Two mental health units criticised for shortcomings

Two mental health units have been criticised by the Mental Health Commission for shortcomings, including deficiencies on the use of physical restraint and dirty premises.

Two mental health units criticised for shortcomings

Five areas of high risk were identified by inspectors at the approved unit at the Department of Psychiatry, located on the grounds of St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny City, while high risk was also seen in areas such as general health, issues involving admission, transfer and discharge of residents, and involving the use of physical restraint at St Gabriel’s Ward, a 20-bed facility located on the grounds of St Canice’s Hospital, Kilkenny.

The reports were among five published yesterday by the commission which highlighted concerns, although in general good practice was observed as well as areas of excellence in some centres.

At St Gabriel’s, four physical restraint cases were reviewed and in one, “there was no documentation to indicate that all other interventions had been considered first. There was a discrepancy between the notes and the Clinical Practice Form book regarding the time necessary for restraint. There was no record of a physical examination having been carried out within three hours of an episode of physical restraint for one of the residents,” it said.

“In all four episodes, there was no evidence that the resident was informed of the reason, likely duration and circumstances which would lead to the discontinuation of physical restraint.” it said.

The St Luke’s report cites high risk when it came to privacy, the state of the premises, the ordering, prescribing, storing and administration of medicines, rules on the use of seclusion, and consent to treatment.

Residents praised staff, but inspectors referred to missing privacy screens and loose curtains elsewhere.

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