Mental Health Commission

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

Learn more about the Mental Health Commission

Press Releases and Media

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

2020

State must strengthen ‘fragile’ health service ahead of further surges of Covid-19, urges Mental Health Commission

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission is urging all bodies responsible for protecting the most vulnerable members of society from Covid-19 to work together to strengthen a ‘fragile’ health service and help shield residents of mental health facilities against a second wave of the virus.

 A new Covid-19 review paper from the Commission that focuses on the critical period from March to July this year has provided preliminary observations that were gathered as part of its role in supervising and supporting 181 mental health services to manage and mitigate the virus.

Press Release Date: 24 September 2020

Critical that mental health service providers show they can identify and manage risk, says Mental Health Commission

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission says that it is critical that providers of mental health services across the country demonstrate that they are capable of quickly identifying and managing risks to protect residents against future progression of Covid-19.

 While the entire population is vulnerable to the virus, it is accepted globally that mental health service users resident in acute settings and long-term residential care units may be particularly susceptible to developing Covid-19 because of pre-existing medical conditions and other factors.

Press Release Date: 10 September 2020

DSS takes important step forward for people with capacity issues

An important step towards establishing a new human-rights based framework for people with capacity issues has taken place with the launch this morning of a website for the Decision Support Service (DSS) at www.decisionsupportservice.ie.

The DSS was established by the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. Although fully enacted, this Act is not yet commenced and cross-sectoral preparatory work is ongoing. The 2015 Act abolishes the current wards of court system and replaces it with a modern, person-centred framework to maximise autonomy for people who require support to make decisions about their personal welfare, property and financial affairs. The Act reflects the principles and values of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is estimated that 220,000 adults in Ireland could benefit from these reforms.

Press Release Date: 10 August 2020

Opening statement from Mr John Farrelly, Chief Executive, Mental Health Commission to the Special Committee on COVID-19 Response

I welcome the opportunity to appear before the committee today, with my colleagues Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services and Ms Rosemary Smyth, Director of Standards and Quality Assurance, to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health services in the State.

Press Release Date: 14 July 2020

Mental health service concerns must be addressed to protect patients from Covid-19

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission has said that there are actions that need to be taken now to ensure mental health services are better equipped to deal with Covid-19 and the potential of a possible second wave of infection.

John Farrelly, who is speaking before the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response from 11am this morning - along with colleagues, Dr Susan Finnerty, the Inspector of Mental Health Services, and Ms. Rosemary Smyth, Director of Standards and Quality Assurance – said that the Commission identified a number of concerns as part of their risk-rating of mental health facilities over the past three months, and that urgent steps must now be taken

Press Release Date: 14 July 2020

Health officials must rally to meet challenges of 2015 Capacity Act

The director of a new support service for people with decision-making capacity difficulties says that it is critically important that the Department of Health mobilises in a coordinated way to meet the challenges presented by new legislation.

Áine Flynn, who is the Director of the Decision Support Service (DSS), is urging the Department to appoint a single point of contact with a mandate to ensure effective preparations are in place for commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) 2015.

Press Release Date: 08 July 2020

Mental Health Commission: too many residents still being treated like ‘second-class citizens’

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission has said that too many mental health residents in Ireland are still being treated like second-class citizens whose fundamental human rights continue to be overlooked.

The Commission’s 2019 Annual Report - which has been published today – shows that while overall average national compliance with regulations was recorded at 78%, many mental health residents are still being admitted to outdated and unclean premises without a meaningful care plan essential to their recovery. The report also found an increase in the number of approved centres that used physical restraint, while there was just 21% compliance with rules around seclusion.

Press Release Date: 02 July 2020

New government must drive through mental health policy

The Chairman of the Mental Health Commission has issued a stark warning to the incoming government that they must commit to ensuring the full implementation of the refreshed mental health policy if Ireland finally want to move mental health care out of the shadows of the past.

Acknowledging the publication of ‘Sharing the Vision – a Mental Health Policy for Everyone’, John Saunders said that it is essential that the policy secures and retains appropriate levels of political and administrative support if it is to succeed.

Press Release Date: 17 June 2020

Notable decrease in Covid-19 cases across mental health facilities

Data gathered by the Mental Health Commission has shown a notable decrease in the total number of suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the 181 mental health services it has been monitoring across the country.

