Christopher's Story, Part 3
Chipmunkapublishing ltd, Jun 1, 2011 - 129 pages
DescriptionChristopher lives with the challenging mental health condition known as Kanner autism. This book is written with the hope of bringing insight into this lesser spoken of type of autism into the public sector and comes from a mother's perspective. It follows on from the first and second books and concludes Christopher's story as we attempt to secure his present and future support needs. Since leaving school in July 2007 and due to failed transitional planning, Christopher remained at home and in our sole care. Following the successful assessment for Continuing Care the year previously Social services withdrew into the background but the home observation visits with the Multi Disciplinary Team - which comprised Occupational Therapist, Community Nurse and Clinical Psychologist - continued each week. There were many unresolved issues regarding our request for a day service placement, but the main issue centred around the sheer expense and as the cost of the development continued to escalate, so did our fears that it would eventually be refused. Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust's reluctance to approve requests and commission services meant that the gap in provision continued to grow wider. However, there was one positive outcome with regards to our fight to secure a day placement, as we learned that the Local Health Board and NHS Trust now planned to develop Intensive Support Packages within the Borough. This meant that for the clients who were currently being supported out of the area would be able to return as the service developed. It also meant that younger adults leaving school - who met the criteria for continuing care - would now have such packages developed around their individual needs and without having to leave the area to access them.In February 2008 we learned that The Local Government Ombudsman had upheld our complaint against the Local Authority regarding inconsistent respite provision. We were advised that the issues of transitional failure and failing to provide a day placement in time for when schooling ended were now to be dealt with separately. We were further advised by the Ombudsman to submit additional complaints against The LHB and The NHS Trust for failing to meet Christopher's needs and this we did.Following these further complaints the Investigating Officer from the Ombudsman carried out interviews with selected members of The LHB and the NHS Trust and that same afternoon saw the Trust release all of the necessary monies which enabled the day care placement to progress. The service development created several posts, i.e. a band 6 community nurse, a band 5 co-ordinator, 5 band 4 support workers, an additional clinical psychologist and occupational therapist, etc; and within just a few weeks of the advertisements and interviews, all of the positions were filled. Transportation was also finally agreed and ordered, along with the necessary equipment/ furniture which meant that in July 2008 observation visits were able to be transfer from home, to the Day Centre. Christopher's day placement is just one of two Intensive Support Packages which have been created alongside of each other in the whole of Gwent. It is a new concept by Local Health Board's across the country - and one that we had to fight to achieve - but, following a 2-year battle, we have succeeded.On 20th December 2008 our complaints against The Local Authority, The Local Health Board and The NHS Trust were upheld. The impact of this decision for other families will be considerable - as will the impact upon Local Authorities, Local Health Boards and National Health Service Trusts all around the country. About the AuthorThe Child Within the Man - Christopher's Story Part III was written in the hope of raising awareness of Kanner autism and severe challenging behaviour. The book gives an insight into what it is like to live in a family when one of its members is so profoundly affected and concludes our son's story with our fight
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