Comments/Information on Cygnet’s actual services


So what do we know about the actual provision and quality of Cygnet’s increasingly MHA/MCA enforced services ?

The public service users, nor their family know little about Cygnet’s service and even less about the outcomes for service users.

Despite £7,000 min a week and £13,000 on secure units and Cygnet expanding to incorporate all public beds and our government’s 9 billion mental services spend.

A locked ward patient is worth £13,000 per week here is a blog post on February 2017 of a mother whose daughter is against both their wishes on such a ward in a Cygnet Hospital.

CCG s commission their services without competition as they are the only ‘specified provider’ under Health and Social Care Act 2012.

All that can be gleaned about these extraordinarily expensive services is from the internet.

Although by October 2017 more appeared in the media see here of abuses

As to be expected Cygnet’s own glossy, PR savvy site, proclaims their excellence .

NHS Choices reveals that Cygnet has not filed a Quality Account Report

Quality Accounts are self created annual reports to the public from NHS Healthcare providers giving information about the quality of their organisation’s services.

NHS Choices Site contains only one review from a member of the public headed;

horrendous hellhole

Staff turnover high no basic education provision no meaningful psychological input. I could go on forever about this place words cannot describe just how shocking it is I would advise every man & their dog to avoid this place like the plague.

Visited in February 2016.
Posted on 02 October 2016

Employee Reviews of Cygnet shown on Glassdoor are mainly French care workers, written on a French website.

We can only assume, Cygnet, has been recruiting cheaper more itinerant French workers.

In an industry dependent on  written and oral handovers and multi medications, where accurate and precise communications are essential.

Posted February 2016
Job satisfaction and training available. Regular ward meetings. There are some very good staff that make the team run well.

Lots of bank and agency staff working here, which can make the shift difficult. Lack of Consistency between shifts can make work hard.

March 2016
it was Alpha when I worked there and at that time no pros

endless night shifts 12 hour each lasting for one month or more, managers used bully tactics and favouritism

Conseils à la direction
manage don’t bully

Sept 2016
The service users.
Sometimes there are usable toilets

The management are promoted internally and you wonder whether they have any experience at all.

Many staff are unqualified

No one cares about the people we work with.

Many staff have no place working anywhere, let alone with vile enable people.

This is just a way to siphon off public money.

Advice to Management
Your golden goose will end one day

We also have Will Perk’s Mum’s comment to the press about her 15 year old autistic son’s treatment in Cygnet Woking.

‘In Woking there’s a lack of communication, they get his meds wrong.

I had to report them because someone threatened him and said, ‘If you don’t stop it I’m going to punch your effing face in.’

“Another member of staff was restraining him and pulled his hand right back and hurt him. Both of which I complained about and both of which have been sorted. Both members of staff admitted it. It went through all the right procedures for safeguarding and the hospital was just saying, ‘It’s not unusual I’m afraid for this industry’

And when autistic Mathew Garnet was pushed by an inpatient in Cygnet’s Woking hospital, whilst playing on his Nintendo, his swollen fractured wrist was ignored on the excuse that ‘he did not express pain’, and he was not taken to A and E for 24 hours.

And his mother described his treatment as the equivalent of ‘being left on an A&E trolley for 6 months’ .

Is it any wonder, that the USA now own nearly all NHS mental service provision with such public sums paid for such public services.

And in 2017 for private mental health providers ‘things can only get better’.

And here is the proof yet more expansion and building of new hospitals by Cygnet.


A Christmas Tale of Autistic lives. And Cygnet’s £12,500 a week NHS bonanza.

matthew%20olay%20op%2016-03-02%20rh_0302t054627-mov-00_00_00_00-still001“The most vulnerable people in our society are being abused by the system. They’re children.”

“It doesn’t seem real. Like it shouldn’t be possible.”

Isabelle Garnet, Mathew’s mother.

The fates of Mathew Garnet at 15 and Will Perks at 14, are typical of many autistic teenagers.

