Doing ‘a job’


It’s hard not to feel useless when we’re trying to secure the services that Isaac needs from the umpteen professionals and agencies involved with him.

I think i’ve sort of worked it out.  It’s quite easy to do ‘a job’.  The ‘doing a job’ people around Isaac do what their job description sort of lays out.  They put in the 30 odd hour week, they tick the boxes, they get paid.  They do what the system asks them to do because bucking it is a hassle they don’t like. I’ll give an example – they’ll arrange their diary to see Isaac at school, which may mean taking him out of his favourite activity but at least they’ve ticked the ‘seen at school’ box.  They’ll not challenge decisions made by people higher up in their organisations. People higher up who, sometimes have never done the job of the person they manage, and have certainly never worked with an Isaac.  But, they ‘do a job’.  They get paid every month, they roll on.

In itself, people like that wouldn’t wind me up normally because they exist in every profession and why should it be on me to inject a spark. Thing is, i’ve had 7 years of watching this parade of apathy and frankly it’s shafting Isaac.

Another example ; an application for direct payment support being processed.  Someone, somewhere thought it was sensible to get both a Social Worker and a Paediatric Nurse Sister to assess Isaac’s needs and submit the request to a panel of commissioning types.  I get it, collaborative assessment, integrated pathways, how sensible.  So, both assessed Isaac.  Both said there needs to be 8 hours a week from each ‘pot’ of cash ; 8 hours ‘care’ element and 8 hours ‘health’ element.  They both sign off assessments to that effect.  Off it goes to panel.  Panel says ‘no, you can have 5 hours from each’.

My question ; why get two professionals costing in excess of £30,000 per annum each to spend around 4-6 hours doing assessment and paperwork, submitting a professional opinion in order to disregard their assessment at a panel? Are they wrong? Is 8 hours far excessive but 5 hours is perfectly reasonable? Are they incompetent? Is an 8 hour request viewed as us as a family ‘taking the piss’ and asking for an easy life? Which is it? Or, god forbid, are we in a resource led commissioning model that has bog all regard for professional assessment and is default set to dial down any request by a percentage?

You know what, I’d love to know the answer.  But I’ll never get it. I’m at the stage where having asked for an explanation of the panel’s workings and reasoning i’ve received an email saying ‘It is a decision that has been made and if you wish to challenge it further then I must advise I will not respond’…REALLY??!

This is about a 7 year old boy with acute disabilities.  This is not me, arsey dad taking on some kind of watchdog-esque crusade against a niggling point.  I’m tired. I haven’t got the bloody energy to engage a longwinded discourse against a faceless system – i’ve got a full time job, a family and a million other stresses.  Whoever is corresponding with me is doing ‘a job’.  I’m doing what I can for my son, alongside a job.  And I hope to god that I don’t just do ‘a job’ in my job and that I’m actually making differences (us social workers with our ridiculous values eh).

Anyhow, time to get back to reality and off the laptop…til next time.

One thought on “Doing ‘a job’

  1. I hear you. I’m convinced as parents we spend our whole time in ‘the gap’. Straddling worlds constructed by people who do not have to live with the consequences of their decisions. I have shared on my FB page.

    Haven’t read any of your stuff for a while – hope you and yours are well.

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