North East Services are part of Saint John of God Community Services clg, a group of HSE-funded health and social care services.

We provide residential and day services to some 400 adults with intellectual disabilities in the region.

Residential and day services are primarily based throughout County Louth, but we have some houses in Meath and Monaghan and are planning more in those counties as we progressively transition some 60 people from our campus based residential services (St Mary’s, Drumcar) into supported community housing over the next three to five years.

A 2011 HSE report entitled Time to Move on from Congregated Settings recommends that people who live in congregated settings should move to their own homes in the community with the support they need.

Congregated settings are where 10 or more people with a disability live together in a single living unit or are placed in accommodation that is campus based. In most cases, people are grouped together and often live isolated lives away from the community, family and friends. Many experience institutional living conditions where they lack basic privacy and dignity.

At the beginning of 2019 we have 40 Designated Centres, registered with the Health Information & Quality Authority, providing 235 residential places.

On completion of decongregation we will have closed the remaining 6 Designated Centres on campus (and the campus itself) having transitioning the remaining 60 residents into 15 new houses in our region, a net increase of 9 Designated Centres.

Over the same period, we are planning to open another 3 day service hubs, supporting up to 10 service users each, as we move to provide more flexible opportunities for existing and new day service users, in line with the Government’s New Directions policy.

St Mary’s Special School, collocated on the campus, caters for 70 students and is funded and managed by the Department of Education with the assistance of a local management committee, which includes parents and SJOG representatives.

They have been working hard to realise their ambitions for a new school in Drogheda to better meet the needs of their school community, we wish them all the very best, quietly confident that they will achieve their aim.