HRB announce the merging of the NIDD and the NPSDD

(05 Oct 2017)

HRB are pleased to provide an update on the merging and redevelopment of the National Intellectual Disability Database (NIDD) and the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD) into one system – the National Ability Supports System (NASS).

The advantages the NASS system brings are:

  • Merges the ID and physical and sensory datasets, delivering efficiencies in terms of workload for HSE and service provider personnel and removing the requirement to work across two systems.
  • Reflects current and emerging models of service delivery arising from New Directions, Time to Move On and other initiatives.  Service use and need is recorded under six service types – residential, day, respite day, respite overnight, supports for daily living and specialist supports.
  • Ensures flexibility by incorporating the ability to accommodate changes in service delivery. 
  • Provides the ability to capture information about a wider number of disability service users, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are not explicitly captured on the current databases.
  • Allows for service users of all ages to be included on the system (the NPSDD currently has an age limit of 65 years). 
  • Delivers enhanced data query and reporting functionality.  For example, HSE KPI reports can be generated by the system.
  • Utilises up-to-date technologies and hosting services in order to preserve existing data and capture new data to meet information requirements for service planning.
  • Enables data from both ID and physical and sensory services to be uploaded electronically from service providers’ own internal information systems (3rd party upload).

Development of NASS is well advanced but the system requires extensive testing before roll out.  At present, we are working with the HSE to estimate the resources required to maintain the system and we are liaising with data protection consultants to ensure that NASS is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant.  This means that records from the NIDD and NPSDD can only be moved over to NASS if they have been reviewed and are up to date.  We are discussing reporting requirements with HSE personnel and service providers and preparing for the migration of data from the existing systems into NASS.

Like the existing databases, NASS is web-based and has been designed to enable speedier recording of data.  Current users are very familiar with the web environment but will need training on the new content.  We will begin to schedule training in early 2018.  Details of the status of NIDD and NPSDD records for each CHO Area and the actions required in preparation for migration and reporting of 2017 data will be communicated separately.


Health Research Board
An Bord Taighde Sláinte

Grattan House
67-72 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2 | D02 H638

+353 1 2345 221

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