 However, they have expressed concern that some mental health staff were still waiting test results for Covid-19 last week despite the introduction of guidance over a month ago that required all staff to be tested.

Press Release Date: 26 May 2020

Decision Support Service must be prioritised by next government

The director of a new service for people with capacity issues has said that unless they are allocated adequate funding in the next budget, they will not be in a position to commence operations until at least 2023, more than seven years after the introduction of legislation that provided for it.

Áine Flynn, the Director of the Decision Support Service (DSS), has written this morning to each political party to ensure that the commencement of the DSS is prioritised within any programme for government. The letter has been co-signed by the Chairman of the Mental Health Commission, under whose remit the DSS is being established.

Press Release Date: 22 May 2020

Letter to Political Parties - Decision Support Service

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act is long awaited, reforming, human rights-based legislation. It was signed into law at the end of 2015 and has largely not been commenced. It is critically important that its full commencement is prioritised in the new programme for government.

Press Release Date: 22 May 2020

Clarity required on Covid-19 guidance for mental health services

The Mental Health Commission says that clarity must immediately be provided to mental health services that remain confused as to which public health guidance document they should be following for the prevention and management of Covid-19.

The Commission is continuing to provide the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), the Department of Health and the HSE with a weekly report that includes a summary of their ongoing risk-rating of in-patient mental health centres and 24-hour community residences. Combined, these 181 facilities care for more than 3,900 mental health patients and residents across the country.

Press Release Date: 19 May 2020

Assurance required on Covid-19 test results for mental health staff

The Mental Health Commission is urgently seeking assurance around the delivery of results to staff of the country’s mental health facilities who have undergone testing for Covid-19.

The Commission has welcomed the fact that HSE has agreed that approved acute admission units will now follow acute hospital guidance from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in relation to testing on admission. However, it expressed its discomfort that this still includes testing on the basis of symptoms, despite the fact that many of the residents of these units are either elderly or have underlying medical conditions.

Press Release Date: 11 May 2020

Letter to party leaders from Mental Health Commission

The Commission believes that Ireland, at this critical juncture, has the opportunity to address the issues that continue to afflict our mental health service. Among many things, the current Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted in stark terms the need to have a modern, community-based mental health service.

The Commission holds the view that the provision of a modern, person-centred mental health service in Ireland will only occur when mental health is appropriately prioritised within any programme for government.

Press Release Date: 08 May 2020

Inconsistencies remain in staff testing across mental health services

The Mental Health Commission has today said that it is concerned that significant inconsistencies still remain in the application of new guidance in relation to testing of mental health staff for Covid-19.

As part of the Commission’s risk-rating of in-patient mental health centres, along with 24-hour community residences - which combined care for more than 3,800 mental health patients and residents across the country - the Commission sought specific information from all services on the roll out of staff testing.

Press Release Date: 04 May 2020

Covid-19: public urged to consider advance healthcare planning

In the context of Covid-19, the director of a new support service is urging the public to consider advance healthcare planning that will enable everyone to articulate their wishes with regard to future medical treatment.

Áine Flynn, who is the Director of the Decision Support Service (DSS) -an essential new service currently being implemented for all adults who have difficulties with decision-making capacity – says the pandemic has focused people’s minds as they contemplate their own health and watch many in their community becoming ill or dying.

Press Release Date: 30 April 2020

Covid-19 testing must be ramped up across mental health facilities

The Mental Health Commission has today said that it intends to closely monitor testing of mental health staff by service providers, having noted significant inconsistencies in the application of new guidance in relation to testing in some long-term residential facilities.

As part of its risk-rating of in-patient mental health services, along with 24-hour community residences, the Commission noted that just two out of the nine Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) have completed, or mostly completed, testing on mental health staff.

Press Release Date: 27 April 2020

Work ongoing to protect 3,800 residents of mental health facilities

The Mental Health Commission’s ongoing work to protect more than 3,800 residents and patients of 176 mental health facilities across the country is continuing since the development of a standardised and evidence-based regulatory support framework almost three weeks ago.

