151 people died in psychiatric hospitals and units last year

A total of 151 people died in psychiatric hospitals and units in Ireland in 2016.

The most common diagnosis recorded for the total 17,290 admissions last year was for depressive disorders.

The figures are from the 2016 data for Irish psychiatric units and hospitals, released by the Health Research Board (HRB) yesterday.

Of the deaths, 54% were male and 81% were aged 65 and over.

The age group with the highest admission rate was the 20-24 bracket.

The next highest group was the 65-74 age bracket.

The statistics show that 41% of admissions were of people who were registered as unemployed.

The main diagnoses for admissions last year were for depression, schizophrenia, mania, and alcoholic disorders.

Depressive disorders accounted for 27% of admissions and schizophrenia accounted for 20% of admissions.

A limited number of admissions were involuntary, with these kinds of intakes accounting for only 13% of admissions.

Schizophrenia was the most common diagnosis for involuntary admissions, at 19.4%.

In relation to a person’s length of stay after admission, the average duration was 57.7 days — 35% of all discharges took place within one week of admission.

Not all admissions came through a dedicated psychiatric hospital with 59% of people presenting to the psychiatric unit of a general hospital.

A further 25% of admissions were through independent or private centres and 17% of people presented to a dedicated psychiatric hospital.

The data released by the HRB also included a separate section on young people.

There was a total of 506 admissions to all hospital types for under-18s in 2016.

Of these young people, 13%, or 67, children were admitted to adult units or hospitals.

Depressive disorders accounted for 33% of these admissions, 12% for neurosis, 12% for eating disorders, and 11% for schizophrenia.

Overall, 73% of the admissions for young people were for females.

According to Máiread O’Driscoll, the interim chief executive of the HRB: “This report gives a clear picture of who needs these services and provides evidence to assist decision-making and planning in relation to mental health services.”

In the review section of the HRB report, it explains that there has been a decline in admissions over the last 10 years.

“There has been a 17% decline in admissions in the ten-year period from 2007–2016, from 20,769 in 2007 to 17,290 in 2016,” states the report. “There was a 25% decline in re-admissions over the same period, from 14,916 in 2007 to 11,193 in 2016. First admissions increased by 4% in this ten-year period, from 5,853 in 2007 to 6,097 in 2016.”

However, it found that admissions to the psychiatric units of general hospitals were growing as a part of all admissions.

“Admissions to general hospital psychiatric units continue to rise as a proportion of all admissions; in 2007, 52% of all admissions were to general hospital psychiatric units and in 2016 this proportion had increased to 59%,” it states.

There has also been an increase in the proportion of involuntary admissions in the 10-year period, from 8.5% of all admissions in 2007 to 13%.

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