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The Bath Is Everything

September 23, 2016

A classic example today of one of the great social care cons where your attention is forced in one direction whilst other more important issues are conveniently ignored.

Regular readers may remember that Steven’s new house has a shower and not a bath. I asked whether a bath could be installed on two grounds: sensory issues and safeguarding. The immediate response from Housing was “not on your nelly” but the social worker got the OT team involved and they agreed to a bath as long as there was a supporting letter from a medical professional.

Last week I phoned the surgery. Steven’s GP was on leave for the week but the practice manager took down all the details and promised to arrange a letter. Today I went to collect it and something seemed very familiar. The two paragraph letter used exactly the same words that I’d given to the practice manager. It was my letter! And I was charged £30 for the honour. I dropped the letter off at the Civic Centre and will now sit back and wait.

The bath has become the sole focus for the council. Yesterday I was told that my request for an overlapping payment of HB whilst we get the house ready was dependent on the GP’s letter about the bath. But it’s not the bath that has held up the move. It is making the house habitable, decorating, cleaning and carpeting that has taken up the whole of the last fortnight. None of that matters to HB as they don’t want to make a two homes payment, so the whole issue becomes the bath. Genius misdirection.

Yesterday, I received an email asking whether I’d like the input of the MDT “to help Steven with the transition”. Thanks but no thanks. For starters, we’ll probably have celebrated our first Christmas in the new house before the MDT machine clunks into action. Secondly it assumes that the MDT have an area of expertise that I nor the support workers have. I don’t want to engage with that self perpetuating illusion. The reason their expertise was offered was that it would entail enlisting a whole team of professionals. All those cogs in the machine whirring into life. The more people involved, the more important the issue must be. I’m not ungrateful. If the offer was genuine, it could be useful. But this is about job justification and peoples’ sense of self importance rather than being a useful intervention.

This morning, I totted up the spend so far. £5128.79p. Most of that because the council refuse to fulfill their statutory duties. All because they expected Steven to move immediately to an uninhabitable property. All because nobody does anything really useful. But all that will be ignored because the bath has become everything.

I can imagine, in two months time, dropping the bombshell that Steven loves the shower and we don’t really need a bath.

What would happen to the MDT machine then?

 

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6 Comments
  1. could you request that your GP practice refund Steven’s £30 , they need not have charged. Discretionary HB is an entirely reasonable request for essential works in an extremely reasonable timeframe, appeal any decision against Steven. I am in no way being flippant , I am a fellow traveller , please for the sake of those with no one supporting hold them to account. Just returned home from visiting someone who moved over six months ago living alone and in chaos. Hit back hard, rest and bawl later.

  2. A number of things.
    Yes, one issue at a time for a whole MDT doesn’t meet ‘complex needs’, but MDTs for learning disabilities really seem less able to multi-task.
    MDTs in the mainstream world, however, seem to handle much more, where there aren’t special needs.
    Mainstream MDTs seem actually more specialist to me. Seriously. I saw my mother’s team in action and I had total admiration.

    My GP wouldn’t have charged £30, just so you know.
    And also, my son’s home move is happening now, to a bare and hazardous environment, which is adaptable, but MDT aren’t effective enough to ensure adaptations before the move happens, and I see ‘job justification and people’s sense of self worth’ may be a constant wish for some, though others will verbalise support – I’ll still do most work.
    Parents are 24/7, MDTs are 1hour in 3 months and the service world are probably 5/7.

  3. a great example of how ‘co-production’ ie actually listening to what you and Steven were telling them would have saved the council thousands. Why is it so hard for them to understand that they are not really the experts in all this? But could enable great things to happen none the less.
    Another example of how social care has gone all ‘prog rock’ and needs it’s ‘punk’ moment!

  4. techiebabe permalink

    Hi Mark. What’s MDT? All Google will help me towards is Maggot Debridement Therapy. While this may be ideal to tidy up the brains of those in command, I’m guessing it’s not what you had in mind.

    • yes confirmation needed , is that the do dilly dally on the way crew that show up around two weeks after the move has taken place for a fly by .

    • Haha. It might as well be! It is multi disciplinary team.

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