Creation of Adoption/Fostering Industry- The Blair Years.



Adoption was once voluntary, reserved for unmarried mothers and Church Adoption agencies surviving on charitable donations and the support of religious founders.

Then the Adoption Act 1976 made Local Authorities responsible for all adoptions and allowed adoption to be forced if a parent was acting unreasonably .

A once private, voluntary, and very personal matter was now controlled by the State.

And has grown into a multi million pound Corporate industry with over 90% of adoptions forced to strangers.

As only those in the care system are available, the definition of ‘harm’ has been extended ever wider effectively now allowing the state to decide who can parent.

How could this have happened ?

Tony Blair knew there was a shortage of children to satisfy the ever increasing social need for family units.

And this basic need could be financially and socially exploited.

Within 2 years of his Premiership he set upon a personal mission as his father was adopted to transform adoption.

Vowing to increase the number to 40% of those in care by 2004/5.

So began the biggest shake-up of adoption for 25 years launched with military precision.

£66.5m was provided to English LAs.

Financial allowances for adoptive parents and a streamlined systems were introduced.

LA adoption scorecards with national targets were introduced.

Councils were put under a legal duty to consider adoption within just six months of a child entering care, be it on a voluntary or on an enforced basis.

Allowing little time for ‘rehabilitation’ back to their birth parents.

A national adoption register was created matching children with potential parents.

Adopters were given the right to an independent review if rejected.

They were no longer ‘automatically excluded from adoption on grounds of age, health or other factors, except in the case of certain criminal convictions”.

CAFCASS was created to represent the interests of children in court proceedings..

The then and continuing Chair of the British Adoption and Fostering Agency, whose purpose was to promote adoption and fostering was made the chief executive of CAFCASS.

Every child was represented in court by a CAFCASS guardian who assessed his welfare for the courts.

Such was our common law’s abhorrence to the alienation of a parent’s right to their own children, adoption without consent had not been introduced until 1976.

But under Blair’s Adoption and Children Act 2002 parents had no rights.

The Act placed a ‘child’s needs’ at the centre of the adoption process, aligning adoption law with the ‘welfare principle’ in the Children Act 1989, allowing the state to dispense with a parent’s consent whenever it thought it necessary in a child’s welfare.

This welfare was based on the expansive threshold criteria in Childrens Act 1989, further extended by a new welfare checklist in s 1, ACA 2002.

But this list didn’t mention a parent’s right to their own children under s 8 HRA, nor their relationship with younger children, as parents were deemed not to have any meaningful relationship  with their own children, particularly as those parents were cast as abusers and/or incapable.

This was despite expert evidence that any interference with the bonding process in a child’s early years could result in a serious development disorder resulting in highly disturbed and distinctive patterns of behaviour, which was increasingly being diagnosed in adopted children.

Nor was the affect of root cutting, adoption per se and adoption breakdown in the list.

In fact the loss of a parent’s right to his child and that child’s right to his natural family was barely debated in Parliament, despite our adoption laws already at that time resulting in more permanent removals in the world, except for the US and Portugal being the only other European country to allow adoption without consent.

This draconian approach to family welfare and disregard of parents’ rights was also in stark contrast to the European Court of Human Rights’ decisions.

Which made a clear distinction between taking a child into care, where the European courts were prepared to give domestic authorities a wide margin of appreciation and was not normally in breach of Art 8, P, C and S v The United Kingdom [2002] 35 EHRR 31, as
“a temporary measure to be discontinued as soon as circumstances permit”

And the removal of parental rights by adoption, which can only be justified in exceptional circumstances.

In 2006 1,300 babies aged between a week and a month were removed from their mothers for ever, a rise of 141% in a single year and the number adopted rose from 970 in 1996 to 2,120 .

By 2016 2,700 babies were removed each year.

Fees  paid per adoption in 2008 were:

£12,660 for an adoptive family approved by another LA

£19,889 for families from VAAs with an additional fee of £3,315 to cover post adoption services

London LAs and VAAs are also able to charge an additional 10% London weighting

And then, just before the end of Blair’s Premiership, along came Baby P.





UHS/ Cygnet Behavioural Health Industry grows despite its inadequacy.


In 2011 the CQC made a routine announced visit to an Alpha psychiatric hospital in Sheffield and spoke to staff and patients on all three wards.

