Western Trust U turn

Michael McGimpsey has forced the Western Trust into a u turn on paying adults with learning disabilities £2 per week for their work in day centres. The trust had proposed scrapping the payements scheme which would have saved £75,000 per year.

From the Impartial Reporter (login required but free):

Speaking at a Western Health and Social Care Trust Board meeting on Tuesday, Chief Executive of the Western Trust; Elaine Way claimed: “As a CSR proposal we decided to cut the reward scheme for adults with learning disabilities. Trevor (Miller, Director of Mental Health and Disability Services) and his team went to five meetings across the Trust area and while some parents wished to see this implemented, the majority have reacted negatively and there has been significant media coverage.”

Ms. Way added: “I met the Minister yesterday (Monday) and discussed this issue in particular. He confirmed that the proposal is not supported and has asked the Trust to find a different procedure and Trevor has begun to work on it.”

  • anon

    My relative who has LD was at a meeting in West Belfasts Maureen Sheehan centre and was told by John McCart from Social services board that this money was to be taken away and used to pay for extra staff.

    I heard the fight on the radio and if it is going to happen in Belfast then it is time to fight it. This money is important for people in day centres. It’s actually £4, perhaps a mistake by the paper?

    It was a disgraceful thing to try to do in the first place.

  • Jer

    kudos to Michael McGimpsey doing the right thing.

  • Dewi

    Sorry Turgon – did I read this right? £2 a week?? Don’t you mean an hour?

  • Turgon

    No Dewi this is an essentially token payment given to these people. However, as has been detailed at some length on Radio Ulster this money is regarded as very important by these people and their carers. It is a form of affirmation of their worth in the community.

    Essentially the trust are trying to save money but this will not save that much seems to have been a pretty spectacular own goal in PR terms and McGimpsey has put a stop to it.

    The fact that they thought this up, approved it and then defended it at a number of public meetings prior to McGimpsey’s intervention does not say much for the common sense of the trust leadership.

  • Dewi

    Got you – if token then they have a point – either significant or nothing surely. Forgive me, but I’d scrap the £2 a week – it probably costs more to administer than deliver. If affirmation of worth in the community is needed then a bit more than £2 a week might be appropriate.

  • DC

    “it probably costs more to administer than deliver”

    At the work rate Stormont is going at it might be more pertinent to consider doing so with the pay up there.

    It certainly makes you stop and think.

  • The Raven

    I actually had to read it twice to confirm that I was reading it correctly. Of all the things they possibly could have tried to cut….

    Again though, McGimpsey getting things done. While still much to do in his Department,(see an earlier post of mine for the extensive list), I can’t help but wonder what would happen if they all worked like this chap does?

    Or, if I may kick with the other foot for a second, perhaps due to his British Imperialist Orange gets-everything-that-we-don’t-handed-to-him-on-a-Royal-Family-plate background, he broke into the Sinn Fein Departments using the bullyboy British Army, and stole all their civil servants, and has thus gerrymandered himself into a better position by courting the lickspittle press on issues that don’t matter and have nothing to do with policing and justice?

    Either way, fair play to him.

    And don’t say I’m not even handed.

    DC – a fair point well made.

  • Alan

    This was a short-sighted proposal that should never have been tabled. More than that, however, it demonstrates in the clearest possible way the Trust’s abject failure to understand the needs and aspirations of the people that it cares for.

    For sdults in the day centres who have, let’s admit it, very limited access to the life chances we all enjoy in this society, the payment, while a pittance, belonged to them in token of their contribution.

    Most of us value the status given by our day to day work. How did the Trust fail to recognise this? What kind of mentality would deprive such vulnerable people of a payment that means they feel more a part of society – what do the Trust actually understand by inclusion?

    It is particularly troubling that those with a high level responsability for services to people with a learning disability in the Western area are so detached from the reality of the lives of people with a learning disability. Time, perhaps for a dose of humility and some real one to one contact with staff and users at the sharp end.

    Well done to Michael McGimpsey.

  • anon

    It doesn’t cost anything to administer, each day centre has access to its own funds and the clients themselves put the £4 into an envelope and write the name of the person on the envelope. Theres no admin or cost involved.

    McArt is still determined to take this money away from people in the Belfast trust area…..