Terrible problems with Social Services -- any advice

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Boldredrosie, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    237
    Hi All
    I put in a formal complaint with social services following a home assessment at our house in December. I have received the review of my complaint and, essentially, the social worker I complained about has denied that she said the things she said. I am not surprised she's lied because obviously she's protecting herself and her job but I am wondering what my response is to this.
    Has anybody any experience with something like this? I find dealing with these people absolutely excruciating and, frankly, would like to ignore them but I can't see how things will improve for me, my son and my mother if I can't get somebody in the care services to take our situation and my mother's deterioration seriously.
    Any advice whatsoever will be gratefully received.

    Maya
     
  2. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,737
    North East Lincs
    I know just what you mean. I am having trouble with S S myself. I will have a think about this and come back to you later. Just off to see G P.

    Grey Lad
     
  3. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    It really is a sad fact that they do lie. They tell you things that are lies and then lie about telling you when the complaint goes in.:mad:

    My only advice to you is to record all conversations (lots of free phone apps) without telling them. They wont like it but there is nothing they can do about it.

    I wish you well and success in the future.:)
     
  4. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    237
    I do think this is good advice. Had I known how useless social services are when I contacted them many years ago I would have made a note of every interaction with them and of conversations with them as they now deny I ever made contact with them.
     
  5. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    99
    Gloucestershire
    SS should have a formal complaints procedure so you should follow that and not give up. There should be a next step that you can use if you are not happy with their response to your complaint. Also, involve your local MP and other agencies that may have been involved with you so far. Alzheimers Society were brilliant with the support or my complaint and my Dad did get his care package sorted out but my MP was useless and never responded to my complaint. His secretary replied, saying she had passed the complaint on to SS. My MP is a Tory in a safe seat and hoping not to be associated too closely with a government public spending policy that force local authorities to apply crippling cuts to SS budgets and mental health budgets.

    It is my own experience that SS are very bad at handling complaints. I put a formal complaint in about my Dad's care back in November. I had a telephone call with a senior case worker/complaint handler just before Christmas who promised a written response to the complaint which never arrived. I am still trying to get it. They don't like things written down.

    Check the legality of recording conversations without a person's permission before you do anything. I think it's okay in your own home providing you are not intending to use the recording to pass on to a third party. Not sure whether SS (the employer of the social worker) would count as a third party in this case.
    Jayne
     
  6. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    237
    The report from SS says my case is now closed and that I need to go to the Ombudsman, which I may or may not do. As for recording conversations, I think your observation is correct -- if you're planning to share the recording with a third party then you need to let the person with whom you're speaking know you're doing it. Happy to let them know and will certainly not have a conversation with anybody from social services without either making detailed notes or recording it on my phone. Although doesn't really help the current situation.
     
  7. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Jayne, it is perfectly legal to record yourself in conversation with anyone. There are some exceptions likes in court or certain areas of airports but not anywhere you should find yourself talking to anyone from the LA.:)

    The part of passing it on to a third party has no implications for your own recordings and is intended for those that record others for the intention to pass to others. For example leaving a recording device in a board room to record a meeting for say a competitor.
     
  8. PeggySmith

    PeggySmith Registered User

    Apr 16, 2012
    1,685
    BANES
    In my dealings with THEM, i always recorded, then typed up the notes and emailed them to the people/person at the meeting.
     
  9. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Do not let them know. They will probably refuse to speak to you till you turn it off.
     
  10. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,265
    Female
    near Folkestone
    What a sad world we live in!!! I also find SS utterly useless ! Have a home visit on 19th and not at all looking forward to it ! I am sure they just come to tick their box to say they have been


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  11. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,856
    England
    #11 Katrine, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
    We have not experienced lies but certainly a**e covering has gone on. We raised a safeguarding alert about MIL's care in the CH that SS put her in before we were able to move her. SS treated this seriously and took the appropriate steps. We asked them not to speak to MIL about it because she wouldn't understand and it would upset her and destabilise her settling in to somewhere she now felt safe.

    Part of the SS safeguarding enquiry involved them interviewing staff at her current CH re her physical condition on the day of admission. While they were on site the two SWs thought it would be a nice idea to meet the lady in question and have a general chat about how she was getting on. They breezed past the senior carer on her unit and shut themselves in MIL's bedroom (her private personal space) without a chaperone/witness. :eek: Later, to paraphrase their excuse for this, it was justified along the lines of "we're the good guys, so why should it bother her?"

    MIL was quiet after they left, then unburdened herself to the care staff, confabulating wildly about her two visitors. She spent the next 3 days wandering around the premises with bundles of clothes under her arms, looking for a new bedroom as far away from her unit as possible. She quickly forgot the visit itself, but was unsettled and more anxious than usual, and very tearful with family visitors. :(

    We raised a formal complaint, which was handled by the same team we were complaining about. Hence covering of their colleagues' posteriors. The visiting SWs had not noticed MIL showing any anxiety and she was chatty and seemed happy to talk to them. She could have left the room if she was uncomfortable, couldn't she? :confused: They repeated that it had been a nice opportunity for them to meet her. Nice for whom?!!

