Cork mental health centre criticised

Cork mental health centre criticised
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A mental health facility in Glanmire, Cork, has again been criticised for failing to ensure the privacy, dignity, or autonomy of its residents.

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) published inspection reports in relation to centres in Cork, Clare, Sligo, Tipperary, and Dublin, which identified eight critical risk ratings and 27 areas of high-risk non-compliance.

It was particularly critical of St Stephen’s Hospital in Glanmire, in Cork, a four-unit centre. The centre has been repeatedly criticised by the MHC in the past number of years.

Inspectors found it non-compliant on all of its conditions of registration — privacy, premises, staffing, and risk-management procedures — for the third consecutive year. Three of these non-compliances rated as “critical”. There were four non-compliances with regulations rated as “critical risk”. Six compliances with regulations were rated as “excellent”.

In one of the units, there were not enough toilets and showers, with one shower and one bathroom designated for 20 people. The MHC found that the standard of care and the environment in this unit “did not respect residents’ privacy, dignity, or autonomy”.

“The inadequacy of provision of care to residents in Unit 8 was of particular concern: lack of recreational activities, lack of access to national screening programmes, no outside space, lack of adequate physical health monitoring, poor individual care plans, one shower and one bath for 20 residents, and residents from the acute unit sleeping in Unit 8 when there was a bed shortage,” said the MHC.

The policy of “sleeping out”, or transferring residents between units at night, has continued at the centre, something the MHC sharply criticised as far back as 2017. 

The MHC said it has been alerted to “serious concerns relating to premises, care planning and risk-management” and is concerned about the “apparent disjointed governance in the approved centre as a whole”.

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