Reports finds 'serious deficiencies' in mental health facilities, increasing risk of abuse

Reports finds 'serious deficiencies' in mental health facilities, increasing risk of abuse

New reports have warned that a lack of regulation means people in 24-hour mental health residences are at risk of abuse and substandard living conditions and treatment.

That is according to the Mental Health Commission, which has published inspection reports into 43 of the country's supervised residences.

It found "serious deficiencies" in many of the 24-hour nurse supervised facilities.

In 14% of those inspected, doors were locked and residents were not free to leave.

In 77% of them, residents were unable to lock their bedroom doors.

The reports also found that there was no access to a kitchen to make tea, coffee or snacks in 44% of the units.

Some 58% of them had more than 10 beds - the maximum number of beds recommended.

Reports finds 'serious deficiencies' in mental health facilities, increasing risk of abuse

Two of the residences had bedrooms which catered for four people.

Only 44% of residences were in good physical condition and 19% required urgent maintenance and refurbishment.

The report found that just 59% of the residences offered residents single room accommodation.

In those with shared rooms, 58% had no privacy between beds or within the bedrooms.

Initially facilitating service users who had been long-stay residents in psychiatric hospitals, these 24-hour supervised residences now also accommodate people who have been discharged from both long-stay and acute mental health care services.

This is the first publication of inspection reports and is part of a three-year programme which will see the inspection of all 24-hour residences.

Dr Susan Finnerty, inspector of mental health services, said: "It is concerning that some of our most vulnerable citizens, many of whom have spent decades in psychiatric hospitals, are now being accommodated in unregulated, poorly maintained residences, that are too big, are institutionalised, restrictive and are not respectful of their privacy, dignity and autonomy."

John Saunders, chairman of the Mental Health Commission, added: "Ideally, there should be a 'care pathway', where people move from hospital to highly supported accommodation, graduating to more independent settings as they gain skills and confidence.

"However, at present, there is a serious lack of provision of suitable accommodation options, and rehabilitation and recovery staff to enable service users to move through the different stages of recovery and progress towards the goal of independent community-based living, and many people have to remain in highly supported accommodation.

"The Commission has consistently called for the regulation of 24-hour nurse supervised residences and the findings of these inspections demonstrate the necessity of regulation. We are calling for the government to take action in this regard".


More in this Section

Gardaí investigating passport fraud make an arrest in DublinGardaí investigating passport fraud make an arrest in Dublin

Report calls for the abolition of direct provisionReport calls for the abolition of direct provision

Finance Minister 'trying to hide' €24m payment to Aer Lingus and RyanairFinance Minister 'trying to hide' €24m payment to Aer Lingus and Ryanair

NI parties clash over Brexit and Westminster representation during TV debateNI parties clash over Brexit and Westminster representation during TV debate


Lifestyle

A new book delves into the details of Harry Clarke’s stained glass windows in such places as Dingle and Cork, writes Marjorie Brennan.The book that delves into the details of Harry Clarke's stained glass windows

They’re the best air purifiers around so we should grow more houseplants all year round, says Peter Dowdall.Not just for December: The reason why she should grow more houseplants all year round

Let's face it — for the first few years of a child’s life you can dress them exactly how you want to.Alison Curtis: Clothes shopping with your young girl can be a tricky thing to do

Lizzo, Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham are among those prompting us to practise a little more self-love.5 times celebrities reminded us to be body positive in 2019

More From The Irish Examiner