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Re: Social Care, Supported Living, Carers

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  • Re: Social Care, Supported Living, Carers

    I have started this thread to try to highlight the difficulties of dealing with Social Services particularly if you have a vulnerable adult in your family. We could write a book on this subject as canmany others but in these days of financial constraint Social Services departments are trying to foist on to unsuspecting families just about every confidence trick in the book.

    It is wise to get a firm handle on the regulations and various laws which govern such care.

    From our experiences, I will give a brief background. Mrs G has a younger brother (now 58 years old) who has been mentally handicapped since birth due to his mother’s exposure to a Rubella infection during pregnancy. Unfortunately he fell between two stools as regards his capabilities, a sort of “halfway house” situation. His parents passed away 12 years ago now and the battle for his care and support fell upon remaining siblings and their respective spouses. His physical health also has deteriorated in recent years making him somewhat frail and further deterioration of his mental capability due to the onset of dementia has exacerbated his problems.

    That is the back ground. Social Services have put the family through hoops of fire in those 12 years without any real resolution to his problems or long term care. This led to Mrs G and myself looking very carefully into the law surrounding these situations and came to some surprising findings where Social Services were and are flouting the Law. The SAGA website is a good starting point strangely enough. This is certainly the case in the Metropolitan Borough we are talking about and certainly one big City Council from recent decisions in the High Court against them. In our own case my brother in law was sectioned under 3 of the Mental Health Act just after his father finally passed away 12 years ago, (the first of several times as time passed). This was carried out by the social worker and a doctor he had brought to the case. This social worker had invoked the Human Rights Legislation to allow my BIL to stay in the large three bedroomed council house that had been the family home, to live alone with visiting carers whilst he really needed full time care.Of course the care package fell apart and following complaints by neighbours etc. the section order was brought. This was the first again of several attempts and abject failures of “care in the community”. All carried out against the wishes of his family.
    What most people do not realise (including, we have found, outmost councils and social workers) is that once this has happened, i.e. a section order under section 3, section 117 of the Mental Health Act kicks in immediately and the local authority concerned becomes TOTALLY responsible financially for any and all care that the vulnerable person requires for the REMAINDER OF THEIR LIVES. Social Services become very embarrassed and annoyed once families make them aware that they know of this situation and the loved one(s) are subject in fact to a section117 order.

    However the latest dream of care in the community is a fantasy (for many vulnerable adults) scheme called variously “SupportedLiving”, “Assisted Living” or “Supportive Living”. This is little more than a growing industry ( very profitable for a few businesses) which is a financial confidence trick being foisted on to unsuspecting families, council taxpayers and a hiving off of their Statutory obligations by Social Services departments also being exploited by Primary Care NHS Trusts. The latest manifestation that they have tried on with us is that they give us an agreed lump sum each week based on BIL’s “personal budget” that they have allocated and that we with their help get him to sign up a tenancy agreement on a property and that we employ carers and specialist nursing that he requires now. This is for a person who is not considered in law of sound enough mind to sign a lasting power of attorney (either financial or health and welfare). He is not of sound enough mind we are told to even sign the consent form for a minor surgical procedure he is in desperate need of to make his life more comfortable and none of the carers, next of kin (Mrs G’sElder brother) are acceptable signatories either. We have spoken with HMRC about this scheme and their opinion is that we should NOT AT ALL get involved in any such scheme. To remain safe clean and above board we would have to register with them as a business, have all the responsibility of national insurance, holiday pay and all of the trappings of proper employer. HMRC do have legitimate schemes various to help families in this position but the safest way is to register as a business and run the care packages as a business. Not a very good prospect when all of the costs of insurances (PL, EL, Statutory sick pay) are taken into account and of course the compulsory pension packages now in force. It is matters such as this that Social services can pay for, but have no Statutory obligation to pay for and hence they WON’T pay. That is without the potential for having to register with the Care Quality Commission and pass their stringent requirements for a business to offer care of this nature.

    BIL at a recent placement forced upon us by Social Services(before we became more aware of the law) was being abused physically, mentally and financially and we discovered that “Adult Safeguarding” is nothing more than an ineffectual joke with owners of transgressing care providers being allowed to sit on the committees investigating the complaints against them with a vote!

