Locked up & secretly abused by the NHS, Freelance (Mail on Sunday, I News, Tortoise)
This entry, informed by Ian’s family situation, exposed barbaric social evils taking place in the heart of our health system. It raises questions over the human rights of people with autism, learning disabilities and mental health problems – and poses questions about power abuses and state failures that lead to their needless, and sometimes fatal, incarceration. His campaign across several outlets has sparked five official inquiries and widespread debate.
“Birrell is both brilliant and tireless in his effort to expose one of the darkest corners of Britain’s institutions. He uses every journalistic trick in the book from good old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting to elegant, sensitive prose to make you care deeply about one of the UK’s biggest injustices.” Farrah Storr, Judge
Worse than BROADMOOR: Nurse whistleblower claims he has seen psychopathic serial killers cared for better than the autistic children he has witnessed being violently held down and force-fed drugs at health unit funded by the NHS (Daily Mail)