The 40 Unit Home Sweet Home

A good Facebook friend sent me the following link yesterday. Right from the off, the alarm bells should be ringing so violently as to give Quasimodo the hump. The story is about plans to build a “40 bed supported living centre” in Northumberland. (Actually, it’s 40 “units” not 40 beds. The planning application shows that the majority of the units will be 2 beds, so we’re talking likely 80 beds here).

Have a look:

How many readers of this blog live in their own home that happens to have 40 beds? They are not calling it a home – it’s a “centre”. How many readers of this blog live in a Centre? It cannot possibly be supported living as we know it. It’s a mixed up jumble of words that reeks of exploitation. Exploitation of our language. Exploitation of the people intended to live in the centre.

I tried to look up Lenore Specialist Care but surprisingly they don’t have a website. So, is the 40 unit centre their first foray into the world of social care housing provision? If it was, then we could at least put this down to well intentioned ignorance. Unfortunately not. There’s a Lenore Care Home in Whitley Bay, so it must be run by the same company. The Registered Manager of the Lenore Care Home is a Miss Laura Jane Murray. The Service Manager for the new 40 unit facility is Miss Laura Murray Walton. Surely that must be the same person. Here is a link to the CQC Inspection report –

One thing that leapt out at me, considering that 40+ beds are the proposal are that the existing care home has 23 beds. Scrolling through the report, the CQC casually acknowledge that for a day shift at the 23 bed facility, there is one manager on duty and two support staff. The residents can’t possibly go anywhere during the day with staff ratios so pitifully low. Don’t the CQC pay attention to details like this? So, that’s their form. The chances are the new centre will be staffed along similar lines.

Now it gets even more fascinating. Here are the three directors of Lenore care Specialists as registered with Companies House:

Hang about a minute. That name Maddison rings a bell. Move your mouse back to the first link in this post and reread the news article. A Lee Maddison is the project leader from Kendal House Properties will oversee the development and construction of the new facility. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that a chap with the same name as a director from the company who will be running the new 40 unit centre, happens to be a director of the company who will building the facility. Let’s go back to Companies House and this time look at Kendal House Properties:

Well blow me down – it’s the same three directors as Lenore Care Specialists! There can be no doubt that the company given the contract for building the 2016 institution has the strongest possible links with the company who will be running the place when it is built.

I’ll just post one more link that popped up in the Google search. I won’t make any comment besides praying to God that it is not the same pair again –

Oh. And Crapita are sniffing around hoping to provide the staff to work in the place –

The final facepalm moment is the other player involved in the plans. The money for this project is coming from Triodos Bank, whose USP is that they are an “ethical bank”.

Discovering all this last night, I laid awake in bed feeling very nauseous and very frightened.

I woke at 5.30 this morning with the a thought bouncing around my head. Many many times in this blog, I have posed the question “what happens to our young learning disabled people when they hit 16?” I’ve even put a call out for a willing academic to do some research on the subject.

The thought this morning was – suppose nothing happens.

Well, nothing beyond the normal anxiety that every 16 year old experiences as they start to think about leaving school and preparing for adult life.

Up until 16, the person attends and has the familiarity of school. Hopefully, they have had parents who look out for them and where they still have parental responsibility.

And then BAMM. From swimming in the reasonably protected pool, the gates fling open and each person is boomeranged into shark infested waters. Sharks like St Andrews, Lenore Care Specialists and the hundreds of others around the country who only hear the sound of kerching. The gate slams firmly on the parents and families and the person is left at the mercy of Jaws. Without a Roy Schneider.

If I’m right, that makes me even more nauseous and beside myself with terror.

And I don’t even live in Whitby.


32 thoughts on “The 40 Unit Home Sweet Home”

  1. I would love to be one of the academics who answered this. If there is a more experienced researcher out there who knows how to get this funded, please count me in. I am appalled by the current state of adult social care. Just been interviewing some interesting people with learning disabilities about their experiences of community living and their support is crisis driven. No consideration of their lives as continuing, developing narratives. We can blame the cuts, but also need to look at deeper issues around values and care.

