Yesterday I wrote a High Noon letter
Dear MsZapata [aka my daughter's absent social worker (MsXantippe)'s absent boss (MsYolande)'s very likely disaffected, clearly overworked maybe underbriefed and possibly unofficial stand-in],
Following my unanswered emails of Monday 2 June (to MsYolande) and my forwarded one to you on Tuesday 3 June, I note MsXantippe’s email response of 3 June.
This is literally our first communication from Adult Care Services since MsXantippe sent a message cancelling our second appointment for a Continuing Healthcare assessment with us at ten minutes notice. This was four weeks after she cancelled the previous appointment for a Continuing Healthcare assessment at 27 minutes notice. I have blogged extensively about this and its impact on the vulnerable family carer, reliant on the respect and support of the social worker.
On 19th May you (MsZapata) rang me three times to apologise for this, blamed ‘miscommunication‘ and told me that MsXantippe would contact us and apologise the following day, and rearrange the appointment. This did not happen – and I see from MsXantippe’s email that there is no suggestion in her mind that she should do so. Instead she mentions – as if for the first time – a Continuing Healthcare Assessment. This is the assessment planned since March which MsXantippe has personally stymied on two previous occasions by not turning up with minutes to spare on April 26th and 19th of May.
Just to put this in perspective: my daughter’s social worker moved on in autumn 2013. ACS made no attempt to replace her until this spring when we were told we have been allocated MsXantippe but have never met her.
My daughter is currently excluded from college (since December 2013) for ‘being too ill.’ She needs the advocacy of a Youth Support Worker to negotiate an institution that is prepared to educate her and allow her to fulfil her aims and ambitions – but according to youth services a youth support worker only be allocated via her Social Worker.
My daughter is unable to take part in the swimming, cycling and running that she delights in due to extensive seizure damage to shoulder and knee joints. An operation is not possible until her seizures improve beyond what is currently likely. A year ago we found someone who could support her to improve movement, and Continuing Healthcare agreed they could fund it . This has not yet happened simply because Adult Services need to raise the invoice from Continuing Health. They have not done so. A year adds a horrible degree of impact to joint damage.
Both exclusion and damage have had a knock-on effect on my daughter’s socialising, quality of life and independence.
I feel like we are in Topsy Turvey Land. How long will this inactivity and lack of support continue? How are you going to compensate my daughter for the impact that this lack of action is having on all aspects of her life – health, education, social care? She has already lost months of support in education and her health has gone downhill as a direct result of not being able to access the support offered a year ago via theContinuing Healthcare team.
Can I please reiterate what I wrote to you yesterday
a) My daughter has been out of education and unsupported by a social worker or a youth support worker for over seven months now. This is a disgraceful and inexplicable situation . Young people’s services tells me that the only person who can appoint her a youth support worker is MsXantippe - who cannot even be bothered to meet her own appointments with us.
b) Continuing healthcare support has been held up for a full year by ACS’s lack of concern in implementing agreed plans.
c) In the interim the stress of the situation has had a severely detrimental effect on my own health and I am now under two consultants’ care for two separate serious chronic and dangerous conditions – either of which may lead to death. This is not promising, is it – particularly for my daughter’s longterm prospects?
d) Obviously the stress is increasing my daughter’s seizure activity and stress levels.
e) I am relying on you to break this circle of apathy, incompetence and unconcern with an immediate response and plan of action.
If this is not possible – and I appreciate you may well be in the position of a firefighter – could you please advise me immediately of MsYolande’s manager as I wish to escalate this situation.
If I do not hear by the end of today I am afraid I will have no option but to go directly to the top
f) And as we are something like 3 months on from when this assessment was first proposed, I am requesting it be replaced by an EHC needs assessment under the provisions the Children and Families Act 2014 of http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents/enacted which covers young people up to the age of 25 and would allow my daughter to have all her needs looked at simultaneously.
She cannot continue to lose her life chances because of ‘falling through the net.’
Yours sincerely, Carer With Attitude
Readers, I received no response whatsoever to this email.
Consequently MsF’s situation has been escalated to the highest possible level.