EUGH Social Services!!!!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by zoet, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    Just thought I'd have a little moan. Where my dad lives there is a multi-disciplinary team to help look after people which includes Social Workers, CPNs, District Nurses, Advocates, GPs, etc.
    Ive just come off the phone after speaking to the CPN team for the 8th time in the last fortnight. The person i needed to speak to isnt there. Ive only actually spoken directly to her once! Ive left messages both on her machine and with her colleagues and now Im getting more than a little annoyed. Why can these people not appreciate URGENCY and prioritise their work?
    I KNOW their resources are stretched and they have little time to spend on each case, (and I also know that I think my dad is the most important case they will ever have because he's my dad, and obviously there are people whos situations are more urgent)!!

    But he already has regular CPN visits (monthly) and for the life of me I cant work out why they havent noticed that dad isnt eating or putting the heating on! I work full time, have two kids and it's a 60 mile round trip to his house from mine which my understanding partner is taking me on every blummin day after he finishes work because I dont drive.
    Ive been told I will be contacted to make an appointment for an assessment to get a care package in place until dad moves in with me, (which hopefully will be in the next few months), and the window for that appointment in working hours is very small because I work shifts.
    Ive told them I am on holiday next week and deperately tried to make an appointment with them for then, but Im getting NOWHERE fast.
    My messages are ignored, my calls unanswered or diverted to people who cant help, and Im losing patience fast. In the mean time Im spending literally hundreds of pounds on petrol, ignoring my poor daughter who has exams, neglecting the house and my partner, worrying all night that dad is safe and warm so Im tired all the time at work, and basically trying to hold it all together long enough for this damn woman to pull her finger out and HELP ME!!!!!

    *Sighs....that feels better. Rant over! Now......lets make a start on all the forms Im supposed to be filling in..............;):D

    PS Dads happy at least.....he thinks I live down the round and Im just "popping" in! Bless him! ehehehe
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Zoe.

    I suggest you print out your post and send it to them, whoever `them` may be.

    It`s a perfectly reasonable request, to be taken notice of, for your concerns to be understood and to expect some urgency.

    I would also send it to your MP, and to Ivan Lewis.

    Try to make time for this. It`s good to be able to get it off your chest on TP, but if we don`t make formal complaints, it will not be recorded.

    Love xx
  3. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    Thanks Grannie G.I will! It IS frustrating, and I know we have a right to expect some urgency, but it seems they wait until something bad happens before they act. Im not actually sure what this person is. She works on the CPN team, but shes not a CPN. I think she's some sort of co-ordinator or something, and shes higher ranked than the CPNs. I will ask her.....if I ever get to speak to her that is!!!;) xx
  4. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    Hello Zoe
    I totally agree with Sylvia, I have found that letters of complaint to the head of whichever section is causing the aggrevation, with copies to your local councillor, your MP and the Minister for health works most times.

    I sometimes put copies to (local newspaper) even if I don't send them one.

    I am afraid that the ones who shout he loudest get the most attention so you have to leatn to shout.

    Cheers Barraf
  5. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Our Caring Society!

    Dear Zoe

    Had same problem with a so-called “multi-disciplinary” team.

    Google for the team in question, which should take you to the full ‘Who’s Who’ of that particular multi-disciplinary team.

    Phone the Director or Assistant Director or whoever – you’ll most likely get their PA rather than him/herself – and ask whether they really do have a person called XXX working for them? “Is she on leave because I’ve been trying to contact her urgently for days/weeks now.” And so on. Worked for me, and the Social Worker phoned me before the end of that same day! "Terribly busy" which I don't doubt, but urgent means urgent, as you say.

    Find out who the Complaints Manager is – write strong letter of complaint, marked URGENT, copy to as many people as you can think of. It will have little immediate effect - but you’ll feel much better! Long-term effect may be useful for others, but not in your case if you’re hoping to move your Dad in with you fairly soon.

    Ask now for a full list of who is responsible for what: in our case, it turned out that there were something like 4 different “Trusts” involved, with a social worker seconded from Trust A to Trust B, so any complaint about SW was passed from pillar to post initially. I was always told “the SW is the Care Co-ordinator” but she didn’t understand the word ‘co-ordinate’. Then the GP came under another trust and so on.

    If the Social Worker manages to get meals-on-wheels organised for your Dad, make sure she doesn't then cancel them "because he says he wants to cook for himself"!! Happened in our case - resulting in even more weight-loss!

    Best of luck
  6. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    Excellent advice Katie, thank you. Actually dad doesnt have a social worker because they closed his case after he cancelled his meals on wheels last November!!!

    When I rang social services a couple of weeks ago they weren't the slightest bit interested. Someone on the "team" gave me a list of phone numbers for Warden Control(!), Age concern and the CPN team. Warden control aren't appropriate for dad, Age concern sent me literature on making an LPA (not asked for but actually useful), and the CPN number was "not recognised". !!! Lol. She also gave me the number for Elder Abuse which turned out to be the fax number! Never least she tried!

