Monday, 13 February 2012

Guest Blog - Open letter to Barnet Council Head of Adult Services

Guest Blog by Janet Leifer,
My husband received a request to complete a questionnaire from Kate Kennally (head of Barnet Adult Social Services) as she wants “to improve and develop our services so I would like to get your views on the services you receive".  She promises to put you in for a prize draw for a £50 voucher for the shop of your choice, with a second and third prize of a £25 voucher if you complete and return the questionnaire by 24 February.

Ny husband is not too well at the moment and I did not want to bother him, but I thought I could send a letter in reply on his behalf.

Dear Kate Kennally,
Thank you for letter of 25 January 2012 to my husband concerning his social care support  services, in which you ask him  what he think about the services he receives that are paid for (at least in part) by Barnet Adult Social Care and Health.  At present he does not receive any services paid for by your department.  Since June 2011 he has paid the full cost of attending the day centre he went to twice a week until 17 December 2011.  This day centre is run by a voluntary organisation.  Any other services he receives have never been funded by Barnet Council.
Unfortunately he was in hospital from 17 December 2011, when he had a stroke, until 3 February 2012.  This week he has undergone a course of radio therapy as an outpatient.   I am sure you can appreciate that it is a little difficult for him to respond to your request to complete the questionnaire attached to your letter by 24 February 2012. Therefore I am replying to your letter on his behalf.
Jeffrey has attended the Sam Beckman Day Centre run by Jewish Care for over two years.  The staff are very caring and supportive.   Jeffrey has enjoyed playing bridge, has made a friend and likes the meals.  As his carer, I am delighted to know that he is in a safe place and well looked after while I am at work.  You can rest assured that your department’s money is well spent, if your department is still funding residents of Barnet to attend the Sam Beckman Day Centre.  I was very grateful that Jeffrey’s visits were funded for two years until the introduction of your "Fairer Contributions Policy".
My husband’s reality and his rules of engagement with people and the world around him may be different from those of other people.  I am sure you can imagine that this has a serious impact on the quality of his life and results in severely limiting his activities.  He did not choose to attend a day centre for vulnerable elderly people with dementia but went to help give me some respite and peace of mind.
My husband likes to watch certain television programmes, especially the news and programmes about politics.  However because his behaviour is disinhibited people may be very unwilling to socialise with him. It can be a very lonely life for him.
Your questionnaire asks about my husband’s health which is not great, but in his own words he is “bearing up under the strain”, which is remarkable considering his brain is severely damaged, he has an artificial leg, has recently suffered a stroke and has undergone radiotherapy.
I do not suppose this letter will entitle him to enter your free prize draw, but he would be delighted to be in the running for a £50 voucher to spend in a shop of his choice.
Yours sincerely,
Janet Leifer
Janet Leifer is a carer in Barnet. Guest blogs are always welcome. Please submit using the link in the sidebar

1 comment:

concernedcarer said...

Hi Janet

Thank you so much for having the courage to share yours and Jeffrey's story with so many people. How do you continue to have such humour? My 93 year old father was in the same hospital at the same time after having a stroke on Boxing Day. My mother received the same letter and questionnaire from Ms Kennally which she promptly tore and binned until I asked her to retrieve it so I could see how LBBarnet Adult Social Care and Health are wasting yet more our our valuable resources.

Is it a fact that one cannot get the six week care support to help with bathing and dressing etc from LBBarnet after coming out of hospital if they are not expected to improve? If this is the case, it is outrageous that only with the possibility of improvement, can one receive any care support from LBB. Surely this is discriminatory against even the more vulnerable!
Linda Edwards (family carer)
PS Who is paying for the £100 prizes?