    1. Can’t blame LA cuts, only in so far as, they are deliberate, to ensure, that a COP, could find it is not in the ‘best interests’ for the LD/autistic, to remain with parents/family, and/or force parents to crisis point, as no school after 16, no beds/equipment etc, no day centres, no support for family, as even after a carers assessment, any, is discretionary,

      As, at least £3,500 is paid per week, to the supported living providers, mainly, now bought out by large venture capital backed players like Cambian, commissioned by those, who oversee them, so no competition, and no proper oversight..

      Whilst parents get £100 carers allowance, and disabled £105 DLA.

      This means the government, are spending far more now, on disabled support, claimed via the Chronically Sick and Disabled Act 1970.

      But this money, is mainly going towards private profit, and not, the LD/AUTISTIC and family , neither of whom, have any rights over the quality of the services they receive.

      1. I get a £103 carers allowance and my daughter gets 105 DLA.

        On assessment by LA, if we get even an hour support for my daughter , we get nothing for ourselves, then they deduct £77 pounds per week, so at the moment, we claim nothing for the odd hour we get, which we pay for out of our own pocket.

        So that’s just over £200 per week, at present it costs the state.

        If my daughter , were in residential care/ independent living, the provider, would get a minimum of £3,500 per week

        And, this is where, if we could do a FOIA notice, you will find most autistic /LD are living now due to the LAs adult services support policy.

      2. Where are you getting this figure from ?

        I have already replied to this question, and figures are also in my blog.

        What should concern us all, is why the state pay on average pay out 3,500 per week, for away from home, secret, effectively unaccountable services, when we get relatively nothing, for assessed for safeguarding issues, targeted, picked on services, if we want are own children to remain with us, and they want that to, and, what do the private providers do for this money.

    2. Very true. unfortunately, it looks like it will continue unless parents,families, good professionals and other good people strive for immediate changes. It won’t be easy but we must make them listen somehow. Them – being health and social care, the government. The law the industries eg (care companies, psychiatrists, builders and other services) that will profit from vulnerable people’s Deprivation of Liberty and inhumane life forced upon them by the state. Where is the person centred thinking and best interests in this concentration camp type of lifestye?!

      1. What all this building of new institutions, in the guise of independent/supported living, shows us, is that we have been sold a lie, in the laudable principle, of ‘independent living’.

        Our children, will have no rights for life, let alone independence, and no oversight of their ‘care’, or even their deaths.

        The crux of it all this, is the power of the state, given by the Mental Capacity Act, which is being applied illegally throughout the country, as the House of Lords Select Committee has pointed out, to remove all rights from loving parents, and the disabled.

        This illegal use of power, and abuse of our law, must be ended, and then, we, and our children will have more power,

        And our children,cannot then be rounded up, and placed in these places, with itinerant strangers, subject to the whim of venture capital profit.

        Please read my blog, of the horror of what can, and does happen, when profit in secret, without accountability, is allowed, by the details of the abuse, torture, and death of 20 year old Thomas Rawnsley.

        Also read, of the illegal use of the MCA, that allows this to happen.

      2. I don’t think we’ve been sold a lie Finola. As you say, originally the idea was laudable. But like everything else in social care it is soon exploited and corrupted.

    3. The point has been made over and over; how can the people who would say they are caring and compassionate spend their working day assessing down the basic needs of other people’s sons and daughters?

      Do this and then go HOME, to see a film, dig the garden see friends take their own children to sport etc etc, and then eat their home cooked tea without choking on guilt ?

  2. Frightened isn’t the word. Terrified beyond belief. Martin is bang in the middle of this, a pawn, non-capacious, held under an illegal act in an worse than illegal court. I am 81 I was ill this week and all I could think of was what will happen if When) I die. “They” have already made 2 million pounds profit out of him, with me fighting every inch of the way.

  3. The bad news. We are going backwards and building institutions again.

    The good news. 100 people will gain employment.

    The bad news. The people who are destined to live with 39 other people will probably have no
    choice in the matter.

