Friday, June 29, 2012

                                            'It's a ladder and it leads to the stars'

I finished my last day in the crisis team yesterday and said my goodbyes to my colleagues of the past several years. Cake and coffees were dutifully taken and we reminisced over some of the amusing and not so amusing incidents we as a team encountered in everything that is mental health crisis. It was quite sad because having been through thick and thin together good relationships are forged and in leaving I have broken some of those bonds. I'll remain in touch with good friends but it feels like an era is over. On Monday I start on pastures not so new but this time I will be working full time in the role. The last few years of hard work and studying have finally paid off.

This weekend off will see me recharging my batteries and hopefully I can at last use my camera for something more than the garden and the animals. I want to avoid any driving so I guess I will stick to photographing the sunlit environs of Grimsby.

 The roses are blooming as is the multitude of poppies with last years seeds inadvertently scattered hither and thither.

The wild flowers are beginning to make an appearance although we desperately need some sunshine for the tomatoes, peppers, etc.. Two days of monsoon type rain in this drought year of 2012 caused extensive flooding throughout the north. One of our drains was temporarily blocked (leaves) and the alley way flooded with the cats having to swim for dry land. I cleared it but I was thoroughly soaked during my endeavours. The mutt excitedly raced around collecting her various toys for this new fun game whilst I cleared the drain. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a sunnier July but I certainly won't be placing any bets on it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The olympic torch will be down our street tomorrow and the street cleaners have been out in force to titivate the place up with various road crews filling in potholes over the past week. If I want to catch a glimpse or photograph the torch I will have to be up and in position by 6 a.m.... on my day off... we'll see.

I start my new full time post next week so I guess my boss is keen to get rid of me! With the more experienced staff leaving for pastures new, retirement or otherwise, the managers can  reconfigure (destroy) the crisis team into something which no longer reflects a model that works. It doesn't bode well when the common rationale underlying these changes is to save money. C'est la vie... I am still trying to get my head around the A & E department / medical wards requesting assessments but wanting us to pay to park there. My suggestion that they wheel the individual out to the main gate and we'll assess did not go down well. Nor my suggestion that they buy the ticket and stick it on the pool car when we arrive. I wonder if they are charging the consultants for this privilege?  I will have to enquire about that. Otherwise it has been an extremely busy time with a shed load of assessments and don't forget: one hour face to face assessment = two hours & more 'paperwork'. It is all on-line now and we can only do this from the crisis team office. Laptops, tablets and smartphones for managers only, not for frontline staff. Although social workers have been given laptops & mobile printers to do the financial assessments/ budgets on. So my umpteen assessments on Saturday saw me squeezing ten hours worth of paperwork into five hours on Sunday afternoon after further home visits / treatment. However, it's my last week in the crisis team after nearly eight years and for the other job I do have an elderly laptop so I can't really complain except on behalf of my colleagues whom I am leaving behind.


Friday, June 22, 2012

The Jimmy Carr wreck has moved on after he apologised for legally reducing his tax payments and the righteous have others in their holier than thou sights. I am not a fan of Carr and I couldn't give a monkeys about his tax affairs as it is his business although his hypocrisy certainly smells off. Given the incompetence of HMRC and the sweetheart deals made with big companies over the years perhaps the govt. could focus upon that as well as the conniving legal thievery of MP's, ministers and others in the corridors of power both here and in the eu. I have a sense of "end of times" for the West when I look at the news, possibly recognisable to a citizen of the Roman Empire circa 410 A.D. if they had the chance to pop by and look in. I have blogged about this before, that the world is changing and the clueless and gormless are still attempting to run things although 'things' appear to be running away from them. What's the answer? I have no idea although the play pretend politics could stop and politician could get together, of whatever opinion and thrash out a way to start clearing up this mess. Sadly, it ain't going to happen and I can forsee thing getting worse.

Enough of my playing at Cassandra and onto some good news. I have been offered the full time post and I have accepted it. What swung it is that I will continue to have a lot of face to face clinical work and I can hopefully make a difference in the job. I have to work my 'notice' in the crisis job until I transfer over and hopefully it won't be dragged out over several weeks. I also realised that although I may be stepping from the frying pan and into the fire it does make my work life balance much easier to manage (no more weekends and on calls). As it is, I am working and on call over this weekend so I'm away to enjoy the rest of today.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

                                                          Time for play!

