Tonight, I need your advice. What should I do?
Imagine the following situation. Hypothetically.
Over the past months, a care agency has delivered just over one third of the care hours they were contracted to deliver. We told them repeatedly that the situation was unsustainable and was putting Pádraig and us at risk.
At a meeting three weeks ago, we told them that we were at breaking point. We have an extremely difficult situation coming up at home and cannot continue to cover hours that should be covered by the agency – on top of the hours we have to cover ourselves anyway.
Following the meeting, I had expected improvements in the situation. Yet, nothing happened. The co-ordinator went on two weeks’ leave and her replacement did not do anything that would have aliviated the situation.
So I advertised, shortlisted, interviewed and trialled a highly qualified and experience carer who is ready to start. All in one week. I did what I would have expected the agency to do myself. I now want the agency to cover that carer’s salary which is broadly in line with what they pay their employees. Unfortunately, instead of being grateful for my efforts, they decline and are saying ‘no’.
I’ve thought about –
– getting a good lawyer to take them to Court;
– employing the carer and send an invoice to the agency; bringing them to Court if they don’t pay;
– ringing all the journalists I know to tell them that this agency has been in breach of their contractual obligations for months, are leaving us high and dry and are putting Pádraig’s and our health at risk;
– writing and ringing our TDs, members of parliament, as well as the Department of Health and the HSE HQ;
– starting a one-man demonstration outside of the agency’s HQ;
– all of the above.
In such a situation, what do you think should I do? What would be your advice? Would it be reasonable in this situation to be unreasonable, to be outraged, and to become really, really difficult?
Gráinne M said:
The breaking of a contract is surely a legal issue. I would start proceedings against that agency. Would Naming and Shaming be legal?
In the meantime I hope that Padraig’s care is not compromised in any way. Best wishes and prayers to all the family – coping with this stress is an added burden which you can do without.
There is funding to do this right. That is the incredible aspect of this mess. I’ll give it a few days and hope for common sense and reason to prevail. But I am about to explode:)
Is there a body that governs care agencies that could have the power to make them comply with their obligations or impose penalties!
HIQA was talking about it in the lunch time news on RTE One, but currently there no independent oversight of home care service – unbelievable…
Reinhard, ich weiß nicht, wie die rechtliche Situation in Irland ist. Wenn es in Deutschland zu vertraglichen Fehlleistungen kommt, die man gerichtsfest nachweisen kann, kann man in deinem Fall den Pfleger einstellen und der Agentur die Rechnung schicken (Ersatzvornahme). Du brauchst unbedingt ein Protokoll des Meetings, eine Liste mit den Daten des Nichterscheinens, Fristsetzungen, die du ihnen zugeschickt hast. Ich würde mir wohl rechtlichen Beistand holen.
Deinen Frust kann ich sehr gut verstehen. Alles Liebe für Euch.
Die haben noch eine Chance. Hoffen wir, dass sie die nutzen. Ansonsten wird es einen Sturm geben, den die noch nicht erlebt haben:)
Mary Scally said:
I write very humbly to you Reinhard as I cannot even come close to imagining the struggles and battles you live with everyday in your quest for good care for your son.My advice to you is to contact your local PHN(Public Health Nurse) and explain to him/her the situation.I would stress the adverse effects the lack of care hours is having on Padraig.Make sure to get his/her name and then end the conversation by saying” I trust you will follow up on this matter”‘.The PHN has a duty of care to make sure Padraig is receiving adequate care from his Carers.Phone her everyday until the situation is resolved.
May I advise to not add more stress to your life by going down the legal route or contacting media,they will just want to sensationalise the situation.Padraigs dignity and privacy may not be protected.
I read your blog everyday,you fight fearlessly an inefficent health service that sticks bandaids over every problem.You are the essence of fatherly love,selfless devotion,strength and energy.Never stop doing what you are doing and you so rightly never settle for less than the best for your fantastic son.He is braver and more beautiful than most humans on this planet.
May Padraig continue to make gains,no matter how miniscule,no mater how long it takes. May he and others who suffer a traumatic brain injury always be surrounded by people that love them, respect them and are their fearless advocate for better care.
Maire – you humble me. The reality is that if I was fearless, I would write it the way it is. I would write about how I really feel, the despair, the emptiness, the feeling of being beaten, of being on the verge of loosing hope and belief in people – along with those really brilliant moments when I feel on top of the world because I feel so incredibly privileged in all of this chaos when I see how Pádraig is enjoying life and recovering one step at a time. But I am not fearless, I have never felt so vulnerable in my life. – Thank you for staying with us and for your support! – Reinhard