Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Computer says "No"

I'm still battling on with Social Services.  The review worker has suddenly changed her tune and is claiming the need for a third annual review this year stems from them not completing the second review.  I think that's odd because they made no indication that they hadn't finished and they asked me to sign the Direct Payments Agreement at the end of the meeting.  Now you don't normally ask people to sign things before the meeting is over, do you?

Anyway, she asked me to email the team manager, apparently she didn't want to talk to me on the phone.  I asked her several questions about policy and got a very interesting reply.

Regarding the often quoted "three hour rule" for domestic support the team manager explained the situation.

There is no written policy.

The review workers were essentially right when they said they couldn't give me more than three hours.  It's all because the computer says "no".  When they write up their review using the review software there is a drop down box offering four options regarding domestic tasks:
  • Support needed to learn new skills to enable completing household tasks (up to an hour a week)
  • Able to complete a few household tasks (up to 2 hours per week)
  • Support needed to complete all household tasks (up to 3 hours per week)
  • No support needed
So the maximum they can enter on the computer is three hours.  The team manager apologised that I was informed that it was Nottinghamshire County Council policy, she explained it was purely a misunderstanding and she promised to review their procedures.

I can't believe they made all that fuss over something that wasn't even policy!  It will be interesting to see if my Freedom of Information request comes up with the same answer.  Someone must have told the review workers that it was policy because at least two of them told me, with absolute certainty, that it was policy and the three hours were specifically divided into one hour for cleaning, one hour for laundry and one hour for essential food shopping.

I still have a few questions outstanding and I have no choice but to sit through yet another annual review but I really hope things can get sorted this time because the stress is having a negative impact on my health and it really is no fun.

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