The Mental Health Commission published three inspection reports yesterday. Two were positive. An Coillín, in Mayo, and Dublin’s Highfield Hospital improved overall compliance, by 10% and 9% , but the third unit — St Michael’s, in the Mercy University Hospital in Cork — saw its compliance rating drop by a substantial, worrying 8%.
Last weekend’s tragic death of television presenter Caroline Flack, 40, is the latest high-profile example of a person overwhelmed by life’s often unfair circumstances, by the world’s relentless intrusion into what should be private,secure space.
A Vision for Change – a strategy document published in 2006 that set out the direction of mental health services in Ireland - recommended the establishment of 48 rehabilitation teams based on the current population.
Mental health inspectors have criticised the HSE for a series of failings at adult inpatient psychiatric units including admission of children, inadequate physical assessments and occupational therapy and for not labelling residents’ personal property.
Minister for Health Simon Health has defended his record in the area of mental health services and said he has been working “extremely hard” for the past three years to make up for “decades of neglect” of the service.
Privacy issues at one mental health facility were deemed to be at a critical level by the Mental Health Commission, which noted that due to overcapacity, one patient was not seen by a doctor because the patient had no bed.
Less than a quarter of all nursing homes inspected last year were fully compliant with regulations and half of those run by the HSE were failing to provide evidence of garda vetting of staff, with health watchdog HIQA claiming the findings showed the case for higher safeguarding standards in the sector.
Jess Casey More than 1,200 people with severe mental illnesses are at risk of abuse, having been left in “mini-institutions with little prospect of receiving rehabilitation” into independent living, the Mental Health Commission has found.
Mental health minister Jim Daly has pledged that best practices guidelines for mental health facilities will be circulated among providers after calls in the Dáil for stricter regulation and better care for children.