A Costly Day Out
Yesterday, I stumbled across the webpage for Hillingdon’s newish and one remaining day centre. There used to be five day centres. They closed and were replaced by Hubs. And then the Hubs faded away and were replaced by “non building based drop in facilities”. This is social care speak for a silent two hours in Costa’s. The new day centre certainly looks good. Hydrotherapy pool, a sensory ” snoozelum”, art room etc etc. Day centres aren’t really Steven’s thing but I clicked on the link “how to access the Centre”. The inevitable needs assessment. And then the cost…
£85 a day.
That seemed incredibly expensive to me. But what do I know. Social care is predominantly about market forces, so that may be the going rate. A Facebook friend told me that in her area the charge is £90 per day if you bring your own support, rising to £110 per day if you need support from the Centre staff.
Then a friend on Twitter told me that in her area, people are charged £90 per day for working in the garden centre. It seems the LA can get away with that by calling the activity ” training” instead of work. And you can be in training for years.
I thought about what Steven might call a perfect day out. It would start with an all day wristband at a theme park (£25). A buffet lunch at Pizza Hut (£10). A post lunch swim at the local pool (£3). Perhaps catch a film at the cinema (£10). And then stop off at HMV on the way home to buy the latest Tremeloes CD (£5.99). He’d still have change from his £85 to go to an evening concert to see an Abba tribute band.
We hear a lot about the financial abuse of vulnerable people. It is nearly always about family members ripping them off. My anxiety levels are sky high every time I complete the OPG audit or the monthly personal budget return in case something I have got Steven is deemed as abuse.
But as Sara Ryan often points out, the spotlight on the family is always about suspicions, whereas the State, just because it’s the State, is above suspicion. Families are erratic and not to be trusted, whilst the State is the pillar of integrity. It’s absolute bollocks of course, but there is a deep investment in maintaining this nonsense polarity.
I think charging £85 per day for a state run facility is financial abuse. I think charging someone £90 per day, for years, for training at a garden centre is a safeguarding issue.
I also think that if I said that out loud, I’d just be laughed at.
From → Social Care