Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Chatting => Chatting on the Plot => Topic started by: Lardman on September 18, 2018, 16:47

Title: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on September 18, 2018, 16:47
Still ongoing problems with ML's local council, so I asked why the complaints procedure wasn't being followed ... as you do.

This is a small quote of the response I have received; can someone with a fresh pair of eye confirm he just said what I think he said  :ohmy: and I'm not misreading it, NB from what I can gather he is the team leader not a work experience placement.

Quote
  I would advise you that these procedures are currently under review and so may not be followed fully depending on the circumstances of each case. As stated the whole procedures are under review and in hindsight it may have been more appropriate to remove these from our website while this review was on going to prevent areas of confusion such as arisen in your case. Currently when cases are received the Complaints Team, in conjunction with relevant professionals, examine the issues being raised and make a decision as to whether the case needs to be removed from the complaints process
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mumofstig on September 18, 2018, 17:08
Well, it reads to me as if the complaints team itself, plus a few other non-specified professionals, can decide if a complaint is to be investigated or not - which can't be right, surely?  :ohmy:
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: jaydig on September 18, 2018, 17:15
I would have thought that until the "procedures" have been fully reviewed and, perhaps, rewritten, the existing complaints procedure should be adhered to.  I agree with MoS, that it doesn't seem appropriate that meanwhile, the investigation, or not, of any complaints should be up to the whims of non-specific individuals.
Time to go over the Council's head, I would think.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on September 18, 2018, 17:25
Not just me then  :nowink:  I just couldn't believe my eyes and I'm running out of heads to go over.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mrs bouquet on September 18, 2018, 17:49
That cannot be right surely.  All complaints must be investigated, not decided by a person who appears to have no  connection with what your individual complaint might be.     Haven't we heard this type of thing going on before, sometimes with serious consequences. 
Definitely time to find some bigger heads to address to.  Shout it to your MP, Newspapers, local TV, in fact anybody who will listen on your behalf.  -  Good luck, let us know.   regards  Mrs Bouquet
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: madcat on September 18, 2018, 17:56
Not just me then  :nowink:  I just couldn't believe my eyes and I'm running out of heads to go over.

Have you tried the Director for Adult Services at the Council?
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: jaydig on September 18, 2018, 18:14
You could go over the council's head by making a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman (lgo.org.uk)
They deal with complaints about local councils, adult social care providers and providers of public services. You can do it online if you want to.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on September 18, 2018, 18:39
My right to complain and the procedures the council are required to follow are statutory rights - I don't want to be that person who quotes them, nobody wants to be that person

I would have expected the complaints department to know their legal obligations when dealing with a complaint, I should have put the reply was from a complaints department manager not a run of the mill social worker.

The lgo will ask if I have been through the complaints procedure before they get involved, you have to let the system fail to complain about it  :nowink: 

Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: JayG on September 18, 2018, 21:49
Lardman - the reply you received is no doubt 'compliant' in every contemporary sense (in other words it's not a meaningful reply at all.)
Hopefully the person responsible is still just about capable of delivering a human response if gently pushed - get back to him, thank him for his reply, then ask him respectfully ::) what his department is intending to actually DO about the issue.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: chrissie B on September 19, 2018, 09:16
youhave more of this , i hand all paper work to hubby he understands that kind of stuff .
chrissie b
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on September 19, 2018, 15:27
Er??? My first impression is that the way he has written this is as muddled as the system itself. In my opinion, until the revised procedures are in place the current ones are still in force and should be followed to the letter. I think the Complaints Team et al are hoping you'll eventually give up, but you're not going to are you and nor should you!!!
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: robinahood on September 19, 2018, 17:03
Absolutely what you said, this person's role is to deal with complaints. Irrespective of what action is taken in the end, the simple fact that you contacted them makes this a complaint! That response was... I want to use a sweat word here...... Don't give up,  take it higher.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on September 19, 2018, 19:00
Hopefully the person responsible is still just about capable of delivering a human response if gently pushed

I've been gently pushing now for 6 weeks, I'm afraid it's time I introduced the complaints department's (sorry Care and Quality Team's) rear end to my size 12.  :D

I think the Complaints Team et al are hoping you'll eventually give up....

