Nearly in tears

I’ve had a terrible phone call from yet another new social worker who is supposed to be sorting out a hopelessly inaccurate carers assessment. She was very patronising, wanted to ignore everything I said and resorted to continually talking over me, the more I asked her not to do it, the more she did. I told her for health reasons I’m not supposed to be doing any caring but that’s being continually ignored. I said that my own assessment was quick and easy as I wanted my son’s care at his flat to be entirely the responsibility of the council and care agency, and I wanted a clear target date for completion. I’ve been complaining repeatedly that the previous one wasn’t fit for purpose ever since I first saw it last June. I had to wait months for a new advocate as there was a long waiting list. I’ve been so upset since, on the verge of tears. I’ve had enough of Hampshire. I can’t even settle to do any sewing, just want to run away!

BB (massive ((( hug) from me.
You sound at the end of your tether. I’m not sure what to say, as you have been fighting for such a long time and been down every avenue from what I can see.
Try to get some rest tonight, and maybe tomorrow consider the press?
How extremely rude to talk over you.

I think there should be a carers training available on how to deal with social services and social workers.

I’ve be mostly lucky and have had very good workers but have to add I’ve always been armed with legislation etc.

I know you are only to well aware of what should be expected and what should happen. And dealing with charges to workers over many years takes it’s toll. As you have gone over previous years of information and given yet another. Historical account on the family member you care for namely your son.

As much as we will say to ourselves we will not allow them to upset us. But we can’t be thick skinned and let it all wash over us because someone we care for are relying on us.

So sorry you’ve had a terrible experience through someone’s lack of awareness and empathy.

Sending you warm wishes

I’m sorry to hear this. How upsetting and frustrating.

The best social workers we have had are the ones with someone with a disability in the family, they quickly leave social care to work for charities etc. A lot of the rest are used to parents and carers who are submissive and are threatened by knowledgeable and educated carers.

I thought you had an actual meeting coming up but with your advocate there too?


Yes, it was supposed to be today, however eldest son home with suspected Coved. So SW rang me, I’d given her a list of things that couldn’t wait yet another month for the once more rearranged meeting - bearing in mind a whole series of meetings over the last 3 years still haven’t ended up with anything accurate enough to sign off. For example, the last attempt said I didn’t get on well with the provider, but that was a reference to MacIntyre who haven’t supported him since 2018!!!

BB, I suggest a letter laying out when you intend for the council to have taken over, by which time you will no longer be available to provide physical care. Set a deadline and mean it.

Make it clear that there can be no further delays as they are threatening your health, which is the very reason for your withdrawal from your son’s care.

Send a copy to the Director of Adult Social Care (or whatever the local title is) and their political boss. Also to the Chief Executive of the council.

Then sit back and forget about it. It’s their problem.

Charles, as far as they are concerned they have a contract with a provider for 34 hours Dom care, job done. Case closed. All female staff whose ideas of care and weekend activities are shopping and walking into town for a cup of tea. M lives on the edge of the New Forest but he’s had 3 walks in 3 years. At home, it was every night if the weather was good. We led a semi nomadic existence, M would come home, climb into the cab of a 32 ton tractor unit with low loader and steam engine and go to a show somewhere. Even as far as Preston! He loves travelling, knows the motorways miles from home, loves shows. As I went on to run the national lorry club, we were very well known, so many people knew us, lots of articles about us in magazines. M grew up in a world of Land Rovers, tractors, steam engines and lorries and he desperately misses it, we all do. I used to be Action Woman, but a car accident 3 months after I was widowed ruined my body forever. My arthritis is so painful at times even washing my hands hurts, driving is painful. I get exhausted so quickly. M doesn’t understand how difficult things are for me. The care manager has never seen the engines, none of the staff are interested. They won’t even check to see what is going on in town, so he missed a model railway show a mile away from his home. He has a layout at his flat. So he is bored, unfit and eating at his flat. Used to be 14 stone, now 19+ stone. No one is bothered. No one notices his shoes need repairing, his printer needs more ink, his hedge needs cutting. His bike and the staff bike are now beyond economic repair, they cost £500. I am told repeatedly “not our job” so M keeps giving me jobs! New shoes, new sheets, all sorts of things. Every time I go to his flat things need doing, many the landlord’s responsibility, but they just turn a blind eye!

