NHS pours Billions into ‘mental’ profit, out of Area Placements and Asylum ‘Treatment’.



It is 7 years since Winterbourne aired, the head of the Care Quality Commission resigned, and Mencap published a report warning similar abuse could be going on elsewhere calling for the closure of large institutions far away from patients’ families.

And the Government set a national ambition to eliminate ‘inappropriate’ out of area placements for adults ( not children? ) by 2020-21

So what has happened ?

The British Medical Association has been forced to obtain out of area placement figures via FOIA.

Which show the number had in fact risen by 40% and continues to rise.
5,876 in 2016/17 up from 4,213 in 2014-15.

And the cost of such placements has risen from £108 million to £159 million.

3 years earlier The Daily Mail’s FOIA figures revealed 22 mental health trusts spent £38.2million on out of area placements.


One patient from Somerset was sent over 587 miles to the Scottish Highlands, another two from Oxford over 532 miles to Inverness and Grampian, a Dorset patient was sent 323 miles to Darlington. and another sent from Leeds to Plymouth.


The affect of such journeys on mentally vulnerable people and being left captive with strangers unable to see anyone familiar can only be imagined, but could only worsen their mental health.

When David Knight 29, killed himself after being sent 150 miles from home, the Coroner noted the out of area placement ‘very likely’ had a bearing on his death.

Why is this happening ?

We are told it is a shortage of beds, but is it just factory farmingnywhere for profit, commercial awareness and ‘care pathways’ ?

Before our government ‘transformed’ mental health, people were inpatients for as brief a time as possible, as a last resort in a ward in their local hospital costing far less.

Now they are whisked off by police/ foundation trusts to local acute holding bays, and then on to anywhere no matter how far, to anyone available to receive their £13,000 a week NHS bounty.

If commercially enforced outsourcing of our most vulnerable all over the country to any available ‘facility’ is allowed, what does this say about their treatment ?

UHS owned Cygnet owners of CAMHS were given £300m for 11 new care model programmes to create care pathways for low and medium secure adult mental health services, Tier 4 child and adolescent mental health and eating disorder services.


Yet at the time some of their hospitals had been rated requiring improvement and their CAMHS services are worsening.


Here is the latest damning Buzzfeed investigation into Cygnet  but there is no UK media coverage.


We have a core of autistic/learning disabled people holed up and newly harvested to mental hospitals.

Any meltdown at home or in public, can and does result in a swift removal by the police under s136 MHA to a local holding bay and then onto wherever hospital is available for years.

According to an HSCIC census, there were 3,230 hospital in-patients with learning disabilities, autism and/ or challenging behaviour on 30 September 2014, with an average length of stay of 547 days and living an average 34.4km from home.

In 2013, equivalent figures were 3,250 in-patients , 542 days and 34.5km.

Despite the government providing local LAs with 136 million to repatriate these out of area ‘patients’ to ‘community living’ near their home, today the figure remains at just under 3000.


And we do not know the number of new admissions, but do know Cygnet have built new hospitals for the autistic and learning disabled .

And UHS/Cygnet own most of the local ‘community living’ where the LD/ASD are institutionalised for life.

The first big player in ‘specialised’ mental hospitals was St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton, formally The Northampton General Asylum, funded 90% by NHS, and given £45 million to build a 110 bed CAMHS pathway residential unit for those with behavioural issues, autism and learning disabilities .

It now has a 900 bed capacity and is marketed as a national ‘specialist’ service for practically everything -autism, learning disability , dementia, bipolar, anxiety, brain injury, psychosis from anywhere Scotland, Wales, Northern and Southern Ireland .


In 2012/13, St Andrews then Chief Executive Professor Philip Sugarman was paid £653,000, an increase of more than 18 % on his previous year’s pay.

The current Chief Executive, Gil Baldwin’s basic salary was £328,000 in 2016.

All this is despite unexplained deaths and criticism


The latest being a Dispatches documentary.


Yet St Andrews was awarded mental health hospital of 2016.


Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals said
Away from the patient’s home, meaning people are isolated from their friends and families. In the 21st century, a hospital should never be considered ‘home’ for people with a mental health condition’

More than 50 years after the movement to close asylums and large institutions, we were concerned to find examples of outdated and sometimes institutionalised care,”

“We are particularly concerned about the high number of people in ‘locked rehabilitation wards’.

Yet this CQC report says nothing about the effectiveness of treatment, and outcomes for patients, merely going on to list waiting times to harvest for this ever greedy industry and a shortage of nurses.

Promoting the need to throw even more money at private mental to harvest and build new asylums.


Lelliott also added:
We were surprised at just how many of these wards there were and how many were locked.

We also had some concerns about the fact that they weren’t that discharge oriented, they weren’t actively enabling people to return back to their home environments.

