Private Mental Hospitals Increase as the Cygnet Autism Empire grows.


So what has six years of post Winterbourne initiatives, campaigns and the end of public NHS mental bed admissions achieved ?

The increase of private hospital inpatient admissions.

Yet, Winterbourne View was a private hospital.

‘Independent ‘psychiatrists in private hospitals are, apparently, being paid for second opinions to enable the discharge of autistic patients from public ATUs to the private hospitals where they are employed.

Some might call that poaching, and the psychiatrists, anything but independent.

Cygnet’s Headlines portray expansions, as improving autistic ‘services’;

New Autistic Disorder Service Opening Soon’– November 2017.

To ‘enhance the care pathway in specialist Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) services available within the hospital. This new service will be funded by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

The Springs Centre will support up to 14 men with a primary diagnosis of ASD and comorbid mental ill health difficulties and/or mild learning disabilities in a locked rehabilitation environment.

It will be positioned “between” the existing specialist services within the hospital; 16-bed The Springs Unit which provides low secure accommodation and 10-bed The Springs Wing, our open specialist rehabilitation service.

The Springs Centre will also provide four rapid or emergency access beds which will support those who may be in crisis or have high dependency needs – for example, if a community placement has broken down or if they are struggling in open rehabilitation environments’.

Note it is assumed the autistic will not be living with their families but in a ‘community placement’.

In addition, Cygnet Hospital Maidstone, a new 65-bed build is to open next Summer

Let us remind ourselves of Cygnet’s record on ‘treatment’.

And the fact that Cygnet is now owned by US Universal Health Services, whose executive was Simon Stevens now head of NHS England.

And let us remind ourselves that rehabilitation to enable going ‘home’, if ever, is a home of more of the same but termed ‘community living’, also increasingly owned by US Universal Health Services via Cambian.

And here we have workers comments on Cygnet’s services.

And why is this happening?

The autistic are huge cash cows .

The Spring Centre with this new provision for an extra 14 men in locked rehabilitation and 4 rapid/emergency beds, will earn £13,000 per week per man, in addition to the existing 26 bed low secure units where each man earns £7,000 per week.

That is £416,000 a week.

Over one and a half million a month, over 16 million a year to look after 44 autistics.

And what do the autistic get for this huge amount of public money ?

Renovation of a large house in a cheap area, plenty of drugs, a consultant psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, a nurse practitioner, an occupational therapist, a manager and deputy, and minimum ratio to patient care workers/nurses on shifts, and cooking, cleaning and laundry provision.

How long is the income guaranteed for ?

For ever and increasing, despite our crippled NHS , even without new builds.

Is there any competition ?

No, as Cygnet is deemed the only ‘specialist provider’ under HSCA 12.

Does it improve the quality of life/outcomes for the autistic ?

There is no data kept on this.

What is their life like for £13,000/£7,000 a week ?

Drugged, washed, dressed, fed and maybe after years taken out in a van for an outing strapped into a wheelchair and perhaps visits from family who by now they may barely recognise.

The autistic have no rights, as sectioned each year under MHA, and then deemed ‘incapable’ for life under the MCA with yearly rubber stamped reviews of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

All in the autistics ‘best interests’.

And all agencies and experts are primed and employed to increase this empire by detection and meltdown as this is the only funded ‘support’.

Cygnet this year were given a a £300m commissioning budget for 11 new care model programmes, to create a new models of care for low and medium secure adult mental health services, Tier 4 child and adolescent mental health services and eating disorder services. By creating new partnerships the aim is to explore new opportunities to improve care pathways for our service users.

So we have a seamless cabal from birth to grave, too big to fail or fight.

And always on the look out for new lucrative captive consumers to pathway.



NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups subsumed into private monopoly providers?


At 69 the NHS is in its last gasps of life.

Silently asset stripped by large corporate multi nationals and managers.

And strategic cost cutting is used to streamline services into lucrative cherry picked privatisations.

And at the same time more money is pumped into the NHS as the solution to its woes.

Money used for its more lucrative, privately grabbed ‘services’, like mental health whilst A and E and frontline services remain starved.

So much so, that over 20% of the NHS total spend, is now on mental health but only 7% on GPs, with 7 minutes consultations, herded as salaried GPs into ever larger corporate practices.

