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Disability: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th July 2018.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the provision of health and social care services for disabled children.

Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of waiting times for disabled children to access health and social care services in each of the last five years.

Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment has been made of the adequacy of the level of funding allocated to the provision of (a) equipment and (b) treatment for disabled children.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The commissioning of health and social care services is the responsibility of clinical commissioning groups and local authorities respectively. Local commissioners are best placed to assess the needs of the local population, and commission accordingly. While waiting times for accessing some individual services for children are reported, there is no overall waiting time measure for access to services for disabled children.

Information is collected on wheelchair services; the latest published data for quarter four 2017/18 shows 82% of children whose episode of care was closed in that period received their equipment in 18 weeks or less. NHS England is working with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to understand what is contributing to waits above 18 weeks, and consider what actions will help to reduce these.

In 2014, the Government introduced a new statutory framework requiring local authorities and CCGs to commission jointly services for children with special educational needs and disability, across health, social care and education. Since 2014, £327 million has been given to local areas to support implementation of these new arrangements, in addition to the high needs budget for placements for pupils with complex special educational needs which is £6 billion this year – the highest it has ever been. Every local area’s arrangements are being inspected jointly by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, in addition to their role inspecting providers.

The 2015 Spending Review made available more than £200 billion until 2020 for councils to deliver services to local communities, including for provision of social care services for disabled children. The Government is conducting a review of the relative needs and resources of local authorities that will develop a robust, up-to-date approach to distributing funding across all local authorities in England at Local Government Finance Settlements, including for children’s services.

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