The Commission had been in regular contact with the 65 approved in-patient mental health units since the beginning of March in relation to plans to deal with the virus. It was given additional powers at the end of last month to risk-rate these units, along with 111 24-hour community residences. Combined, these facilities care for more than 3,800 service users across the country.

Press Release Date: 20 April 2020

Mental Health Commission Statement on Maryborough Centre

The Mental Health Commission would like to express its sincere sympathies to the family and friends of the nine residents of the Maryborough Centre at St Fintan’s Hospital in Portlaoise, who passed away over the Easter weekend. We would also like to sympathise with staff, many who have been looking after these patients for many years, as well as the remaining residents.

Where Covid-19 has struck, we have witnessed a deep conviction by healthcare workers to care and protect. Older people, people with a disability or mental health illness deserve a higher and more intensive degree of protection. Together with health staff, we are doing all we can to provide that.

Press Release Date: 16 April 2020

Mental Health Commission to risk assess and support long term residential mental health centres

On 1 April the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) tasked the Mental Health Commission with monitoring and risk-rating approved mental health centres and long term community settings.

These are particular vulnerable people to Covid-19, as recognised by the WHO due to their age, the high prevalence of underlying medical conditions and circumstances where high-care support with the activities of physical living is required in collective high physical contact environments.

Press Release Date: 03 April 2020

Mental Health Commission welcomes safeguards for involuntary patients during Covid-19 crisis

The Mental Health Commission has strongly welcomed the introduction of new emergency legislation that will help to ensure the continuation of the independent process to review all people who have been involuntarily admitted to an approved mental health centre.

Press Release Date: 28 March 2020

Covid-19 – Approved Centres Regulatory Notice

The Commission appreciates that service providers and staff are facing unprecedented challenges. To that end we have endeavoured to simplify the process for monitoring compliance with the Mental Health Act. This notice updates information on the Mental Health Commission’s regulatory response to COVID-19, including changes to procedures.

Press Release Date: 26 March 2020

Three critical and six high-risk ratings identified in two mental health centres

There have been three critical risk ratings and six high risk ratings identified by Inspectors from the Mental Health Commission at two of the country’s in-patient mental health units.

 Inspectors found that the Department of Psychiatry, St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny saw a significant improvement in compliance, up 22% when compared to the previous year, however it still had 10 non-compliances in 2019.  Inspectors found the Carraig Mór Centre in Cork had no improvement in compliance in 2019 and they identified three critical risk ratings at the centre.

Press Release Date: 16 March 2020

Close to full compliance at three Dublin mental health units

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) today published an inspection report for St Patrick’s Mental Health Services which showed nearly full compliance across its three approved centres in Dublin.

Due to continued high compliance over a number of years, the service, which comprises St Patrick’s University Hospital, St Edmundsbury Hospital and Willow Grove Adolescent Unit, the MHC decided to perform an announced inspection rather than unannounced of the approved centres.

Press Release Date: 12 March 2020

Two critical and two high-risk ratings in two mental health centres, while one centre achieves 97% compliance

The Mental Health Commission has today published three inspection reports which identify two critical and two high-risk non-compliance ratings at two of the country’s in-patient mental health units, while a third unit achieves 97% compliance.

An Coillín (Mayo) and Highfield Hospital (Dublin) improved their overall compliance by 10% and 9% respectively, while the third unit, St Michael’s Unit, Mercy University Hospital (Cork) saw its compliance level drop by 8%.

Press Release Date: 09 March 2020

Number of patients receiving ECT treatment drops over 10-year period

A new report by the Mental Health Commission has revealed that the number of patients in Irish in-patient mental health units who received electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) in 2018 has decreased compared to 10 years previously.

The comparative data is included in an ECT activity report for the years 2017 and 2018 that provides information on the administration of the treatment in national in-patient mental health services.

Press Release Date: 06 March 2020

Mental Health Commission finds three children admitted to adult mental health service

An inspection report on an in-patient mental health centre published today by the Mental Health Commission found that three children had been admitted to the unit since the previous inspection.

The Commission released a total of three reports which identified 12 high-risk non-compliance ratings across three units in Limerick, Mullingar and Portlaoise.

In the time between the November 2018 inspection of the acute psychiatric unit at University Hospital Limerick and the June 2019 inspection, three children had been admitted there, despite it being an adult approved centre.

