Thursday, October 13, 2011

A week of fireworks

After an initial 'slow burn', the blue touchpaper we lit with Health and Social Services eventually produced a few fiecracker like pops befire turning into a series of roman candles. The recommendation to wear gloves and hold at arms length is something neither Health nor Social Services seem to have heard of, and there are now a number of professionals jumping around shouting with rather singed fingers. We're spending some time trying not to be hit by the random explosions as they wave the fireworks about.

And it's not even November 5th yet.

So far, the demand for a meeting, and subsequent pressure on key officials has produced -
  • two assessments - one a year out of date, the other grossly insensitive, misleading and possibly libellous
  • a substantial number of officials denying they are in the office whilst setting up decision meetings in secret
  • considerable further damage to the little trust we had in either organization
  • a number of officials taking unco-ordinated and often ill considered action which could be construed as duplicitous, but I hope is simply limited competence and poor information
  • the beginnings of limited remedial action given grudgingly

All this reaction having taken place on the basis of paperwork only (well, less than 30 combined 'contact minutes' with our son himself)

Things have been stirred into action and the care review is at least live enough to get out of the way now. Getting it completed and making sure his care needs get catered for is still a series of battles further down the war. I honestly wish we didn't have to do things this way, but being reasonable, or even forceful, simply hasn't resulted in any action.

I'm afraid there will be some casualties in this - unfortunately these may well include some well intentioned 'footsoldiers' - and I'll be sorry about that. But I won't apologize for taking the action - this isn't about the tidiness of their paperwork - it's about my sons care. The front line Health & Social Services may well finish up with some bruised egos, they deserve better leadership and I'm in no mood to sacrifice the quality of my sons care just so they can have a quieter life. Their managers have rather thicker skins, bigger offices to hide in and surprisingly (even to me) far more ruthless personalities.

There are now a number of balls in their court, the next few weeks should be 'interesting'. (in the sense of the Chinese curse - 'may you live in interesting times'.)


  1. I have been surprised to be lied to in the past. When I challenged quoting the legal bits to be told "then sue us". They are aware that they have us ... because we care.

  2. We've also been lied to. Often it's been by them staying silent about something important. They know we usually don't have the resources to find out what we need to know, and if we do catch them out, we can't afford to take it to law.

    It's an unequal fight - but it shouldn't be a fight at all. It's supposed to be a partnership, but it rarely is. Partnerships need trust.