.

Institutional provision of this type, is the government’s ONLY solution, to the Winterbourne View abuse, yet Winterbourne, was the same for profits provision that’s caused the abuse.

Currently, 3500 people, are  being moved, from public NHS hospital ATUs, into such provision  in the highly publicised, laudable guise of  giving the disabled, the right to their ‘own home’  in their community.

Here are Care Workers comments – our only glimpse of how these disabled live and what service is being provided for over £4,000 per week.:


Worker (Current Employee), South – January 8, 2014

Cons: seriously where do I start.

Lifeways has now entered a consultation period which means the employees will be paid a lot less than what they currently do. In many cases a £3-6k a year pay cut.

Management do NOT listen to any complaints.

Really unorganised.

Staff turnover is far too high.

Training within the job is substandard

Never paid the correct wages each month then there is a considerable wait to receive what your owed.

A truly disgraceful company.


Support worker (Current Employee), Wirral – February 21, 2014

Cons: everything

I’ve worked for the company unfortunately for 2 years and desperate to leave they treat the staff terrible the moral is so low its depressing. Seniors and management claim to be royalty.

Pay cuts constantly cutting corners.

Worst company to work for avoid at all costs and that’s coming from inclusive lifestyles who lifeways have bought out promised the world and ended up writing the review to prevent another eager willing person from destroying there career

Not a fun company

support worker (Current Employee), Swinton, SCT – March 3, 2014

Cons: long long hours

Lifeways runs its services for users as a business not a service and support, they never get wages right, not their when staff need them

worst company ever

Support Worker (Former Employee), Ayrshire – March 13, 2014

Pros: lovely service users

Cons: long hours, low pay, no respect for staff

If you want to be treated like a piece off dirt then this is the place for you.

 Only interested in making company directors money ( lifeways bought over by USA over a yr ago) don’t care how they get it.

Definitely not interested in clients needs or staff.

Promoting.. THERE ..purse strings is the only description I can give.

Moral in this company is an all time low.

 Demeaning wages for a demeaning job ( ripped the heart out of what was a great job ) , cut holidays , no overtime to make up for loss wages n don’t bother being sick cos you don’t get paid.

How this company seems to get clients is beyond me ( oh yes I do know they cut the staff s wages n put in the least price for tenders as possible other wise a cheap job for a cheap company) .

This worker does not know his employer is paid over £3,500 per week per client.

The job is supposed to be promoting independence but most of there clients are usually house bound and hardly get out to there activities.

As long as the shifts are covered they don’t care who they put in to cover

( trained or not ie manual handling, epilepsy training ) .

Clients don’t know who is coming into support them on any day ( which is so wrong) I feel so sorry for the clients

and the decent hard working staff who I can say that mostly are excellent , qualified n profession at there job. Good staff going to waste. No wonder staff are leaving in droves even the line managers have left. Treat your staff with respect n they ‘ll repay you back , no this company. Name n number that’s it.


support worker (Former Employee), uk – April 4, 2014

Pros: survice users

Cons: everything

Worked for the company for 2 years absolutely glad im out of there…where do I start.

well first all the place I worked was jus taken over from lifeways the staff werr great. Then things turned for the worst… cut back.

Service users went days with no money. Lost a team leader and due to cutbacks noone was bothering to apply to be one.. staff had to do the team leader role.

Paperwork ect aswel as support service users.. management are awful. Look down at you and if something goes wrong it was support workers fault.

Constantly getting threats if you where generally ill and had to take a day off sick.. rotas were awful expected to work constantly basically minimum wage.

No training offered. No offer to do NVQ.. no complaints weren’t dealt with.

Offices didnt listen to any enquirys… never had the relevant paperwork.. was told ink was to expencive for the office computer so went weeks without use for that… lifeways looseing all their old staff who were loyal andloved their job for young people who didnt even want to work for the company . constantly had new staff starting and not coming bk.. having the wrong staff for the service user.. the list goes on and on… however the service users were always happy because they had some great staff who wouldnt let that effect the way they worked and for them they didnt have a clue what the staff had to deal with.

You can clearly see the way the positive comments have been written are from management… there are loads of genuine companies that will respect their staff and pay more.. worth the research.

A job is a job but you wont be happy there

support worker (Current Employee), worcestershire – May 4, 2014

the current management needs reviewing, they are not helpful or supporting to its staff and takes them for vantage. there has been no formal training offered apart from the mandatory health and safety and first aid training.

The NVQ training that was promised  has never been delivered.  The support staff who don’t work in the office are very nice and supportive to other staff.

