Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Guest Blog - The sorry story of a family carer - by Linda Edwards

By Linda Edwards,
In 2007 my learning disabled daughter who is also on the autistic spectrum  was having her basic needs violated by LBB In House Supported Living Service.  In October 2007 LBB invited bullies, who had not previously delivered Supported Living Service but were "keen to get into Barnet", to provide the next Supported Living Service to my daughter.      

They either ignored my daughter daily while they  continuously spoke to their friends and family on their  mobile and watched television continuously,  put my daughter at risk and  deskilled her. 

Throughout the period from 2007 to 2011 I made many complaints and pleaded with Kate Kennally, Director of Adult and Childrens Social Care and Health to remove them. She refused and my daughter became emotionally unwell.

Throughout this period I have spoken  out within LBB at every opportunity - Learning Disability Partnership Board meetings, LBB Carers Conferences, LBB trainings and workshops  and every opportunity within LBB, mainly with the message that the culture is based on lies of spoken and written words not being put into practice.

I promised KK that if she didn't change the regime she was presiding over, I would eventually speak outside of LBB and would ensure their shoddy practice would become public outside of LBB

What I didn't know at the time was that a tiny seed called BAPS was born and although struggling with many different issues, BAPS experienced the same lying and bullying culture as many vulnerable families under Kate Kennally's rule by fear and intimidation. At the time I believed this was with the full support of the Council. What I found hard to believe was that this regime appears to have been driven by Nick Walkley CEO.

Now that Nick Walkley is leaving LBB to let others  manage the mess he has led, LBB have the opportunity to withdraw the One Barnet privatisation fiasco and make Barnet a local authority in which we can all feel proud to live and work.  

Kate Kennally  not only disregarded my promise to publicise her unlawful and bullying regime outside of LBB but in 2010 she informed me I could no longer be a member of the Learning Disability Partnership Board. Since this time  I have been refused membership of the Autism  and Personalisation working parties, both of which are headed by LBB managers I complained  about with issues related to bullying and intimidation.

Once my daughter's solicitor agreed I can go public, around mid 2011, just after her threat to Amanda Jackson  of a Judicial Review after she had unlawfully withdrawn my daughters night support service, my first experience of "coming out" publically was as a guest contributor in Barnet Eye.

Since then I made a promise that at every public opportunity related to Social Care and Health I would share the bad practice of LBB Social Care and Health to Commissioners, Directors of Social Services, families and Voluntary organisations. I vowed to myself that I  would continue until ALL vulnerable families (not the chosen few) were treated with respect and given the services their children needed, if necessary by cutting enormous senior management staff salaries. .

At the same time BAPS was growing and exposing bad practice in LBB  and campaigning against One Barnet Privatisation led by Nick Walkley CEO  that threatens to change the lives of Barnet residents and workers with such drastic and irreversible outcomes.  Whilst everyone seems to be thinking that Nick Walkley has 'jumped ship' and left LBB in a mess just prior to major Privatisation contracts being signed, I have been wondering if some courageous Barnet Councillors have whispered in his ear that he needs to remove himself so that they can remove the One Barnet Privatisation Programme. Probably a fantasy but wouldn't it be reassuring to know that our Councillors really are thinking and caring representatives of Barnet people.    

After my first guest article in Barnet Eye and with Roger's encouragement, I submitted further articles. At the same time I have been speaking up about LBB Adult Social Care and Health at every Conference and Training opportunity. Last weekend I attended a course in Oxford  "Integrity in Social Care".  At appropriate times, either formally during questions or informally throughout breaks, I shared how there is so little "Integrity" in LBB Adult Social Care and Health.

Today I attended a Community Living  Conference at the Directory of Social Change "Legal issues in Social Care"  and again Service Providers, Commissioners, family and paid carers heard about the unlawful  practice to people with learning disabilities and their family carers in LBB.   

What is common to all the times I disclose the shenanigans of LBB is that:

*People in the care sector from all over the UK,  whether receiving, providing or commissioning services  are now hearing about LBB Adult Social Care and Health  horrid  regime under the control of Nick Walkley and Kate Kennally  and

*On every occasion  after disclosing my daughters and other family carers experiences, I have been approached by family or paid carers or advocates who either need advice or support with the same LBB regime or people who offer to support our family carers who are still being intimidated and bullied.   

Today I felt both delighted and saddened to be asked  "Isn't Barnet where an American Director came here to make  a film about the people of Barnet?".

Delighted because the promise I made to Kate Kennally to expose her hypocritical regime if she didn't change the culture to serve vulnerable people rather than service Nick Walkley and LBB, together with the campaigning by such amazing people in BAPS is clearly being heard from people throughout UK. .     

Saddened because my family are five generation Barnet residents and I did not want to feel disloyal to Barnet. Unfortunately. LBB have betrayed us all.
Linda Edwards
Family Carer   
Linda Edwards is a family carer and was featured in the film Barnet - A Billion Pound Gamble ( Guest blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye.

1 comment:

Janet - CADDSS said...

So many of adult Barnet residents in need of social care have been betrayed by the inhumane policies introduced in recent years. There has recently been a consultation about the provision of door to door transport which seems to imply the council's wish to do away with their door-to-door transport service.

It is obvious to Barnet residents incapacitated by disability or illness and their carers that they are undesirable residents as far as Barnet Council is concerned.