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 https://www.cygnethealth.co.uk/events/the-evolution-of-involvement-conference-2017/

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’.





  1. Finola,
    Dysphoria is an antidepressant ADR where persons emotions leap from feeling OK to feeling distressed.
    Akathisia is an antidepressant ADR & is a precursor to suicide.
    Genetic specific variations in the CYP450 metabolising system , when combined with antidepressants are linked with dysphoria, akathisia and suicide.
    Please see: Psychiatric Drug Effects – Introduction


    1. Yes and there are many still unknown side effects of enforced medication and one thing is clear, it does not aid physical health, but physical health is not looked after in mental hospitals or ‘community living’.

      And worse still, often the medication is off label, and we do not know the side effects of combinations of these medicines either mental or physical.

      There have been no drug trials on combination/polypharmacy effects.

      So the principles of ‘do no harm’ and treatment are not being adhered to.

      Successive governments have been in dereliction of their duty to our most vulnerable in their care, and using huge amounts of public money, as there is no regulation of the amount of drugs used , type or dosage nor deaths that might result. This is left to the individual medical professionals, who are increasingly employed by the service providers who are run for profit.

      Patients have no say in their diagnosis nor treatment, a second particularly independent opinion is rarely allowed within the system, as it is enforced under MHA section or in their best interests under MCA.

      And Pharma is now the UK’s largest industry.

      Thank you for your comment Best Wishes Finola.


  2. Finola. Can I ask why parents keep booking their children into the hands of these providers?

    Children as young as 5. It’s the parents that perpetuate these places.

    Look after your children.


    1. The parents, as I know from experience, have no choice if the do not do what the LA/NHS want, they they threaten and will get, as now 90% successful, a care or care supervision order and remove their children to these places by force.

      The care threshold will be automatically satisfied. as court will hold that parents are impeding development/ neglecting medical/educational .

      To fund such placements in any event, the LA/NHS insist on a parent signing a s20 consent agreement, but if they refuse a care order is applied for.
      Thanks for comment Best Wishes Finola


  3. Finola. Can I also ask why you have advertising on your blog by cambian? For their “rollon rolloff care workers.” Isn’t that a tad hypocritical?


    1. I was not aware of this, as I do not see any adverts, but am just told one may appear. I wish I could remove it but the free plan I have allows adverts over which I have no control. I would convert to one without and pay, but do not like the layout of any on offer.

      Best Wishes Finola


    2. All I can say to you is thanks for giving me the opportunity as a parent to explain in simple terms as I am sure there are others like you who jump to conclusions without knowledge and are quick to judge.


      1. No, not quick to judge. Have seen to much of this system and wish the parents would stop participating.

      2. Parents as I said have no option but to participate.

        They have no rights only responsibilities as shown in Childrens Act.

        Their parental right to make decisions for their child can and is removed at any time by an LA Care application which is inquisitorial with CAFCASS lawyer supporting the LA , and nothing the LA says need be proven.

        When they are adults 18, MHA can remove them and replace NR with an SW .

        And under MCA they have no rights to say what is in their child’s best interests and can be cut out if decided visits not in best interests.
        Even when they totally cooperate they are portrayed to aid the system as not cooperating. That is the reality of parenthood in the UK today.

  4. Finola can it get any worse? As you and I well know, private companies running health services are answerable only to the shareholders if that). Corruption upon corruption.


  5. I never thought I would say this but my son’s challenging behaviour has brought me to the brink of despair.

    Challenging behaviour which has been made worse, or even caused by his medication.

    Amisulpide is an anti-psychotic and has side effects which cause restlessness, over salivation and sedation. It also can cause problems with your central nervous system. My son has all these symptoms.

    My son has left sided cerebral palsy and a learning disability and epilepsy.

    Years and years on epilepsy medication has caused him to have a psychosis. Medication that also contained mood enhancers.

    Mood enhancers that he did not need at the time because he was not depressed.

    He was seventeen when he was diagnosed with epilepsy and was given Lamotrogine and Tegretol which he took for 25 years

    Doctors do know that this medication can cause psychosis in some people but nobody is prepared to do anything about it. No warnings to parents. No looking at whether the medication is harming someone. The mediation did not even stop the seizures.

    Now he is taking more medication to curb his psychosis which is not working.

    He used to walk unaided around the house, but not anymore. Too unstable, hanging onto the walls, but usually hanging on to me to get around the house Outside the house and at his day centre he is strapped into his wheelchair.

    He gets restless but cannot escape and then the challenging behaviour kicks off. His support workers can only try to calm him down and they are responsible and good but my son cannot escape.

    His behaviour has turned him into a pariah. None of his peers will interact with him now.

    He wears a bib because of his constant dribbling. He falls asleep most days sitting in his wheelchair. He wants to go to bed as soon as he comes home from day care.

    His life and ours are unbearable.

    He has also been taking pregabalin hoping to curb his anxiety, but now we are taking it down.

    It did not work. He is suffering withdrawal symptoms which is affecting his behaviour again. When will it all end. Added to that is his epilepsy medication. Eslicarbazepine. Sedation is the most common side effect.

    Why are we still doing this to our once happy lovely son?

    Like you so rightly say Finola, we have no choice. We were once threatened that his care could be taken out of our hands if we did not give him medication to strengthen his bones. We stood firm on that one. (Now this medication has been advised not to give to elderly people or people with LD because of the special dosing measures that must be adhered to).

    Don’t blame parents, we are struggling too.


  6. Thanks for sharing important information. But now the revolution in healthcare service has been achieved. Technological automation makes medical service more efficient. The cloud-based computing system is using frequently. So to cope with the present era every healthcare service provider must have an integrated hospital management system likeathenaClinicals, Halogen TalentSpace for Healthcare, Veristream, bdtask HMS etc. this automation system helps ensure customer satisfaction & maximise profits.
    Of course, Bill Gates expressed his vital thought
    “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation
    applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”.


    1. This effects Medical ‘treatment’ how ? I imagine it makes a lot of profit for tech advisors but does not stop damaging even death inducing enforced medication and care of our children and vulnerable adults by the MHA and MCA and th courts and experts paid a fortune to enforce these laws that allow all decisions to be made by NHS and care providers with no input from parents or service user again to make huge private profit out of unaccountable ‘treatment’ and care .


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