I was meant to be visiting the hospital ward today for one of my voluntary sessions. But I’m here, writing this post.
When I started both of my streams of voluntary work, I needed to get a criminal record check because I’d be working with vulnerable people. You can imagine, somebody who has just had a stroke is a vulnerable person, so perfectly reasonable. I did all that and the certificate regarding the hospital visits came through in December 2016. It had a three-year expiry. Before that time I had never required a criminal check for anything in my life.
Because of christmas getting in the way, my last visit up there was a month ago, in early December. Since that visit, my certificate expired.
We applied for a fresh certificate back in September, but it has not come through yet. When I applied in 2016, it took them three months to go through my fifty-year life and give me a clean bill of health. Since I applied in September, it has taken them four months and counting. To go through just the last three years.
But I mustn’t make such comparisons – after all, the Stroke woman herself keeps reminding me that things are far better now than they were back in 2016, so who am I to argue? I wonder whether she’ll see any irony here? I doubt it, somehow.
But really, this is not a whine. These things take as long as they take. Plus, this is only voluntary work – it isn’t as if I had an income which depended on having this certificate.
If I really wanted to, I could visit today – the charity says that I can go as long as I am accompanied by somebody who is trusted. Which would be possible – I normally go along with a paid employee of their’s. But we generally separate to split the workload, so we would need to faff around with how we do things. I’ll freely admit there is a certain amount of schadenfreude, too, just because I am forvevr being told how much better everything is today. This is what happens when we starve things – the service gradually gets worse.
Also, I am a believer in Murphy’s Law. Nothing ever happened these last three years, but it will today. My being there, without any documentation, will raise unnecessary questions. It’s unfortunate that the people who actually benefit from my visits, the patients, will miss out, but my top priority has to be to cover my own ass, therefore I shall be staying away until this certificate arrives.