At last... finished.
Friday was my final day on placement and I am back to normal working practice this coming week. Sadly, it includes the weekend and from what I gather the past few weeks have been very busy. I was hoping to book a week off but the earliest I could book off  is August. Having completed all the academic stuff and spent most of this last week assessing people in various police custody suites it will feel strange to get back to the familiar routine. A changed crisis team with some new members with only three of us original founder members left. It would be nice to see out the next few years in the same team but I may have an opportunity for a move to full time working in the other team I work in and this training prepares me for that. The boss has asked me in to discuss the offer with him. More money, no weekends or on calls as it is primarily 9 -5, Mon-Friday although mental health act assessments can run several hours over. However, I like crisis work and when I signed up as a nurse umpteen years ago it was a given that we worked unsocial hours. I also like the team and my colleagues and the challenges of crisis work. I have found my niche and some of us older experienced staff need to stay around. But we aren't appreciated and I have seen several older experienced (thus more expensive) staff go over this past year just so the Trust can meet its financial reductions target. Given the dismantlement of the NHS and the bleak economic wasteland that awaits us all I can imagine that services will get busier with fewer resources available. Those resources are likely to be private or quasi-private in nature irrespective of whoever wins the next election. Hence I need to consider how I wish to spend the twilight of my career in the NHS over the next several years. I don't know who I am kidding because even after retirement I will have to continue working.

No.1 son continues to look for work with no success although another possible apprenticeship has been advertised. He'll go back to college to study I.T and I will support him through that because there is bugger all else around here. What a mess and the politicians of all parties haven't a fucking clue. I fear a rant coming on so I shall stop there. I am suitably relaxed after a home gym session this morning and I have got access to a bicycle again. It's No.1's old bike and the brakes and gears aren't very good but it's ok for local rides until I replace the brake pads. The derailleur will need some professional work done on it because of the prevous owner's abuse of it which is probably why he gave it to No.1 son. But riding it left me like a pig in the proverbial... smiling. Time for a coffee and some Joe Bonnamassa...


Thursday, June 07, 2012

At long last... the bulk of the studying is done apart from two small 500 word pieces which I will attend to next week. But I am finally feel free and able to relax. Next week is the final one on placement and I return to work proper after taht. It has been either full on with little time for tea let alone lunch or tumbleweed days where I have slogged through mental health law, ethics, human rights, values, etc... All that hard work and I will not find out if I have passed until the autumn. However, I am just so pleased to be able to return to a normal routine.

This afternoon was spent rushing around the garden, cutting grass,weeding and general dogsbodying before the deluge and predicted monsoon (BBC hyperbole!). I also planted out the bigger cucumber, tomato and pepper plants with improvised shelters and supports. We are inundated with hundreds of snails... hedgehogs needed as the cats aren't interested in this free supply of protein. I also have a gooseberry bush ready to go into a large tub which necessitated a quick trip to the local cheap-as-chips store. It's also handy for cheap beer (good ones) and pet food as well as for ogling rough milfs. With the onset of rain the store was full of very slow moving pensioners and large families of noisy children. I was in and out in ten minutes so as to escape that particular hell. I now have three days off and I intend to relax and I am hoping for sunny weather. Dog on lead, camera at the ready and some photos of local sites...hopefully better than the wasteland pictured below.


Friday, June 01, 2012

Gratuitous picture of a lovely pooch.

Another week, another dollar and a new month to boot.
Tired and with the cider open I intend to get emotional...Eye thenk yew! I have a week off to look forward to although it does contain the bulk of my writing up the portfolio. My cunning plan is to do that over the next four days and then enjoy a few days off.
So, I hear no one ask... how's it been?
It has been an education, a pain, a roller coaster with scary loops,  long up hill hauls and precipitous drops without the appropriate fairground ( Carney) music. I have enjoyed it but I really cannot wait until it is over. I have learnt a hell of a lot and with one years worth of studying (it is a post grad certificate) crammed into four months including the placement it has been a hell of a ride. I am exhausted... there have been nights when I cried because the stress of making such difficult decisions and taking someone's freedom away has been awful. It may well be in that person's best interests but it is still an awful decision to make. Someone dancing to music, drinking tea, writing a letter or making love when I was nobbut a twinkle in my daddy's eye and they met me for the first time as I make a decision to put them into hospital against their will. I don't want any sympathy by the way... save your empathy for the people whom I have to assess because I chose this path and I bear responsibility for my actions. I feel my soul has aged and I am different, marked and set upon another path. I am not sure I like it... I guess I will add extra layers to my already battle scarred psychiatric carapace and carry on.
The Jubilee is upon us and the usual war of words betwixt and between the Royalists and Republicans has been gathering pace and heat. I nod towards the republican sympathies and believe Lizzy 2nd should be the last incumbent of the throne. However, I do like pomp, sparkles and celebrations so I will cast an eye over the event and enjoy parts of it. I am lookin forward to the flotilla and the music but I shan't be flying any flags. One grandfather in the IRA, another interned by the British   government plus a great grandfather who left Ireland during the famine and became a naturalised US citizen in 1867 (Hartford, Connecticut) does not help to warm me towards royalists. Once Betty has gone, let's be done with it and retire the others to quiet and obscure citizenship.