The reason Dr Pain is interested in things like benefits and OT's is that they play a vital role in enabling people to cope. Unfortunately, in reality the denial of benefits, equipment or care packages plays a vital role in increasing the pressure upon the already over subscribed and underfunded hidden parts of the NHS like pain clinics or physiotherapy.
Social Services departments have a duty to meet people's needs. In relation to disability or older people those needs are primarily physical, things like someone to help with food preparation, or taking medication. In practice what tends to happen is that local authorities through their social workers or OT's refuse to accept those needs, as, if they don't identify the need they don't have to do anything about it.
Dr Pain wanted to know what kind of services I was receiving, but was not surprised to hear that I don't receive any. I pay my wonderful carer privately. It's an absolute pittance compared to the value of the support she provides me. My last assessment from Social Services resulted in the loss of my entire care package as the Social Worker refused to accept that dislocating constantly meant I needed any support. I'm incredibly lucky to have someone in my life who cares enough about me to want to provide care regardless of financial recompense.
I'd previously been assessed by OT's from the local authority. At a time when I was desperately ill and underweight the hope was that they would provide some equipment to make my life easier. They wouldn't. I was assessed for a bath lift, but refused one on the grounds that I was too disabled. The OT's felt my hips might dislocate whilst using the bath lift and that would mean they, and the local authority would be liable should I have an accident. Home carer's are rightly not allowed to lift people in and out of the bath so that was another solution out. The OT's wanted to provide me with a perching stool so I could strip wash at the sink. That conveniently ignored the medical problems with body temperature and venous pooling so wasn't a solution either. Eventually I was offered a bathing service once a week in a GP's surgery some 20 minutes drive away.
Being me I turned down that option and learned how to get in and out of the bath whilst dislocating. It wasn't safe but under the circumstances seemed like the only way to go. Bathtime usually involved being on the phone to someone once I was in the water as that way should I have an accident the person on the end of the phone could call for help. Like I said, it wasn't safe.
I was at one point offered a bed raiser by the OT. These go under the mattress and help people to get out of bed. I was offered it until the OT looked at my bed, saw it was the slatted wooden type and that was the end of the bed raiser. They don't work safely on slatted beds so instead of solving that problem the piece of equipment was denied. Again, being me I learned to fall half out of bed, let all my joints dislocate whilst I still had my upper body on the mattress and stay there until I was stable enough to get up. Probably not very safe either, unless it was compared to my bathing method.
I explained all this to Dr Pain and said that I no longer wanted anything to do with the local authority as all they do is refuse assistance and create stress. I wouldn't want to get Dr Pain into trouble, so all I'll say is that from the look on his face he hears that same story over and over again.
Not everyone is as
And there they stay, because they can't be sent home to the same lack of equipment or services. Hospital beds cost alot of money. Money spent on keeping relatively well patients in beds because another part of the welfare state refuses to fund mostly vastly less expensive care packages or equipment.
Only a politician could set up such a stupid system then be able to manipulate people into believing it's the fault of the doctors, nurses, social workers or OT's. It's not, it's the fault of the politicians, regardless of party, but by the time the general public wake up to that it'll be too late.