Written Answers. - Day Places for Handicapped.

Tony Killeen

Question:

226 Mr. Killeen asked the Minister for Health the number of day service places available for people with a mental handicap; the number of such places which are required; and the number which have been planned. [16623/96]

As the Deputy is aware, substantial additional funding has been made available in recent years for the development of services to persons with a mental handicap. Additional funding of £56.58 million was invested in the services in the period 1990-96 which has enabled health boards to put in place over 1,000 additional residential places and 2,300 day care places.

The National Mental Handicap Database collects figures on the number of people in receipt of a service rather than the number of beds available. Provisional data indicate that the number of people in day services in July was as follows:

Service

Numbers Currently in Service

Day Service Only

13,276

Residential Support and Day Service

1,582

5/7 Residential and Day Service

6,995

I am satisfied that the additional annual funding which was made available in recent years has made a significant impact on the number of persons with a mental handicap awaiting services. However, I am aware that more needs to be done. The Government is committed under both the Health Strategy documentShaping a Healthier Future and A Government of Renewal to the continued development of the service as resources become available.
That commitment is reflected in my decision to prepare a five year service development plan for services to persons with a mental handicap. The development plan will identify service needs. I expect to make an announcement shortly.