The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has published a number inspection reports, and two focused reports, which show non-compliances for the regulation on staffing across eight out of the nine approved mental health centres nationally, inspected.

In total, the inspections found a total of two critical-risk non-compliances for the regulation on staffing, and sixteen additional high-risk non-compliances for staffing, individual care planning and risk management across centres in Mayo, Roscommon, Dublin, Cork, Louth, Laois and Clare.

The reports released today include : • The Adult Mental Health Unit at Mayo University Hospital  and The Department of Psychiatry at Roscommon University Hospital.

The Inspector of Mental Health Services, Dr Susan Finnerty highlighted generally the links between staff shortages, staff training and risk management.  She says there are risks associated with an inability to recruit and retain staff which results in an inappropriate skill mix to meet the needs of residents – concerns all of which are highlighted across today’s eight inspection reports.

Good practices and quality initiatives observed during inspections at the centres included a physical health information tool developed for six-monthly physical health assessments required by regulation; a new patient diagnosis information sheet written in a patient-friendly language and a new infrared system that significantly reduces risk of falls for residents within a centre.

Poor practices found by inspectors during inspections included insufficient numbers of registered psychiatric nurses in order to meet resident needs; no occupational therapist working in, or available to, the approved centre; nursing vacancies; two vacant social worker posts; two vacant occupational therapist posts; one vacant psychologist post; not all healthcare staff trained in basic life support, fire safety, the management of violence and aggression, and the Mental Health Act 2001; and critical risks identified in regards to fire safety.

 The MHC requires corrective and preventive action plans from all services where non-compliances are identified, each of which must address each non-compliance specifically.

Enforcement actions commonly arise from inspection findings, quality and safety notifications, and compliance monitoring. Enforcement actions available to the MHC  include  removing an approved centre from the register and/or pursuing prosecution (at the higher end).



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