All ‘legalised ’under The Health and Social Care Act on the lie of GPs commissioning the best services for their patients on ’competitive’ tender.

In 2016/17 NHS England transferred £71.9 billion to Clinical Commissioning Groups.

These groups are responsible for the commissioning and delivery of regional NHS services, all GPs are members but by 2014 only half of GP practices felt involved in CCG decision making processes.

Meanwhile GP Practices are being merged into corporately owned super GP Practices with 70,000 patients on the excuse of cost cutting.

Yet, on an analysis in 2015 of more than 2,500 CCG managers, 56% of 225 were paying themselves more than the salary range recommended by NHS England of £95,000 to £125,000 a year.

CCGs have merged 211- 174 and many are outsourced.

And by October 2014, NHS England had introduced a special measures regime for those in financial difficulties.

20 may have already been placed in special measures and taken over.

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group was put in special measures with a deficit of £10.6m for 2015/6.

Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Somerset’s 3 CCGs were taken over by one chief earlier this year.

These multimillion pound deficits ploughed into executive salaries and private foundation trusts coffers.

CCGs were told by NHS England to procure ‘support services’ by a tender process by April 2015.

The first of such ‘support services’  for South Lincolnshire and South West Lincolnshire CCGs was won by Optumhealth,  who were given a £9 million 3 year contract, this being half the total running costs of the CCGs.

Optumhealth is part of US United Health Group, which employed Simon Stevens for 9 years before he took up his position as head of NHS England.

Originally established CCGs did not have any responsibility for Primary Care which was commissioned and managed by NHS England.

But in November 2014 CCGs were invited to become co-commissioners of primary care in their area.

Responsible for the performance, management and budgeting of their member GP practices including managing complaints about practices and GPs.

Foundation Trusts  are  being converted to private companies like Sheffield Health and Social Care, and are buying up GP practices.

What now then is the distinction de facto between the Commissioner and overseer of services- the Clinical Commissioning Groups, and the  Foundation Trusts providing the commissioned services ?

What effectively is the function of CCGs now?

As it  appears they are being  surreptitiously merged and subsumed into private service providers allowing self regulation and autonomous service provision.

The eventual goal; a few supersized, too big to fail providers, controlling our public 100 bn pound + budget, whilst accountability falls on NHS England- the tax payer.

An opaque, totalitarian mess, without oversight, riddled with self and conflicts of interests.

Without competition nor patient voice.


Adult Treatment Units to ‘Community Living’ – Turf War for Billions ?

Trade in people 1700s-1850s-1856-sketch-of-slave-sale-in-charleston-south-carolina-DC0TH0

I thought long and hard before writing this post, as I did not want it to appear to condone in any way, the atrocity of life and death in an Adult Treatment Unit.

Atrocities like the 7 year ‘treatment’ of 18 year old Stephanie Bincliffe in an Huntercombe ATU, paid £1761 a day to lock and drug her in a windowless cell.

And no one was held accountable when this fit young woman’s heart stopped after she ballooned to 25 stone.

Clearly, it is illegal and morally reprehensible to imprison and drug anyone, let alone the autistic and learning disabled, as this is not ‘treatment’, or, determinable, as required by the MHA.

But is the solution of ’community living’ any better ?

And why is it, that the purpose of all campaigns are only ever to move the autistic and learning disabled to local ‘community living’ placements ?

How is merely moving, from an ATU regime of MHA yearly reviews and ‘treatment’, to that of MCA ‘incapacity’ and ‘best interests’ living under Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, in the area you originate from going to improve your life and care ?

What use is being close to family, when access is restricted, supervised, and can be terminated in a person’s ‘best interests’.

And access to your ‘community’ is strictly controlled by deprivation of liberty safeguards and the availability of care home staff ?

How is care revolutionised in ‘community living’ ?

A person is still locked up and drugged, the only difference is, he is taken out occasionally.

And there is even less accountability, with no mental health reviews or appeals,  just CQC paper and Adult Services manager employed by the services Commissioners oversight.

And as providers are private companies, they can hide all behind commercial confidentiality.

Parents can’t complain and unlike under the MHA are gagged under MCA, so even if they did know what was happening, could not reveal it as Thomas Rawnsley’s mother found out.

