The time has arrived to become a whistleblower on the approach to dementia that we have experienced. It is bad enough for diagnosis to be so long winded. Then Maureen has been discharged from the Memory Service as her condition is untreatable. Little point in dwelling over the disagreement over diagnosis: I have already referred to that in earlier blogs. Where the whistle has to be blown is on what has followed; particularly from social services.
This is far from a personal attack on an individual: I have already blogged on Mission Impossible. This is me being open about the Exocet I now need to fire to attempt to bring some sanity into the situation here.
It appears that there might well be both cultural, and systemic, problems within social services. There may also be questions about capacity and resources. Nevertheless, from what we have seen there is little sense in what is going on at the moment. You just wonder with economic austerity being predominant in this country why we continue to spend public money on the type of charade that I am about to outline.
I had alerted social services to the fact that my mission is now becoming impossible. Maureen’s presentation has changed and is putting her welfare, and my health, at risk. More support is needed from paid carers. The response from social services is bewildering.
Our social worker called last week: she stayed for a couple of hours chatting to Maureen. Why two hours you might ask? After all the client has dementia and a very limited concentration span. The outcome of her vist: zilch; absolutely nothing in terms of additional support.
So a social worker spends a couple of hours on the sofa and we are left to get on with it. Questions about the purpose of her visit have to be raised. Maureen’s presentation remains the same. In fact, the immediate impact of the visit was to increase her distress and fears.
I have appointments arranged to meet Senior Officers from the Clinical Commissioning Group and social services in the coming weeks. I intend to question whether their services are be fit for purpose. I now hope to bring those meetings forward. I just wonder where a ‘duty of care’ under the new Care Act figures in all of this?