Dass on the rocks

DASS on the rocks

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 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.

12 thoughts on “Navigators

  1. We are definitely not going anywhere soon. Please join the retain campaign using the petition linked below. Sign up and, to have maximum impact, email your ward councillor as listed in the petition updates to register your disapproval of Girtrell Closure plan.

  2. Arr DASS! Where does one begin? My honest personal experience of that department is that a small caucus of senior management has got bullying off to an art form. I have never seen a team of junior colleagues brow beaten to the point of such submission. Everyone is petrified and so they just get their heads down and take it. Many of them have families and mortgages etc and so are fearful of speaking out. Others are just so scared of upsetting management and losing their jobs that they dare not speak up.

    There are many good junior officers in DASS who clearly went into public service to do their collective best for their communities. They do care about what happens to the people they support but they have no power. The team of bullies who sit in Hodkinsons “Pod” for senior manager “strategy” meetings rule the roost and if you step out of line the bullying begins. Usually, it is his second in command. Her of the ” lets have a sandwich together in Birkenhead Town Hall and get to know each other”! That got scrapped after one week as no one wanted to eat with her!

    Trust me when I tell you that I am a strong minded person. However, I had to leave for the good of my health. I had arguments with senior officers but it was pointless and eventually you know you are powerless.

    I have a new job. At first I found it astonishing that the people I work with go about their jobs with a smile of their faces and management are part of the collective. There is break-out rooms and a training programme. My new boss called me in after a couple of weeks and asked me if I was ok? He told me that the staff are the company’s most valuable asset and he meant it. I had forgotten that this is how work was. Serious but enjoyable. I was so used to Wirral Council that I had forgotten what is was like to work for people who don’t just care about themselves and their public sector pension.

    I know this has been a bit of a rant but I can assure you that it is the truth and unless you have worked for Wirral Council and DASS in particular, you will find it impossible to estimate how bad it actually is!

    If this is the Most Improved Council I would hate to see the worst.

  3. Many years ago I spent some anxious times helping to rescue desperate sailors from their stricken vessels.

    If the same happened tomorrow with HMS Wirral Council, listing and holed beneath the waterline, I’d sail on past without a care in the world…

  4. Get the gist of the story but do take offence at the burger flipping ,unqualified comment re care navigators.You would be surprised just how qualified ,knowledgeable and committed most are .Having fought for 3 years to get the pay they deserve DASS head honcho,s now want to get rid of them .Apparently the vulnerable and elderly who have a critical or substantial need will be able to pop to a portal in a library or one stop shop and navigate their own package of care .Incidentally one could argue that ,in a lot of cases, many people should qualify for continuing health care funding ( free) but are contributing and sometimes being charged the full cost of a care package. But let’s not start on health services in Wirral .Only 9 per cent of CHC applications are successful in Wirral ,compared to Barnsley 61 per cent .Post code lottery ,political hot potatoe .You betcha!.Let’s navigate this argument!

    • Thanks for this.
      Does make us wonder where it will all end.
      The burger flipping comment was to make a point and goes back to the days when we predicted that social care would go this way.

  5. Girtrell supporters are certainly not going away any time soon.

    If you care about this issue, search “Girtrell” on and register your support for retention. Thank you.

  6. It’s interesting isn’t it, social media I mean. The fact that someone can write any sort of incorrect, disrespectful and offensive information but it still gets out there and influences the thinking of others.
    While I agree with much of the article, such as the use of public money to pay external organisations to allow the local authority to achieve their own agenda. I have to take issue with the derogatory references towards ‘Navigators’. These are very much individuals with a wealth of experience and qualifications relevant to their area of work. Many have been Care Home managers themselves or indeed worked as social workers or care managers in the past, but are no long able to take on the mantle of social worker, because of the age or type of qualification they have .
    To indicate that these individuals would not act in the best interests of the public is dangerous and counter productive in my opinion.
    On a final note there are also qualified social workers working with carers and families on this issue and what makes you think that they are able to offer any more robust defiance to the local authority’s demands. At the end of the day whether it is a social worker, navigator or 3rd sector worker. Everyone is expected to follow an agenda that is set out by the elected decision makers, whether we like it or not. All we can do is express our concerns, which is what is being done now, as i understand from the thread of your article.

    • Thanks for the comment.Although you didn’t identify what was incorrect.
      We’re glad you agreed with much of the article even if you took umbrage at how we expressed it.
      Sorry to have to say but your final paragraph reinforces our position especially the comment :”Everyone is expected to follow an agenda that is set out by the elected decision makers, whether we like it or not.”
      Not everyone Mickey – people have choices.

  7. G’day Lordly

    On the cheap cider tonight L, all I can afford almost 5 years on the dole since I went to AdderleyDadderleyDooLally and “The Chamber Potty” to blow the whistle on Wirral “Funny” Bizz knocking off about £2,000,000.00 just to be lied too, so anything could follow Leaky, even a leaky or two.

    They must have earned over half a million since then for being a pair of lying cheating bum holes.

    Navigation you say My Lord

    All with one thing in common

    Well “Phil the Very very Deluded Dill” will be navigating his way around a golf course pretending he is good and Jack’s new best friend. I’m gonna build as many golf courses that will fit on Wirral’s care home sites.

    “Ankles” will be navigating his way around Bidston Hill with what’s her name, don’t tell what’s her name. “Highbrow” saw them.

    “The Pretend Friend” will be navigating around the cheap cider club with the funny animals that grown men worship like children worship football shirts and planning his next assassination. Oops he just fell over.

    “Phil the Dill’s Ugly Twin Brother with the Comb Over From hell” will be navigating around the gang with his Wirralgate phone threatening anyone and everyone.

    “The Shyster” will be navigating his way around all those secret files and busy ignoring FOI requests and reading up on asset stripping and considering who should go to jail except himself.

    “Crapapple” will be navigating his way to London to see the queen in his bus that he would argue the wheels don’t go round and round…….because he is Wirral Labor through and through and what he says is fact, is fact.

    Oh sorry “Craps” I forgot they threw you on the shit heap.

    Ecca will be navigating his way to his next job……………….hooray.



    The moral of the story My lovely is that they all so busy doing their weekend thing they have not considered for one minute



    Luv ya Leaky keep up the great work luv the fact its gonna start getting rough this week

  8. ‘Navigators’; these f***wits can’t get enough off their own self-serving bullshit management speak. I think I’ve heard it all now, how much more can these feckless jargon vomiters spew forth to pollute the English language whilst trying to pretend they’re not heading for the rocks?

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