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Social Services: Finance

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2009, Official Report, column 1349W, on autism, what plans he has to ensure that individual budgets are effective for people with (a) sensory impairments and (b) autism; (259611)

(2) what steps he plans to take to ensure local authority resource allocation systems for individual budgets reflect the needs of people with (a) sensory impairments, (b) autism and (c) complex needs.

As part of the programme to transform adult social care, local authorities are expected to provide personal budgets to all adults eligible to receive social care over the period 2008-11. This will include people with autism and sensory impairments. From April 2009, we will be consulting on a new national strategy for autism. Local authorities will need to take into account any requirements arising from the strategy when providing personal budgets to people with autism.

Practical guides issued by the Department to help local authorities develop resource allocation systems for personal budgets advise councils to consult advocacy groups and other groups representing disabled people and older people, and representatives of carers. The needs of all service users, including people with autism, sensory impairment and complex needs, should be reflected in the questions included in the self-assessment which forms the basis of the resource allocation system.