Mental Health Commission

Our Values: Dignity and Respect, Human Rights, Confidentiality, Quality, Accountable and Transparent, Person-Directed

Learn more about the Mental Health Commission

Covid-19

During this extraordinary crisis for our health services, the Mental Health Commission’s priorities are to work together with the approved mental health centres throughout Ireland to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of all service users, including those who are involuntarily detained.

The Commission is aware that the situation with COVID-19 is constantly evolving and that Ireland’s acute mental health services are facing unprecedented challenges. Many of our acute centres are located alongside and within Ireland’s acute general hospitals.

To assist and support all concerned, a number of changes have been introduced to help simplify our regulatory and tribunals processes. We have provided some detail on these changes below.

The Commission is continuing to communicate with the Department of Health, the HSE and the voluntary/private approved centres at the highest levels, and updates to approved centres and the public will be issued as required.

Mental Health Tribunals

For the past 14 years, all people who are involuntarily detained have had the right to have their detention reviewed by what is known as a ‘mental health tribunal’ within 21 days of the making of the admission or renewal order detaining the person. The tribunals are independent and the reviews exist to protect patients’ rights. Stringent requirements exist in the legislation and the Mental Health Commission carefully adheres to these statutory requirements.

The current COVID-19 pandemic had created the potential for the failure of the current mental health tribunal procedures due to pressures and necessary restrictions on our health services and/or the unavoidable absence of tribunal panel members.

With all this in mind, we have collaborated with the Department of Health and the HSE to draft emergency legislation to provide an alternate format for mental health tribunals which continues to ensure a person’s right to due process and freedom from arbitrary detention.

For more information, click here.

Regulatory Processes

The Mental Health Commission has written directly to all approved centres requesting that they notify us of any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

All centres have been put on notification of changes in the inspection process and that for now, all physical inspections of approved centres are suspended until further notice, while the publication of inspection reports will also cease temporarily.

The Commission will retain oversight of approved centres and monitoring will continue. However, while services must continue to comply with the rules and regulations of the 2001 Mental Health Act, the Commission acknowledges that they may need to apply a risk-based approach to the implementation of standards relating to quality, given the current situation.

Our latest notice to registered proprietors of mental health approved centres can be located here. Forms for approved centres related to the crisis can be found here

If you or a loved one has any queries or concerns in relation to COVID-19, or any of the changes listed above, you can find a list of contacts below:

· If you have a concern about the care required or provided please contact your treating team or hospital directly. See here for a list of approved centres.

· If you need urgent help and support click here

· If you have an issue of concern please email concerns@mhcirl.ie

· If you have a media query contact media@mhcirl.ie

 

Contact Details

Waterloo Exchange, Waterloo Road, Dublin 4

Ph: 353(1) 636 2400

Fax: 353(1) 636 2440

Eircode: D04 E5W7

GPS coordinates: 53°19'58.6"N 6°14'36.9"W