Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Health but not wealth

Had a good couple of days with our son over the weekend. Took him out shopping in the morning, country walk in the afternoon and to a local 'family games' evening on Saturday. he stayed awake and alert right through. For him this is a real achievement. He had a good lie in Sunday i.e. didn't surface until late afternoon (including the most chilled out bath you could imagine). Oxygen sats high throughout. Apart from being on antibiotics for a bit of chest infection and the accompanying 'thrush' his health is really not bad just now (grabs frantically to 'touch wood').

Meanwhile, on the cuts front, his review seems to have gone into freefall now that we've asked to see a copy of the assessment being taken to panel. It should have gone today, then seemed to be delayed for 3 weeks and now looks in the medium to long grass. I can only assume they were worried that what they were proposing wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. I have to say that they were quite unhappy we wanted to see the assessment at all and were very reluctant to accept we had any rights - I think 20 years caring full time with no help, 8 years with some support and being his parents and main advocate give us some authority in this.

I also note that word is also coming out that on top of the front line service cuts being implemented, the back office savings are also emerging. If we delay long enough, I don't think there'll be anyone left in Social Services to do our assessment. I don't feel any happiness that many of the social workers and commissioners look like being out of work. We may not have liked some of what they had to do, but I do feel their hearts were in the right place - they were just never given the resources to do their job properly and had to spend most of their time fighting a rearguard action that endeared them to no-one. With service cuts and job cuts we're going to be on the same side of the barricades soon.


  1. We may end up on the same side of the barricades, but I am not certain that it will be for the same reasons.

    It seems that much of your funding comes from the NHS budget? As ours doesn't, I am not sure whether that makes things easier or more difficult. Certainly, it raises the stakes for you - but perhaps questions of entitlement are a little bit clearer there than with Social Services? As for having "rights" as parents of adults, I have had to abandon that idea, and go on fighting within the context of being essential and irrelevant at the same time. Having just got to the end of the SAQ/RAS process, I am left wondering why it was necessary, as we could have arrived at the same point without it.

  2. Social services have never had enough resources and with impending cuts is all very worrying.

  3. Our funding is about half each - which gives the perennial problem of them arguing among themselves about who's going to pay when they do agree something is needed - further delay.
    I agree the reasons may be different but we're still subject to Social Services commissioning etc.even if they only pay half.
    I have a feeling we'll both be on the barricades with the students, and redundant social workers pretty soon. The cuts are about all that are on our minds just now - not a lot of joy in life at the moment.

  4. On the other hand, a certain complacency about other people's problems may get lost as a new understanding of how difficult life can be makes unlikely alliances. Not that I would wish the complications of a carer's life on anyone. But the assumption that there is help in abundance when you are a not involved is a little bit irritating.

    My local council does seem to be very much going for job reductions and cutting waste and overspending - and some of that may be no bad thing. In the past, we didn't ask for more for fear of ending up with less, but to my surprise we have come out of Personalisation with a little more at less cost. (Direct Payments and my cheap labour, of course.)