Hospital closures pave way for new mental health premises at Portrane
FOR generations the imposing psychiatric hospitals built in the 19th century were the treatment centres for people with mental illness and were local landmarks.
However, the latest report shows that at the end of 2013 there were five of these remaining hospitals in service with 179 patients in residence, down from 1,551 in 2007.
A report from the Mental Health Commission said that at the end of 2011, thirteen of these hospitals remained in service.
At the end of 2012 a further four had closed leaving nine such hospitals. St Conal's Hospital, Letterkenny closed in 2010; St Dympna's Hospital, Carlow, closed as an approved centre in October 2011; and the original 19th century buildings in St Brigid's Hospital, Ballinasloe closed to residents in 2011 and St Otteran's Hospital, Waterford closed in 2010.
St Finan's Hospital in Killarney has not accommodated residents in its 19th century building since 2012. St Luke's Hospital, Clonmel closed as an approved centre in 2012 St. Brendan's Hospital, Dublin closed all remaining beds in its older buildings in spring 2013 and moved to a purpose-built facility, the Phoenix Care Centre, on campus.
St Senan's Hospital, Enniscorthy closed all its remaining beds in early April 2013 and transferred remaining residents to new and existing appropriate accommodation.
St Edna's Ward in St Loman's Hospital, Mullingar, the only remaining ward in the original 19th century building with 18 beds, closed on the 5th December 2013 following its relocation to newly-refurbished premises on campus.
Willowbrook Unit and Woodview Unit, the two remaining in-patient units in St Ita's Hospital, Portrane, with a combined bed total at the end of 2013 of 27 beds were due to close at the end of January 2014.
Blackwater House in St Davnet's Hospital, Monaghan continued to accommodate 22 residents in its 19th century building and, although nicely decorated and very clean, was unsuitable for the provision of a mental health service.
The current plan for the 93-bed National Forensics Mental Health Service is that it will move from its present location at the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum to new premises due to be built on the campus of St Ita's Hospital, Portrane.
Health & Living