I don’t want to sound negative about this, BB, but the fact is that what you’re describing is fairly typical. It’s all about “good enough” and “within budget”. However, if they have any information in a current assessment about your contribution to your son’s care, that HAS to be replaced. The current package, by the very fact that you do it, doesn’t cover it. That is a legal fact. I know the current assessments are wrong, but there must be something in there that they show you as covering - e.g. paperwork, bills, tenancy, doctors, etc.

As to the stuff they don’t allow for, it’s a question of making it clear, in writing, that they are restricting his activities on cost grounds and not responding to his needs and favourite activities. It would be worth checking for relevant passages in the Care Act guidance, which has the weight of law behind it.

Nil carborundum illegitimi…as they say.

I have. Referring directly to the Care Act “wellbeing” principles.
Part of the community? Nothing.
Hobbies and activities? Nothing
Living his own life? Not in the least!

IF I could do what I used to, I’d be overjoyed. But I can’t.

I know my son isn’t even having the 7 hours at weekends, because M keeps saying staff arrived late or left early to support someone else. Even the rota doesn’t reflect 7 hours, but no one believes me.

As for examining the FACTS of anything, something that with my law training comes naturally?
Forget it. I have come to the conclusion that they really don’t understand what I’m talking about when I mention facts.

If all else fails and you’ve gone through the complaints procedure, the next step is Ombudsman.

Been there, done that. LGO made a series of recommendations, never done! Complained that they’d never been done, LA told LGO that things had moved on, but none of the issues addressed, L G O closed the case. Then Coved came. Then engaged Law stop, 3 changes of solicitor, nothing done, now dealing with a formal complaint about them. LA said they stopped work because a solicitor was involved!!! In my world, I do my very best, try to get things right, first time. This applies if it’s cake making, decorating, or shipping steam engines round the world, or sending a lorry gearbox to Ireland. Their attitude of putting things off as long as possible, never checking that what they have written is accurate or not, still relevant is infuriating beyond polite words. Some need lessons in report writing, 20 words when 4 will do!!

Oh Bb how did I miss this? So sorry you are going through this with the social worker. I honestly don’t know how they manage to get work!! I had one once, an older lady and she annoyed my daughter so much that my daughter walked out and went upstairs. This woman actually walked into my hall and shouted up the stairs “you are being a very silly little girl”. At the time my daughter was well in her 20’s.

Chin up Bb. Xxx

Thanks Penny, I really don’'t want to have anything more to do with this woman.
She already put off getting a new advocate for months because she wanted me to sign a “permission to share form” first.
I won’t sign one of these , on principle.
In the end I looked at the county’s own website and told her what it said! Not a requirement at all.
During the phone call she raised the subject once more, saying she could not “help” me unless I did.
It’s NOT ME that needs the help, it’s my SON!
I’d already said this to her, that my assessment really only needed to be 2 lines long.
That I was under medical instruction never to care for anyone ever again.
Therefore M’s care had to be “stand alone”.
How difficult can it be??

After all my medical issues I’m very fragile, many of my posts here are made when I’m sat on my bed.
Despite the fact that my GP wrote to them telling them to sort out M’s care so I could retire, they’ve done nothing to improve anything.
I blame the computerised records, they are not arranged in a way that information is readily accessible, one SW told me that she hadn’t read the file before speaking to me, and I’m sure this one hadn’t either!
My eldest was home last week with suspected covid, although negative all the time, and grandson has been here every day this week as the school doesn’t have enough Covid free teachers!
I’ve been rearranging my sewing room a bit this week, after buying some more units from ebay, so tomorrow I’m going to treat myself to a sewing session. Lots of little jobs that need finishing off before I do another few dresses for my holiday in Crete this year. Some are already cut out just waiting to be overlocked.