Lifeways wasn’t very team oriented

support worker (Former Employee), Poole, ENG – July 22, 2014

Pros: i got to encourage my service user to do more things

Cons: total lack of support from team leaders and service managers

I would work with my service user either to get him ready for the day or ready for bed depending on the shift I worked on. I didn’t have any training while there and the management were not to supportive.

Ignore ALL positive reviews- management trying to big themselves up

Support Worker (Former Employee), North West – August 4, 2014

Pros: clients were some of the best ive ever worked with

Cons: long hours, poor pay, poor management, poor training, poor people skills, no moving forward, no career progression, stuck in the past with old techniques, uses isolation of clients as punishment, poorly trained staff


Absolutely THEE worst job I have ever ever had.

Poor, unorganized management.

Took over a service in mental health – manager had never worked in mental health before.

Senior was a bully who refused to accept changes, the manager received many complaints but openly admitted he was too scared to approach her due to her experience that he lacked.

EVERY SINGLE wage I had was wrong.

Wages are poor, in comparison to the long hours you are expected to work.

Manger worked in a different city to us, lucky to be able to speak to him once a month

Hardly ever had supervision, notes were altered afterwards.

There is a bullying environment regarding support workers from senior staff

Training is poor. One person on a course stated that ‘people with mental health never get better’ WHAT???

Clients are ignored and bullied by staff, medication was often binned when forgotten.

The service I worked at had 3 LAST CHANCES by CQC to change over a period of 2 years.

Listen, a job is a job, we all have bills to pay but Id rather be on the dole than working here again. All of the positive reviews are written by management to make this mess of a company look better.

Any REAL support worker would leave.

Ignoring clients needs while completing paper work, faking smiles and ticking boxes IS NOT support work.

We are not here to make money for your company.


The most recent comments

7th April 2016


Former Employee – Support Worker in Bolton, England

Doesn’t Recommend

Negative Outlook


No Pros but I have to fill this damn word count. Still got nine words to go, this should do.


Minimum wage – I understand as a support worker you do it to help people, but at the end of the day there’s no sane person that would willingly put themselves through the stress of possible attack for minimum wage.

Poor Management – Managers are keen to tell staff what they’re doing wrong (must be easy sat behind a desk) but hardly ever offer advice or plans to implement to help. Bunch of clowns.

Advice to Management

Form stronger bonds with your staff.

Be supportive and helpful.




There were non–, terrible company.


Lack of support.

Concerns were not taken seriously

Safeguarding issues

No on call support

No support plans in services

Meds errors

Unhappy staff

Not enough staff

Rubbish training

NAPPI training is classed as non violent but it was the most violent form of intervention I’ve ever done

Advice to Management

This company is a disgrace and downright criminal in some respects. Needs shutting down.


The only comment found, from the family of a supported person on NHS Choices webpage 


My family have experienced Lifeways Assisted Living over the past two years.

They have had a high turn over of staff, inconsistent management, expecting a minimum level of staff to cover long periods of time, although the time is allocated to the service users(residents) by Social Services. They do not seem to recognise quality staff, loosing many who were valued by the residents & their families, making it very confusing and disruptive for the residents home life.

Over the past year Commisioning and Safe Guarding have been brought in by Social Services

Lifeways seem to miss one vital point, that this is their home somewhere they should feel safe and secure.

We can only assume from our experience Lifeways only think about their bottom line.

We put out trust in this company to care for a member of our family, we are very upset, disappointed and worried about what the future holds.

Posted on 22 November 2015

These comments show what venture capital, unaccountable, monopoly all for profit service is, and contrasts starkly with the Company’s honed, glossy PR the only public information available.

Why are such services allowed to exist unchecked, unregulated.?

Because effectively, the commissioner, regulator would be liable for them, if they were in adequate and the services are in secret, users cannot complain,  nor sue, or remove their custom.

Report for venture capital investors in such supported/community living of which Lifeways owned 10% of in 2011 and in 2014 was taken over by Cambian that now owns far more. see page 16 para 3.https://www.laingbuisson.co.uk/Portals/1/Media_Packs/Fact_Sheets/LB_PrivateEquity_2012.pdf


Here is a video of Thomas Rawnsley. shortly before he died in a Lifeways Supported Living ‘home’ of ‘natural causes’.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI02uuVkdvY















Venture Capital NHS, Care Services, our most needy, feed our most greedy.


We think of our NHS, and Social Care, as a philanthropic safety net, for those, who need protection or help; the old, young, sick, vulnerable and poor.

We do not think of the profit, that this unaccountable, monopolised service of captive consumers represents.

