Mental Health Commission

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Press Releases and Media

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


2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission today published inspection reports for five inpatient mental health facilities, showing some improvements in compliance with regulations, rules and codes of practice.

Commenting on the reports, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “It is good to see the level of overall compliance improving across the five reports published today. The two independent hospitals, St. Patrick’s University Hospital and Highfield Hospital both performed well and secured a number of excellent compliance ratings for some regulations. The remaining three inpatient facilities also secured a number of excellent ratings.”

Press Release Date: 15 November 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission today published reports of inspections of three inpatient mental health facilities, showing continued instances of non-compliance with important standards, despite some welcome improvements.

Commenting on the reports, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “These reports demonstrate that progress is being made in certain areas, however there are common themes emerging, similar to reports published earlier this year, such as non-compliance with Individual Care Plans, Staffing and Therapeutic Services and Programmes.."

Press Release Date: 25 October 2018

Mental Health Commission supports Joint Committee’s call for substantial increase in mental health funding

The Mental Health Commission has said it fully supports the call by the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care for increased, ring fenced and prioritised funding. Policy objectives set over ten years ago for development of community services and services for children have still not been met, the Commission says....

Press Release Date: 19 October 2018

Restrictive practices such as seclusion and restraint are undesirable and should only be used as a last resort, according to the Mental Health Commission

The Commission calls for a reduction in the use of restrictive practices.  Such practices were used in 79% of in-patient mental health services and there were 5,000 episodes reported in 2016...

Press Release Date: 19 October 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

Concerns in relation to risk surrounding: ordering, prescribing and administration of medicines; premises; and staffing were raised by the Inspector of Mental Health Services today following the publication of three inspection reports and one focused inspection report.  The reports were published by the Mental Health Commission (MHC)...

Press Release Date: 11 October 2018

Mental Health Commission welcomes budget measures on Mental Health

The Mental Health Commission has welcomed the allocation of an additional €84m to mental health for 2019, saying there are severe deficits in services that require urgent attention...

Press Release Date: 09 October 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Inspector of Mental Health Services has today issued five inspection reports which raise concerns in relation to risk management, consent to treatment, individual care plans, premises and staffing. The reports were published by the Mental Health Commission (MHC)...

Press Release Date: 06 September 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

Concerns about inadequate staffing and staff training, issues with food and nutrition, premises and seclusion have been raised in five inspection reports published today by the Mental Health Commission (MHC)...

Press Release Date: 23 August 2018

New standards to address abuse, exploitation and neglect of adults in health and social care services

New national standards to ensure a consistent approach to reducing and responding to the abuse, exploitation and neglect of adults in health and social care services have been launched today for public consultation by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC)....

Press Release Date: 01 August 2018

Mental Health Commission publishes annual report for 2017

Mental Health Commission calls on Government and HSE to initiate major transformation programme to deal with service issues.

Major transformational change needs to happen in the provision of mental health care services or Ireland will continue to provide a level of unsafe and substandard services, which are not aligned to best practice and breach the fundamental rights of a vulnerable group of people who require such services, according to the Mental Health Commission (MHC), which published its 2017 annual report today...

Press Release Date: 25 July 2018

Mental Health Commission publishes its activity report on the use of ECT during 2016

The use of Electro-convulsive Therapy (ECT) in inpatient mental health services remained relatively stable in 2016 with 263 individuals being administered one or more programmes of ECT during the year.

The Mental Health Commission today published a report showing the level of use of ECT in Ireland’s inpatient units. The 263 residents who received the treatment compares to 243 in 2015 but a higher number received it, 278, in 2014...

Press Release Date: 12 July 2018

Mental Health Commission publishes focused Inspection Report

The Mental Health Commission has today published a focused inspection report into Lois Bridges in Sutton, Dublin. Lois Bridges is an approved centre providing care and treatment for adults with an eating disorder.

Commenting on the publication Dr Enda Dooley, Assistant Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “The Inspector found that elements of the care and treatment of seriously physically ill residents with anorexia nervosa admitted to Lois Bridges were inadequate and unsafe and that there had been little improvement in the provision of safe care since the annual inspection in March 2017”...

