As Steve Foulkes steps down as Labour leader we ask….

…what actual f**king planet is the incoming Labour leader on?


The First Of Many ???

How Things Work – Hypocrisy & The Senior Officers “Network”

We are “intrigued” to discover that Wirral Council’s own Rick O’Brien (RO’B) is the End of Life Care Lead for the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services .
 So one-time heir apparent Rick O’Brien (Head of Wirral Social Services Branch Access & Assessment and who apparently until VERY recently was apparently openly touting for consultancy offers* on the Linked in Social Networking site) was seemingly hand-picked to be the Association of Adult Social Services (ADASS) to be  End of Life Care Lead
Yes let us repeat that, the End of Life Care Lead.
The same Rick O’Brien who apparently thought up the 4 week delay in commissioning services as shown HERE. This would be the 4 week delay that they claimed didn’t exist, the four week delay that has been described as “illegal,” the very same four week delay in which there was no risk or impact assessment(see here) on how this effected the elderly or vulnerable and the four week delay Wirral Leader Councillor Jeff Green described on his own blog asyet more evidence of a department that was in disarray and a prime example of why we are appointing an ‘independent ombudsman’ to investigate concerns raised around Council practices, particularly in the Department for Adult Social Services” For residents, this will have meant care that could have been provided quickly, wasn’t.”This is also the four week delay that  has caused such public outrage which can be seen by the Wirral Globe comments HERE ,
Meanwhile we also came across an illuminating NHS document
where Rick O’Brien actually writes the  foreword and states:
Support for people at the end of their lives has great significance in social care. Domiciliary care and residential home staff often play unique and vital roles working alongside people and their families – sometimes over extended periods of uncertainty and decline. Providing this support in the right way, with an emphasis on dignity in care, can have a positive effect.

Social care staff who arrange support services also have a critical role to play.
Our value base, with its strong emphasis on empathy, respect and allowing people to make informed choices, is vital to achieving better end of life care. Mutually supportive working between health and social care is another key ingredient. Training can have a significant impact on both staff confidence and service standards. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services welcomes this report, the innovative initiatives it promotes and the opportunity it provides.
Rick O’Brien, End of Life care lead, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Such fine sounding  words…….
Dignity? Empathy? Respect? Informed Choices? Service Standards?Innovative Initiatives? – perhaps Mr.O’Brien can please tell us where did they figure in the thinking that went behind the 4 week delay in commissioning services?.
How did  O’Brien  reconcile these laudable sentiments with  Wirral Council’s “VALUE BASE”  – which is there for all to see at that fateful  “Budget Meeting” held on 23rd October 2008 and which was chaired by O’Brien himself and attended by his faithful “gatekeepers”?.
We wonder if the 4 week delay in commissioning care was cited as a model of good practice at a “Policy Session” attended by O’Brien  as a ” main participant “  which was held on 4 November 2010 to discuss – wait for thisSupporting people to Live and Die Well : social care at the end of life
-NO his Lord and Ladyship are NOT making this up –
check  this out if you don’t believe us:
As you can see chairing this event in his role as a Trustee of the National Council for Palliative Care is none other than the  Mayors special friend and former Wirral Social Services Director…….. Mr.Kevin “ Windy” Miller – ……………………which is why Lord and Lady Wirralleaks are once again “intrigued”!.
“Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.
NB *Councils Conflict Of Interest Guide states

Paragraph 71

“Officers above Scale 6 (now above SCP29) shall devote their whole-time service to the work of their Council and shall not engage in any other business or take up any other additional appointment without the express consent of the Council. “


“Is There Anybody There ?”

Wirrals Not So Hot Line

Why not publicly an announce setting up a hot line (see HERE)  and then not answer it ?  In most places this would be madness, but in Wirral Council, it’s the norm.

Yet More Piss Poor “Corporate Governance” Wirral Council Style..

From the Wirral Globe

“ASTONISHING parallels have emerged between a highly critical investigation into Wirral Council’s inadequate ethics and governance in 2005 and an equally damaging inquiry conducted six years later.

A review by local government watchdog the Audit Commission published in August of 2005 found Wirral guilty of alarming errors at the most senior level as it sought to transfer its highways administration centre from Bebington to the Cheshire Lines building in Birkenhead”

Here’s the Audit Commission Report (CLICK)

We think his comment on the Wirral Globe web site sums it up best 😉

“I bet they’re Green around the gills in Canning Street.

PS. The “new chief executive Jim Wilkie” was formerly the “deputy chief executive” mentioned in this report, wasn’t he?

The highways director is STILL the highways boss.

The finance boss is STILL the finance boss.

No doubt they will all come rushing forward waving their £100k salary cheques insisting they’re the right men to investigate themselves, in a statement issued by the furious Sultaness of Spin.

And on and on – and on – we go.”

We are imagining an apoplectic Frank Field Mp running toward Town hall rather like Bishop Brennan from Father Ted 🙂

Wirral in Private Eye Rotten Boroughs Yet Again.