That was my reading of the situation too, especially as every week they delay things costs me the best part of 500  :mad:  -I feel someone should warn them,  I make Sisyphus look like a part-timer  ::)

Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on September 20, 2018, 14:40
HOW *********** MUCH PER WEEK??? Now I don't know whether to laugh or cry as the whole thing is totally insane. You keep pushing that stone up the hill but you really need others who have more "pull" so to say to give you a hand. Reminds me of the film "Ice cold in Alex" but a lot more difficult. Have you tried your MP? Yeah, not a lot of help from me but it's all I can think of at the moment.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on September 29, 2018, 20:34
Just in case anyone thought I'd given up  ::) I've been applying a little more pressure to the complaint department since my last post, which has generated the following....

Quote
the team leader who started and managed the package for [Mother Lard] left [Useless Company] at the start of August and therefore we are unable to take specific action against her

It came with another 12 pages of the usual excuses and platitudes but that's the long and short of it.  "Respondeat superior" lost on this lot by the looks, onward and upwards with my stone  :D
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mumofstig on September 29, 2018, 21:31
Why didn't the service improve when she left then, if it was all her fault? Has the service improved since you complained?... Go get'em Lardman  >:(
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: New shoot on September 30, 2018, 10:00
I quite agree.  Apart from the fact that they are wasting their budget (a.k.a. our money) on a company who are not delivering the service paid for, what about the poor people who are relying on them  :mad:

Not everyone has a Lardman who is there to fight their corner, wade in with hours of help or pay for more out of their own pocket.  I dread to think how they would cope with such ineptitude.

Never mind finding someone to blame, who has left and then can't be blamed and sending you 12 pages of reasons it's not their fault - what are they going to do in the here and now to fix it and make it right. Complaints are there to be dealt with, resolved and learned from, or you may as well save some wages and get a computer to automatically issue excuse letters  ::)

I would be trying the ice cold polite but firm 'who, what, where, why when' approach.  I'm sure you already are Larders, but just cheering you on from the sidelines  :)
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mrs bouquet on September 30, 2018, 11:20
Oh Lardman, poor you, it must feel like banging your head on a brick wall.  The frustration must be overwhelming.   As somebody has already said, many people would just have given up by now.   Keep on truckin'.   (USA slogan from the Vietnam War)  regards  Mrs Bouquet
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on September 30, 2018, 13:37
Just because this so-called leader has left doesn't mean anything. They still have a legal obligation to do their duty no matter how much they try to avoid it. Pfffft! Could a solicitor help as I think you can have a free first consultation? Basically they're breaking their contract with your mum and I think they know it. You're paying for something you're not getting in full.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on September 30, 2018, 17:07
Not everyone has a Lardman who is there to fight their corner, wade in with hours of help or pay for more out of their own pocket.  I dread to think how they would cope with such ineptitude.

This is probably the most worrying thing about it - I haven't posted a lot of what's gone on, you simply wouldn't believe it. The difficulties I have had getting the complaints recorded let alone any action taken, it's ridiculous. There would be no way someone like ML would be able to do it herself and I wonder how many try and are intentionally "lost" in the system.  :mad:

Without the CCTV everything would just have been dismissed with phrases like "there is no evidence of..." , "the service user was confused..."  and "the care log states...." anyone using a homecare service should really have a system fitted for everyone's protection.

Has the service improved since you complained?...

No, although I don't think there's been a major incident since one of the workers drove into the garden wall.  :mad:
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Plot 1 Problems on September 30, 2018, 18:55
None of this suprises me, having worked with most of Worcestershire's local authorities this is par for the course. Full of excuses and a distinct lack of action.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mrs bouquet on October 01, 2018, 10:41
I don't think this is unique to Worcester.  I have heard many nightmare stories of a similar nature about our council.   The buck doesn't seem to stop with anybody !   Mrs Bouquet
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on October 01, 2018, 15:19
In a strange way and with hindsight, wouldn't it have been good if they hadn't seen the CCTV and denied everything in writing, then you could have blasted the b*****s by showing them the tapes whilst having a hidden camera about your person! Hey, that's a thought. Have you got one of these just in case it's needed in the future?
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on October 01, 2018, 17:27
.... Worcestershire's local authorities this is par for the course. Full of excuses and a distinct lack of action.

Whilst you're not wrong, ML resides in a different county  ::)

In a strange way and with hindsight, wouldn't it have been good if they hadn't seen the CCTV and denied everything in writing,

I tried that in 2014, neither the council or the LGO wanted to view the footage and just ignored it. I thought I'd remove the temptation to lie this time by making it perfectly clear about the CCTV from the start.

