A written version of Winterbourne View

Here we are. Late summer 2016. Another day and another failing CQC inspection of support for autistic people. This time the much feted National Autistic Society (NAS). A harrowing read. The NAS have simply shut the provision, Mendip House, down (‘home’ to 6 people who were unable to say if they were being harmed), belatedly issued a half arsed press release after a bit of twitter agitation and carried on trousering the readies from their other provision. Same craphole activities as, er, Mencrap. Another glossy charity losing its way big time…


A summary of the obscene inspection findings (in non CQC speak):

  • The formal communication system (pics) used by two people had been stopped.
  • Concerns about abuse were raised and no action taken.
  • Staff regularly stole money from the people they were supporting.
  • Lack of staff training.
  • Mismanagement of medication and no record of medication reviews.
  • Hot water temperatures were too high so risk of scalding.
  • Using saucepans on the door to raise the alarm if someone slipped out failed.
  • No attention was paid to changes in people’s behaviour to understand how they felt.
  • Accidents and incident reporting was crap and records went missing.
  • Some staff had no CRB clearance or employment references.
  • Staff played on the playstation, ignored people and came and went without record.
  • Dodgy or no induction processes/records or ongoing supervision.
  • Poor or no health plans, health checks or recording of any GP appointment.
  • Care plans were out of date.
  • Rubbish epilepsy plans/assessment [howl].
  • People ate crap nosh (little fruit and veg) and were dehydrated.
  • The Mental Capacity Act wasn’t followed and people’s rights were trashed.
  • The decor was worse than rubbish and worn out.
  • The house was dirty and appliances needed replacing.
  • No one was supported to be independent or have relationships with family/friends.
  • Complaints by family members were ignored.
  • There were few opportunities to go out spontaneously because of staffing issues.
  • A gang of male staff arranged to work on the same shifts and ignored people.
  • A “laddish” and “gang culture” developed through lack of effective senior leadership.
  • The NAS identified “culture issues” in 2014.
  • That “Senior Management Team were concerned with Mendip” was minuted in 2015.
  • Issues identified by the NAS in January 2015 hadn’t been acted on 18 months later.

Given we don’t know what went on in Mendip House with this laddish gang culture ruling the roost for over two years, this is as bad, if not worse, than the abuse captured on film in about 5 minutes by the Panorama team back in 2011.

In Mendip House, run by the National Autistic Society, the senior team were aware of serious problems for two years. They did fuck all.

26 thoughts on “A written version of Winterbourne View

  1. Pingback: A written version of Winterbourne View – With a hop, skip and a jump

  2. Oh my god. I have no trust on the NAS. I have no time for them. And now I know why.
    All they care about is money and marketing.
    It’s a charity that gets Huge huge amounts of money from tax payers and here we are,One of the worst care homes run by them. What a disgrace.
    The NAS needs to shut down. We dont need the national autistic society.
    One because they are not there ever for parents.
    Two it’s all about money.
    3 marketing
    4 about the CEOs and nothing else.
    Parents families and autistic people don’t mean anything to them.
    I don’t like the NAS I have no time for them.

    • It was parents that started the NAS, as well as most other disability charities.
      People with autism keep a lot of NAS professionals and staff in jobs – who should be eternally grateful for the money with which they provide good lives for their own families.
      Are these people in jobs giving anything back?
      It’s becoming like a horror story. I think these homes are like concentration camps.

  3. But why are MENCAP and NAS being singled out now?

    Is it so the government, can clear the way for only venture capital backed care provision,like Lifeways now Cambian ,who owned Kingdom House, where Thomas Rawnsley died. As far as I am aware, KINGDOM HOUSE’ have only had announced inspections since and before Thomas death.

    If I remember rightly the CQC ignored complaints about Winterbourne until after the TV programme.

    Read my blog posts on my daughter’s time in NAS residential, and nothing was done.

  4. Replicate this by a hundred isolated in so called ‘supported’ living settings ?

    What is happening to all those whose local authorities have cut their support below the bare minimum..and hired cheapest agencies- and then have no idea what goes on – for they never monitor the care that they commission.

    What is happening to those vulnerable people whose abuse and neglect does not happen in full sight of the CQC ? LA’s let Sloven – Winterborne and others happen for years – and now Mendip etc etc.

    ….. hundred of silent others out there ?……….. Who could be living in daily fear – silent misery – and squalor ? Are they – do they ? Does any one care?

    • We need actual figures of the number incarcerated, drugged, isolated, in misery, barely existing, and dying in unknown numbers of ‘natural causes’ without investigation.

