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In two new inspection reports the Mental Health Commission (MHC) has identified eight areas of high risk non-compliance in two centres. The centres are in Galway and Dublin.
“Secluding children, at any stage is an extremely serious issue,” said Mr John Farrelly, Chief Executive of MHC. “If this occurs, rooms must be safe, clean and well ventilated to ensure the dignity and safety of the child”
Mr Farrelly added: “We are still encountering premises, for mental health patients that are not providing basic hygiene and require a deep clean. We are still inspecting premises that are not maintained to a required standard. Every approved mental health facility should have a comprehensive and systematic approach to both these fundamental regulations which are of primary importance to the dignity of residents”
Commenting on the report, Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services, said: “Securing funding to address old and outdated facilities is a pressing issue for some centres and prevents the approved centres from receiving compliance with regulations.”
One of the two inspection reports was on the Child & Adolescent Mental Health In-patient Unit, Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway which is a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in-patient unit providing care and treatment to young people from age 12 to 18.
According to the MHC “in relation to the high risk in the area of premises, the centre was not clean, hygienic, and free from offensive odours.”
The report also notes that “food safety was not maintained” and “the location of the seclusion room meant that residents were required to go outside the building to access it, compromising their privacy and dignity”.
The other report focused on the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum which is part of the National Forensic Mental Health Service, and is situated in Dundrum, Dublin.
“The centre has made little improvement in compliance with regulations over the last three years: 70 per cent compliance in 2017, 79 per cent compliance in 2018, and 69 per cent compliance in 2019,” according to the MHC.
“Only one compliance was rated as excellent. The centre is registered for 103 beds. At the time of the inspection there were 102 patients present with 91 being there for more than six months.”