March 2012

The Merlin Standard website has posted details of organisations which have assessments scheduled for the near future. emqc Ltd, the organisation contracted to run Merlin, are inviting organisations to let them know if they wish to submit views regarding any of the organisations that have assessments pending. This includes organisations that were unsuccessful in becoming part of the supply chain relationship.

Torbay Council is seeking imaginative responses for providing a Supported Employment Service to people who face significant barriers to employment, in particular individuals with learning disabilities or Autistic Spectrum Conditions. The Council is looking for a provider who is flexible in its approach to service delivery, with a proven approach to providing Supported Employment Services.

The overarching purpose of the Service is:-

The Welsh Government is consulting on a new Social Services Bill. The proposed Social Services (Wales) Bill will provide the legislation required to take forward the change programme outlined in the Welsh Government’s white paper, 'Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action'.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has published a report outlining concerns that the right of disabled people to independent living may be at risk through the cumulative impact of current reforms.

The Government has published its response to Liz Sayce's review of specialist disability employment provision. The response follows a consultation held between July and October 2011 to which 1400 individuals and organisations submitted views. The Government response points towards a personalised approach and is likely to lead to Remploy's Employment Services leaving Government control. It is likely that 36 of Remploy's 54 factories will close by the end of the year, putting 1700 jobs at risk. The remaining 18 factories face an uncertain future.

The Public Services (Social Value) Bill has passed its final stages in the House of Lords and could be on the statute books within days.