Before the autistic/LD became cash cows things were very different.

A few might be forced to spend a short time in a mental hospital and then were sent home.

ASD/LD were not sectionable as they were only made subject to the MHA  in 2007.

Now ATUs are the only solution to any ‘incident’, as GPs, nor anyone will help, there is no support and parents are told to ring the police.

And the autistic/LD are then sent to and remain in ATUs for years.

And ‘being sent home’, now means being sent back to the area you originated from to live in ‘community living’ for life.

Why is this happening?

Because NHS local foundation trusts are being converted to private companies under the Health and Social Care Act and want to and are making huge profits from commissioning or providing ‘community living’.

Eye watering sums are available despite austerity.

£477 million a year is forecast to be needed to keep present 2,500 LD/ASD in ATUs.

£284 million was spent on private ATUs alone last year..

£136 million has already been provided to remove the 3000 ATU inpatients, to ‘community living’ after a’ Valuing People ‘audited them to find out which authority they belonged to.

Transforming Care Partnerships forecast a spend of £1,478 million on “individual community support packages for former inpatients and those at risk of admission” for aftercare packages for just for 2015/16. By s117 MHA such a package is a prerequisite tor ‘community living’.

And lets not forget the £433 million to implement Care Act ‘safeguarding’, to relentlessly remove every ASD/LD from their family to ‘community living’ .

Money is no object when it comes to feeding private companies.

But no funds are made available for support within the family home, nor for respite, or community centres.

In fact benefits have been reduced.

Families are left to cope alone on £62.50 Carers Allowance and £105 DLA ,whilst ATUs are paid £13,000 per week and community living placements £6,000 +.

Since when, has a society needed to remove those whose behaviour is different, from their families and society, drug them, and spend billions doing so.

And since when have all charities including the National Autistic and Learning Disabled allowed them to ?

Is this not the worse form of opportunism, extortion and exploitation ?

As ‘community living’ is private and NHS Foundation Trusts increasingly so, FOIA Notices, nor even the Public Accounts Committee can find out how  these huge sums of public money are spent.

The latest research in this area is entitled ‘A Trade in People’.

It blames the continued holing up of thousands in ATUs, not on the illegality that the MHA is not being complied with, but on;

‘a reluctance on the part of some “exporting” authorities to fund people’s return home’, as by s117 MHA, an individual community support package, must be in place before a person can be moved to ‘community living’.

According to  information received under Freedom of Information request, Transforming Care Partnerships were forecasting a spend of £1,478 million on “individual community support packages for former inpatients and those at risk of admission” just for 2015/16 aftercare packages..

They conclude that ‘ levels of spending involved go some way to explain why many of our families cite arguments about who pays for aftercare as one of the reasons that they have struggled to get their sons and daughters home’

Home meaning back to the area they originated from.

The report claims 5 years in an ATU generates £950,000 income.

So after 5 years of ‘treatment’, costing nearly a million, an autistic/learning disabled person is still in need of a further hundred thousand pound support package, before he can commence his ‘community living’ ?

This speaks volumes of the inadequacy of ATU ‘treatment’.

And what does the package pay for, and why was it not part of the £13,000 a week spent on the ATU?

It also begs the question, can autism and learning disability be ‘treated’ ?

They are not ‘mental disorders’ but life long behavioural issues that need to be understood.

The Report concludes; .

“We think that the European Convention on Human Rights is not being followed. Mainly Article 5, the right to liberty and Article 8, the right to a private and family life. The right to a private and family life has been torn from many families in the fight for their loved one’s freedom.”

But in ‘community living’ there is no art 5 Right to Liberty, as all movement is restricted under MCA Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, nor Right to a Private or Family Life, as parents have little access, which can be terminated at any time.

And last year Art 3 Right to Life, which allows an automatic right to a jury, if you die in ‘state detention’ was removed for those subject to an MCA DOL, as all are in ‘community living’.

So even death does not need to be externally investigated.

Let us remind ourselves of what life was like in ‘Community Living’ for Thomas Rawnsley, provided by today’s main provider Cambian owned by US Universal Health Services .

And from the words of those working in ‘community living’.

It is indeed a Trade in People.