In the care of my adult daughter we rely heavily on Social Care and expressly the current care package for without it we could not ensure there would be care, sufficient good care for my daughter, who has severe learning disabilities (LD), multiple physical disabilities and autism.
For many years my wife and myself, especially my wife, as I was working full time 5 days a week, did all the aspects of care. When my wife felt she could not manage all the care we ventured into home care on a small basis of 6 and a half hours of care per day during the week.
However, her health started to deteriorate and I did what I could at weekends and during the evening to morning, but it became clear that we had to have more care hours and we then received 6 and a half per day at weekends.
During this time my own health started to waiver and I reduced my working days to 3 days full time, but eventually had to take early retirement at 62.
It soon became clear that we needed even more home care and the care package was extended to 24/7. During all this time we did have regular periods of respite care where our daughter went to a respite home for about 8-9 week long visits throughout the year.
Respite care was not, at times, all that it should be and we made many complaints about the care our daughter was receiving. But in August 2019 this came to a halt as we withdrew her from respite and now the only care we have is 24/7.
Some of you could say we were very lucky to get the care package we did, but this was not without having to take on the council on many occasions, where we made a strong case for the current care package.
Not everything was plain sailing, but we struck lucky with our substantive home care provider, who are excellent, not saying the care provided by the others within the 24/7 care package iare not. We are also lucky to have, currently, a very experienced good Social Worker, which has not been so in the past.
I have also, through the years been involved in many other areas of social care and health care, which is mentioned on ‘What Chris Sterry is involved with‘
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic I have felt abandoned by Sheffield Adult Social Care, although our Social Worker has been in contact when he has the time in his very busy workload. His and other Social Workers workloads were excessive before COVID-19, but with the advent of COVID-19 the workloads got even more busy.
During this pandemic many of the meetings I used to attend in person have now been made virtual.
The LD Partnership Board have been slow in arranging virtual meetings, but recently we have had a short meeting with only a few of the Partners, but a more substantive meeting has been arranged for 24 August 2020.
As we were not having meetings I raised a number of questions, but was advised that the persons responsible to answer the questions were too busy with COVID-19 issues.
So, on the 7 May 2020 I raised by email the following
- Re the £2.9 billion funding to strengthen care for the vulnerable, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-9-billion-funding-to-strengthen-care-for-the-vulnerable, How much of the £2.9 billion has Sheffield receive What percentage has been allocated to Social Care How has this affected Sheffield’s ability to provide much needed Social Care
- the Government Coronavirus Act suspended the Care Act 2014 and equivalent for children, how as this affect care provision in Sheffield
- I took part in the Sheffield Parent Carer Forum virtual meeting on Tuesday 5 May 2020. In this meeting there were comments on how some schools, especially Special Needs Schools have been in regular contact during COVID-19 with families to enquire how they are and what do they require. Some families were saying from having no contact for years to now regular contact was good, but the degree of contact would need to be gauged with families to ensure that there is no over contact. I also know that Sheffield Mencap & Gateway (SMG) are also contacting families of persons who attend SMG services. It would be good to know if this, within Day Services is now common practice and if not, why not.
- It goes without saying that I am not pleased that one of the first things this Government did was to suspend the Care Act 2014 and similar legislation for children, when it should be common sense that Carers and persons in need of care would require more services not less during COVID-19, but this is how the current and past Conservative Governments have been taking into act their decimation of the welfare system and other acts, especially austerity cuts. This is even more reasons that support for my petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care, https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care with more information, please see https://www.dropbox.com/s/9nurve8oev2rfrv/Solve%20the%20crisis%20in%20Social%20Care%209.docx?dl=0
- bearing mind the above I do wish to thank everyone within SCC Social Care for all they are doing during this COVID-19 situation, it is difficult for all of us and the caring shown is welcome
To date I have not received any response or answers to these questions, is this caring in Sheffield.
This is at a time, as I state in my petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care, when social care is in crisis, not just in Sheffield, but the whole of the UK.
Immediate action needs to be taken to safeguard social care and all those in need of social care.
So, Social Care needs YOU
#care #socialcare #crisis