Thank you - I've not heard of Beacon - I will go and have a look straight away. Amazing these things exist but you have to search so hard for them. The problem that we have really is that mum has had dementia now for 10 years and so is very severely effected. Her communication is non-existent but they keep insisting that this is moderate. She has zero awareness of her behaviour so comes into conflict with other residents - she was attacked and did nothing to defend herself as she didn't understand what was going on. Yet, this wasn't mentioned at all in the assessment. In that domain, I was told that Severe only applies to people in a coma! I asked how you could possibly put systems in place to help someone in a coma to communicate but not surprisingly didn't receive an adequate explanation. Likewise, things like Psychological/Emotional Health and were just put down as moderate as mum doesn't participate in activities - she has no language left and is not able to understand instructions or answer questions so this seems impossible to assess. This weekend I tried asking her all sorts of questions - are you a man? are you a woman? do you prefer meat or fish for dinner? are you hot? are you cold? are you in pain? are you happy? She couldn't answer a single question but still this is moderate. In the assessment, myself, the care home manager and the social worker all said that this should be Severe but in the assessment it was put down as Moderate but noted that we didn't agree. She is in a very good (bloody expensive) home and they do manage her care very well. I think this is why they feel able to downgrade her needs despite the fact that this is specifically mentioned as something you shouldn't do.Hi, It will be expensive. Have you considered Beacon NHS CHC - it provides an initial 90 minutes worth of free advice over the telephone. Look at the all the Beacon info FIRST, it'll take you a time to go through it all. Website Google beaconchc co uk how-we-can-help/
Then contact them. The 90 minutes free advice does not have to be used in one, one and a half hour call! The phone calls are made by an appointment system, they contact you at an agreed time. Remember in the initial call be concise, have assessment date(s), and all other details to hand.
Now completely separate to the appeal, [and not anything to do with Beacon], and I stress make it clear, it isn't part of the ongoing appea], l suggest, if there are any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, points that require clarifying etc. etc. in the DST assessment report which you've received, then I think you should make a specific complaint (to the NHS CCG/NHS Trust) about the poor document you received. Make it clear it is a specific complaint not part of the on-going appeal.
And insist that all the points you raise in this complaint are responded to in writing.
The CCG/Trust might offer to invite you to a meeting - resist this at least until you have received specific responses to all the issues you raised about the DST report not being accurate/complete/ etc. etc.
The complaint can go on at the same time as any possible future appeal.
If the complaint to the ccg/trust 'fails', then you could consider asking the Ombudsman to look into the matter.
Remember both the appeal, and any complaint - will take many months or years to sort out.
Good luck and prayers.