A New Year Message


Whilst we collate the votes for the Leaky Awards 2017 we are honoured to publish this ‘New Year Message’ courtesy of long time Wirral Leaks supporter and contributor Dr Robert Smith.

Whilst it is understandable that we are encouraged to accentuate the positive at this time of year with an optimistic cry of ‘New Year, New Me!’ and plans for a gym membership , a new diet , a dry January and a flick through a travel brochure. However we feel it is our role at Leaky Towers to provide a hard dose of reality in advance of the fading of New Year’s resolutions come February.

Dr Smith’s ‘New Year Message’ is a timely reminder that now is not the time to be vulnerable on Wirral. Of course you won’t be reading in the local press that Wirral features in yet another list of shame.  New figures provided by the Care Quality Commission to MP Barbara Keeley, Labour’s social care spokesperson, indicate that Wirral is one of the places named in the country where over half of nursing homes are rated as ‘requiring improvement or inadequate’. For full story read here  (although we advise you won’t find the information in the ‘ Sidebar of Shame’ !)

Perhaps Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin,Chair of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee , will finally make the connection between poor quality care and allegations of abuse against vulnerable people or as we’ve reported previously it’ll be the usual case of Carry On Matron .

And so from ‘the Matron’ to ‘the Doctor’ :

Happy New Year to all at Wirral Leaks with my best wishes for the future!

Happy New Year also, to all the Wirral Leaks posse, and best wishes to you all.

If you trawl through the extensive catalogue of failings of, and failures in, Wirral Council it is not surprising that little, if anything has changed for the better.

Wirral Council is so deeply trapped by its own stinking morass of corporate incompetence and ineptitude, it should really have been ‘put down’ long ago, not to save the organisation suffering, but to ease the suffering of those it is supposed to serve.

Party politics and organisational survival is all that matters and pervades the ‘Wirral and Merseyside Partnerships’ having created the http://www.lookingafterourselves.con (the Wirral-Wide Web) and its regional counterpart mww.lookingafterourmates.con (the Mersey-Wide Web).

If ‘vulnerable people’ is the Number 1 priority for Wirral Council, then WBC must be one of the greatest local government success stories of recent years, and a result which really eclipses the Local Government Comical Award ‘Most Improved Council in Great Britain – 2015’.

Trawling through the failings of Wirral Council it is impossible to ignore the fact that the Council has been demonstrated to have failed most sectors of Wirral society to a staggering level. With the help of some local MPs, have triumphantly made things a whole lot worse in care services, young people’s services, child-safeguarding, the elderly, employment prospects, innovation, deprivation, life expectancy, access to public buildings and resources, building on green belt, active degeneration previously known as regeneration, child-poverty, need for foodbanks, conduct in public office, public service integrity, leadership, public interest, the list is virtually endless…

Wirral Council now creates groups of vulnerable people, or enlarges those that already exist.

The point ultimately is that Wirral Council has 100% of the Wirral population that can be considered vulnerable, the most recent being Wirral Council Tax payers who, as a group, are vulnerable to continued financial exploitation through significant future Council Tax increases to finance a diminishing range of virtually unrecognisable ‘public services’ whilst funding obscene senior manager salaries and the expenses of  http://www.lookingafterourselves.con members.

It is convenient politically to say that it is ‘all a result of austerity’ and ‘Tory government cuts’. This is only partly true. Wirral Council’s finances have been in freefall since the 1990’s and successive administrations have built up problems for the future…what happened to the over £500,000,000 invested in Birkenhead between 1991 and 2002?

In addition to much other borrowing, why is Wirral Council spending over £8m per annum in interest payment to foreign banks after borrowing £137m before 2008? As a result of this borrowing WBC is in debt to those banks for in excess of £500,000,000 finally repayable by 2075? Mortgaging the kid’s and the kid’s kids futures, meanwhile lending millions of WBC cash to other councils at ‘mate’s rates’ as well as holding large reserves.

Wirral Leaks has made a difference, for the better, for the people of Wirral…

…that can in no way be said of Wirral Council.

 Happy New Year to all.

