The Inspector has overall responsibility for the inspection of mental health services. Details of the Office of the Inspector of Mental Health Services are set out under Sections 50-54 of the Mental Health Acts 2001-2018
The principal functions of the Inspector:
The Inspector is legally obliged to visit and inspect regulated mental health services (approved centres) annually, to assess compliance with provisions specified in or implied by mental health legislation.
The Inspector may visit and inspect any premises where mental health services are provided.
The Inspector will review the quality and safety of mental health services during the inspection process.
Following every inspection, the Inspector produces a detailed report of their findings.
The report will include: whether or not a service is compliant with legal requirements, makes an assessment of the quality of the service, identifies areas of good practice and areas for improvement and highlights any concerns in relation to the safety, wellbeing or human rights of service users.
The Inspector produces an annual report for the Mental Health Commission which details the findings on all mental health services inspected during the calendar year.
The Inspector also reports annually on the state of mental health services in Ireland and since 2016 has reported on an overview of all mental health services; Child And Mental Health Services; mental health rehabilitation services and mental health services for older people. Based on the findings of inspections, the Inspector also produces themed reports. The most recent themed reports have looked at physical health in people with severe mental illness and 24-hour supervised community residences.
Under the Mental Health Act 2001, the Inspector has the power to enter mental health facilities and to speak to anyone or obtain any documents that he or she reasonably believes may have relevant information for the purpose of the inspection.