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Dfg - getting no where

clarabelleclarabelle Member Posts: 71 Connected
HI

I have been going back and forwards with my LA really a DFG for 3 years.
They have all the medical information they need, plus letters from my GP and physio and my pip scoring, but are ignoring them.
I have an advocate but they are ignoring what she is saying,;too. 
I have an overbath shower with grab rails which was fitted by my landlord 3 years ago. I can't use it safely ( I've slipped and fallen a number of times) .  I can't get in and out of the bath on my own.
I need a new kitchen with push mechanisms on the drawers a's I can't open them otherwise. They have letters from medical professionals about this, but the OT just ignores them and juSt keep talking about ' really big handles' 

I live on my own and am really struggling. I've had to go and stay with friends and family for months at a time. 


Replies

  • clarabelleclarabelle Member Posts: 71 Connected
  • o5jessicao5jessica Member Posts: 42 Connected
    Hi sorry to here you too same me,
    One year no repairs level access wet room rotten floor.ened up in hospital twice,
    Since I'm had 2010/2013 many reports like you, I had housing landord keep refused to frist small aids, now major.
    Now plan many disadvantages to my area jooj NHS health care adult care cuts NHS fundsfcutsf
    Only offer move
    ,Last 2012 
    Thier nothing big enough then 
    Medical equipment etc,
    Then new 2018 policy not to aid independent living,il.
    I noone advocate to help,no family.
    Now,
    Another oT referral
    .this be saying oh, unsafe living here,
    Yet like you were fisadisa people able to go.in care homes  no rights to choices putcomou in line care act 2014

    UK joint funding cuts is causing you I , many unlawful disadvantages

    I  had no shower still one year, noone cares 
    What is the amwrars
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering
    Hi @Clarabelle

    Sorry to read that you are having this situation to contend with. I would suggest that in attempting to resolve the DFG issues with your OT you think of your bathing needs and your kitchen needs as two separate issues with their own solutions.

    The regulations DFG say that any grant most be "necessary and appropriate" (as determined by social services to meet your assessed needs) and also  "reasonable and practicable" (as determined by the housing department).

    Adaptations to bathrooms are the most common type of work carried out using DFG. If you can evidence that you can't safely attend to your personal hygiene with your current set-up, then an aid or adaptation would seem necessary and appropriate. The Community OT is obligated to try to address assessed needs by the most cost effective means, so for example, if they believe that your hygiene needs can be safely met via the use of a bathboard they can not authorise  the installation of shower cubicle or wetroom. If a bathboard/ bath lift etc doesn't allow you to bath safely you probably have a strong arrangement to  have a more major bathroom adaptation. Adaptations can also only be performed if your landlord has given permission

    If you feel that the local authority is failing in their duty to appropriate assess and meet your needs in accordance with the DFG regulations you should make a formal complaint using the local authorities own complaints procedure. If that doesn't get things sorted you will need to escalate the matter to the ombudsman. If you have a local disability information service, advocacy service or CAB they might be able to help you make a complaint.

    The issues with your kitchen drawers may be a bit harder to argue in terms of necessary, appropriate, reasonable and practicable but this is really difficult for me to comment on as I'm unable to assess your needs and your kitchen. DFG looks at "facilitating the preparation of food by the disabled person", this need not necessarily involve the disabled person having to all (or even any) kitchen drawers depending on how the kitchen is arranged. Often a person can be facilitated to prepare food by simply moving essential utensils to a more accessible place. Bearing in mind that the OT is obligated to find the most cost effective solution to facilitate you preparing food rather than ensuring that you can readily access all of your kitchen storage and it might explain why you aren't getting very far with this issue. 

    Yes, there are people who get fully adapted/accessible kitchens using DFG but in the current economic climate this is much harder to achieve. It would be unfortunate to delay getting your bathroom difficulties sorted because the potential solution is getting bundled up with the more controversial solution needed for your kitchen. 

    Push to open drawer mechanisms are normally fairly cheap to buy (for example see: https://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/product/motion-base-mounted-drawer-runner-push-to-open-single-extension-350mm-zinc-997195?vat=1&shopping=true&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIg-f2q-e33QIVEeJ3Ch2GyAz9EAQYAiABEgJDjvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds ) Obviously the precise mechanism needed will depend on the units it is to be fitted to. Perhaps you could consider purchasing mechanisms privately for a drawer or two that you feel are most essential for you. It sounds as if your landlord has been helpful in the past, perhaps he would be willing to fit them for you. 

    Finally do bear in mind the fact that your are vacating your home for "months at a time" perhaps reduces how urgent the local authority view getting this work done, as it may appear to them that you have other ways for getting your needs met. Therefore, it may not be strategic to mention this in any complaints etc  

    Hope this helps you to move things forward for you

    Best Wishes
    Jean

         
        

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering
    Hi @o5jessica

    Thank you for also commenting on @clarabelle 's post.

    Yes, you are absolutely right that there regularly are issues with DFG. The local government and social care ombudsman decisions on DFG make interesting reading: https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/adult-care-services/disabled-facilities-grants

    As you have found yourself a big issue for a lot of people in privately rented accommodation is that no major adaptations can be done without the permission of their landlord. Many landlords choose to withhold permission, meaning that peoples needs can only be addressed by moving. Obtaining a more accessible/adaptable property is near impossible in some areas of the UK, as social housing stock is extremely limited and private landlords often refuse to rent to people on benefits. In such instances some principles of the Care Act appear to be more aspirational than achievable.

    If your original OT reports are several years old it would seem wise to have a new up to date assessment. Your needs or the most appropriate solutions to meeting your needs may of changed in the intervening years. OT's can assess and recommend but they can't make a landlord agree to adaptations or a local authority acquire more housing stock.

    If you feel your local authority is failing to meet their duty of care towards you then you could consider making a formal complaint. I appreciate this is potentially difficult if you don't have anyone to support you doing it. If you email the Scope Helpline including your postcode they may be able to signpost you towards sources of support/advocacy: [email protected]

    Many OT's are very concerned about the state of the NHS and Social Care, our national organisation,  the Royal College of Occupational Therapists,  https://www.rcot.co.uk/ continues to advocate for policies and practices which better meet the needs of the people that we work with. Obviously, Scope also continues to campaign for everyday equality for disabled people. Thank you for sharing your own lived experience of the difficulties.

    Best Wishes

    Jean
               

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • clarabelleclarabelle Member Posts: 71 Connected
    Thanks for your response. 
    I've exhausted the LA complaints procedure and the LGZO suggested I go back and negotiate... my landlord has agreed to adaptations and my GP has writtennoutlinING the adaptations are necessary,,the landlords surveyor that they are practicable. ..  the OT is being deliberately obtuse.

    Re leaving my house for months at a time,  not really an excuse for them is it? More a justification for adaptations.  The point of a dfg /care assessment is to ensure someone can live as independently as possible and do so safely, in their home. 

    Really the bath thing, simply isn't going to work - I have multiple diagnosis that mean I'm physically restricted in upper body and ( thanks to their failures to prevent delay or reduce needs ).. in my lower body as well.  So no, attempting to climb into a bath and sit on a bath board, wash and then extract myself isn't going to happen.  

    Re the kitchen stuff.. a couple of drawers or moving utensils doesn't quite fit with the dfg criteria assessments and austerity is irrelevant.  The dfg max budget is 30k. My LA on average have one of the lowest spends per household for dfgs,  despite being one of the richest boroughs. 

    Thanks for the comment,  Jean. I'll see where my advocate gets. 
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