HC Deb 05 November 1998 vol 318 cc678-9W
Mr. Todd

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review provision for those with learning disabilities and give guidance to health and social service authorities on best practice. [57747]

Mr. Hutton

We already have a substantial programme of work in hand to ensure the continued, appropriate development of health and social services for people with learning disabilities. This includesfollow up to Moving into the Mainstream, the report of a Social Services Inspectorate (SSI) inspection of learning disability services in 1997; follow up to Signposts for Success, good practice guidance on meeting the health needs of people with learning disabilities issued by the Department in January 1998; a project to improve our understanding of the service models which have developed in recent years and give us a clearer picture of the services available for people with learning disabilities. The first phase involved a review of plans for learning disability hospital closures; the second is looking at the range and balance of health and social care services for people with learning disabilities in 24 local authority areas; and an advisory group involving key interests, including people with learning disabilities, has been set up to advise the Department on this programme of work. We will keep the need to issue further guidance under review.