Over €1.45 billion allocated to 2015 budget for disability services by Health Service Executive

The Health Service Executive (HSE) published its 2015 Operational Plans on 19th December, setting a €1,459.3 million budget for disability services in 2015.

The figure came in the Social Care Division Operational Plan, which states that the programme of reform underway for disability services aims to “enable people with disabilities to fully participate in a meaningful way within their own communities”.  It represents a 2.1% increase on the 2014 budget.

Some of the key allocations include:

  • €12 million for School Leavers and Rehabilitative Training, providing day services to approximately 1,400 young people
  • €6 million for Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People, and
  • €7.2 million for emergency places, addressing the costs relating to existing levels of service in 2014.

The work of the Value for Money (VfM) Steering Group and Process Driving Change Programme is named as a key priority for 2015 also.  Six national working groups, which will lead the change programme, have been established, focusing on a number of themes: strategic planning around person-centred models of services and supports, oversight of the implementation of 2015 initiatives, people with disabilities and community involvement, quality and standards, management and information systems, and governance and service arrangements.

In addition, the Department of Health (DOH) has advised the HSE of extra funding of €1.7m for a Persons with a Disability Fund,  which will take account of disability priorities and focus on innovation in service delivery.  The HSE will work with Pobal and the DOh in administering this funding and developing criteria for the projects which can avail of it.

The plan also outlines the already-commenced implementation of a six-step change progranmme of long-term, sustainable and evidence-based practices to ensure the safety of those living in residential disability services.  This will be driven by the National Implementation Task Force, aiming to ensure that appropriate caring environments are provided.   A number of new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2015 have been announced in relation to this, with others relating to Personal Asssistant (PA) services, among other areas.

To access the HSE Social Care Division Operational Plan 2015, please click here.