      All earning billions, min £3,500 per week is paid to their corporate jailors, this is not about cost cutting.

      With experts, GPs, assessors,trainers, agency outsourcers, pharma, managers, courts, lawyers, and venture capital investors using them as a lucrative source of income..

      This situation is getting far, far worse, and numbers are ever increasing.

      The Units are continually being built, the investment portfolios projected.

      The government has fed 433 million to LAs HSCTs, to encage via safeguarding, via MCA ‘best interests’ and COP.

      We can only glean by the comments of Care workers in these misnomered ‘independent living’ cells, as to what is actually happening behind their secret walls.

      And as we have seen the horrors will be covered up.

      The CQC are doing nothing about the chosen venture capital backed monopolies like Cambian/Lifeways etc.

      All are loved ones, will become audit statistics, to make ever greater profits, in ever larger, more profitable settings, the individual bunglows replaced by wards, and, we will not even be allowed to know where they are housed, let alone worry about their distance from us.

  5. I have tried to contact the NAS several times over the years and have given up as they either do not answer the telephone, or if they do answer it I get told someone will ring me back, but they never do.

  6. I agree janadvocate

    There is whole vocabulary that the worst of SW’s use to not care and to crush us.

    The dictionary of jargon that Mr Neary has collected so brilliantly captures all the verbal delusions of SW today – a delusion that stifles all feelings about – or connection with – the suffering the profession causes families.

    I told a SW of a whole litany of neglect and suffering ignored by her team. She said very casually ‘its not great’.

    There is a worn out paper phrase to cover even the worst of damage done – ‘we have learned’.

    Not much – and its not great!

    • Big institutionalised charities in receipt of government dosh are always deeply compromised. I have watched the activities of MIND since the 1980s. It has became increasingly tame despite much rhetoric of supporting people with mental health problems. I approached MIND both in Wales and nationally several times regarding the serious abuse and neglect of patients in north Wales. They did not breathe a word, although mental health patients were – and are – still dying at an alarmingly high rate up here. (The Health Board has now been put in special measures because of ‘institutional abuse’ in the mental health services.) MIND runs drop in centres across north Wales and patients were openly talking in those drop in centres of the abuse and neglect that they were experiencing. There was also a chain of ‘nursing homes’ for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems – Prestwood – that operated in north Wales until a few years ago. The abuses at Prestwood were shocking and I spoke to many, many former employees of Prestwood who left their jobs because they just couldn’t bear to be part of what was going on there. Prestwood residents were using the MIND drop in centres – but they were never allowed to attend without being accompanied by a support worker employed by Prestwood. I was told by someone who used to be involved with MIND in north Wales that they had indeed noticed this and then one day a very brave Prestwood resident started to blurt out what was happening to her at Prestwood. MIND kept schtum. Prestwood continued to operate and was highly profitable until one of its directors died a few years ago, at which point the organisation imploded. It’s demise was nothing to do with MIND although the resident who blew the whistle was desperately trying to alert MIND to what was happening. So much for MIND being the ‘voice’ of people with mental health problems – they have been completely complicit with the abuses in north Wales. I will soon be detailing the full story of this complicity on my blog.

      • CQC does not operate in Wales. CSSIW is the relevant organisation. CQC publishes all inspection reports on line,CSSIW does not. CSSIW appears to have no policy re MCA, dols, etc. They also appear not to be making inspections, or when they do they are wholly complementary. The report on my son’s home 2015 referred toPOVA!!!!!!! The Quality of Care report was not available to me, or my son. There is no complaints system, nor any protocols in place for making a complaint.. The firm that owns the home has homes in England, where the CQC reports and publicises, there is nothing on CSSIW sites. Such discrimination if you live in Wales. My son’s RPR is an employee of Mind, although he has no mental health problems. My son was sent to Wales in 2008 by a Court of Protection order, although he is ordinarly a resident of England. The Court Order states he must remain in the home for the foreseeable future. The care for his Lennox Gastaut syndrome epilepsy is non existant. I despair

  7. Interesting comments Shirley. One body in Wales that was supposed to be regulating and inspecting the mental health services was Health Inspectorate Wales. I raised the gory reality of the mental health services in north Wales with them on a number of occasions – no investigations into my complaints at all. At the time the CEO of HIW was Peter Higson – a former psychologist and manager with the north Wales mental health services. And when Higson ‘retired’ from HIW – he returned to north Wales to Chair the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board up here – which was then put into special measures because of its gross failures re mental health services. s
    Shortly after Higson left HIW it was deemed to be ‘not fit for purpose’ – presumably he’d had something to do with this because he’d been CEO for years. Yet he was allowed to return here and run the mental health services whose wrongdoing he’d concealed for years.