And found it failed to comply with seven of the government’s standards of quality and safety.

By law providers must meet all standards, but there is no sanction at best, and very rarely will a hospital be put into special measures.

And as confidential commercial contracts, we have no details of the lengths and contractual terms of NHS contracts.

Alpha Hospitals (NW) Limited were given 14 days to produce plans to show how it intended to achieve compliance.

Three years later Cygnet was bought by USA’s Universal Health Services for £205 million.

Simons Stevens 10 years chief executive of UHS’s global division , after leaving  his job as Blair adviser on NHS public investment is now chief executive of NHS England .

After UHS took over Cygnet bought all its three of Alpha’s Hospitals in Woking, Bury and Sheffield for 95 million.

But now 6 years on and billions of public NHS money later, ‘treatment’ appears even worse in the former Alpha Sheffield hospital.

So bad in fact, a Labour MP Louise Haigh wrote two months ago to the Health Secretary demanding an urgent meeting about care in Cygnet Sheffield.

The CQC had rated the hospital “inadequate” on safety.

Cygnet’s response was health and wellbeing of patients was its “absolute priority”.

Why would it not be ? They are paid  a minimum of £900 a day. £13,000 a week on secure wards.

The CQC inspected Sheffield 3 times in just 13 months, twice due to serious incidents.

The most recent inspection in July focused on the Haven ward, and identified a number of issues which caused the CQC to have “significant concern for the health and wellbeing of patients”.

Haigh mentioned to the House of Commons that a young woman was found by the inspectors to have MRSA with open wounds on a ward.

The CQC also found shortfalls in patient risk assessments, reporting of incidents and safeguarding procedures..

Haigh has since written to NHS England, Jeremy Hunt and Cygnet Healthcare over a “lack of learning” from incidents at the hospital

The Sheffield’s hospital’s latest CQC report of 17 th November is here

Click to access AAAG9219.pdf

Comments of patients in Sheffield on the net are damning .

Maddie Colbrook -2 months ago

my brother got triggered because of all the blood stains on the walls you really need to sort that out of something bad will happen to him and I hate you for not listening to his period issues SORT IT OUT NOW OR I WILL BE SUEING YOU LOT

SL -a year ago

A lot of gossip with staff everyone knows everything about everyone. Not as professional as I would’ve hoped when it came to legal matters. No support given when it was needed.
Bullying from some staff members.
Doesn’t get cleaned as thoroughly as I would’ve thought with it being a hospital. Blood can remain on walls for months.
Over all pretty disappointed with the experience.

Despite all this in June, Cygnet  announced NHS England had confirmed Cygnet Health Care, as a partner in 3 out of the 11 new programmes commissioned for mental health services.

This was the second commission following a wave including Cygnet announced last year.

The 11 new care model programmes will be given a £300m commissioning budget.

Worth  £75 million to Cygnet.

To create 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 ( presumably with Health and Social Care Trusts) to explore new opportunities to improve care pathways for our service users.’

Cygnet continues to increase its empire, building new hospitals the latest in Coventry, a 56 bed specialist mental health service is to be opened by Debra K. Osteen, President of the Behavioural Health Division of UHS admissions in March 2017

Cygnet has its own events company and hosts work shops, conferences, award ceremonies, and training on all aspects of behavoural health, the new mental.

It has created its own world from awareness , detection, diagnoses and treatment.

700 attended its latest UK Yorkshire Regional Conference

It has its own annual National Service User Awards.

It intends to control all aspects of behaviour ‘disorders’.

How they are diagnosed , treated, even socially perceived.

Personality disorders, anorexia, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, depression, PTSD, autism, learning disability, neurological injuries, even domestic violence.

But treatments appear similar- the most profitable, detainment and medication.
And all ages are harvested children via CAMHS and adults via AMHS

It’s PR and professional presentation is honed-

‘Cygnet Health Care has been providing a national network of high quality specialist mental health services for almost 30 years.
With a true focus on outcomes those who use or commission our services can be assured we are an experienced, service-user focused, provider of quality treatment, care and rehabilitation’.

But what are the comments and experiences of its service users ?

Cygnet Hospital Ealing



Christina Jacob  3 months ago

My relative went in as a voluntary patient in March.

