Essex Adult Social Care CQC Peer Inspection Feedback

Way back in February I was invited to a CQC peer inspection meeting for carers. There were ten of us in our group, I believe there was another group of about the same amount before or after us.

Here is the write up of my experience of that

I haven’t been writing because i’m in a bad way, struggling with grief and really struggling with my caring role. I’ve also gained someone else I have to care for, it’s my ex, there isn’t anyone else to do what needs to be done.

I am way past burnt out

So imagine my delight when I received the Essex Adult Social Care Peer Inspection Feedback results last week. I was hoping i’d calm down a bit but i’ve been seething about this all week, so here we are.

This is the email:

Here is the feedback they gave to us:

Further to the blog post that i’ve linked at the top of this blog, I did have further contact with the social worker I was talking about. She called me finally in about March I think it was to arrange a visit with herself and another staff member. I once again asked for a text message, she came up with yet another excuse as to why she couldn’t, but said she’d send me a letter. I got the letter with the appointment date and time on it, and it had her full name on it.

I put it into Social Work England and she’d only just become a Social Worker, so when I met her for the first meeting in 2022, she would have been a student, when she booked the visit for 3rd January this year, she was a student. When she spoke to me on the 3rd, she was a student and not a social worker.

I had to cancel the meeting we’d arranged because of covid, it was rescheduled for the 11th May.

So Veronica and someone else, unsure if it was just another social worker, a manager, or it may have been a student, I have no idea.

It was an hour of them both trying to get out of doing much of anything. I was told that two of my children would get their own social workers, that was now about 12 weeks ago, i’ve heard absolutely nothing since.

I first asked for a carers assessment in December 2021, so that is a year and 8 months ago now. Still nothing. The social worker who looked at the assessment and decided what support, if any, to give me, was a student and not actually a social worker.

So I got the feedback last week, and this is the part that really really stung:

Not resonating with some carers? There were ten in my group and half of us were crying because we desperately needed help.

My caring duties at the moment are overwhelming and I cannot cope, Im in a situation that I feel I cannot escape from, I can barely even think, I cannot cope anymore. I am becoming more and more depressed and feel there is no way out, I cannot do anything to move anything further because it is taking everything I have just to get through the day.

Essex Adult Social Care then does this little feedback thing to show they care, and are listening to us.

Not resonating with some carers? You are destroying us by not treating us, and those we care about, as worthy of help.

The peer group session was almost 6 months ago, they have all of our names, we could have all been contacted separately and asked what they could do to help, or even an apology for how shockingly we’ve all been treated by Essex County Council.

All we get with respect to our pain and anguish is an acknowledgement that the all age carers strategy is not resonating with some carers. Saying that also means they don’t have to take the blame, as they haven’t said that anything is wrong, just that it’s not resonating.

What an absolute disgrace, and this is something they should hang their heads in shame about.

We are in a worse state than we were in December 2021 when I asked for help. It was the second time i’d asked for help, the first time I got refused an assessment. To have students deciding whether or not carers receive help is absolutely disgraceful.

If i’d known that Veronica was a student when I met her last year, I wouldn’t have sat there and poured my soul out to someone who wasn’t a trained social worker, I would have insisted on an actual social worker. #

So as a warning to anyone in Essex who has undergone a carers assessment, please remember that the person deciding whether or not you get help may be a student. It does explain a lot with Veronica, about how she was so incompetent, how she wouldn’t give me her mobile number, i’m guessing she wasn’t issued with a mobile as she was just a student. Telling me that any help I wanted with regards to my caring role would have to come out of my benefits.

Some days I just want to run away, I am struggling that much, caring is not something you can get a break from, and given our living situation I don’t get one single moment each day where i’m by myself. I’ve got a list of things I should be doing, but i’m way past the point where i’m mentally and physically able to. Caring takes a toll and in Essex there is no support.

Then when they are told clearly by a number of carers how bad things are, all they can come up with is that what they do doesn’t resonate with some of us.

It doesn’t resonate because they don’t do anything,

I’m going to write a detailed account of the meeting between myself, Veronica, and the other social worker, or student, whoever she was, I have extensive contemporaneous notes of that meeting.

It’s all I have of that meeting, given that no help came out of it at all, and it is fast coming up to three months.

Only Essex County Council can fail so hard and then mock carers as a response to failing.