Winterbourne View- Asset stripped for millions and sold to Danshell Group.

Danshell-Infographic-2017In 2006 the Jersey-based Castle Holdings, a company backed by Lydian Capital, purchased Castlebeck from HG Capital, a Venture Capital transfer Vehicle for £255millon .

The sale earned HG Capital a £23.1 million fee.

£1 billion in fees were earned from just 5 healthcare sales in 18 months.

So much for our cash- strapped NHS.

Before the Panorama expose of the Winterbourne View abuse their owners Castlebeck’s finances were buoyant

Dispelling the myth that more money produces better care rather than more profit..

But in light of such  shocking abuse something had to be done, so bulldozers were sent into Winterbourne View and televised .

Despite the Castlebeck’s then inevitable demise, an expensive business turn round specialist was sent in  to restore its reputation, two units closed and 3 million spent refurbishing the other 20.

The Company had already undergone a significant refinancing process so that by 2011 its debts were £431m.

Which resulted in a take over by creditor banks led by RBS, administration of its assets and a sale of Castlebeck, as a going concern to the Danshell Group for just £35 million.

So, the only Corporate accountability for the horrific abuse of our most vulnerable for years was multi million pound asset stripping, a knock down cheap sale to another for profit private hospital group  Danshell,  and profits/fees for consultants, accountants, agents, administrators and lawyers.

So what is life like for Danshell ‘s ‘patients’ worth on average over £7,000 a week and up to £13,000 if housed a secure unit.

This post was written before Danshell owned Whorlton Hall Abuse exposure on panorama

The Company  hold these extremely lucrative commodities either under the MCA, in their ‘best interests’, or by MHA section for ‘treatment’.

Under  the MCA unlike the MHA, parents can be excluded on ‘best interests’ grounds and gagged  and need not be for MHA treatment subject to yearly review.

The LA commissioners and the CQC are the only oversight.

Yet both knew of Winterbourne View abuse for years and did nothing .

And the Courts will not intervene in care services. SEE SUPREME COURT CASE MN


So what do we know about the Danshell Group’s Services ?

Only what is in the internet .

There is only one Google review by Jacqueline Penaranda

every people here in this company is afraid’

No one has left a review at NHS Choices.

Workers Reviews are shown below;

August 2015
I worked at The Danshell Group full-time (More than a year)
Gained invaluable experience whilst working there of working with young people with mental health issues.

Bad HR department – paid incorrectly on several occasions.

Understaffed majority of shifts with a high reliance on agency workers. Put support workers in dangerous positions with no support following incidents.

Advice to Management
Support current staff and work as a team to support the young people.

Mis-managed to point of being dangerous’

Support Worker (Former Employee) –  Dundee – 11 November 2016

It was once a good workplace but has, in recent years, declined to low standards for the support workers reflected in its typically high turnover of staff.

This has hopefully changed for the better since I left.

free meals
lack of organisation, training & staff

The place like all work places has its good points and its bad , mostly good A Typical day at work was helping the clients with personal hygiene, grooming medication and giving them their food .

Management most of the time were helpful , co-workers were easy to get on with, friendly, we all worked as a team,

The paper work it was constantly getting changed, so what you were doing one moment in report wise could be totally different the next day , The most enjoyable part of the job was the interaction with the clients.

long hours, you had to stay on the premises during your breaks unless given permission by management, which meant you really did not get a brake from the place.

In 2014 Healthcare Improvement Scotland carried out spot-checks on Denshall’s Monroe House after anonymous complaints were made about the impact of low staffing levels, and procedures not being followed.
In 2015 two autistic residents from  Danshell’s Wast Hills home, were abandoned in a van for over 2 hours until spotted and reported to the police who rescued them.

One of the men, Darren Browne had been moved to Wast Hills in 2008 – more than 300 miles from his home in Inchinnan – because experts said it was the only place available to deal with his needs and his father had campaigned tirelessly for his return.

Months earlier in the same home, nine members of staff had retrained a 20 year old autistic for 11 hours , and eventually on calling the police, he was restraint belted, spit hooded, handcuffed, caged and removed to a cell .

