Care Questions : Article 27Care Questions : Article 27

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.27

"My mother is cared for in her own home by a combination of carers coming from two separate agencies. The staff are not always the same and there seems to be arguments between carers from the differing agencies as to how things should be done.

I do not live close to my Mother so I am not there to witness what the truth is, but I have been told of the situation by my Mothers neighbour. I have telephoned both care companies but feel I have been brushed off. Could you suggest what I should do next as my Mother wishes to stay in her own home?"

Answer : You do not say how your Mother's care is actually arranged, privately, by Social Services or a combination of both.

Your Mother, to receive care is a vulnerable person and arguments in her home by others is not conducive to a happy environment. If your Mother has a social worker then you could raise your concerns with him/her, if not contact both agencies and express your concerns to them again. In both cases, put your unease in writing and take a copy of your letters.

If you do not get a response within 7 working days, write again and ask for a copy of the agencies/social services Complaints Procedure . File an official complaint that will have to be responded to within the time frame printed in the Complaints Procedure.

If after you have been through these processes you still feel that your concerns have not been addressed or properly answered then contact the Commission for Social Care Inspection in your Mother's locality. (the address will be in her telephone book or on the Internet) who will look into the complaint on your behalf.

"When are flu jabs available and who can have them without cost?"

Answer : Flu jabs are usually available from late September onwards and you are entitled to a free vaccination if:

"I am a retired, disabled person and I have just bought a second-hand, powered scooter to enable me to make short trips to my village shop and post office. It is unlikely I will take myself any further than the village. I have been advised that it is a Class 3 vehicle. Do I have to be insured and is there anything else that I should comply with?"

Answer : Your Class 3 vehicle is a scooter which can travel on the road and will have a maximum speed of 8 mph. To drive it on the pavement you must have a restrictor switch which will limit your speed to 4 mph. To use your scooter on the road you need to check that your front and rear lights are working, that you have reflectors and directional indicators and a horn in good working order.

You cannot use a Class 3 vehicle in cycle lanes, on a motorway or in bus lanes when they are operational. You must also abide by the road signs in the Highway Code. When parking your scooter normal parking restrictions apply so if you are entitled to a Blue Badge this must be displayed appropriately.

You do not require a road fund licence or insurance as a legal requirement. However, in 2004 there were 8 fatalities and 1000 accidents involving powered scooters so it is advisable to take out insurance. Insurance policies covering loss, damage, theft and 3rd party claims are in the region of £40.00 per year and some policies also incorporate breakdown cover for approx. £100.00 per year. For further details call your local insurance broker.

"I have poor sight and find it difficult to put in my pin number in the new supermarket machines when I pay for my groceries. Is there an alternative?"

Answer : The banks and credit card companies have acknowledged that paying for goods this way can be a problem for people who are blind or have limited sight. Consequently that are issuing "chip and signature" cards that still require a signature to verify a person rather than a PIN number. The "chip and signature" card is inserted into the machine just the same as the "chip and pin" card but the cashier will then be told that this customer will provide verification by signing rather than putting in a Pin number.

My advice would be to contact your bank or credit card company now and get your new "chip and signature" card as soon as you can.