‘Experts’ tell us, that autistics develop ‘mental’ disorders, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, as Mathew and Will had done, but these are  diagnosed from reactions to society, care and education.

And are often merely symptoms of their Autism.

The most worrying and increasing label is psychosis.

Why and how this is diagnosed is unclear, experts merely stating,

‘the link between autism and mental health is complex’.

But what is known is that psychosis justifies powerful medication- anti psychotics.

And  parents remark it ’often made matters worse’.

And increase labelling results in more money for ‘education’, ‘assessment and treatment’ and ‘care’ but not at home.

But, if parents can’t cope, with predictability violent reactions to incidents/ inadequate/ change of education the only thing they can do is call the police.

As no agency -social services, GP, education provider- is prepared to get involved in an emergency .

Emergency help, and if necessary sedation, should be provided by GPs or other specialist services.

But instead, our most vulnerable, are disproportionately ‘pathwayed’ into NOW only private hospitals for years and their lives destroyed.

As, Mathew’s and Will’s were, when they were processed illegally under MHA section- as this is not ‘treatment’ nor determinable- into psychiatric wards.

Wards where many fit, like Stephanie Brincliffe and those in St Andrews, die young of ‘natural causes’, 99% of deaths may not even be being investigated.

Our NHS spends, unjustifiable/ extortionate sums of up to £12,500 a week, to lock up autistics in secure units like Cygnet Woking, where Mathew and Will were taken.

Regardless of the abuse and outcomes .

Mathew was happy at home.

He liked the Teletubbies, Alvin & the Chipmunks, and going to his local swings.

He adored swimming.

“He swims in his own idiosyncratic style,” his mother laughed.

But his specialist weekly boarding school had,

“raised concerns that Matthew may be having, possibly psychotic episodes’

Despite their £4000 a week fee, his mother remarked,

“ we were seeing a gradual regression. What self-help skills he had – the hand-washing, the hair-washing, wiping his own bottom – those skills had gone right down.”

This mirrors exactly, my own daughter’s experience in her NAS placement.

She also at 15, even down to the psychotic episodes.

Which were in fact her care workers voice that she echoed repeating her words of abuse in the same accent, yet this was interpreted as her ‘hearing voices’

Matthew was anxious, as he was going to be moved to St Andrews in Northampton, over a 100 miles away.

As my daughter was to be, if her CAMHS ‘assessment and treatment’, did not cure her aggressive behaviour/’psychotic’ episodes which it could not, as it was caused by a faecal impaction and abuse in her NAS school.

Mathew’s father described, how Mathew then

“ decided in his head it was Isabelle’s fault, and went straight for her, with his fists. Red mist doesn’t describe it. I was terrified. I told Isabelle to get out of the house, and I basically lay on top of him, trying to restrain him for the next 30 minutes, while he punched and head butted me.”

His mother Isabelle rang the police.

And Mathew was sectioned to Cygnet Woking, where, as his mother remarked his £12,500 ‘assessment and treatment’ was

“the equivalent of being left on an A&E trolley for six months”.

Mathew was desperately unhappy and pulled his hair out, as my daughter had done in her NAS school and his head was shaved.

He kept asking his Mum why he was in prison and begging to go home.

When he was attacked by another inpatient, whilst playing on his Nintendo, his wrist was swollen and fractured, but on the excuse that ‘he had not expressed pain’, he was not taken to A and E for 24 hours.

After six-months of endless pleading to NHS England, the local authority and official bodies had achieved nothing, his parents launched a public campaign .

And were interviewed on national TV, as part of the government’s campaign to close public mental inpatient NHS services.

Despite the fact that Mathew was holed up in a private inpatient bed.

And despite, the by now, £ 339,000 paid to Cygnet for effectively nothing, the media and our PM, insist that lack of proper care is due to a shortage of money.

‘stuck in a system short of funds and beds, especially for adolescents’.