DASS Update: According to Peer Review Progress Not Even So-So” “

It’s now late summer and somewhat like this snifter of Courvoisier I have in my hand  we’re feeling fine and mellow at Leaky Towers and we’ve been musing  on how we’ve got to know each other very well now – so lets dispense with the formalities for the time being.

We may be members of the landed gentry but in the words of those good buddies Cameron and Brooks –“we’re all in this together” right?.  Therefore, you have special permission to henceforth refer to me by my first name Julian and my loyal and trusted Ladyship is quite happy to be called Justine.

 So, in the spirit of such bonhomie we’ve been trying to find out for you what Wirral Council’s Department of Adult Social Services has been up to lately.

As you may know they’ve got a new Director – a certain Mr.Hobgoblinson or some such and they even have a plan –  “The Everything is Going To Be Nice & Lovely Plan” – so many wonderful,clever  ideas with timetables and pie charts and spreadsheets and outcomes and targets and so on and so forth (sorry correction – Justine has just whispered in my ear :” not targets dear ,targets have become very unfashionable ” – and as we know its all about appearances these days and if its one thing darling Justine knows about its  fashion  – there isn’t a day that goes by without her fingering her way through Vogue and its supermodels).

 So there I was thinking so far, so good until dainty Miss Verity just tiptoed in with a note on a silver platter.

 And oh dearie ,dearie me  it would appear that so much for DASS getting its house in order as the unbelievable news reaches us that the so and so’s at DASS are renewing contracts with a “care provider” who were heavily criticised in the notorious AKA report and who has featured prominently in despatches from Leaky Towers and horrifyingly in this particular story “A Grave Injustice.”

 How so? I hear you cry?!  

Well apparently all those associated with Service Provider 10 has been given the all clear because the owner has been very upset about pranging the Bentley (don’t you just hate it when that happens?) and so all is forgiven apparently – and so – its business as usual and  they are now an integral part of The Everything Is Going To Be Nice & Lovely Plan  –   so break out the Bollinger boys and girls!.

 However as dear,darling Verity points out things are not as Oh So Rosy as it would  appears as there a few pesky social workers in DASS who are not very happy about this situation as it means they may be have to get into bed (if you’ll pardon the expression ) with a particular person associated with appalling practices ( I’m assuming that these “practices” which would be classed as criminal if perpetrated against you or I were never investigated properly by DASS/CQC or Police or as Ernest Eldritch, our earthy gardner puts it in his own inimitable style – “Seems they just couldn’t be fucking arsed sir, if you’ll pardon me for saying so m’lud”.

 So I suppose the question that disgruntled social workers should be posing is whether DASS managers or indeed anyone associated with the Council would be happy to have members of their family under the “care” of someone with a “bit of a rep” as once again Eldritch delightfully puts it

 And so – at this juncture I fear that all I can do is sigh deeply,adjust my monocle and commandeer one of Justine’s fashionista phrases and proclaim: ” OH DASS – this is SO VERY YOU“   

   READ MORE AT CBBC , sorry we mean CQC  has ANYTHING changed ?

Social Work Staff Exploited.

Replacing Social Workers with unqualified “Social Care Burger Flippers” is a theme that’s been mentioned on Wirral Leaks more than once and today’s Daily Mirror article reflects (sic) the views of the ex-WBC employee who recently wrote to his MP Frank Field relating his concerns about Social Care –  HERE. 

When the Unions say there aren’t enough social workers it should be noted that reducing qualified experienced Social Workers and  replacing them with  “Support Officers”  was a deliberate policy and one which the trade unions ( on the Wirral)  seemed more than happy to embrace.  So it’s a little hypocritical to feign surprise at the mess social work departments are now in as they do this article.

“Support staff and assistants are being used as social workers “on the cheap” as local authorities struggle to cope with budget cuts, a union has claimed.

Unison said research among more than 350 staff across the UK showed that the boundaries between the work of professional social workers and support staff were “blurring into non-existence”.

Two thirds of the social work assistants and support staff surveyed said they were regularly given work with vulnerable children and adults they did not feel qualified to carry out.

