Saturday 19 October 2019

Unclean radiators in hospital mental health unit posed a fire risk - inspectors

Mayo University Hospital Photo: Google Maps
Mayo University Hospital Photo: Google Maps

Eilish O’Regan

Radiators in a hospital mental health unit were not cleaned for six months and posed a fire hazard, an inspector’s report has revealed.

The inspectors who visited the unit at Mayo University Hospital also found ligature points had not been safeguarded.

The centre was rated high risk for premises, while there was a cleaning schedule in place it was not implemented adequately, the inspectors from the Mental Health Commission revealed.

The premises were not clean, hygienic, and free from offensive odours.

Rooms were not well ventilated. Some of the dormitories and toilets were malodourous at the time of the inspection. There was rubbish on the floor in one toilet and towels on the floor in another.

The Mental Health Commission published three inspection reports.

Commenting on the Adult Mental Health Unit, Mayo University Hospital, Director of Standards and Quality Assurance for the Mental Health Commission, Ms Rosemary Smyth, said: “The Commission immediately requested a Regulatory Compliance Meeting with senior management of the approved centre to discuss its concerns and how the service was addressing these issues.

"Following the meeting the approved centre provided corrective and preventative action plans (CAPAs) to deal with all areas of non-compliance. In three months we will seek an update to ensure that plans are being implemented.”

In contrast An Coillín, based in Castlebar, continued to have a high level of compliance with regulations and codes of practice.

Thirteen regulations had an excellent compliance rating. Each resident had a multi-disciplinary individual care plan, developed with the resident and reviewed regularly.

There was a range of appropriate and evidence-based therapeutic services and programmes which were based on residents’ assessed needs. Weekly cleaning audits were underway and since the last inspection, the garden was redesigned.

An Coillin had one non-compliance that was rated as high risk, that related to the premises. The approved centre was not observed to be kept in a good state of repair internally with a number of issues raised such as there was no storage space for bedpans and clothes for the laundry were stored in the toilet facility.

Dr. Finnerty said: "Overall, we found a high standard of care across the approved centre with an 87pc compliance in 2018. Inspectors saw many areas of excellent practice across the service including thirty-three new audit tools developed internally which incorporated our Judgement Support Framework and best practice guidelines for mental health services."

Commenting on all of the inspection reports published, Dr Finnerty said, “At all stages of the inspection process we keep the patient at the very centre. This is critically important to our work in order to assess whether the approved centre is achieving the best possible outcomes.

“The services have with a wide range of guidance from the Mental Health Commission, including the Judgement Support Framework as well as the regulatory framework of regulations rules and codes of practice to ensure high standards. When there are non-compliances, the Mental Health Commission will carry out enforcement actions.”

Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly, said, “All of the issues identified in these reports need to be addressed as a priority. As a regulator we actively engage with the approved centres through a regulatory enforcement and monitoring process, based in pursuit of the best compliance outcomes and highest regulatory quality. This is a key element in safeguarding the health of patients. “

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