I can’t promise that this post will be free of swear words.
Let’s just remind ourselves of a couple of current government initiatives. NHS England have made a commitment to cut the number of in patient beds for people with learning disabilities/autism. The CQC have made a commitment not to register any more of these large institutions.
What a load of fucking shysters.
Because their friends, their partners, in the rapidly growing private in patient industry are definitely not “on message”.
Yesterday, Cygnet announced they will be opening a new 14 bed unit in Harrow (just down the road from me), this coming November:
Only last week, the same company Cygnet were “delighted” that by working with their NHS “partners” they could announce the building of a 65 bed unit in Maidstone:
And completing a notorious hat trick of announcements in one week, ASC Healthcare announced a “coming soon” event on their website – the opening of a new 54 bed low secure unit in Wrexham:
Last week’s excellent Lancaster University report for 7 Days of Action talked about the “Kevin Costner” principle – If you build it, they will come…
Cygnet and ASC are not building these units to stand empty. In the next few months, 133 ripe commodities will be exported from their homes and imported into one of these shiny new carbuncles. With their “day spaces” and “horticultural spaces”. Probably for many many years.
The LAs and the CCGs must be rubbing their hands with glee. They won’t have to pay a penny for the “care” of the 133 stock. NHS England will be footing that bill. And as we’ve seen with many NHS services, Simon Stevens is happy to sanction this as it satisfies the government’s agenda.
Scrolling through the Cygnet website last night, I saw a ghost. Back in 2010, Hillingdon put Steven out to tender. To my knowledge, they got at least six private providers happy to import Steven to one of their hospitals. In my desperate attempt to stop the trade of Steven, I developed a patter on the phone to these providers – “Oh by the way, you may have seen Steven on the BBC News. Would you be prepared to be interviewed by Private Eye about your plans?” It worked with four of them, including the Cygnet hospital, and they withdrew their tenders.
The ghost? Steven’s old treating NHS psychiatrist is one of the consultant psychiatrists at Cygnet’s Harrow Unit. Just imagine! In 2010, the responsible clinician was prepared to export Steven from his service to the company where he has a financial stake.
The FUCKING BASTARD.
This is happening all over. Last week, I heard the story of an independent psychiatrist called in to give a second opinion on the discharge plan of a guy with autism from an NHS ATU. A week later, the guy is admitted to the private facility where the independent psychiatrist is employed as the consultant psychiatrist. A trade, yielding the private company £7000 per week.
That’s why these three new Units are being built.
There’s gold in them Harrow on the Hills.