I’m humming an old tune again today. I’m sorry.
The social worker phoned me yesterday to announce that he needs to send both the Community DoLS paperwork and the latest care plan back to me as he’s had to amend one section on each and needs mine and the support workers’ signatures again. Let’s remember that they started the Community DoLS process in May 2015 and it hasn’t got to within farting distance of the court yet. The latest care plan was reviewed in April this year and still hasn’t been signed off.
The care plan hold up is because I wrote something on the last copy I signed and sent back. I took offense to the sentence, “Steven is unable to make friendships” and wrote on the form, “This is incorrect. Steven has his own definition of friendship and has many friends”. I’m glad I corrected this framing of who he is but it means the whole 12 page form has to be redone and resubmitted.
The latest hold up to the DoLS is just plain bonkers. The social worker was checking the section on Steven’s contact numbers and came across a number he didn’t recognise. It turned out it was the landline of the home we left in 2009. But he can’t tippex it out. The whole 16 page application needs to be redone and come back for me and Des and Alan to sign. Three and a half years and four social workers after the DoLS assessment started.
I’ve written many times over the past three years that I couldn’t give a monkeys about the Community DoLS. It is a pointless exercise that says nothing and has no bearing on our life at all. I’ve tried to engage with it as little as possible. I’ve changed my tune the past few weeks. Since my health issues, I’ve worked overtime to try and secure Steven’s future after my death as best as I can. The DoLS form states several times that it is in Steven’s best interests to be living in his own home with 24 hour support. It’s the least restrictive option for his care. I agree. But I want the court to rubber stamp that. I don’t trust Hillingdon to suddenly change their mind the day after I die. I want a belt and braces approach to Steven’s future.
The second thing is the glaring reminder of the nonsense of social care and how it ties ties itself up in ridiculous knots. I have two forms sitting in front of me. The care plan describes the 24 hour support as a positive thing. It enables Steven to live a good life. This is right. However, the DoLS form sees this in a very different light and sees the 24 support as depriving Steven of his liberty. How crazy is it that one document acknowledges it gives Steven his liberty and yet the other document written by the same person determines it deprived him of his liberty?
I think the whole system lacks capacity.