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Press Release

Press release

Minister welcomes disability information to support service planning

22 November 2010

Mr John Moloney, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children will today, 22 November 2010, launch the Annual Report on service provision and service demand among people with an intellectual disability.

The report, published by the Health Research Board (HRB), indicates that more people were availing of day services in 2009 than at any point since the data were collected. The findings also reveal that more people were living in community group homes than in residential centres, which highlights the continuing shift from the more traditional institutional models of care towards community living.

Minister Moloney has said 'the Disability Databases Unit of the HRB makes available to the Health Service Executive (HSE), data at the level of Local Health Office, which can be used by the HSE to inform planning of services at a local level.  Reflecting the current economic situation, the HSE must manage service levels within available resources.

In the current economic climate of reduced spending, it is imperative that we have reliable data on the services provided, as well as the identified needs of those requiring specialist services.  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'.

The Annual Report of the National Intellectual Disability Database (NIDD) Committee 2009 provides detailed figures on the demographic profile, the specialist services provided and the future service requirements of the 26,066 people with an intellectual disability registered on the Database.

Of those registered, almost three in every five (15,450) had a moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability. There were more males (57%) than females (43%) registered on the Database.    In 2009, 25,556 people with an intellectual disability were getting some form of service. This was the highest number of people receiving services since the Database was established in 1995. Data from the 2009 report show that:

  • 25,472 people (98% of total registrations) used day services.
  • 8,251 people (32% of total registrations) received full-time residential services. The number of people who were residing in psychiatric hospitals decreased by 31, to 277, since 2008.
  • 4,681 people (18% of total registrations) availed of crisis or planned respite care.
  • 21,223 people (81% of total registrations) received multidisciplinary support services such as social work, psychology and medical services.

The report will be launched at a prize-giving ceremony at Glenvale Day Centre, Wicklow to acknowledge service user, Ciaran Smyth, for his winning entry in the national competition to design the cover of the NIDD Annual Report 2009.  Ciaran's picture entitled, 'Happy Fatherhood', was selected from more than 300 entries from service users nationwide in a competition organised by the HRB in conjunction with the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies.

Speaking at the launch, one of the authors, Ms Sarah Craig of the Health Research Board, highlighted the increasing number of older people now registered on the Database. The number of those over 35 years of age registered rose from 29% in 1974 to 49% in 2009 and she anticipates that this trend is set to continue into the future.

'The changing age profile of individuals with intellectual disability continues to contribute to high levels of demand for residential services, support services for ageing caregivers and services designed specifically to meet the needs of older people with an intellectual disability', she says.

The report also shows that the use of, and demand for, residential support services such as crisis or planned respite care varies greatly across Ireland and this highlights the need for a more equitable approach to the provision of respite services for people with an intellectual disability.


Glenvale Day Centre is part of Sunbeam House Services.

A copy of the report, Annual Report of the National Intellectual Disability Database Committee 2009, featuring the award-winning cover is available from the link below and in the publications section of the HRB website at


For more information contact:
Gillian Markey, Communications Manager
Health Research Board
m 00353 87 2288514
t 00353 1 2345103
e gmarkey(at)

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