Another Crumby Idea From Wirral BC Is Toast

“Bring A Butty ??? “
Lord & Lady Wirralleaks have learned about the sad cancellation of  today’s Department of Adult Social Services ” Bring a Butty” session. Although we have to say we had to rely on Eldritch our common or garden (but mainly common) gardener to explain just what the John H. Webb a “butty” was. Apparently they are somewhat akin to the cucumber fresh salmon and dill sandwiches we have for afternoon tea.
Anyway  it would appear that “Bring a Butty”  is the latest wheeze to get staff interested in the day to day chaos that is Wirral’s Department Of Adult Social Services and thought up by someone described by staff as a “professional scouser” (which would explain the rather ,erm,”chummy” tone) ,
A ” Bring a Butty” session all sounds rather jolly doesn’t it? ,except that it would appear, according to Eldritch, “nobody could be arsed turning up” to listen to someone from Merseyside Disability Federation talk about “Making it Real” – presumably this was a talk about how disabled people live in the real world and not the parallel universe which DASS seem to think they inhabit – were rights,equality and fair access are alien concepts. 
Anyway all this talk of “butties” has made us hungry – I’m reaching for my bell pull to ask our cook, Nigella Knowall ,to prepare something I can get my teeth into.
Meanwhile as a matter of interest I asked Eldritch what sort of fillings DASS staff might bring to a “Bring A Butty” bash. 
“Bullshit…….they’re used to being fed that ” he replied.
Next month will see WBC start their, Bring A deckchair and wear Bermuda Shorts initiative in a specially commissioned beach themed meeting room in an attempt to spice things up a tad
It did sound rather implausible but our unflappable PA Verity Snoop had soon found the proof in this email trail which like most things in life, is best viewed from the bottom up, so to speak ?  It should be noted that further research from Miss Snoop has discovered that the real reason for the cancellation was that the gaffe-prone Communication & Engagement Department had caused confusion by suggesting the following tagline:
” Bring a Butty – Get your Baps Out”






From: Peel, Nicola
Sent: 13 September 2012 11:11
To: DASS SLT; DASS-Principal-Managers; DASS Service Managers; DASS Team Managers
Cc: Subject: FW: ‘Bring a Butty’

Please ensure this message is cascaded to all DASS staff…… The ‘Bring a Butty’ session advertised below has been cancelled due to poor take up

Thank you

From: Peel, Nicola
Sent: 05 September 2012 13:39
To: DASS SLT; DASS-Principal-Managers; DASS Service Managers; DASS Team Managers
CcSubject: ‘Bring a Butty’

Please ensure this message is cascaded to all DASS staff……

Sent on behalf of Chris Beyga, Head of Personal Support: –

We hear it all the time..….’I never get told anything’.

So here in DASS we’re giving you the opportunity to find out more. We’re holding some lunchtime ‘Bring a Butty’ sessions for you to hear about some of the important work that is going on across Wirral.  It could be something that you think doesn’t directly affect you but the knowledge could improve how you work or it could provide an opportunity for joint working, with benefits for all.

These ‘Bring a Butty’ sessions will be held on the second Friday of every month with a different topic or guest speaker at each session. If you have an interesting piece of work to talk about, please liaise with Nicki Hancocks who can organise a suitable spot for you on the agenda.

The next session is planned for 12.30-1.30pm on Friday 14 September at Birkenhead Town Hall, to meet with Chris Wardle from Merseyside Disability Federation

MDF provides support for voluntary and community groups in Merseyside and the surrounding areas that are of and for disabled people. They are an umbrella group – their main aim is to build the capacity of other voluntary groups.  They help you so that you can be more effective in your work of breaking down the barriers faced by disabled people. They are currently doing a piece of work in Wirral around ‘Making It Real’.

Anyone who wants to come along is more than welcome – it is your chance to ask any questions.

Again, please contact Nicki Hancocks

Chris Beyga


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Who shall now forever be known as Chris Bagel.

Wirral Council – Drowning In The Mire

Hello Verity here, I’m afraid today’s story has left Lord and Lady Wirral Leaks’ gaster truly flabbered.  Yes Wirral Council have admitted FINALLY that actually vulnerable people to whom Wirral Council had a duty of care where systematically overcharged to a much greater degree than they had originally admitted.

 It seems whistle-blower Marty M wasn’t just “a bit mad” or a conspiracy theorist to rival David Icke, but a man of integrity who spoke the truth, despite the deep personal cost. We at Leaky Towers have long suspected a cover up, yet we wonder why now they have suddenly come clean.  Damage limitation?  (It’s rather late for that dears, the Councils PR team has to be one of the most inept in the country, as disaster follows disaster, follows failure, follows scandal)  Perhaps there is discovery of yet another smoking gun?  😉  Perhaps, indeed!