    • Sally This is way beyond corruption. Can you check up on all the private hospitals in Wales run by Ludlow Street Healthcare. This is a private investment company. Try checking their financial reports for the last five years, too. Why is it that so many autistic and learning disability people are referred to private units in Wales?????? And finally. my biggest fight of all (see Finola Moss too) learning disabiliity and autism in any form DO NOT APPLY UNDER THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT. One only has to read the MHA assessment for sectioning (treatment, mental health) to see that including autism and LD makes a travesty of the whole act, and its safeguards. Mr Justice Charles spent months in the CoP trying to get my son sectioned under the MHA, although he has Lennox Gastaut syndrome epilepsy, a neurological condition of the brain. Who do we go to about this discrimination of the highest order?

      • Hi Shirley
        Just did an initial quick google search – Ludlow Street Healthcare have a very strong presence in south Wales but as far as I can see they haven’t hit north Wales (yet!)…

  8. The care and support for my daughter and others by another glossy well marketed not for profit provider who state the following “there for the people we support” was truly shocking. The lies and cover ups were beyond belief they claim to listen to families, personalisation etc etc. I witnessed none of this and as a result of raising concerns and safeguarding was treated as a whistle blower and with utter disrespect.
    During 5 years there were 4 different managers and 6 months of no manager. Typically management and leadership was appalling and the staff turnover was extremely high. Ultimately I was threatened that my daughters support would be withdrawn if I continued to complain.They lost the contract this year and the incoming provider The Camden Society appear to be pulling the place together. There is now a “proper” manager and team manager in place and charge £1 per hour less.
    Among other actions taken towards me along with PA’s employed by my daughter I was forced to sign in the visitors book and if I forgot was humiliated by a particular staff member. I was forced to ask each resident if I could enter the property (my daughters home) whilst others and their families could walk in and out without question.
    My daughters human rights were continually ignored this organisation also claim to be expert with autism and challenging behaviour was left to very young inexperience people no consistency and never singing from the same Hmong sheet. The backbone of care for this particular house was the experienced agency staff who had far more idea of how to support the residents but weren’t listened to or respected.
    I am fortunate to fight for my daughters rights I know however for many there is no voice. Parents hand their children over to trusted organisations and often may have no idea what goes on.
    Consultations with the not for profit organisations regarding what works and what doesn’t work should cease we should be asking and consulting with the people on the receiving end of their “so called” expertise and be sure they are not cherry picked!
    Money spent on highly paid CEO’s web designers, well heeled line managers and locality managers who are only seen on the odd occasions could be spent on training and “proper” support and better pay for the support workers and carers who really do and can make a difference.

    • Sadly, due to the Mental Capacity Act and its creation of the all powerful, secret Court of Protection, at 18, parents lose all rights over their children, whose rights are then removed on them being assessed ‘incapable’ of making any decisions.

      Parents are not allowed to represent their child in court, this is done by a publically appointed and paid Official Solicitor who merely duplicates what the LA want.

      Parents are then largely excluded from even visits, as they have no rights, and, so there is absolutely no independent check, only an Adult Services Manager, who works for the LA who commissioned the care, who leaves all to the service provider, and this is for life.
      Read my blog by googling finolamoss .

      Parents are given no choice, as to anything- medical care, drugs, education, association, place of abode of their adult children, all can and is decided, after, if necessary, rubber stamping of the COP by the care providers for life, and for ever increasing profit .

      This is the reality and nightmare.

    • Vicky my heart goes out to you. My son Stephen is in an ATU assement treatment unit. And it’s been hell for the last 3 half years. Being a hospital and mental health act and my son being 21 although he’s mental is 7 or so or less, and has no capacity. So they use MHAC to their advantage. I have no say on what goes on if i complain I am called obnoxious and threatened with body search when I visit. As I take photos of my sons injuries. Now I have been again threaned with if I do we will stop you visiting your son.
      But I am my sons voice and thankfully I have amazing supporters. I have a lady advocate who I have the pleasure of calling my friend. And she and I get on this people’s nerves. Soon or later they will get sick of Jayne and myself and will then let my son out. We need to speak out. If we don’t who will?

