I AM supporting a vulnerable person who had gone under the radar of social services and who finally is willing to accept help.
What I witness is that the bureaucratic system of ticking boxes is still failing many people – and it is only set to get worse. I am naming the person Jo to keep her identity safe.
Jo has become agoraphobic meaning that because she was afraid to address her issues around mental health she often could not get to the Job Centre to sign, which then meant sanctions being imposed on her. She was self-harming and unable to look after herself.
She has a history of neglect that led to her current issues around trust.
Also being put into care at a pre-teen age had left a scaring effect. Jo was to go for an operation but her depression prevented her seeking appropriate after care which meant she missed her appointment and her mental health has spiralled since.
I had met Jo when she was homeless and I was working at a community project. She had been wonderful, helpful and intelligent and has so much potential. So when the project finished due to funding cuts I kept up-to-date and offered support where I could. When Jo got herself in a position to ask for help I tried to facilitate this. My experiences are a shocking find. The bureaucratic system is hell when trying to get someone help, let alone asking them to try and manoeuvre their way through it in such ill health.
It took several attempts to get Jo to the GP and when we finally met with the right GP he then made a referral to the single point access unit. Single point access then sent out a referral letter to make an appointment through Folly Hall. Jo, who while suffering drastically with mental health issues, was unable to make the phone call to Folly Hall.
I spoke with her permission and with her present to the secretary from Folly Hall who said she would have to come for an assessment for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I explained that Jo wanted to do this but she was increasingly agoraphobic and unable to guarantee making the commitment.
I asked what happened if she missed the appointment and she said she would be struck off the list.
I explained how important the assessment was and the difficulties Jo was expressing with her current state of mental health and could someone come out and assess her to which the reply was ‘no’. Eventually, after my persistence and referring to the secretary’s seniors, she said that a phone call assessment could be possible but the outcome was most likely to be those services were not appropriate.
Given that information and the desperation Jo was in I asked if other therapies or points of references could be sought and was signposted back to the Huddersfield single point of reference.
When I phoned Huddersfield single point of reference and explained the situation and my fear that the client could go off the radar and the worst case scenario might happen, the lady on the phone told me that she had to go to the appointment because that is where the referral was made and it would only be considered again if another referral be made to them from the appropriate organisation.
It is my belief that emergency adult care should have been notified and an immediate assessment made.
To make matters untenable, Kirklees council insists that all claimants must open a bank account to ensure rent payments. Since Jo has a debt incurred from the imposed sanctions, being homeless and destitute she can see no way to open a bank account.
This means Jo will be on the street again if nothing is done. Jo is in serious danger acting out her despair unless she is given the appropriate individual duty of care and support required to her individual circumstances, as should everyone.
Tesco’s ‘brass neck’
YOU have to admire the brass neck of Tesco.
They make out they are doing the people of Huddersfield a favour by sticking with their programme of opening more and more stores in and around Huddersfield.
Please remember, folks, they are only doing it for us!
When they get to be the most dominant supermarket retailer in Huddersfield then there will be no fear of their profits dropping in this area.
I had a tear in my eye when I found out their profits had dropped.
R J Bray
Back to basics
WHAT a good idea to have probation nurses spending time on the ward cleaning and caring for patients for a year before gaining a grant for their university training.
Then if they find it is not to their liking they will not proceed and only the caring people will take up the profession and therefore improve the service.
The alternative to that is to go back to the nurse training on the ward like it used to be when the ones not suitable dropped out.
New executive board
WHEN an Executive Board (April 18) takes control to improve Colne Valley Specialist Arts College, will any members of the team have their expertise allocated to directly support specific subjects?
Or will they keep at a distance from such responsibility when the college ‘hits the ground running’?
Given ever-changing variety in pupils’ ability, background and interests, it will be interesting to see how the new organisation manages to consistently deliver good results across subjects in the years ahead.
Though perhaps another school will grab the headlines during 2014 or 2015.
Too good for relegation
BEING a Peterborough United fan I was right to think, at the start of the season, that Peterborough would struggle to stay up this time, along with Huddersfield Town.
But in both cases I hope I am wrong.
I bet former Town striker Jordan Rhodes is kicking himself with Blackburn so low in the table, especially as they were among the pre-season favourites to go up.
Now next season Rhodes could be in League I again, as he once was with Huddersfield.
The Championship this time is a division where any team can beat any team – Peterborough did the double over Cardiff City.
I think Peterborough, Huddersfield, Blackburn, Wolves and Barnsley are all far too good for League I but football is so unpredictable as Jordan should learn.
So who goes up and down will add interest at the end of the season.