11:05am Thursday 19 October 2017

Trends in services for people with intellectual disabilities

The Annual Report of the National Intellectual Disability Database Committee presents 2011 levels of service provision and highlights the likely service demand from 2012 to 2016 among people with an intellectual disability. Key trends observed in the report include; increased provision of services, an on-going demand for services to meet the reported needs of people with an intellectual disability, a continuing shift away from the provision of residential services in institutional settings towards community living 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 at the Department of Health is launching the report at a prize-giving ceremony at the Stewarts Care Ltd campus, Palmerstown. This ceremony acknowledges service user, Ms Pamela Kavanagh, for her winning entry in the national competition to design the cover of the NIDD Annual Report 2011. Pamela’s picture entitled ‘Butterfly’, was selected from more than 300 entries from service users nationwide.

In welcoming the report Minister Lynch said;

‘The report continues to point to a changing age profile observed in the data over recent decades, which reflects an increase in the lifespan of people with intellectual disability, which, along with the general demographic trend, has major implications for planning for services designed to meet the needs of older people with intellectual disabilities‘.

The Minister went on to say that ‘the process of collecting data for the Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services, published in July this year, reinforces the importance of data availability and quality. Among the priority recommendations from the VFM Review is the establishment of more strategic information requirements for the disability sector. This is one of the key areas to be targeted for implementation’.

Key findings from the report include:

Service provision in 2011
  • 26,831 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.
  • 8,214 (30.1%) were in receipt of full-time residential services, almost the same number as the 2010 figure. This is the eighth 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.  Numbers fell by 10%, from 238 in 2010 to 214 in 2011.
  • 26,744 (99.7%) people availed of at least one day programme in 2011. This is the highest rate of day service usage since NIDD data were first reported in 1996.
  • 22,969 (85.6%) 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 2012-2016
  • The 2011 data indicate that 4,505 new residential, day and/or residential support places will be needed to meet service requirements, half of which are residential places. A total of 10,153 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.
  • The report highlights the significant amount of HSE funded health services interventions which school leavers will require as they leave the education system and move to day services in the areas of training and employment.

The report highlights two significant factors that should be taken into account in service planning.

Firstly, people with intellectual disability are now living longer and this means that they could outlive their caregivers. The extent of this issue is illustrated by the fact that 66% of people registered on the NIDD (17,916 individuals) were living at home with parents, siblings, relatives or foster parents in 2011. More than a quarter of those over 35 years of age with a moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability are included in this figure.

Secondly the census figures show a sustained high birth rate and an increase in the general population of those aged 65 years and over since 2006, both of these trends will place increasing demands on services into the future.

‘These factors point to a demand for services for young children and sustained demand for full-time residential services and support services for ageing care givers, as well as services designed to meet the specific needs of older people with intellectual disability. Even with increasing levels of service provision there are still high levels of unmet need. The challenge for everyone will be to set priorities that will deliver quality services within national policy and a tight budgetary framework’, concludes Caraiosa Kelly, author of the report.

A copy of the report, Annual Report of the National Intellectual Disability Database Committee 2011, 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.

ENDS

For more information contact:
Gillian Markey
Communications Manager
Health Research Board
t +353 1 2345103
e gmarkey@hrb.ie

Notes for editors

The Health Research Board (HRB) is the lead agency supporting and funding health research in Ireland. We also have a core role in maintaining health information systems and conducting research linked to these systems. Our aim is to improve people’s health, build health research capacity, underpin developments in service delivery and make a significant contribution to Ireland’s knowledge economy.

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.

The Disability Databases Team manages two national service-planning databases for people with disabilities on behalf of the Department of Health: the National Intellectual Disability Database (NIDD), established in 1995, and the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD), established in 2002. These databases inform decision-making in relation to the planning of specialised health and personal social services for people with intellectual, physical or sensory disabilities.

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