  9. I’ve no internet to comment at the moment but this makes you go so cold and keep seeing such rap nationally still.

    Jayne Knight Family Advocate Interim Director Cameron Trust MD My Great LifeCIC

    Mobile 07940906722

    Riverdale Carrog Corwen Denbighshire Ll219AP


  10. Hi Shirley
    Regarding your earlier post – not only are many people from England being sectioned under the MHA and detained in Wales, but the traffic is going the other way as well – I knew a lawyer up here who was fighting to try to stop a young man being sent from Anglesey to Norfolk in England. This young man had no idea where Norfolk was and had difficulty speaking English, his first language being Welsh. The transfer was being organised by a notoriously unpleasant psychiatrist employed by the Hergest Unit in Bangor (a woman who was the subject of many many complaints). My perception is that these long distance transfers are being organised to prevent scrutiny – with relatives hundreds of miles away in other parts of the UK ‘care providers’ can do pretty much as they please. All the residents that I knew who were at Prestwood homes in north Wales were from England, usually Liverpool. A tame social worker from Liverpool would visit once every few months and the two monstrous ‘directors’ of Prestwood would attend the meeting. The residents’ psychiatrists were from Liverpool – they never visited. The Prestwood residents didn’t even get to see a local GP unaccompanied. The whole set up absolutely stank and the ‘professionals’ from Liverpool did bugger all to ensure that the people they were responsible for were OK. The biggest irony is that conditions at Prestwood were so abusive that the residents kept running away – they would be returned to Prestwood by the police no less. Two residents threw themselves from windows and one ended up in a wheelchair with spinal injuries – no investigation at all was held as far as I could see. It went on for years and was truly scandalous. North Wales is now full of ‘private units’ housing people from England – no-one gets to know them and local people often don’t even know that a house in their town or village is a ‘care home’. One of the units owned by Prestwood was in a Welsh speaking part of Wales, a village called Felinheli. The residents didn’t even know how to pronounce the name of the village they lived in or the neighbouring villages, they were completely isolated and disorientated – and completely invisible.
    I will indeed see if Ludlow Street Healthcare has any establishments around here…

    • No they are only in South Wales, and are not intending on expanding. Their smaller investment is Ocean Community Care, Cardiff, with residential care homes. My son is in Cardiff, I am in Solihull, 81, and I dont travel. What all these comments are saying is that we are all trapped in this corrupt system. But Finola knows, we cant do anything. WE CANT DO ANYTHING. Vicky Leo – how do we rescue them??????? The government is responsible.

      • Worse still the government is hell bent, on increasing the number of ‘disabled’, and expanding the disability residential industry and its profits, as much as possible, to finance management buy outs and international venture capital investments, particularly as is now happening in USA investment and Canadian Pension Funds.

        This is not about care, or giving the vulnerable, as good a life as possible, but about asset stripping their care provision, if need be, and making them as lucrative a commodity as possible, with, if you read the Care Act, self- regulation.

        And, as we already have no effective oversight- CQC is political and systemically ineffectual, and the Adult Services Managers employed by the Commissioners of the placements, so have a vested interest in covering up, these expensive services, which receive guaranteed public funding, which increases above inflation each year, and is contractually long term.

        The perfect business model, and the providers contracts and future contracts per se financially marketable. .

  11. I was employed at Somerset court between 85-98 and worked in several houses including me dip. I reported 2 cases of abuse/ neglect one which resulted in the dismissal of the staff member. Police were informed but no action taken. There were rumours then of other things going on but again no confidence in managements. My feelings was the place became too big. Too many managers, inexperienced staff, I was glad to get out and work for the local authority.

  12. Let’s find out how much NAS, was being paid per week – at least £4000 I bet, and why NAS, Official Solicitors, IMCAS, RRP, you name them, all thought this place, and the many, many more were/are, in these very vulnerable people’s ‘best interests’

    And why they were not allowed to remain with their parents with support and respite, which would have been far cheaper.

    Because disability is a huge, huge money spinner .

    The state are removing, as many LD/Autistic as possible to such residential, secret provision, and parents can do nothing and do not know the horror their children suffer in their often short miserable lives.

    See my latest blog post by googling finolamoss on community living push.

    Can we have some of our public money spent on all this back from NAS ?

    As usual, as with Winterbourne, a string of itinerant zero hour workers will be sacked, when this is impossible, maybe even a team leader or manager.

    The poor bullied victims of God knows what- they can’t tell you, at best they will constantly repeat the abuse, but no one will listen.

    And ,as they are even more damaged, even more public money can be claimed and pharma profit for ‘treating’ them.

    If we were in USA, care would be insurance based ,and this would not happen as often,if it did parents could sue, here they can do nothing as no LA, risk other sides costs can’t get evidence and can’t even get their children back .

    And they are forced by the MCA to hand their children over for life.

    Have NAS ‘Tolerated Indifference ‘? Don’ t those in their care exist ? Are they autism aware ?

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