HSE Publishes Three Disability Care Group Reports

(29 Feb 2012)

HSE Publishes Three Disability Care Group Reports

The Health Service Executive has today published three Disability Care Group Reports that will assist with the strategic planning and implementation of the major change programme for disability services that is underway.

The reports that have been published:

Over the past few years, disability service provision has been moving towards a community based and inclusive model rather than being institutional and segregated. The key learnings from these Reports alongside the pending Value for Money and Policy Review from the Department of Health will provide a catalyst for achieving a more effective, person centered disability service provision, in line with international best practice. The implementation of these reports willbe progressed though the HSE’s National Disability Governance Group and through the National Consultative Forum. The radical change is not the sole responsibility of the Health Service Executive but rather, a collaborative responsibility shared between the person, their families and carers, a multiplicity of agencies, Government and society as a whole. The budget for the provision of disability services for 2012 is 1.541 billion.

“Report: New Directions – Personal Support Services for Adults with Disabilities”

Day services for adults with disabilities provide a vital network of support for over 25,000 people. The people who use these services have a widely diverse set of interests, aspirations and personal circumstances. They are people with physical and sensory disabilities, with learning disabilities and with mental health difficulties. They include young people, people who have been in day services for many years and older people of retirement age. They live in small communities, in isolated rural areas and in cities and towns.

The focus of the Report is on the requirement to accommodate a wide diversity of need among service users. This spectrum of need ranges from those with severe and profound disabilities, challenging behaviours and high support needs who are likely to need long-term, specialist service provision to people with lower support needs and greater potential for community participation and inclusion.

The central approach within the report focuses on the core values of person-centeredness, community inclusion, active citizenship and high quality service provision. It will be underpinned by good governance, monitoring and guidance to providers. The vision contained in the report will provide people with the personal individualised supports they require to access a whole range of community services as well as proving for their health related needs

The ambitious change envisaged in New Directions will depend on and benefit from an acceleration of the policy of mainstreaming that is central to the National Disability Strategy (NDS). This will require joint planning between the HSE and key government departments to maximise the approach outlined in the NDS.

“National Review of Autism Services”

This national review outlines the historical background, current models that exist, the gaps in service provision and the need for a consistent clear pathway for individuals to access services in the least restrictive way. The report highlights the imperative for a clear focus on the individual and their family in ensuring that the needs of the individual remain at the centre of service provision.

Geographically, current services can vary from robust, comprehensive and integrative to isolated, patchy and ineffective. Moreover differing models and approaches to the provision of health services are evident across Local Health Office (LHO) areas and HSE Areas. Future provision of services for children and adults with ASD must be in line with the Government’s commitment to mainstreaming where people with a disability have access to the same services as the general population, and in addition receive the appropriate support and intervention to address individual needs. The recommendations of this report will be implemented as highlighted through the reconfiguration of existing provision; Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People (0-18s); Time to Move on from Congregated Settings; and the New Directions-Personal Support Services for Adults with Disabilitiesand the Respite/Residential Care with Host Families in Community Settings. Given the current economic climate with reducing resources in the public sector all such reconfiguration will be progress as appropriate within available resources. This integrated approach to meeting the health needs of people with disabilities is designed to ensure that generic health needs, which can be met at primary care level, are addressed by primary care teams and that only needs, where specialist knowledge, skill or expertise is required are referred to specialist services.

“Respite/Residential Care with Host Families in Community Settings”

A working group was established by the National Director, Integrated Services Directorate, HSE, to carry out an overview of models of respite and residential care with host families in community settings, nationally and to determine the viability of these models of service delivery for future development for people with an intellectual disability. The working group comprised representatives from HSE, the NHSN and the Department of Health. This model of service provision is in line with national and international trends towards meeting the needs of people with intellectual disability in more appropriate inclusive settings and offering greater choice and more person centred services.There is evidence to suggest it is more a cost-effective model and deliver better value. It is recommended that each area review and reconfigure respite/residential service provision to include the Host Family Support Model of service provision as an element of the overall respite/residential package available.

There is evidence that an accelerated move towards a new model of individualised person-centred service provision in the community can help to achieve efficiencies, particularly in relation to services for those with mild or moderate intellectual disability.



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