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Voluntary Organisations: Learning Disability

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the potential contribution that third sector organisations can make to the delivery of public services for those with learning difficulties. (221676)

I have been asked to reply.

The extensive consultation we carried out for Valuing People Now included members of the public and third sector organisations. We are planning to publish the final “Valuing People Now” in the autumn after everybody’s responses have been fully considered. This policy is in line with the Department’s work to promote a greater plurality of provision (including service providers from the third sector) to increase capacity, encourage innovation, improve user responsiveness and ultimately improve health and wellbeing.

A great deal of work has been undertaken by the Department to remove barriers to third sector organisations entering the market and ensuring that there is a fairer playing field through the work of the Third Sector Commissioning Taskforce.

The National Director for Learning Disabilities chairs the learning disability task force, which includes representatives of the nation forum for people with learning disabilities and key third sector groups, including MENCAP.