Full weight of mental health/learning disability bureaucracy/uncertainty yesterday, with LB’s CPA (Care Plan Approach) meeting. Anxiety was compounded by the rumour (don’t ask) that a CPA meeting was linked to discharge. Eh? Discharge? After the effective deskilling implications of the “choice” agenda for both him and us over the past months?
Adding to the general mix of uncertainty, on Sunday we went to London (one of LB’s fave and regular, pre-unit, activities), organised optimistically with thoughts of his possible impeding discharge in mind. After a good day hanging out, he punched himself so badly in the face on the motorway home that his nose didn’t stop bleeding for nearly 20 minutes.
Discharge seemed to be the implicit focus of the meeting based on the fact there is little more to be gained from his stay there. If there are no answers emerging through this process, who do we turn to? Er. Mmm. Good question. I suspect the answer to this, for the health and social care world, is twofold; 1. More drugs. 2. Some ‘independent supported living’ gig in which LB watches tv and YouTube all day while underpaid and untrained staff scratch their arses. A type of drugged up independently supported no life.
Anyway. Back to the CPA. Jan Sunman from Oxfordshire Family Support Network, with the support of Fran Steep, introduced a person centred dimension to the meeting. With varying levels of engagement and resistance. This disrupted proceedings healthily, making visible rigidity and entrenched expectations. It also enabled us to move beyond a 20th century medical model of learning disability and look at LB as an individual and not a set of behaviours. LB pitched up and made a contribution, muttering under his breath ‘this is bollocks’. Love him.
Anyway. There was no discharge date. Well not one we know of. Instead his activity level is to be increased, including some chores, to bring him back to a level where he’s able to do more than watch the tv all day. In the meantime, we will grub around trying to find some meaningful support.
It shouldn’t be this hard.