Minister committed to Valuing People

    The work of the Valuing People support team will not be “diluted”
    by a merger with six other government programmes, community care
    minister Stephen Ladyman insisted this week.

    The team is due to form part of the Care Services Improvement
    Partnership (CSIP), alongside the likes of the National Institute
    of Mental Health for England.

    Speaking at a conference to launch the National Family Carer
    Network in London last week, Ladyman pledged his “absolute
    commitment” to the future of the Valuing People programme for
    people with learning difficulties.

    He added that he was still looking for a “suitable” organisation to
    host the CSIP following the recent scrapping of the proposed
    transfer of the programmes from the Department of Health to the
    Social Care Institute for Excellence.

    Ladyman also used the launch to announce an extra £60m for
    carers’ grants for 2005-6, bringing the total to be allocated to
    local authorities to support England’s estimated five million
    carers to £185m. He also confirmed the carers’ grant,
    introduced in 1999, would continue at this level until at least

    He told the conference: “Carers say that being able to take breaks
    from caring is the most effective way to support them and enable
    them to continue caring.”

    The National Family Carer Network, which is being funded by the DoH
    and led by learning difficulties’ charity the Home Farm Trust, aims
    to help carers of people with learning difficulties to provide
    support and share information.

    Co-ordinator Helen Dorr said she hoped the initiative would help to
    alleviate the isolation of many carers struggling to cope on their

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