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Ouch Local Council here too - Carers UK Forum

Ouch Local Council here too

All about money

Not really benefits though benefit related. Posted under another heading too!

I'm just having a nasty experience with my County Council.

Just over a year ago I retired so I could look after my husband who is disabled. A couple of times when I wanted to go away and leave him at home we paid for respite care from a Local Care Agency. One of the workers at the care agency suggested that as his carer I might be able to get some respite care from the Council. After much trouble a complaint and an appeal and with the help of my local carers' centre I got some vouchers and got some more for year 2012/13. The enabled me to go away to study and do other things.

Towards the end of 2012/13 we asked again about the vouchers and were more or less assured we would get them again. Lat week I had a call from a social worker to say she had been asked to do an assessment 'for the care package we had' I said we had no package and I was my husband's carer. She was insistent there was a package in place and that someone came in every day, which they don't. I have however been saying to the agency that I want then in less and use my vouchers for me to have real respite but I can't pin them down to a different arrangement.

The next thing which happened was that there was someone from the County Council finance team who came to do an financial assessment. We asked what it was for and he said the care package we were getting and produced a plan which apparently the CC and the care agency we use have cobbled up together. The plan showed that we had someone coming in every day as the social worker said, which we don't. They wanted us to pay all my husband's care component of his DLA. The assessor said 'they give it you and we take it back' We said we weren't paying and asked about the respite vouchers to which we got an 'I know nothing' sort of response.

I phoned the respite vouchers section and at first was told I had another set of vouchers for the current year approved but the person then changed her mind apologised and said the vouchers weren't approved because of the 'care package'. I couldn't speak to anyone as it was the Friday before Bank Holiday.

We phoned the care agency who on learning we weren't paying for the package and hadn't been granted vouchers cancelled a visit we're due tomorrow. I'm not really bothered as an hour a day contributes nothing to my husband's care and is more a hindrance than a help plus it doesn't contribute anything to my respite. Surely the agency and the Council can't just cobble something up without consulting us and can they just withdraw my respite vouchers leaving me to start all over again?

I asked the person dealing with the vouchers why this wasn't sorted out before the end of the last financial year bearing in mind, which she accepted, that we had asked for a renewal of the vouchers long before the year end.

We just feel sprung upon. Fortunately I haven't any holidays or other events booked at the moment as I would have to cancel them or pay for respite. It seems as though the care agency want all they can get for an inferior service and the Council want us to pay for that service and leave me with the same responsibilities with no respite. The carer who comes can't even put my husband's surgical stocking on and I end up doing them. We did complain about one previous carer who was very pushy and cheeky so we got instead the manager's mother. As we get on with the manager, or did do, how can we complain about her mother and her inability to do simple tasks, like socks?

Stupidly I've kept quiet about things though I have said I want to come to a different arrangement.

Seems also the care agency have been dishonest because they have told the council someone comes every day when they don't.

Am at wit's end. Has anyone come across anything like this before and any advice please?


Chris Wibberley

Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 6:00 pm
Hi Chris, welcome to the forum.
I have no idea about any of this but hopefully now the bank holiday is over someone will be along who can help you.
Hi Chris,

What should happen - the local authority should visit your OH and do a needs assessment, and see you entirely separately and do a Carers Assessment. They should send draft copies to you for approval or amendment, and then it's finalised. If they decide an hour a day is required, then that is what you should receive. Before providing a service, they should conduct a detailed financial assessment, sending a copy to you explaining how much the service will cost. Anyone coming to see you should sign a book left at your house to say when they arrive, and leave, and what they did. If he needs surgical stockings put on, no one should come who can't fit them. So, were you sent a copy of your caree/caree/financial assessments; did you sign them in agreement; is there a book at your house for carers to sign?
Sorry for not responding sooner. We may be sorted now, I don't know but we have recently had another bill for a time when no one was coming to the house . Watch this space
Chris, bear in mind that charging when no one has visited amounts to fraud!