I’m going to out myself. This was meant to be a secret until later on this year but I’ve been so shocked by some figures I’ve been totting up the last few days, I’m going to let you into my secret early. I’ve been writing a 2016 diary with the aim of publishing it as a book in early 2017. The intention is that it will be an extension of this blog: a combination of Steven’s funniest moments of the year, coupled with a chronicle of what life is like when you are caught up in the social care system. In my diary, I’ve been recording the amount of time, I spend on social care bureaucracy.
I hope you’ve heard of Chris Hatton. In case you haven’t, Chris is the genius statistician for Justice for LB. He also produced a phenomenal daily blog for Seven Days of Action revealing all the stats around ATUs. This blog is my doffing my cap to Chris.
I was never much interested in the kind of stats we did in Maths at school. But I have always been interested in stats that interest me. For about four years from 1973 to 1977, I used to lie in bed and write down the latest Top 20 as announced on Radio Luxemburg. At the end of the year, I would compile stats that I assumed the world wanted to know. I would engage everyone and anyone with my findings and expected them to be knocked for six. “Uncle Bob – Did you know that in 1973/74, The Sweet spent longer at number two than any other act?”. Uncle Bob feigned interest but he was probably more interested in sorting out the puncture on his bike. Similarly, as an avid supporter of Southall Football Club, I would regale my schoolmates with my revelations: “Trevor. Guess what? In season 1975/76, Tony Capp wore the number seven shirt 34 times, the number eight shirt 8 times and the number 4 shirt twice”. Trevor would grunt an acknowledging humph and get back to trying to light his farts.
But I digress. We are 142 days into 2016. Here is the schedule of time I have spent on social care admin/bureaucracy/bollocks so far this year:
26 hours: Sorting out the bank accounts to meet the OPG requirements.
39 hours: Sorting out the mistake HMRC made in assuming I had a debt in the support worker’s tax payments.
11 hours: Sorting out Steven’s rehousing. (Haven’t even got out of the starting blocks with that one yet).
21 hours: Doing the support workers’ wages.
10 Hours: Doing the LA’s Personal Budget monthly audit.
8 hours: Filling out this year’s two quarterly tax returns for the support workers’ tax and NI.
5 Hours: Doing the OPG annual report of my deputyship of Steven’s finances.
3 hours: Carers Assessment.
That’s 123 hours and we’re only in May.
Just imagine that I got paid the hourly Personal Budget rate for all that work. I would be £1319.79p better off.
If I was to equate that to my average charge for an hour long counselling session I would be £3075.00 better off. I guess that you could argue that having to do all this admin has made me £3075 worse off because I have been unable to earn whilst doing these tasks.
And just think what I could have done with those 123 hours had I not been up to my wrists in audit reports? As my Uncle Bob might have said about the failure of The Sweet to hit number one, “It doesn’t bear thinking about Mark”.