Director of Social Work
Telephone: **** **** *****
Date: 30th October 2012
Re: Thomas Delargy, …
I have been the allocated Social Worker for the above service user since September 2012. During my initial meeting with Mr Delargy he informed me through his advocate that he had been denied the service he needed to deal with a set of disabilities for which Renfrewshire Council had been paying since 2006. These services had been withdrawn in April through no fault of Mr Delargy although his needs had not changed. Mr Delargy also informed me through his advocate from ***** ******** that he had had his housing and council tax benefit removed, and that his income had also been removed. His increased costs and loss of all benefit were caused by factors beyond his control. Since that time I have been trying to get all these benefits restored.
I was aware that Mr Delargy had been in hospital, under Section 35 (1) of The Mental Health Act, from the 22nd May 2012 until the 19th June 2012. This is a detention that Mr Delargy is challenging as unlawful. Mr Delargy has made it abundantly clear to me and other staff at Renfrewshire Council that he believes he was unlawfully detained and has asked for the matter to be dealt with by the appropriate authorities.
All the benefit forms sent to deal with Mr Delargy’s benefits from the DWP were sent to Scottish Autism who was at the time of Mr Delargy’s detention at Dykebar Hospital under investigation by the Care Commission for how they dealt with a mis-prescribed drug to deal with a condition: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Mr Delargy had been fighting to get his adhd recognised and treated by medication ever since he first learnt of the condtion: 1991. The medication prescribed by the doctor who diagnosed Mr Delargy’s adhd – Dr Bennie – was not to be given to someone who had developed suicidal tendencies. Mr Delargy only learnt about this after conducting independent research via the internet: wikipedia and the drug manufacturer’s own website.
Mr Delargy had asked Scottish Autism to report this mis-prescribed drug to the General Medical Council at his review of his service at the office of Scottish Autism not once, but on two separate occasions. He had also raised this serious matter with his support workers who he met twice a week. Dr Bennie’s prescription of this drug could have led to Mr Delargy’s death. Mr Delargy made it abundantly clear that he no longer had faith in the competence of Dr Bennie as a result of this potentially fatal error on his part.
In addition to autism (which may be a misdiagnosis), adhd which is very much real, Mr Delargy has also developed agoraphobia since being moved (against his will) to ****** in late 2005. Mr Delargy has refused to leave his flat in the last seven years apart from the two days he had support from Scottish Autism. Scottish Autism had been pretty much his only contact with the outside world in the last six years. Again, there have been a handful of exceptions to this rule.
Since being released from hospital earlier this year, Mr Delargy has been forced to leave his flat in order to buy groceries. He has tried to limit this to once a week and get home as fast as he can. The agoraphobia has not been dealt with by anyone in the medical profession. This is a new factor not dealt with in previous appeals for benefit. How easily it can be treated is impossible to say. But in itself it will seriously impair his ability to hold down a job. The causes of the agoraphobia cannot be dealt with in this letter.
In order to apply for Employment Support Allowance, Mr Delargy’s GP has provided a sick line, this has been dated from the 3rd July 2012. Mr Delargy does not accept any responsibility for the lateness in filling in any forms. His detention in hospital was not his fault, but that of Dr Bennie, Renfrewshire Council staff and Scottish Autism. All of these people were aware that mail sent direct to Mr Delargy was often lost in the post for which Royal Mail had on more than one occasion accepted responsibility and awarded compensation. And the DWP agreed that benefit forms should not be sent to him because of this. The refusal of Renfrewshire Council to put in place any service to help Mr Delargy to fill in benefit forms would in any case (should they be received by him) not let him fill them in successfully. Again, this was not Mr Delargy’s fault. Consequently, Mr Delargy believes he is entitled to have his benefit backdated appropriately to the date mentioned in his GP’s note.
Should you require any additional information please agree to set up a meeting with Mr Delargy who is happy to speak on his own behalf provided he is supplied with a qualified and trusted advocate: **** ***** of ***** *********.