Press Release Date: 07 June 2018

Safeguarding of adults in health and social care services

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) are today hosting a seminar in the Law Society of Ireland on the safeguarding of adults in health and social care services.

The seminar, ‘Adult Safeguarding: Promoting Rights, Health and Wellbeing’, aims to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable, and provides attendees with the opportunity to discuss how Ireland can better promote the rights, health and wellbeing of people at risk of abuse or harm...

Press Release Date: 09 May 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

A number of critical and high risk ratings of non-compliance were identified in the Mental Health Commission’s latest batch of Inspection Reports into seven approved centres from across the country.

Commenting on the publication Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “There are a number of serious issues and concerns raised in some of these inspection reports.  Of particular concern was the issue with pressure sores in Grangemore Ward & St. Aidan’s Ward, St Otteran’s Hospital in Waterford.  There were two serious reportable events in relation to Grade 4 pressure sores reported to the Commission since the 2016 inspection and the Inspector found a further 14 pressure sores, of lesser grades, during this inspection... 

Press Release Date: 03 May 2018

Mental Health Commission Other Mental Health Services's Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission has found serious deficiencies in many 24-hour nurse supervised residences after inspecting 43 of these units, the largest number to date. In 14% of those inspected doors were locked and residents were not free to leave. In 77% of them residents were unable to lock their bedroom doors...

Press Release Date: 20 April 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission has today published four Inspection Reports from Cork, Galway, Sligo and Westmeath. Commenting on the publication Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said, “Common themes emerge yet again in these inspection reports including non-compliance with individual care plans, issues with premises, ligature points and staffing. These centres need to work hard to address these issues and to ensure compliance in 2018.”

Press Release Date: 05 April 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

The Mental Health Commission is today publishing inspection reports on five facilities none of which is fully compliant with regulations, rules and codes of conduct. Two of the five have had conditions attached to their future operation as a result of these inspections.

Press Release Date: 22 March 2018

Mental Health Commission Approved Centre Inspection Reports

Today the Mental Health Commission published nine inspection reports on approved centres from across the country. None of the nine centres was found to be fully compliant with regulations, rules and codes of conduct...

Press Release Date: 08 March 2018


2017

National Standards for the Conduct of Reviews of Patient Safety Incidents

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) have today published new National Standards for the Conduct of Reviews of Patient Safety Incidents....

Press Release Date: 25 October 2017

Mental Health Commission publishes 2016 Annual Report

The continued admission of children and adolescents to adult mental health units remains a totally unacceptable but common feature of mental health care practice in Ireland, according to the Mental Health Commission....

Press Release Date: 07 July 2017

National Safeguarding Committee: Irish public believes abuse of vulnerable adults is widespread

The research, commissioned from Red C by the National Safeguarding Committee, shows widespread public concern that many vulnerable adults are open to and are experiencing physical, emotional, psychological and financial abuse...

Press Release Date: 11 April 2017


2016

Mental Health Commission welcomes the publication of the National Safeguarding Committee’s Strategic Plan

The Mental Health Commission has welcomed the National Safeguarding Committee Strategic Plan which was launched today by Ms Justice Mary Laffoy. The Mental Health Commission forms part of the National Safeguarding Committee which aims to promote the rights of adults who may be vulnerable...

Press Release Date: 20 December 2016

Consultation on Draft National Standards for the Conduct of Reviews of Patient Safety Incidents

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission have today launched a six-week public consultation on new Draft National Standards for Conduct of Reviews of Patient Safety Incidents...

Press Release Date: 26 September 2016

The Administration of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Approved Centres: Activity Report 2014/2015

The use of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in inpatient mental health services remained reasonably stable from 2013 to 2015 with Irish statistics being broadly in line with those from the UK...

Press Release Date: 09 September 2016

 

Mental Health Commission publishes 2015 Annual Report

Progress made on mental health service provision, but it’s time for a formal review of A Vision for Change, according to the Mental Health Commission which published its 2015 Annual Report and Report of the Inspector of Mental Health Services today...

Press Release Date: 20 June 2016

 

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