Friday, December 04, 2009

Yesterday I am with my mother-in-law while a social worker visits.
She is "assessing Jean for a care package".
Meanwhile Jean is concerned because her disabilities mean she can no longer take either a shower or a bath.
However that is to be the subject of a "bathing assessment". The bathing assessor will report back to the social worker who will then decide whether there needs to be a re-assessment of the care package.
I think.

Meanwhile the social worker, who is a perfectly decent and helpful individual, starts to fill in a form. It's a thick and complicated form and I have to translate both the questions, so Jean can understand them, and the answers, so the social worker puts the right interpretation on them.

Jean, being a proud person who wishes to live an independent life, minimises her difficulties and is reluctant to ask for help.
I on the other hand am keen to maximise her difficulties so she gets all the help available.
Delicate negotiations ensure.

Meanwhile the social worker is explaining the form in terms of the freedom of information act - which restricts information - because, it turns out, when she gets back to her office she will have to fill out the form again to put it into her computer.

I, meanwhile, am trying to learn from the social worker what are the numbers to call and what are the services to ask for - the right words to use - if Jean gets ill again and we start to need more help.
The social worker has given us her direct line number and her name... but that may not necessarily be the way forward. Because what you are meant to do is phone something called Social Work Direct so that they then contact the appropriate social worker.

Almost certainly we will end up having to contact both.

Meanwhile, she fills in the form.
The day before, Jean had given similar information to the hospital doctor.
This doctor had his own struggles with the system: he spent a long time trying to log into the hospital computer to retrieve an x ray that was taken the last time the doctor was there. And that the doctor that time could not retrieve either.

Then the doctor writes out a letter - by hand - for Jean to give to her GP - by hand - so the GP can write out a prescription for her to get antibiotics for her chest infection.

And I discover yesterday that the prescription never reached the chemist...

Meanwhile the directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland - which the governmnt owns - are threatening to resign en masse in utterly furious indignation if the government does not allow them to award each other million pound bonuses for, among other things, investing billions and billions in Canadian shale oil extraction whic, besides wrecking the environment in Canada, is also wrecking the Copenhagen climate change talks.

I imagine their computer systems work perfectly.


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