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Learning Disability

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to improve information provision for people with a learning disability who require social care; and if he will make a statement; (244766)

(2) if he will commission research to analyse potential financial savings to the Department of Health of greater investment in employment provision for people with a learning disability;

(3) what steps he is taking to ensure black and minority ethnic communities are aware of the social care available to support people with a learning disability; and if he will make a statement.

People from black and minority ethnic communities with learning disabilities and their families may need better information about the social care support that is available to them. This was highlighted in the “Valuing People Now” (December 2007) consultation, and action to address this concern will be a priority in the forthcoming strategy, which is due to be published in the new year.

It is important for people with learning disabilities to have the right information in a format that is accessible to them. “Putting People First” (December 2007), a copy of which has already been placed in the Library, sets out that people should have access to better support, information and advocacy so they (and their carers) are able to find the information they need. This will be addressed in the “Valuing People Now” strategy.

A key strand of that forthcoming strategy will be around supporting people with learning disabilities to have jobs. We are working across Government to support the implementation of Public Service Agreement 16, which aims to support socially excluded adults, including those with learning disabilities, into employment and settled accommodation. This includes work on the “Getting a Life” programme, which will help to improve the evidence base and ensure greater working opportunities are available for people with learning disabilities. The Department has no current plans to commission other research on this issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is given to local authorities to ensure that their resource allocation systems achieve a fair and effective allocation of resources for people with learning disabilities; and if he will make a statement. (244769)

It is for local authorities to ensure that their systems for allocating social care funding are fair and effective. The Department published a personalisation toolkit in June 2008 which provides local authorities with advice and working examples to help them transform their social care systems, including the development of their resource allocation systems. A copy has been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the mortality rate of people with a learning disability has been in each of the last 30 years; (244803)

(2) how many people with a learning disability received state-funded social care in the latest period for which figures are available.

We do not have information on the mortality rates of people with a learning disability in each of the last 30 years.

Data on the number of people receiving services funded either fully or partially by councils with adult social services responsibilities (CASSRs) in England is collected and published by The NHS Information Centre for health and social care as part of the referrals, assessments and packages of care return.

During the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 137,000 adults aged 18-64 in England with learning disabilities received a social care service funded either partly or wholly by their CASSR following a community care assessment. Data for 2007-08 will be published at the end of this month.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the out-of-area placement of people with learning disabilities in each of the last five years. (245007)

The Department's policy is that services should be personalised to meet the needs of the individual including providing support as close to home as possible.

We have a programme of work to support development of local services so that people with learning disabilities do not need to be sent away from home. The Department has not commissioned specific research on out-of-area placements.