After a plea in Parliament by Mathew’s MP Mathew was removed to the place he had been originally going to a purported autistic specialist 110 newly built million pound unit NHS money Unit in St Andrews Northampton.St Andrew’s where he was placed in an autism and learning disability ward.

The institution said it provided specialist autistic care, tailored to an individual’s needs. But his parents soon became worried.

In his first five months on the unit Matthew was restrained or secluded 11 times, particularly when being given injections.

Mathew was allegedly pulling his hair out and was frozen with anxiety, often unable to speak.

On one visit his parents claimed to notice excrement on Matthew’s shoe, as he had soiled himself and not been cleaned properly.

Will Perks was also pathwayed to Woking Cygnet .

His story is an even more shocking account of the abuse of the autistic for profit.

Will was transferred from his specialist school to a mainstream one, were he was bullied, and became depressed. Eventually refusing to go to school.

And then another boy punched him in the face at a local skate park on taking offence at something he’d said. Will was sociable but could appear childish.

Desperate, Will swallowed some pills in an incident at home, his family panicked, it was not an overdose.

But the only help Will received, was for the NHS to use the incident, as the excuse to section Will for his own safety.

As there were no beds near his family’s home in Bristol, he was sent to a ward in Cygnet Bury for three months.

In December last year, Will now 15, was transferred to an inpatient wing in Bristol, but escaped, just before Christmas, hoping to find his way back home to see his mum.

Police found him, and when they tried to detain him, he became distressed, and kicked an officer, as arrested and placed in a police cell for 28 hours.

And was sectioned on Christmas Eve to the same Cygnet ward as Mathew in Woking.

Where his mother said

’ there’s a lack of communication, they get his meds wrong. I had to report them because someone threatened him and said, ‘If you don’t stop it I’m going to punch your effing face in.’

“Another member of staff was restraining him and pulled his hand right back and hurt him. Both of which I complained about and both of which have been sorted. Both members of staff admitted it. It went through all the right procedures for safeguarding and the hospital was just saying, ‘It’s not unusual I’m afraid for this industry.’

“The staff at the hospital say they don’t want Will there – he’s on a ward with people with very serious mental health problems, including serious self-harmers, and he’s witnessing all that. He shouldn’t be there.”

All Will and Mathew want and wanted, was to be at home with the people they loved, and some control over their lives.

But this will never happen, as they are cash cows.

Mathew is now in St Andrews  read here what has happened to him there

Will’s pathway is likely to be there, or similar.

But we will never know , as their stories, were only made known, because of a political turf war between public and private providers, and the fact they were under 18, so could not be silenced under the MCA  .

As they will soon be 18,  it is likely, their parents may already be gagged under interim  orders.

So no information can be forthcoming for the rest of their lives either about them or their services.



Anorexic Jodie’s Cygnet ‘help’No psychologist, communication, assessment, protection, just death, cost £21,000.


Jodie was a former air cadet, 12 GCSE straight A student, with exceptional talents in Maths and Art and ” would always put other people first and was a lovely, thoughtful, caring, creative, adventurous and highly intelligent’

She had battled anorexia and depression since she was 15

“She was very ill but she wanted to get well and move forward, but never got the right help.”

Despite her family fighting’’ tooth and nail all the way through Jodie’s mental health care to try and get her the best support.”

Jodie’s ‘help’ was, the only ‘pathway’ available to an ever increasing number of teenagers with mental health problems.

GP to CAMHS to inpatient, first an eating disorder clinic,

where she did start eating and her mood improved, but then suddenly, she again became suicidal and set fire to her bed.

But ,” was horrified by what she had done and the harm she could have caused to others – but by this point she was crying out for a lot of help.

She had been managing her eating much better and had put on some weight and she was healthier but you had to be careful what you said to her she would say ‘I’m too fat now’.

Her parents wanted her to go somewhere that did not just specialise in eating disorders, who could ‘help her and control what she was doing’.

They ‘left it to the professionals to find somewhere for Jodie with the support that she needed that was keeping her safe’.

