Nick has had a positive experience with a recent review of direct payments for support services in Holton. Despite limited support in the past due to the pandemic, Nick's sister, who is a clinical lead speech therapist, now provides invaluable support and understanding of his needs. 

Regular reviews and dedicated support workers have made a significant impact on Nick's life, ensuring he receives the necessary care and support. Additionally, organizations like Sue's team Halton Speak Out have been instrumental in providing local support and maintaining a strong relationship with families. This positive experience highlights the importance of consistent reviews and dedicated support workers in improving the quality of life for individuals in need of health and social care services.

Yeah. Brilliant. OK, so that means the computer's just told us we're recording. And I'm gonna ask you the first question, Nick

So can you share with me a a recent positive experience of support or of a he or a health and social care service in Holton? The positive support is I've just had a review What we call direct payments, and they're looking at, uh, alternative to support to help me in, uh, maintaining, uh, my excellent state of life just fine tuning it ever to slightly a little like you tune the guitar to keep it in tune. Right? Ok, that sounds good. So why is that positive for you then, Nick? It's positive because, uh, I live alone

Uh, I have family support. Uh, and I've not not had much support in the past from social care services due to the pandemic because they thought some people in the borough are ticking away nicely, so they don't need They need a lot of support. Uh, and then some people get left left out accidentally beca because they So they looking at the emergency support that they need to do

And you think people who are have ticked the boxes for I'm happy there's NNN. Not much change needing doing. They think, oh, we can leave them But then they realise that they still got to do a duty of care and make sure everything is fine because it could be fine on the surface

And then when you look inside the book, you could find it's not quite right. And, uh, it's more important to have reviews at regular intervals. So like like when you go to work and they say, I don't think you did that task correctly and I think, Well, tell me how to do it correctly and then we can We can make amends as we go along Cos if you think over a six month period, everything is fine and the manager say it isn't

But I haven't had time to tell the person Well, it can cause problems. Yeah, yeah. So, um, what you're saying is that you're gonna that having a regular review will keep people in the loop in terms of, um of of, um exactly cos I

I I'm 52 and as you get older, the amount of things that you can do uh, gets less and less because they say that as you get older, you're more or less in into retirement and, uh, the opportunity to to do do a lot of things, uh, less and less, but it doesn't mean you can't do it if you if you want to. If you want to go back to doing more voluntary work or social activity, you should be able to do it rather than sit there watching this morning all morning. Yeah, Yeah, I'm with you on that

So how so? You had this. So you've got this new service which you're pleased with, Um, and you say that it's been a positive experience. And how has this positive experience now impacted on your life? Well, it's impacted because my my P A is one of my sisters

My sister Claire, who who's two years younger than me and she's a clinical lead speech therapist in the NHS. So she understands my diagnosis of Asperger's, and she understands exactly how I tick. So what? When the social worker comes in or or the psychiatrist comes in and asks all the technical questions

If I don't know the answer, my sister says, Excuse me, can I tell you the Latin and as soon as she says the medical terminology, they go, Ah, we know we know exactly how to support you. And now, when I first got in the system I I spent a lot of time telling people my story. Uh, and by the time you've told the story, the person said, Well, uh, I can't support you because I'm only a locum But now we're getting dedicated people that said, We're not locums

We're gonna be part of your team and we're going to make sure that you are looked after and supported. And one of the biggest supports that I have here is Sue's team Halton. Speak out because they were set up to support people in the borough and make sure that the support stays within the borough and you're not sent externally

And our families are very happy to work with Sue and the team. Brilliant. That sounds great

So it sounds like it's been wholly a positive experience that you've been having just recently with the health services. Um, so can I ask you what challenges have you experienced in access and support for health and social care services? the challenges I I've experienced is, uh, a lack of consistency in the past. Where where? Where I where I used to work, Uh, full time for home speaker

We we used to have a lot of different social workers that would come in and work with our young people and in in the community. And then, unfortunately, some of these social workers would leave. So the biggest challenge we've had and I've had is the inconsistency of not hiring in this the same person who knows you and is familiar with your case being available to support you

Cos if you have four different social workers within a short period, none of them's gonna do the work because they they know they're going to be replaced. And and And you get a poor service. Uh, so you have to challenge and say, Excuse me, I have a right

