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Most of the work involved in producing a new good practice guide to help planners, purchasers and providers to invo...
Most of the work involved in producing a new good practice guide to help planners, purchasers and providers to involve people with disabilities more effectively in planning and running services on which they rely has been done by people who are disabled themselves.

The document, 'Involving Disabled People in Services: Good Practice for Planners, Purchasers and Providers', was commissioned by the Social Work Services Inspectorate at The Scottish Office and is published today.

James Douglas-Hamilton, minister of state at The Scottish Office with responsibility for social work, commented:

'This document provides a great deal of good advice. It is all the more pertinent because most of the work has been done by people who are disabled themselves. I commend the work particularly to those who plan, purchase or provide services but also to others who have an interest in services for disabled people including the people who use services.

'Its publication is especially opportune in light of the government's Community Care (Direct Payments) Bill which is designed to enable local authorities to make payments to disabled people to buy community care services themselves instead of these being provided by the local authority. This measure will give disabled people greater control in their own lives.'

The SWSI commissioned a working group to develop the report which has been written by Kirsten Stalker of the Social Work Research Centre at Stirling University and Dougie Herd, a freelance trainer.

Mr Herd was formerly employed by the Lothian Coalition of Disabled People.

The content of the report includes:

-- the accessibility of information

-- making consultation effective

-- involving people in planning services

-- involving people in providing services

-- involving people in purchasing services

Each chapter identifies the ways in which people with disabilities should be involved and provides practical suggestions. The report is intended for people with physical and sensory impairment.

Much of the report applies to involving people with other disabilities. The report is easily readable, and provides useful support to purchasers and providers. It fulfils the purpose for which it was commissioned.

The report will be widely distributed to social work, health and independent agencies. The SWSI will promote a national seminar to disseminate and discuss the advice contained in the report.

The Community Care Implementation Unit will have regard to the report in discussions locally on the consumer inputs to community care, as part of its wider appraisal of implementation.

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