On the 4th February 2015, Thomas Rawnsley’s life support unit was switched off.
He was just 20, Downs and autistic but physically fit.
It is 4 years since Thomas was removed from his sisters and mother to Norcott House to his ‘independent’ life in his own bungalow in his ‘local community’ with 24/7 support .
But Norcott House carers blew the whistle, after a particularly horrific night shift, when a worker, who had been targeting and abusing Thomas for six months, kicking him into his bedroom and bending his fingers back with the words, ‘ Let’s see how many fingers I can break this time ‘, but as Thomas was double jointed he had never succeeded.
Thomas was 4 ft 10 inches tall. his carer was a large, tall man of 53 with many years of experience of working in residential care.
It is 3 years since Thomas, deeply traumatised by this abuse was removed to a mental hospital because staff at Norcott House found him now difficult to manage.
It is 2 and a half years since Thomas, now 20, was removed against his parent’s wishes,50 miles away to Sheffield by the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act, to resume his ‘independent’ now termed ‘community living’, in Kingdom House owned by Lifeways/ Cambian Group .
Shortly after Thomas’ arrival at Kingdom House, his mother made the speech below at a meeting of parents, whose children were being detained under Mental Health Act section in treatment units, despite the fact that Thomas was not detained under MHA in a Unit, but in ‘community living,’ where these parents at best, were promised their children would be moved to.
Paula Rawnsley tells the group how Thomas phoned her every night sobbing because he wanted to come home.
5 months later he was dead.
Thomas’ parents had complained to everyone, including the Care Quality Commission in the months before his death and just two weeks before he died, had told meetings of managers and lawyers they were killing their son.
But the Local Authority had done nothing, except to obtain a gagging order from the Court of Protection preventing his parents speaking to anyone.
Here is a video his Mum took of Thomas weeks before he died
And here is an injury inflicted weeks before Thomas death, which an expert said was a skin complaint but a carer admitted was a carpet burn.
Here are public comments of Lifeways’ workers, on what it is like to work in’ community living’ where Thomas died.
Lifeways were bought by the Cambian Group just before Thomas died.
The Cambian Group was sold to US Universal Health Services last September.
Multi million pound profits are being made from institutions similar to those where Thomas died.
On average they are paid over £4,000 a week and often far more, particularly for those assessed as difficult to care for like Thomas. And a large pharma bill can be added.
This ‘community living’ is now the only Adult Support for the autistic ,learning disabled, vulnerable.
Who are forced into it in secret for life by the Court of Protection under the MCA.
And this is now nearly 10 years, since abuse was first reported but ignored in Winterbourne View.
Here is Thomas as he was living with his family in the real community.