Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Worrying Trend in Social Care and Support

There I was, uptight, irascible, tetchy, moody as hell, grouchy, miserable and a tad on the snappy side. Why? Because I was due my social care and support review today. However, my social worker (s/w) sent me an email at close of play yesterday stating she was looking forward to meeting me tomorrow to complete my ILF package reassessment.

Reassessment? For months we’ve been negotiating a suitable day for the meeting. Throughout I have insisted that I will present MY version of MY Support Plan to the s/w; and that we work from that.

My s/w has tried from the start to dictate how the meeting will go, but I have each time resisted.

This morning I was fuming when I called the s/w. On getting through I asked her to tell me whether I was having a review of my package, which was what we were calling it up until she changed the rules at the last minute; or was it a reassessment, and if it was I wanted, as is my right under the Care Act, a copy of the questions she would be putting to me.

After a great deal of discussion, much of which I spent explaining that she could not simply change the nature of the meeting and expect me to compliantly roll over and accept her terms.

A while later she sent me a 17-page PDF of the FACE overview assessment. Leafing through the pages, I am familiar with the document through my work, I came across an interesting response to a question:
This assessment indicates that: “you do not have eligible needs”.
Interesting, don’t you think?
During my conversation with the s/w I had expressed my concerns at the lack of objectivity shown by some of her colleagues. Stating that too many of them were ignoring the fact that they were supposed to carry out impartial assessments that took account of people’s needs. When asked to qualify this I cited a number of cases I knew of inside and outside the area I live where people’s packages had been slashed, in one case from 35 hours per week to 7.
When I called back the s/w to point out the interesting assessment outcome that assessed me as having no eligible needs, she denied the existence of those words. Yet she had sent me the document as a PDF and I have no way to make alterations, to add or take away any text.
Of course I went on to tell her that sending me this predetermined assessment had only reinforced my lack of confidence in her as an objective assessor and indeed my council’s ability to give me a fair assessment. I will be speaking to the relevant councillor for adult services on Monday. Indeed, I may go to the press with this.

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