"I felt threatened whilst waiting to be assessed"

(as a service user),

Old, disabled, family all dead, no social worker. In desperation I asked Stirling Social services to asses me for the care allowance so that I could go into a nursing home paying all the costs myself even though I only have a small pension and my life savings. They put me in priority category 2 and told me I might I to wait months as they have hundreds to assess. They warned me that if I went into a nursing home or even made an agreement with one without having been assessed I would be refused the care allowance. I knew of a nice home I had been for respite but could do nothing about it because of what I felt were threats.

After waiting nearly 3 months the doctor, concerned about me, asked if I would object to him phoning social services to explain my medical needs. He did that and got nowhere. The social services then phoned me to repeat the comments they’d already made. I asked if they could please tell me where abouts on the waiting list I was. There said there was not list but I found it hard to believe that. How could they assess hundreds with no system?

I therefore turned to Forth Valley Advocacy service to see if they could find out the truth. They were wonderful. Two days after seeing me they told me that in fact there was no list, this was because category people were not being assessed at all. I would have to wait indefinitely, perhaps 18 months. I simply couldn’t. I had been at the end of my tether before I first approached social services. I therefore decided to give up what I had understood to be my entitlement to the care allowance by moving into the nice nursing home as soon as a place became available.

That happened unexpectedly soon and within two months I was installed.

I’m very happy because I am receiving the care I have needed for a long time.

I am immensely grateful to Forth Valley Advocacy for getting me a true picture of my situation, something social services had not done.

Their kindness, patience and efficiency impressed me enormously, nothing needs to be changed!

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