... whilst having a hidden camera about your person! Hey, that's a thought. Have you got one of these just in case it's needed in the future?

I don't take unrecorded meetings (video and audio) - it's too easy for them to shut everything down with their zero tolerance policy nonsense. I've already had one social worker claim my very presence in the room made her uncomfortable and she felt threatened, I hadn't said a word at that point either  :ohmy: The 'rules' for people like me are very different GG.

Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Plot 1 Problems on October 02, 2018, 08:02
.... Worcestershire's local authorities this is par for the course. Full of excuses and a distinct lack of action.

Whilst you're not wrong, ML resides in a different county  ::)

I think it's universal with local authorities ;)
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on October 02, 2018, 12:48
Ah, so it seems, sorry. Excuses'R'Us have every right to be worried 'cos you're not one to give in to them. Heads are gonna roll! 
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on November 28, 2018, 18:03
I'm still pushing the rock up the hill   :nowink:

Fresh in today - from the local council....

Quote
[Useless Social Worker] was spoken to regarding her actions, but as stated above she no longer works for the team.

Deja vu  ::)  Here's another good one.

Quote
This was a genuine oversight ...

I could play a drinking game with their responses...
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Plot 1 Problems on November 28, 2018, 18:26
It's Generic Excuse Bingo!
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: New shoot on November 28, 2018, 20:42
It sounds like they are in repeat mode in the hope you will give up and go away.  Don't know you that well, do they?  :lol:

If they are unable to move forward and resolve matters, perhaps it is time to refer the matter to the LGO.  They can't argue that you haven't tried to go through the proper channels and the fact you are paying so much extra for ML's care due to their inability to actually do anything is plain wrong  >:(
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on November 28, 2018, 21:34
It sounds like they are in repeat mode in the hope you will give up and go away.  Don't know you that well, do they?  :lol:

You'd think after nearly 4 months the poor chap in the complaints department would get the message  ::) I'm genuinely beginning to wonder if they actually know how to handle a complaint, let alone a complainant.

One complaint already passed to the LGO, I suspect there will be another based on today's email, the departments KPI's are going to be terrible.

...  you are paying so much extra for ML's care due to their inability to actually do anything is plain wrong  >:(

I resolved some of the problems with the finance department, whilst the situation is still not ideal, they have reduced the cost to just horrific from eye watering.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on November 30, 2018, 15:41
Lardman, I just so love your motto under your thread! " A genuine oversight" is just one example of so-called managerial terms for escaping from their responsibilities as is "this person no longer works for the team." I'll have to PM you when I've calmed down. GG x
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on December 12, 2018, 17:13
That dull thumping noise you can hear is me banging my head against a wall.  :mad:

6 weeks wait for the LGO to respond about the council not following any complaints procedures and i get

Quote
...we would not look at a complaint about the process on its own without being able to consider the substantive issues.

So to raise a complaint about not having a complaints procedure (which I have in writing) you have to have a complaint pass through to completion the none existent complaints procedure.  :wacko:

Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Plot 1 Problems on December 12, 2018, 18:24
You couldn't make it up could you!
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: wapello on December 12, 2018, 20:47
   CRY,,,, :nowink: :nowink: :nowink: :nowink:
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Fairy Plotmother on December 13, 2018, 10:00
I really am lost for words. 😤
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: New shoot on December 13, 2018, 11:11
It's possibly a long shot, but how about a letter split up into blocks with bullet points, so they can follow the substantive issues that have got you where you are.

The problems with ML's care were ...

I complained and this happened next ...

Then this ... (repeat as many times as needed)

Then they said they had no procedure to deal with this, so I have come to you.  If there is another way I need to deal with this, or some other procedure I need to follow, please send me a detailed breakdown similar to this, so I can understand.  Thank you for any help you can give, as I am at the end of my tether.

You might have to draft this in installments, just for your own sanity.  Also cut as many words as you can out of the final version, so it is bang, bang, bang, bang, but polite and as unemotional as you can get it, up to the final plea for some proper advice and help.

