Once my daughter went to residential college and was no longer living at home full time I foolishly thought things would get easier, but local services are clearly not on the same page.
Our Direct Payments were due to stop early September resuming again in July 2020 for the long Summer break. I had recently employed a new PA on a temporary basis to cover this Summer and informed the LA Payroll that this was the case. I emailed the contacts I had regarding the upcoming changes and then an additional email to confirm my daughter had begun her college stay. I am now in the situation where the LA has continued to transfer money into the Direct Payment account, and the contact I have is failing to respond to emails, and leaving telephone messages is not bringing a response either. It’s an incredibly frustrating situation as I want to ‘tidy up’ all these matters as soon as possible so they are not hanging around. The money available would cover 7 months worth of assessed PA hours. My worry is that if this is how slow the LA’s response is to stopping payments how long will it take them to resume them for the short 8 week Summer break next year? As my daughter isn’t using a PA at the moment, my eye is off the ball so to speak, and I’m probably not chasing this as frequently as I should. However, is it really my responsibility to ensure the payments stop etc? I think not.
My second frustration is around equipment servicing and repairs. Now I appreciate that my daughter is not in her local area during term time, her ‘office’ chair is a specialist one that needs servicing by the LA on an annual basis. I made the service date for half term when both my daughter and her chair will be home, so far so good. When we visited my daughter at college, we discovered that the back support had broken, but it was OK for her to use until her return home. I thought I would be proactive and forewarn the service team that a repair was required so that a spare part could be ordered and available to be fitted when the chair was serviced. Alas, it was not that simple, apparently because the part was broken, the original referrer had make the request for the part, as a reassessment may be needed as the chair may have broken due to no longer being appropriate. I kind of understand the thought process behind this, but not fully. However, this is where we come unstuck, the chair was assessed and ‘purchased’ by children’s Occupational Therapy, and yep, my daughter is now an adult and no longer in receipt of OT support. So some head scratching and cursing followed. I decided to contact the children’s OT and at least ask her advice. She had a little thought and then replied, ‘oh just leave it with me, I’ll try to sort it’ I’m now waiting to hear back from either her or the servicing team to say that the part has been approved, purchased, is ready to be replaced in half term, but at the moment all is silent. Why do I have that feeling that it will not go according to plan, and I’ll be chasing to resolve the repair next week instead of enjoying half term and having fun with my daughter whilst she is home. Although to be honest, nothing is going to spoil that. We have missed her too much…….