Mental Health Commission

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Press Releases and Media

For any media queries, please contact the following email address: media@mhcirl.ie

2019

Patients with severe mental illness denied access to essential healthcare services

Findings from a report published today by the Mental Health Commission has revealed that people with severe mental illness in Ireland are being denied access to essential physical healthcare services, which the Commission believes is both discriminatory and a breach of human rights.

Authored by the Inspector of Mental Health Services, Dr Susan Finnerty, the report – titled ‘Physical Health of People with Severe Mental Illness’ - focuses on the physical healthcare and access to essential healthcare for people in long-term care in mental health in-patient units.

Press Release Date: 16 May 2019

Mental Health Commission finds eight critical risk ratings in five approved mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published five inspection reports, on centres in Clare, Cork, Sligo, Tipperary and Dublin, which identified eight critical risk ratings and 27 areas of high risk non-compliance.

Commenting on the reports Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “There are  critical risks identified by the inspection reports in each of the five approved centres.  Safety is central to the provision of quality mental health services and finding eight critical risks and  twenty seven high risk ratings is a matter of serious concern to the Commission. There has been repeated failure by some facilities to meet their legislative and care requirements.”

Press Release Date: 09 May 2019

Mental Health Commission finds twenty six high risk ratings in four mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published four inspection reports, on centres in Westmeath, Louth, and Cork, which identified twenty six areas of high risk non-compliance.

Commenting on the reports Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “The approved centres must provide care that respects the human rights of service users and enables them to work towards a meaningful life with hope and optimism. This includes providing clean, well maintained premises that offer privacy and respect for the service user. Three out of four of the approved centres, whose reports are published today, did not meet those standards.”

Press Release Date: 02 May 2019

Mental Health Commission finds three critical risk and twenty four high risk ratings in six mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published six inspection reports, on centres in Dublin, Kilkenny, Galway and Westmeath, which identified three area of critical risk non-compliance, 24 areas of high risk non-compliance. One approved centre was found to be 100% compliant.

Press Release Date: 25 April 2019

Mental Health Commission finds 14 high risk ratings across three centres in Kildare, Limerick and Monaghan

The Mental Health Commission has today published three inspection reports, which identified 14 areas of high risk non-compliance. The three centres inspected also had 19 areas of excellent compliance.

Press Release Date: 12 April 2019

Mental Health Commission finds critical risk ratings at two mental health units in Galway

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published six inspection reports, which identified two areas of ‘critical’ risk non-compliance, 10 areas of ‘high risk’ non-compliance and 52 areas of ‘excellent’ compliance across six approved centres in Galway, Kerry, Cork and Dublin....

Press Release Date: 05 April 2019

Four ‘critical’ and four ‘high-risk’ non-compliance ratings found in three mental health approved centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports, which identified four areas of ‘critical’ risk non-compliance, 4 areas of ‘high risk’ non-compliance and 29 areas of ‘excellent’ compliance across approved centres in Mayo and Cork...

Press Release Date: 28 March 2019

Two ‘critical’ and 14 ‘high-risk’ non-compliance ratings found in mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published five inspection reports, which identified two areas of ‘critical’ risk non-compliance, 14 areas of ‘high risk’ non-compliance and 31 areas of ‘excellent’ compliance across approved centres in Cavan, Dublin, Waterford and Cork. 

The Department of Psychiatry at University Hospital Waterford had two areas of critical non-compliance in relation to the use of seclusion and maintenance of records, with five instances of ‘high’ risk rating in the areas of privacy, premises, staffing, registration, and admission of children.

The inspection of the same centre also found that residents could not access the new communal and dining areas in the acute unit. This meant that the centre was in breach of a condition that the centre would, by December 31, 2017, ‘undertake building works, essential maintenance and refurbishments’ of the unit ‘to ensure there are adequate and appropriate communal spaces for therapeutic services, recreational activities, dining, and to facilitate visitors’.

The inspection also found that the centre remained non-complaint in relation to another condition around mandatory training for staff. Both conditions were, and remain, attached to the registration of the centre.

Press Release Date: 05 March 2019

Mental Health Commission acts to protect rights of patients at psychiatric facility in Kilkenny

The Mental Health Commission has today welcomed a decision by Kilkenny District Court to convict the HSE of a number of charges relating to breaches of the 2001 Mental Health Act. The breaches occurred at the Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny. The Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny pleaded guilty to four charges:

1: They contravened a condition of the registration of the said premises whereby they failed to implement a programme of maintenance to ensure that the premises met the needs, privacy and dignity of the resident group and failed to ensure adherence to the regulations.

2: They failed to comply with the rules governing the use of seclusion and mechanical means of bodily restraint in that the seclusion facilities at the said premises were not furnished, maintained and cleaned in such a way that ensured that patients’ inherent rights to dignity and privacy were being respected.

3 &4: They failed to comply with the rules governing the use of seclusion and mechanical means of  bodily restraint in that the seclusion register for patients was not signed by a consultant psychiatrist responsible as required by the law.

Summing up the case and referring to a comment that the Assistant Inspector of Mental Health Services for the Mental Health Commission, Martin McMenamin, said when referring to the state of the facility at the time of the inspection, Mr Judge O’Shea said it ran “contrary to everything a hospital should stand for”.

Press Release Date: 25 February 2019

Mental Health Commission Strategy 2019-2022

The Mental Health Commission has issued a stark warning to providers of mental health services in Ireland that where standards are not acceptable and human rights are not being upheld, they will intervene ‘using all powers necessary’.