It would appear Wirral Council are trying to break some sort of a record for appearances in Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs section. Lord and Lady Wirral-Leaks are huge fans of the Eye, and admire they way it cuts through the spin and bluster to tell it exactly like it is. This week it mentions the 4 week delay aka DELAYGATE, plus some disturbing tales of care providers without contracts on the Wirral run by ex-CID officers. We are of course sure that such a link would never compromise the integrity or veracity of any potential Police investigation. The Eye also quotes the suspected amount of money paid to two employees, lets call them Nora Doone and Pike Growler, totals which FOI requests have thus far failed to reveal  (see HERE)

There is also a brief mention in Social Work bible “Community Care” with regard to “#DELAYGATE”  HERE

Mind you rumour has it that Community Care is on board with Wirral’s Department Of Adult Social Services (DASS) to assist in improving it’s public image, although the feeling is that even Harry Potter’s magical powers would be put to the test in trying to spin DASS in positive light.

This may explain Community Care’s recent “soft focus” interview with new Director Graham Hodkinson, whose grip on the situation could be summed up when he incongruously stated that [within the Department] “morale is good.“  Sorry, but saying it doesn’t make it so Graham old fruit.

We suggest he reads the comments on the Wirral Globe website for a truer picture of what’s really going on in DASS. There he will discover horrific tales of institutionalised bullying were former staff talk of pressure, intimidation and being forbidden to mention the 4 week delay and ultimately being forced out of their jobs. Or perhaps he might like to peruse the emails we have received – which are numerous and shocking – Here is a quote from just one of those emails.

To be honest I don’t think I have ever worked in a more bullying environment.  I have met bullies in work in other places, but never a culture of nastiness and threat from management at every turn.

I can only presume they must be desperately worried and are doing everything they can to shift the blame for a failing organisation onto newly recruited, overworked and inadequately trained staff – I truly find it depressing that human beings can act like this – remember they are planning all their actions, these are not impulsive actions!

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Wirral Set Up Delaygate Hotline.

So the 4 week care delay that didn’t actually happen, did happen!

Wirral Council have set up a “hotline” in response to DELAYGATE which opened today and will be available until Friday, April 13.

The number to call is 0151 606 2641.

Complaints can also be registered by emailing or in writing to the Customer Resolution and Information Team, Hamilton Building, Conway Street, Birkenhead, CH41 4FD.

Other questions people may like to ask is,

Why was there a delay especially when the Fair Access to care legislation states “Councils should provide services promptly once they have agreed to do so.”

Who decided on this policy, Elected members ? Or Senior Officers ? 

Why are these people still in post and why was this unofficial policy covered up for so long? 

Who are the specialist team of officers independent of Wirral Council.?

Unofficial Media Statement – Wirral Explain “Delaygate” ?

D.A.S.S Spokesman Richard Dasstardly briefed media today : 
“Well the thing is right , when we said “4 week delay in commissioning care”  what we really meant was that this was to assist service users time to reflect on their needs and er, ensure that the package was bespoke and very good and stuff.
It is a gross misrepresentation to call it a delay .The secretary taking the minutes of the Budget Meeting meant to write  “4 week prioritisation process” in the minutes.As a result of her sheer incompetence she’s now been chosen to be the fall person for this “misunderstanding” because she can’t possibly understand how clever,caring and cuddly we really,really are deep,deep down inside…………..
Please note: the fact that “prioritisation” does not feature among any of the documentation relating to this case should not lead you to the conclusion that we are making it up as we go along.
Prioritisation is such a long and very important word it should be all we need to convince Councillors that what we were doing was in the best interests of all concerned ( OK not the people of Wirral – but hey they don’t count do they ?- they’re just there to fund my lavish lifestyle in the Cheshire stockbroker belt).   
However we must explain that if there was a delay, we have decided it was the service users fault for not agreeing to a piss-poor service, sorry we mean personalised service within a 4 week period of reflection followed by a period of prioritisation by very,very clever Senior managers .
Some social workers may have thought there a 4 week delay but that’s because they’re not as clever as us and they get a little confused sometimes but that’s their fault because they just don’t listen sometimes and its nothing to do with our lack of communication skills.
I will not waiver on this point.
The commissioning care aspect is again a misnomer as clearly we don’t care.Er, please don’t misinterpret what we’re saying here.We mean we support people to be independent rather than care, as we believe in choice and er,empowerment and other words we can regurgitate on cue but don’t really mean.
Finally when we refer to the independent sector we mean a small group of “support” providers who are so independent and free of scrutiny we have absolutely no control over them.
I hope this explanation proves that making out we are all DASS-tardly is just not very nice and a little bit upsetting.
As you know DASS senior managers are held in such high esteem for their honesty and integrity by the people of Wirral and to see their reputations trashed by someone who probably has never had to do something really tricky with an Excel spreadsheet makes us all nostalgic for the days when we could rely on the Cabinet lead for Social Care to get us out of any old shit we landed ourselves in.
Therefore  we can only conclude that this is clearly the work of a trouble maker who is probably a bit mad – just like the other one!”