Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Health
The report of the Task Force on Personalised Budgets (Towards Personalised Budgets for People with a Disability in Ireland) was published in 2018. The Task Force Report recommended that Personalised Budgets would be piloted and evaluated in an Irish context over a two year period. The HSE established the Personalised Budget Demonstration Projects in 2019. The Department of Health requested the National Disability Authority (NDA) to manage the evaluation of the Demonstration Project.
Given the number of factors that the Task Force Report suggested should be tested in the Demonstration Project, the Department of Health, HSE and NDA recommended that a sample size of 180 Personalised Budget participants would be required to allow for a robust evaluation.
There are currently 92 participants in the various stages on the Pilot Personalised Budget Demonstration Project. This means that the Demonstration Projects are running behind schedule. This is due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also due to other factors such as challenges in recruiting HSE staff and the cyber-attack on the HSE.
The NDA has tendered for and selected an evaluation team to conduct the evaluation. The NDA has secured research ethics approval from some of the service providers supporting people who have engaged with the Personalised Budget Demonstration Project process and is actively engaged in seeking ethical approval from other service providers.
The evaluation is designed to capture the experiences and outcomes of all the participants (who have consented to be part of the evaluation) regardless of what their primary disability might be. However, the evaluation team have taken the needs of participants with intellectual disabilities into consideration and have developed Plain English and Easy to Read evaluation materials. Those conducting the evaluation fieldwork have extensive experience of working directly with people with disabilities, including people with intellectual disabilities.
A key output of the evaluation process will be a report capturing learning about the experiences and outcomes for persons with disabilities participating in the Demonstration Project, as well as consideration of the costs of administering the system. This will inform Department of Health considerations with regard to any future programme of Personalised Budgets