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Valuing People Now published
Monday 19 January 2009
The Department of Health has published its learning disability plans.
The government today published ‘Valuing People Now: A New Three-Year Strategy for People with Learning Disabilities'. It sets out the government's plans for learning disability services in England until 2011.
‘Valuing People Now' brings the 2001 ‘Valuing People' white paper up to date. It addresses recent changes in government policy, including the personalisation of social care services.
responds to each of Sir Jonathan's ten recommendations, and fully accepts, or accepts the aims, of each.
On housing, ‘Valuing People Now' recognises the need for people with a learning disability to be able to choose where they live and who they live with. It brings together recommendations to close NHS campuses by 2010, give more people access to personal budgets, and to use person-centred planning.
‘Valuing People Now' also says that an employment strategy will be published in the spring. It will focus on the fact that people with a learning disability can work with the right support.
The plan also tries to make learning disability partnership boards stronger. There will be new regional boards and self-advocates and carers will be more involved. However it doesn't give partnership boards any new legal powers.
Mark Goldring, Mencap's chief executive, said: "'Valuing People Now' is a very welcome report with great significance for people with a learning disability. It is a vision that puts people with a learning disability at the centre of their care – and offers clear solutions for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and for carers.
"This is a commendable continuation of the important work of ‘Valuing People', particularly with the delivery plan and partnership boards, to help ensure real change for people with a learning disability. We welcome that ‘Valuing People Now' goes beyond just health services. It means that other departments must follow the lead of the Department of Health in improving services for people with a learning disability.
"'Valuing People Now' has rightly acted on the recommendations of Mencap's ‘Death by indifference' report as well as the independent inquiry from Sir Jonathan Michael. These systemic recommendations for improvements in health care are an important step forward and will be good news for all people with a learning disability.
"While the delivery plan is particularly important, we have serious reservations about the reality. Hard-pressed and under-pressure local authorities, working with partnership boards without any statutory powers, are going to find it hard to deliver the vision set out in ‘Valuing People Now'."
Read Valuing People Now on the Department of Health website
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