Press Release

Minister Finian McGrath welcomes publication by the Health Research Board of an evidence review on individualised budgeting

Minister McGrath today welcomed the publication of a report by the Health Research Board on Individualised budgeting for social care services for people with a disability: International approaches and evidence on outcomes and experiences.

The evidence review was commissioned by the Department of Health as part of the Transforming Lives programme which will see services for people with disabilities migrate from a segregated, group-delivered service to a person-centred and individually chosen supports model.

The review selected six countries to examine – Australia, Canada (eight provinces), England, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Scotland – and addresses two key questions: (1) What models or approaches to individualised or personalised budgeting in response to needs assessment for social care services for people with a disability are used in other jurisdictions, and (2) what is the evidence on the financial sustainability of different approaches?

In welcoming publication of the report, the Minister said “One of the key aims of the Government is to provide services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide them with greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This is a fundamental change in the way services and supports for people with disabilities are currently provided, and there is an onus on us to implement it in a way which works effectively for people with disabilities, is financially sustainable, and is accountable and transparent. Underlining this Government’s commitment to the disability sector , I recently announced additional funding of €31m for disability services in 2016. This includes funding of €3m for new initiatives, including an additional provision for services to meet the need of school leavers with disabilities and the anticipated cost of a number of emergency residential placements arising this year.

The establishment of a Task Force on Personalised Budgets is another key element in the Programme for Government’s commitment to give people with disabilities more control in accessing services, together with greater independence and choice. It is imperative that the Task Force has access to good quality evidence from other jurisdictions which have already been down this road” said the Minister “and that we learn from what worked well in other countries and equally, what didn’t work as well. The Health Research Board has done sterling work in distilling the evidence on this complex area, and the report will provide an invaluable starting point for the Task Force, which I intend to establish very soon”.

The Review is available to download from the Health Research Board’s website.