Implementation of Valuing People could be hampered

The government’s ability to ensure implementation of the
Valuing People programme could be hampered by cuts to its learning
difficulties policy team, writes Mithran

Sources close to the Department of Health say it is no longer
possible to identify any policy officer working specifically on
Valuing People, where once up to 12 people worked on learning
difficulties issues.

This follows the replacement, as part of Whitehall-wide cuts, of
its disability policy branch by a broader cross-client group

In its recent review of the 2001 white paper on learning
difficulties, the Valuing People support team called for government
pressure on councils and health bodies that are failing to
implement the programme.

But some believe the policy cuts will make this impossible
– despite former community care minister Stephen
Ladyman’s promise to implement many of the review’s
recommendations and urgently consider the rest.

Andrew Holman, head of charity learning difficulty charity
Inspired Services, said Valuing People was no longer “being
driven at the central policy level”.

But a DoH spokesperson said: “There is still a team that
has learning disability policy as a major focus and the work of the
Valuing People support team within the current implementation phase
is extremely important.”

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