11:53pm Wednesday 19 February 2020

Intellectual disability services – trends and future needs

Trends observed in the report include, increased provision of services, an increase in the reported needs of people with an intellectual disability, the move to community group homes, the move from psychiatric hospitals, and greater numbers of individuals surviving into old age. All of these trends have implications for the planning and provision of services into the future.

Ms Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister of State in the Office of Disability and Mental Health in the Department of Health will launch the Annual Report on service provision and service demand among people with an intellectual disability at the Malta Services Centre, Drogheda.

The Annual Report provides detailed figures on the demographic profile, the specialist services provided and the future service requirements during 2011 to 2015 of the 26,484 people with an intellectual disability registered on the database.

Key findings from the report include:

Service provision in 2010
  • 25,936 people with intellectual disability were in receipt of services, representing 98% of the total population registered on the NIDD. This was the highest number of people in receipt of services since the database was established.
  • 8,213 (31.2%) were in receipt of full-time residential services, a decrease of 38 since 2009. This is the seventh consecutive year in which the data indicate that more people live in community group homes than in residential centres.
  • The number of people with intellectual disability accommodated in psychiatric hospitals continues to decrease in line with previous years.
  • 25,857 (99.7%) people availed of at least one day programme in 2010. This is the highest rate of day service usage since NIDD data were first reported in 1996. 21,803 (84.1%) people availed of at least one multidisciplinary support service. The services most commonly availed of by adults were social work, medical services and psychiatry. The services most commonly availed of by children were speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and social work.
Future service needs 2011-2015
  • The 2010 data indicate that 4,539 new residential, day and/or residential support places will be needed to meet service requirements, half of which are residential places.  9,873 people will require changes or enhancements to their day service.
  • There is substantial demand for all the therapeutic inputs for the coming five years, in particular, psychology, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy.

Speaking at the launch Minister Lynch said,

“Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe with such a national database. It is imperative that we have reliable data on the services provided as well as the identified needs of those requiring specialist disability services, such as residential, respite, day and multi-disciplinary services. In the current economic climate of reduced spending, the challenge will be to set priorities and deliver and plan quality services within a tight budgetary framework based on accurate and up-to-date information. This year’s report identifies trends that have been discernible in the last number of years. These trends include increased provision of services, an increase in the reported needs of people with an intellectual disability and greater numbers of individuals surviving into old age. All of these trends have implications for the planning and provision of services into the future.”

Speaking at the launch Ms Sarah Craig, Head of National Health Information Systems at the Health Research Board, highlighted the steadily increasing number of people who are in receipt of services, in particular, the growth in the number receiving respite services – “about 5,000 people availed of respite services in 2010”, she said, “which are the services aimed at supporting individuals to continue to live with their families and within their own communities”.

The report will be launched at a prize-giving ceremony at the Malta Services Centre, Drogheda, This ceremony will acknowledge service user, Ms Rita McAuley for her winning entry in the national competition to design the cover of the NIDD Annual Report 2010.  Rita’s picture entitled, ‘I’m Here!’, was selected from more than 200 entries from service users nationwide in a competition organised by the HRB in conjunction with the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies.

A copy of the report, Annual Report of the National Intellectual Disability Database Committee 2010, featuring the award-winning cover is available in the publications section of the HRB website at www.hrb.ie.

Print quality images from the launch are available.

For media queries, please contact Patricia Clarke, pclarke@hrb.ie, 01 2345 247, 0863842796 for further details.


Notes for Editors

The Health Research Board (HRB) was established in 1986. For the last 25 years it has been Ireland’s lead agency in supporting and funding health research. The HRB’s mission is to improve people’s health, patient care and health service through leading and supporting research and generating knowledge and promoting its application in policy and practice. The HRB has supported research which has played a key role in innovation in Ireland’s health system and its economic development.

The HRB is responsible for managing five national information systems. These systems ensure that valid and reliable data are available for analysis, dissemination and service planning. Data from these systems are used to inform policy and practice in the areas of alcohol and drug use, disability and mental health.


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