Stays in such wards should be

“a step on the road back to a more independent life in the person’s home community”, and not a long-term treatment option’.

It appears private NHS mental lock patients in, more often than NHS trusts, allowing the maximum £13,000 a week to be claimed, fueling suspicions they hold on to some patients longer than necessary in order to maximise profits.

Mental health charity Mind report patients kept on locked rehabilitation wards are being denied their human rights.

The government has promised 1.3billion to ‘redesign’ mental health in waves .

The total budget of the programme across both waves is around 640 million, representing approximately 35 per cent of the Specialised Commissioning mental health budget (350 million for wave one).


Nearly a fifth of the total NHS budget is spent on mental, whilst 3.83 million non mental patients wait for NHS treatment and just 7% is spent on GPs.

It would appear, our Mental Health Taskforce’s real purpose is not to improve the lives of the behaviourally disabled and socially distressed, but to make as much profit from them as possible from our public money.

out of area mental



  1. Another excellent article.

    My one thought is how can concerned members of the public, say a group of people with concerns about adults with autism and LD or any other for that matter, how can be form Patient Champions, to go into these places once a week to give help and advice moreover check wards are providing Independent Mental Health Advocates to offer advice on Tribunals etc.

    I know from first hand experience when my autistic son was sectioned for 10 days (illegally). I only learnt of IMHA’s from somewhere external, not from the ward/hospital itself. I was angry and shocked at this as I had only discovered the info in nick of time to launch Tribunal and got my son out. Even CQC agreed if I hadn’t done this in time, in all likelyhood they would have sent my son down forensic route detaining him indefinitely. There were notices on the ward re rights to IMHA’s.

    When I challenged the Ward Managers, their excuse can you believe was, patients tear them down. I said you have a glass wall reception here – you can put a notice up from inside facing out, or do as Parish Notice boards do, put notice boards with perspex over it…..they have NO interest in allowing this people off the ward.

    I was sickened to the core with what I discovered. There was a stench of sick on the ward……I lifted up a sofa cover and found sick underneath it. Called the nurse and she told me the cleaners hadn’t come in the last 2 days……it’s their job….you can imagine I called for Hospital manager. They don’t care.

    The more you highlight wrongdoing the more they go for you like a pack of wolves to bring you down. The CQC isn’t doing it’s job, and nor are these hospitals
    Who are failing the rights of those sectioned. Evil to the core. So how can we go in to these places as a support group to help enforce these people’s rights?


    1. Dear Annie.

      Thank you for you comment it is very much appreciated and informative.

      But as you will see from the following stated verbatim from the CQC report; in the link below on my blog post;

      (d) We are pleased to report almost all wards had access to Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) services. This is a considerable improvement in basic access to IMHAs with 92% of wards reporting direct access for patients to IMHA

      (e) However, there was no improvement in evidence of patients’ rights being explained to them.

      This suggests, as you say, that although there is access to IMHAs, they are not being accessed/ and/ or they are, but it makes no difference to the patient’s position.

      As what do they do ?

      Only make sure patients know what is happening to them, which surely ought to have been already explained.

      And inform them of their rights.

      But what rights do they have ?

      A right to see an IMCA alone and to appeal to a Tribunal, but if as is now increasingly the position particularly, if ASD/LD the patient is deemed ‘incapable’ under the MCA and the solicitor can be chosen by the tribunal so their is a danger of lack of independence as with Official Solicitors in the COP.

      Even if they are ‘capable’, their solicitor has be on an approved list, which after 20 years of representation moors murder Brady’s was not on.

      And as the number of detentions after admission for assessment or voluntary is ever rising we need to know how many are being discharged after an appeal to a tribunal.

      There is a Healthwatch group that can be used for the inhabitants of the area, but not for out of area placements, but as can be seen from my link to the letter from Northampton Healthwatch these have had little effect and are increasingly on message.

      As for your suggested patients champions, they can only alert to IMHAs, and are often forced to be on message/not complain, on fear of removal of Nearest Relative status, as is now often happening since amendments to the MHA allowing it, if thought they were acting unreasonably, were inappropriate.

      You were lucky to get your son out . Was this before 2009 when autism was included as a ‘mental disorder’ under MHA, which as the 3000 + holed up in hospitals have found makes it very difficult to be discharged
      The reality is that any disturbed person, particularly the autistic, have been made huge cash cows- £13,000 a week, and are sought and detained for as long as possible, regardless of the fact that autism cannot be treated, but to get over this, they are in addition being labelled with mental ‘disorders’ due to their autistic behaviours and presentation.

      Thank you once again and hope your son is OK and still with you.

