Top level navigation

Breadcrumb to current page

Main content

Press Release

Press release

HRB report focuses on services for people with physical and sensory disability

29 May 2007

Figures released today by the Health Research Board (HRB) show that 9 out of 10 people registered on the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) were receiving services in June 2006. However, despite high levels of service provision, NPSDD data show that there are still a large number of people who are waiting to be assessed for a wide variety of services.

Figures released today by the Health Research Board (HRB) show that 9 out of 10 people registered on the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) were receiving services in June 2006. However, despite high levels of service provision, NPSDD data show that there are still a large number of people who are waiting to be assessed for a wide variety of services.

The NPSDD Annual Report 2006 is based on 25,692 registrations and the figures in the report reflect the situation recorded in June 2006. ?This database is the only source of information at a national level about specialist services for people with physical and/or sensory disabilities and is unique in terms of informing service planning. It highlights the areas where services are needed most. This is essential information for health service managers and policy makers',said Mary-Ann O?Donovan of the Health Research Board and co-author of the report.

There are more males (52.8%) than females (47.2%) registered on the database. Over two thirds of all registrations are adults and one-third are children (under 18 years-of-age at time of reporting). Most people (76.6%) registered on the database reported a physical disability, while 6.2% reported hearing loss/deafness as their disability, 5.4% reported a visual disability, 2.2% reported a primary speech and language disability. One in ten people reported a combination of disabilities which highlights the need for a more co-ordinated approach to service planning.

Services that people were getting in 2006

  • 20,594 people (8 in every 10) registered on the database were receiving therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation services, such as Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy.
  • 6,701 people (26.1% of total registrations) were receiving personal assistance and support services such as home help or a guide dog.
  • 13,614 people (53.0%) were in receipt of day services and activities.
  • 834 people (3.2%) were availing of residential services.
  • 2,672 people (10.4%) were availing of planned respite services. This includes services like a planned break in a residential facility or home-based service where the carer is relieved of his/her duties.
  • 16,727 (65.1%) were using at least one technical aid or appliance, for example a hearing aid.

    In spite of the services provided, many people still need to be assessed to establish what level of service they require. The NPSDD report provides a strong planning tool for service planners in the HSE areas of the type of service that will be required into the future.

    Future Requirements in June 2006
    • 14,380 people (56.0%) still required assessment for therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation services.
    • 7,553 people (29.4%) required assessment for personal assistance and support services.
    • 579 people (2.3%) who were availing of day services or activities required some changes or additions to their existing services.
    • 4,029 people (15.7%) who already have day services, need an alternative or additional service to meet specific needs.
    • 3,137 people (12.2%) were not availing of day services or activities, but required such supports.
    • 761 people (3.0%) registered on the NPSDD were not in residential care but required this service.
    • 5,066 people (19.7%) required assessment for respite services.
    • 10,542 people (41.0%) requested at least one technical aid.

    The new Disability Act, which will be implemented on the 1 June 2007, up to the age of 5 years, provides for an independent assessment of need for people with a disability. The publication of this report is timely as it provides the only overview of service provision and requirements at a national level and by age group.

    Regional Breakdown

    The number of people registered within the four HSE regions is as follows (The percentage in brackets refers to the number of people in that region as a percentage of those registered on the database excluding over 65s).

    • Dublin/Mid-Leinster: 8,091 people (31.5%)
    • Southern: 8,536 (33.2 %)
    • Western: 6,363 (24.8%)
    • Dublin/North East: 2,702 (10.5%)

    The cover of the report was designed by Ann Kennedy. Ann graduated from DĂșn Laoghaire College of Art in 1974, with a distinction after four years studying Design and Animation. Initially she pursued a career in animation, and worked on the much acclaimed film ?Watership Down? made in London in the 1970s. She says she is proud of drawing over 9,000 rabbits yet never dreaming of them. Her design logos for children?s wear sold out on first print run.

    The full report can be downloaded at the link below.                

    Notes to editors:

    When interpreting the data contained in this report it is important to note the following:

    • Participation in the NPSDD is voluntary; therefore the Database may not cover a proportion of people living in Ireland who have a physical or sensory disability.
    • The data contained in this report represent the situation as of June 2006. Because progress towards achieving target coverage for the NPSDD is ongoing, these data are not intended to provide a fully comprehensive picture of service use and service need.
    • Not every individual in Ireland who has a physical or sensory disability is availing of, or requiring a specialised health and personal social service, so the NPSDD cannot provide any definitive epidemiological statement on the number of people with a particular type of disability.
    • The information for the database is collated by the Health Service Executive areas and managed nationally by the Health Research Board.
    • Personal assistance and support services refers to services such as Personal Assistant, Home Help, Driving Instructor, Sign Language Interpreter, Sign Language Tuition, Guide Dog Service.

    Therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation services include the following services: Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech/Language Therapist, Chiropodist, Clinical Nutritionist, Public Health Nurse, Play Therapist.

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

    Search the HRB website

    Other information and links