But in the trade, Jodie had now become ’treatment resistant’, and the only ‘help’

left, in her ever more expensive, mental descent, was a Cygnet/Alpha hospital, for ‘ treatment resistant patients’ at £950 a night.

Her father recounts;

It was a shock to all of us to see what kind of place it was, with 20 foot fences around it. But we thought if this is what’s needed, then this is what’s needed. Three weeks she was in there, she was up and down. Some days she was fine other says she would say, ‘I don’t know why I’m here but I do’.

We were expecting her to go and someone to be there to say ‘these are the problems and this is the sort of thing we can look to do’ – some sort of table or structure. But there was no clinical psychologist.

We didn’t feel reassured and wondered how things were going to improve.

On the Monday leading up to her death, I spoke to a doctor and he said we were looking to implement a programme and someone would speak to her.

But to my knowledge those never happened and Jodie did what she did.

We’re not medical experts but we always felt something was missing for her treatment

What did become apparent, was, that she was telling us nobody was talking to her.

Given that she had a significant history, I was worried about the observations. She needed it immediately. If that meant she needed to be watched 24 hours a day, then she needed to be watched, this is a person’s life’.

Just three weeks into her stay at Bury Cygnet hospital, after telling her mum, she felt ‘very distressed’, Jodie was found unconscious in her ensuite bathroom, a ligature around her neck and died the following day. She was just 19.

Not surprisingly, her father ‘ thought the hospital staff would have recognised, that what they had was someone who was up and down.’

But the evidence of a Cygnet nurse at the inquest, illustrates the hospital’s perfunctory,bureaucratic self preservatory ‘care’;

“We were aware that she had tried to commit suicide in the past with overdoses but we were not aware that as a young teenager she had tried to ligature before. This was never told to me by Jodie and was not in any documents.”.

An audacious, CLINICAL   statement, ALL  Jodie needed was communication, not AN IGNORENCE OF  possible suicide METHODS.

is this care worth £13,000 a week ?

The incompetent , chaotic lack of, even basic attention, to this highly vulnerable girl, was only revealed because she had a family able to fight, a lawyer, and a jury.

And, as our government is intent on harvesting cash cows and appealing for more public money, her story was published.

The rare presence of a jury’s deliberations resulted in a verdict of death by misadventure.

The major revelation was a ‘complete lack of sharing’ of vital information between NHS and the private healthcare providers, and, between the childrens’  and adult mental health services.

In addition, the jury found ‘that had Jodie been under the care of more experienced staff, the outcome may have been different.”

They listed the failings including:

-a distinct’ lack of communication with the family, and between healthcare professionals themselves.

-lapses in the recording of information about Jodie’s history

-‘ineffective’ and ‘incomplete’ risk assessments

-insufficient completion of an appropriate care plan

Jodie was not being helped, how could she be , without even basic information, assessment or plan, and no clinical psychologist.

So why did the NHS send someone so desperate, to such a place, and pay nearly a £1000 a night ?

Such failings appear common to deaths in Cygnet hospitals and the Priory.

This appears their modi, and  providers responses to deaths are standard;

“Nothing is more important to us than the wellbeing of the people we support, and our thoughts and sympathies are with Miss Turton’s family at this very difficult time. We have adopted a range of measures to ensure we learn from this very sad event, and will continue to work closely with our healthcare partners to implement them.”

What these measures are, and how/if they were implemented is unknown.

And will remain so, whilst the services remain unaccountable, monopolised, and promoted by our government .

And many deaths, for mere profit, no help, will follow.

24 year old dies in Cygnet after 11 forced Olanzapine injections in 10 days




Jonathan Malia a father, keen rugby player, and fitness fanatic studying to be a sports therapist.

Was described as “a fun-loving, manageable, intelligent young man,”

He had been diagnosed with bipolar but had been fine for years.

But when he started to feel depressed and couldn’t cope, he sought help, assuming he would be a voluntary patient, instead he was sectioned .

