Now of all the stories that we’ve covered on Wirralleaks the one that hits home most with the good Lady and I is the 4 week delay story which caused such a furore and then rapidly seemed to disappear from public consciousness.
I think the reason that the story hits home with Justine and I is that as we enter our final years , thoughts turn rapidly to mortality and how we’d like to spend our last days on earth.
Preferably not suffering in pain and all alone and lying in our own poop.
Not much to ask you’d think in 21st century Britain – but you only have to read the horror stories from the Mid-Staffs Inquiry (dehydrated patients drinking from flower vases,naked elderly patients left in their own dried excrement) to realise that somewhere along the way dignity and compassion got lost in the pursuit of targets and savings.
The 4 week delay story so far is on Wirralleaks but basically to recap it would seem a bevy of exceedingly well paid Social Services managers sat around a table and on the suggestion of *********** came up with a jolly good wheeze to save money – the jolly good wheeze being “LETS NOT SPEND ANY”! and the best way not to spend money was to delay the commissioning of care packages to which vulnerable people were LEGALLY ENTITLED to in accordance with care legislation.
.Although it seems social workers could ask for a “waiver” of this 4 week delay if the vulnerable person was in particularly dire need,the delay was implemented in the hope that as a Social Services employee once stated that vulnerable people “did the decent thing” and died in the intervening 4 weeks and so save the Council some money.
It beggars belief that someone who worked for a Social Services Department apparently thought this was an acceptable thing to say.
So for clarification Verity kindly went back to an Independent Review Report published in April 2012 which was written by Rob Vickers (on hearing this Eldritch rather pithily commented : “Is that his name or a fucking job description”?) .
Anyway the mysterious Mr.Vickers (about whom I feel we be hearing more about) provides a succinct explanation of the 4 week delay in the reports conclusion :
In relation to potential policy contravention, the view of the IR (Independent Reviewer) is that the 4 week delay was clearly seated within the overall Budget setting process for the Council and expectations that Departments would seek to deploy and utilise resources efficiently and effectively and achieve balanced year end budgets. The 4 week delay was one of a raft of in year budget actions to seek to correct a projected in year budget
overspend. As such, the action was set against other actions and was an appropriate
and proportionate management initiative endorsed at Branch and Senior Leadership
Team levels. Adult Social Services Managers were endeavouring to respond in a
responsible manner to demographic pressures and budgetary constraints that whilst
in year could equally be set against a backdrop of a recurring structural deficit
Eh? Pardon?!.Clear as custard old chap!……
I asked Verity if she could be so kind as to do an Easy -Read version of this conclusion for me but she just sneered at Eldritch and said : ” I fear Eldritch has a more succinct and accurate explanation ……. it’s “a load of fucking bollocks” m’lud.Or as I might have alliteratively put it – meaningless management-speak meant to mask malpractice”
We all applauded Verity on her oral dexterity and then passed round the magnifying glass to try and make sense of the report.
One of the many perplexing aspects of the report is that the appendix identifies that the only people interviewed by Mr.Vickers seem to be those who devised the policy .Bizarrely the investigation did not include the whistleblower (Andy Campbell ) or any of the DASS staff who had to implement it!.
The same DASS staff who historically been blamed for misinterpreting the intent of the 4 week delay as they are portrayed as a bunch of duffers who don’t understand the finer workings of complex financial jiggerypokery.
However I just wonder if all of the DASS Managers feel as though their views on the 4 week delay are truly reflected in the Independent Review Report.
Interestingly enough we have an email which has recently come into our possession -which we have been informed is also in the hands of a unnamed Councillor – which has some interesting views on the 4 week delay (and indeed other matters).
However we have concluded that judging by the appalling grammar,spelling and Eldritchesque expletives it couldn’t possibly have been written by a senior DASS senior manager. We find it shocking that the Council/Councillors have had this information and have appeared to do very little with it – We don’t know if the content is correct, but as councillor Jefferson Green once said quoting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandei ‘Sunlight Is the Best Disinfectant‘.,”
“I am not complicit or corrupt, despite what you think. All i do is do my job which i think i do to the best of my ability and nothing more, yes i did get an honorium (sic) being in the ******** Team and I think I deserved that so i have no guilt for accepting it.
Nor did i have anything to do with the “4 week rule to delay care packages,”in fact when i heard of that i told both my boss and the director as i knew it was illegal. I could not influence the fact that they did nothing about it. For you (sic) information the ******* grant was snatched by **** who got his nasty little hands on it in the first place. Our jobs were not funded from the ****** grant at all, our jobs were suppose (sic) to be back filled using the grant but as **** stole it to put it towards his overspent budget none of our jobs could be back filled.
So take that one forward and see how far u get, no doubt its all been covered up and cant be proved but i know otherwise While your (sic) at it take the issue of the RAS forward too, **** and ***** ********** did a deal with councillors to drop the RAS from 1.88 to 1.62, oh yeah it made them look great as you can imagine, they all think the sun shines out of ****’s arse anyway. This will mean that all those on ILF will be disadvantaged. The councillors wont have understood that till (sic) the shit really hits the fan.
I raised it with ****, with M*****, with F*** with whoever would listen to try to stop him taking forward the proposal but it didn’t matter a jot, it made **** look good but u wait and see what happens when people on ILF realise that when they are reviewed there (sic) budget will drop to such a level that they will also loose (sic) their ILF unless ***** fiddles the figures for these people through the panel process to keep their packages above the ILF ceiling. i cant remember the figures of how many people in wirral are on ILF, the info is on the ILF website but it amounts to around 2 million pounds that people will loose (sic), i got all this information and presented it to **** but he and ****** said it was irrelevant and put a one liner in the report that will probably cover their back if and when the shit hits the fan.
You are right the council is corrupt but you know what all we did was try to do our job we were small fish in a very big pond but all of the ***** Team have been tarred with the same brush. . Hopefully I can be another Martin Moreton (sic) and be paid off to shut up and get out the fucking shit hole. I have so much informaiton (sic) to blow them all to smitherines (sic) and dont give a fuck””
We here at Leaky Towers are simply breathless with anticipation……..