News is coming in from all parts of the country that the TR omnishambles mobilsation plan is, well, all going to plan:-
TR is a two tier system. We know it can't work, and evidence is already emerging within the first week of operating the systems in out Trust that it's not just about refining the processes given, but that the processes won't work in any way. The PPO issue is a very interesting one, as all PPO staff in our Trust were sifted to CRC.
So, NPS will have all MAPPA, most PPOs, large number of IOMs, High Risk, ALL reports (every single existing one, plus some new ones especially for TR), all Court and enforcement work, risk escalation decisions and takeovers, all prison secondments and all YOS secondments, public interest cases, approved premises. Clearly it isn't going to work. It's madness. CRC are left with interventions (UPW, Programmes and Skills4Work), low and medium risk cases and head office and back office functions.
In our Trust the operational CRC functions have already been pared to the bone. It's only the 'back office', non frontline services which our Trust has sought to protect. So, although I'm not looking forward to TR and don't think it could work, or will happen as the govt want it to, I will certainly not be mourning the end of my Trust, and to be honest I don't want their head office led enterprise (sorry 'mutual') to win the contract for our CPA - an existing outsourcer would protect the frontline better. And I think that will be the obituary for the Trusts - "should have thought about services, could have done better".
However, unlike others on this blog, I am full of admiration for the SPOs in my office. They are in an invidious situation and doing exceptionally in such difficult circumstances. There is little wrong with the front line, only that we have to work with terrible systems - OASys & NDelius - the systems that made us so inefficient, and remember the creation of these came from the same people who lead our Trusts.
The Chief Constable was off on a right one last week when I informed her of our new 'working practices' and the fact that T4's will now be seen as/when, with her staff (Police) now having to pick up the majority of appointments. Suffice to say that her view of both TR and our Trust is very much jaundiced. Still, she cannot say she was not warned.
I've had a day from hell at the other end of the justice sausage machine. Many, many years a PO, now allocated CRC because apparently that was how it panned out on 11 Nov. This week seems to be the start of some unofficial trial of the split as I get handed case after case sentenced from court based upon a range of reports written by nps-allocated staff. I am sitting here on the commute home heartbroken and shocked at the appalling quality of those reports. Atrocious grammar, spelling mistakes galore, judgemental opinion, assumption and condemnation. Everything I was taught not to do when writing a report. And they are a mix of PO and PSO - this aint no purge on any grade.
Without fail the cases seem to all have received what I would regard as a requirement too many (5 in one case) or Orders far longer than I would have suggested.
I hadn't realised how dire things had become. Why are the courts accepting such poor quality documents? How has it become so bad? Where did all the gatekeepers go?
Senior managers destined for the NPS are making decisions about the CRC-why? The staff list for the CRC is full of so-called back office staff with frontline workers as rare as hen's teeth, whereas the NPS is mainly made up of practitioners. Do bidders know they will inherit a load of IT staff and office managers-that will supervise them a lot of offenders?
As a team manager with 35 years plus in the service I was automatically assigned to the CRC-no one has asked me what I want, the decision has nothing to do with my working record (I have managed every type of Probation team other than an AP) and selecting people for compulsory redundancy has a greater element of fairness to it than selecting people on the basis of what they were doing on a retrospective date.
I am amazed that the whole premise on what sifting has been based, along with automatic assignment has not been challenged legally. I am looking for another job and if successful my resignation letter will cite TR and the impact of sifting as the reason. We need to get mileage into this, in other walks of life it could be construed as constructive dismissal. If everyone who leaves the service as a result of TR gives this as the reason in their resignation letter you are registering your grievance for the future and making it a public record. Send copies to the Chair of your Board (whether defunct or not) and Grayling.
At the moment I feel exhausted, drained and to he honest destroyed by this job. As a CRC Officer, I'm being allocated more cases than I know what to do with, yet all my time is taken up with my NPS caseload and PSR's. I can barely face going into the office, I feel physically sick every morning, I'm not sleeping and am suffering from excruciating headaches. I don't feel well enough to be in work, but I' m too scared to see my GP. Being nowhere near retirement age VER is not an option. If I see my GP and am signed off will this be held against me by my future private sector employers? If there's a chance of moving into NPS, will a previous GP note go against me? All I can do is haul myself into work every day and pray it gets better.
Won't be long now before someone is killed or seriously hurt as a result of this TR bullshit. The momentum is building. It will most likely, in my humble opinion, be the (ex-) partner, or a probation staff member, or a prison officer. It will be at a time when anger and emotion and fear are funnelled into an explosive response to the wrong question, the wrong facial expression. I was told I'm a fucking cunt today... Duty call, no delius because of a server failure, no managers in the building (TR training event). No more team meetings/briefings means no shared information. TR is the final nail in that coffin. Nothing shared, commercially sensitive, what price humanity?
Got into work at 8.50am. Saw 12 cases today - 5 newly allocated inductions (3 of which I wasn't even aware of until they arrived because newly devised system didn't allow for notification of sentences out of area), 6 existing cases who I had to see to break the TR transfer news to, and 1 duty call. Also had to squeeeeze in a hurried oasys for an emergency transfer, complete a written witness statement regarding a police investigation, deal with an inbox of 75 overnight emails (mainly crap), wrestle with delius to try & input what had happened that day - plus I spent 45 mins of my lunch hour with IT support trying to locate an oasys that it turns out never existed. Got home at 7.45pm, fell asleep within minutes. Just woke up after dreaming about work. Haven't seen or exchanged a single word with partner this evening - I'm just about to tiptoe into the box room so I don't wake them.
TR has fucked up everything, even the simple existing and very basic allocation of cases, because some daft *#%$ has decided they have to redesign everything to meet the TR brand. "Fit for purpose" was one of those bullshit made up phrases of the 90's used to excuse poorly designed, expensive packages. Then we had "it'll do" solution-focused ideas. Now we seem to have "make it work regardless, stupid".
TR is just crass stupidity. Its been an oft- used analogy, the emperor is bollock naked yet everyone is fawning over the platinum threads in the finest golden weave. Meantime the charlatans, the snake oil salesmen and the corrupt are filling their pockets. Those who should have raised the alarm, i.e. The Trusts, have been guilty of dereliction of duty.
Time for bed said Zebedee.