    However, this family sought out and found very specialist legal advice, to whom Social Services and the Metropolitan Borough Council refuse to respond. It is not necessarily cheap but is priceless if you have a loved one in this terrible situation. The course of action now being taken is that two members of the direct family are applying to the Court of Protection for a “Deputyship”, meaning that they essentially become Officers of the Court answering to the Public Guardian’s office. There are responsibilities attached to this. The Deputyship falls into two distinct areas (for lay people like ourselves) very similar to the Lasting Power of Attorney procedures now in place. Normally the Court grant the Financial portion without question in toto and the Welfare section may be split but not always into various “aspects” some of which or all may be granted by the Court.This means that either Deputy will be able to sign the medical consent forms, now so necessary without further ado and that Social Services will NOT be able to even draw breath in BIL’s case without the express permission of the Deputies. If Social Services do so then a report can be made to the Public Guardian by the deputy, and they will then act with the full force of the High Court as we are talking about very vulnerable people and often very ill people.As these orders may take three to four months to go through, the Court can be asked (as we have done) for an interim forthwith type order. It is worth getting a legal professional to deal with all this as it is very much like the Lasting Power of Attorney documentation which MUST be absolutely correct otherwise the Court will throw it out and a new application will have to be made with all the costs that does incur. Legal fees, for our family to draw up all the forms, are going to be £850 and the court fees are £400. However if all done correctly the legal representatives can seek the indulgence of the Court and at their absolute discretion they may (and often do in these cases) waive the court fee where vulnerable people are concerned.

    Obviously there is much more involved with this case,including a Law Commission report and guidelines which came out last year which should have led to the start of draft legislation being drawn up in July 2012. I have not as yet been able to ascertain the status of this draft legislation. However from a 227 page document I was able to determine that the in their wisdom the Law Commission were endeavouring to close a gap in current legislation which, is being exploited immorally by Social Services departments and the NHS to abdicate their responsibilities to vulnerable people in positions similar to my BIL.

    I have bored you enough but am happy to discuss any further aspects of the experiences we have had to put up with from people who claim to be “professionals” in social care and inclusion.

    Best regards
    Last edited by garlok; 26 August 2013, 11:26.

  • #2
    Re: Social Care, Supported Living, Carers

    Too true. We were in the same position with my sister, also Rubella Syndrome and profoundly deaf. The 'care' home ignored us completely, managed by a witch, she went there when my mum couldn't cope with the tantrums any more (at 77). Social services do nothing but assume you are thick. They smile in your face and stab you in the back.

    We tried to get Power of Attorney and they blocked it. The carers took her on an expensive holiday costing £2000 as the carers accompany them and are all expenses paid, and then told us she could not pay her standard bills. Social Services came back saying they would vehemently defend any action to take over, and that she lacked the capability of signing what she had already signed for a solicitor and her doctor said she had the capacity. They would nto let her have a cataract operation, as she might not understand, rubbish she had it and could read again, only after we called in a specialist to back our request. They failed to notice she was ill and was taken to hospital for emergency surgery only when a sister went to visit. The care coordination includes a nurse who has never seen her, and never responds to communications.

    Anyway sadly she died recently. She had to have a postmortem and they found kidney defects and gullet defects probably due to her Rubella Syndrome.

    When speaking to the 'care' home we said although they were in charge of her finances we wanted to arrange the funeral and they let us. She had never stepped foot into a church since she was incarcerated. That was it no communication at all from the Social Services, no grants, nothing nowt, not even a card.

    They are evil money makers. The Social Services people are career monkies, and not care givers. Care homes are not social beneficences but investment opportunities, and the managers are no more than hotel owners. Individual workers are good and/or bad, they are earning a crust and taking advantage when they can. It is like the change for an church school to an academy nothing, not even ethics are the same.


    • #3
      Re: Social Care, Supported Living, Carers

      Hi Julian, I am sorry to hear of the problems you have had. But I could not agree more wi5th what you are saying. The state of adult care is appalling, absolutely rife with bribery and corruption. We were refused a meeting with the executive director of social care and inclusion until the BIL's MP got involved and the l0ocal newspaper. Within 20 minutes of the reporter getting the story we were invited to a full blown meeting.

      Just how bad this particular Council are was demonstrated as they suspended that director and a number of senior managers very soon after our meeting for what we do not know. the crowd that took over were even worse and a formal complaint was investigated by the woman the complaint was about so obviously she was not going to uphold our findings it might have affected her pension.

      However the moment we got a legal specialist professional involved who apparently is well known in the murky world of "care", they started to run very very scared. The most annoying thing about all this is that these cretins are paid with our money and the supervising manager of the adult safeguarding department in this council is a nationally known figure who laid down most of the criteria for an adult safeguarding investigation used as benchmarks nationwide. Not only did BIL exhibit one of the symptoms he exhibited ALL 5. Only one is required for the police mandatorily to be involved. This silly woman ran for the woodwork (or wetstone the moment this case fell into her lap).