Press Release Date: 28 February 2020

New review reveals an almost ‘total absence’ of community mental health services

A new discussion paper published today by the Mental Health Commission has revealed an almost ‘total absence’ of community mental health supports across the State, as well as suggesting a major deficiency in the number of acute beds for older-age patients.

 Although the paper acknowledges that the current provision of public acute adult mental health beds in Ireland is broadly in line with recommendations in ‘A Vision for Change’ - the strategic policy document for Irish mental health services published in 2006 - it also suggests that access to these beds, impeded by a lack of specialist resources, is both ‘insufficient’ and ‘inadequate’.

Press Release Date: 19 February 2020

Mental Health Commission finds one critical and five high-risk ratings in two mental health centres

Two inspection reports published today by the Mental Health Commission have identified one critical and five high-risk non-compliance ratings at two of the country’s in-patient mental health units.

While the centres improved their overall compliance by 11% and 9% from the previous year, both reports identified risks in the areas of premises and privacy, with general disrepair and an inadequate maintenance system of particular concern. Many of the reported maintenance faults in one centre were awaiting repair for over three months at the time of the inspection.

Press Release Date: 13 February 2020

Mental Health Commission finds two critical and nine high risk ratings in two mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published two inspection reports from approved centres in Dublin and Laois which identified two critical and nine areas of high risk non-compliance.   

Commenting on the reports, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said:  “Having a critical risk rating is a very serious finding by the Inspectors. Both approved centres received critical risk ratings; one for use of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and the other for individual care planning. There are very strict rules governing the use of ECT.  While ECT can be effective evidence based treatment for some severe and persistent mental illnesses, a programme of ECT shall not be administered to a patient unless the patient gives his or her consent in writing if deemed to be capable of consenting.

Press Release Date: 22 January 2020

Individual care plans seen as a ‘tick-box exercise’ by some approved centres, say Mental Health Commission

A new report published today by the Mental Health Commission has shown that 14 of Ireland’s in-patient mental health units have been consistently non-compliant with individual care planning practices over the past three years.

 The ‘Individual Care Planning 2016-2018 in Review’ report gives an overview of compliance with the regulatory requirements relating to individual care planning, and identifies trends in high performance and persistent non-compliance. The report is based on a review of analysed evidence from inspection findings, and a literature review.

Press Release Date: 17 January 2020

Mental Health Commission finds one critical and twelve high risk ratings in three out of four mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published four inspection reports from approved centres in Cork, Dublin, and Clare which identified one critical and twelve areas of high risk non-compliance in three of the four centres.  

Commenting on the reports, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said:  “Three of the inspection reports released today had high risk ratings for lack of individual care planning. The individual care plan is central to recovery for service users. An individual care plan allows service users to have an active role in decisions about their care, in conjunction with their multidisciplinary team. Under regulation, service users have a right to be involved in their own individual care plan. This is one of the fundamental standards of mental health care and leads to better outcomes.” It is encouraging, however, to see that three approved centres have significantly increased the number of compliances over a three year period.

Press Release Date: 06 January 2020

Mental Health Commission report reveals worrying trends in seclusion and restraint

A new report by the Mental Health Commission has revealed a 57% increase in episodes of restrictive practices on patients in Ireland’s in-patient mental health facilities over the past 10 years.

The report documents the use of seclusion, mechanical restraint and physical restraint in all approved centres for the care and treatment of those suffering from mental illness during the years 2017 and 2018. However, it also draws comparisons with figures reported by the Commission in 2008 - the year the mental health regulator first commenced reporting on restrictive practices across approved units.

The Commission reported 4,765 combined episodes of physical restraint and seclusion in 2008. In contrast, it has reported that there were 7,420 episodes of restrictive practices reported to the Commission in 2017, and 7,464 in 2018. The 2018 figure equates to a 57% increase in the total reported for 2008.

Press Release Date: 23 December 2019

Mental Health Commission finds fourteen high risk ratings in two out of three mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports from approved centres in Sligo/Leitrim, Dublin and Kilkenny which identified fourteen areas of high risk non-compliance in two of the three centres.  

