HC Deb 29 June 1999 vol 334 cc146-7W
Mr. Michael J. Foster

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what overall assessment he has made of the Quality Protects management action plans submitted by local authorities; and if he will make a statement. [89148]

Mr. Hutton

I have today placed in the Library a copy of the report "Mapping Quality In Children's Services: An Evaluation of Local Responses To The Quality Protects Programme".

When we launched the Quality Protects programme in September 1998, we required local authorities to submit annual Management Action Plans to show how they were intending to improve the management and delivery of children's social services. This report presents the key messages and findings from the first round of Management Action Plans (MAPs) which were received in January 1999. I am pleased that local authorities have responded with energy and urgency to the first stage of Quality Protects and that we were able to approve all 150 Quality Protects MAPs and authorise payment of the children's services grant for this year.

The report identifies many examples of good practice from across the country, but it also highlights major areas where improvement is urgently needed. It is now crucial that these plans are turned into action and we expect to see evidence of real progress by January 2000.

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