Many said they worked alone on complex cases, often feeling out of their depth, with more than two out of three dealing with an increasing number of cases.

Three out of four worked extra hours, while two thirds earned less than £21,000. Half of those polled had suffered verbal attacks and one in four had received threats.

Helga Pile, Unison’s national officer for social care, said: “Our survey shows that social work assistants and support workers are seriously struggling to cope with the pressures being piled on them, as demand continues to grow, while resources are drastically cut.

“Staff are very concerned about vulnerable children and adults who rely on the services. There aren’t enough social workers, so they are under growing pressure to step into the breach and carry out work they may be unqualified to do. They end up suffering from excessive bureaucracy, stress and burn-out – just like social workers.

“Support workers and social work assistants have a vital role to play but are often used as cheap labour for social workers. Those who wish to become social workers need continuing support to qualify, yet this cost-effective way of ‘growing your own’ social workers is being cut.

“We need proper safeguards in the system to protect assistants and support workers, social workers – and the people who rely on these vital services.”

One of the staff surveyed said the number of cases she had to deal with in a week had increased from 30 to 54, adding: “We are all leaving because they (managers) totally take advantage.”

Wirral Leaks has been given the document below which would appear to confirm that within Wirral Social Services unqualified Assistant Support Officers present more complex cases (in terms of volume) to panel ( decision making meeting) than Social Workers. Not sure we’d be happy if an unqualified admin clerk was advocating on behalf of our parents as whether they should have high level care package/res care etc.  Call us old fashioned but we’d want somebody who had experience and qualifications.

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/latest/2011/10/06/union-social-work-staff-exploited-115875-23470366/#ixzz1ZzDJ21V5

Wirral Council – Whistleblowing – Louder Than Bombs.

The meltdown continues over at Wirral Council Social Services Department were a  “culture of bullying and intimidation” in the “dysfunctional” social services department seem the norm. As do the allegedly immoral practices that are accepted as ‘the way things are’  – But at least there are some within the organsiation who have had the courage to speak out   “To impose an artificial four-week delay is illegal because the authority is failing in its duty to meet the assessed need. “The likely impact is the individual will suffer for longer than they need to.”

Are these the people we want looking after the most vulnerable in society ?Would this be acceptable if your mother or grandmother’s care was delayed for no other reason, we can see, other than to save money and make senior managers look good ?

Read More http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2011/09/30/whistleblowers-claim-wirral-council-operated-illegal-delay-on-care-92534-29513038/2/#ixzz1ZSh58637

Wirral Councils lamentable response, full of bluster and breathtaking in it’s self serving arrogance, does not,  it should be noted, include an outright denial that such a blanket policy was in place and quite clearly ignores the fundamental questions. It instead concentrates on transparent and woeful arse covering.

“Dysfunctional” “Toxic” “Corrupt” “Self Serving” ? are comments that have been used to describe this local authority and yet there are still no sackings or resignations ?   It’s a crying shame that it took a report at the cost of £250,000 of tax payers money to get the truth into the public domain.


How Not To Deal With A Sick Employee Part 2- The Wirral Way.

More enlightening news reaches us on how Wirral BC manipulate ‘procedures’ to rid themselves of troublesome staff with disabilities.

The Scenario :  When you have a condtion covered by the Disability Discrimination/Equalities Act, and your employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments and you fall ill due to the sheer chaos of your working environment, do you get support? 

The Answer :

So if you are lucky enough to be in the employ of Wirral Council, and  if the strain of your caseload has made your  illness so debilitating that you cannot function then  it’s your own fault. It’s a character defect within you – you are of no use to them !

  In a nutshell your employers make you ill, offer you no support and then threaten you with the sack for having the audacity to be ill.  Welcome to the wonderfully twisted world of Wirral Borough Council were compassion and empathy are as valued  as speed limits and  health and safety are by Jeremy Clarkeson.

 And they wonder why, even in such harsh economic times, when Voluntary Serevrance was offered well over 40% of Social Services staff applied. It appears the dole and an uncertain finacial future seemed eminently more preferable than remaining in a miasima of dysfunction and intimidation.


Do you need to be cared for or processed ?