Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis today (Tuesday 3 December 2007) launched a consultation to seek views on the priorities for learning disability for the next three years.
"Valuing People Now - From Progress to Transformation" is a cross-government consultation that sets the agenda across a range of issues, including health and wellbeing, housing, employment, education and community inclusion.
It builds on the vision set out in the white paper Valuing People in 2001, which was based on the four main principles of rights, independence, choice and inclusion.
The consultation will focus on ensuring that the mainstream NHS provides full and equal access to good quality healthcare, and that specialist healthcare services are modernised.
Mr Lewis (pictured) said the government's challenge was "to make independent living and equal citizenship a reality for all people with learning disabilities in every part of the country.
"I urge people with learning disabilities, their carers and frontline professionals to respond to this consultation over the next three months so the final strategy can achieve a major revitalisation of the Valuing People agenda and reflect peoples every day aspirations and experiences."
Dame Jo Williams, Chief Executive of Mencap, said: "This is a much-welcomed step forward to ensure Valuing People really makes a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability. It is particularly good news as it puts the individual in control of their care."
The consultation will run until 11 March 2008. The Department of Health will set out proposals for the next three years, based on the responses that they receive to the consultation, in a document to be published by summer 2008.