To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 22 March 2010, Official Report, column 122W, on health services: Merseyside, what steps his Department is taking to increase access to healthcare services for people with learning difficulties; and what assessment he has made of progress made by Sefton Primary Care Trust in this regard.
'Valuing People Now (VPN)', a copy of which has already been placed in the Library, sets out a three-year cross-government strategy for people with learning disabilities. One of the priorities in VPN is about ensuring that people with learning disabilities get access to better health care services. A number of initiatives have been put in place, including the publication of guidance to ensure mainstream health care meets the needs of people with learning disabilities. In addition, all strategic health authorities (SHAs) have started to implement a self-assessment framework which brings together people who plan and deliver health care services with people with learning disabilities, families and carers. On a local and regional level, SHAs and primary care trusts (PCTs) judge how well health services are meeting the needs of people with learning disabilities and plan for improvements.
Information with regard to how the Sefton PCT is meeting the health care needs of people with learning disabilities can be obtained directly from the PCT.