 We predict in the coming weeks there will be the usual talk of lessons learnt, of moving on, a clean slate, of improved PI’s and of the great strides the department has made.  Elected members will be confused and befuddled by pie charts and graphs and by the magical wonder that is the point and click power point presentations (that any reasonably IT literate 12 year old could produce.) And for fear of looking like the oak headed Luddites they are Councillors will pretend to understand this tomfoolery and nod sagely. (A word of advice from Eldritch, our plain speaking Head Gardner : “Ask this – Erm excuse me but what the actual fuck do these charts mean, in like, the real world?” )

However, have lessons really been learnt?  Because sadly even the briefest of glances at the CQC website would show that some things never change, and that people are STILL at risk.  (See below)…  Has anything really changed at Wirral Council DASS?  Feel free to let us know, because we really are all ears (and eyes)



 Richmond Residential Home


The assessment and care planning processes did not protect people from receiving unsafe or inappropriate care.

  People may not be protected from abuse because adequate arrangements have not been put in place.

 Systems for assessing and monitoring the quality of the service were not sufficiently robust to ensure that people were protected from unsafe care.

 Records were not held securely to ensure that confidentiality was maintained.


 Edgeworth House

People who use the service were not protected from the risk of abuse, because the provider had not taken reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent abuse from happening.”


Mersey view Residential Home

 Staff should be properly trained and supervised, and have the chance to develop and improve their skills – The provider was not meeting this essential standard. Staff had not received appropriate levels of training, development, supervision and appraisal.

The Wirral Council Escape Club

First of all refresh your memories with regard to Rick “4 Week” Delay O’Brien HERE . It would seen having friends in high places has paid off… We are still flabbergasted at how this can be reconciled with implementing a 4 week delay.

See below





DATE:  6th JULY 2012




Dear Colleagues

I am writing to advise you that I will be leaving the Department of
Adult Social Care to take up a secondment with the Department of
Health National End of Life Care Team at the end of this month.  The
secondment is full time for a time limited period and may be extended
to a period of 18 months.  As many of you will know I have a
particular interest in this area of work so this secondment will
provide further opportunities to take forward the national End of Life
Care strategy and national framework for social care at the end of
life nationally and regionally.  My last working day will be Friday
3rd August.

Can I take this opportunity to thank managers and staff for their
support in the last 4 ½ years.  It has been a genuine pleasure and
privilege to work in Wirral with those operational managers and staff
who have shown exemplary commitment and professionalism in taking
forward the service improvement agenda, implementing and
personalisation and developing new models of working with partners.
There is a strong foundation to make further improvements and I wish
colleagues every success in making this happen in the future.

Rick O’Brien
Head of Personal Assessment and Planning


To reiterate

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
That’s how you avoid accountability folks !

The Wirral Way – How Things Work Part 189.

Leaky- Towers seems to be getting positively inundated with anonymous missives from disgruntled and brow-beaten Wirral Council employees these days. Each new missive seems to reveal yet another fresh layer of Hell and makes Dante’s Inferno resemble something akin to a jaunty stroll through an enchanted forest.  It also appears that the endemic culture of bullying and intimidation is alive and quite literally kicking!

 One item which keeps popping up is the invasion of a so called “Liverpool Mafia.” It appears the infamous “Halton Mafia” that once ruled the roost in WBC’s Social Services with ham-fisted but ruthless impunity has slowly seen its influence crumble, like some sort of mushy, malignant, foetid “Farley’s Rusk.” This has been due in the main down to the simple fact that the officers involved were so very,very completely and utterly SHITE at their jobs and were universally despised by all right thinking staff.   However Wirral Council came up with another innovative idea from their book of  great ideas, one which sought to cure all of it’s Social Services Departments well documented ills. Why not  employ some of those nice folk  who worked across the water in Liverpool City Council, another local authority who do a rather natty line in bullying and inefficiency.  It is rumoured  that some may even have taken advantage of the recession and taken Voluntary Severance from Liverpool City Council in order to join the publicly funded Wirral Council gravy train – Well why not ? After all, it appears everybody is at it these days and after all, it’s only public money.

And so it came to pass that the Department Of Adult Social Services now have a new “Head of Personalisation,” one Christine Beyga, who formerly worked as the ludicrously, pompously titled ” Head Of Transformation” within Liverpool Council ( yes I know, it does sound rather like a Harry Potter job title doesn’t  it? Apt perhaps as  WBC has been practising the Dark Arts for many years.)  It appears this may well have been the start of the “Ferry ‘cross da Merzeee” and one can only hope that all these good folks who came on over were interviewed properly in fair, transparent ,open, competitive interviews.    

