What a great birthday present

Arrived home tired and in pain to find a bulky A4 envelope in the post. Upon opening I find it’s from Swain and Co solicitors, and that the documentation they’d requested from Southampton Cit Council (SCC) on my behalf almost a year ago now had been received by them on 29th August 2012, five months ago, and had not been forwarded on to me or acted upon in any way.

I wouldn’t mind but I had been phoning and emailing my assigned solicitor trying to establish if they had anything from SCC for months now. I’ve had none of my emails responded to and each time I phoned I’m told that my solicitor was unable to take my call but would phone me back but this never materialised. On one of the latest phone calls I was even told he was going through my file at that very moment and would phone me back as soon as he had established the current position of my case. No such luck.

Finally, several weeks ago now I am told that my assigned solicitor was no longer working on care and housing cases and my case was being passed over to another solicitor alloted to take over care and housing matters and they’d be in touch very soon. I think they only told me as they had enough of me as I was now phoning at least once a week. Surely budgets would allow for an emailed or a quick phone call from the solicitor in question stating they were no longer on the case and provide details of who now was?

But worse still is the fact that enclosed in this bundle of documents from the newly assigned solicitor is the letter from SCC back in August 2012 closes with a statement along the lines that ‘if SCC heard nothing more from Swain and Co they would take it the matter was resolved and Ms Marron accepted their decision that my support need for work/training/learning had decreased.

now I am in the position that I am due to have my care needs reviewed and how am I to argue that my support need for work/training/learning is higher than they say even though my situation is the same as the time of last assessment?

I know why they down graded this need – currently Independent Living Fund (ILF) fund this need and come 2015 ILF will no longer exist and the responsibility of care will be devolved back to local authorises so if my council assess me as not having this need for support now they won’t have to take over from ILF in funding it. in some ways it’s not local governments fault but central government who are already cutting the local government funding and so councils have less to spend on care packages so how can they be expected to fund ILF users come 2015?

one reason SCC didn’t provide support for certain aspects of my care and support needs was that managing my bowel was a health care need and not a social care need. but how can that be a health care need and yet applying creams for my skins conditions is a social care need?

another point was that they did not accept caring and training my dog was a social care need. but it isn’t the PAs who are dong the caring and training it is I and I need assistance with these tasks. the whole ethos of Personalised Care Plans is that the individual is supported to do the things they want to do with their lives like non disabled people do. how can assisting me with these tasks not be a support need when caring and training my dog is the reason I get up in the morning and what I live for?

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