Friday, November 18, 2011

Professionalism - or not

In the mess of my son's care package review, one particularly irritating shambles was a very poorly written assessment by someone who had barely seen him, but as a professional, had the status to make judgements on the basis of little or no first hand information. We complained about the assessment and sent in our own comments, particularly on some critical omissions and one near slanderous statement. (Probably actionable, had we the energy.)

We've just had a rather grudging apology from the boss, but in the same post, a 'signing off' of his 'case' by the original offender which in turn seems more concerned to label us as unhelpful than to consider our sons actual disabilities.

This really irritates me.

We cared for him pretty much alone for the first 18 years and it's taken us the last 10 to get a care package together that might outlast us. I feel this should give us some status as experts in his care. I certainly feel we know him better than someone parachuted in who only met him (and then under pressure - they would have been happy to have done the assessment from paperwork and second hand comments alone if we hadn't insisted on a visit.) for half an hour.

But this person is a 'professional' and has official status. As carers we don't.

It's bad being ignored. It's worse being actively discounted. It's abysmal when the paperwork is more important than the care.


  1. Ugh. Yes, had this quite a bit. I've pretty much written of getting a care plan for either myself or child as I am not a "professional" and anything I say about my needs or the needs of my son seems to have made me automatically stricken off as just "having nerves" or whatever Victorian patronising pap they label troublemaking women with.

    I have discovered a rather alarming trend here that if I am my usual assertive self people dig their heels in and I find myself fighting for even the simplest stuff. BUT if I act all wavery and cute and passive (and I hate this act, truly I do) then people stumble all over themselves to be nice to me. It's nauseating but it seems appealing to one's sense of "God bless ya, guv!" is one of the few ways to get anything done. And if that doesn't work I write to my MP and things happen VERY quickly.

    Not a trend I am a fan of, but I've certainly had my share of it just trying to get my son's Statement up to a decent level

  2. Not a strategy I like either, and as a man, not one always open to me - but if it works ...
    We regularly use the 'Mrs Nice/Mr Nasty' tactic - it does tend to get me labelled as a troublemaker but they then listen to my wife's 'voice of reason'. Again, not for everyone, especially if no partner. Whatever works .... The care is the important thing.

  3. PS The 'troublemaker' label is a bit odd. It's a real problem for a while, but if the professionals stay in post long enough, you do eventually get through the pain barrier and they start treating you with something approaching respect - especially if you're actually only asking for what's reasonable and obviously in his best interests.