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Leonard Cheshire Foundation

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Leonard Cheshire Foundation on its report on access to primary care for disabled people, with particular reference to (a) premises, (b) staff training and (c) consultation with disabled people. [105896]

The Government welcome this report and I attended its launch on 26 March. I wrote to the Leonard Cheshire Foundation on 25 April setting out the actions the Department of Health is already taking to offer better access to people with disabilities, and the further actions now planned. These include the establishment of a joint group with the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) to develop a programme to address disability equality issues; placing a new duty on national health service bodies to involve and consult patients and the public (including disabled people and groups) in developing services; as part of a wider equalities and diversity strategy for the NHS workforce commissioning the NHS University to lead development of a new disabilities awareness training plan which will consider with the Leonard Cheshire Foundation and the DRC how best to use the 'Working with Disability' learning package; and supporting primary care providers in ensuring that their premises comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.