    She stated there was no care package that existed for having someone call in on dad to check he had eaten and was warm and safe. So I rooted through dads stuff and found an appointment at the memory clinic at the hospital and rang them. They referred me to the CPN Team which is where I spoke to this co-ordinator lady (whom I shall now Google...great idea!), and she said that "of course there is a package for someone to go in and check dad!"
    Now I can't seem to get hold of her or anyone else willing to access this package for dad. *sighs......confusing, frustrating, and exhausting! What on earth do people do if they cant read so well, or havent a pc, or have to use a pay phone, or don't have an idea where to ask? Im lucky in the fact that my job has allowed me to see where and how these teams work. But even I can't put a rocket up their bums! I will do as you and Baraff say and complain and nag until I get some joy! Dad is counting on me! Think I'm going to need a holiday at a retreat if this carries on!!!! Bring on the crates of Cammomile!;)
  7. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Staggering stories!

    Social Workers are meant to do more than arrange MOW! But then again.... pigs can fly!

    If your Dad has a CPN, but no Social Worker, then I'd try Dad's GP and refuse to get off the phone until he/she talks to you. Or at least listens, because "patient confidentiality" and all that!! GP must have, no should surely have, reports coming back about CPN's involvement with your Dad, methinks. And surely the GP was involved somewhere along the line in a referral "somewhere" for this package to have come into being? So GP should have the ability to press the detonator button!!!!

    If there is a "package", then ask for a copy of it. Current and up-to-date. Packages are meant to be reviewed fairly often - within the first 6 weeks of it coming into being, then as often as deemed necessary.

    Google for the Trust or the multi-disciplinary team, rather than just a name. Then again, try both! Try any combination your weary brain can come up with.

  8. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    Ehehehe....a plan of action indeed! thanks Katie. I'll give it a go. Basically I feel like Im just ringing anyone at all who has anything to do with dad and moaning! But Im sure all this good advice will have some results. It would be easier if I lived nearer then I could go and SEE these people; it's harder to get rid of a physical presence than to put the phone down! Actually, seeing I have the week off work next week, and there are a few hours here and there where im not dealing with dads house, bank solicitor, optician, shopping and poor old dad himself (! ehehe), I might just pay these peeps a visit and put some faces to names. I NEED them to get moving so complaints will have to come later......but they WILL be done I promise! xx:)
  9. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Error in that phrase (not Katie's or anyone elses here!!!!).... is that they are not a team - the collective of professionals required to deal with the multi-facets of care are simply that - a collection - and I have found (increasingly the more that come on board for which I am grateful) is that they are no team at all - in fact they don't seem to even speak to each other ..... so it is for the carer - as in your case Zoet - who is looking for support and in fact finds they have yet another role to take on .... co-ordinating them supposedly co-ordinating ......:eek:

    Absolutely!!!!! Hold on to that spirit!!!!! :)

    That said, you clearly, like me have other priorities in life too .... it was only when I admitted I could see me - and them - 'going under' that Social Services finally got involved with mum .... sometimes you have to admit you really are not Superwoman!!!!! (Even if you are - tell them you;re not!!!!! ;))

    Much love, Karen, x
  10. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Have you ever requested ....

    Exactly, Karen ... "so-called" multi-disciplinary team. Just means they can all pass the buck from one professional to another professional. Does not mean they really are a "team" working together.

    What is the point of a gathering of so-called professionals if they ... don't even talk to each other? I don't see one.


    PS. If I may leave a thought and a question to each of you:
    Have you ever requested a copy of the Health Records of your person-that-you-love-and-are-caring-for-and-about? No, nor did I until very recently.

    But I wish I had done that about 6 months ago.
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #11 Margarita, Mar 12, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2008
    Now that is good advice thanks for sharing .

    As I am going to ask that also .

    As it does my head in when it come to my brother , his under the mental heath team he has a support worker , but its not that simple he has a Key worker , who I am told is a care coordinator, then they a CPN also his social worker , then they a care worker.

    Then all of a sudden in a blink of an eye , CPN is now his social worker (because of cut backs) but then when we have a meeting they introduce me to everyone , I am intrude to a CPN AND a Social worker .

    I finally found out the a care coordinator, is the Key worker .
    so she the Key person I need to see when I need to talk about my brother care needs , services I feel he need .

    With my mother its plain and simple a social worker for the elderly she does it all .

    Don't want to stress you more , but am wondering does your father come under the mental heath team in your area ?
  12. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    can i just say,that these people(being cpns,consultants)ARE VERY BUSY PEOPLE.and i know we expect them to jump whenever we need them,but be realistic,there are so many people who require cpn input these days that we must be patient and if your case is urgent then you will be seen as a matter of urgency when able for them to do so,patience is a virture.elainex
  13. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    About a year before I had to move mum into an EMI Home the CPN announced that he couldn’t help mum anymore and stopped visiting. I was left on my own to make all my own arrangements.