But successive governments have.

Over the past 20 years, they have commoditised ‘need’ by pernicious ‘modernisation’.

The ‘modernisation’ of ‘Charity’, began with the Charities Act 2006 which created a politically controlled, all powerful, Charity Commission enabling the restructuring of independent philanthropy, into ever larger, corporately run, political bodies.

The ‘modernisation’ of the NHS, by asset stripping, marketization costs under the Health and Social Care Act,private/public partnerships, healthcare consortiums, destructive targets and ever tighter budgetary control.

The ‘modernisation’ of local authorities, by public/private partnerships, the amalgamation of health and welfare into local health and social care trusts that mixed budgets and roles.

Our government is now fulfilling its ultimate goal; health and social care services  are to be made part of a private equity portfolio, available for global investment, boosting private wealth, and  economic growth.

Enabled, by LA budget cuts, and targeted ‘safeguarding’, and protection, to produce an ever increasing ‘client’ base, via social services, local courts and MASH- Multiagency Safeguarding Hubs that act now in all areas, coordinating all care and information to harvest  captive social consumers.

Our most needy, at the mercy of our most greedy.

Social workers and courts act as assessors and enforcers, herding the needy, into adoption, foster care, mental hospitals, care homes, and supported/community living.

More and more, are harvested, to fill the institutional ‘homes’ being built by venture capital, diverting huge sums of public money into private investment houses, increasing, not decreasing the nation’s deficit.

Why is venture capital/equity being used?

As its name suggests, venture capital, is  funding of last resort, to enable small, risky  companies to grow, where the risk is too high for  conventional backers, but, if successful,  likely to reap huge profits for investors ie IT innovations.

It is not used, to build up services, for an existing, publically funded, and ever increasing client base– the ‘needy’- with no future risk.

As David Porter, managing partner at Apposite Capital, a specialist healthcare investment firm, said

‘The UK has emerged as a favoured market thanks to its peculiarities’.

“The reason we focus on healthcare services in the UK is that there is a huge opportunity if you can navigate your way around it successfully. You have this globally unique system where 90% of healthcare is paid for by the government, and the NHS has a zero-growth budget despite demand growing’

Simon Stevens, a senior executive and board member of UnitedHealth Group for ten years from 2004 until 2014, and President of Global Health in 2009 was made the director of NHS England in 2014

See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/nhs-boss-simon-stevens-must-explain-his-trade-lobbying-activities-for-private-us-healthcare/#sthash.CRS5wlCv.dpuf


So, our hard fought for NHS, the envy of the world, is used to obtain a guaranteed, continuing investment profit, with rich pickings of its most profitable services.

And, unlike America is not based on insurance, so effectively  unaccountable for its services.


We are left, with the perfect business model, services,  provided by a few  monopoly companies, made too big to fail, receiving guaranteed,  and  increasing, government controlled  consumers and  funding.

No competition, no possibility of complaints, and effectively self- regulated.

80% of the residential care sector is privately own, and these companies are being taken over by venture capital and the remaining 20% NHS public is being privatised.

In the first six months of 2012 alone, Terra Firma Equity, bought nursing home operator Four Seasons Health Care for £825million; Omers bought Lifeways care of 1500 learning disabled adults including Thomas Rawnsley, for £207 million, Castlebeck ( who owned Winterbourne View ) providing ‘specialist care’ for autistic/LD was asset stripped and Bowmark Capital, bought Hesley North, a provider of autistic residential care and education for £75 million.

Several Care UK homes were being investigated by CQC after being taken over by venture capital see http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/243543e4-586d-11e4-a31b-00144feab7de.html#axzz47mj5lM45

And what huge profits can be had, from public services, particularly mental health https://finolamoss.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/st-andrews-healthcares-recycled-income/

And, millions lump sum payments, to managers on venture capital purchases.


Special Needs Education, Adoption, Fostering, and Care Homes

And, look at  how the remaining  independent  parts of the care sector, were analysed  as rich pickings, in an investment advice report;

‘All independent sector providers of special education, and children’s social care, together generated annual revenues estimated at £2.0 billion in 2011, representing 23% of the estimated total market size (independent and public sector providers combined) of £8.5 billion a year

Within the fostering sub-segment National Fostering Agency (NFA), now backed by Graphite Capital and formerly by Sovereign Capital Partners, is the largest private equity owned provider with revenues of £54 million in the year to March 2011/12 within a £1.5 billion market, which was 43% outsourced to the independent sector in 2010/11.

Being ‘asset light’ this sub-segment has relatively low capital requirements.

