Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Department of Health
2005. To ask the Minister for Health the funding that was allocated for assistive technologies in 2019, 2020 and to date in 2021 respectively; the unmet need for assistive technologies in 2019, 2020 and to date in 2021 respectively; the additional funding needed to increase funding for assistive technologies by 5%, 10% and 25% respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36089/21]
I wish to advise the Deputy that the issue of Assistive Technologies funding does not come within the remit of the Department of Health and that her question may be more appropriate for the Department of Education and Skills.
2006. To ask the Minister for Health the level of funding that was allocated to the Health Research Board in 2019, 2020 and to date in 2021; the level of funding that was allocated for the collection and analysis of disability service use and need; the estimated additional funding required to improve data collection on disability that is identified in the report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36090/21]
The core allocation to the HRB in 2019 was €33.014m, in 2020 was €34.404m and in 2021 was €34.954m. The NASS captures information about the use and need for disability-funded services. The level of spend for the collection and analysis of disability service use and need in 2019 was €389,869, and in 2020 it was €489,274, while the expected spend for 2021 is €511,090.
The Transforming Lives programme (2014), is a national collaborative effort to build better services for people with disabilities. A key priority is to continue to deliver on the strategic aims and recommendations of the significant work and research of the Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services (2012). The priority objective is to address the need for a better service model for people with a disability where greater flexibility, choice and control from the service user perspective is central. Under Transforming Lives, the focus is on developing individualised person-centred supports to enable people with disabilities participate to their full potential in economic and social life in the community and be enabled to live ordinary lives in ordinary places.
The National Ability Supports System (NASS) is a confidential database of statistical information which is used to aid the planning, development and organisation of HSE-funded disability support services and is managed by the National Health Information Systems Unit of the Health Research Board (HRB) on behalf of the Department of Health.
This single Database replaces the National Intellectual Disability Database (NIDD) since 1995 and the National Physical & Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) in place since 2004. All individuals who receive or require a disability-funded service due to an intellectual disability, or a persistent physical, sensory, neurological, learning, autism spectrum, and/or speech/language disability arising from disease, disorder or trauma, should be registered on NASS. The Health Research Board publish annual Reports at www.hrb.ie/data-collections-evidence/disability-service-use-and-need/publications/
The Disability Capacity Review - A Review of Disability Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements to 2032’, was published 16th July, 2021. The Review estimates the additional costs of meeting anticipated demographic change, of addressing unmet need for services, and of completion of the programme of closing residential institutions. The projections of increased requirement are from the 2018 level of services.
The projections of services required to meet current and likely future demand provide a basis for multi-year planning, with a view to achieving best value for investment in disability services in relation to people’s needs. The analysis will support a sustainable planning approach to the delivery of specialist disability services and inform the annual Estimates processes in planning for cost-effective service delivery that best meets individual needs.
An interdepartmental Working Group, chaired by the Department of Health, will prepare an Action Plan, for consideration by the Cabinet SubCommittee on Equality and Social Policy by the end of this year. The Action Plan will set out the optimum approach over the period to 2025 to meet projected demand.
Prepared under the 2019 Sláintecare Implementation Plan (action 1.3), the Disability Capacity Review updates and extends an earlier published forecast of future needs for disability services (to 2025). Drawing on the Health Research Board’s disability databases, the CSO’s population projections, and other data sources, it sets out future capacity requirements under different demand scenarios. The projections are based on pre-COVID-19 utilisation rates and cost base. The Report was peer reviewed by experts from the NDA, the HRB, the ESRI, and the Department of Health’s Research Unit.
As this Parliamentary Question relates to an operational issue, it is a matter for the HSE. However, members of the Oireachtas are advised that the HSE is currently unable to access the information to answer Parliamentary Questions due to the recent cyber-attack, which has required a temporary shut-down of HSE IT systems. The disruption to service is on-going, and the HSE is working hard to restore its IT capacity and resume normal services. Members of the Oireachtas will be advised as soon as the HSE is again in a position to provide responses to PQs and are encouraged to resubmit their Parliamentary Questions at that point.