Last night Wirral Council confirmed the predictable outcome of postponing the closure of disabled respite centre Girtrell Court until a “consultation ” process had been completed. Whilst this may primarily serve the purpose of avoiding adverse publicity in the run up to the local elections might we suggest that the Save Girtrell Court campaigners won’t be going away any time soon.
The Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) are allegedly helping disabled people and their carers through this stressful “consultation” period by engaging the services of Penderel’s Trust http://www.penderelstrust.org.uk/ who are providing a “brokerage” service assisting people towards the brave new world of “choice”.
Whilst Penderel’s Trust may be a not-for- profit organisation it should be remembered that they are in receipt of money for work that used to be done by social workers (or at least should have been) and however good their intentions the fact is that it is another example of public money being spent on external consultants.
The process of steering disabled people and their carers to where Wirral Council want them to go is further assisted by Council staff known as “navigators”.
We swear we are not making this up.
“Navigators” – we’ll leave that there on the page for you to ponder for a moment.
However the problem is that some of these navigators are feeling a bit sea-sick and have been expressing the view to carers that Girtrell Court shouldn’t close . However the sad fact is that these unqualified social workers know they’d be back flipping burgers if they expressed this view to DASS managers as what’s left of DASS has very much returned to the bad old days.
Of course DASS have a long and inglorious record of undermining the professional status of social workers by hiring people to the work of social workers without the qualifications , experience and knowledge. It’s cheaper and comes with the added bonus of staff not being concerned with having to comply with a professional code of conduct.
Might we suggest that the powers that be at Wirral Council could do with their own set of navigators over the next few weeks as they’re heading for choppy waters.