Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mind the gap

Bit of a worry about nursing staff availability just now. One member of team ill, another having to take time off for personal reasons and others with holidays booked. Had our first bit of 'emergency cover' (i.e. we take over at no notice) for a while - not a problem yesterday and massively helped by another team member working 'above and beyond'. Can't help worrying about what's going to happen. Don't like relying on this sort of good will but thankful it's there.

There's the high probability that we'll have to pick up random shifts at no notice (probably consecutive ones), but as big a concern is the effect on his care quality. In these situations we have to use bank and agency nurses, and (with a few notable exceptions) some of them aren't as good or caring as his main team. The commitment of his main team is enormous and probably spoils us for the 'ordinary' care levels, but I still want the best for him.

Any plans we have now go on hold indefinitely. I dread to think what it would be like if we had to organize this, sort out payments, sick pay etc. as we would if we used Direct Payments. The thought of 'Personal Budgets' makes me very frightened. We'd have all the admin. and paperwork as well, just at the time we were under most pressure. This is why we don't want 'personalization' - it might work for some but not for us. It's a great theory but in a real world of limited resources (not just money - the difficulties of recruiting good staff) it isn't a 'cure all'. The fear of who would deal with all this if (when) we're not here is truly scary.

At least his health is still improving. Had a good first day out for some time yesterday, though the stomach bleed (caused by heavy duty antibiotics) isn't properly healed yet.


  1. I have Direct Payments and organise my own round the clock (non-nursing) care - it's not that bad once you're set up, honestly, and the additional power/control is really valuable. I've basically got it now so that my Personal Assistants sort cover for each other amongst themselves and then just tell me who's covering which shift!

  2. Glad it's working for you - I do accept it's a good option for independence for some people. As it's nursing care my son needs in the community, we have major difficulties recruiting enough for the team let alone running it. Having said that my main worry is who will organize it when we die (we're both retired) as he is non verbal with severe learning disabilities as well as the physical ones.

    I'm sure Direct Payments are the right thing for some people but the solution we're trying to put together is different - x2 service providers and ourselves, so they can pick up the slack when we're not there. It works at the moment, largely, but forcing us onto Direct Payments (as they want us to)is going to damage a package that works.