      • #4
        Re: Social Care, Supported Living, Carers

        Don't know about your experience, but Rubella is a swine, leaving the unborn child with countless disabilities some hidden and some overt and worst still, as they are developmental, some do not surface until later in life. The worst part is that diagnoses are bad and where deafness is involved, there is very little help for the disability or the understanding of other less obvious issues.

        German Measles is not a mild disease for the unborn child and each and every child ought to be vaccinated against it, to prevent them from spreading it when they are older and infecting pregnant women. My Mum had no choice of a vaccine and caught the illness more than once. Although girls now have the choice of the vaccination, they have no idea what they could do to their lives and those of their families, if they decide to avoid it. Until you have been close to it, you don't.

        Good luck in your fight. SENSE may be of some assistance, they have an interest in Rubella Syndrome, although primarily focused on those who are deaf and deaf and blind.


        • #5
          Re: Social Care, Supported Living, Carers

          Thanks Julian. I did not know about SENSE. We also have an additional problem that we are trying to sort out in that there is no complete set of medical records for BIL. They are all fragmented contradictory and never together in one place at any one time for investigation to take place. All very much due to the BIL being pushed from pillar to post by Social Services and various Primary Care Trusts. An example being that currently he is "registered" with the Learning Disabilities Team which means that the Mental Health Team refuse to get involved with his case.


          He has been sectioned a number of times under section 3 of the Mental Health Act which defines his condition therefore as one of mental health. Hopefully this new legislation which has been promised will force the cretinous self seekers of the "care" industry public and private at least to learn how to do join up writing.

          One of the pieces of advice I would give to anyone who has a loved one in this sort of situation is that they should learn everything they can about the law, the regulations, the formal procedures and any scuttlebutt they can lay their hands on. That way you are in a position to constantly back foot Social Services and their cohorts. Once they realise that you know as much as them they run scared but will try anything they can to get you to agree to something and then throw it back in your face. The other thing we have done at every meeting (insisting that it be minuted and demanding copies of such minutes when they are written up) and with every piece of correspondence is to insist the family are not being obstructive at all but just looking after the best interests of a vulnerable adult at a sensible cost to the public purse.

          They are now so back footed by this approach that,as I said, they are refusing to correspond with the legal team we have put into place, only the family. All this of course will be placed before the Court in the submissions.

          best regards


          • #6
            Re: Social Care, Supported Living, Carers

            The problem with Rubella Syndrome is the wide and long list of disabilities. When she did not walk until 2, she was tested for deafness. She was declared deaf. It is only over the years that other issue showed up. She was slow at school from about 12, prior to that it was put down to deafness. The doctor suspected it could be Rubella, but nothing was confirmed. So cataracts, kidney, stomach, jaw and heart problems also surfaced over the years. Looking at the SENSE website confirmed it in capital letters for us. You just read and mentally tick off the symptoms.

            Funny that the LDT and SS don't agree. They play of each other and the cracks widen. Nothing seems to be shared and nothing seems to be documented to any standard. They also threaten with removing services and blackmail you into submission. They use the horrid terms of CLIENT and SERVICE USER to distance themselves from caring. They are people and deserve respect.

            The problem with psychiatric assessment is that the psychologist/psychiatrists are not familiar with the problems arising from Rubella Syndrome which messes up the brains wiring as well as the physical/sensory stuff. My sister had a breakdown after being pushed from YOP scheme to YOP scheme and then nothing. She talked to herself in the mirror and that was a way to express herself when others did not listen. She went off on 2-year -old type tantrums. As a result, she was on all sort of anti-psychotic drugs, which made her dozy. As there are only about 3 NHS psychiatrists for the deaf one for each region, it is extremely difficult to get an appointment. When we did the guy spoke with such a thick Indian accent we could not understand him, let alone the deaf patient. Anyway he did nothing.

            LDTs just want to get them a certificate cos 'they like certificates' - ie draw a picture and get a gold star. OK if they are really do not have any capability, but my sister could read, write and paint very well. She was not uneducated, but she was lumped in with people who could only just hold a pen and with a mental age of 2. The disabilities team does not discriminate, and they have their budgets which leads to a lot of frustration. Any and all disabilities are the same to them.

            I do wish you well.