Mum loses desperate battle to stop disabled son being moved to care home 125 miles away

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mum Paula Rawnsley Mum Paula Rawnsley

A desperate mum fears she has lost her fight to stop mental health bosses in Bradford sending her disabled teenage son to live in a specialist unit 125 miles away.

Paula Rawnsley has had her appeal against the decision rejected by Bradford District Care Trust, which means her 19-year-old son Thomas, who has Down Syndrome and is autistic, is now due to be transferred from Lynfield Mount Hospital to a specialist unit in Peterborough.

Yesterday, Thomas’s father Paul Bradbury put in an 11th hour bid to keep him in Bradford.

But Mrs Rawnsley said it would only “delay things” and feared her son would still be in Peterborough by the end of the week. Mrs Rawnsley, of Wibsey, said the move she had resisted at every turn was the latest in a series of complaints she had about her son’s treatment, including the use of anti-psychotic drugs and him being left naked in the corridors at the hospital’s Highfield assessment and treatment unit, where he has been held under the Mental Health Act since October.

She said: “Because his dad has intervened now, hospital managers have to have another meeting, but it’s only going to delay the inevitable – they will still send him away. They say they’ve no other option.

“When I visit him he can’t eat, he can’t talk – he just dribbles.

“He’s been turned into a junkie; he’s addicted to his anti-psychotic drugs because he’s kept on the maximum dose to make it easier for them to cope.

“It breaks my heart. He sits naked in a corridor just wrapped in a quilt. He has no modesty or dignity in there.

“He is my beautiful, beautiful little boy. When I ask the unit why he’s left naked like that they tell me it’s what he wants. I ask them lots of questions, I don’t get real answers. I think they see me as a trouble-maker but I’m not, I’m Thomas’s mum. Highfield is not the place for him because they can’t cope, but neither is Peterborough. I don’t drive, I gave up my job to help care for Thomas, I don’t have any money. I can’t go to Peterborough every day – how can I protect him if I can’t see him?”

“Thomas needs to stay near us. He loves us deeply..”

Thomas had been living at Norcott House in Liversedge – a unit privately-owned by Leeds-based Woodleigh Care but funded by BDCT – but suffered ill-treatment by a member of staff. In February this year a Norcott House worker was given a suspended sentence by a judge at Leeds Crown Court when he admitted ill treating Thomas between December 2012 and spring last year.

Mrs Rawnsley said: “Just after it happened they said they could not deal with Thomas at Norcott; his mistrust of staff was a risk to staff, they said.

“He was sectioned and sent to Highfield but they coudn’t do anything for him. The trust then had a plan to find him his own little place through a company called Grey Healthcare. They found a bungalow near me in Wibsey and were going to bring in trained staff to look after him. It was going to be wonderful but then for some reason it was all off and there was nowhere for him to go again.

“He went to stay with his dad and I gave up my full-time job to go and care for him there every day. His medication was changed and he got worse, he had these seizures where he’d go vacant, get aggressive and just lash out at anything. When he’d come round he’d sob and not believe what destruction he’d done. He was self-harming, banging his head against a wall, begging for help.”

Thomas was sectioned in October last year and has been at Highfield since. Mrs Rawnsley said her requests for him to be seen by a psychiatrist with expertise in Down Syndrome and autism had been ignored.

The Telegraph & Argus asked Bradford District Care Trust to respond to all of Mrs Rawnsley complaints.

Nicola Lees, its director of nursing, said she could not comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality but added that on rare occasions its assessment and treatment unit at Highfield might not be the right environment for a person who requires intensive care and treatment.

“In situations such as this the trust would always work closely with the family and other health care providers to ensure that an individual’s needs are met in the best way possible,” she said.

“We understand that transition into another care setting can be distressing for all involved and our staff are trained to advise on the support families can access.”

Comments (18)

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12:36pm Tue 20 May 14

rosesrwhite says...