Two weeks, and 3 hospitals later, he died from a “massive pulmonary embolism”.

His girlfriend had rang the hospital on his second day of detention-, he was not allowed to make phone calls or see anyone- and staff told her he was “being aggressive”.

Wouldn’t you be, if you’d asked for help, but found yourself drugged and locked up, incognito, in your second hospital .

Jonathan was then transited 97 miles, to the Chamberlain Ward in Cygnet Hospital, a unit that specialised in ‘treating’ patients with “an acute episode of mental illness that requires assessment and stabilisation”.

This appears a fairly common start to inpatient ‘help’ .

‘Stabilisation’ is achieved by the use of high doses of anti psychotics and/or other drugs. .

During the following 10 days, his girlfriend rang the hospital daily, only to be told Jonathan wasn’t in a fit enough state to get to the phone.

She rang on the 11th day and was told, he’d collapsed and been rushed to the nearby Lister Hospital were he was pronounced dead.

A massive thrombosis had triggered a pulmonary embolism.

When Johnathan had been admitted to Lister Hospital, he had had bruises on his head, arms and legs..

Four days of his fluid intake charts were missing.

Vital samples taken from at his post mortem and actioned by the coroner for analysis, were not, instead they were left to deteriorate in a fridge for three weeks and discarded.

There was no paramedic report available at the inquest.

The coroner ignored evidence that his death might have been caused or contributed to, by 11 restraints and injections of Olanzapine, which drug per se, has been linked to causing deep vein thrombosis.

And the Coroner ruled Johnathan died of natural causes.

Johnathan’s aunty said.’There has been a massive cover up – we also feel the verdict had been decided before the inquest ever began’.

Errol Robinson, a Birmingham solicitor who is acting for the family commented:

“Several features about the evidence that came out at the inquest give cause for concern.

One relates to the sample that was taken for analysis by the pathologist which was instructed by the coroner but not actioned. This deteriorated and was discarded, which is wholly unsatisfactory.

Also, the coroner did not accept the need to make any recommendation in relation to the development of deep vein thrombosis in patients taking such therapeutic drugs’

Johnathan’s aunty said;
“Our evidence as a family was disregarded by the coroner who I felt was very disrespectful to us. At one point he told me that my statement was irrelevant.”

“So many questions have gone unanswered – why was Jonathan given 11 injections of the drug. Why did he have bruises on his head, legs and arms when he was admitted to Lister Hospital? Why were there fluid charts missing ? Why were samples from his body left to deteriorate before anyone had analysed them? The questions go on and on.”

Despite a campaign, petition, and letters to the GMC and MOJ and relevant authorities, his family are still waiting for answers they will never get.

It is unknown how many deaths are even investigated internally in mental health care.

We know from the LLB Campaign, SLOVEN only investigated 1%of their LD deaths, and this was not an outlier for public mental hospitals.

We have no statistics for private hospitals and/or residential care providers.

There is no check, or, accountability for the use, or dosage of drugs in private mental health care.

NICE Guidelines can, and are, being ignored, and prescribing psychiatrists are employed by private  for profit mental care providers, and subject to stringent Codes of Conduct and appraisals.

Patients nor family have any control over the medication used.

Coroners inquests are the only possible independent investigation, and these are decreasing ,with no legal aid available to families.

That is if they have not been gagged and cut out by the MCA ,

Narrative verdicts are increasing .

MENCAP reported 3 years ago, that 3 learning disabled die needlessly in state care every day.

We can add to these, those like Johnathan, who simply ask for help.

Government statistics show that mental health service users account for 60% of those who die in the care of the state

And nothing is being done, except to plough millions of public money, now nearly a quarter of the NHS budget, into private monopoly, commissioned by state mental health provision, and a  cross party Mental Health Taskforce, that promotes the use of ‘antipsychotic drugs and mood enhancers’.

Here  are the latest statistics from CQC  on those detained under MHA, it is increasing as huge profits can be made, inpatient ‘treatment’ is around £890 per night.