After 6 months of battling with social services as they cut down my hrs for my carers to 20 hrs from 32 hrs. Today I won my 32 hrs back! The Government gives away millions to poor countries while cutting back on funding on carers. Has anyone else had the same problem?
Just about every one, i reckon. I was initially assessed as worthy of 6 hrs a week. Despite changes in my health and re-assessments, never been able to get anymore and now they are slashing the social care budgets riiiight down! I get help to go swimming !hr a week - but that comes out of the 6 hrs.
I tried the route of personal budget and hiring a PA and that didn't work out. If i want more hours, I'm gonna have to self fund. (from where???)
The Social Worker from Hull City Council came on the 28th September 2015 for my yearly review. My situation was; I had 2 carers for 1 hour 6 days a week to get me up and shower me, dress me, shave me and feed me my breakfast. These carers were from the agency company.
I also had 20 hours per week for my 2 PA’s to cook my meals and feed me, toilet me, light house work and get me ready for bed and sometimes take me out throughout the week.
So my care support was;
12 hours from the agency (2 carers for 1 hour, 6 days a week = 12 hours)
20 hours for my PA’s per week.
Total of care = 32 hours per week.
The Social Worker and I decided to let my PA’s to take over from the agency carers as it’s a lot cheaper for the council to pay my PAs instead of the agency carers and it would be better for me as I need the same carers every day as new carers do not know what to do and I am not very understandable due to my cerebral Palsy, to overcome this I communicate using a speech synthesiser.
At no point in the meeting the Social Worker suggested about cutting down my hours. I even asked him on my speech synthesiser about the 32 hours as the speech synthesiser records everything what I say.
I said if you cancel the agency carers would I get the 12 hours for my PA’s
He said “yes”
So I will get 32 hours a week for my PA’s? I replied
He said “yes, but we need to give the agency care company 7 days’ notice.”
I said “ok give the notice today”
Before he left me, I told him the best way of communicating with me is via Email due to my disability.
On the 29th September 2015, I emailed Social Worker to confirm my PA’s will be taking over on the 5th October 2015.
I said, Did you cancel the agency company yesterday? Do my PA's take over on the 5th Oct?
He wrote, I contacted the agency Health Care and their services will end on Monday 5th October..
On the 19th November 2015, Social Worker revisited me with Hilary (OT) as the management panel wanted me to be seen by an O.T. Before Hilary did the assessment, Social Worker asked me, why are you going over the 20 hours since October 5th?
I have 32 hours now because I asked you if you cancelled the agency carers will I get 32 hours for my PA’s in the first meeting. I replied.
Social Worker denied this and said I shouldn’t go over my 20 hours until the management has agreed the extra 12 hours.
I said we cancelled the agency company as I wanted my PA's in the mornings. So these 12 hours from the agency should have been swapped over straight away as my PA's are doing the agency jobs. How do you expect me to get up, shower, dress, breakfast, shave, toilet?
It’s much cheaper for my PA's to do the agency jobs for the council as it saves the council a lot of money.
Social Worker should of talked to the management panel first before cancelling the agency carers and he should of swapped the 12 hours from the agency carers to my PA’s before he cancelled the agency carers.
After my assessment with the OT, she agreed I need at least 32 hours a week for my PA’s.
On the 17 December 2015, my case went back to the management panel and again it was refused. Social Worker said, “The management panel are questioning one or two areas that I feel are unnecessary bearing in mind your situation. My case has been left with his supervisor to look at and following this, it will be re-submitted to panel.”
Aftter afew more appeals was refused, I did a letter to complaint about social services, 5 weeks later I won my 32 hours back.
If you think you can win something, don't give up as you will get the victory at the end.
I have been fighting Social Services nearly all Scott's life,he will be 45 in a few weeks. At the moment he gets 26 hours a week, plus 18 respite days per year. I have asked for three days a month respite,considering my age and the fact I care for him alone I don't consider 3 days a month too much to ask.We shall see if he gets it. He has a direct payment which is managed by his brother, they audit us every year.He has a self employed PA for 10 of those hours, the rest are covered by Mencap, only the people on the team are allowed to support Scott and they have to be passed by me, he doesn't have male support workers, he finds them threatening.Social Services consider me a pain in the arse, I agree I am, they also know I'm quite capable of getting the press invovled if I need to. They don't like publicity.
I agree, its a tooth and nail fight the whole way. If i hadn't been on a course run by Live not Label (a charity in our area) I would not know all about RAS and employing PA's. As it was i did the whole course, and a Health and Safety, 1st Aid and Food hygiene.
But the hours are for "personal care" and despite me saying i need help to get out now and again, turned down.
i pestered the SS for ages, but thanks to cutbacks they have slashed staffing and the social workers i had no longer there.
It feels like they lurching from crisis to crisis.
I try and reserve my energy for the fight to get housing for my partner and I 9thats another fight. We are clued up and fully on top of the rules and laws heere: just gets TIRESOME but explain it again. And again. And again...
Not only are Social Services in crisis but it looks like this wonderful caring Government are going to reduce their social care bill by withdrawing the basic human right to be clean. We are fast becoming a third world country when it comes to basic care and dare I say it dignity. My carers, for whom I have to pay, report that agencies are making them sign up to contracts of up to 72 hours a week or not be guaranteed work. This is because of the Governments zero hours iniative. Trouble is they haven't thought it through. If they don't sign the contract they are only guaranteed 16 hours a week. They have families, morgages and their own lives. They need to know their income. It seems to me the Agencies are having a field day and increasing their charges two or three times a year. And Social workers, Occupational Therapists! I had one visit last year from each of them only to be told I qualify for absolutely nothing! I'm not rich and now I am spending so much money on care my outgoings exceed my incomings. Council taxes are rising. Don't forget to claim for a reduction because of disability. Nobody told me about this. Well not the powers to be. I would love to hear of anyone who has had a positive experience because it seems to me their job is to make life even harder for the disabled. At times we seem to be numbers, statistics that Government play with. Not human beings. They won't even let us choose to die in dignity!
I know my needs are not as serious as some, but fact remains without social care, I would go days w.o. a shower, never wear socks, struggle to put bins out and change the bed.
And you can get help to get a shower....whilst living in a tip and with grass 3 ft high!! Help with housework and gardening has to come out of your OWN budget and then they want to cut what we have to live on.
The nurses and doctor's at the Q.E hospital that took care of me after my accident have requested a social worker come and see me to assess me for a carer in the day while my husband is at work since it was my 5th fall at home alone and classed me as vulnerable. I know this is going to take time and I've got to go through assessments but I don't think I need a carer, we will have to wait and see.