NHS England is very clear that patients should be included and involved in every aspect of their care. So why isn't that happening?
We hear that some councils and commissioners aren't informing people about meetings, panel decisions or responding to requests to appeal. That they're using the Coronavirus Act 2020 to reduce and restrict care and support by not being transparent about what phase they are in with regard to easements.
We're getting reports that people are being discharged from community services without review or even a discussion. They're being presented with outcomes of reviews and decisions as 'done deals' with their only form of redress a complaint.
We know that at least one council is using a preferred provider list of brokers, care and support, denying people choice about who works with them and manages the financial side of their Direct Payments. This is against the Care Act and 3 years ago Oldham Council narrowly escaped judicial review working in this way.
We're told that some people have been 'advised' that a complaint or an appeal can take "up to 6 months" and that their "care package might be frozen during the investigations". They're being discouraged from taking a complaint or concern to the Parliamentary Health Ombudsman or the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman with claims that during COVID19, neither are taking new complaints. We are assured this is not true. It is also the case that without advice and a period of notice, care packages and payments cannot be 'frozen'.
To read what people are saying to us click here
Also very worrying, is the change in how people are responded to. There is a very unhelpful and defensive culture. Patients and their families and carers are ignored, their concerns not responded to and a blatant failure to act within the law and do what is right. Some councils and CCGs in Gtr Manchester are failing in even the most basic duty of care.
This is not what the NHS Constitution and the Care Act 2014; including its 2018 Amendment says should happen. The Coronavirus Act 2020 does not allow local authorities to abandon their responsibilities or break the law click here
We are working with the Neurological Alliance to highlight this.
Please contact us if you have experience of poor service from NHS or local authority professionals including complaints teams Get in touch here