Ivan Lewis: Valuing People follow-up delayed by Whitehall talks

The long-awaited renewal of the government’s Valuing People agenda for people with learning disabilities has been delayed due to negotiations between departments, care services minister Ivan Lewis said yesterday.

He told the all-party parliamentary group on learning disability that the Valuing People Next Steps document would be out within “weeks not months”.  Lewis said the paper, which had been expected in October, had been delayed by ongoing negotiations with other departments to get “as good a deal as we can”.

The direction of the Valuing People policy will not change, said Lewis, but he added: “We feel that the progress to some extent has slowed down.  The energy has dissipated and we need to give it a new impetus.”

Ivan Lewis also said the government was “actively examining” the feasibility of transferring all remaining NHS commissioning responsibilities for non-clinical learning disability services to local government.

Lewis also said the Department of Health would shortly outline how its direct expenditure on adult social care for 2008-11, announced in last month’s comprehensive spending review, should be spent locally.

The funding, which will rise from £1.3bn in 2007-8 to £1.5bn in 2010-11, accounts for a minority of local adult care spending, most of which comes through the block grant for local authorities.

Lewis said the money was designed to “transform or reform” an adult social care system which “needs to improve significantly”.

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Essential information on learning disability services

More information

Valuing People white paper 2001

Comprehensive spending review 2007

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