Minister committed to Valuing People

The work of the Valuing People support team will not be “diluted”
by a merger with six other government programmes, community care
minister Stephen Ladyman insisted this week.

The team is due to form part of the Care Services Improvement
Partnership (CSIP), alongside the likes of the National Institute
of Mental Health for England.

Speaking at a conference to launch the National Family Carer
Network in London last week, Ladyman pledged his “absolute
commitment” to the future of the Valuing People programme for
people with learning difficulties.

He added that he was still looking for a “suitable” organisation to
host the CSIP following the recent scrapping of the proposed
transfer of the programmes from the Department of Health to the
Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Ladyman also used the launch to announce an extra £60m for
carers’ grants for 2005-6, bringing the total to be allocated to
local authorities to support England’s estimated five million
carers to £185m. He also confirmed the carers’ grant,
introduced in 1999, would continue at this level until at least

He told the conference: “Carers say that being able to take breaks
from caring is the most effective way to support them and enable
them to continue caring.”

The National Family Carer Network, which is being funded by the DoH
and led by learning difficulties’ charity the Home Farm Trust, aims
to help carers of people with learning difficulties to provide
support and share information.

Co-ordinator Helen Dorr said she hoped the initiative would help to
alleviate the isolation of many carers struggling to cope on their

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