Physical disabilities

The information on this page is taken from the report Needs Analysis: adults with physical disabilities produced by Herefordshire Council and the Primary Care Trust in 2007. The assessment looks at the principal factors affecting the needs for social and health care for adults aged 18 to 64 years with physical disabilities looking forward to 2012 and 2021.  A physical disability was defined, using the medical model, as a disability which reduces the individual’s locomotion, seeing, hearing, communication and/or ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADLs)1.  Different levels of severity present different issues to public authorities in terms of what, if any, services people with physical disabilities require.

The social model of disability is an alternative view, defining people as being disabled not by their impairment but by the barriers that society creates for them.  However, prevalence data was only available for the medical model.  Numbers of people with a disability were estimated by applying national prevalence rates from the ‘Health Survey for England 2001’ to the ONS’ 2005 mid-year estimate of Herefordshire’s population.

The number of people aged 18-64 with a serious physical disability is not expected to change notably for the foreseeable future but the number with moderate disabilities who may need personal care is expected to increase gradually (see figure 1).

Figure 1: Estimated and projected numbers of household residents aged 18-64 with a physical disability, Herefordshire
Estimated and projected numbers of household residents aged 64 with a physical disability, Herefordshire
Note: ‘Serious’ is a sub-set of ‘Total’; Numbers were estimated and projected by applying national age-sex prevalence rates from the Health Survey for England 2001 to the revised 2005 mid-year population estimate (ONS) and 2006-based population forecasts (Herefordshire Council’s Research Team) (both modelled to provide an estimate of the population living in private households).

The prevalence of physical disability is much higher than the number of people who need services. In March 2009 just over 400 people aged 18-64 were receiving core social care services, 30 of whom were in residential care. During 2008-09 as whole, there were 918 users of core social care services.

People with physical disabilities are more likely than others to be living in socially rented accommodation.

Between five and seven young people with physical disabilities in a year are likely to be in transition from children’s to adults’ services.

Source of the above: Needs Analysis: Adults with physical disabilities, 2007, Herefordshire Council and the Primary Care Trust

If you would like to know more about current preformance and trends for adult social care see the Vulnerable adults (Social care) page


1 Being able to wash, dress, feed, toilet, get in/out of bed or a chair; Health Survey for England, 2001

Last updated: 03 September 2012