Thursday, 21 August 2014

well that was quick

In very fast reply to my last email/post I had an email from the head of the trust saying that someone from the department would phone me. I responded saying (in summary) that words were all very well but they wouldn't solve the issues the department had.

Then the orthotics manager phoned me - from the PALS office, where she had come in on her day off - and told me that they were chasing the Challico boots daily and were going to try to have them here next week. She then told me that the Orthotist had explained to me in the appointment where the boots and calipers were decided on that Piedro were taking up to six weeks to come when I chose them. I replied that this was not the case and that we were shown a page from a catalogue with three colours of boots on it and N chose the hot pink ones. At no point did anyone say there were other kinds available or that there was a ridiculous lead time - in fact, I had asked whether there were others available because my eye had been caught by some purple ones on the following page. She persisted that it had been explained to me. I have sent a further email to her reiterating that it wasn't. We are now waiting to see what happens next week.

I feel harangued. The orthotics manager has clearly been on some sort of training course where she has been told that including people's names frequently in conversation is a good communication tool. She spent a lot of time saying things like 'I feel I have to disagree with you there' and 'that is not what happened' and 'I have to correct you on that point' and asking 'who exactly said that to you?' all in an pretty confrontational fashion. Her technique is to keep talking and talk over you. I told her that anecdotally, we are not the only family who is unhappy with orthotics; and she responded by asking me the names of these people and telling me that I should get them to put a complaint to her so that she can put things right.

In the end I snapped and turned it back on to her, not letting HER get a word in edgeways for a couple of minutes and telling her that at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of her department to sort out N's boots and they have failed to do so.

Things I didn't say included the fact that it's clear her entire department has a culture of arse-covering and are prepared to lie to make sure that trouble slides off them; and that I don't appreciate being effectively told that I am not telling the truth.

I came off the phone with adrenaline shakes of an extreme nature and I am so very, very fed up.


  1. sorry. it's sh!t. And the worst thing is it isn't unusual. And it breaks your heart to think of the other children who don't have a MFH fighting their corner. They depend on your feeling fed up, they depend on parents not being able to cope with the fight. Keep strong, nil illegitimi carborundum.
    My most successful phrases are: "my child's needs are not being met" and my particular favourite "it isn't personal, I am having a go at everyone failing my child today"

  2. Good for you! To state that the orthotist said things despite your saying he/she did not is like saying you are fibbing. More parents should insist on issue resolution the way you do. These people basically are working FOR N and should be doing a better job getting her necessary equipment etc. I admire your determination and insistence. It makes me steamed to hear about children with medical needs and their parents not getting proper treatment or responses from medical professionals.