Minister Finian McGrath announces significant investment to support people with a disability to move into more suitable accommodation €100m funding for Programme for Government commitment from 2016-2021, including €20m in 2016
Minister of State for Disability, Finian McGrath TD, today announced funding of €20 million to enable people with a disability, currently living in institutions, to move to more appropriate accommodation in the community.
Capital funding of €20 million from the Department of Health is being made available to the HSE in 2016 to move people out of congregated settings, defined as a setting where ten or more people with a disability are living. The funding will be used to relocate some 165 people currently living in 14 institutions around the country into more suitable accommodation. A list of the institutions targeted for funding in 2016 is attached.
Welcoming the initiative, Minister McGrath said, “I am delighted to be able to make this announcement. It is a key delivery on our policy objectives. I believe that it is a fundamental part of a caring society to treat people with respect and enable them to make their own choices. This funding will allow people to live and grow within communities and offer the independence and choice that is an important part of every citizen’s life. In 2008, more than 4,000 people with disabilities lived in congregated settings. By the end of 2015, this number had reduced to less than 2,800. The €20 million of capital funding represents a significant investment and commitment by Government to ensure that these citizens are given the opportunity in 2016 to live as ordinary a life as possible in suitable accommodation in the community in line with their own choices. I want to stress that the implementation of this initiative will be undertaken in full consultation with service users, their families and local communities.”
The Minister went on to say, “The Programme for Government contains a commitment to continue to move people with disabilities out of congregated settings, to enable them to live independently and to be included in the community. Currently, around 2725 people live in congregated settings and our objective is to reduce this figure by one-third by 2021 and ultimately, to eliminate all congregated settings.
The capital funding further demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improving the lives of people with a disability, and is in addition to the recently announced €31 million for disability services secured by Minister McGrath.
Note to Editors
In June 2011, the Report “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion” was published by the HSE.
A congregated setting is defined as one where ten or more people reside in a single living unit or are campus-based. The report recommends that homes should be confined to no more than four residents in total and that those sharing accommodation have, as far as possible, chosen to live with the other three people.
The Report identified that approximately 4,000 (based on 2008 figures) individuals with disabilities lived in congregated type settings. It found that, notwithstanding the commitment and initiative of dedicated staff and management, there were a significant number of people still experiencing institutional living conditions where they lacked basic privacy and dignity, and lived their lives apart from any community and family.
Where home-sharing with other people with a disability is the housing option chosen by the individual, the Working Group recommends that the home‐sharing arrangement should be confined to no more than four residents in total and that those sharing accommodation have, as far as possible, chosen to live with the other three people.
A working group chaired by the HSE is overseeing the implementation of the recommendations in “Time to Move on from Congregated Settings”.
The Congregated Settings working group is one of a number of groups set up under the framework implementation Plan for Transforming Lives – the programme to implement the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review (VFM) of Disability Services (Department of Health, 2012).
- Implementation of Transforming Lives is a multi-year project which will result in very significant changes to the way in which services and supports for people with disabilities are delivered.
- The implementation of the recommendations in the VFM Review has been given priority in the HSE’s National Service Plan for 2016.
- HSE working groups with key stakeholder representation have been established to support the reform process and continue to work on a range of projects to support and drive the move to a more personalised and socially inclusive service.
- Issues being addressed by the working groups include children’s multi-disciplinary services, re-configuration of adult day services, decongregation of residential settings, future needs analysis, policy appraisal, quality and outcomes framework, service user representation, strategic information requirements and governance.
Table 1: 2016 facilities prioritised for capital funding to move residents to community living