Objectives: Over the past three decades, major changeshave taken place internationally in the type of residentialaccommodation provided for people with intellectualdisabilities but these appear to be less evident in NorthernIreland.Method: A census was undertaken of all persons in anyform of residential placement using a range of existingdatabases to identify the population, with a shortquestionnaire completed for each resident.Results: Around 440 persons lived in hospitals and 1,970in some other form of provision but mostly in largecongregated settings such as residential care homes andnursing homes. This was more marked in certain Healthand Social Service Boards than in others. Most places areprovided by the private sector although voluntaryorganisations and housing associations now managearound one-third of places. People living in hospitalsreportedly had different characteristics to those in all othersettings while those in nursing homes tended to requiregreater personal care. However the characteristics ofpeople living in residential homes, supported livingarrangements and village communities were broadlycomparable. Around one in 10 persons were deemed tobenefit from a move; mostly from residential homes tomore independent living arrangements.Conclusions: Compared to Britain and the Republic ofIreland there is an under-provision of residentialplacements in Northern Ireland. To date, funding fromoutside of health and social services has been the maindriver for the type of accommodation provided. Theimplications for future policy and provision are discussed.
|Journal||Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2006|