Government officials at risk of redundancy are setting up a social enterprise to ensure vital work to support people with learning disabilities is not lost.
The Department of Health’s Valuing People Now team for London and the South East is forming a community interest company – a firm created for community benefit – as part of the government’s drive to enable public sector staff to take control of the services they deliver.
A DH spokesperson said: “The Valuing People Now London and South East regional team felt that forming a community interest company to promote inclusion of people with learning disabilities was an attractive opportunity at a time of change for the team. The company is in the early stages of setting up.
“Decisions about the future of the Valuing People Now programme have not yet been reached, but we are determined that the momentum gained in recent years around Valuing People Now priorities will continue, while recognising the need for local flexibility in the provision of services.”
She said other Valuing People Now regional staff were considering their future plans and “would be monitoring the experience of the London and South East with interest”.
The jobs of all Valuing People Now staff are at risk as part of a review of the programme, which was launched in 2009 to improve the life chances of learning disabled people. The threat has sparked criticism from sector leaders.