Well, the needs assessor was just about as wonderful as any of us could have imagined, so fingers crossed.
Things started pretty diabolically. 24h after a conversation where I was definitely going to Venue A and 20 minutes after I’d been told by someone else to go to Venue B instead, the clinic director rang to yell at me for not showing up. Turns out he’d moved the venue without remembering to tell me, so I was furious, in tears and 25 minutes late by the time I arrived in Venue C. The clinic director was furious too, but at least eventually admitted culpability for forgetting about our “go to venue A unless we tell you otherwise” plan. At this point I hadn’t had a chance to meet the needs assessor and still didn’t know what was expected of me (except that my ability to continue my course was probably at stake) , so it was all a bit like an anxiety exam dream, only real. Luckily the needs assessor was wonderful and beginning to get a sense of everyone’s frustration levels, so she whole-heartedly agreed that rather than me being thrown straight into what felt like an unknown exam, we could sit down with the door closed for 20 minutes first. That chat was the most reassuring thing that has happened to me for months, and gave us a logical way forward for the next 2 hours and for the next 2 months. The needs assessor was able to request clarity in places I had failed, and mediate somewhat between us in terms of marrying my specific concerns with their specific concerns. I still respectfully disagree that we need to be on this page at all, but at least we all know where we are and what the plan for the next 2 months is. And I have some things in writing that reassure me greatly.
So: not a complete fix, there’s no guarantee the proposed way forward will be accepted by any funding bodies, and I am still going to continue to request that other independent people look objectively at how we are defining risk. BUT, the justifications for and reassurances about the proposed system have finally been clarified, and we can agree on the next step at least. Whew.
This is long, a bit cryptic and a lot cumbersome – but I have quite a lot of coursework to catch up on now that I am not writing my own risk assessments for 10h/day, so I think I’ll go do that instead.