    The good news. Who cares? There is a shed load of money to be made and the would be . residents are not seen as human anyway

  4. This is the type of scheme people are talking about nationally. 40 is economic. If they are the same directors then they have to really make sure that everyone does have a genuine tenancy or it will be registered and they will not want that. In my experience they usually don’t fulfill that so coukd be a good way of goung after it first

  5. Mark, social care is created, crafted, and controlled by the law, and government policy.

    It is controlled by local budgets, and these have been cut to provide little support for the disabled, living with their parents in their family home.

    Whilst, at the same time large amounts of money, have been made available to fund independent away from family home arrangements.

    And, the MCA has been implemented to allow most autistic/LD to be assessed, ‘incapable’ of making any decisions, particularly, those as to where they live, and, many are now removed from their family, against their and their families wishes.

    This is not corruption, if that were possible, within the tightly controlled social care structure, but orchestration.

    Most people living in independent living are controlled by their providers via their care plan, so have no choice, let alone independence.

  6. Lots of people with LD can and do go out on their own and just required their own self-contained unit with staff near by should they need it. To say each and every one would need staff is a judgement.

      1. And from what I read here these are not flats, and with this minimum level of staffing they can only be institutions/boxes supplied with food and heat?. Also if a £3500 place is to be funded, the residents will have to demonstrate needs that will limit what they can do on their own ? .It is understandable that older parents will want to ensure son/daughter is safe, but surely there is more to life that than locking them up and in?

      2. It is quite clear, from MCA,COP, the building of all these places, the risk assessments, the unnecessary maximising of needs, the targeting of parents, the removal of capacity and lasting powers of attorneys, that the LD, are the new cash cows, to be used, as an audit statistics for whatever portfolio owns them.

        Grim for them, grim for their parents.

      3. With that staffing ratio I would think a ratio 7:1 means they could be either at home or supported living because obviously their needs are not that complex hence the 3:23. As a support worker we have person centred planning drilled into us when we are inducted, in our diploma work and in our day to day support which is it how it should be. How is it when it comes to actually taking the wishes of your sons and daughters into consideration, When it comes to providing the care the “authorities” go Auntie knows best.

    1. Yes, but a judgement, that will earn more money for their care for their profit aware care provider.

      Risk assessments are as risk averse as possible, as they have to satisfy insurance companies, and lower premiums.

      I have often seen, apparently able bodied autistic, being pushed, strapped in a wheelchair with several over young people of apparently various disabilities out in the community with workers.

      Care workers, have told me when taking out an autistic boy, they were told they could not allow him out of a wheel chair, but said sometimes they felt sorry for him, and let me walk around.

  7. Finola the fact that my son spends more time in his wheelchair than is good for him is what I find most distressing about my son’s return to day services.

    When my son was distressed, angry disruptive and down right impossible to care for (not his usual self for he was gentle and kind), he was taken to a respite house where he was monitored by the staff and was under the care of his pyschiatrist who was attempting to make him better. Unfortunately he was strapped in his wheelchair most of his days. I do not blame the staff, I found them sympathetic He would have got out of the wheelchair and would have run around and probably fell over. Their main concern was the fact that he would harm himself or them. My head understood that but my heart was breaking, because he never uses his wheelchair indoors, Yes, he does sometimes fall over, usually it is because he catches his foot on something. We think that sometimes it is better to have a life than to be always ‘safe’. This determination to keep people with an LD ‘safe’ sometimes restricts their quality of life. However whoever is looking after my son does not want an accident on their watch. I can see both sides.

    If this 40 bed care facility is going to be built, it must, it really must have enough staff to make sure that people ‘have a life’ It will be a life like no other, but it need not be a life that is just about eating and sleeping. If anything is to be learnt from Winterbourne View, it is surely the fact that absolutely nothing was done to make the people’s lives worth living. No outings, no day services and no fun. Everyone was bored. The staff were bored, untrained and had no leadership from anyone on how to make these people with LD’s lives worth living. It must nver be like that again.

    1. Dear Pauline,

      Anything can be deemed a ‘risk’, to make ‘care’ easier , and cheaper, and, from an insurance prospective, the premium cheaper.

      The only two things the state need to care for life, are risk assessments, and care plans.

      Which, become ever more restrictive, and, are applied on an absolute, often, abusive way no matter how much distress they cause.