Private equity backed companies, have nevertheless been active in recent years in building the key component of capacity, which is the number of available foster carers.

It is widely recognised within the sector that the number of foster carers is the principal constraint ( note not the number of children in need of protection) on the further expansion of fostering as a lower cost and arguably higher quality substitute for residential care for looked after children’.


A fixed fee of an increasing minimum £30,000 per adoption is paid per adoption, maximum is discretionary see the figures for fostering in this article


And here the massive scale of the money being given to grow the fostering industry is exposed by corporatewatch here

. https://corporatewatch.org/news/2015/dec/15/foster-care-business

‘We have found millions of pounds that could be reinvested in the care of children are instead leaving the system as bumper payouts to shareholders. Directors enjoy very generous pay packets, while some companies are siphoning profits out through tax havens in the Channel Islands and the Caribbean’.

If foster carers are the only restriction on industry growth, then Care Homes can be built.

An average placement in a  home, costs over £150,000 per year.

Independent sector providers of care homes for younger adults annual revenues, were estimated at £3.9 billion in 2011, dominating the segment with 82%

Self Regulation and Quality Control

‘Each of August Equity’s portfolio companies, Active Assistance, Enara and Lifeways, has an independent Quality Board which takes independent decisions on quality related issues, such as health and safety and staffing levels for specific purposes.

The Quality Boards are independent and are made up of service users and professional leaders. This effectively means that August Equity and its portfolio company managements have ceded control of spending on quality to quality ‘champions’.

Most care home/supported living owners, now have a representative on the local Safeguarding Authority Board.

UK is European leader in Venture Capital Growth deals.

‘Most of the other noteworthy add-ons in the period occurred in the UK. These included OMERS Private Equity-backed Lifeways Group acquiring the learning disability division of Care UK for an estimated £66 million.’


Tax Incentives for venture capital

UK early stage investment is heavily driven by the substantial UK governmental support, provided through the SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme), and EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) tax incentives (Venture Capital Trusts also play a role).


When Omers, Cambian, bought Lifeways for 403 million, Mark Redman, the senior managing director and country head for OMERS PE Europe said.

’The Supported Living market offers considerable long term growth potential and increasing barriers to entry ( no competition) as the social care and independence benefits of this approach become ever clearer ( only government policy for disabled adults) .

Lifeways perfectly fits our investment criteria: it is a market leader in every respect with a proven track record of top quality service (where and by what criteria), and profitable growth both organic and via acquisitions, in a market with sound long term growth fundamentals,”

So, from the care of 1500 learning disabled, in enforced supported living, including the deceased Thomas Rawnsley, the investors, in these ‘commodities’, got substantial tax breaks, a minimum £4,000 per week, six figure management salaries, and millions in buy out payments- all public money, in a time of deep welfare cuts, and austerity.

And what do the learning disabled get?

A service, neither they, nor their family can complain about, or choose, minimum cover, itinerant, zero hour workers, who are transferred with decreasing wages


team leaders, and managers, food , cage and medication, resulting in, even more profit, for the pharma industry.

And, let us not forget, our governments personal connections with the profit made by the healthcare sector


Cambian have also bought the Hesley Group which provided residential education for LD/ASD and services.





‘Sister Eleanor’ shines.



What a 16th year it has been for Eleanor.

In April, her school’s head of music, was so impressed on overhearing her clarinet playing, he asked who  was playing, and would they do a solo at the school’s Spring Serenade Concert .

And, Eleanor, became one of only four soloists, playing her Mozart’s Allegro from Divertimento no.3.


In May, to calm GSCE revision nerves, and encourage ‘self esteem’, we were told to write, a ‘Pride Letter ‘ to  our daughters.

Here it is.

Dear Eleanor

In July, Eleanor’s art was on display at her school’s Art Exhibition, and, many gawked at her, now infamous ‘strawberry’.




Excitement loomed, at the prospect of her School Prom, and, her first ball gown, bought cheaply on line, but perfect.

The trepidation of boys at her table, and dancing in the grand Sheffield City Hall.

Drink it you know you wantta

And in August, the culmination of so much hard work, 10 GCSEs  2 grade A stars, 7 grade As .

In January, Eleanor’s passion for poetry, earned her a regional finalist place, in the ‘Poetry by Heart’ Competition.

And, she was asked to perform her beloved Keats, at her School’s 139th Birthday Party last month.


A beautiful, funny young lady, with so much talent, and so much integrity,  determination and compassion.


And in July 2016 Eleanor passed her Grade 6 clarinet exam with Merit and played exquisitely at her schools solo concert in October. See video here.