Commenting on the reports, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said:  “It is disappointing to see compliance in an approved centre dis-improve year on year and areas remaining consistently non-compliant over three years, despite the Commissions guidance documents and judgement framework. This is in direct contrast to the very significant improvement in the compliance with regulations in St Gabriel's Ward in Kilkenny with a thirty percent increase since last year.”

Press Release Date: 17 December 2019

Minister for Health launches new standards to protect adults from harm

The Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has this morning launched new to improve safeguards for adults using health and social care services.

The standards were jointly developed by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC), and approved by the Minister for Health. The standards aim to help health and social care services reduce the risk of harm; promote people's rights, health and wellbeing; and empower people to protect themselves.

Press Release Date: 04 December 2019

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

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports from approved centres in Galway, Mayo and Limerick which identified six areas of high risk non-compliance in three centres.  

Commenting on the report, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said:  “This year because of high compliance rates in three approved centres, the Commission introduced self-assessment with regulations and an announced visit for inspectors. This is part of an ongoing evidence based quality improvement approach which aims to drive improvements in practice in mental health facilities.”

Press Release Date: 28 November 2019

Mental Health Commission opening statement to the Joint Committee on Health

Workplace Planning in the Irish Mental Health Sector.

Press Release Date: 20 November 2019

 Mental Health Commission heavily criticises overcapacity at Waterford mental health unit

The Mental Health Commission has been made aware of the present situation of overcapacity in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Waterford, whereby 54 residents being treated in a service that is registered as being able to care for 44 residents, and where five of those residents, due to lack of space, were being forced to sleep in chairs.

Press Release Date: 1 November 2019

Mental Health Commission finds eight children admitted to one adult mental health service

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports from approved centres in Waterford, Clare and Cork which identified twelve areas of high risk non-compliance in three centres.

Commenting on the report, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said: admitting any child to an adult service should only occur in exceptional circumstances. Children, continue to be admitted to adult mental health centres despite the absence of age-appropriate facilities and a programme of activities.”

Press Release Date: 14 October 2019

Mental Health Commission identifies long-term neglect of people with serious and enduring mental illness 

The short-sightedness of not providing adequate mental health rehabilitation services has led to long-term neglect of people with serious and enduring mental illnesses, according to a report by the Mental Health Commission.

Authored by the Inspector of Mental Health Services, Dr Susan Finnerty, the report – entitled ‘Rehabilitation and Recovery in Irish Mental Health Services’ - demonstrated a continued lack of development in mental health rehabilitation services in Ireland, which she said was disappointing, and which has led the HSE to provide an ‘out-of-area’ service, a practice that has been strongly criticised internationally.

As part of her report, Dr Finnerty spoke with people who had enduring mental illness and who were frustrated and angry with their lack of progression to more independent living and who were stuck in a system that was not meeting their needs.

Press Release Date: 10 October 2019

 Mental Health Commission finds eight high risk ratings in two mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published two inspection reports from approved centres in Galway and Dublin which identified eight areas of high risk non-compliance in two centres.  

Mr. John Farrelly, Chief Executive Mental Health Commission, “Secluding children, at any stage is an extremely serious issue. If this occurs, rooms must be safe, clean and well ventilated to ensure the dignity and safety of the child”

Press Release Date: 26 September 2019

 Mental Health Commission finds two critical risks and nine high risk ratings in three mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports from approved centres in Waterford, Dublin and Galway which identified two areas of critical risk non-compliance and nine areas of high risk non-compliance in three centres.  

 Two of the approved centres had a number of best practice initiatives highlighted in the inspection reports. Grangemore and St Aidans Wards, St Otteran’s Hospital in Waterford had developed a new multi-purpose room in the Grangemore Ward, which was used as a relaxation or visitors’ room. Le Brun in Vergemount Mental Health Facility Clonskeagh Hospital had added individual lockers to each resident’s room providing extra space to safely store their belongings in their bedrooms.

Press Release Date: 17 September 2019

Mental Health Commission finds 10 high risk ratings in two out of three mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports from approved centres in Kildare, Louth and Galway which identified 10 areas of high risk non-compliance in two out of the three centres.   

