Jump to content

Uncle Albert's Red Tape


Recommended Posts

I'm slowly being suffocated by red tape and paper as I try to equip Uncle Albert's new apartment with the things he needs to make things easier for both him, me and his carer as well as keeping the old boy amused.

The latest batch of forms concern fitting a washer/dryer and a TV satellite dish into his apartment. The forms ask not just 'why' I want to install said items but give me an instruction to 'give my reasons for installation in no fewer than one hundred words'. Why the word count I'm wondering? So I thought I would share the reasons I have given...shamelessly borrowing some material.

TV & Satellite Dish
"Our attempts to entertain my father using shadow puppetry are time consuming.We are running out of possible scenarios utilizing my lack of skill in the area of characters. There are only so many scripts that include provision for 'deformed rabbit' and a 'caterpillar'. In order to facilitate my father's interest in the Jeremy Kyle Show I have been leaving him in his wheelchair in the town center to people watch.However now that winter is almost upon us, his social worker says we are no longer allowed to do this...even if we provide him with a hot water bottle and a blanket. It was suggested that we buy him a TV.This we did and Dad now sits happily in front of the set shouting 'Do Deformed Rabbit', however after reading the instructions we discovered that if we attach the TV set to a satellite dish we will achieve better results."

"Although I provided my father's carer with washing facilities she tells me that the rock is extremely heavy and the distance from my father's flat to the river is too far to cover within the allotted two hours per day she is paid for. In addition to this the flood defences on the Town side of the river make it difficult for her to get to the water's edge and contravene both Health and Safety legislation as well as the 1870 Town Ordinances concerning bathing and washing in the river to reduce cholera outbreaks. On warm days she can dry the washing a little on her way back from the river but due to the constraints of carrying the rock she cannot get enough speed up the hill to dry the washing thoroughly. I have instructed the carer to direct the hot air she exhales whilst panting with exhaustion at the washing but this is still not efficient.. I asked the Carer if she was 'A' or 'B'  rated but she tells me  she's a '38 DD' and although she's 'never had any complaints' I don't think she complies with EU regulations. I believe a simple solution to the problem would be to install a washer dryer."


  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Boy do I wish you luck! This can only go one of two ways, either your reason is read by someone who has a sense of humour, or it will be read by the Social Services.

I honestly dispair sometimes at the lunacy of these people. I can see that a reply of "He needs one" isn't really helpful to anybody, but really!

Like everyone I never generalise, but I think if you are dealing with the Social Services, you have an up-hill struggle on your hands.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a theorem about Social Workers. It goes like this...

All Social Workers work on flexi time and cram their 30hrs a week into two days. During these two days they attend all of the management meetings they missed on the three days they were not at work as well as all of their in-house training. Unfortunately after allowing for their annual leave...this leaves negative time for their clients.

Uncle Albert is moving from one county to another so therefore will have to change not only his social worker but the Social Services department supplying the service. After two weeks of the his current social worker allegedly trying to contact the Social Services Department of the new county and failing...I rang the new county and was put through immediately. So far so good thinks I. His current social worker only works two days a week Tuesday and Thursday and was 'training' and then 'annual leave', so the transfer of his case file was delayed. I telephoned the managers of both counties departments and chivied the buggers along a bit....

Following my conversation with the managers of the respective departments, Uncle Albert was assigned a new social worker who would contact me on the Monday to organise his transfer and move out of care and into his own flat by the 1st of November. Monday came and no phone call. So I rang the new social worker...who only works Tuesday and Thursday and was currently on annual leave until the 2nd of November. 

I see a pattern emerging here!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim, I believe you might find a ring of wire on his armchair wired up to a cattle fence, will not only provide entertainment, but will solve any incontinence at the same time, while providing plenty of  opportunities for exercise at the same  time.

At the same time if you also add a video camera to the mix, you can then play it on the TV, providing him with ample entertainment, while he laughs at the old codger getting electric shocks.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grendel if said video is also sent to one of those TV programmes that show videos of people doing stupid things, the cash it generates may pay for half a day of the carees fees as well. 

Unfortunately with the SS (and I think there is a reason they could be shortened to this) one of the key requirements apart from some pointless qualification is the lack of any form of common sense. 

If there are any social workers on the forum I apologise as I am sure a few of you do have a brain. 

The stuff I went through with my parents you couldn't make up!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont believe its the carers that are the problem Mark, in general they are conscientious and do a good job in the time they are allowed, its the management end of the thing, and the assessors, that cannot seem to grasp the fact they are dealing with real human beings lives, and dont empathise and think what if they were in the same situation. add the cuts to their resources and they are just bean counters and try and reduce the number of beans. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think both have a point here and as I type I've just realised a similarity to the good 'ole Broads Authority. The people doing the day to day task of caring for the individual deserve some high praise. It's once you get to the officer or social worker level that things tend to break down.

I often wish that I knew someone who was a highly qualified Social Worker that knew all of the pit falls, tricks and traps of negotiating the system. Now here's the 'Doh' moment...Uncle Albert is CSS CQSW in other words a fully qualified Social Worker and former deputy head of the same Social Services Department that's supposed to be caring for him!

Just to add a little further insult to injury the new counties Social Services suggested I get in touch with the British Legion as Uncle Albert is ex Royal Navy they would have a welfare officer who could offer support etc.
"I don't think that will do any good..." I started to explain.
"No, the bloke is fantastic, really helps, knows his stuff! Worked with him before!" 
They then passed me the telephone number and contact details for Uncle Albert who was the British Legion's welfare officer for the area.
"Oh that's a shame!" was all the Social Worker could say when she realised the bloke that was going to help was in fact the bloke that needed help.


  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I was one of those at the sharp end of things.

The social workers I have met in my daily travails around the community. Have all the brains that a university education can instill. But most of them seem to have left their brains. in the university path lab pickled in formaldehyde. Air head would be a compliment for most of them. Most of them seem to not be able to walk and talk at the same time.

Some of their suggestions in caring for the elderly, are mostly like something from a superman comic. You would need super powers to perform them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

shamelessly borrowed from another forum - 

Quite a few years ago Patrick Moore wrote (under a pseudonym) a little book entitled 'How to Annoy a Beurocrat', which was full of little tricks to subvert the mechanism of beurocracy. One I always remember is, to rub a candle stub along any bit of the form that may require the eventual recipient to write on it. Evidently, in the days of fountain pens it made life terribly difficult for them!


There you go Tim, thats another one to try, though no doubt its scanned in and completed electronically nowadays.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Sponsors

    Norfolk Broads Network is run by volunteers - You can help us run it by making a donation

  • Create New...

Important Information

For details of our Guidelines, please take a look at the Terms of Use here.