Report on future needs for disability services
Under the Transforming Lives programme of work, the NDA has been heavily involved in studying the demand for disability services and forecasting what this demand might look like in the future. The resulting report is the first output of the Transforming Lives Working Group 1. The report 'Transforming Lives: future demand for disability services' highlights the likely increased demand on disability services in light of demographic changes.
Between 2002 and 2016 the Irish population increased by 22% and is due to increase further by 2025. This increase will mean that we need 700-800 more residential places in 2025. If the present backlog and the ageing of the population are also considered, we will need up to 1200 extra residential places.
Respite, day, community-based and therapy services will all face similar increased demand in the same time period. Overall, the report highlights the need to increase both current and capital spending in order to meet the forecast demand. Current spending needs to increase by approximately 19-35 percent. Capital spending requirements are likely to increase by between €100m and €300m. This is 3 percent of total spending envisioned in the National Development Plan.
The NDA, with Working Group 1, developed and tested the estimates contained in the report to ensure that these are robust and unbiased. This means that the report can form the basis of future planning for disability services.