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LGO sink to new lows(42 Posts)
The saga continues but the depths to which this organisation will sink are astonishing.
You may remember, two and half years on, 3 provisional judgments, 2 final decisions (all on the same case) the LGO still believe it is ok to leave a child without provision for no particular good reason.
I said I would want to complain about their handling when our JR pre action protocol letter had been responded to.
They ignored me. An AO got involved and completed a review when I hadn't even set out my complaint and told me they were ace and to get lost.
Had to get solicitor to write to their solicitor as LGO woman was ignoring my protests about this. A month later, she gets in touch and says ok you have 14 days to send in your complaint. After two and a half years!
She says I can ask for more time.
I write and ask.
She ignores me.
I have to get solicitor to write to her.
She responds yesterday and says I've til next Friday. She'd already wasted a week.
I've asked for 28 days which given the boxes of info about their mishandling of the case is more than reasonable. I couldn't prepare a complaint until the JR response was received.
She says 'I've waited for months for you' so tough! I ask again explaining that DS is out of school and I have a big meeting tomorrow and I can only work at weekends and I can't do it in a week.
She says tough. She has even ignored my request to send a copy of their complaints policy.
I am so shocked, and sick of being treated like shit by them. Like I have done something wrong by having to force them over two years to do their job properly.
I'm hardly going to get a fair haring from her as the complaint is now going to have to be about her too.
Seriously,what is wrong with that office. Does she think I am joking about the stress of this while having a kid of school and trying to educate him while working myself? I'm outraged.
I should be shocked, im not. I have given up making complaints. It often seems to me that I have a better idea of THEIR responsibilities and procedures than they do and im speaking a language they don't understand. Whether that is through ignorance or choice, I have no idea.
For us, I have wasted 4 years, my entire life was taken over, it was totally consuming. Although it will probably come back to bite me right on the arse at some stage in the future.
You see, I've long given up on any fairness in their assessments but this kind of deliberately unfair practice to ward off complaints is really breathtakingly bad.
. I have just started a complaint through them (same office). I called with a genuine query and the officer was quite snippy and gave the impression that she was on good terms with the LA Complaints Manager - doesn't bode well.
I'm so gutted over this. It just feels like a deliberate kicking. I can't do anything this week as we have the meeting from hell tomorrow with LA and I told the woman that.
I'm still educating DS myself and working weekends so that leaves me with no time.
She just didn't give a shit. If they can act like this, no wonder they can't monitor LAs properly.
IE, can you arrange any childcare for your ds next week? Not education, perhaps just a sitter to be in the house whilst he watches TV, anything to give you the space and time!?
I'm sure this will be difficult, both practically and emotionally (because she's a fecking arse and you shouldn't have to dance to her tune) but there MUST be a solution along these lines of some sort!?
It's going to take me a good two days Star. I have boxes of stuff and I need to be very concise which is always more difficult than ranting on.
So much has happend over two and a half years, I need to weed out the wheat from the chafe and focus only on the key issues.
Not the this woman will read it, but I need to know I have done my level best.
Also what annoyed me was they keep on going on about how 'we know your client doesn't agree with out position' yet three sets of lawyers disagree - Maxwell Gillott, Levenes and Irwin Mitchell and SOS-SEN and counsel. They are trying to make this personal and ignoring the weight of legal opinion against them. The fact that they instruct lawyers not to get objective advice but to cook up a defence like LAs do is appalling.
They are public servants, paid with our money. What right do they have to treat people like this? They can just make mistake after mistake and drag things out and never apologise.
I want to try and do this and I will publish my letter and their inevitably shit response. But I just don't know how I can find the time. Was hoping my solicitor would get involved but she has been out all week.
It's a nightmare and so unfair!
It sounds as though you need to be be shut in a room for a couple of days to work on it.
Could your DH take some emergency leave? Or, is there anyone else that could come into the house to take over DC? What about the work you've scheduled for the weekend - could that be cancelled?
Any leave you can take? Outsourcing you can do? Get cover!?
I have tickets for Hampton court flower show on Sunday as sister and her partner are showing. Been planned for ages. Will be a nightmare with DS so got to keep calm.
So, I already have to do double lots of work Saturday. Got meeting from hell tomorrow and I am just frazzled. Got tutors testing out with DS for an hour Mon and wed next week so he is all over the place. Plus it is the last week of term for DS2 so we have alsorts of crap on at school.
Seriously, who would say no to another 14 days? Just 14 days and then she can shut it down with glee. I just can't understand the attitude at all. It's like it's my fault it's taken them two and a half years to reach an opinion.
Now my complaint is going to be about her too, how can she deal with a complaint about herself?
I should mention that she also knows I am waiting for further disclosure from the LA requested a month ago. Yet, she is still, prepared to crack on and not wait for me to put my case properly.
How can that be fair and just and what tax payers expect?
It is outrageous IE but from what I've experienced lately I'm sadly not surprised . Have pm'd you.
I know IE. Believe me I know and agree with you about how alarming and disgusting this behaviour, and the impossibility of the situation.
But unless you are going to give up (which I doubt you will) you must do what you can now, to pave way for the smoothest path later. In a years time, looking back what would you recommend to be your best course of action now?
