David Williams, a service user in Wales, talks about his experiences.
“I’ve been in a wheelchair for seven years because of a spinal problem. My experience of direct payments, when I first heard about them, was you had to jump through a lot of hoops and dig the information out from the local authority. No one would commit themselves to digging out the information for me; there wasn’t a spreadsheet I could look at. I only found out about it from other patients when I was in hospital; it was like drawing teeth.
“I have three personal assistants who come in three times a day. I never relied on social services in the past and only got help when I came out of rehabilitation. Having my own PAs gives me a uniformity of service and I am running things.
“My social worker is very helpful but he is totally snowed under with bureaucracy and paperwork. He’s not out there doing the job full-time because of the paperwork. We filled in a document for me recently and it was 40 pages long. I’d like to have more interface with my social worker but I can’t because he is overworked.”
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