Rob Greig, national co-director of learning disabilities, has announced he will step down in April.
The news comes as it has been revealed that unprecedented numbers of people with learning disabilities have joined the consultation on the revised learning disability document, Valuing People Now.
Greig, who has jointly held the position with Nicola Smith since 2001, is exploring options for his future but the post of national co-director will continue when he leaves this year, a Department of Health spokesman said.
Since December, nearly 6,000 people have requested copies of the consultation document, which will set out the priorities for learning disability policy over the coming three years.
Greig said the huge numbers of people who are reading and commenting on this government policy was “highly impressive” and would not have happened five years ago.
This document revises the government’s 2001 white paper, Valuing People, which championed the principles of rights, independence, choice and inclusion.
Alongside the requests for copies, there have also been at least 200 consultation meetings held across England, said Greig.
Greig credited the high levels of interest to meetings held by National and Regional Forums alongside the wider programme of advocacy support and an emphasis on ‘nothing about us without us’ through Valuing People.
“Self-advocates are now used to receiving information, looking at it and commenting, so this is less of a ‘new experience’ than it was several years ago and therefore people are engaging more. Managers and others in learning disability services are increasingly supporting, even expecting, people with learning disabilities to have their say,” said Greig.
The consultation will close on 28 March.