Letter to LGO and MP

3.5 YEARS!!!

It has taken our Local Authority three and a half years to agree to meet our son’s 24hr support needs.

Three and a half years to finally agree to put in place a budget to meet his Needs as Assessed by the LA in 2012!

Three and a half years of deliberate avoidance, delay and maladministration in meeting his needs.

Three and a half years of uncertainty and stalemate to his independence and wellbeing.

Three and a half years of unimaginable stress, anxiety and uncertainty for Mr & Mrs X (parents) having to live apart in order to support our son in his own home and, at the same time, go through long drawn out tortuous complaint procedures for our son’s wellbeing through two upheld Local Government Ombudsman decisions (2013 – 2016). And this straight after our previous tortuous complaint procedure also upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman (2010 – 2013). A total of three upheld LGO complaints in six years! Is this a record!!

Three and a half years of meetings, letters, emails and hours spent reading Government Legislation, Autism and Care Acts etc. at the same time supporting our son and trying not to let it affect our parent/grandparent role to our other four children and seven grandchildren. It has been completely exhausting and an unnecessary strain on our wellbeing to the extent that Mr X had to give up his job after two ‘health warning letters’ from his GP. A job which Mr X enjoyed and would have continued if we had not been subjected to three and a half years of unnecessary stress and anxiety. It became impossible for Mr X to do his job, support our son for, in excess of, 100 hours per week and study in order to advocate for him against the oppressive regime of denial and avoidance by our LA. At the same time as doing her job and helping with grandchildren Mrs X spent evenings/nights trawling government legislation, Acts, and other information in order to advocate for her son. All this because the LA decided that they didn’t want to co-operate with us or acknowledge their own Assessment or records. Since our previous complaint to the LGO (2010 – 2013) I believe the LA have deliberately avoided meeting our son’s needs (needs which had already been assessed). I can make no other assumption as our son’s file contains many references to his vulnerability and his need to be supported at all times and this is what is reflected in the LA Assessment of September 2012. This is a very serious maladministration. Someone should be accountable!

Three and a half years of wasted time for our son as he has been unable to develop his independence. This has affected his wellbeing with uncertainty and anxiety and he will now experience further autistic anxiety because instead of his move to independence starting when he expected it to (and had been prepared for) it was denied and delayed for three and a half years resulting in now having to be re-introduced to becoming more independent of parents, which is an added strain on him and parents (whose energy has been sapped by the THREE AND A HALF YEAR refusal by the LA to meet our son’s needs). Our son has been forced to have 1:1 care from parents in his own home for the past three and a half years denying him the opportunity to progress. In fact it has resulted in him becoming more dependent as he has had the undivided support of his father or mother during the past three and a half years for 18 hours per day. We will now have to put in a lot of effort to help him through the necessary transition. Someone should be accountable!

Three and a half years of wasted time for Mr & Mrs X as they have had to fight for their sons’s needs to be met even though they were correctly assessed in 2012 by the LA when it was stated in an Assessment that he would need 24hr support in his own home. An obvious conclusion from all previous assessments and information they have on record! Someone should be accountable!

Three and a half years of wasted time and resources for the LA who have deliberately ignored our son’s Assessed Need and their own records using their funding and staff time in a completely adverse way to the detriment of our son and his family. No doubt we are not the only one’s to suffer from their overriding consideration of cost above needs being met agenda and maladministration. The LA have been completely oblivious to the effects of their resolute delaying tactics on our lives! Three and a half years of Mr and Mrs X living separate lives in order to support their son in his own home!! Absolutely scandalous when you consider in 2010 our son’s care manager recorded during a safeguarding meeting with the LA clinical psychologist that our son would be at risk if not fully supported when he moved out of the family home! Someone should be accountable. (We have already supplied the LGO with proof of this and other extracts from Sam’s LA file that leave no doubt of their deliberate maladministration).

It is fact that the Independent Assessments confirm exactly the LA Assessment of September 2012 (4 years ago!!) which stated our son would require 24hr support in his own home. The Independent Assessments confirm exactly what Mr & Mrs X have advocated for their son. The Independent Assessments confirm exactly the level of care required as recorded in our son’s LA file history.

However, the Independent Assessments have shown more detail, more understanding and an awareness of how our son’s Autism (a life long condition) affects him. For this we are very grateful as now we understand what good Assessments should look like and we will never accept anything less for our again.

It is completely unacceptable that the LA have conducted themselves in this way, deliberately trying to ignore and delay what they already knew from their own records. Many of the LA staff involved in our three and a half year struggle have been qualified Social Workers or have held senior management positions. We have given every single one of them much information about our son, his needs, his autism, ADHD tendencies and drawn their attention to all the information they have on their own files. They have been resolute in their delay/avoidance/maladministration in meeting our son’s needs and have contravened the core values of their profession. This should not be allowed to happen. Someone should be accountable.

It is completely unacceptable that the LA are likely to be adopting the same agenda (maladministration) with other vulnerable people. Someone should be accountable.

There appears to be systemic maladministration within the LA which someone should be accountable for. It will not be Mr. A as he has jumped ship, along with Mr B. Will it be C, D, E or F? They are all guilty of maladministration, ignoring/delaying/avoidance of meeting our son’s needs. None of them can plead ignorance of our son’s needs as we have written or spoken, at length, to every single one of them giving them as much information as possible and drawing their attention to their own records. All to no avail until the Independent Assessments confirmed that the LA Assessments were correct and Sam does indeed need 24hr support in his own home. Three and a half years of unnecessary and deliberate avoidance and maladministration. Who will be accountable? We now understand why G (care manager) and H (team manager) couldn’t offer Sam or us any advice or guidance; it is obvious that they were just puppets in the whole avoidance strategy! Although H should be accountable being a registered social worker. They have contravened the core values of their profession along with their managers. They are not fit for purpose and should be removed from their positions.

We have had apologies in the past (previous upheld LGO complaint), promising more transparency and ‘lessons learnt’, but unfortunately they are not worth the paper they are written on. The LA will continue to ignore government legislation, ignore needs and break the law wherever and whenever they can unless someone has the stamina (mind and body draining, exhausting, anxiety ridden, anger driven momentum plus studying an OU Law & Social Work degree) to fight for their family members wellbeing. THREE AND A HALF YEARS!!! We are not the same people we were three and a half years ago, our energy and wellbeing have been sapped in our efforts to make sure our son has a life where he is safe from harm, has access to activities and friendships and is supported to stay healthy and mentally stable. A life that would be expected by any other member of society. Three and a half years of completely pointless and unnecessary stress just to reach the same Assessment decision as made in September 2012! What a scandalous waste of everyone’s time!!

Who will be accountable to our son? Who will be accountable to us? Who will be accountable to all the other vulnerable people with LD and Autism who don’t have a voice?

As you will realise from all the above, which you will know to be a true account of the failings of our Local Authority from all the information we have supplied to you, I find their incompetence and maladministration completely unacceptable and would like someone to be accountable. I would like someone to reassure me that they will never again conduct themselves in this way to the detriment of the people they are there to serve and make sure those that have resolutely used their positions to avoid meeting their clients obvious needs, to be removed from their positions. Even then I might not believe, I am too damaged.

Yours sincerely