Tuesday, 3 June 2014

TR Day One

As part of my remit to assist the MoJ, and particularly Dame Ursula Brennan, Permanent Under Secretary, in her decision as to whether it's safe to proceed, here are the comments from readers as to how Day One of the TR omnishambles went:-

Am hearing ndelius has been rendered pretty useless. People in wrong halves, cases missing, people unable to access cases they are working on, partners who specialise in high risk cases now in CRC and locked out of their cohorts, whole teams duplicated. An inconsistent system is worse than no system because you THINK you have checked something but you haven't. Sometimes. Maybe. All down to Grayling's speed in favour of haste. He has crashed the train.

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From Crown Court admin officer:

'I have had some email correspondence asking for us to update Delius in order that LDUs can allocate cases. Unfortunately, Delius is not allowing Court staff to update any existing cases, or input new ones - we are therefore unable to input new report requests, result existing report requests or put +12 month sentences without a report.

The issues have been reported and it has been escalated up to Steria, without any indication at present as to when the problems will be resolved'

Footnote: as an OM there is loads wrong with Delius- cant add contacts, cant find offenders, can still access ones transferred to opposite company, incorrect caseload. Can only find people when the 'nationwide' search facility is used - you try finding Jim Brown outta that lot - hundreds of them!!!


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Just been to the CRC away day, it took all my effort not to tell them to F***Off, what a load of bull. I would have rather have been made redundant, or have I?

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I know today was full of falseness from management about CRC and computers that didn't work, not official instruction yet of processes still being written. Such a massive disconnect.

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What bloody mess at work. The computer system not working properly, cases can't be allocated, cases remain unallocated, transfer of cases not recorded, RSR tool down causing huge delays in risk and allocation.

Furthermore, we received an email from management stating they want NPS & RCR staff to help out and cover each other. We have been advised that transfer of cases will now be a 'slow' process rather then a 'big bang'. Absolutely utter chaos & disaster. Effectively they want CRC staff to continue to write reports, attend oral hearings and make decisions regarding risk until everything is smoothed out. They can PISS OFF if they think me or my colleagues in CRC are going to help them smooth out the system. Shafted into CRC to be sold off & you want me to help you out. I will do everything to make sure it doesn't work.


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I'm of the same view. I have the view that in around 12 months time my new employer will replace me with a less expensive version. I've now decided to do absolutely fuck all apart from the absolute minimum and if targets are missed just to advise my MM that if he wants me to give 100% then my workload must be the same!

They can all fuck right off.


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As DO in NPS today -interesting, I was called on by colleagues on CRC's to provide information, they apparently have no authority to hold, so lots of knock backs; most took it well. Also, another issue arose. Our IOM (All CRC) have had a dedicated OM completing all HDC requests on those inside for under 12 months. Now, as some of those are ex-NPS cases, CRC staff cannot access the information they need to make a safe and informed decision. I asked my TM if, by sharing info I had on one such person would be a breach of Data Protection Act, I was advised by TM that as there was Safeguarding issues, I should at least alert the IOM colleague of same. I did, mentioned past history, and further checks which needed to be made if a safe and reliable report was to be provided to HMP. The colleague did not make any further enquiries about the address, i.e who lived there and the history of DV, but chose just to say No as another member of staff - (me) raised concerns about who may live at the proposed address. Now I would not argue with the decision made, but it is not an assessment, and I suspect those sorts of decisions are being made all over the place - and people will remain in custody, and/or be released without any evidence or informed assessment.

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Great day in AP today. Systems up the wall, Cook not turned up to cook residents evening meal. Get a chippy pie and chips for them? Good idea but the bank accounts have been closed down and can't get money. I don't think there is any part of the service that isn't in chaos.

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Just got back from leave today to find an email from our new Chief (who shall remain nameless). Reading between the lines it appears that we need to prepare to be held to account for when our clients offend. I'm not sure how we would word that (not that we now can) in a PSR. I can feel a complaint to NAPO coming on.

Two clients also not seen and no letters sent out as the OM covering could not access Delius to see if it was a Formal Warning or Risk of Breach. 

We don't need to wait for the wheels to come off, they already have!


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Tears from colleagues today and one has walked out after an argument with a manager (not their own) about their 'negativity' in the face of NOMS edicts that don't make sense. It's hell out here and all so unnecessary.

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Did anyone else notice the new FDR's?- Someone in my office thought it was the beginning of the end for SDR's and set up to assist and guide CRC's to function. So cynical.