      Best Wishes Finola


  2. Finola “the more you highlight wrongdoing the more they go for you like a pack of wolves to bring you down” how true


  3. reform of this system is futile ,and will result in modified types of torture, abolishment is the only hope.


  4. “Involuntary mental hospitalization is like slavery. Refining the standards for commitment is like prettifying the slave plantations. The problem is not how to improve commitment, but how to abolish it”.
    Thomas Szasz


  5. “The very term [‘mental disease’] is nonsensical, a semantic mistake. The two words cannot go together except metaphorically; you can no more have a mental ‘disease’ than you can have a purple idea or a wise space”. Similarly, there can no more be a “mental illness” than there can be a “moral illness.” The words “mental” and “illness” do not go together logically. Mental “illness” does not exist, and neither does mental “health.” These terms indicate only approval or disapproval of some aspect of a person’s mentality (thinking, emotions, or behavior).
    Psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey,


    1. I totally agree as does Thomas Szasz as you know 50 years a USA psychiatrist. The reality is that no one knows how the mind works and unless there is a brain injury which makes the disability an actual pathological issue it is then not a mental illness/disorder but a physical one, Of the 375 Mental disorders created largely by the pharmaceutical companies, NONE have any physical pathology they as you say have been created to control individual behaviour and make pharma, hospital and care profit. And particularly recently in UK they are really succeeding with nearly 20% NHS budget spent on mainly private mental services, Thank you for your comment it is very much appreciated Best Wishes Finola


      1. Thank you Annie. But having watched this TEDX Scan psychiatrist a self acclaimed ‘maverick’ I found it sadly only more propaganda for the false belief that conduct disorders are caused by physical brain differences, which is not what Szasz said in his book the Myth of Mental Illlness.

        Firstly this employee of a brain scanning company TEDX giving the presentation already presumes ADHD, OCD and I assume the other 300 ever increasing in the DSM are mental disorders, and then he scans the brains of those already diagnosed and decides certain parts light up inference being that these disorders are valid disorders and have a physical origin in the brain.

        This is dangerous stuff as the symptoms of the disorder and the fact it is one and it is mental illness have already been determined before the scan and this scan reinforces there is a physical difference presuming this difference causes the disorder

        This is poor science as it does not consider other physical/psychological issues that might cause disorder or scan all or at least a large group of people who are deemed ‘normal’ to ensure that these parts of the brain never light up.

        So this is at best weak empirical/circumstantial evidence and tells us nothing about the disorder or what causes it.

        This psychiatrist, then cleverly reinforces this empirical evidence with other scans where there is actual physical brain injury which has, as it would, affected physical function. And surreptiously connects conduct disorders already created to physical defects in brains.

        But how can the lighting up of certain areas of a brain be connoted to physical defects and what indeed does this tell us about an already man defined/made ‘disorder’ ? Nothing. So how as he says can this scanning help drug use ?

        It can’t but clearly if the person were treated with antipsychotics which are strong neurodepressants the areas of the brain light up would darken and be proof of a cure and justify medication.
        Clearly huge amounts of money could be made by this company producing these scans for sale to hospitals and scan imaging psycharists like this man could make a fortune
        And worse, scientifically validate conduct disorders and the myth of brain disease and illness by literally blinding us with science.

  6. i really am greatfull for your reponse.are you familier with the international association against psychiatric assault (iaapa)?

    regards. CJ


    1. I am now, but they don’t appear to be having any effect in the UK, as things are getting much worse, and the government are trying to make it even easier to harvest for life and medicate, with their latest MHA and Safeguarding Liberty- DOLS changes.. Other than Brexit MHA amendments, only thing in Queens Speech. But thanks for information. Best Wishes Finola


  7. Yes. its poor here how most dont know ar dont care untill its their tiurn, but good things
    are moving in Alaska (to bad about the UK) and some parts of the US.
    Do you know of Dr peter breggin or psychrights .org ?
    best regards,


    1. Yes as you say centerism ie Ignore anything that does not affect you or which makes you feel uncomfortable has been imbeded in our culture . I know of Dr Breggin’s work and there are many psychatrists have reaveled and speak the truth,, as they alone are in the best position to know how dangerous all this is But as you see with the latest brain scan sales pitch I commented on there is so mch money for so many and so many vested interests all are trying to blind the population with what appears to be plausible science which no one bothers to scrutinize and our own government is promoting so its fast forward to a UK mental health epidemic and salvation by hospitalisation and drugs.


  8. In relation to your observation on science ,if it was possible to have a so-called expert psychiatrist admitting in his witness statement at the COP that the person he spoke with had tardive dyskinesia ,but he was not questioned about this, and further if someone had this statement, do you think this said document could be used in a Court action as evidence against the best interest argument for use of these poisons ?



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