Wirral Set Up Delaygate Hotline.

So the 4 week care delay that didn’t actually happen, did happen!

Wirral Council have set up a “hotline” in response to DELAYGATE which opened today and will be available until Friday, April 13.

The number to call is 0151 606 2641.

Complaints can also be registered by emailing leader@wirral.gov.uk or in writing to the Customer Resolution and Information Team, Hamilton Building, Conway Street, Birkenhead, CH41 4FD.

Other questions people may like to ask is,

Why was there a delay especially when the Fair Access to care legislation states “Councils should provide services promptly once they have agreed to do so.”

Who decided on this policy, Elected members ? Or Senior Officers ? 

Why are these people still in post and why was this unofficial policy covered up for so long? 

Who are the specialist team of officers independent of Wirral Council.?

Destination Nowhere. Wirral Council Takes The Highway To Hell

For reasons unfathomable Wirral Council leader Jeff Green wants to put his under-fire highways director Dave Green in charge of a massive “change progamme” with spin doctor in chief Emma Degg as his “policy director” to bring about a fundamental step change in the council’s corporate governance - which he anticipates will be accomplished within the ludicrous time frame of three months.

The “change programme” as we all know was a reaction to the investigation by consultant Anna Klonowksi, which told us what we already know - Wirral Council’s obsession with “reputation management”  over-rides every other consideration.

The problem for the hapless Green (J) is that the The Local Government Association (LGA) have seconded a few of their most ferocious rottweilers to Brighton Street to oversee the transformation of Wirral Council from basket case to something approaching normal, and have already made it clear in private conversations with well-placed and influential sources that there is absolutely no way on God’s earth they will allow this to happen.

Their view is that even the most mega-efficient and best-performing council in England could not complete such a wide-reaching “change programme” within three months,  and that Wirral, which is arguably the most demented and frankly weird local authority in Britain, has not a snowball’s chance in Hell of doing it.

Especially with the aforementioned people in charge.

Watch this space.

Wirral Council Pants On Fire.

You may recall this case HERE with regard to the delay in care packages by Wirral Social Services ?  You may note that Howard Copper interim Director of DASS stated “We strongly dispute the allegation that care packages have been, and continue to be delayed;- [NB. The reference to “continue to be delayed ” actually wasn’t part of the allegation and is more obfuscation on WBC’s part]. He finishes with a pithy -  “Allegations around saving money are conjecture.”

It should be further noted that WBC took legal advice on this matter, but not to risk assess the impact of an illegal 4 week delay, because of course they claim it didn’t happen and it was illegal and they would never do such a thing and of course the whistle-blower must be “a bit mad” … the advice was from Weightmans Solicitors (whose Local Government associate also worked for Wirral Council between 1998 and 2003)

It is also noted that in the advice provided by Weightmans to the council they stated

If the reason was to save money, then clearly it would be unlawful and the Council would be heavily criticised” It then goes on to state that there is no evidence of this and that Richard O’Brien’s (Head Of Assessment) explanation is entirely reasonable.

However below are  minutes of an Access & Assessment BUDGET meeting to discuss savings. It states unequivocally that Richard O’Brien and Senior managers agreed to implement a 4 week delay in commissioning care from the independent sector. Something they have persistently denied.  It would also appear that the legal advice taken was not as part of a through enquiry into the whistleblowers concerns, but rather a misuse of public money to cover their own voluminous  arse!

 Here are the minutes of the BUDGET meeting.

 

  

MINUTES OF ACCESS & ASSESSMENT EXTENDED BRANCH LEADERSHIP TEAM

 

BUDGET MEETING

 

DATE:  THURSDAY 23RD OCTOBER 2008, ROOM 3 TREASURY BUILDING

 

Present:

Rick O’Brien              Head of Service Access & Assessment (Chair)

Breda Dutton                     Principal Manager Homecare

Anne Bailey                        Principal Manager Homecare Re-ablement

Pete Gosling                      Principal Manager Older People

Phil Gilroy                          Principal Manager Specialist Services

Dave Carroll                          Service Manager OT

Chris Taylor                           Service Manager MH

Sheila Finnigan-Jones            Service Manager LD

Steve Passey              Service Manager OP

Ruth Page                         (Minutes) Secretary

 

Visitors:

 

Paula Neate                           Reform Unit Manager

Trish Iddon                             Brokerage

 

Note: Not for wider circulation until further notice.

RO’B outlined the aims of the meeting which were to identify additional proposals to manage increasing costs of community care budget.  2 critical areas were Domiciliary Care and Learning Disabilities.

