Saturday, 26 September 2015

Children grow!


Children grow. As they get older, they tend to get bigger. I don't think anyone should be surprised by these facts.

For the average family, when children have a growth spurt I assume the parents just visit the shops of their choice and expect a larger than normal credit card bill at the end of the month.

For us it is not that simple. Jess has had a massive growth spurt. So much so, that her dietician has reduced the calorie intake that she receives through her jejostomy feed. So much so, that not only has she grown out of all her clothes, but also all of her equipment, like her wheelchair, her hoist slings, her sleep system and, very nearly, her bed. She has already needed a new rigid spinal brace and foot splints.

But it seems the public sector is just not set up to accommodate growing children.

Imagine if your child had grown out of his shoes, so you took them to the only shoe shop available to you. Imagine then, if the shoe shop said:

"Yes, we have shoes in all designs and sizes, there is bound to be something for you. However, you can't have any new shoes until we've measured your child's feet and there is a 12 month wait for measuring. We'll be in touch when you can bring your child in to be measured."

Hmmmm. That's kind of the position we are finding ourselves in with equipment provided by Social Services.

The NHS works slightly differently, but with similarly frustrating results. They seem to carry out the assessments reasonably quickly, but by the time the request for the equipment has been approved, the finances processed, the equipment ordered, delivered and then a rep has been out to set it up,  9-12 months may easily have passed. By which time the child has probably grown again and the new piece of equipment is already too small. This has happened to us on at least two occasions, with very expensive pieces of equipment.

If you follow this through to its logical conclusion, it means you always need to be requesting equipment two pieces in advance.

However, to actually do that would, first of all, be ridiculous and secondly would place even more pressure on an already overburdened system.

There is no obvious answer to this very frustrating process!! 

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