independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Child unit 'vast improvement'

The new child mental health unit in Galway has been described as a "vast improvement" on the old centre it replaced.

It is situated in an open space surrounded by trees and includes 20 beds in single and double bedrooms, a large gym and an outdoor playground.

Every child staying there has an individual care plan and access to medical staff, psychologists, social workers, dieticians, child-care workers, a speech-and-language therapist and an occupational therapist.

Design

In the most recent report, the Inspector of Mental Health said it was a "vast improvement" on the previous child mental health unit in Galway.

"The design and decor of the building was of a high standard. It was well-lit, heated and ventilated," the report said.

The report complained that only nine of the 20 beds were in operation in 2011 due to a shortage of nurses.

The HSE said that all 20 beds were now in use, with six used for the children's in-patient unit and 14 used for the teenage inpatient unit.

Children staying in the unit are brought to a nearby school for their education.

They also have access to games, TV and DVDs and outings with staff, including swimming.

There is also a flat for parents who need to stay on overnight visits.

Irish Independent

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