NHS Improvement insist Danshell produce their own Quality Reports below.

Click to access Danshell-qa-2017.pdf

Let us remind ourselves of Winterbourne View and how these millions were made.

No Waynesickening-abuse


NHS Foundation Trusts – Monopoly Unaccountable Services ?

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In 2016/17 NHS England transferred £71.9 billion to CCGs to commission services from Foundation and NHS Trusts.

In 2018 these Trusts reported that 58 of them would not be able to meet their financial targets

This leaves them vulnerable, as I assume the government  privatisation equals those who can make the most profit.

Foundation Trusts are semi-autonomous bodies, can be privately owned public benefit corporations,  not directly accountable to Parliament, only minister of health loosely.

It took years of campaigning to even acknowledge the deaths, neglect and abuse in Staffordshire Foundation Trust, whose public inquiry and insolvency cost the tax payers millions.

Successive governments set target dates for all NHS Trusts to reach Foundation status.

Staffordshire was the ultimate Status that all the expensive management and consultancy aspired to.

Despite Bill Moyes, former NHS Regulator Monitor’s executive chair, urging the NHS in 2014 to reconsider, “whether the model of foundation trusts is sensible”,

He argued,
“If one-third of the hospital system is permanently not demonstrating good viability and good governance, is that telling you something about actually how the system should run as opposed to how we thought it should run?”

But still the NHS went on to spend huge sums of public money on merging trusts to gain Foundation status often at the expense of services .

The Department of Health spent nearly £2 billion on 12 mergers alone, compared to £200 million on new care models .

Click to access Foundation-trust-and-NHS-trust-mergers-Kings-Fund-Sep-2015_0.pdf

By 2016 the distinction between Foundation Trusts and other NHS trusts had been largely eroded, particularly when their regulators combined to form NHS Improvement .

It appears even after the Staffordshire Scandal and the Francis Report, accountability of  NHS services has not improved, as this new overarching body only  requires CQC compliance.

Foundation Trusts were created by ‘third way’ Alan Miliburn back in 2002

They were a radical departure from the traditional means by which the NHS was held to account.

Which was directly to the Department of Health and the Secretary of State for Health.

Foundation Trusts are not accountable to Parliament and only to the NHS via NHS England.

So free from political control, and effectively any control other than the CQC and NHS Improvement .

Instead, their accountability is through their local governors.

Governors, who do not have the right to veto individual decisions of a Trust’s Board of Directors.

And the chair of the board of governors is also the chair of the board of directors.

So there is a conflict of interests and this is effectively self regulation..

And the Department of Health does not, in any event, expect the governors to take an active role in the day to day management of the trust, but leave that to the Trust’s management team and the board of directors (Departmentof Health 2003).

The Audit Commission and Healthcare Commission found continued confusion around the role of foundation trust governors, and no significant evidence that they had had an impact on the development of trusts (Audit Commission/Healthcare Commission 2008).

Governors interviewed for another study (Storey et al 2010) reported, that they were easily controlled by the chief executive and the boards of directors, and that their input into the strategic operation of foundation trusts was largely passive, as information receivers, rather than actively shaping the organisation.

The recent history of the NHS suggests that commissioners are relatively ineffective in holding powerful providers to account (House of Commons Health Committee 2010a),

By March 2013 there were 145 NHS foundation trusts (41 of them mental health trusts and five ambulance trusts).

The most lucrative Trusts are the 41 mental health trusts, as nearly a quarter of our NHS budget is spent on mental health.

Most likely, as they are the most profitable services, such trusts as with Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust has been, will be converted to private companies, with existing Foundation Trust directors made private company directors and shareholders in charge of their own salaries, and effectively through the CCGs the provision of all NHS mentally related services including residential care in their region.

And as Private Companies, they can rely on ‘commercial confidentiality’ to hold the main parts of their meetings in private and as private companies, they are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Yet they still maintain the NHS logo, so no one would, or even could know their services were from a private company..