Sometimes a precis can really help cut the do-do and get everyone to the same point fast.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on December 13, 2018, 14:35
Their statement "We would not look at a complaint about the process on its own without being able to consider the substantive issues" adds even more fog to the rather dense pea-souper you're already in.  :mad: Do you know:-
1) What these substantive issues are and in detail?
2) Presuming they have the ability to consider them (???) are they going to and when?
3) Do as New Shoot says as hopefully it will be cathartic so it's not all swirling around in your mind.
4) Would a letter from your GP stating your current state of health help to expedite matters?
5) A very big and special GG hug from me to you and your mum.  ;)
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on December 13, 2018, 16:20
I had referred the lack of a complaints procedure to the LGO rather than the councils failure to process any one specific complaint in accordance to a procedure. I did this because even now 6 months after raising my initial complaint about the care company it is still stuck in "safeguarding" (they're not doing anything with it for weeks at a time just holding it open) whilst a complaint is open the LGO wont intervene. I have other complaints I wish to raise but I wanted them to be done under the procedure to enforce times and responses.

I've given the LGO another complaint which has passed entirely to the stage where the council have closed it. This should fulfil their requirements to get involved but may not address the real problem of the council not having a complaints procedure, staff doing what they like and ignoring statutory rights.

ML's complaints are in diary format and come with spreadsheets  :D They literally couldn't be simpler, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.   

The council did a complete hatchet job on me, making me look a complete nutter. There's no redress so they felt free to say anything, true or not; including supplying a 829 page PDF of emails  :ohmy:  I removed the indents and sent back 28 pages instead, I doubt it was accidental.

Don't think I posted this updated from the social worker did I?

Quote
I write to inform you that regrettably [Useless Company] have served notice and will be terminating their contract following the tuck in call on the....

I guess they ran out of staff to throw under the bus !
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on January 13, 2019, 19:51
I'm still at it... Latest in from the council for those interested.

Quote
Therefore I would advise you that these exemptions apply irrespective of what consent your mother may provide.... any information regarding [the incident] will not be released. This position is not changed by the fact that some information may have been previous disclosed verbally"

Those of you familiar with the DPA & GDPR that's in response to and Article 15 request. After 5 months there really must be something they don't want me to see in there. Oh well off to the ICO we go then.



Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Plot 1 Problems on January 13, 2019, 22:03
Ugh, sounds like a CMA job to me, go get 'em!
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on January 14, 2019, 12:04
Funnily enough, I was only thinking about you yesterday and wondered if you've made any progress or not. Their response takes a bit of re-reading to understand what they're saying in reality, but there will be no bare bums sitting on seats that's for sure! I bet every orifice has been sanitised, covered with layers of insulation then attached with several yards of red tape. Somebody or bodies have (putting it politely) messed-up big-time. My OH has a saying which is "There's nothing that can't be sorted" and he's often annoyingly right. At least you feel you can talk to us to let off steam. 
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mrs bouquet on January 14, 2019, 15:24
I am absolutely shocked at their attitude.   I expect you have tried to Lobby your MP.   Still all they want to do is the 'B' word at the moment.   Don't MP's have a local office, which they attend so that folk can go and see them.   Or was that on another Planet, where I once dwelled.   Mrs Bouquet
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mrs bouquet on January 15, 2019, 11:28
Hi Lardman,   I have read and re-read your topic lots of times.  I rate myself as a reasonably intelligent woman, but have come to the conclusion that I don't understand a word of 'social services' dialogue.  I think I would have definitely been one who would have fallen by the way-side.  :ohmy:  regards  Mrs Bouquet
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Lardman on January 15, 2019, 16:58
I rate myself as a reasonably intelligent woman, but have come to the conclusion that I don't understand a word of 'social services' dialogue. 

Council-eese (aka moo poo) , like all strong dialects it takes a while to get your ear tuned in.  It's probably not made easier as your not party to the huge volume of waffle I have been. You should have read their master piece on "common law consent" vs "gdpr consent".

I think I would have definitely been one who would have fallen by the way-side.  :ohmy: 

That's the reason they do it... I've spent 5 months asking them to provide the same information in writing as they have verbally provided in a meeting (which was recorded) for the sole purpose of raising a complaint against them.  No surprise really then at the total lack of co-operation.  I could raise it without the information in writing but they'll just deny everything, recorded or not.
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: mrs bouquet on January 16, 2019, 11:11
OK, thanks for explaining that - Good Luck.   :unsure:   Mrs Bouquet
Title: Re: laugh or cry .... you decide.
Post by: Goosegirl on January 16, 2019, 13:26
Er, how can they deny it when it's been recorded? Tell you what, whilst your MP is twiddling his thumbs re- the recent B****t vote, just make an appointment to see him in his surgery because you never know that he may just find a way to at least sort something out for one of his constituents.