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Disabled: Children

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the provision of short breaks for disabled children; (201345)

(2) what recent guidance has been issued to primary care trusts on support for short care breaks for disabled children.

I jointly chair the Aiming High for Disabled Children (AHDC) Ministerial Implementation Group with my noble Friend Lord Adonis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. We wrote to primary care trusts (PCTs) and local authorities (LAs) on 19 December 2007, setting out the investment and growth funding put in place to support our commitments and priorities for disabled children set out in the “Children's Plan” and the “National Health Service Operating Framework”. This includes substantial investment to increase the range and number of short breaks. Copies of the letter have been placed in the Library.

We will shortly be issuing guidance to PCTs and LAs to inform their delivery of the AHDC Short Break Transformation programme. The Government are also commissioning a national support body to assist PCTs and LAs in their implementation of the improved provision of short breaks.