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Children with Disabilities

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 26 April 2011

20. What assessment he has made of progress in providing co-ordinated medical assessments for children with disabilities. (52568)

The Department for Education Green Paper, “Support and aspiration: a new approach to special educational needs and disability—a consultation”, was published in March and includes a proposal to develop a single new co-ordinated assessment for education, health and care plans by 2014. The consultation on the Green Paper continues until June 2011, and I hope that the hon. Lady will respond to it.

That was a very interesting answer, particularly as the Prime Minister told me on 30 March that this

“idea is rapidly becoming Government policy.”—[Official Report, 30 March 2011; Vol. 526, c. 340.]

Can the Minister tell us whether she intends to table an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill to ensure that those crack teams of medical experts that the Prime Minister promised would be set up will be set up by GP consortia?

Families of children with disabilities and special needs will welcome the single, co-ordinated assessment. We have to see health and social care working more closely together, because those families bear a considerable burden of care. I would point the hon. Lady towards the consultation, and I suggest that she points her constituents towards it as well, as it is extremely important that we get their feedback.