Perth and Kinross Council (Multiple Disability Support)

Question Time — Scottish Executive — Health and Wellbeing – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 4th December 2008.

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Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative 2:15 pm, 4th December 2008

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied with the level of support services available to people with multiple disabilities in the Perth and Kinross Council area. (S3O-5059)

Photo of Stewart Maxwell Stewart Maxwell Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is satisfied that Perth and Kinross Council is taking forward a number of actions to deliver better services for people with learning disabilities—including people with profound and multiple disabilities—following the best-value review that it undertook in 2006-07.

Photo of Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith Conservative

Over the past few weeks, I have been contacted by three sets of parents and carers, from across the Perth and Kinross Council area, who have expressed concerns that the provision of some support services—principally in the Bridge of Earn and Gleneagles areas—has been unsatisfactory. Will the minister agree to meet me to discuss my constituents' concerns so that they can be addressed as soon as possible?

Photo of Stewart Maxwell Stewart Maxwell Scottish National Party

I am aware of the important concerns that are being expressed by a small number of local parents. I am also aware that the Social Work Inspection Agency conducted an inspection of services in Perth and Kinross in 2006, which coincided with the best-value review that was being undertaken by the council at that time. A follow-up report from the SWIA is due to be published within the next week, which will help in taking the process forward.

In addition, there are plans for the refurbishment and redesign of services in the area. Those plans are at an early stage and will involve full consultation with everybody who is affected. However, I am more than happy to meet Elizabeth Smith to discuss any concerns that her constituents may have.

Photo of Jim Tolson Jim Tolson Liberal Democrat

Is the minister aware of the considerable additional investment that is being made in disability services in Perth and Kinross, such as the £533,000 in capital moneys that is being allocated for day service improvements and the additional £35,000 that is being used to improve respite for carers? Those sums are considerable. Will the minister join me in congratulating Perth and Kinross Council on its success in finding those resources to invest in these financially constrained times?

Photo of Stewart Maxwell Stewart Maxwell Scottish National Party

I am happy to congratulate any council that invests successfully in local services that support people, especially those who are struggling in these difficult times. I am more than happy to congratulate the council on its investment in that area. I hope that local services meet the needs of all local people, not just at this difficult time, but across all periods of time, to ensure that people who have multiple disabilities are provided with services that support their needs and that their families are not overburdened by the difficulties that they may otherwise face.