February 2012

Dear colleagues

I am pleased to attach both the full and easy-read reports on progress with Valuing People Now in the West Midlands for your attention. 

These reports are also being distributed to all 14 Learning Disability Partnership Boards in the West Midlands, with an expectation that they use the findings to inform their individual progress and to help shape their improvement plans for the coming year.

Expressions of interest have also been sought from Assistant Directors to facilitate 6-mothly meetings with Learning Disability Partnership Board co-chairs. 

You will note the key findings identify a number of areas requiring further development.  Many of these can be included in ongoing programmes of work, both nationally and regionally, as indicated in the report.

However, two major areas have been identified as requiring further focus:

  • Older people with learning disabilities and older family carers
  • Young people in transition to adult life

Older people and family carers:

It is proposed that further resource is identified to commission a scoping exercise of current practice, and to make recommendations for future practice.  This would include consideration of more innovative ways of supporting these families, including extra-care housing schemes and wider community resources.

Transition for young people:

This continues to be identified as a significant challenge in all areas.  A joint approach with ADCS is proposed, to build on the information currently being gathered nationally on best practice in transition.

The proposed West Midlands programme would include a focus on:

  • Increased use of direct payments by children and young people
  • Analysis of local Further Education and training provision leading to employment
  • Young people with more complex needs, with particular focus on creative transformation of day opportunities and short breaks.

I would welcome any comments, feedback and further suggestions by the end of April 2012.


Andrea Pope-Smith