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SALT - what would you do?

(17 Posts)
appropriatelytrained Sat 10-Sep-11 10:45:06

I have had terrible problems with SALT over the last year. They left DS without support, pretended they'd trained staff, lied about things in their report to Tribunal, backdated all his provision he'd been having support when he didn't -e.g. pretending school had been working on targets they'd sent when I have it in writing from school that no targets were received.

I know, I know, it makes me sound mad, but this all happened! They are now ignoring my attempts to details of meetings they have had with my son's school without my knowledge - it is in these meetings that they allege school say they were working on the SALT programme all year. Even PALS won't answer me.

Anyway, we are moving to get away from this terrible county and this awful service and I am HE til then. We are working with an independent S&LT.

Out of the blue yesterday, the NHS S&LT sent a letter asking DS for an appointment next week.

What would you do? I don't want to undermine DS's provision but I can't work with these people. We are following an independent S&LT programme at the moment and I thought I would mention this and ask her to move the appointment to allow us to have something to discuss at a later date.

But how can you have a head of service lying to you and ignoring your request for information from your son's file on the one hand and happily let your child see the S&LT from this service who filed a report from Tribunal saying the service had been supporting your child since October when written evidence demonstrates they did not set up a programme until May?

izzie123 Sat 10-Sep-11 11:42:15

We have had major problems with SALT and it took about a year to resolve. They didn't fabricate evidence but they tried to cover it up and refuse to accept the obvious. Have you done a DPA request of your son's file? They have to provide it so if they don't then I would raise this with the PCT Chief exec, involve your MP and/or go the ICO. Initially they said our DS had received the SALT he was due to have. This included sessions of 120 min...??? For a child who can only pay attention for very short periods of time (he is in SS)... Anyone with half a brain would know this can't be true plus is completely useless. We requested our DS's file including all notes, computer loggs and emails. We then met twice with the manager and went through everything in detail. Took several months but going through it the manager agreed that the computer logs and notes didn't match and that as he was supposed to receive 30 minutes each week, you couldn't say that because he had 2 hours one day it was equivalent to 4 weeks. Plus he actually didn't receive two hours, it was a mixture of group, individual and admin. We then had some silly debates as to what face to face meant as he was supposed to get 30min/week face to face. Their definition was that observation was face to face. Our definition as you can imagine was that face to face actually meant face to face. LEA was in denial until the last minute. We involved our county councillor and said we were about to go to LGO. He got involved went to CEO and we saw the biggest U turn. PCT then said that they didn't have the resources to provide the therapy so the great result was that LEA employed our private SALT. Going back to your problem I would look for very detailed evidence: they said they trained staff, ask to look at the school's visitors log, ask to see their training logg, ask to see the content of the training. When they lie the more you get in writting the more they trip themselves. So I would continue attending their appointments but would ask for clarification of the purpose of the appointment before it took place and write to them to say this is your understanding. After the appointment I would also write to them to minute the content of the appointment and the actions.

When dealing with the issues my advice would be to be assertive but always remain polite with a dash of emotion and outrage. And try to give them a way out, like you understand they are not bad at their job, are doign the best they can etc.., very hard as you know the truth but it will get you further as they let their guard down and just have to jump on the excuse you give them. Ours was we totally understand you don't have the resources and you are doing the best you can, but the LEA has a duty to provide the SALT if you can't. Hope this makes sense. Good luck

appropriatelytrained Sat 10-Sep-11 11:54:15

Thanks. This is really helpful.

The whole situation is very messy. Our S&LT team actually work 'under contract' to the LA to provide S&LT in schools, so it was in both their interests to pretend that there was S&LT in place when there wasn't.

School were straight about it to start with but I get the impression that, as they all approached Tribunal, they decided to all start singing from the same 'hymn sheet' and saying - yes targets were received last year, yes we undertook work on them and trained staff etc.

I attended every S&LT visit to school and employed our own S&LT to tarin the TA because of lack of NHS efforts.

I completely agree about playing the 'lack of resources sympathy' card and blaming the LA but these people then deliberately lied in reports and now won't answer my questions.

I have already got my MPs support on an LGO complaint, I would feel bad bothering him with this too.

Oh, and i went to my county councillor and this is one of the reasons the LA used for calling me 'vexatious' and stopping correspondence with me - yet another LGO complaint!

Claw3 Sat 10-Sep-11 14:13:39

You dont sound mad at all, quite sane in fact in my book, we have been through similar as you know.

Have you tried quoting the data protection at them and insisting that any inaccurate information be removed?

I had a similar thing with OT, while denying that ds had any difficulties in line with what school saying and lots of conversations behind my back to cover their own arses, when he began his self injurious behaviour and was hospitalised, the same OT then paid me a home visit to give me advice on how to handle his self injuries behaviour, which she was saying he didnt have!

Use the appointment to your advantage iyswim.

appropriatelytrained Sat 10-Sep-11 15:31:45

Claw - they won't even let me have the information and the department and PALS have ignored my requests. Things have really escalated when hospital departments ignore DPA requests!

I have asked ICAS to help as the department head decided, in June, that she would write to me to answer a 'complaint' I had not made. I had raised concerns about the failure of provision and some other matters but said I wanted to get the provision in place and not get embroiled in a bureaucratic complaints process.

So, she wrote to me, answering her own questions and telling me that was the end of it and if I wanted to raise another pursue this I would have to go to the Ombudsman.

It was in that letter, for the first time, that she suggested this make believe programme which she says had been in place since last Nov. Despite emails I have from school saying they have no S&LT, an apology from the LA in writing and reports from our own S&LT about her involvement in setting up the programme.

