Valuing People Now aims ‘should be compulsory’

P8 10 April 08 issueA leading learning disability campaigner has called for the recommendations in last year’s Valuing People Now paper to be mandatory.

And he said councils should face “special measures” if they cut services for the group.

Andrew Lee, director of self-advocacy body People First, was speaking after the end of the consultation on Valuing People Now, the follow-up to the 2001 Valuing People white paper.

The paper, published in December, sets out goals for 2011 for people with learning disabilities (see panel top right), but their delivery relies on improved commissioning by primary care trusts and local authorities.

Lee warned that its aspirations would be dashed if councils targeted cuts on learning disabilities services.

This concern was echoed by the Learning Disability Coalition. It called for a government cost-benefit analysis for providing low-level support for people in the community with moderate and mild learning disabilities, are often ineligible for social care.

Mencap and the PMLD Network, an organisation for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, called for measurable targets and “rigorous monitoring” in the final VPN document.

David Congdon, Mencap’s campaign and policy manager, said: “VPN will result in change only if there is strong leadership at national and local level, with the genuine involvement of people with a learning disability, their families and carers.”

However, the Local Govern­ment Association demanded “greater clarity” in what should be nationally and locally led.

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