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Delius has never been fit for purpose and now their trying to make it do even more. I had 3 clients all booked on the same programme. Programme got pulled due to lack of staff. Now I have 12 pages of alerts telling me each individual session has been cancelled. Cheers guys, that'll take me a good hour to clear while I'm looking for the things I might really need to know and I'm not doing my job.

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E-mail after Delius went back on. "Please can you check your caseloads and make sure they are correct." I have no idea. Most of my cases were allocated to me on Wednesday half an hour before you turned it off. I don't know who these people are or whether I should have them or not.

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In my office they still kept allocating transfer cases from NPS to CRC, even when the system was down! Cue me getting e-mails regarding new cases and next appointments and I can't even access their records, nor have the case files appear to have turned up! I probably should chase this up, but I am so demoralised I've lost the will to care.

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Our admin got NPS last week as our area cocked up big time and allocated virtually EVERY AO to CRC. You could not make it up as TODAY AO NPS could not use Delius at all as THEY forgot to reallocate them as NPS. A manager from CRC came in and asked us very politely if she could check something on our system about a death in custody. To be fair she was as perplexed by this debacle as much as we are. I felt for her. 

Don't get me started on the new risk tool and the Ikea instructions on how to input this on the system. No workload adjustment for this either. Three hours to do an FDR even though a round trip to the nearest video link takes that long in travel alone for us in the sticks.

This has now been made even less achievable due to the new risk tool which basically states the bleeding obvious for most cases as we are kind of trained to erm, know anyway. I did my first RSR on a shop theft, recd a DRR who are all CRC and it took me over an hour to find this fact out even though I knew he could not go to NPS with my proposal. It's a joke but what can I do to argue the toss?

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Is anyone who has any power reading this blog to see exactly how everything is FUCKED UP. Don't try and pat yourselves on the back by telling yourselves lies that all is going smoothly. Hasn't anyone got the balls to stand up and be honest and admit the truth that we are in a mess. I for one feel demoralised and have no motivation to do this job.

17 comments:

  1. Bravo Jim and colleagues, do not let Dame Ursula et al off the hook, provide the knowledge of how bad this is - they then can not use that most potent of all weapons....denial. We can prove they knew and did nothing, they are accountable and must remain so. Please tell your MPs too.

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  2. Jim please keep an eye on the Probation Institute and methods being used to increase membership. Northumbria CRC have been told they will be joined for free ( see yesterday's post) - it appears other CRCs will follow suit as predicted two weeks ago on this very blog!. There is clear intent to make this work at all costs, first the offer of half price membership now offering this free to CRC staff. Interesting....

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  3. Today is my first day back after the split. I woke up this morning and cried. I'm going to take some toil this morning as just can't face it. I am allocated to CRC but still have almost a full mappa caseload as handover not completed (agreement in writing from manager that they know there was not time to do this pre split but going ahead anyway). From what I've been told, because the cases were put into new officer's name before split, I won't be able to access their cases. I hope that's not right. What a fucking mess.

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    1. It is right - it's happening to me. Transferred most of my cases - with hasty 3-ways where possible - pre-split, but a couple were truly not safe to change at this time - just as Grayling acknowledged. But now I have to trot to another part of the office and ask my NPS colleagues if they'll look up a phone number for me. Shambolic.

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  4. It is a system currently being totally managed by the UK government.

    A major function of the UK parliament is to hold the Government to account. If a majority of the members of parliament sitting in the House of Commons pass a vote of no confidence in the government, protocol requires that government to resign and for the soveriegn to select a prospective prime minister to form another government or to call a general election.

    Possibly the best way forward is for NPS and CRC employees to focus on urgently alerting MPs to what is actually happening, so they can collectively demand the government forthwith changes its policy regarding probation.

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  5. Admin Officers working very hard in our area - same as others - to try to sort this out due to cases not found, documents lost.

    Also, not enough staff on either side to allow managers to allocate cases - so just sitting there with OMs managing large case loads.

    RSR tool now upped to 7.1 - so more risky cases are going to be placed in the CRCs - I'm not suggesting current staff are unable to manage these safely, but given the lack of staff and the certainty that the private companies will be looking to make cash by having large case loads and getting rid of current (expensive) POs, will no doubt see public safety compromised.

    Also, when the MoJ set up these sham companies, they filed our contract area at Companies House under 'Staffordshire' - which isn't correct unless you're in the Staffordshire contract area - which we are not. They can't even get that right!!

