How devolution is affecting social care: Larry Gardiner, service user, England

    Larry Gardiner, a service user in England, talks about his experiences.

    “I have a care package arranged for personal and domiciliary care with my local authority because I have a progressive condition and use a wheelchair. I’ve only been using social services for four months and previously had an informal arrangement with an unpaid carer. My local authority has a blanket contract to provide care services in the area I live and it didn’t suit my aspirations to use my direct payments to buy services provided by a care agency. The person I’ve employed is pretty good and I feel confident with her. It’s been a relatively painless and trouble-free arrangement.

    “My council has a one-stop shop call centre when you ring to speak to a social worker and the call centre logs your call. It took three weeks before I got an appointment with a social worker, and I had to have several phone conservations with duty social workers beforehand.

    “My own social worker is experienced and has been working for the local authority for years. He is knowledgeable, reasonably effective and provides me with information I didn’t know.”

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