PATIENTS in the mental health unit of a major hospital must sleep in a waiting room although a new €2.5m unit is idle and used as office space, an inspectors' report has revealed.
The inspectors, who visited the mental health unit of Galway University Hospital, found an ante-room continued to be used intermittently as a bedroom.
At the same time "the purpose-built high dependency unit located on the lower ground floor, which contained individual bedrooms and seclusion facilities, had never been opened despite the high costs of the build and commissioning.
"The unit was now used to provide office accommodation to clinical staff," the inspector from the watchdog, the Mental Health Commission, revealed. The unit has been unopened because of a lack of staff.