I'm paying, paying into the system. And I have a right to be given a fair chance, but you'll find out I'm intelligent and clever. And that's why people at Carlton speakers have asked me to come on board as an advocate and to champion and support people and improve my life tremendously

Right? Right. Thank you for that, Nick. It sounds like what you're saying is that so in the past, there's been inconsistency, and that is often with staffing

Um, but you've just talked about the positive thing of, um, the positive outcomes you're getting from working with. Speak out. So that that sounds really good

I like the fact that you use negatives, and then you use positives. Um, I'm gonna go back to this question. So So I So I just asked you what the challenges you've faced

And, um what? So what? What was the impact of having those challenges, like so having inconsistency with social workers? The inconsistencies were that some of the things that you wanted to do you couldn't do because he didn't have the full support of the social worker. And when you applied to to do certain voluntary work or you you applied for certain benefits, if you didn't have the correct support in the background, then you you were denied access to do things. Uh, like, for example, at one stage, I wanted to do a voluntary work in a local hospital as a I

I volunteer for the, uh in in hospital radio station and they said because I didn't have a P a to assist me, they couldn't, uh, take me on because therefore, with me having Asperger's, I was a challenge. But the people who were supporting me at the time said Nicholas is not a challenge. Just give him the opportunity

But people put barriers before, uh, you even get there, prevent you from having a successful outcome. And we need to break down these barriers and prove that we're capable of doing things within reason. Yeah, thank you

So the next question is about your own experiences and asking you So what does good, um, good support in in health and social care look like for you? Good support is when you when you ask them to help you with a task that requires a social worker to involve himself so they do it diligently. And, uh, you know, do it within your time, Uh, timescale. And they don't say, Oh, I'll have to go away, think about it

And when you ring them back, they say, Oh, that social worker was a temp and he's no longer with us. You want consistency? If you don't want social workers being overworked and not being able to support the individual. Right

Thank you. I was gonna ask you, um, the next bit of that question which was Can you give us some examples of this in your own life where you've had good support? Um, so yeah, so can you give me some examples of when where you've had good support? Uh, yes, IIW. When I came in to get everything the support that I needed, I'd worked for a team for six months and they said at the end of of the period I was working for I was job ready and it turned out I wasn't And I had a nervous breakdown, and the social services were able to link me in with the medical team to get a psychiatrist to support me and and the social services said we have a brilliant team that's just recently at that time set up called Halton Speaker and and Social Services were able to get me involved with the team, and the team will be able to unlock my, uh, break down and get me to a position where I'm able to talk to people like yourself and I'm comfortable to share my experiences because at the time I was frightened and I would lock myself away

And I and I think woe is me. But I It's not as bad because the image that you got originally of social services was Oh, you only need a social worker if you if you've got a police interview. But it's not about that

It's about helping when you maintain and lead a normal life and doing the normal task that everybody takes for granted. Wow, it sounds like you've been through quite a lot, Nick. Indeed

And, um, getting to where you are now with speak out has has speak out, been really crucial to you or or was it more as a social worker? Or is it um was it both? Well, II, I think social services, uh, were involved for for a small part of the journey, But people within hold and speak out. We were able to see where the problem was and is and, uh, were able to have meetings regularly to discuss how is your life? And they know how to ask the question. So so do they get the right answer whereas a social worker would sometimes say, How is your life? And if you give them one answer, they say that's fine

But speak out. Realise that if you ask that question several times eventually you break down and tell them Well, it could be better And they say, How can it be better? And then you tell them, uh and then we W we work. So when we have the meeting sort of plan plan meetings, uh, like person centred meetings were prepared so we can go in and say this is what needs to be done

This is how it should be done. And then we can work together to make sure that it is done right. Thanks for that, Nick

Sounds to me like you, um, is having that structure, isn't it? And having someone who isn't just going to take, you know, it's like a tick box asking you a question. And if you say yes, then that box is ticked rather than going deeper and really trying to find out. You know how people how people tick

It's my pun. Sorry. Um, OK, so I'm gonna ask you the last question, which is what has been your experience with the support and health and social care services in Holton or people with learning disabilities or autistic people

Uh, and then I've just actually, this question is a very Oh, right, OK, that was for carers or family members. How many members understand it? Because it because they've lived with me all all their life, where social workers are only there for for a small window and they don't necessarily understand, uh, they don't understand mannerisms or hand gestures or facial expressions. And I don't understand hand gestures of facial expressions because a lot of people with all Asper you can't read a person's face

