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


  1. And absolutely no chance of rescuing them.

    Latest on someone who shall not be named – 2 hearings in which the only subject was capacity, S21A challenge to dols ignored.

    It was then pointed out to all concerned – by the mother of someone who shall not be named – that capacity must be assumed, and all practical help given etc. Not once in the 11 years in Court has one professional followed this basic rule. This must be criminal – ha ha boody ha.


    1. Nice to hear from you.

      Not so nice, that as expected you got no where with pointing out what the law under the MCA actually says.

      As you say it has now been ignored for 11 years.

      Frightening that we are all held to ransom for profit.

      What can I say, other than we need a political will and change, as surely the law of the land is worth fighting for.

      But who is fighting for it ?


      1. Why would they fight for it?

        It is most ;likely that a good number of our politicians and people with power have a vested interest in keeping the status quo, namely shares in this sordid business.

        Big Pharma, NHS and huge American healthcare companies that have been circling the NHS for business like vultures have finally landed, and they are not going away while they is still flesh on the bones.

  2. But you and I and Finola must try and stop them – even if we go down fighting.

    He who shall not be named fees are £2400 a week, none of which goes towards his care.

    A public authority who shall not be named are abusing him financially, and I am too bloody scared to name anyone.
    When I did try to help my son Mr Justice Charles put a penal notice on me and wrote my son a letter telling him how his mother had behaved badly. All in the public domain.


  3. They now want yo send my daughter to a specialist unit and I am quite alarmed. She had attacked members of staff who put pressure on her and she attacked me too – unprovoked so she does need help but I Xmas worried about exactly what help. She is very happy about the new diagnosis. But I am not satisfied – what about complex ptsd – no drugs can cure this do I shall b watching and documenting everything – I have contacted the local press who are very interested as we have had severe bullying in my local area and I would like to see open dialogue in place and proper assessments. I am going g to tell the press about your article. It will be if huge public interest when people see that there is plenty of money and questions must be asked about how it is spent

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. If Lynsey is sent back to a specialist unit, they can claim £13,000 per week, as opposed to £7,000, so it is to their advantage.

      You are right to be worried, as this can only lead to more medication, which she will then eventually have to be weaned off.

      As to her attacking, whilst difficult to cope with, all it shows is that their present ‘treatment’ is not working as this is a reaction to her dire situation.

      I hope you get somewhere with Press, as revealing appears the only check/oversight and thank you for mentioning the information here.

      Please let me know what happens and wish you all the best in the circumstances



  4. Finola Martin’s case 4th August in Cardiff. I have used Mark Neary’s blog to publicise it


    1. Thinking of you at 82 going through all this over and over again relentlessly ………………

      Impossible to believe if it weren’t happening……………


  5. Hello Fiona Please remember that there are many people with LDs and ASC locked up in institutions where families are not around or are unable to fight for daughters and sons rights. I am mindful of that when I have been approached to support patients to get out of these places. One patient said she asked me because I fight for disabled peoples rights – it was not important what I knew about the legislation – but soon got to grips with that! It maybe something I will submit to the exhibition.


    1. But I think we must first think why do parents have to fight and if that fight gets them anywhere as it appears not to. We need as many people as possible helping the detained and their parents whose interests are usually the same as they love them and not different as courts etc would have us believe.


  6. Reblogged this on finolamoss and commented:

    As the national newspapers reveal the horrors of ATUs as the exposure of Winterbourne did 7 years ago we must realise that removal from an ATU is to another institution ie community living in the area the patient originated from it is not going ‘home’. And increasingly this new institution termed ‘home’ is also owned by the ATU owner so the patient can and is being MHA sectioned back to the ATU at anytime so a phyric victory. Care is not changing it is still unaccountable and anyone- parents /friends can be excluded from this ‘home’ at anytime in MCA best interests. This is merely a manipulation not a solution and a turf war for billions. These patients never gain control of their care let alone their lives. They are saleable care packages for life.


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