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Richard Toner Guest Blog: Adult Services

  • Posted on Feb 4, 2021

On the 23rd of October 2020, I was asked if I could represent the Brittle Bone Society by CEO Patricia Osborne to attend to a panel meeting, Review of Adult Social Care which was held over zoom on the 26th October 2020. The ALLIANCE organised The Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland which was announced by the First Minister as part of the Programme  for Government on 1st of September. The review was chaired by Derek Feeley and will report by January 2021.

The aim of the review was to recommend what is to be improved for adults in social care throughout Scotland. In terms with the outcomes achieved by the people that use these services, families and those who work within the sector e.g. carers and the experience of people who work in adult social care.  This review was taken from a human rights based approach.

The discussion at the meeting, was about transitioning young adults from children services to adult services to find out what needs to be improved and developed over the next upcoming years. I mentioned about my experience transitioning from services.

My Experience Through Adult Services

I was transitioned to care providers at the age of 16, when I was given the opportunity to experience what adult services was going to be like, even though I was still under the children’s services. The social worker put me forward to try out a couple of services within the sector for example Hazelhead and The British Red Cross. I was with Hazelhead for a couple of months, however, they were not suitable for my needs as they were not able to work with people who have physical disabilities. Therefore, they could not support with personal care needs and were unable to transfer me from my bed to wheelchair and vice versa. Myself and my parents felt this was not suitable for us as it was holding back my independence which meant my mum and dad could not leave me alone with my support. The British Red Cross stepped in who gave me a full new outlook on life. This care provider changed my life, giving me the opportunity to have the independence I desired, and my parents felt confident with the service being provided. The British Red Cross provided me with personal care and social support during weekdays and throughout the weekends. I was with The British Red Cross for 8-9 years before transitioning to Quarries in 2018. Currently, I am in the process dividing my care package with AILN (Ayrshire Independent Living Network) to better suit my requirements.

In 2013, I was assessed as requiring a 24 hour care package which has given me more support and an independent life. Without this 24 hour care package I would be unable to care for myself and my life would have a different outlook. I would be unable to attend to social events and activities with family and friends.

What Can be Improved in Adult Services

Transitioning over from children services to adult services is a daunting experience as the services provided differ greatly as the needs of the service user progress through adolescence. In my experience, the communication between social worker and care provider could be improved to allow a steady transition. The social worker could also have researched the care provider services to ensure it met the service users requirements.

Recently, I have noticed the amount of paperwork the support staff have been asked to complete has got out of control which takes away precious support time from services users. This bothers me because I have to allow staff time away to write daily reports and complete other daily paperwork.

Support from team leaders and management to the service user is much less forthcoming when transitioned to adult services. This is an area which can be improved as support from management would allow for issues to be dealt with more effectively and allow for positive relationships to form between management and the service users.   

Overall, my experience of transitioning between children services to adult services and between care providers was steady and carefully considered over the years. Myself and my family received support from CHAS (Children’s Hospice Association) throughout these transitions which was a great source of support for all involved

Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland

To see the full Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland click here: https://www.gov.scot/groups/independent-review-of-adult-social-care/