Published on 

Minister for Health, Minister for Disability and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth publish ‘Disability Capacity Review’ roadmap detailing capacity demands to 2032

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, along with colleagues, Minister for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, have today launched the ‘Disability Capacity Review to 2032 – A Review of Disability Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements to 2032’.

The Disability Capacity Review quantifies and costs future need for disability support services across areas such as residential care, respite, day services, personal assistance and home help, and specialist disability therapy supports including early intervention.

The report sets out the scale of what would be required over the next decade, in getting from where we are now in terms of provision of disability services and to where we want to be by 2032. It quantifies the implications of a growing and ageing population for future need for services like residential and respite care. It looks at how the number of children now in second-level schools will impact on the need for services for young adults in the years ahead. It also documents the gaps in services relative to need and suggests some alternative pathways for tackling these backlogs.

To drive the process forward, the Ministers also published a Framework Action Plan setting out key priorities over the period to 2025. The next step, with the aid of officials in an expert Working Group, will be to set out the detailed implementation measures to be undertaken over that period, which is expected to be published by the end of the year.

Minister Stephen Donnelly said: “This Disability Capacity Review complements the Health Services Capacity Review (2018) and is a very thorough and evidence-based exercise setting out requirements over the next decade. While responsibility for specialist disability social care will move from my Department to Minister O’Gorman’s in the near future, over 90% of people with disabilities rely primarily on mainstream health and social care services, and that will continue to be my responsibility. I am committed to ensuring that the transfer of functions to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is as seamless as possible, so that people with disabilities can benefit from the right service in the right place at the right time”.

Minister Anne Rabbitte TD, said: “The scale of what’s needed is significant and there will undoubtedly be challenges but I am pleased to take it on, and this government will work to overcome them. Indeed, that work has already begun. This Government’s commitments to people with disabilities can be seen in the record overall funding of €2.2bn in 2021 for HSE-funded disability support services. This is an increase of €179m on disability spending in 2020.

“The framework published today shapes what will be a detailed government Action Plan 2022-25, which will set out the year-by-year targets and geographical spread of new services to make further inroads on what needs to be done. I also want to ensure the voice of as many people with disabilities as possible will be heard in informing our detailed Action Plan, and I will be organising a consultation event in early September to ensure those voices guide that work.”

Minister Roderic O’Gorman noted he is privileged to lead the first Government Department with ‘Disability’ in its title. He said:

“Along with my Department, I am strongly committed to taking progressive steps to turn the rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into a reality on the ground.

“I welcome especially the emphasis placed in the Disability Capacity Review on the importance of early intervention. Not only does that give children with disabilities the best possible start in life, it also can ameliorate the need for more expensive interventions later on. So early intervention can be very cost-effective, as well as the right thing to do for children and their families.”



The Disability Capacity Review 2032 report is available online at:

The Framework Action Plan 2022-25 and Terms of Reference for the Working Group are available online at: