Social Services return home decision

Hi. I need some guidance please. Our mum is currently in a care home where she has been for 5 months since discharge from hospital, which until now has been self funded but now that her £23k financial threshold has been reached and funds depleted the SS have decided she has significantly improved, done a reassessment and decided her needs can be met by a care at home package with 2 carers visiting 4x daily. We have challenged this reassessment and raised a formal complaint but the SS complaints process is just as flawed. We will pursue the complaint but need a quick solution. She is not mobile and the home set up and lack of space would not allow her to get into the toilet or bathroom so she would need to use a commode for toileting needs and a strip wash. This would only be possible when carers present as she cannot mobilise alone and her husband is too old to help her alone. He is extremely concerned as he would struggle when the carers were not there. The main concerns would be overnight and in between carer visits. If he objects to a return home, are SS obliged to take note of this or can they force someone to return home? Naturally my mum would love to come home as she has been isolated in the CH with very limited social distanced visits.
We have a planning meeting with SS next week but are concerned that they will ignore our views and concerns and plough on with what we believe will be an unsafe and undignified option. They believe we are trying to block this and say that while mum has capacity she can make her own decisions.
Furthermore they appear to be saying that we cannot choose to keep her in care as their assessment confirms that she is not ‘eligible’ for residential care. Therefore we can choose to keep her in the CH but would have to self fund.
We would love her to return but are deeply concerned for the impact it would have on both of them.

I’m not sure if they can insist that she returns home, but what they definitely can’t do is to insist that a family member is responsible for her care. No-one is obliged to care for any other person no matter what their relationship. If her husband is incapable of providing that care then something else needs to be set up, you are not obliged to fund this, any means test only applies to your Mum.

They will ignore your views if they are not compatible with their own, they will lie, cheat and cajole to get the outcome they want. Sad as it is, they are definitely not to be trusted one iota.

Thanks Ayjay. He would do as much as possible but is incapable of providing what she needs. It’s a terribly hard decision for him to make to say that he doesn’t feel his wife can safely return home. We are reluctant to agree to anything as we know that once she returns home, SS will wash their hands of any further responsibility. We know the reason for this is that they will do anything they can to avoid funding residential care.

Tell Social Services that they MUST arrange a “Care Act Advocate” i n advance of any meeting one for mum and one for dad, not the same one for both. Request them by email so that there is written evidence of your request. To hold a meeting without them would probably be unlawful.

Me and my sister will be present at the meeting. Are you suggesting other independent people acting as advocates?

Yes. I now refuse to attend meetings without my advocate, so that there is an independent witness of what is said.
I’ve done this for years now, after attending meetings where one thing is said and something completely different is written on Social Services notes!
It could be claimed that you and your sister had a vested interest (even when you know your parents better than anyone else on the planet!)
However, it evens up the balance of people at a hospital meeting. I’ve been to some relating to mum where there were 8 least 8 staff from the hospital, and me.
I surprised them all by typing out and duplicating my own agenda for the meeting, so that everyone knew what was going to be discussed in advance. Clearly, no family member had ever done this before!!
I won’t go into my work background, but suffice it to say that they didn’t get the better of me.
Also, as soon as they start using jargon, stop them, each time. Tell them it is not appropriate language to use when the meeting is not just for staff.
They will try and do it, repeatedly. Each time, stop them.
It’s a very good way of showing them that you cannot be walked all over.
If they talk too fast, ask them to slow down.
If they use medical terms you don’t understand, ask them to explain.
Arrive at the meeting in plenty of time to park the car, have a coffee, and go to the loo.
Wear something smart. If you think everyone else is going to wear a suit, you wear a suit.
To them, this is just another discharge meeting, but it’s so important for your whole family.