Sharing power as equals

People told us that they felt that local councils imposed too many rules and restrictions on how they could organise their support, which in turn stood in the way of living the life they wanted to live. They also talked about not being trusted by councils and that they felt like they did not have the power or the means to challenge decisions made about their lives without their involvement.
  Social care in my area is restrictive and does not allow choice. The Direct payment contract needs to be more flexible and Social Care needs to be more flexible and more easily adaptable to ever changing life situations. It is a paternalistic system mired in red tape and long waiting times whilst a panel make decisions on whether a care plan will be approved”
  Social care needs to stop thinking of itself as an all-encompassing service and recognise its place in providing people with the flexible, responsive and caring support in ways that suit them and that help them live the life they want. Local authorities need to recognise the need for system and culture change in order to enable this flexible response – and focus more resource on communities, working with them in equal partnership.”
  I had an agreed care package with PAs that was then removed without any consultation and was told I would have to have an imposed agency package instead. I have severe physical and mental health disability and the agency had absolutely NO experience of mental health and could not guarantee to provide ANY continuity of care. It was unsafe. The local authority has not once responded to a single enquiry by email or telephone as to why this was done and that I challenge the changes imposed.”
  “I am so tight with the money, I wouldn’t waste it. I would just get more out of the budget. I am the expert on me.”
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