By the end of the week they had them on a section 3 was giving them olanzapine injections. I told them the drug had been used in the past and didn’t suit.
Relative became really unwell was not taken care of sent to a god awful place came back months later.
I went to visit and they had had a meeting and put a safeguarding thing in place on me.
I am a woman in a wheelchair who has complained constantly about how my relative had been treated. This place could not organize a piss up in a brewery oh hang on the place is one big boozefest

Extremely poor level of patient care. Very unprofessional and incompetent staff including the managers. Vulnerable people with learning disabilities and those who self harm require a safe, therapeutic and positive setting to recover and receive treatment, and this is not the place!

Heather Maclatcy
A month ago
Cygnet I wouldn’t send anyone to this place is not compliant in my view with the mental health act or the code of practice ie restrictive practices form the hospital management down to day to day staffing and some of the practices as seen on hansa ward leaves a lot to be desired Like how some of the staff deal with patients when they are in distress ie restraint isn’t practices are like how you would treat prisoners in prison bending joints in the wrong way which is not at all acceptable, because it could lead people lifelong injury plenty of other ways in my opinion how to get someone to comply with instructions non-pain compliant techniques, lucky was not a issue with me I felt bad for other patients
And as well to get medical care at Cygnet leaves a lot to be desired I had to go Private for dental treatment because The RC would not grant leave to see specialist dentist is medical leave and these guys stretch the truth to the max like in mental health tribunals they lie through their teeth
You are CCG do not send your patients to this hospital under any circumstances
If you got a loved one in this hospital exercise your rights as nearest relative to get them discharge under the mental health act

And what  do Cygnet workers think ?

And here are stories of those trapped in hospitals.

And two of the many who have died in Cygnet ‘care’.

Jody -Bury Cygnet

Jonathan Chamberlian Ward Cygnet Stevenage

Buzzfeed here explains their investigation into Cygnet Services

Patients are being made much worse this is not ‘treatment’ as required by law under MHA.

We have a purported ‘cash strapped’ NHS, which is siphoning off public money to allow private US multi nationals to make as Cygnet has £6.3 million profit a year and pay nearly half a million salary to their head.

Worse still, the NHS appears not to care about the ‘treatment’ paid for and outcomes for service users.

Calls for ending the sending of NHS patients to a particular hospital continue but despite even an MP request it appears nothing can happen as NHS England under Health and Social Care Act 14 not accountable even to Parliament .

And here are Cygnet CQC ratings.

CQC CygnetDO2Bl6qWAAELizv

Yet as shown in its 2018 Newsletter Cygnet goes from strength to strength, it is the government’s chosen provider main provider, too big to fail, creating its own world of exemplary ‘service’.



Occupational Stealth – Be wary of revealing mental health issues at work .


Mental health allegations are being used as a means of removing employment without tribunal claims  read here and sign Natasha’s petition

A review commissioned by our Prime Minister revealed 300,000 workers lose their jobs annually due to mental health.

But why are so many losing their jobs and what would be the effect of ridding the workplace of the mental health taboo?

Could it be an employer’s increased use of Occupational Health Services ?

70 years ago Clement Atlee set up a committee which concluded the Ministry of Health as a public independent body should be the provider for British Occupational Health Services.

But this was ignored, and today Occupation Health is a multi million pound private industry.

With the Department of Work and Pensions alone spending over £3,147 m on it annually.

The Committee’s wish was for the services to be completely independent of employers.

But they are still today paid for and commissioned by an employer, and such services owe their paramount duty to that employer, and this is confirmed in the Occupational Health Professionals’ Codes of Conduct.

Yet, there is clearly a conflict of interests between an employer’s interest to make profit and the health of his employees.

And such an employer’s control over Occupational Health destroys a patient employee’s right to medical confidentiality with the service.

But despite this, Dame Carol’s Black’s 2008 Review of the Health of Britain’s working population, put Occupational Health provision at the centre of the then Brown government announcing a

”new vision for the health of the working age population”,

” in which the relationship between health and work becomes universally recognised as integral to the prosperity and well-being of individuals, their families, workplaces and wider communities”.

But this review appeared to radically change the very nature of the occupational health service, from that of ensuring an employee’s duties did not adversely affect his health, to ensuring that his health did not adversely affect his duties.

And health concern, particularly mental due to its vagueness can be a useful, paternalistic tool of control of an employee.

