Prescribed Care and Communication

Thursday 2nd October

The same social worker, and trainee social worker, arrive at 10.00 am.

Apparently, synchronised by mobile.

But leaving a sufficient gap, to appear, not to be.

The lady, who left the previous afternoon, sulking and furious, first.

I can’t do silent assertion,but, was too angry for polite small talk,

So soon after entering,I asked her, why she appeared unconcerned, that Issy was now in bed, most  days.

Of cause she was concerned, she exclaimed, so much so, that she had  just rung, her agency work coordinator, to tell her of her concern.

Why ? What good would that do?

But what was the point in mentioning this.

Beyond frustration, I continued my never before assertion.

Then why had she not shown, any concern over the past weeks, and continually ignored, and eventually dismissed my concerns, with an,

‘ Issy is just having a lie in’.

Might Issy not be ill, should we not ring the doctor?

By then, the qualified social worker,had walked into the kitchen.

And, to her rescue.

Bizarrely exclaiming,

I’ve never understood why we have this two to one, but now when I think about it, the agency insist on it, if it’s a child, and Isabel is still a child’.

She isn’t, and they don’t

a) because a worker told me she worked alone with a child,

and, b) Isabel had  been risk assessed by the agency for 2.1.

So the agency, can double their already extortionate fee, 3 times the hourly rate of the worker.

A basic rate £50 per hour, for 2 people to sit in my kitchen.

Our conversation, was descending into farce.

On reflection, I can only assume, her comment was a diversionary tactic.

It happens a lot,with workers,and professionals.

One new worker last month, asking had I had my hair cut, when I obviously hadn’t, mid-sentence, on my briefing her about Isabel.

Changing the subject, not answering the question, silence, and only ever asking questions, but, not responding to the answers, appear carers modus operandi.

It appeared ‘communication’, was controlled, contrived, and focused.

And excepting for those ‘in charge’ gaining information, for their own agenda, most conversations were  repetitive,  superficial, and, not about Issy.

All under the cloak of ‘Professionalism’.

I dismissed this bizarre intrusion,with Issy had one staff member taking her out on Saturdays for months , because, a second had not been sent.

But since April, and ‘the new regime’.

Despite Issy refusing to go out, and my presence.

The 2 to 1,  condition had been strictly enforced.

Several times, a worker had left, when the other did not shown up.

I left the kitchen, and drank my coffee in the garden, but, had to return through the kitchen.

The qualified social worker said.

‘Finola do you want me to ring the doctor’.

Her, not me.

Not promptly obtaining medical attention is neglect.

So workers, must be told, not to suggest it.

The state,as shown by NAS’s care of Issy, do not need to provide prompt medical attention.

And GPs, in any event, only look for neglect, abuse, and, self harm.

The appropriate medical attention is not afforded, to the autistic.

Our core assessment rang in my ears,

parents show a reluctance to involve medical services, and feel this is social services responsibility’,

This had been spun from my complaining that there seemed little point in calling the GP as we had already  at least 5 times in July and August, and we had had to insist on even a urine test.

So I replied, it was now too late, as a Thursday, there was no afternoon call out, and, we’d be diverted to, the many questions needed for a locum service, which I‘d been through before, to no avail.

I said, I’d think about ringing tomorrow morning.

Wondering the point,  as Isabel had no temperature, appeared well, and did eat in the evening.

And, even when Issy threw up continually, we had got nothing from 5 different GPs.

She replied, ‘That’s fine’.

No more.

Issy remained in bed, the bath was permanently topped up, the workers went in at regular interludes to check on her.

On my forced return to the kitchen for coffee, they informed me, as if scripted,

They had done this, although, as I was in the sitting room next door, they knew I’d heard them.

As I waited for the kettle to boil,  kitchen, I was irritated/unerved by their staring silence,

And broke it  with a casual, ‘why she thought Issy was still in bed’ to the trainee.

Who replied,

’I have been into her bedroom. I have asked her if she wants coffee, or orange juice. But she didn’t.’

And then remained silent.

I said,

You have gone into prescribed mode.Why won’t you answer my question.’

But she just repeated, almost verbatim .

The social worker, again came to her rescue, with a similar version.

’We have been in, and asked Isabel……’.

And then silence, so I left the kitchen.

I reflected, on the desperate lives of those, at the mercy of  institutionalised independent living.

They both had worked in such ‘Units’.

The regular trainee, once proclaiming, on brushing out Issy’s bedroom,

I’m only doing what I would be doing, if Isabel were in her own living unit.’

I had over heard, the now qualified social worker, describing her previous shift, in such an independent/supported living facility.

’I have to go in every hour to see if X is OK, then I have to talk to F for 30 minutes, Y for 20 minutes,and then Z for 10 minutes’

Who decides these time limits?

What if X wants her to stay,or Y doesn’t want to talk to her, at that particular time, or, at all?

One can only assume, once in place, this clockwork system cannot be deviated from, no matter how dire the need of the poor encaged.

It is a factory.

The ‘cared’ for, are irrelevant.

Process, risk assessment, efficiency, and profitability rule.

As long as the boxes are ticked, her job is done.

The floor under Isabel’s newly erected bed remained dirty, as did the urine on the bathroom floor, and, at 4.00 pm they left.

They had done what they were prescribed.

And, their agency had been  paid £300, to do.

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