Problems with Social Services


#1
I am having major problems with social services!

The carers that we currently have have not been doing their jobs properly - missing when my grandad wets the bed and not changing it, leaving the keys in the front door for anyone to take, not showering him or doing his laundry.
My grandad has been having carers since may 2011 with the same company that we have now.
I originally placed a complaint to the manager of the carers and social services back in September and have yet to have a response (constantly going at them for a response & eventually giving up as I wasnt getting anywhere, that and my grandad had told social services that I was making a complaint out of nothing as to him everything is fine) the manager of the carers has walked out of his job last week (w/c 13/2/12). Which has sent alarm bells ringing to me.

So I called the women in charge of my grandads case at social services and she suggested a personal budget (initially when she mentioned this I was to be in charge of his finances and do all the tax returns etc) but now she has said it goes through I suppose a umbrella company and they sort everything out as her opinion is that I should not be in charge of his finances or be a on call carer for him. She had said that the money that he pays now will not change, so I said what about if he needs extra calls - her response was "I have reassessed your grandad and he is a capable man who can make his own decisions, opinions etc and that when I have seen and spoken to him he has been absolutly fine because in his world everything is rosy".

My husband had voiced his concerns over 4 weeks ago with a letter to social services, he had no response at all and I mentioned this to her - her response was that my grandad did not feel that she should respond back to my husband as she can correspond via me expect she doesnt! She's told me that my grandad was shocked that my husband had written a letter, I have asked him each week if social services have called as they were making calls each week to him on spot visits to which I get either "no" or he cant remember. Which he has been told on numberous occasions that this letter had been written but as his short term memory is fragile, social services are under the impression that he was "kept in the dark about this letter" and nothing is going to be done. Which has left my husband and I fuming. As social services were ment to email my husband by the end of today with a delayed explaination to which we have nothing.

To top it off today, My grandfather has had constipation for the past few days and I have said that he has to drink more (he currently drinks 400ml of caffine and 500ml of juice daily) I said he has to drink at least 2litres a day. To which he hasnt followed my advice and didnt go to the day centre that he normally goes to on a monday due to being constipated. Instead of ringing me or going to the doctors, he has sat all day in pain doing nothing about it. I had a call about 4pm from the day centre saying that they hadnt picked him up and why - to which I rang him and told him to go to the doctors which he has finally done and has some medication for it. When asking him why he didnt ring me (as I was aware he was at day centre as hadnt recieved a call) he said he didnt want to disturb me.

How is anyone meant to help him if he wont let people know there is a issue?

Regarding Social services, what do I do? as concerns dont get answered, I have been told I am too involved and am not kept in the loop.
Because of his memory fraility and severe PD, I feel his care will suffer because he wont tell and because he feels he can cope on own.

#2
Lesley, hello it is very sad reading your post and to tell you the truth I sadly have no answers for you. I replied to your post because it has sat now for hours with no replies. Perhaps the other members have no answers for you either. Might I make a suggestion that perhaps you call your Grandad's GP or even the helpline on HELPLINE: 0808 800 0303.

I do so hope you find some answers.
All the very best to you and yours
Radz x

#3
Hi lesley83

This sounds like a really difficult situation for you and your family
As Radar 47 says, do contact the helpline. They may well be able to talk you through ways to take the matter futher.

We also have a network of local support workers across the country. They can help you raise the complaint and should have a good understanding of the local social service structures. You can find details of you local one at
http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/local_to_you/regional_teams.aspx

#4
Hello Lesley. Sorry I have no advice to give you. There are similarities to our situation with a relative. After several hospital admissions we just couldn't get her to understand the severity of the situation, in fact we realised that she would rather lose a leg than "bother the nurses" because they are "busy".
Even though she is home, and having visits from nurses, she still will not speak up for herself. We battle on, on her behalf, but it is an unending battle. All we can do is to keep trying, inspite of the system. best wishes, flo

#5
Very annoying! Unfortunately it seems social services just don't get it, however they don't have to live with it! Why don't you consider writing to your MP, and escalating it that way! All the best to you! x

#6
Hi Lesley,
Sorry but not surprised to hear of your problems with social services. I don/t have any answers I'm afraid. I have had problems with them too re my mother when she lived with me. We had agency carers coming in and there were problems but soc services didn't want to know because Mum was self funding. I think she might have been able to stay living with me instead of going into a home if the agency carer provision had been better.
There are two issues really. One is social services and the other is carer agencies. I trained as a social worker 20 years ago and quite frankly I was disgusted by the two so called social workers who came to see my mother while she was with me. Perhaps they weren't qualified, who knows. Anyway, they were as useful as a pair of chocolate tea pots.
Carer agencies seem to be variable but they have you over a barrel once you start using one. I was afraid to go elsewhere even though strongly suspect one carer stole jewellery from mum's room -reported to police. Also, now and again no-one turned up or they were very late which upset the PD medication routine terribly. We had a key safe of side of our house and once or twice it wasn't shut properly. I was out at work and became more and more anxious.

Didn't change agency: a) the cared for one gets used to some of the carers and trusts them (and some individuals are good) and b) you could end up with an even worse agency.

The whole system is pants. Does anyone on here know of a lobbying organisation for improving the situation? Not just for PD, it is the same for all elderly requiring support (and probably younger people needing this assistance too). The system just doesn't seem up to it and when I here of plans to increase numbers of people staying in their own homes it makes my blood run cold. Anyone with paid carers coming into their home becomes very vulnerable at a time when they are especially vulnerable anyway and this just doesn't seem to be adequately regulated.

This doesn't help you Lesley, sorry again. I suggest you find out the name of the social worker's manager and write to them and copy it to your local Director of Social Services or whichever senior manager is in charge of this area. Your local council will be able to tell you. As someone else suggested, you could copy in your MP.
All best wishes. Choogler

#7
hi sorry late to thread but i work for social services and although with kids we share some organisational issues. sorry going to give a list:-

1. Access the independent complaints unit they have to have one and tell them u already complained.
2. Contact the adult protection unit if your grandfathers care is 'Neglectful' they must investigate.
3. Contact any of the following councillor/CEO Council/MP/ Director adult services
4. Threaten the with human rights specifically degrading/inhuman treatment
5. Engage advocate age concern etc
6. Contact press.

in my experience all of the above will make them jump good luck!!

#8
i am a quilified carer and i did two days with an agency and i said i would never work for one again. they allacate the minamam amount of time with each cliant and they dont give enough time for getting from one client to the next so you end up taking it of the visit time. also if a client is not able to respond in the allocated time we are supposed to just do what we can..... also if client says they have washed or they dont want a wash etc we are by law not allowed to force them. its all to do with there humane rights.... yes i do know you get good and bad carers i have always prided myself that i was a good carer but the presures put on me to keep to time whilst doing a good a job was hard.i now do it privately and all the family has to understand is if i am ill there is no backup ie someone else going into there relative. so far in 10 years i've not missed a day. the last straw i had was i whent into a lady i was all smiles and said good morning mrs ******** and she attacked my with her handbag yes i was frightened because i was on my own and as much as she was vunreble so was i. so with hindsite i would not have agency staff in if/when my hubby needs help. i will have his budget and hire private.... i suppose we are better off then a lot of people cos i'm 22 years younger than him