 All three approved centres had a number of best practice initiatives highlighted in the inspection reports. Creagh Suite had developed residents’ life storybooks as part of their person-centred approach to care and had recently won a HSE staff recognition award for this project. Lakeview Unit in Naas had introduced a de-escalation area, created to minimise episodes of aggression and the need for seclusion. St Ita’s in St Brigid’s Hospital had introduced a social farming and horticultural initiative and operated the ‘Music in Mind’ initiative, an eight-week programme providing tailored percussion and choral workshops to residents.

Press Release Date: 29 August 2019

Mental Health Commission finds one critical and 20 high risk ratings in three mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports from approved centres in Dublin, Wicklow and Kerry which identified one critical and 20 areas of high risk non-compliance, and five breaches of human rights.

All three approved centres had a number of best practice initiatives highlighted in the inspection reports. Sliabh Mis in Tralee had appointed an individual care plan champion who promoted best practice and has now been refurbished to a high standard; the Ashlin Centre in Dublin introduced a tobacco-free campus; and Avonmore in Greystones invited two representatives from the Wicklow mental health forum to join the centres operational forum.

Press Release Date: 20 August 2019

Mental Health Commission finds eight high risk ratings in three mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports from approved centres in Dublin, Tipperary and Roscommon, which identified eight areas of high risk non-compliance.

Two of the approved centres have a range of quality best practice initiatives highlighted in the inspection reports. The Department of Psychiatry in Roscommon has introduced a smoking cessation group facilitated weekly and Roscommon Sports Partnership runs an exercise group. The Sycamore unit in Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown has introduced dementia related education sessions for clinical staff, and the O’Casey Rooms in Fairview has introduced the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Compassion End of Life (CEOL) programme to improve end of life care for residents and their families...

Press Release Date: 02 August 2019

Mental Health Commission report outlines series of human rights breaches for residents of unregulated 24-hour supervised homes

Minimal progress has been made to address the most basic of human rights for approximately 1,200 of the country’s most vulnerable people over the past 14 years, according to a new report by the Mental Health Commission.

In their 2018 report on 54 of the country’s 118 24-hour supervised residences for people with mental illness, the Commission again emphasised the need for these residences to be regulated to protect the residents and reduce the risk of abuse.

The 24-hour staffed community residences were established, along with a range of other provisions, during the process of deinstitutionalisation in Ireland from the mid-1980s onwards to enable people with mental health problems to live in the community instead of large psychiatric hospitals...

Press Release Date: 24 July 2019

Regulator welcomes opportunity to study and contribute to Heads of Bill

The Chairperson of the Mental Health Commission has stated that the Commission will require six months to study, comment on and provide a high-quality review of the Heads of Bill to amend and update the Mental Health Act 2001.

Both the Minister for Mental Health and relevant officials in the Department have indicated in their communications with the Commission, that it has provided six months to complete the expert review. The six month period does not include the new Part of the Act that shall be dedicated to children, which the Department of Health are still drafting...

Press Release Date: 23 July 2019

Mental Health Commission finds eight high risk ratings in three mental health centres

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has today published three inspection reports on two centres in Dublin, and one in Cork, which identified eight areas of high risk non-compliance. All three approved centres have a range of quality best practice initiatives highlighted in the inspection reports.

The Eist Linn Child and Adolescent Unit in Cork has introduced an e-rostering pilot to potentially manage staff more efficiently, the Sycamore unit in Connolly Hospital has introduced dementia related education sessions for clinical staff, and the O’Casey Rooms in Fairview has introduced the Compassion End of Life (CEOL) programme to improve end of life care for residents and their families.

Press Release Date: 11 July 2019

Mental Health Commission warns about “a significant governance and management deficit” within Irish mental health services

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly, has said that it is difficult to see how some of the country’s in-patient mental health units could be registered in the future without significant improvements in levels of compliance.

Speaking at the launch of the Commission’s 2018 Annual Report, Mr. Farrelly said that there is “a significant governance and management deficit” within Ireland’s mental health services, and referred to some of the evidence cited by the Inspector of Mental Health Services, Dr. Susan Finnerty, in her annual review.

In the Inspector’s report on mental health services in Ireland in 2018, Dr. Finnerty stated that “there was a serious concern with hygiene and maintenance in a significant number of approved centres. The degree of dirtiness and shabbiness is unacceptable … and shows disrespect for patients’ dignity”....

Press Release Date: 20 June 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

 

 

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