Monday, January 10, 2011

Bad times just around the corner

I don't normally bother with new year resolutions - I tend to get overtaken by events as sons health fluctuates, care crises intervene etc. etc. but I think this year is going to a bit predictable in some respects.

Afraid the main things on my mind this year are going to be surviving the cuts.
  • Planning to manage without wheelchair transport when my son's Mobility Allowance is withdrawn,
  • fending off NHS and Social Services review of his care aimed at reducing their costs (but not ours), already mutterings that neither want to pay for his physio,
  • filling the gaps planned by our County Council who've just announced cuts to day services, respite care and transport for disabled as well as massive reductions to learning disability support (plus charging for what's left).
Bracing ourselves for these things is already taking its toll. The stress levels are up, the paranoia climbs and the distrust of any official communication peaks. these days I dread getting brown envelopes. The cuts are going to be bad enough, but we also have to live with the anticipation of them - it's not generally understood how debilitating this is.

I don't want these cuts, we aren't responsible for them (and with bankers still getting big bonuses we aren't all in this together).

My son can't speak, he needs oxygen, airway suction, pump feeding and a wheelchair but he's going to have to pay for this. And yes I do feel bitter.


  1. Thank you for this posting, Ned.

    The sentence above that has greatest resonance with my recent personal experience is: "These days I dread getting brown envelopes" — very graphic!

    (I had to explain why I did not go to a Work Capability Assessment appointment for ESA entitlement when the mobility-impaired 'McKenzie Friend' who would have accompanied me had been denied a cab as the cab firm was grounding its fleet re side-street addresses on account of black ice. The Atos call-centre operative spoke to me as if Atos were Group 4 Security intent on escorting me to trial, and made the Disability Benefits Centre line manager I spoke to that day seem like a saint. But since I got the explanation form in the post by guaranteed next day delivery a month ago today, I have had no explicit feedback — only notices of Cold Weather Payments. Still, in my experience, the DWP never put any apologies in writing.)

    Keep on telling it like it is, as an expert witness!

    Alan Wheatley
    Green Party of England & Wales Spokesperson on Social Security & Care Services

  2. Scariest part is, they don't know they're doing it. Much of the time it's just paperwork and out of sight, out of mind for them. To us it's real, we're hyped up about it because it's important. The brown envelope they send is routine and mundane - the brown envelope that arrives is our lives.
    Hope things pan out.