I mentioned in a previous post that Maggie had been fitted for a special chair and that we were just waiting for it to arrive. Knowing how utterly fucking shit the NHS can be, I made it clear to Maggie's Occupational Therapist that I was worried it would take a long time to come. Can we please ensure, I asked, that this (unlike all of the other disappointments we've had to endure) goes ahead with no problems? Of course, she replied, I'll get on to it straight away.
That was nearly two months ago. In the time since then, we - or, rather Shannon - had also spoken to her on the phone, asking whether the chair had been ordered. (I say spoken to her on the phone like that was just a case of giving her a call and having a chat - we'd already left numerous messages that she didn't respond to. Yet again we had to chase and chase.) We were assured that it was all going ahead and that yes, the chair had definitely been ordered.
Of course, you know where this is going...
Yesterday we were told that the chair hadn't been ordered at all.
Why hasn't it? I asked a woman from a different department. We don't really know, she said, but it's been ordered now. Are you saying, I asked, that it's the fault of Maggie's Occupational Therapist? A long pause. Yes, she said, yes I am.
So we've no idea when Maggie's chair will arrive. It could take months.
Now, bear in mind that this isn't just an inconvenience. This chair is something that will help Maggie's development, both physically and mentally. It will help to improve her life now and her life for the future. As things are at the moment, she has to sit in a chair that just isn't fit for purpose, that is a hindrance to her.
I don't understand how these idiots are allowed to carry on as they do. It's not just the incompetence that infuriates me - it's also the lies and the defensiveness and the buck-passing and the waffling and the way they make a show of understanding our situation by engaging in platitudes and pointless empathising... when all we want from them is to do what they promise to do. When all we want from them is the bare minimum of what their jobs are supposed to be. Yet they fail us time and time again, adding to the pressures of our already difficult lives.
Related, this piece last year from Ian Birrell (who also has a severely disabled daughter):
"Promises of action are followed by a wall of silence, and you end up having to harass and harangue people to deliver things everyone has agreed are needed. Charities tell of wheelchairs taking so long to be delivered the child has grown out of them by the time they arrive."