    These people may be busy but that is not the point. We have to pay for the NHS through our taxes, and if we don’t we are sent to prison. Yet we are not getting the service we need, and we cannot get our money back.

  14. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    Thats right Clive. If Social services hadn't closed dads case last year when he cancelled his meals on wheels he would be a stone and a half heavier and perhaps he would be getting some help by now.

    I AM trying to be patient I really am. But I just dont know how long I can cope making this 60 mile round trip at either end of my working day AND deal with everything else. I'm usually good at time management but there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!

    If I dont go Dad stays cold and doesnt eat, which I find unacceptable. Its been nearly three weeks since I contacted this "team" and was promised an appointment date for an assessment for a care package. All Im asking for is a date. A date would give me a light at the end of the tunnel. And I need a little warning so that I can get there for the appointment. I dont think thats too much too ask.

    Considering I am going to be saving the system hundreds of thousands of pounds by keeping dad out of a care home, you'd think they could help me with just this.

    Anyway, Ive spoken to a clinical pyschologist yesterday who came into the home I work in to see a client. Shes not in Dads locality, but has said she is going to ring a few colleagues on the CPN team here and see if there is anything we can do from this end, seeing as dad will be under this areas care in a few months. She also says the situation is unacceptable, and has suggested that they are not prioritising dad because they know I will see to him. So what do I do? I cant just leave him to it, and I cant carry on like this.

    Maybe today I will get further........I will let you know
  15. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Dear Zoe

    Patience may be a virtue, but it does wear thin at times!

    I agree with Clive - not only have we paid our taxes and NI contributions all our lives, but our parents and their parents did too.

    Suggest, Zoe, that you still need that care package in place for where your Dad lives now. Who knows what may come along to delay your Dad's move to you? Not being pessimistic, but nobody knows what tomorrow may bring.

    I'm glad your colleague-contact also finds your situation unacceptable. The "prioritising" or lack of it resulted in weight-loss of nearly 2 stone too in our case. I think someone just said "oh, she can cope" even though she has a 2-hour drive to get there!! 2-hours each way in our case! I did cope - but at what cost to me and my husband? Enormous. It devoured our life. I don't recommend it long-term. So get that care package sorted NOW.

    Well done so far - look forward to hearing of your success soon!

  16. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #16 Margarita, Mar 13, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008

    and your own mental heath would like to add .

    At the end of the day they can go home switch off from they Job .

    while us the carer are left with it on our minds 24 / 7 , how do we switch of ! when we know they not getting the services they entitled to , when they left on they own in they own home and we know they not mental capable to to look after themselves .

    Now that why now I make it very clear that I want to talk to someone Now get those services up running Now , I don't care any more who go on holiday on they team , if it can't be done now I want to know why
  17. 117katie

    117katie Guest


    That is exactly the point I made to Social Worker and the whole of the multi-disciplinary Mental Health Care of Older People team: I'm an older person too, and my mental health is shot to pieces. But did they care? Nope. Not one jot.

  18. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    UPDATE: I've just come off the phone to the CPN team. Aparantly the person I needed to speak to is on holiday:mad::mad::mad:!!! BUT

    I got a bit more.....erm shall we say "insistent", and a CPN will "get back to me tomorrow" to make an appointment for the assessment. *sighs. Right......let's call on my virtuous powers of patience AGAIN shall we!!!!

    :D:D:D LOSIN IT!!!!!!!:D:D:D
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #19 Margarita, Mar 13, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2008
    Yes of course your right , they a saying out they .

    Who care , but the carer .

    They not mental going to pull me down . I know it should not be Them & Us . As they could be working with us .

    I am please to read that zoet found someone that listening to her .

    Before all this happen , , I got into all this caring role with my mother brother . I was a very positive person .

    but along the way in caring dealing with things authority on top of that seeing how my 2 relatives have changed , it has made me feel very negative, but

    personally what I found that help me , was a positive mental attitude when dealing with the authority , so I brought that into my own mind also when things got so stress full with dealing with it all I was left to get on with it , while I wait for the services to get up and running . They say when the going get tough The tough get going, that was, and is me now !
  20. zoet

    zoet Registered User

    LOL.....well done Marguarita!!!! :D I can be a tough cookie when I want to be. At the moment, when I get annoyed on the phone, I try very hard to put a smile on my face, and in my voice when I'm talking, so that the person on the other end doesnt react badly to my insistence. It doesnt always work, as some people, frankly, are just miserable bu**ers who have no intention of helping you!!! But I always ask names too....and then I try to choose the most friendly or helpful person the next time I ring!

    Asking names is a good idea, because it makes them RESPONSIBLE for any action taken on your call. It also helps when youre sick of repeating the same story time and time again.

    Im keeping my fingers crossed and my frustration under wraps until tomorrow. I guess thats how day-to-day life will be for a while! The psychologist I spoke to yesterday says I also need a Carers Assessment for ME aswell as for my dad, but Im not sure what that entails. I shall investigate further in a minute!:)x

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