Mental health services report warns of dirty and dilapidated facilities

Update 8.50am: A new report into mental health services has warned of dirty and dilapidated facilities across the country.

It found widespread use of seclusion and restraint - along with an increase in the number of children being admitted to adult services.

A damning new report from the Mental Health Commission has described the system here as "unsafe" and "substandard".

In its annual report, it says that around 1300 people appear to have been forgotten by both the mental health services and society.

Of particular concern is services available for children and adolescents - with some waiting up to 15 months for an appointment - there has also been an increase in the number of children admitted to adult facilities.

The report also highlights the widespread use of seclusion and restraint - as found that many premises are dirty and dilapidated.

The Commission is calling for urgent action and says the Government and the HSE need to come up with a major transformation plan if things are to change.

It is blaming inadequate staffing and funding issues.

John Saunders is the Chairman of the Mental Health Commission - he says the situation is at its worst when it comes to children.

He said:

One of the problems is that there is no out of hours service. So if a child reaches a critical issue and needs a safe and supportive environment after hours i.e. after six or seven o'clock in the evening or at weekends, in many parts of the country, particularly the Dublin, Midlands and southeastern areas there isn't such an option.

Earlier: Ireland's mental health services described as 'unsafe' and 'substandard'

Ireland's mental health services have been described as "unsafe" and "substandard".

File image.

A damning new report from the Mental Health Commission says major change is needed.

The commission's annual report shows that in 2017, 62 out of 64 centres were found to be non-compliant with one or more of their requirements by law.

Most of those were in the areas of staffing, premises, maintenance of records and medication practices.

The child and adolescent mental health services come in for particular criticism.

The report highlights inadequate staffing and funding - and the admission of 82 kids into adult services last year as areas of concern.

The widespread use of seclusion and restraint are also criticised - as are the dirty and dilapidated condition of many premises.

Overall, progress in many areas has been either non-existent or slow, the report says.

As for what needs to change, it calls on the government and HSE to come up with a major transformation programme.

The commission says more funding, tackling stigma and better recruitment are all urgently needed.

- Digital Desk

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