The warning came on Thursday (February 21st) at the launch of the Commission’s 2019-2022 Strategy, ‘Protecting People’s Rights’, which charts an ambitious course for the next four years to realise the regulator’s new vision of an Ireland with the highest quality mental health and decision support services underpinned by a person’s human rights.

Commission Chairman, John Saunders, said the body had been undertaking a process of transformation since early 2018, which has included the development of a new vision, a mission statement, and a comprehensive and wide-ranging consultation process that ultimately led to the new strategic plan.

“The strategy consultation clearly evidenced a desire for the commission to promote high standards and work with and support all stakeholders who wish to create improvement,” said Mr. Saunders. “However, where standards are not acceptable and human rights are not upheld, people are clear that the Commission should intervene, using all powers necessary.

“Individual’s human rights will be at the heart of our work and functions over the next four years. It will be the common thread through all our activities, policies, regulations, codes of practice and standards. We will work with Government to strengthen the regulatory infrastructure, which vindicates people’s rights, and we will ensure compliance with the law through proportionate risk-based regulation, monitoring and supports. The present Commission is adopting a low tolerance level of non-compliance.”

Press Release Date: 21 February 2019

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports, which identified a total of 18 areas of non-compliance. One approved centre had seven areas of high risk rated non-compliance. Grangemore Ward, located in Waterford, had the lowest compliance rate at 62%, while Lois Bridges had a compliance rating of 90% and Linn Dara, in Ballyfermot had a compliance rate of 94% compliance.

Commenting on the reports Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “On the one hand it is really heartening that approved centres are striving to continuously improve their compliance rate and yet it’s frustrating that others have such difficulty in improving their compliance rate. Adequate arrangements must be in place for residents to access general health services. There are standards, processes and procedures surrounding patient’s access to general health ensuring the healthy wellbeing of patients. Non-adherence is unacceptable. It is not appropriate that residents getting grade two pressure ulcers in St Aidans Ward had inadequate access to the tissue viability nurse. While nursing advice in relation to pressure ulcers was provided by phone, the tissue viability nurse did not come into the approved centre to assess the residents.”

John Farrelly, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission said, “The Commission has used its enforcement powers and acted promptly on the findings of the inspection reports attaching conditions that will ensure that the approved centres will immediately implement preventative actions. Today’s reports show a continuous improvement in compliance is some centres, which is reflective of all the work the Commission has undertaken to improve standards and quality of mental health care for patients. However, there is still a level of consistent non-compliance with the law, which the Commission monitors closely. If necessary we will take immediate action in line with our responsibility to the human rights of the people who use our mental health services”...

Press Release Date: 14 February 2019

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published five inspection reports which identified a total of 41 areas of non-compliance.  Two approved centres had critical non-compliance risk ratings.  All five centres had high risk non-compliance ratings.

Elm Mount Unit, St. Vincent’s University Hospital had two areas of non-compliance rated as critical risk and they referred to Individual Care Plans (ICPs) and the Code of Practice on Physical Restraint.  The Department of Psychiatry, Connolly Hospital had two areas of non-compliance rated as critical risk and they referred to rules governing the use of seclusion and the Code of Practice on the use of Physical Restraint. Commenting on the reports Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “It is really disappointing that we have identified such a high level of non-compliance, and worrying that four areas of non-compliance were rated as critical risk.  The use of seclusion and physical restraint should only occur in exceptional circumstances and the processes and procedures surrounding their use are of the utmost importance to ensure the safeguarding and wellbeing of patients.  Non-adherence to the rules and codes set out is totally unacceptable...

Press Release Date: 07 February 2019

Tomás Murphy appointed to Mental Health Commission

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today welcomed Minister of State Jim Daly’s announcement that he has appointed Mr Tomás Murphy to the Mental Health Commission.  Mr Murphy takes up the role this month, until April 2022.

Commenting on the appointment John Farrelly, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission said, “Tomás has considerable experience in the area of mental health services and has dedicated much of his focus to the ongoing development of those services.  I am delighted that he is on board and look forward to working closely with him and the existing Commission members to continue to bring about high standards and good practices in mental health service provision.” Chairman of the Commission,

John Saunders added: “Throughout his career Tomás has been a key player in enacting positive, constructive change in Ireland’s mental health services. His determination to see an improvement in the services reflects the remit of the Mental Health Commission and so I am very pleased to see him appointed today.”...

Press Release Date: 24 January 2019

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published inspection reports for four mental health facilities in Dublin, Donegal and Roscommon.  

Commenting on the reports Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “In three out of four of the reports published today we have seen some improvements in compliance with regulations, rules and codes of practice. In particular, the Department of Psychiatry in Roscommon has shown significant improvement and this reflects the amount of work done by the service to improve quality. However, the case remains that there is a lot of work to do to bring services up to full compliance. There were a number of non-compliances rated as high risk in all approved centres, particularly in the Department of Psychiatry in Letterkenny, that require urgent attention by the services. We will be focusing on these areas in the 2019 inspections.”

John Farrelly, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission said, “I welcome the publication of the Inspectors reports on these centres. This approach creates an openness and transparency around both the strengths and weaknesses of the services.  The Commission will monitor each centre’s implementation and action plans to ensure compliance with the law.”

Press Release Date: 17 January 2019


Full list of Press Releases 2003 - 2018

 

 

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