Her answer - I was told all this in a meeting with the head.

Mmm, what meeting? And that's where it's all gone quiet.

It did of course get neatly repeated in the stupid S&LT's report.

I need to go through third parties or I will be accused of being vexatious or aggressive in pursuing this.

Claw3 Sat 10-Sep-11 15:57:15

Similar to you, OT had written a report stating that ds didnt have any difficulties, even though i had a telephone conversation between OT and SENCO, recorded by SENCO, on ds's school file, where she went into get detail about his SEVERE difficulties. I got the same outcome as you, they didnt answer any of my questions or change their report or supply with ds's file, just if you want to pursue this further go to the Ombudsman. I had already moved boroughs, changed schools etc, so didnt bother, but i did get the OT report withdrawn from circulation by simply telling them they did not have my permission to share info with anyone else. (although im sure they did, it could never be relied upon in the case of a Tribunal)

If you moving soon and starting different school etc, i assume you just dont want this to come back and bite you on the arse in future?

I also got an ind OT to assess ds and write a report on his difficulties. So again i assume your ind SALT could assess your ds on the supposed targets he has met ie he has not met them and they are talking bollox for any future SA requests etc?

appropriatelytrained Sat 10-Sep-11 16:10:28

Thanks Claw. There is no dispute about DS's difficulties but about whether S&LT have even been to school and done the things they say they have done.

He has a statement with weekly S&LT on it and they didn't get involved for four months.

Claw3 Sat 10-Sep-11 16:27:50

Oh right, i didnt realise your ds had a statement. Im sure i remember reading that you lost at Tribunal, i assumed you meant for a statement, it must have been for provision blush sorry.

So if they are already supposedly giving your ds S&LT in school weekly, what is the purpose of the appointment for next week?

appropriatelytrained Sat 10-Sep-11 16:36:43

No, we had no problem getting a SA and statement, strangely, but the provision on it was rubbish. We sorted most of it out but we were still arguing for more S&LT. Although, by the time the Tribunal came, it was clear that the involvement of this S&LT team was not really worth having!

We offered to pay for it ourselves and get them off the statement but the LA weren't having that!

We didn't attend Tribunal and left them to it. We decided to move so took the boys out and are home edding until then.

Hence the S&LT appointment!

Claw3 Sat 10-Sep-11 16:51:43

Blimey, lots has happened, i need to get up to date, dont i!

I refused further OT help after they lied etc, etc and wrote and told them exactly why i didnt want their help, that i had little faith in OT or their service because of x, y, z.

Claw3 Sat 10-Sep-11 17:23:58

Have i got this right, you went to Tribunal to try and get more S&L on statement, in the meantime S&L didnt fulfil their obligations, you kind of complained to the LA, everyone lied and they are refusing to communicate with you further regarding the matter.

SALT/LA now want to fulfil obligations.

You are dubious because they have lied and are refusing to communicate further and you have ind SALT.

If you dont accept the SALT, will this be removed from the statement?

appropriatelytrained Sun 11-Sep-11 13:09:14

Yes, basically, although I wouldn't go as far as saying they are trying to fulfil obligations as I have no contact with the LA at all.

The S&LT service , who went to Tribunal on the argument that spending 1:1 time with a child on direct therapy was not helpful to the child (!), now want to see him 1:1 at an appointment.

I'd like to tell them to stick it, but, as everything I say gets distorted into an act of anti-LA aggression, perhaps I should just ask them for an appointment alone to explain to me how they intend to offer support.

Claw3 Sun 11-Sep-11 13:41:15

I really do sympathise, i will soon be writing to the LA and school, SENCO told so many lies at Tribunal about ds reaching targets, while not submitting any evidence of this. I asked for copies of all of programmes and targets, including 2 of ds's IEP's which i have not even seen, because they dont exist. I asked for these 2 months ago and school are dragging their heals, because they do not exist. I have every intention of exposing their lies and no doubt will receive the same treatment as you.

Tribunals are becoming far too complicated and beyond the capabilities of most parents, let alone the financial and emotional costs to parents. They are able to lie and deceive with immunity.

Claw3 Sun 11-Sep-11 13:44:29

Sorry that was a bit of rant and not much help to you at all!

Agnesdipesto Sun 11-Sep-11 21:40:50

I think as you are home ed I would be tempted to not go but to write back and thank them for the offer but say as you are now home ed with input from an indep SALT you are now meeting the requirements of the Statement yourself and feel it would be confusing to mix 2 approaches
Do the LA know you are home ed?
You can educate your child how you choose but the LA should send someone round to check you are making suitable arrangements from time to time and should have amended the Statement to say you have made your own arrangements see last Govt's guidance
I would just not mention all the hassle, just politely decline.
If it were me I would be wondering if the LA were digging for info and give away as little as possible.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 12-Sep-11 00:58:34

I would thank them politely for their proposed visit but ask them - politely, in writing, what they believe has changed in your child's needs for them to feel that he needs 1:1 where the felt he didn't before?

And that, when you have this information, you'll decide whether or not, based on the evidence the input from a service that has failed your child thus far is the appropriate service to work with him now...

(actually don't put that - or at least not that strong, - but you could put something a BIT like it)

appropriatelytrained Mon 12-Sep-11 13:32:31

Thanks guys. Agnes, I've spoken to the advocate we both know to get her to write to them as I am sick and tired of anything I say being used against me. We are going to ask how they intend to offer provision now he is not in school and suggest this should be a discussion first rather than an appointment

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