As the Liverpool crew made themselves at home, things did indeed transform…for the worse.  Sources  told us “safeguarding is becoming a joke,” that “they are getting jobs for their mates”  Another source tells us tales of tenders going out for “support planning” contracts, all part of the Personalisation Agenda (ie/ Cuts dressed up as empowerment) at the end of 2011 which caused them some concern. For example they suggest that a company called IPDF won the contract but it was decided to go through the process again.  It is furthermore alleged by our sources that a company called Self Direction was engaged by a senior manger to provide a support planning service for very vulnerable adults initially without approval of  the SLT /Council Members? And that anybody who raised questions around this matter suffered being bullied to the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Part of this does indeed seem to be true, as borne out by this Freedom Of Information request HERE .

  We of course, being old, infirm,  and quite frankly 4 weeks short of care package, have no knowledge as to whether all we have been told is factually correct but our faithful retainer and PA Verity Snoop did some more digging and unearthed some rather interesting information using something she called “Google”

This is Self Direction

Strangely it’s also listed here as ARCHITECTURAL & ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES & CONSULTANCY ????

Their Director listed   HERE  (make a note, you may need this later) and also ran a company called “Lifestyle and Dreams” which is listed as  SUPPORTING SERVICE ACTIVITIES FOR GOVERNMENT (now dissolved)

A further search reveals a Personalisation talk given by (Scroll to page 2 Item 2 ) ……, check those names  yes it’s two former Liverpool Council colleagues now ensconced in Wirral Social Care, one for WBC and one for Self Directions. What a coincidence!

other meetings here, again look for familiar names….

OH ! Why here they are again working as part of the LCC Personalisation Team

( see Page 153 of this

We of course are not alleging any impropriety, that would be outrageous. We are simply highlighting information that is already out there on this new fangled internet thingy-ma-bob !

Ok so how does Wirral Council monitor such companies to ensure they are delivering these services safely and efficiently ? After all its a lot of money and these are some of the most vulnerable people in society. Ones whose interests  Social Services are charged with safeguarding. I mean surely they’d check against their own robust criteria, have a check list, some sort of performance indicators ( because, after all PI’s are, according to one former DASS manager,  “sexy”)   ? No?

Well observe this FOI –

After months waiting for the disclosure of Wirral’s contract monitoring policy the person making the submission is told  

“Errr.. actually we don’t have one..” The reasoning ?  “Well we use the CQC essential standards and outcomes. (Phew.. he almost had us there!! Aren’t we ever so clever, wriggling out of that one – *High fives*- these MBA’s are REALLY paying off now!)

Next question –  Ok, so how do you train staff to understand the application, implementation etc  of said standards  ?  I assume all staff are required to undertake rigorous training when working in such an important area ?

Er… Pause.. Er… Delay… Cue Internal review – Cue more delays..(*if we ignore him he might get fed up- shhhhh*)

Eventually, and with Wirral Councils track record, somewhat inevitably,  the person making the request has no other recourse but to submit a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office over Wirral’s abject failure to comply with a perfectly reasonable  Freedom Of Information request.

THEN – *fanfare* ….



Well actually we don’t train our staff… We just give them the book and tell them to get on with it.

Good luck to the vulnerable people of the Wirral!

DASS at its finest! Promoting best practice at every opportunity.

Accountability ?

Rumours have reached Leaky-Towers that it seems there are some within “Beleaguered Wirral Council” (it’s official title) who are currently attempting to negotiate their “exit strategy” rather than face the music before the axe of justice descends. “Early retirements” and “Enhanced Voluntary Severance ” all round eh chaps? Oh and maybe a job at the Deputy Lieutenants Office office or how about the freedom of the borough ? It’s all the rage apparently for Wirral’s abject failures.

Lord and Lady Wirral-Leaks discussed this matter at length and decided that even an organisation as dysfunctional and abusive and down right stupid as Wirral Council couldn’t be dim enough to allow these careerist charlatans to make haste with tax payers money to the leafy Cheshire suburbs yet again ….could they ???

Transparency, Accountability And The Rewards Of Failure.

We note the new regime of openness and transparency is as well oiled a machine as the previous regime.  Some things never change, and one can only assume the two officers (Nora Loone and Nike Fowla) mentioned in the Freedom of Information request below were paid HUGE amounts of public money to bugger off and keep quiet, and that Wirral Council has something to hide. Why else would they not comply with such a simple request?

Check out the tortuous process concerned members of the public have to go through to see how WBC spend tax payers money.  Are they morons ?  Well yes.

DASS – Key Priorities

You can have a look at the usual depressing blather about “The Vision” for the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) for the next 24 months. HERE

After #DELAYGATE point 6.1 –  Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework is perhaps not the most sensitively worded goal.

Delay and reduce the need for care and support.”

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

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

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.

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.?