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Press Release

Press release

HRB report on intellectual disability reveals that demand for full-time residential services is still rising

2 November 2007

More than 2,000 people with an intellectual disability will need full-time residential care between 2008 and 2012 according to the latest figures from the National Intellectual Disability Database Annual Report 2007, published today by the Health Research Board (HRB). This is the fourth year that demand for full-time residential care has been at an ?all time high? in spite of significant investment in intellectual disability services and record levels of service provision. In stark contrast, the demand for day services is at its lowest level ever recorded, indicating significant progress continues to be made in the provision of day services.

More than 2,000 people with an intellectual disability will need full-time residential care between 2008 and 2012 according to the latest figures from the National Intellectual Disability Database Annual Report 2007, published today by the Health Research Board (HRB). This is the fourth year that demand for full-time residential care has been at an ?all time high? in spite of significant investment in intellectual disability services and record levels of service provision. In stark contrast, the demand for day services is at its lowest level ever recorded, indicating significant progress continues to be made in the provision of day services.

?We are continuing to see the influence of two key factors in relation to the increasing demand for full-time residential services', says Fionnola Kelly, Research Officer at the HRB and co-author of the report. ?Firstly, the increased birth rate, or baby boom, in the 1960s and 1970s means that a larger adult population is moving through the intellectual disability services, and secondly, people with intellectual disability are living longer', Ms Kelly explains. This is illustrated by the fact that the number of people aged 35 years and over with a moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability has more than doubled since 1974 when the first census of this population was conducted.

The demand for residential support services, such as respite care, exceeds the services available. A total of 2,088 people, who do not currently receive residential support services, will need this type of service in the period 2008-2012. This is an increase of 134 since 2006 and the highest recorded need for residential support services since the database was established. In addition, 11,928 people who are already receiving a day or residential service will need their service enhanced or changed to meet specific needs - an increase of 110 since 2006. Continued investment will be required over the next five years to provide the relevant services.

In 2007, there are 25,613 people registered on the National Intellectual Disability Database. Almost three in every five (14,737) have a moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability. There are more males (56%) than females (44%) registered. The report highlights a clear relationship between level of disability, age and type of service available; namely those who are younger and in the less severe range of intellectual disability tend to be in services provided on a ?day? basis.

In 2007, 24,898 people with an intellectual disability are getting some form of service. This is the highest number of people receiving services since the database was established in 1995. Data from April 2007* show that:

  • 24,729 people (97% of total registrations) use day services.
  • 8,262 people (32% of total registrations) receive full-time residential services. This is the highest recorded number of full-time residents since 2001. The number of people residing in psychiatric hospitals has fallen by 19, to 329, since 2006.
  • 4,480 people (17% of total registrations) avail of residential support services such as respite and regular part-time care.
  • 19,799 people (77% of total registrations) receive multidisciplinary support services such as social work, psychology and medical services.
  • 305 people (1% of total registrations) receive no service whatsoever and require services, which is the lowest number of such cases since the database was established.
  • 410 people (2% of total registrations) receive no service and have no identified service requirements.

The cover of the NIDD Annual Report 2007 was designed by Helen Flynn, a service user from Dublin. Her painting, ?A day in the park?, was the selected winner from more than 400 entries in a national competition organised by the Health Research Board in conjunction with the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies. The full report is available online at www.hrb.ie/publications. For a copy of the report or a regional bulletin contact Caraiosa Kelly by email at ckelly@hrb.ie or phone + 353 1 2345194

Note to editors

  • The National Intellectual Disability Database has been in existence since 1995.
  • The information for the database is collated by the Health Service Executive areas and managed nationally by the Health Research Board.
  • The Department of Health and Children, the Health Service Executive, and the non-statutory sector use the database as the evidence base for the planning and development of intellectual disability services.

* The number of places, either being used or required, exceeds the actual number of people on the database because some people need both a day service and a full residential service.

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

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