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After the Trust Has Gone

I feel I should play something sickly-sweet by Peter Cetera to underline so melodramatic a title.

Maybe not, I don't think my psyche could cope with that level of schmaltz.

Why has the trust gone?

It's about a relationship with the people who support you. So far the people I'd been seeing at Team North Somerset had actually turned out to be pretty helpful - certainly compared to the dismal experiences with other agencies and social enterprises (or however they identify themselves). This must be understood of course within the context of the prevailing systems that dominate our society (insert standard reference to capitalism). In other words, they can do something, but not really enough because they can't change the government, it's ideology and it's policies to that end.

Initially I was told they (the North Somerset people, not the bloody government) were hoping to get a 'wellbeing' programme of some kind in place. I was told this a few times since I started. However it was only last Friday, after my advisor returned from being sick, that I found out that programme had been running for eight weeks, had only a couple more weeks left before starting again in the new year. Nobody saw fit to tell me this and I was told that the group that had started there were already pretty close (in other words, no point joining at this late stage).

Now I have no doubts this programme will be the usual ineffectual 'feel good' bullshit that ultimately permeated the mindfulness course. It's cut from the same cloth: focus on the subject, not the cause. I don't blame the tutor, who seemed friendly enough (and I've no reason to assume otherwise). But it's better than doing nothing, and, at this time of year, the black dog of depression is even closer to the door than the rest of the time. This is not a positive period and I could use all the help I can get - who knows the group might well comprise good people. We're all in it together of course.

So that's a thing that didn't happen.

Another thing that didn't happen is that I didn't get a letter from the Jobcentre telling me I have a work focussed interview on the day after my WCA. Fortunately it will be by phone (if I can be bothered, because honestly right now...), and doubly fortunately it's in the morning. I'm off to a writing class in the afternoon and the JC can fuck off if they think I'm missing that just to have a conversation that will prove completely pointless given the timing.

You might think that they, when booking this, might use a system that shares information such as when the 'customer' (I'm buying nothing) is having a WCA. What's the point of discussing anything work focussed when I might not even be on ESA any longer? It's not as if they can help anyway, what can some random advisor do over the phone? Can he magic up some paid work that's suitable for someone with depression?

I think we know the answer to that.

Meanwhile over the weekend a bunch of people in town protested the closure of Weston super Mare's accident and emergency department. Yes, from July, you'd better not be sick ill or dying between the hours of 10pm and 8am because you'll need an extra 45 minutes and an entirely different hospital to help you not die. Well done to our useless pillock of an MP, John Penrose, who just so happens to be married to Baroness (oh my!) Dido Harding, another revolting strand of Tory DNA.

She's the newly appointed chair of NHS Improvement. We live in times that look at irony in the rear view mirror.


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