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An example of what goes wrong from the disable persons point of view.
By Pauline Medd



Just when I thought we were starting to get things right, things go all pear shaped and attitudes are still the same in some quarters.

For the first time my Fife Council Home Care Carers where both off on holiday at the same time, for a week, according to policy this should never happen.  The first week when only one of them were off we had somebody in shadowing, first of all she sat outside for a quarter of an hour trying to get in touch with the office to let them know that she wasn’t at all comfortable coming into our house where there was a dog, she and the office insisted that the dog be put in the garage, which we did to appease everybody.  After four days on the Friday, she went off sick, during the time that she had been in the house she continually complained about having sore hands and that she wasn’t able to peel potatoes or carrots, (not that she was doing that in my house) (1) although she did manage to wash my back is if she was scrubbing the front doorstep. The whole episode seemed to be all about her and what she was prepared to do and not prepared to do. How on earth did the office think that she was going to be any use to me with sore hands when she was in to do personal care? (2) I notice that when she was in she carried a plastic bag around with her, she said she liked to carry her own towel hand cream and etc, I asked her how long she had been carrying that particular plastic bag around with her, she said two weeks, but it looked a lot older than that, she asked why I was asking, I pointed out to her that the last time I saw that bag it was lying on the floor and now it's on my breakfast bar, and that if she has been in a lot of houses in the last two weeks she's brought infection from house to house to house. On Monday morning she was still off sick, (which by the way she had done the last time she had been in my house) an after hour girl was sent in which was very nice because she loved dogs.

Tuesday 19/10/10 I phoned up the office to thank them for sending somebody different in, and suggested that it would be good not to send the other person back that didn’t like dogs, I explained that my dog had been a rescue dog and it was confusing to her to be put out of the way in our garage.  (3) She said something is better than the alternative, I paused because I couldn’t believe I’d heard what I’d heard, I said what do you mean, she said left lying in your bed all day, I said and what happened to continuity of care, at that she backed off realizing I knew what I was talking about I was completely a gassed at a comment like that from a manager off a department, I believe in the tumbling effect and if the manager has an attitude like this then the people below her will have a similar attitude,  if they don’t at the moment they will soon adopt it. We have supposedly gone from being medical centered to people centered, well all I can suggest is more disability awareness training, and if people are in the job as a convenience to them as opposed to helping others, then I suggest that they go and find a job elsewhere. I did not ask to be disabled I am certainly not going to be treated badly in my own house, by people who are invited into my house because I need help, they don't have the God-given right to be there.

  1. I suggest disability awareness training, moving too quickly around somebody who has multiple sclerosis will only put them into spasms.

  2. Training in awareness of infection control, and the implications of bad practice.

  3. I took this comment as a threat; Fife Council has a duty of care, and therefore cannot leave someone lying in the bed all day unless it was that person's choice. Also it is a known fact Home Care gets few complaints, I hate to think how someone else would have felt getting a comment like this.

  4. Some people may need reminded that they have to fit into a normal running off a house, and that things should not have to be changed in order to accommodate somebody who is only very occasionally coming into the house.

  5. I know we are in very difficult times just now financially etc but the disabled and the very vulnerable will still have to be taken care off, and let's hope with dignity.

And lastly can I state I know what I’m talking about I have been involved with Fife Councils Home Care Reviews.
I am on the Fife’s NHS’s disability, and also the wheelchair group.
I am a Lay Assessor with the care commission.
And I am a founder member and secretary of Fife Independent Disability Network, where I am involved with access and facilities, in new hospitals schools etc.


This is an e-mail I received form someone it make you thing there is something wrong somewhere.

Let's put all retired folk in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the seniors would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.
They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheelchairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.
They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.
Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing
would be ironed and returned to them. A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.
They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counseling, pool and education.
Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.
Private, secure rooms for all, with an  exercise Outdoors yard, with  gardens.
Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.
There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.
The "criminals"

Would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised.
Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week.
Live in a tiny room and pay £900.00 per month and have no hope of ever getting out.
Justice for all we say. I do hope as many Councilors’ MP’s MSP’s see and read this because very few people are going to go through life without needing cared for at some point in their life.


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Disabilities Fife
West Bridge Mill, Bridge Street,
Kirkcaldy, Fife, KY1 1TE
Scottish Charity No: SC 026112