From unvalidated information available to my Department, it would appear that there are 1,217 persons with mental handicap awaiting residential places and 1,522 awaiting day care services.
A national database on the needs of persons with a mental handicap is currently being established which will provide information, on an ongoing basis, on the number of persons with mental handicap in each region, the number in services and awaiting services, their current and future needs and the level of support which is required to meet those needs.
The availability of such information will enable my Department and those responsible for the provision of services to plan, in a co-ordinated manner the services which are required to meet both current and future needs.
The above mentioned figures do not however taken account of the additional service developments which are being put in place in 1994 as a result of the additional £12.5 million which I made available for services for persons with a mental handicap. This funding has been used to put in place the following services:
— 282 new residential/respite places
— 550 day care places
— the continued improvement and expansion of the home support programme to benefit over 1,400 clients and their families.
— the transfer of over 150 persons with mental handicap from psychiatric hospitals to more appropriate accommodation in the mental handicap services.