As it allows management to silence whistle blowers, ensure collaboration, avoid constructive dismissal , and stress, discrimination and harassment( including sexual harassment )claims.

Line managers are encouraged to refer employees to occupational health, as soon as they have any concerns about their physical or mental ill health.

If an employee refuses a referral, he may be suspended in his own and the employer’s interests, and even disciplined for insubordination.

So effectively an employee can’t refuse an assessment.

Yet that assessment is paid for and remitted by his employer and therefore for his purposes, primarily at best to ensure health concerns are not and/ or will not interfere with an employee’s work duties.

But it can be used as a tool to control employment and to discover an employee’s health history and present issues, despite doctor patient confidentiality.

And worse still, an employer can refuse to allow an employee to see the whole ,or any part of an Occupational Health Assessment.

As whilst s. 2 (1) of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988, gives an individual a right of access to any report relating to his physical or mental health, prepared by a medical practitioner, who is, or has been, responsible for his clinical care.

‘Clinical care’ is being, interpreted narrowly, so as not to include occupational health care, resulting in an employee having no right to access their occupational health assessment.

Further, section 7 (1) of part 3 of the Education (Teachers’ Qualifications and Health Standards) (England) Regulations 1999 provides that,
‘ A person in relevant employment shall not continue in that employment if, he does not have the health and mental and physical capacity for that employment.

Section (2) (b) providing that when deciding this capacity, employers can consider information,

‘such has been furnished in confidence on the ground that it would not be in the best interests of the person concerned to see it’.

So any information, occupational health, line manager ,another employee or indeed any information on an employee’s health ‘furnished in confidence’ can be withheld from an employee in his best interests.

This is a beyond terrifying extension of employer paternalism which managers but few employees will be aware of.

This Regulation refers specifically to teachers including academics but similar regulations and/or contractual terms probably apply to most occupations.

Rights of access to assessments can be similarly refused under

The Data Protection Act 1998 Sch 8 part 3 para 3 (a),

‘where permitting access to the data subject would be likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the data subject’ .

So employees can be assessed ,as unfit for their present duties, without ever knowing why, or being allowed sight of assessments, despite the devastating consequences on their present and future employability.

In addition, the excuse of confidentiality can be used by management in respect to other employees, making it impossible to ascertain targeting, and the fairness of the process.

And ‘fit notes’ give occupation health and line managers control over an employee’s ability to return to his former duties.

As rather than just certifying an employee is fit to return to work GPs are now required to certify, that he may be fit for work if certain stated concerns are addressed by his employer.

This change forces an employee’s GP to be part of the Occupational Health system, as this is the body responsible for recommending work related changes .

Thus imperceptibility eroding doctor patient confidentiality, and a GP’s ethical need to act in his patient’s best interests.

‘Fit notes’ replaced the old written GP sick notes in 2009 and are computerised statements so easily subsumed into an employee’s National Summary Care database, which embrace an individual’s complete health profile.

Despite opposition, the Coalition government rolled out this Data Base nationally, but surveys show most public do not even know of its existence, let alone its purpose .

And it has been rolled out to more agencies and professional services with pharmacies now gaining access .

Technically an employee’s express consent is required to access his medical records, including his summary care database record.

But consent may be expressly and/or impliedly provided for in a contract of employment, and a dismissal for unreasonably refusing consent can be fair Caplin v Howard Kennedy Solicitors AT 20/1/09.

It is likely, occupational health providers are able to access to the summary care record database.

As an independent academic study of the summary care system back in 2009, revealed that there was widespread confusion about the method of obtaining consent, and to whom such consent is extended, at present it extends vaguely to all specialists, who are providing care or treatment, which could extend to Occupational Health Care.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, provide evidence that NHS Connecting for Health , ( now NHS Digital managers of the system), changed a written assurance to patients that non clinical staff,” will not” have access to ”may not”, allowing non- clinical staff to gain access to the summary care record database.

An individual has a right to be ill, and a right to private consultation with his own chosen independent medical practitioner.

And a Human Right to Privacy.

Whilst an employer has a duty to ensure that an individual’s work does not adversely affect his health, which was why the Occupational Health Service was created, this should not  be subverted and then used against an employee.

Many people’s livelihood can be destroyed by the present use of Occupational Health as it can be made a tool of management to control workers present and future employability.