Mental Health Commission announces Professor Jim Lucey as new Inspector of Mental Health Services22 September 2023
The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has announced Professor Jim Lucey as the State’s new Inspector of Mental Health Services.
A clinical professor of psychiatry at Trinity College, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and a former consultant psychiatrist at St Patrick’s University Hospital, Professor Lucey takes over from outgoing Inspector, Dr Susan Finnerty, who has retired.
Announcing the appointment, the Chairperson of the Mental Health Commission, Dr John Hillery, said: “Professor Lucey has an international reputation as a clinician and a medical administrator. He is an acknowledged advocate for service user involvement in individual care planning and service development. Thus, I particularly welcome his appointment as the MHC embarks on the implementation of our Strategic Plan for the years 2023-2027 with its focus on emphasising and promoting the voice of the person accessing mental health and decision support services.”
The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly, said that Professor Lucey is bringing to the role decades of knowledge and experience in the sector that will greatly assist the Mental Health Commission to carry out its regulatory functions.
“We can consider ourselves fortunate to have attracted a person of Professor Lucey’s calibre to this critical position and I look forward to working with him to further promote, encourage and foster high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services in this country.”
Professor Lucey said that he is honoured to have been selected as the new Inspector and intends to both listen to and work with all stakeholders to help ensure that the MHC continues to shine a light on challenges in Ireland’s mental health services, while promoting the positives - and where services deserve praise.
“As a former Board member of the Mental Health Commission and having worked within our mental health system for many years as a psychiatrist, I understand the challenges that we face as a society to improve our services. I am looking forward to using that experience with my team of inspectors - and the wider MHC regulatory team - to support providers to move beyond the basic requirements of compliance towards achieving excellence for the benefit of people using our services.
“Considering that the MHC will, in the coming years, be regulating mental health services in the community, it is particularly important that we emphasise the need for continued improvement across the entire system and not just approved inpatient centres.” Professor Lucey added. “I am very hopeful that the extension of the MHC’s remit will prompt another leap forward in the standard of mental health service provision in this country.”