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  6. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the period between 1.6.2014 - and sell off, was to demonstrate it working, as it is intended to after sale - I suppose it is, its bloody mayhem! So much not thought through, and so many legitimate questions which should have been raised by NAPO ages ago...professional association my ar*e. I hope that colleagues from NPS and CRC's are writing to their MP's - as suggested above. See if we can take Probation back!

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    1. I hope CRC and NPS workers are contacting their MPs urgently by every means possible, the nation's criminal justice system affecting the liberty of people who have been convicted of crime is not functioning efficiently risking the wrong people being in custody and the wrong one's being at liberty and the work being done with those at liberty to not be enhancing the safety of us all.

      What is happening in our probation offices and courts and gaols throughout England and Wales is in consequence of decisions taken by the last parliament, with the 2007 Offender Management Act, that can ONLY be changed either by the Government amending how it is implemented or by Parliament passing another Act that changes the 2007 OMA.

      Members of both Houses of Parliament, Commons and Lords equally each have the duty - I think by their oaths, to see that the Parliament is well served. They need to be actively investigating how the legislation and decisions of Government are working in practise and so I would hope be very eager to visit probation offices, courts and prisons urgently to see how it is all going and hear directly from the practitioners. I do hope invitations are urgently being sent today, by practitioners and hopefully managers as well so that within a very few days every member of parliament has first hand experience of the effect of the policies for which they are responsible are having on the people in England and Wales.

      If managers do not seek to facilitate urgent visits by members of both Houses of Parliament, that in itself is a matter of relevance to the parliament and should not prevent or delay meetings with practitioners.

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  7. Message from mgmt yesterday - "thanks to staff, especially offender managers, who gave up their weekend to assist, all is up and working, delius is fine, case transfers are ok, just crack on as normal."

    By the end of yesterday everyone in our office was stressed, distressed, angry, upset, frustrated - nothing was working as it should, or as it did, or at all. NPS side were losing documents into outer space, CRC couldn't find cases, case admin staff were in despair.

    So thanks to those who assisted.

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    1. What idiot OMs "gave up their weekend".

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    2. Those that never let the promise of personal gain be compromised by anything as crass as a principle.

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  8. We are both short of NPS/CRC staff, as we all know that each side has half staff compared to what it was. From a big city like Manchester there are in some offices just one and a half NPS staff taking about 6 peoples high risk cases also their own that they initially had. Also as we know most high risk cases have lengthy orders or sentences so that would mean that NPS caseloads will take on average 5 years before a case can be closed. So the mangers and powers to be who think that caseloads in the NPS will be less than those in CRC's are probably very wrong about the whole wonder system they have devised. With huge caseloads on both sides never mind under 12 months getting a service, no one will be getting any sort of service, risk will go unmonitored.

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  9. This is ALL a consequence of rushing through an unpiloted restructuring exercise. This is Grayling's fault. This is incompetence on a galactic scale. The Probation Service has been compromised and can no longer deliver on it's core objective to protect the public. This is NOT SAFE.

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    1. These changes to health and safety laws (I know its off topic, but very relative I feel) announced yesterday just means more chaos in the work place where any changes can be brought in with no comebacks- I was acting with good intention. It's that over on Civil Society they are championing this change.

      http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/uk/health-and-safety-reforms-planned-30321430.html

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  10. Via Facebook, I have had a response from MOJ staff under the management of Dame Ursula Brennan, regarding remarks of mine about the 'Probation Graduate Diploma'

    I have further replied about the omnishambles asking that my comments be directed to Dame Ursula Brennan. Such communication becomes possible, when the Civil Service takes to using 'social media'!

    I hope the exchange can be found here: -

    https://www.facebook.com/ProbationGraduateDiploma/posts/668485863188755?reply_comment_id=669091259794882&total_comments=1

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    1. Well done Andrew and thank you.

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  11. At our city centre office in Yorkshire things are subsiding into chaos. The systems are all over the place or not working at all. PSRs and cases can't be allocated because the systems are down or not properly configured. The longer it goes on the less retrievable it will be. Had a briefing on 'non statutory instruments' yesterday which apparently is a way of moving information from CRC to NPS and vice versa. So instead of the consultation in an SPOs office as per before we now have a ridiculous bureaucracy that won't do the job and risk will continue to escalate in the meantime. I have to say this current state of affairs is very bizarre indeed and senior managers seem to have their heads in the sand. To say I'm feeling glum is something of a Probation understatement.

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