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Horses For Courses

September 5, 2014

My apologies for returning to a familiar theme but it’s one of those days.

Two phone calls: one to social care, the other to the psychiatrist. In an ideal world I would chose to phone neither. But Steven had his six monthly check up this morning, so needed to talk to the psychiatrist before the appointment.

First up though – social care. Now that Steven has his personal budget, his file is closed, so I just spoke to an anonymous person in the duty team. I wanted to sound them out about my plan to spend 2 nights at the new flat and whether his care plan could be adjusted or whether it required a complete reassessment. We didn’t get very far because the conversation quickly became about money. Not about need. Not about me stating that I would not be available to provide Steven’s care 2 nights a week. No, it was about how much his personal budget would have to be increased by and whether panel would sanction it.

Next up was the psychiatrist and I told him how, since Steven came off the medication, his sleep has reduced to four/five hours per night. I said that I’ve been finding it difficult to manage on little sleep. The psychiatrist said that they see reduced sleep as “a warning sign”. I asked him what it was a warning sign of and he replied, ” that all is not well”. Needless to say, his response was to introduce more medication. I muttered that I felt that might be a regressive step but he was on a roll.

So that’s that. With an LA it is all money – with the psychiatrist it is all about medication. Should I be surprised? Its always that way. Why should I expect a psychiatrist to think about anything other than tablets? What the dickens is someone with autism doing seeing a psychiatrist anyway? Of course, he is going to pass anything he’s told through a medical, medicating filter. The same with the LA. We know its not about meeting needs. We know its not about fulfilling their statutory duties. Its always about money.

More fool me for thinking I could have the conversation on any other level.

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From → Social Care

6 Comments
  1. meg permalink

    I empathise and share your frustration Mark. I am frequently left wondering where the ‘care’ has gone from the care services and who they serve?

  2. You always feel you have to keep trying though……
    I suppose it’s hope springs eternal and all that!

  3. Jayne knight permalink

    Hell Mark. Wouldn’t it be great to ring and what you get us someone saying ” hey Mark things are looking up aren’t they?” Great stuff, little steps, big steps, knowing that you can rely in their support. As a counsellor you must despair for all the times people do that to you and you are there for them in their need and you get complete shite.
    Don’t know what more to say other than keep in there. So many of us behind you. They had better not try anything on because the full force will come against them this time.
    Take care and look forward to your time. It will come

  4. You get complete shite when you need it. I write badly on a Friday after two glasses!

  5. Sally permalink

    I’m very sorry you are dealing with a duty worker on very little sleep.
    Our Borough has also insitiuted the scheme of moving everybody on to Duty come Hell or high water There ,of course ,go the obligations of a named worker, to intiate contact, review how a person is and so on. And not too many people with LD and/or ASD will initiate a phone call themselves if they need help, so there’s less work.
    It also means that rather than calling a named worker who, you hope, is familiar with the situation you must explain things from the beginning. If the Duty worker needs to bring in someone more senior or fails to call you back, you must call and start all over again with the next DW. Not only is this frustrating and exhausting, you have a greatly increased chance of getting terrible advice and having to fight for assistance as a result of the person being poorly informed.Rather than jumping to bickering about funding the worker should have let you spell out exactly what the situation was and what you were proposing, then discussed it with whoever would need to OK it.

    I’m not sure what you wanted from the psychiatrist. He can only consider medication, assess for mental illness, come up with ideas for the origins and hopefully the managment of behavior which is problematic.He can empathsise, but I think you might need more than empathy on so little sleep.I would!

    Of course people with ASD can also have mental illnesses just like everybody else, but medication can be effective with anxiety/rigidity in thinking etc which can be such a feature in ASD. Problem is, as has been said before, medication is being over used, used without regular review by a consultant, used without a rationale and a date set for a trial period and used in isolation.

    You can’t just say a certain behavior is a “warning sign” and leave it at that. “All is not well.” What does he mean?

  6. Karen permalink

    Panel will sanction it if the alternative is 7 nights a week! Psycho sees opportunity to increase income from Pharmaceutical company! Everyone has a motivator…….

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