A “step-change” in the quality of local authority services for
people with learning difficulties is needed if the objectives set
out in the Valuing People white paper are to be met, new
Social services chief inspector Denise Platt says the switch to
adult services for young people with learning difficulties is often
disrupted by problems.
She makes the claim in a report based on a review of services for
people with learning difficulties in nine councils between February
and November 2001.
Platt says the “fragmentation of organisational responsibilities,
assessment and service delivery” often left young people with
learning difficulties poorly equipped to make the transition to
This issue was also the principal subject of complaints from carers
The report says: “The difficulties arose from poor communication
between children’s and adults’ social services and with education,
housing and leisure services.”
It calls for more choice and control to ensure that people with
learning difficulties have a full say on the services they receive
through the use of person-centred planning.
The report adds that, although there was a commitment to
person-centred planning in the nine councils inspected, there were
difficulties caused by the practice of closing cases when a care
package had been set up.
“Around two-thirds of service users and their families did not have
a named key worker to contact when circumstances changed,” the
– Inspection of Social Care Services for People with Learning
Disabilities from 08701 555 455