Sheffield Primary Care LTD are a corporate body of GP share holders effectively owned by SHSC a private company from whom they are supposed to be commissioned by ie CCG.

So it would appear those who commission a service are owned by those they commission from.

So no choice of service and a massive conflict of interests and who is the service provider now accountable to ? So services commissions are guaranteed regardless of service, CCGs have been subsumed into private corporate foundation trusts.

All can hide behind commercial confidentiality and effectively spend public money on their own private profit services.

Nor can there be accountable competition for these services, as Foundation Trusts buy in the services as needed, and are usually, the only ‘specified provider’ within the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the CCGs could use, in fact the Foundation Trusts are even buying up the GP practices that make up the CCGs.

And, as the caption above shows, billions are made just from NHS Trust parking from  public land and services.

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 ?

AN increase of private hospital inpatient admissions.

as no longer- Lamb promise – could they be admitted to public NHS hospitals

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 or ‘open rehabilitation’.

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’,  is a home of drugged containment 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, they earn £13,000 a week being rapidly tranquilised in a secure Unit, whenever they are deemed ‘unmanageable’ in community placement or rehabilitation .

The Spring Centre with this new provision for an extra 14 men in locked rehabilitation and 4 rapid/emergency tranquilisation beds, earn £13,000 a week per ‘patient’ in addition to the existing 26 bed low secure units where each ‘patient’ earns £7,000 a 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 they get for this colossal amount of public money ?

Renovation of a large house in a cheap area, plenty of drugs until compliant, containment, 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.

Is there any competition ?

No, as Cygnet is deemed the only ‘specialist provider’ under HSCA 2012.

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

There is no data kept on this except  a three year old report that 3 mental patients a day were dying unnecessarily.

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

All in their ‘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, effectively  from diagnosis,  with providers made 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 to 174, and many are outsourced.

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

At least 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.

And it continues in 2017 see here

These multimillion pound deficits/debts 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, after he left his position as Blair advisor, he is now head of NHS England.

When 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.

And working along side all Primary Care ready to purchase other GPs etc

Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust became a private company in 2015, with the board of directors of the Trust made directors and it includes the Clover Group of GP practices – Darnall Primary Care Centre, Highgate Surgery, Jordanthorpe Health Centre, and the Mulberry Practice, supported living services and respite care services.

And in April 2017 it had taken over the management of six Gp practices with a GP list of 26,500

Here are the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing meeting of Reading 2017

Click to access Item02.pdf

And the contracts for the GP practices are for 15 years, so try bind future Parliaments despite Parliamentary Sovereignty, quality of service and patient choice..

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 ?

At 2019 CCGs were being merged without even consultation let alone approval of GPs

What effectively is the function of CCGs now?

CCGs appear to have been a device to legitimise commissioning of services from the Foundation Trusts until they are set up and running.

And then the CCGs will   be  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 is only ever to move the autistic and learning disabled to local ‘community living’ placements ?

Never back to live with family or friends who they know and love ?

How can merely moving from an ATU regime of MHA reviews and ‘treatment’ to MCA ‘incapacity’ and ‘best interests’ living under Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in the area you originate from suddenly improve your life and care.

Is it really any different from life in an ATU except you are taken out to a prescribed venue occasionally ?

Family access is restricted, supervised and can be terminated in a person’s ‘best interests’.

Access to community is limited by a commercially aware provider and availability of support staff .

And what is community  a visit to the local art gallery/ Mc Donalds ?

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 governments realised how lucrative ‘care’ of the autistic/LD could be things were so  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 paid up to £13,000 per week and run for profit and so are the only solution to any ‘incident’.

GPs, nor anyone will help, there is no support and parents are told to ring the police.

Who then send the autistic/LD to ATUs often for years and then to care for life under MCA.

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’.

Click to access A-Trade-in-People-CeDR-2017-1.pdf

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 not back to live with families with support and respite..

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.

Here is how the media portray this Turf War between ATUs and ‘community living’ both increasingly owned by same overall company Universal Health Services .

And the government’s push to ‘community living’ continues via NHS England