Saturday, 2 September 2006

Yesterday, Today ... and Tomorrow ?

Yesterday I wrote:

Today I learned that a Director of Social Services in another County (where they still call them Social services) has resigned because he is not prepared to implement the effects on service provision of imposed budget cuts. I wish all Directors in all Counties would do the same.

Then there would be such a national kurfuffle that my need to throw a little tantrum would fade away and be unnecessary. I wish.

So for the moment I hear my inner child shouting "Shan't" .

I shall not comply with Dorset Adult Services (its name this month, last month it was called Social Care & Health) requirement that I submit to being visited for a Fair Charging Assessment. Not until they have provided disabled facilities in my home.

I shall not comply with my contractual obligation under Direct Payments to submit my accounts for the last eighteen months to County Hall for review. Not until they have provided disabled facilities in my home.

I cannot accept that waiting and waiting and waiting is a reasonable thing for me to do.

Nothing has happened to my request for wheelchair access and disabled facilities in my home. A request made in April 2003, a request assessed as eligible by Dorset Social Care & Health in April 2005. I am still waiting. We don't even have plans, let alone planning permission, funding, building contractors, start date, move out, finish date, move back in.

Yesterday I walked around my home hanging onto everything solid.
Today I have tripped over again.
Yesterday I was too tired to cook a meal, again.
Today I felt despondent.
Today I am thinking I should let rip and apply to the Local Government Ombudsman to review my experience.

But I'm tired.

What really depresses me is that this is happening all over the country, for very many other disabled people. I am depressed because life for me is good in so many ways, in ways that are not available to other disabled people. I am fighting for quality of life. Others are fighting for basic aspects of life that I have already achieved. Others are unable to fight. Others do not know how to fight.

I have fought, and these are the results of my past battles:
I have a wheelchair accessible vehicle and an electric outdoor wheelchair so I have independence. I am not dependent, waiting for someone to take me out of the house.
I have a garden that I can sit in and trundle around in my outdoor wheelchair, when the ground is dry.
I have a paid PA for one session a week, so I can go out and do what I want to do, where I want to go, some of the time.
I have employed home helps so my house gets cleaned, my laundry done, my food shopping, all the essentials, just enough.

At any time I could loose these services through worsening health resulting in my no longer beinging able to stand up for myself (sat down) when some budget-cut Implementor says I no longer meet their higher eligibility criteria for services, and I would not be able to do anything to stop a slow slide into a lower quality of life.

So I want the rules to change, no, I want Dorset 'Adult Services' aka Social Care and Health to adhere to the rules, so that Social Care provision does, in effect, change and for that I want staff attitudes and staff commitment to change, for the better, and be better funded. From the Director of Adult Services/Social Care and Health/Social Services,. right down to the local office Team Leaders; I want change in the attitudes and committment of those bosses who argue against their front line staff who assess disabled peoples' needs as eligible; those bosses who put pressure on front line staff because there is not sufficient budget to provide for the service users' assessed eligible needs.

Today, I am tired.

Everything would be more manageable and less tiring with an indoor electric wheelchair and adapations. Physical fatigue leads to brain fatigue, cognitive dysfunction leads to worry, all lead to mild depression.

Tomorrow may be better.


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