You probably remember that my last hospital admission was triggered by an allergic reaction, and that the most likely cause of the reaction was vegetables not being cleaned thoroughly enough by the carer before cooking. You may also remember that Social Services were having to conduct an investigation because of the seriousness of my situation. The investigation turned into a bit of a farse, in my opinion. 'They' asked the carer in question for an account of what she'd done in preparing my meal that evening, which she described, also adding that she didn't think she could have done anything differently. 'They' then decided that I must have developed a new allergy. Case closed.
I have eaten all the ingredients of the fated meal since then with no reaction. I have not developed a new allergy. Case not quite closed, if you ask me. I made it clear to the social worker that, in my opinion, this is a cop-out, and that I definitely haven't developed a new allergy. The social worker was apologetic, and acknowledged that 'they' didn't have the clinical expertise to diagnose the development of a new and non-existent allergy without clinical examination, i.e. they shouldn't have jumped to this conclusion simply because the carer said she thinks she washed the veg okay.
Actually, the social worker was lovely, and she came here (to my home) with one of the clinical nurse assessors. After talking it all through, and discussing my on-going care needs, it was decided between the three of us that a different care agency would be found for me as the current one aren't providing the service they're being paid to provide to an adequate standard. The social worker left saying that she'd give the agency their 28 days notice. They're now working this notice.
The social worker told me about a relatively new care agency that allows the client to interview prospective carers, and what she'd heard so far about the agency all seemed to be positive, so I agreed that they might be a good choice. I had the manager from that agency come round on Tuesday to discuss my care needs, and I was able to stress that whoever comes must be able to cook. I described some of the experiences I've had with carers from the current agency, and after she picked up her jaw off the floor she agreed that the ability to cook something more technically demanding than a ready-meal was a definite must.
I had a call from the manager of the new agency today. She's 'identified at least one suitable possibility in their carer pool,' and they're both coming round tomorrow afternoon. The manager will go through the paperwork that she didn't bring on Tuesday, and the three of us will discuss my 'needs and expectations,' and then I think the carer said that she'll leave me and the prospective carer alone for a while so we can discuss things further and I can ask any questions I may have.
I currently get my domestic care (cleaning etc) provided by a different agency. I'm not sure how it happened this way, but I've been thinking that it would make more sense to have all my care provided by one agency if possible, so on Tuesday I asked the manager of the new agency about the possibility of getting my domestic care through them as well. Of course, it'd first have to go through the social worker so that she can discontinue the contract with the current agency, but there shouldn't be a problem, especially as it's a bit of a battle to get the person who comes for my domestic care to do a decent job. The agency manager said they'd be happy to provide that service too, but maybe I'd want to see how they pan out with the other bit of the care package first, and that it wouldn't matter if it didn't all start at the same time. This is looking promising.
So far the new agency seem much more client-centred than the other agencies I've had, even to the point of asking me what time would be good for me to have them come! No more having my main meal of the day being prepared at 4.30pm - hurrah!