WILG recipients throughout Wales are starting to get anxious. Christmas is just around the corner, and still we are no clearer about what the future holds. Some of us have had our independent assessments through ICS, but this reassessment process seems to have run in to problems, due to illness on the part of some of the independent social workers. This, of course, cannot be helped and everyone at the #SaveWILG campaign wishes those in question a speedy recovery.
In the meantime though, WILG recipients are left wondering what is going on. I have been in touch with civil servants at the Welsh Government, who have provided me with an update on the situation. Throughout the #SaveWILG campaign, I have developed a high degree of trust and respect for those who I know are committed to expediting this situation. I can do little more, but place my good faith in such people…
Below is the information I have been permitted to share with all concerned about the future support arrangements for WILG recipients.
To be totally transparent, part of the problem is that one of the social workers ICS has employed to carry out the independent assessments has been quite ill recently, so that individual hasn’t been able to get through her case load. While for continuity they are going to see the assessments they started right through to conclusion, they are not I’m afraid going to be able to commence any further ones with as a consequence, some appointments arranged with former WILG recipients having to be postponed. This is frustrating for everyone concerned because at the point they became ill ICS’ social workers were making good progress with between them more than half of the assessments to be done completed, with most of these written up and with ICS’ quality assurance to make sure they were of an appropriate standard. In a small number of cases discussions had also commenced with relevant local authorities as a result of assessments undertaken, prior to joint ICS / local authority discussions taking place with the person concerned.
To its credit, ICS has acted quickly to correct this situation by recruiting a replacement social worker who has now successfully passed the relevant vetting. They will, therefore, commence their first independent assessments this week but this does mean that the original timescale ICS envisaged has slipped a little. The original plan was to have completed all assessments by the end of November to enable all outcomes to be agreed with relevant local authorities and the persons concerned well in advance of Christmas. What ICS now hopes to do, having recruited its replacement social worker, is to complete all the remaining assessments and to have these written up and quality assured by early December to enable discussions with local authorities and individuals to take place from mid-December. Clearly at that point a smooth hand over between ICS and local authorities is essential, and we will monitor this closely.
It is unfortunate this delay has occurred as we are fully aware that the people affected affected are anxious to have had their independent care assessment and to know the outcome of this as quickly as possible. I know from your blog that you had your own assessment some weeks ago. ICS advise us that if anyone wants to know about the point that their assessment has reached they should contact Maarja Apostol, who is ICS’ Project Co-ordinator for the independent assessments. Maarja can be contacted at:
Tel no. 0161 974 5196
You might wish to contact Maarja to enquire about your assessment and put the above information on your blog so as to update other former WILG recipients.
I realise these developments are unfortunate and frustrating, but it hope this update is helpful in putting you fully in the picture.
Should I have anymore information, I will let everyone know, but in the meantime it seems that the waiting game continues. I’m dreaming of a Corbyn Christmas with a guaranteed future of 24/7 care endorsed by ICS and funded partly by the Welsh Government. This idyllic dream is being challenged by a nightmare that sees Boris Johnson settling in to five years at Downing Street, supported by Nigel Farage and his Brexit party loons, while hearing nothing about an increased support package.
Let’s hope that socialism and decency triumphs over arrogance and self-centred greed…