This case appears to be cruel beyond belief. Taking this young man away from the only two people he trusts. He deserves better after the ill treatment he received in care previously. From the story, it looks like he has been let down at every point, and now by BDCT. I hope someone shows some humanity and looks for an alternative solution nearer home so Thomas can remain close to his family.
This case appears to be cruel beyond belief. Taking this young man away from the only two people he trusts. He deserves better after the ill treatment he received in care previously. From the story, it looks like he has been let down at every point, and now by BDCT. I hope someone shows some humanity and looks for an alternative solution nearer home so Thomas can remain close to his family. rosesrwhite
  • Score: 67

1:18pm Tue 20 May 14

r1ch&rd says...

The word CARE should eradicated from these organisations - there is no CARE in this decision. Mindless, thoughtless, needless but absolutely standard fare these days. The whole system is wrong and the people who make these decisions need to stop looking at spreadsheets/budgets and re-introduce the principal aim - CARE. Good luck to this family, hope it works out for them.
The word CARE should eradicated from these organisations - there is no CARE in this decision. Mindless, thoughtless, needless but absolutely standard fare these days. The whole system is wrong and the people who make these decisions need to stop looking at spreadsheets/budgets and re-introduce the principal aim - CARE. Good luck to this family, hope it works out for them. r1ch&rd
  • Score: 44

2:11pm Tue 20 May 14

Only The Mother says...

This is yet another case, as seen repeatedly on a nationwide basis. Parents / carers make a complaint and 'the powers that be' take revenge. There is clearly no reason to send this young man so far away from home. Has nothing been learnt from Winterbourne View?

A member of staff abuses a resident and is convicted. The victim is punished - kidnapped, drugged, humiliated.

There should e a national outcry at the malicious tactics that are being used in this and numerous other cases.

Kidnap by the state is still kidnap!
This is yet another case, as seen repeatedly on a nationwide basis. Parents / carers make a complaint and 'the powers that be' take revenge. There is clearly no reason to send this young man so far away from home. Has nothing been learnt from Winterbourne View? A member of staff abuses a resident and is convicted. The victim is punished - kidnapped, drugged, humiliated. There should e a national outcry at the malicious tactics that are being used in this and numerous other cases. Kidnap by the state is still kidnap! Only The Mother
  • Score: 40

3:10pm Tue 20 May 14

G_Firth says...

This is a total travesty and my heart goes out to the family.
We should be doing far more as a district and not just the local Wibsey area to rectify this.
This is a total travesty and my heart goes out to the family. We should be doing far more as a district and not just the local Wibsey area to rectify this. G_Firth
  • Score: 33

5:12pm Tue 20 May 14

PHILISAN says...

Who gave anyone the right to take the 'human' out of existence? Feel shocked and aggrieved at the inability to render sensitive understanding to this lady's personal ongoing nightmare.Totally incomprehensible to place a family member in these particular circumstances,virtua
lly out of reach of his Mum.You would think that as society experiences these traumas,specialist intervention and expertise would be deemed necessary to be local.I would call that CIVILISED...I hope some good for all the family can be retrieved from this unpleasant wrangle.
Who gave anyone the right to take the 'human' out of existence? Feel shocked and aggrieved at the inability to render sensitive understanding to this lady's personal ongoing nightmare.Totally incomprehensible to place a family member in these particular circumstances,virtua lly out of reach of his Mum.You would think that as society experiences these traumas,specialist intervention and expertise would be deemed necessary to be local.I would call that CIVILISED...I hope some good for all the family can be retrieved from this unpleasant wrangle. PHILISAN
  • Score: 33

5:20pm Tue 20 May 14

City gent says...

Bdct should feel ashamed
Bdct should feel ashamed City gent
  • Score: 27

5:53pm Tue 20 May 14

becky R says...

Hi im thomas' sister and i just want to thank the people that have shared and commented on this article, its so nice to know that thomas has support from others out there, we hope this being public might change things for him we just want him to have the quality of life that he deserves, hes an amazing young man who loves his parents and 3 sisters more than anything he just needs a chance, thanks again
Hi im thomas' sister and i just want to thank the people that have shared and commented on this article, its so nice to know that thomas has support from others out there, we hope this being public might change things for him we just want him to have the quality of life that he deserves, hes an amazing young man who loves his parents and 3 sisters more than anything he just needs a chance, thanks again becky R
  • Score: 69

8:36pm Tue 20 May 14

wilsden_resident says...

