FIVE months into my journey to be registered as a sole carer for my ailing wife, I am still waiting for help.
I’m 93-years-old – a retired NHS surgeon but not retired as a doctor.
I’m not using my scalpel anymore however, only my knowledge and my brain.
Having been married for 66 years I wish to take care of my physically handicapped wife, who desperately needs help.
I need to feel that, in case of accident, someone will contact my son (a doctor in London) and friends locally, so she will not be alone.
Individuals are brilliant, but the system is chaotic and unco-ordinated, it is soul-destroying and either of us could be dead before I receive the designation.
Forms: I have filled in 100 pages. Assessment: three times by different assessors – the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.
Because of Covid-19, I decided to be understanding, so when we were cautiously allowed to mix again, I phoned the responsible agency only to be informed that my case “was closed”.
By whom? The answer was that no one knew. Eventually the case was reopened, but I was passed to a different team which would contact me. Eventually I was visited at home and verbally assessed – again. For the umpteenth time I repeated the symptoms and diagnosis of the multiple pathologies of my wife and everything about me.
However, apparently I needed to be assessed yet again by ‘Support Services’, to identify my needs. This had been done but the previous information provided had not been passed on.
After further weeks I sat with headphones on waiting – but no call. I rang the appropriate number only to be told there was no record of this interview appointment which left me angry and perplexed. I gave the name of the assessor only to be told “She’s in Driffield”, as if that solved things.
I left a message expressing my disgust. After some considerable time, we agreed on a convenient time to complete the assessments. This happened two weeks ago when I was given a printed copy of the report. I was told I would receive the appropriate ID/Sole Carer card “in the next few days”. I am still waiting in desperation.
The social care system has been hopelessly inadequate, incompetent and appears to be not fit for purpose.
No doubt somebody will blame the Covid pandemic rather than taking responsibility for themselves.
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