Galway units 'not good enough' after inspection - Mental Health Commission says

Two mental health centres in Galway have been issued with non-compliances following inspections by the Mental Health Commission.

The Wood View unit - a 16-bed single storey mental health facility in the Merlin Park University Hospital campus in Galway - received a 97 per cent compliance, which was a 26 per cent increase on compliance on its 2020 inspection.

However, the inspection found the environment was not maintained with "due regard to the specific needs of the residents and patients, and the safety and well-being of residents, staff, and visitors".

"The centre was not free from offensive odours. There was a strong malodour in two separate toilets, not all radiators were guarded, and some were excessively hot to the touch.

Wood View's patients are ageing, many of whom had been resident in the facility for many years.

The Child & Adolescent Mental Health In-Patient Unit at Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway, also achieved a 97 per cent compliance on the inspection, the same score it achieved in its 2020 inspection. However, this 20-bed unit received a high-risk non-compliance as residents in seclusion did not have suitable access to toilet and washing facilities as there was no shower unit in the room with a toilet. The floor in the seclusion room was not padded and was made of a hard-fitting material which was not conducive to resident safety.

The Mental Health Commission also found one independent therapeutic service in Dublin that specialises in the treatment of eating disorders received the critical risk ratings around risk management and staffing. The same centre was also in breach of a condition placed on the service that related to the admission of residents.

Mental Health Commission's chief executive John Farrelly said he was disappointed to note the poor results around premises, facilities, and access to basic amenities in two of the centres.

“It was very clear from the reports that certain parts of two centres were nowhere close to the standard that we would deem acceptable,” he said. “Weaknesses such as offensive odours, excessively hot radiators, and residents in seclusion not having suitable access to toilet and washing facilities is simply not good enough and will never go unchecked or without comment under our watch.”


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