This is shocking and very personal to me as I too have been a victim of the BDCT's inadequacies around mental health care...I am a mature adult but remain traumatised having had a section order placed on me a year ago under very dubious circumstances. Following this, I was repeatedly threatened by 'care' staff on the Heather Ward at Airedale Hospital under the 'orders' of a very shifty psychiatrist, was forcibly restrained and administered anti psychotic drugs without a diagnosis. The sorry saga continues via the formal complaints process but I'm not holding my breath. At least I have my voice back......my heart goes out to Thomas and his family....I wish them a positive outcome and hope that the telegraph and argus will continue to keep their story in the limelight.
This is shocking and very personal to me as I too have been a victim of the BDCT's inadequacies around mental health care...I am a mature adult but remain traumatised having had a section order placed on me a year ago under very dubious circumstances. Following this, I was repeatedly threatened by 'care' staff on the Heather Ward at Airedale Hospital under the 'orders' of a very shifty psychiatrist, was forcibly restrained and administered anti psychotic drugs without a diagnosis. The sorry saga continues via the formal complaints process but I'm not holding my breath. At least I have my voice back......my heart goes out to Thomas and his family....I wish them a positive outcome and hope that the telegraph and argus will continue to keep their story in the limelight. wilsden_resident
  • Score: 12

8:47pm Tue 20 May 14

Michael Manus says...

becky R wrote:
Hi im thomas' sister and i just want to thank the people that have shared and commented on this article, its so nice to know that thomas has support from others out there, we hope this being public might change things for him we just want him to have the quality of life that he deserves, hes an amazing young man who loves his parents and 3 sisters more than anything he just needs a chance, thanks again
God bless you Becky and your family I truly hope Thomas is able to remain near his loving family, BDCT you should be ashamed.
[quote][p][bold]becky R[/bold] wrote: Hi im thomas' sister and i just want to thank the people that have shared and commented on this article, its so nice to know that thomas has support from others out there, we hope this being public might change things for him we just want him to have the quality of life that he deserves, hes an amazing young man who loves his parents and 3 sisters more than anything he just needs a chance, thanks again[/p][/quote]God bless you Becky and your family I truly hope Thomas is able to remain near his loving family, BDCT you should be ashamed. Michael Manus
  • Score: 14

12:51am Wed 21 May 14

sambasue says...

This is a most sad article. Thomas has a loving, caring family that he needs and they also need him. There surely must be somewhere more local for him to reside.
I do hope this is able to happen.
This is a most sad article. Thomas has a loving, caring family that he needs and they also need him. There surely must be somewhere more local for him to reside. I do hope this is able to happen. sambasue
  • Score: 6

1:01am Wed 21 May 14

BigFigure says...

becky R wrote:
Hi im thomas' sister and i just want to thank the people that have shared and commented on this article, its so nice to know that thomas has support from others out there, we hope this being public might change things for him we just want him to have the quality of life that he deserves, hes an amazing young man who loves his parents and 3 sisters more than anything he just needs a chance, thanks again
Hi Becky....just read about Thomas, so sad that this is happening. It is very heartening to read the other comments of support here (on what is normally a very negative forum) Let's hope that some sense can prevail and your family obtain the outcome you all deserve.
[quote][p][bold]becky R[/bold] wrote: Hi im thomas' sister and i just want to thank the people that have shared and commented on this article, its so nice to know that thomas has support from others out there, we hope this being public might change things for him we just want him to have the quality of life that he deserves, hes an amazing young man who loves his parents and 3 sisters more than anything he just needs a chance, thanks again[/p][/quote]Hi Becky....just read about Thomas, so sad that this is happening. It is very heartening to read the other comments of support here (on what is normally a very negative forum) Let's hope that some sense can prevail and your family obtain the outcome you all deserve. BigFigure
  • Score: 6

6:44am Wed 21 May 14

tyker7745 says...

where is the humanity in this:the decision ignores his human rights to live with or close to his loving parents.

THe decision should be fought on this issue
where is the humanity in this:the decision ignores his human rights to live with or close to his loving parents. THe decision should be fought on this issue tyker7745
  • Score: 5

9:16am Wed 21 May 14

Joseph in SG says...

