Diary: A lighter take on the working week.

The heating broke in the office over the weekend and the cold greets me as I walk in even before my colleagues can say a cool hello. I spend the morning listening to many messages left on my answering machine and phoning each person back before lunch. Lunch is spent outside in the slightly warmer autumn air. In the afternoon, I close six cases. My reward is to be given another four in less then 20 minutes.

Another two cases have been allocated to me and I try not to sneer when I thank my boss for the extra work. A group supervision meeting becomes a discussion on what are “emergency duty visits” and what’s considered a waste of time. No definitive structure was agreed upon to eliminate useless emergency visits. Negative feelings spread through the group as we are reminded of two recent incidents of cash theft on our team. I am determined not to live in fear and to trust my colleagues as I spend more time with them than my husband!

The panel rejects the most urgent of three care packages I submitted on Tuesday. This particular case was critical as my client with high physical needs fears for his life because his wife accused him of having an affair with his carer and is verbally and physically abusing him. I have him rushed into emergency respite but my application for permanent care has been rejected as I have not exhausted all my other options (sheltered accommodation and reconciliation between the couple). I am frustrated as all of our managers are on an “away day” and there is no one to discuss this with.

I spend the morning phoning and introducing myself to all my new clients. A productive discussion with my manager over my rejected care package leads to her agreeing to request emergency respite vouchers while I obtain more supporting evidence. The heating is still down, we’re all wrapped up in scarves and big coats and praying for management to get someone to fix the heating. In the afternoon, I attend a meeting at a residential home with a family who want their father to go for respite there. He has been there previously but had wandered out. Now he has a mobile phone on him at all times that can track his every move. The manager and service manager come up with a plan of action and the respite is agreed. Everyone leaves the meeting feeling positive and the sun pops out behind the clouds.

I have supervision with my manager and I feel calmer when we finish discussing my many cases. It is been agreed that I will not be allocated more for the moment. I have a welcome discussion on how training would be the “breath of fresh air” I need. I happily agree. I visit two clients in a respite placement who are both content but complain the food is not cooked well and tastes disgusting. I make a point to bring it up with management as this problem could easily be rectified. My weekend can now begin. Oh, and the heating is fixed last thing Friday as we are leaving. Hurrah!

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