From A Blue Room To His Own Room – Welcome Home Chris

After another dire week on Planet Social Care, some fantastic news to end the week.

Chris, who became known as “the boy in the blue room” after the residential school he was living in repeatedly kept him in a padded room, is finally returning home on Monday 29th February. Chris has spent the last ten years of his life in various residential schools, in patient services and ATUs. His mother, Lynne and brother, Luke have campaigned like real Ninjas for Chris to be at home and their 10 year horror is finally at an end. Chris will be moving into his own home, which is just a few minutes walk from his mother’s house.

I remember Chris’s case coming to the Court of Protection back in 2011, a few months after our case had been heard there. It seemed that a few short months in 2011, Deprivation of Liberty cases were never out of the news. This was also the early days of Cheshire West, the infamous Kensington & Chelsea vs McDonald case, and the wonderful case of Peggy Evans who had been stopped by her LA from going on her annual cruise. I’ve also heard Justice Ryder, the judge in Chris’s case, speak and the case is quite rightly called a landmark case. Although Justice Ryder did rule that Chris was being deprived of his liberty at Beech Trees, an establishment run by Scope, the story didn’t have a happy ending at that point. Chris was moved to Calderstones and it turned out to be out of the frying pan into the fires of ATU hell.

It is heartbreaking now to watch the TV clip of Lynne in 2011 and to hear the hope in her voice after the Scope hell was over.

Then watch the interview Lynne gave to Channel Four last year and hear how, what had been hoped to be a sanctuary at Calderstones had turned into something even worse (albeit, no blue rooms). Rage and weep as you hear Lynne talk about the assaults that Chris had to endure

10 years is a terrible long time in a 25 year old young man’s life. Thankfully, Chris has a loving family and will get the support he deserves to start living his life again.

Welcome back Chris.

Here is the 2011 Court of protection judgement, addressing Chris’s deprivation of liberty –

12 thoughts on “From A Blue Room To His Own Room – Welcome Home Chris”

  1. Read the judgment right through, being much impressed by the care the court took to understand events from Chris’ viewpoint as far as this could be read from his behaviour; and the care with which new arrangements were specified by the court to reduce deprivation of liberty, restraint, and an adverse environment to the minimum. Was also cheered by the judgment’s strictures on attitudes to Chris’ mother and its pinpointing of a culture of ‘urban myth’ and so-called ‘common sense’ rather than evidence-based intervention, as permeating the way Chris was treated, and contributing to his difficulties.

    And then that kicker of an afternote. Removed, without warning and without reference to the specified plan or to the court, to another place. Proceedings continue. Five years! Abominable.

    Lynne and Luke, chapeau! Wish Chris and you all the best for the future.

    1. It’s like a massive punch in the stomach isn’t it. Just wished the court had the power to yank them back in and demand to know what the hell they think they were doing.

      1. Awful. I do wonder if Chris would be coming home today at all if Calderstones were not being shut down completely? Or would he still have been imprisoned in order to keep the Unit economically viable, the way poor Thomas Rawnsley was?

      2. This is all about making money, private money, eventually totally for venture capital, out of anyone they can.

        And with central funds, under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Act 1970, which should be available to the disabled and their families, there is a lot of public money, they can claim, with no accountability, as to what they do with it, even if it results, as it does, in terrible suffering, and even death.

        Why do Learning disabled and autistic need to be in hospital, particularly, as the one thing that is not looked after is their physical health.

        Once an LD/AUTISTIC is grabbed, by the state, and it appears this is very easy, and happening illegally, they become an audit statistic gold mine, and it is impossible for families to get them back, or halt their suffering, deterioration and even death.

      3. Why does anyone need to profit from abusive, unnecessary care ?.

        I do not know Chris’ circumstances, but from what I have seen from Tianze, Thomas, and my own daughters care, drugs are given that at first make behaviour worse, as is the care, and then they are zombiefied.

        This is at best poor treatment, at worse deliberate abuse, so that encagement is justified at maximum cash claim for it

        The government plan, is to privatise all mental health services, and this payment I presume to a public body, will set a precedent for what private provision can claim.

  2. Here’s the July 2014 CQC report that put the nail in the coffin of Calderstones hospital and, I suspect, opened the door for Chris:

    Dirty wards, frequent prone restraint, 15% annual staffing turnover and nearly 10% vacancy rate; some shifts staffed *only* by agency personnel and some shifts so short-staffed that staff as well as patients, were at risk. Inadequate training, especially in epilepsy on the learning disability wards, in communication with learning-disabled people and in basic physical care tasks like supporting eating and drinking (*HOW* could nursing staff, in *any* discipline, be lacking such fundamental skills?? That whirring sound must be Florence Nightingale, revolving in her coffin). Incomplete MCA and MHA training; multiple instances of non-adherence to MHA requirements. Delayed discharges and no discharge pathway in place. Poorly maintained outside space; lack of privacy. Blanket policies to restrict access to communication with the outside world and to subject inmates to pat-down searches. No access to a complaints system on one ward.

    Ineffective governance systems: in particular, “We (CQC) found that there was no board level monitoring of the Mental Health Act. This, together with the many failures of governance of the application of the MHA, is of particular concern because every patient but one was detained under the Act.”

    This is the Trust that bid against Sloven for the contract to run Ridgeway. If Sloven are, as they claim, ‘not an outlier’, it’s only because all available LD/MH services were persistently, irredeemably, objectively shite,

  3. Just a quick note, if you remove the query from the end of the url then the search terms you used are no longer highlighted throughout the article. I’m easily distracted by those blue splodges, and “of” in particular is a frequently occurring word.

    Here’s the tidied up link in case I didn’t explain very well:

    No need to publish this comment unless you want to, it’s just a suggestion 🙂

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