    The coup de grace offered in the closing letter from HQ was that no lasting harm had been caused to MIL because she has poor STM and so won't remember what happened to her. You might as well treat that as a quote from the CH they were investigating! Abuse is only abuse if you remember that it's happened to you?
    I don't think so. :mad:
     
  12. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    237
    Katrine that is just awful! Abuse is not abuse if you don't remember it - how or why the people who are employed by social services enter the 'caring' profession beats me. They so clearly do not care.
     
  13. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,856
    England
    #13 Katrine, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
    Those were my (ironic) words, not theirs. I just think they could not recognise that they had been unintentionally abusive and trivialised the temporary upset on the basis that she wouldn't remember it.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack your post. I'm just adding to the SW bashing! Some of them are brilliant. These two were just well-meaning muppets with no real understanding of dementia. The main one said he'd just been on a course. Well that's all right then. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    2,734
    South
    Please do go to the ombudsman. They will look at it from outside and it shows the SS you mean business. I know it's another faff but it really is worth it - to help your mum and to try and stop them behaving like that with others in future.

    I went to the ombudsman about my local council and had all three of the aspects of my complaint upheld. The council then tried it on again afterwards and I just emailed the ombudsman and said "are they allowed to do this?" A week later I got a further letter of apology and an agreement they shouldn't have done what they did.

    (I've also gone to the phone ombudsman and was successful in that case too.)
     
  15. milly01

    milly01 Registered User

    Aug 27, 2014
    8
    Staffordshire
    Social Serivices

    I am sorry to hear your your woes with social services. Please be very careful, professional and record every interaction and email your notes to them, keeping an audit trail of all correspondence. I and my family have experienced nothing other than incompetency and lies in are dealings with them. When mum was in respite she had two capacity assessments by leading clinicians and was informed by SS that she was to stay in a residential setting, all against her will. Mum was 92, partially blind, incontinent, has vascular dementia, alzhemiers and severe mobility problems. Mum lives in a terraced house with no down stairs bathroom and cannot access the stairs. After her financial assessment they realised that the house which is more of a liability than an asset and not worth more than 70K which would be split between 3 grandchildren and two siblings could not be used to fund her residential home fee, due to tenancy in-common between the three of us. You could not believe how quickly they overturned the clinicians capacity assessment. Unfortunately the damage had already been done, Mum was returned home last year (April) and refuses to speak to her children and my daughter saying we were trying to put her into a home and sell the house. SS have overturned our LPA, we did not contest as how could we look after her finances if she will not speak to us? What is worse however is they have never taken charge of her finances and nothing has come out of her bank account other than the DDs which I still look after. I do not even know how she is funding her food, hair, cloths etc, I have had calls from outpatients appointment for her glaucoma saying she has missed 3 appointments, the list goes on. Every time I complained SS just say that she has capacity and will address my concerns to her. She cant see the paper they are written on!! Now they have applied to the court of protection in a direct attack at me because I have made too many waves.

    I complained about the dom care company that looked after her before she went into respite (due to a fire in her home) they assured me that if and when she went home they would use a different company. Guess what, no they are using the same bunch of useless !!!

    Just be very careful, keep meticulous records of everything even down to buying a pint of milk.

    The only thing I have been guilty of is being naive.
     
  16. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Registered User

    Sep 13, 2013
    17
    I'm not sure you'll get much joy going to the Ombudsman. I spent months going down that route after Mum was neglected by her so-called carers and was financially ripped off in the process. The Ombudsman just wouldn't listen to me. So frankly, SS departments can continue doing as they please in the safe knowledge that the Ombudsman, or anyone else for that matter, will do nothing to hold them to account.
     
  17. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    99
    Gloucestershire
    I read all your posts with sadness. I too have had problems with SS and two complaints later and Inhave got nowhere. My Dad had moderate depression alongside vascular dementia and his GP and dementia nurse have insisted he have as much cognitive stimulation as possible to keep the depression in check. The depression will cause a more rapid deterioration in his dementia condition. Unfortunately Dad is not self funding and SS have ignored his clinician's care plan and reduced his daycare funding (which was put in place as an emergency due to his low mood and risk of harm) saying that they do not believe the link between increased cognitive stimulation and improved mood in dementia patients, despite it being a well known thing and widely researched. They just make it up to suit themselves. Dad is 'over budget' their words, not mine, and so his daycare is reduced. I believe this puts him at risk and so do his clinicians. I have tried everything. I even wrote to my MP six weeks ago who hasn't even replied to me. There is a general election coming up and he doesn't want to get involved in an issue that might be controversial.
    I feel very alone. There is no one to help.
     

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