Disability services – HRB reports latest figures on current use and future demand

July 13 2023, 03:22pm

NASS infographic for 2022

A new Health Research Board (HRB) report on disability services shows that 73,927 people were registered as engaging with disability services in 2022. A total of 45,068 were children and 28,859 were adults.

The report provides a picture of the services people receive, as well as the services they will need in the next five years. 

Almost all children registered were engaging with a multidisciplinary Children’s Disability Network Team (CDNT). More than 6 in 10 adults were in receipt of a day service, and 1 in 4 adults were living in residential care.

Over 1,700 adults, who are currently living at home with ageing carers, were identified as needing residential care now, or within the next 5 years. 

Overnight respite is required by over 1,300 children and adults. This is a key service which provides a positive experience for the person with a disability and supports families and caregivers. 

Commenting on the findings, HRB Chief Executive Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll said, “We collect this data so that we can improve the lives of people living with a disability and enable them to live more independently. Through this report we create a better understanding of the service provision and demand among people living with a disability, which can be used to plan future allocation of resources and services.”

The data that feeds into this report is collated through HRB's National Ability Supports System (NASS), a national database which records information about the HSE disability-funded services that people use and need such as, residential services, respite care, day services and specialist supports, for example occupational therapy or physiotherapy. The purpose of NASS is to gather information from service providers in order to aid the planning, development, and organisation of HSE disability-funded services. 

Data is provided to NASS by service providers who provide disability services to people in Ireland. Service providers are asked to ‘review’ NASS records for each of their service users once a year to ensure information is accurate for each reporting year. 

For more on this see their website