Would anyone round here enable Glasgow’s vulnerable to be manipulated because they are an easy target? Surely not. We have an elected city council charged with some tricky financial balancing acts in these times; could they become targets themselves by operators who can provide a better service and for less? On the surface it sounds like it would make sense to follow up on such claims but you have to think who are the best con artists you can think of? The ones you’d least suspect to leave you with no options and call that self direction.
Consider an air of respectability, a worthy aim, a charitable status and demonstrations of justification for public funding, funding from your pocket and from mine. Consider a long history of providing a service for vulnerable adults that was second to none. I say was because it clearly was back in the day when family members got together to make something better than there was for the vulnerable loved ones in their care. Their concern for what might happen to them after they were no longer there created something to be proud of and something that did what it was set up for.
Decades later this shifts to the control of a group with the promise of better care, better management and greater financial clout to ensure this continues. This is the point where care and commerce become very uncomfortable bedfellows. If you care do you do it for the money? Aren’t the ones caring enough to do the caring left behind as the money rolls in to benefit the rest who talk about caring?
Are vulnerable loved ones seen as living, breathing human beings or just seen as a funding package where their likely level of ‘troublesomeness’ will decide if they’re worth allowing access to ‘service’ as there are few other places to go since so many were all closed down, so the ‘service’ can pick and choose who it takes?
What happens to anyone who speaks out about the abuse within this system? Switch on the news. Open your eyes. Be honest.
Since being diagnosed with Aspergers I have had to get used to being patronised. Objecting to being ignored, laughed at or mistreated is considered aggressive. I always thought that displaying aggression was aggression but, no, it’s just seeing reality thought the bulls**t that people expect ‘your lot’ to just accept. It is not playing the game of pretending someone is honest when they clearly aren’t.
I have encountered numerous ‘services’ all of which promise the earth and have enough funding to support several staff, until I need them to do what they say they do. They don’t have the staff or the funding. I don’t know if I’m especially baby-faced but they seem to believe I was born yesterday. So who is daft? Them or me? Note – there are a few individual exceptions within these places but they work under their own steam.
When it comes to raising a valid concern, who should I turn to? Well, I like protocols, but if your employer doesn’t actually have any worth the paper they’re on, what do you do? What do YOU do? Forget it, move on, keep quiet, play the game? If you’re on the spectrum, you will follow what the protocols should be – raise your concern with your manager who will then remove you from any prospect of career advancement, block your career development, shift you into a place you clearly cannot cope with the environment, offer favours to your colleagues who are cheap enough to accept them out of fear of being in a similar position, harass you relentlessly until you break down. Then you are unstable. You are to be shut up and shut down.
Aha! I’m in a Union. Doesn’t count. Their best friends are the councillors who privatised the services by the back door – or, sought a better financial return on superior services despite service users, carers and professional industry professionals objecting wholeheartedly.
It’s becoming more inconvenient for more people because none of them has, is or will do the job that our taxes and subscriptions pays them to do. But there’s Advocacy – funded by the same pot, Social services, funded from the same pot, charities and regulators – switch on the news again to see how effective they have been in the past and how effective they are now. Does it fill you with confidence? Any organisation is only as good as the people in it. Any organisation worth its salt will have no objection to claims made against it being investigated independently. You’d think it would insist on that to receive continued funding from the public or any other purse but it is allowed to be overlooked. Any grievance raised by a member of staff should include an independent recorder of proceedings where any relevant witnesses may be called not just those in the pay of the employer and questions should be answered not bypassed. This occurrence should be recorded as relevant against any office bearer in an organisation seeking public funding t see if a pattern emerges. I know of a manager with several grievances lodged against them but none ever found an honest ear.
Trust is eroded and the denial of the truth will never rebuild that trust so that services can recover their integrity and protocols can be followed – and work – and ordinary people do not have to have their lives ruined because they actually care and do their job.
Organisations will always find happy clients to wheel out but their difficulty will come when the deluge of unhappy service users and their family members speak out and the staff who were silenced need to clear their consciences – now they’ve paid off their mortgages and feel safe. Good people are being treated badly and you choose to take part in that process or not. Speak up, speak out. I’ve got nothing to lose but a clear conscience and I will not be losing that.