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What rights do we have with regards to social workers?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by mydiamondmum, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. mydiamondmum

    mydiamondmum Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    125
    Hi I am quite new to the forum so hope that I am posting in the right place.

    Hope that someone can advise on the following.

    I am very disappointed with my mother’s new social worker. My mother went into a temporary care home last December awaiting sheltered housing.

    Following 12 stays in hospital last year. She was allocated an NHS social worker who was lovely kind and efficient.

    Since August this year mum has been allocated a new social worked from her local authority.

    Right from the start I noticed how different she was from the previous one. Her voice is hard and uncaring, but up until mid-October we haven’t really had any dealings with her.

    A place has recently come up in extra care social sheltered housing so now we need her to help to ease the transition so that things go smoothly I need to have everything in place so that mum does not suffer any stress through the move.

    A day centre for example is very important because my mother’s health suffers if she gets lonely. They have a communal lounge but it does not seem to be used much apart from a DVD night on a Friday. Staff tells me that residents are either in their rooms or at day centres.

    I have been chasing her since 22nd October to get back to me with questions I need answers to before I sine the residency agreement but I get either out of office replies or she is in a meeting or if I do speak to her she just seems to not really know what she is doing and seems to fob me off referring me to the website about the day centre when really only she can arrange this.

    She is vague on the phone and when I got quite impatient with her the other day when she only just started to answer my questions last Wednesday 11th November she said my name loudly and patronisingly like I was a naughty child being out spoken to her.

    I have raised my concerns with her team leader. I have asked if she can be replaced by another social worker. I am waiting to hear back.

    Many questions I have asked even by email have just been ignored.

    Do I have any rights as my mother’s only relative to insist that she is allocated another social worker?

    I have found this all very stressful as there are so many things that I need to sort out in connections with the move that I can’t start to sort out until the social worker gets her act together.

    She even misrepresented one of our telephone conversations copied in to her line manager to make herself look better claiming that she clearly told me something when in in fact she hadn’t.

    What rights do I have as my mother’s only relative?

    I do have Power of Attorney.

    Thank you all.
    Best wishes.
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,598
    Female
    Scotland
    I have had dealings with one incompetent SW and she vanished into thin air when I suspect too many complaints were made against her. I never did find out exactly what happened. Her replacement took several weeks to catch up but did get the situation sorted. The NHS staff in the shape of CPNs etc are much more satisfactory but without knowing what is going on inside the system there is not a lot you can do except complain.
     
  3. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,111
    You have PoA.
    Use that to start asking questions, direct, don't bother with the SW. Ask the daycentre the questions, you want answering.

    Bod
     
  4. mydiamondmum

    mydiamondmum Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    125
    Thank you for your reply marionq.

    Bod, when I spoke with the day centre the manager said that the referal could only be done by the social worker and she could only liaise via her. I did not mention that I had POA does that mean that in fact I can refer my mother myself?

    I thought that there had been changes to the law this year which meant that they needed to take more care and take into consideration the input of family members.

    Thank you for your replies

    Best wishes
     
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,496
    Female
    London
    If it's a day centre that social services will pay for, then you can't just refer yourself. POA has nothing to do with it. Unless you don't mind paying for a private day centre yourself, it has to go through the proper channels, but if you feel obstructed by your current social worker through unwillingness, indifference, laziness or incompetence, go one higher and complain.
     
  6. Kitten71

    Kitten71 Registered User

    Jul 22, 2013
    157
    East Yorkshire
    We also had an unsatisfactory local authority social worker. He did not appear to have a compassionate bone in his body. When he declared dad a 'no hope' case (his actual words!) I saw red and rang his boss. I asked if we could be assigned someone else as he clearly didn't have dad's best interests at heart and the lady I spoke to said they didn't like to transfer cases and if we could come to a resolution would I be prepared to continue working with our original man? I said I wouldn't be as I didn't feel he understood dad's needs and a few days later, we were contacted by someone new. She has proved to be fantastic, so stick with it and complain until you get someone better. Best of luck :)
     
  7. Kitten71

    Kitten71 Registered User

    Jul 22, 2013
    157
    East Yorkshire
    Also, have a read of The Care Act. It's a bit meaty but you might find something in there that you can throw at your local authority. It's all about them providing the best care, support and information possible.
     
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    You can ask for another social worker - if the team manager is good she will make sure that you get one to avoid any formal complaints if for no other reason.

    Is there likely to be a problem with the day centre as other residents attend it is probably the accepted thing to do? I'm so surprised that there isn't more going on, usually extra care are good at events etc - they often have a good team around them.

    If you are sure about the housing don't lose the place, the day centre is a separate issue.

    I would phone every day until you get someone, if necessary phone twice a day - i can almost guarantee they will respond on a 'he who shouts loudest principle' Don't wait any longer just shout, loud and often
     
  9. mydiamondmum

    mydiamondmum Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    125
    Thank you so much for your support everyone I feel more empowered now.:)

    Best wishes :)
     
  10. Kitten71

    Kitten71 Registered User

    Jul 22, 2013
    157
    East Yorkshire
    Another thing you could do is call the Alzheimer's Society helpline. I've spoken to them recently and they were fantastic! They may be able to give you some advice on how best to request a new social worker. The lovely lady I spoke to, Donna, gave me some great hints and tips on forming an agenda and questions to ask our new social worker. I rang up a sobbing wreck. An hour later, I was full of determination to get the best service I could for dad. They are most definitely worth a few minutes of your time :)
     
  11. mydiamondmum

    mydiamondmum Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    125
    Thank you all again for your supportive comments. I have not had time to post again since my last post as I have been getting my mother's new flat ready in sheltered housing.

    Kitten71 I can really relate to your post and know how you must have felt as I have felt the same way too.

    I have another post related but will make a separate posting.

    Regards mydiamondmum
     

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