“Who did you share a room with LB?”
“Ah. Did you get on with him?”
“No Mum.”
“Why not?”
“He was very loud Mum. He scared me.”
“What do you mean? How did he scare you?”
“He told me to stop talking Mum.”
“Ah. Was this at night time?”
“Yes Mum.”
“Well you know you can’t chatter on all night when you’re sharing a room, don’t you?”
“He shoved me Mum.”
“Shoved you? Whaddaya mean?!”
“Wow. Why’d he do that?”
“Dunno Mum.”
“Did you talk to him?”
“Yes Mum.”
“What did you say to him?”
“‘Do you like lorries?’ Mum.”
“Ah. What did he say?”
“No Mum.”

Choice and control

LB gets direct payments to cover the cost of four hours care a week. Direct payments were introduced to enable “service users” [people] to buy their own care support and services. It’s all about giving service users choice and control in creating a “care package” [support] that is tailored to their needs. So far so good…

The local “care provider” [company] that is somehow hooked into the local authority contacted me to say that LB was down on their list for a residential holiday.  When his case had gone to “panel” [no idea] a few months ago, his care package was increased to 4 hours a week plus a residential holiday. Oh. Ok. What kind of holiday? Five days at an activity centre in Swindon. I wrote the cheque.

Choice? Now that’s a funny one. Choice really means a choice of two or more things. If you’ve only got the choice of one thing and nothing, it ain’t really a choice. It’s a yes or no thank you. I’d already googled and failed to find any available holiday for LB, so, residential holiday in Swindon or no residential holiday? Yes please. But lets not pretend there’s a choice involved here.

The holiday starts today. The company have been in touch a few times about arrangements, LB turned down the meet and greet opportunity and he’s being picked up this afternoon. Between 1.30-3.30pm according to the paperwork. Then a call late yesterday afternoon;

“Hi Sara, just to let you know, I should be with you around 5pm tomorrow to pick up LB…”
5pm? Eh?  Why so late? What if we’d made plans? Why cut corners?
“Oh, great! Thanks!!! LB is really looking forward to it. See you then. Bye!!!”

Control? Not really. Not when you are handing over your dude to their care for four nights and five days. And what about LB? Does he have any choice in all of this? Not really. He’s been muttering but ain’t called in his legal team yet. I suspect he’s just hoping for a few Stobarts on the M4.