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Disability Aids: Children

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what entitlement there is for disabled children to have aids and equipment provided for them by primary care trusts. (123533)

The Children, Young People and Maternity Services National Service Framework (NSF) sets out high expectations of what we think health and social care services for children should be. While all the standards within the NSF are relevant to disability, standard 8 specifically relates to disabled children who need ongoing health and social care interventions having access to high-quality evidence-based care delivered by staff with the right skills.

As a result of implementation of the children's NSF, disabled children, young people and their families should experience services based on assessed needs, which promote inclusion and, wherever possible, enable them to live ordinary lives. Provision of aids and equipment is based on an assessment of need, not an entitlement to specific items or services. Decisions on whether or not to meet individual equipment needs are based on assessments carried out at a local level.

The “Transforming Community Equipment Services Project—helping to make independence a reality” is undertaking a radical review of community equipment and wheelchair services with a view to implementing a new model of service delivery by autumn 2007, with the objective of developing a new model of service delivery in collaboration with all key stakeholders. We anticipate that a new model of service delivery, capable of implementation by autumn 2007, will involve a greatly expanded role for the third sector.