COMPLIANCE rates for in-patient mental health units across Mayo are varied, according to the 2018 annual report of the Mental Health Commission.
An Coillin in Castlebar was the highest rated adult centre in the county with an 86% approval rating. This was a very small drop on the 89% rating it achieved last year.
On the other hand, the adult mental health unit in Mayo University Hospital was only 73% compliant, which was a drop of 10% on the 2017 inspection.
Teach Aisling unit, also in Castlebar, was just behind with 72% compliance with regulations. This, however, was a 13% improvement on 2017.
The lowest rated unit in Mayo was St. Anne’s unit in the Sacred Heart Hospital which scored 68%. This was a steep decline from the 86% compliance rating it achieved the previous year.
One of the core functions of the Mental Health Commission is to regulate and regularly inspect in-patient mental health facilities. This work is carried out by the Inspector of Mental Health Services, who visits and inspects all in-patient mental health units that are registered with the Commission at least once a year and prepares a report on the findings of the inspection.
All in-patient facilities in Ireland that provide care and treatment to people suffering from mental illness or disorder must be registered by the Commission.
Following the publication of this year’s report, the chief executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly, has said that it is difficult to see how some of the country’s in-patient mental health units could be registered in the future without significant improvements in levels of compliance.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Mr. Farrelly said there is 'a significant governance and management deficit' within Ireland’s mental health services, and referred to some of the evidence cited by the Inspector, Dr. Susan Finnerty, in her annual review.
In the inspector’s report on mental health services in Ireland in 2018, Dr. Finnerty stated that 'there was a serious concern with hygiene and maintenance in a significant number of approved centres. The degree of dirtiness and shabbiness is unacceptable … and shows disrespect for patients’ dignity'.
Under the regulation for premises, Dr. Finnerty reported that 70% of approved centres (in-patient mental health services registered by the Commission) remained dirty, malodorous and poorly maintained. A number of centres remained unsuitable and not fit for purpose.
“It is important to note that overall compliance for the centres that we regulate increased from 76% compliance in 2017 to 79% last year. That is positive - and we welcome those trends,” said Mr. Farrelly.
“However, there is a significant number of approved centres which have – on a consistent and sustained basis – failed to provide the most basic and fundamental aspects of a service, such as privacy and cleanliness.”