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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.
The whole purpose of a complaint policy (which you haven't see iirc) is to demonstrate that complaints are encouraged in order to improve practice and service, not dismissed.
If I were running that service I would WANT to know what my failings were ffs. That would be my fecking JOB.
Thanks. They just leave you speechless don't they?
I have spent all day working on the working document and costings to try and get DS' provision sorted before the end of term - next week!
I have told the woman this but she still doesn't give a toss. Extraordinary.
I know, when challenged on bias, it can be said they are short of resources or have tight mandates and this causes misunderstandings, but nothing explains this other than a complete lack of understanding or the rules of fairness and scant regard for due process.
These things should be at the heart of an oversight system.
Am so sorry you are facing this IE don't have any pearls of wisdom I am exhausted just reading your thread, it's a nightmare but I do think they are possibly being so difficult because they are possibly concerned that you have valid points in your argument. Good luck with it, anything I can do to help let me know.
Wouldn't keep LA EP and she has been good. DS's school where DS2 goes is lovely but over the border but we couldn't afford to live there.
How near are you to the county border?
If they're NHS therapists, and your GP practice will keep you registered with the new address, you might get to keep them.
The trouble is we are in the middle of trying to create a package for DS and he has lots of people onside. It would be really hard to move and start again and gather helpful therapists.
can't be ar%%&d
Can you move? Serious question as it should be obvious by now that your current LA can't/won't ever provide the support your child requires.
The thought of the same 'ol nonsense continuing for at LEAST another decade is what prompted me to attempt to "escape Alcatrez" (DS's phrase not mine). At least it'll be a change of accent in the new locale, even if they parrot the same old crap. At this point a change is as good as a rest iykwim for us. There's only so many times you can rinse/repeat the same old arguments before YOU go gaga yourself.
We are in the Wild West without any bullets in our revolvers, standing in front of some very vulnerable children.
Yes. I think a lot of it is CBA rather than sinister, and then becoming more active in their defence of CBA as a culture.
Making an assumption that people are motivated to act to remove their discomfort, it is very worrying that they are seeing what they are currently doing as their fastest path to this. It HAS to be because the alternative seems just too big a mountain.
That is a very good way of putting it!
IE I have no doubt that some of this is personal /deliberate.
But I think you massively underestimate the amount of sloppiness / incompetence and sheer stupidity which you're dealing with. It's more than likely that the people you deal with have never properly addressed a complex, well-evidenced complaint like yours. They simply don't have the experience or skills to do it right, and there is no mechanism, inclination or precedent for sorting this out.
The nastiness is (more than likely) a defence mechanism. Don't waste your time expecting the emperor to look in the mirror and announce he's naked.
Honks for you today IE. Don't let the bastards get you down!!
Oh and sorry, we are west so bit far for childminding but thank you so much for offering
Thanks. There are 3 Ombudsmen but my MP wrote directly to one about the way they had misused his letter. He got no reply.
Until I put it all on my blog and started tweeting about the LGO. He got a letter shortly after. Of course, what it said was a load of rubbish because what they had done couldn't be justified
They really are lawless. There is nothing to restrain their actions. They don't act like you are a complainant they act like you are the enemy.
Maybe I should add to blog and tweet again about their crapness.
Who's the LGO boss? There must be some body resoonsible for them. You are so brave, that's why most people give up complaining at much earlier stages, it's just too much. I have no idea where you live, but I'm in central Essex if that's any help childminding etc. i really feel for you
Bloody solicitor never available when one needs them urgently..
I don't know what to say, so am sending honks. Hope it goes as well as it can today x
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can you JR the arbritrary&unfair-2-week-deadline decision process?
Keep strong,keep fighting and keep campaigning.
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.
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