      Remember, the LD, are now, effectively, deemed/portrayed as ‘insentient’.

      Carers, are encouraged to believe, they don’t know what is going on around them.

      The truth is irrelevant, to the care cabal.

      They operate on the ‘assassins creed’ – all is allowed, to achieve their purpose, which appears to be the minimum care, for the maximum profit.

      This is psychologically very difficult to face up to per se, but, when you are powerless over your child’s care, almost impossible, due to the need to survive, by maintaining wilful blindness.

      ‘Self harm’, is used as a symptom of mental illness per se, and, not a normal sign of frustration, physical pain, or, emotional anguish.

      And worse still, possible abuse.

      My daughters 48 bruises in one day, were all blamed on such self harm by NAS, although some in places, that would be impossible, the fact, she had not self harmed before, or since, ignored.

      If a child loses weight, regardless of the cause, it is parental neglect.

      Drugs never cause deaths or mental illness.

      As we have seen hundreds of fit LD, die now of ‘natural causes’, and, now Downs at 20
      See what I mean, about the truth, being irrelevant.

      Last year, my daughter and I, went around an art gallery, the only others there were two wheel chaired, clearly fit, strong young men, beautifully groomed, shaven, and dressed, rocking their heads from side to side, making noises, presumably, lost in drug induced zomebiefication.

      One, on sight of my pretty young daughter, smiled at her through his haze, as if he had spotted a glimmer of normal existence/human contact.

      These men looked physically fit, both had small round plasters behind their ear- drug patches?

      Where were their relatives ? Where was their life ? Where were they ?

      What would they have been and done, had they not been encaged by the care system, and,drugged, and trapped in wheel chairs.

      What was the point of them, being shown portraits, no conversation, or, exchange with any human, even their two care workers.

      Did anyone care, if they were enjoying themselves………………….

      How much, were they earning for their corporate care providers, ticking the box of taking them into the community, shaving, cleaning, and dressing them, whilst destroying their minds and lives.

  8. Yes Finola you are correct in what you say, but sometimes we need to cherish the hope that someone will eventually get it right for our loved ones.

    My son is 43 years old and it has only been these last two years since changing his epilepsy medication that unfortunately has led to a complete change in my son’s life. All manner of terrible side effects has changed him in a manner we found at one point hard to manage. Many drugs have been tried and rejected because of side effects. Prozac being the one that lowered his epilepsy threshold and he suffered three seizures in 24 hours. Siezures that have left him so tired that he sleeps like an old man. Nodding off at all times of the day.

    He is back at home with us again. He is calmer and happier but this awful experience has left him with a different sort of life. No interest in his old loves. He does not want to listen to his music anymore. No desire to do woodwork in the shed with his Dad. We have a different son in many ways. More frailer. More reliant on his wheelchair.

    1. Desperately heart breaking for you, and, what a terrible waste of a man’s life, who is only epileptic. .

      Read, Anthony Peake’s The Daemon, and it is an eye opener on who had epilepsy- Socrates, joan of arc, Lewis carol, and what it might really be.

      For the love of pharma, and now residential care profit, we are conned into believing, the LD/ autistic/ epileptic, and anyone, whose behaviour is decided to be not socially acceptable, has to be medicated, and, it is the medication, that often causes the problem, and sometimes their death.

      There is too much vested interests, and too many scandals, to trust medication, and of cause, it is now effectively enforced, on all those deemed ‘incapable’ under the MCA, no matter what the effect, or damage.

      You have probably seen the Whistleblower on Prozac .

      And, yet Prozac is still one of the main medications for autism, having been given to my own daughter twice, despite its first very adverse effects, making her very aggressive and hypnotic, and, was also given to Thomas Rawnsley, when he had behavioural problems, and made him worse.

      What a position, the public are put in, to say nothing of the vulnerable, when, any medication, can be effectively enforced, as if a parent objects, MCA enforcement is got, or threatened.

      And the pharma industry, is our third largest, and unlike in USA, we have a public system, so legal actions cannot be brought to show, and stop the damage.

      And, we, and the vulnerable, are forced to live with the horrific consequences.

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