You have to think creatively.
I can't really think of anything I can do to help, but if you think of anything let me know. I live almost at HC. We're all going out Sun afternoon until late. If your ds can go with your sister you could use our house for quiet/space!? Stay over if you like and pick up ds on way home?
Or any version of this that might help!?
You are a sweetie Star, you have made me all teary again! I don't know what I would do without you guys,
It's just the combination of this with what we are facing at the moment. I was desperate for my solicitor to intervene this week. She did at the weekend and without that I wouldn't even have had contact from this woman. But I wonder whether a word from her about this would have made a difference
I just feel gutted and will never forget what they do to parents. Ever.
Keep strong,keep fighting and keep campaigning.
Can you JR the arbritrary&unfair-2-week-deadline decision process?
Given the response is inevitably going to be the same old cr*p, does it really matter how well you write the complaint? Could you write a list of the main points you're really pissed off about, and then ruthlessly cut it down to 3 or 4? With detailed supporting evidence a week or two later, if you still can't cope with having sent them a half-arsed job. Yes, they'll reject it, but you'll have left a nice clear trail.
The complaint only has to be parent standard, not lawyer standard. If need be, your dh could sign it with an explanation that 'as LGO are aware', mini-IE's mum was unavailable this weekend.
you could write a letter stating that you will be supplementing with a full complaint on date x
Most lay people's complaints about public services are based on a bad outcome after a suboptimal process, plus a perception (often correct) that no-one gives a toss.
The average written complaint usually doesn't clearly demonstrate the main issues, as it's hard to avoid the full story being recounted. This results in the typical complaint being over-emotive, disjointed, full of irrelevancies and far too long. Which leads public bodies to discount the real issues, or to pacify angry people with vague soothing noises.
That'll be why LGO hate your complaints. Substantive, detailed, meticulously backed with evidence, written in exceptionally precise and unambiguous lawyer-language. Everything your average complaint isn't, and clearly not suitable for any of the usual strategies, plus the more they try & make you go away, the more you bother them.
I think your complaints are too difficult for them to cope with. Time-consuming, emotionally draining, a threat to their way of life/work, expensive, extremely personally and organisationally challenging, and generally nothing but hassle. So they dig their heels in, and label you vexatious.
And there is a big difference between education and (say) health, social services, police, housing etc.
Every dr/nurse/midwife etc has a little imaginary judge sitting on their shoulder. 'How would I explain to the coroner/ malpractice barrister/ NMC that I went to the loo and forgot to check Mrs IE's pulse every 4 hours after her c/section? Better ring the post-natal ward and ask them to do it'.
Police see mostly people who already need /have a solicitor. Social workers have to explain their child protection decisions to a family court judge, and high-risk cases can bring them into a quasi-legal 'child death review' process.
Education/ statements etc: None of the above really applies. Hardly anyone sues, no fear of being struck off, low-risk for manslaughter charges, little chance of big negligence, discrimination or wrongful imprisonment payouts. So they don't learn to fear (or even respect) the law.
Thanks Mumu. You are right and make some very good points.
They could not make it clearer that they are simply going to ignore my complaint when it is received. They want it quickly so they can write it off and close it down. To the extent that they won't even send me a copy of the complaints policy!!
Perhaps it would have been different had my solicitor been around to write not me. They deliberately ignore me to wind me up, no doubt wanting me to do something so they too can brand me vexatious.
Their has been clear negligence in this case. It took them two years to reach a final decision but the decision they issued in June 2011 was just plain wrong and had such a massive effect on us as it led to the LAs vexatious determination. They later changed their conclusions but by then I had been branded vexatious
The LGO have tried to pretend being called vexatious was no big deal as an LA complaints officer with experience of SEN was appointed to deal with my case. But who would agree that being branded vexatious two weeks before Tribunal is no big deal? Whentwo years later I am dealing with the same people?
Plus the LGO say LA followed their policy so we don't need to look into the rights or wrongs save to list all the number of contacts you had with them and a half a sentence out of context from a letter from your MP saving there was a lot of contact (but deleting the rest of the sentence thst says but......). Yet the LA gave no reasons in their vexatious determination (they saved the reasons for the LGO six monhts later) as required by their policy and worse still, the policy requires it to be used as a last resort. The LGO have never in two years addressed that issue. Does last resort mean without warning or trying anything else? No one would think that so how is a letter coming out of the blue calling me vexatious a last resort?
Oh, and they also say the LA has now changed its policy to include a warning. It has not.
I could go on but I'm lying awake stewing. I have to be in school for this meeting all afternoon so the LA can argue how they can continue to fail DS.This is why the LGOs decisions are so importnat as they affect you in an ongoing way.
Plus, i am now waiting for an LA complaint response to another complaint aboutnlack of provision after they left DS without OT for the whole of last year. Who would go back to the LGO about that? Just paid for it. They were about to send that today strangely! I have put that off to next week. But the stage 1 response was he did have daily OT despite what school, me and DS think!
Oh and to make matters worse, they have organised a bloody picnic day out for DS2s class so I this morning so I now have to go on a picnic walk from 10.15 this morning before dashing back to a meeting at lunchtime.
It's all a total mindfuck.
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