(2) what mechanisms are in place to ensure that funding allocated to primary care trusts for Aiming High short breaks is spent on short break services.
We are putting in place a number of measures to encourage primary care trusts (PCTs) and local authorities (LA) to involve parents in the planning and delivery of services for disabled children. This includes £500,000 in 2008-09, rising to £1.5 million in 2009-10, available to LAs for the support for parent forums. Parent forums give an opportunity to parents of disabled children to express their views on the services they receive.
We have also introduced an indicator to measure parental satisfaction with services for disabled children. This will reflect results for each PCT and LA against all five of the Aiming High for Disabled Children core offer standards.
In “Healthy lives, brighter futures—the strategy for children and young people’s health” a copy of which has already been placed in the Library, we confirmed £340 million NHS funding over three years for services for disabled children, including short breaks. The funding is in included in PCT baselines. The 2009-10 NHS Operating Framework challenges PCTs to review their service offer in line with “Healthy lives, brighter futures” (published February 2009) and reflect any amendments in their Operational Plans. Following publication of “Healthy lives, brighter futures” we have mandated a local statement by PCTs setting out their actions on services for disabled children, either alone or in partnership with the local strategic partnership, alongside their performance against the full set of vital signs in 2008-09.