Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability Margaret Murphy O’Mahony says a new disability report published by HIQA highlights the need for further action to help support people with disabilities to live in a community environment.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony said, “While this report makes it clear that regulation has helped bring about steady improvements in the standard of care provided to people with disabilities, it nonetheless highlights that further work is needed.

“The recommendations made through the 2011 HSE report on congregated settings are yet to be implemented. This HIQA report again recommends that ‘congregated settings’, or institutions with 10 residents or more, should be replaced with supported placements in the community.

“It’s estimated that approximately 3,000 people with a disability were living in congregated settings as of December 2014. Not much has been achieved in moving people into a community based environment since then. The HSE prioritised the transition of just 150 people from congregated settings in 2015, and only managed to move 112 people last year. This is wholly inadequate and must be addressed.

“Sadly, the Government has not made this a priority in its Programme for Government. It’s unlikely to make any serious inroads as the reduction targeted is only in the region of 900, which represents just one third of the total figure. At this rate, it will be 2031 before congregated settings come to an end.

“I urge the Minister for State Finian McGrath to step up the campaign to bring the practice of outdated congregated settings to an end. We can’t wait until 2031 for this to happen.”