The Department of Health has sent out a letter dated 21 August in which it sets out the programme for the transfer of funding from the NHS to local government in relation to commissioning of social care for learning disability clients. This letter states that it is the department’s intention that from April 2011, all learning disability social care funding will transfer directly from the department to local government rather than through primary care trusts. Each primary care trust and local authority are to negotiate and agree the amounts to be transferred for the social care of learning disability clients in their area.

Primary care trusts are required to complete a return to the department showing monies to be transferred to local authorities for learning disability social care funding in the year 2009-10 by 1 December 2008. The funding should not to be subject to renegotiation for the year 2010-11 and that figure should be based on the previous year’s agreed amount plus an agreed inflation uplift. The department’s transfers from April 2011 onwards will be based on these earlier figures.

The requirements above do not change any responsibilities of the NHS in regard to:

  • funding and commissioning of healthcare services for learning disability clients;
  • specialist learning disability health services;
  • forensic services; and
  • continuing care for clients with learning disabilities.

all of which are excluded from the transfer of funding.

The letter and guidance can be accessed here.