When a care agency, doesn’t…

by Pseud O'Nym

I wrote in my first blog that I would alternate blogs between my own situation and those of a wider significance. Mainly because writing about me is of little or no interest to me or anyone else, not when there are far more interesting things happening to write about.
However, of late this self-imposed rule has been broken for wholly understandable reasons. Firstly there was the election, and as anyone who knows me is well aware, I am inordinately fascinated with politics and secondly, because the election result made me a very unhappy chappy, I necessarily wrote about me and my own concerns.

So there I was earlier today thinking about my blog and how I would suggest that the Queens speech was less of a sequel to ‘The Kings Speech’, than more ‘This is Spinal Tap’. That will have to wait until next week. And believe you me it’s worth the wait! They do say that inspiration comes in the most unlikely of forms, and in my case inspiration for this blog came in the unlikely form of a manager from my care agency that had been dispatched to account for the unaccountable.

Anyone who has read my blog will be aware that I depend to some degree on my support workers to assist me with my daily activities. Previously, when a support worker was leaving they conducted a handover shift, whereby they would show the new support worker exactly what needed to be done, and more importantly what worked in practice. Unsurprisingly, and as my previous blog pointed out, this hasn’t happened. Matthew, my former support worker, tells of a similar lack of foresight befalling his other clients. The fact that I am not alone in this is of no comfort whatsoever.

My care agency charges me a management fee for every hour a support worker works with me. I’m severely tempted to report them to the police for obtaining money under false pretences for doing so, because there is scant attempt at the management of my care. Meaning that the money I pay them to manage is tantamount to fraud on their part. This puts me in mind of Alan Clark’s – yes that one – history of the First World War ‘The Donkeys’. He was of the opinion that the soldiers in the trench were badly served by their commanding officers, basing his title on the widespread belief that they were ‘lions led by donkeys’. The similarity with my support workers is pretty much the same.

So it was with an air of affected enthusiasm that I wore like a badly fitting suit for the meeting with Alopecia this morning. She apologised for the mistakes’ that had happened in the past with all the sincerity of someone who’s keen to move on from them with all the haste of a sex addict at an orgy! She was sympathetic to my plight and eager to find solutions, if only I could think of them. Thankfully, sitting on my right – does that make her my right hand woman – was Old Blue Eyes. As I’ve noted before she has not so much gone the extra mile on my behalf as run a marathon in a world record time. She also has the ability – which I do not – of remaining focused on the long-term goal and not getting side tracked by irrelevancies. By irrelevancies I mean the woeful lack of any management style that is either effective or designed with that goal in mind. I liken their management style to fire fighting inasmuch as they react to immediate situations and seem incapable of planning in advance. I bet the old rope shop next to their offices does a roaring trade.

She was quick to suggest that a new chapter was to be written by her, one that would fully meet my expectations. I, however was doubtful about this, a feeling not helped by her showing me a profile of a support worker which began “I am a Christian”. Anyone who knows me will be aware that is like a red rag to a bull – or it would be if it weren’t for the fact that bulls are colour blind to red. She then enquired about any speech or language input, and upon hearing that we were going to try someone out but that there was nothing definite, she was quick to offer her services to introduce us to a speech and language therapist in Harley Street. Only a cynic like me would think that some form of finders fee was involved. The meeting ended with her rather optimistic assertion that things were on an upward trajectory.

If however, the chapter she had been writing had indeed existed, someone had unfortunately pressed the delete button on the entire works! Within minutes of her departing I received an email from the care agency which put another nail in the coffin of their competence. The email was a rota for the next two weeks, informing me of the people who would be covering my shifts. Imagine my delight when I discovered that out of the eight possible shifts only three were covered. This joy was further heightened by the fact that even though the rota clearly stated that only 18 hours would be worked, the total amount of chargeable hours had magically grown to 40 hours. No doubt they’ll blame this on an administrative error but it is odd, is it not, that all administrative errors are always seem to be at your expense, never theirs. Funny that!

Next time…How the Queens Speech is a bit like Spinal Tap…