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£90m promised to support disabled children's holidays

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Councils have been given an additional£90m to provide short breaks for disabled children to ease the burden on their families.

In a joint letter sent to every council and primary care trust chief executive, health minister Ivan Lewis and schools minister Lord Adonis explain how they want councils to make a reality of the vision set out in last week’s Children’s Plan.

The ministers say the extra money should be spent on equipment, adaptations and buildings to support short breaks provision, as well as improving access to childcare for disabled children.

They also say there should be a joint delivery plan agreed by councils, primary care trusts and voluntary organisations to improve services in each area.

The ministers write: “This package of investment across the NHS and local authorities provides an unprecedented opportunity for local organisations to work in partnership to transform and drive up the capacity, range and quality of services for children with disabilities and complex health needs.”

They insist that the investment puts disabled children at the heart of the Every Child Matters welfare agenda.The joint commitment of the Department of Health and the Department for Children, Schools & Families in the Children’s Plan to emphasise welfare is believed by many children’s services professionals to herald a more joined up approach on children’s issues acrossWhitehall.

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