And and some people, for example, say Why aren't you looking at my face when you talk to me? And I take? Because sometimes the face can be a frightening thing to look at. And there's a lot of things going on, and you can't understand the expressions like somebody could put an expression. I'm too busy

I don't want to talk to you, and they walk away and you follow them round the room asking the question. And he said, Till they turn around and say, Look, go back to your desk. Leave me alone

But normal people can read the expression, and family members understand that you don't understand that. What? Social workers may not twig on that, and it takes time to to learn these mannerisms. And people like Speaker will take the time to learn how to communicate with you

So it's not just spoken communication. It's, uh the way that they talk the way that they dress the way that they move. Can it impact on how you deal with them? Great

Thank you, Nick. OK, have you got anything else you'd like to say about the, um, health and social Services in Halton? I think that the health and social services are doing an excellent job, but it's difficult because, uh, the the time it takes for work for them to build up a rapport with the client and get to the meeting and actually initiate the work. And and And I think that half the time social services can be undervalued and under under appreciated because they're dealing with a lot of cases, and sometimes they've got too many clients, and, uh and it's not always easy to to spend the necessary time with people

But that's where organisations such as Hal and speak out come into faith because they've got the time to help you. And then they can talk to the social services afterwards and say This is the outcome that we've got And you know how we know you can help them? Because sometimes you can be in the situation and not know how to help yourself because you're you got trapped and and the outside looking in they can see everything is not quite right and know how to help you. But it is difficult because we're restricted with time limits

Yeah, so actually, you know, having organisations like speak out which are sort of advocacy organisations who who get to know you and have the time to be with you is really actually uh let me correct you so sorry to interrupt. It's a salt and speak out work as a self advocacy and they want the person they're supporting to be in charge of their life, uh, and to speak up. But there is no good having other people control the puppet strings

You need to be in control, having a family need to know that you are happy at and not being pushed to go along because that's what's expected of you. Brilliant. Great

Um, so but speak out. Actually, uh, they have the time to spend with people, so they get to know people well, and they can be, um, a really good support, then for, um, for social and Health Services. And for they're supporting yourself

They're supporting you, aren't they? But I suppose in a way, it's a link, isn't it? A a helpful, positive link. I mean, the the social work, who will come into the meeting, Ask the questions. Oh, what a speak out will do, is they? I'll try and ask Social Services to email the questions over a week in advance so it can be prepped

So we're not frozen, because if you don't write the question beforehand, you cannot give the correct answer. And sometimes you give a panic answer, which is the first thing that comes into your head. And then a day afterwards, you realise that's not what I meant

And this is what I need to, uh, So we have preparation meetings to make sure that we are all ready and know what? What we're gonna talk about so that the meeting doesn't take too long. And more importantly, we get down to what needs to be done correctly to support the needs at the time of the meeting. Right? Thanks, Nick

It's been really, really nice to meet you. And, um, I think that's it. Have you got any questions for me at all? I don't know if I'll be able to answer them

Uh, my questions are how we can improve the system without breaking the system. Because sometimes when you tell the system it's not working, they challenge you and say, Oh, we like your it's not working Answer. And they say the meeting's over and they and they and they go away and they say, Oh, you they're too challenging

We can't work with them. Well, if you don't challenge you don't get change and you don't get improvement. And sometimes people like, uh like, like to to stick to the laminated sheep

For example, in the past, we have personal fen plans were where it said that the person like sticks and, uh, in a couple of weeks time the person could have said I've experienced working and doing that project, and I like it now. Whereas at the start I wasn't sure whether I'd like it. It's like, for example, if you get a new piece of food to eat till you've tried it, you don't know whether you'll like it, and and the first thing you say to the person is, Oh, I don't like that root I won't eat at all

And in a couple of weeks time, you might say, Well, I've tried it and I found that I do like it. But because it's on the sheet saying one thing, they won't bend and they won't adapt because they say, once it's written, it's in stone. And, uh, the person's enter plan should be ripped up every other day and rewritten because your life keeps evolving and changing

And if it doesn't, everything stays stagnant and fails the person. It's a really good point. Really

Good point. Thank you. I'm gonna stop recording now


Ez a kérdés vizsgálja, hogy vajon ember-e a látogató, valamint megelőzi az automatikus kéretlen üzenetek beküldését.