Friday, 11 December 2009

Getting help is nigh on impossible

Just to give you an idea of how hard it is to get any help around here ... Earlier on in the year, I started seeing a councillor, which was arranged at and via the local Citizens Advice Bureau. The sessions were useful, so I was disappointed when they ended, supposedly because the councillor had an accident and broke his leg whilst on holiday.

The Citizens Advice Bureau told me to phone them back in a few weeks to see if there was any news. I left it for around 6-8 weeks and did so. At that time, they told me that the guy's leg might not actually be broken, but that they still didn't have any news, could I phone back in another couple of weeks ... I waited again, phoned back again and was told by the person on the phone that time that they thought it was the councillor's wife who had had the accident. Fishy? They still couldn't give me any news though. They suggested - guess what? - yup, ringing back at a later date!

So I left it for a quite a while, figuring that if the first guy had merely decided not to continue donating his time (which is his prerogative), as he did have other "clients" he saw at the CAB office, maybe by now "demand" might have generated a similar new arrangement.

And so today, I phoned the CAB again in hopes of asking this question and one other.

Well, I didn't get round to asking my other question. When I explained that I had seen the councillor through them earlier in the year, but that it had ended due to some sort of accident and that I'd been told to phone again ... I was snottily told that they could not discuss this issue over the phone, I would have to go to the office in person. It isn't like I want to discuss the nature of my need for counselling, or the actual session over the phone, just get an appointment.

Going to their offices means another trip into town - the sort that causes me to crash severely and spend the next week in bed. I'd - still reluctantly - consider doing that to gain the benefits from the actual session, but I draw the line at such an off-chance visit. I only want to know if they have someone who offers a service I was already getting and, if so, to make a new appointment. Surely, this can be done - as they told me to - over the phone. You can guarantee they will have a huge queue - bearing in mind that I can't stand and even sitting causes me a lot of pain.

Why do I need to go to the CAB for this anyway? This service was free through the CAB. The NHS, it seems, can't or won't offer it to me - I've asked my GP for this kind of help twice, but getting a prescription for fluoxetine is as much as I've got - and I can't afford to pay to go privately.

I explained that going to the office was difficult, well, actually, I said that it would cause me great difficulty because I am quite severely disabled. Their only suggestion was that I go in the afternoon, as they are less busy then. That hardly helps. It makes this a completely impossible proposition.

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