My heart goes out to his Mother and Father and of course to the poor lad Thomas who will now be isolated from his family. These 'care' professionals are without any compassion or heart.
My heart goes out to his Mother and Father and of course to the poor lad Thomas who will now be isolated from his family. These 'care' professionals are without any compassion or heart. Joseph in SG
  • Score: 2

10:02am Wed 21 May 14

Toomanynewhouses says...

This is the first I have heard of your case. Horrific is not the word. Have you been in touch with mencap or the Dsa?
This is the first I have heard of your case. Horrific is not the word. Have you been in touch with mencap or the Dsa? Toomanynewhouses
  • Score: 3

12:10pm Wed 21 May 14

Not so simple says...

Poor family being torn apart by no fault of their own.

Come on City Hall give this lady and her family a break or you are welcome to resign from your posts as you are all good for nothing's milking the system.

The voters need to stand up and demand more of City Hall.
Poor family being torn apart by no fault of their own. Come on City Hall give this lady and her family a break or you are welcome to resign from your posts as you are all good for nothing's milking the system. The voters need to stand up and demand more of City Hall. Not so simple
  • Score: 2

4:46pm Wed 21 May 14

Ballister35 says...

This must be the same provider as they sent the young man from Cornwall to that has been in the news recently. Over twenty years ago I had the misfortune to witness and advocate for people and families affected by these issues and also campaigned about someone who had been sexually assaulted by a psychiatrist. This is so outmoded and akin to the Victorian establishments around before Walt Witman and before the poor laws were repealed. Why don't they ever learn that home care and a right to a private family life are what makes people who they are. We all need personal warmth and love and without this we do not thrive. They appear to apply methods from prisons to people with learning disabilities or mental health difficulties. Solicitors tend to reinforce the views of the council. Human rights legislation is easy to write but tough to apply. You cannot apply a business model to people and private providers are only in it to make money. Winterborne View and Southern Cross as well as the Broughton Care Home in Birmingham exposed by Donnel McIntyre a while ago have not altered the council's ability to learn from the mistakes of others. This is clearly not in this young man's best interests.
This must be the same provider as they sent the young man from Cornwall to that has been in the news recently. Over twenty years ago I had the misfortune to witness and advocate for people and families affected by these issues and also campaigned about someone who had been sexually assaulted by a psychiatrist. This is so outmoded and akin to the Victorian establishments around before Walt Witman and before the poor laws were repealed. Why don't they ever learn that home care and a right to a private family life are what makes people who they are. We all need personal warmth and love and without this we do not thrive. They appear to apply methods from prisons to people with learning disabilities or mental health difficulties. Solicitors tend to reinforce the views of the council. Human rights legislation is easy to write but tough to apply. You cannot apply a business model to people and private providers are only in it to make money. Winterborne View and Southern Cross as well as the Broughton Care Home in Birmingham exposed by Donnel McIntyre a while ago have not altered the council's ability to learn from the mistakes of others. This is clearly not in this young man's best interests. Ballister35
  • Score: 4

10:48pm Wed 21 May 14

heartbroken. says...

This is so sad, these people who are making these decisions just do not care at all about human rights. I am in a very similar position with my son, the powers that be are "deciding" where in the country my son will be placed. I said bring him back home and bring in care workers, but they say the workers would have to be there 24 hrs a day, i do not know where my beautiful boy will end up, im worried sick for him, how can he really understand when he will be moved yet again, he has severe Autism.
This is so sad, these people who are making these decisions just do not care at all about human rights. I am in a very similar position with my son, the powers that be are "deciding" where in the country my son will be placed. I said bring him back home and bring in care workers, but they say the workers would have to be there 24 hrs a day, i do not know where my beautiful boy will end up, im worried sick for him, how can he really understand when he will be moved yet again, he has severe Autism. heartbroken.
  • Score: 3

12:59am Tue 3 Jun 14

Carling74 says...

Doing total warrior and raising funds to help this family through my good friend Nichola dean ego I'd doing s fantastic job to help this family
Doing total warrior and raising funds to help this family through my good friend Nichola dean ego I'd doing s fantastic job to help this family Carling74
  • Score: 0

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