 

Following discussion the following actions were agreed:

 

LD

  • RO’B to agree LD Panels outcomes
  • Further discussion to take place re funding with Children and Young People’s Department.
  • Increase LD Review Team resources by 2 staff

 

Domiciliary Care

·        Authorisation by Service Manager for all spending

·        4 week delay in commissioning care from independent sector

·        Hospital Discharge to be priority

·        Residential respite Care from independent sector– stopped

·        Unscheduled reviews – agreement for time limited period then referral to HART - no long-term commitment

·        Additional Team Manager to be assigned to check re-start packages – PN to look at activity.

·        Focus on delays re complaint involving high-cost packages – RO’b to hear appeals.

·        Respite Care suspended – SP to authorise any exceptions

·        Increase Review Team resources by 3 staff

·        Mark Jones to gate-keep and authorise decisions from Access/Review Teams

·        Steve Passey to gate-keep and authorise decisions from Long-Term Teams

·        Dave Carroll to gate-keep and authorise decisions from Hospital Team

·        Set £320 pw limit on care packages provide residential care as alternative.  TI to identify high cost packages.  PN to look at ILF funding issues.

·        Time reduction for double handling calls/hoisting – PN to investigate insurance issues raised by independent providers

·        Meal provision – RO’B to write to providers re request for information – 24 hours to respond or suspension of account.  Extra Admin resources to handle response.  TI to draft letter.

·        Track reduction in spend on a weekly basis.

·        Provide information of numbers of Dementia cases for PCT funding.

RO’B to extend request for savings initiatives to all staff.

*****************************************

And so DASS Senior management DID agree to implement a policy which that effects vulnerable adults but of course they would have conducted a robust risk and impact assessment before putting this into practice. Erm apparently not

Different Captain, same ship.  Destination??  

We’ll be back ……soon ;)

Different Captain, same ship.  Destination?? 

We’ll be back ……soon ;)

Destination Door.

Lord and Lady Wirral Leaks last night bade a tearful farewell to Councillor Foulkes the now ex-Leader of WBC who left with the sort of dignity befitting his office. He railed against “disgraceful blogs,” and complained that “sinister forces” and “cheese faced moon men with spider legs” were all out to get him. But in his defence he made David Icke appear to be a rather well balanced individual! 

So Steve, that would be the sort of disgraceful blogs that are blocked by Wirral Council’s own IT filters, so staff can’t read them at dinner time ?(not heard of smart phones anyone ?)   Ones who have tried to highlight the reality of what goes on within Wirral Council?  Pointing out the fact that Senior Officers and Councillors have tried to cover up the abuse of vulnerable people on the Wirral for years, that Senior officers have tried to bury reports, have shredded documents and the miasma of corruption appears to be endemic in an organisation staffed by managers who bully staff to the verge of a nervous breakdown? That sort of disgraceful blog ?


Then again that depends very much on your definition of “disgraceful” , don’t you think? :-)

 


For the record we have no party political alliance, red, blue or Jeff, we only seek to find out what goes on behind closed doors, what decisions are taken on our behalf with OUR money and what sort of service the public get.  Holding politicians and public service accountable is part of democracy not a sinister political agenda. Although WBC seem to wish to adopt the “Chinese model” in more ways than one if you get our drift ;)

 ”Sunlight, as the saying goes, is the best disinfectant and the sooner the light is shed on the actions of those responsible, the better!” A noble statement , and one made by Councillor Green, the new Council leader. It appears however his stated aim for a “redacted” version of the Klonowski report (ie/ an unedited version  which names those criticised)  is already being advised against by Senior Council Officers.. now there’s a surprise. If it’s not made public, serious questions need to be asked, this is about accountability, and after all we paid for it . 

And let’s not forget Councillor Green opened the door for former Cheif exec Steve Maddox to leave with a £157,000 golden handshake and former Social Services Director John Webb to toddle off with £152,000, co-incidentally just before the Klonowski report arrived.  This time there’s a chance to get rid of the dead wood, the bullies and the self serving careerists - ” no skulduggery No flim-flam No compromise No sell out No controlled show.”

 

We’ll be watching…………. ;)

The big question is can anybody fill Steve’s shoes ?



Vote Will Decide Wirral Council Leader’s Future.

Cllr Steve Foulkes’s leadership of Wirral Council  will be decided at a full meeting of the council on October 17. Tory group leader Cllr Jeff Green lodged a notice of motion calling for the leader’s removal.

Steve blasted the Tory leader’s moves as "cheap" and “beneath contempt" and accused him of making political capital from the damning Anna Kolonski report [comissioned during the Tories recent brief tenure.] This is the report into the treatment of Whistleblower Martin Morton and the culture of bullying within Wirral Council’s Social Services Department and beyond.  A report it must be noted, that Cllr Foulkes refused to accept was neccessary during his years in charge stating to anyone who was still awake that there was "no hidden wrongdoing".