15 December, 2021

Advice to service users and visitors in light of coronavirus

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) has a range of measures against the potential spread of COVID-19 in place to best protect the health of all our service users, staff, and the wider public.

These measures currently include restrictions on visiting. Before coming to our campuses, we ask that you check back here for information and relevant updates beforehand. Our campus locations and contact details can be found here.

See our current measures below

We know that these measures can be a challenge, but we have taken them with everyone’s health in mind; they reflect that we need to take precautions for the hundreds of people attending our programmes and services and the more than 700 members of our staff.  We want everyone who comes through our doors to feel and stay as safe as possible.

  • Who can currently attend our campuses?

    Service users with a clinical need to be onsite, as advised by their clinician or multidisciplinary team, will be admitted to our campuses.

    Staff members may also enter our campuses. Where appropriate, staff are being facilitated and encouraged to work remotely to reduce the number of people onsite.

    Limited visiting to our St Patrick’s University Hospital campus only will be in place from 15 July 2021. All visitors must follow the measures outlined below.

  • What visiting restrictions do we have in place?

    From 15 July, inpatient service users in St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH) can welcome two people at any one time for up to two visits per week. Please note that visits must be booked in advance; we cannot facilitate unplanned visits, and we will respect the service user’s right to decline a visit.

    Booking a visit

    Visiting times are strictly set at 10am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm or 6pm each day. The service user must book a visiting time by calling our team on 01 249 3602 and giving the names of the person or people who will be visiting them. The administrator on the call will give the service user a location in the hospital where the visit will take place.

    Arriving for a visit

    If you are visiting a service user, you should arrive to the main reception of SPUH at the scheduled time for your visit.

    You will have your temperature taken by a thermal imaging camera on entry. Our reception staff will ask you to complete a standard COVID-19 screening survey and agree to follow our infection control measures, outlined in a question below. If these screening protocols are passed, the visit can go ahead.

    You will be given a mask to wear throughout your time on campus by our reception staff, who will direct you to the location for your visit.  

    Visits can last for up to 30 minutes, after which you will be asked to leave. Please note that no food or drink can be consumed during the visit for health and safety purposes.

    We are very grateful to our service users and their supporters for their patience and understanding with these restrictions, which are in place to best protect everyone’s health.

  • Are children currently allowed to visit?

    Children and young people aged 16 or under may visit; they can be named as one of the people visiting a service user.

    Children and young people will need to follow the process for visiting outlined above.

    If a child is named as the only person visiting the service user, they should be brought to the reception at St Patrick’s University Hospital by an accompanying adult. This same adult must then leave the reception area, before coming to collect the child after their 30 minute visit is over.

  • Can I attend a Dean Clinic appointment or day service programme?

    If you are currently attending our Dean Clinics, you will receive a reminder of your appointment(s) by text.

    • If your appointment is taking place by videocall, the reminder text will include a link for you to connect with your clinician by video at your scheduled time. You will also be able to access this link if you are registered to use Your Portal.
    • If your appointment is taking place by telephone, your clinician will contact you at your scheduled appointment time.

    You can contact your relevant Dean Clinic with any queries you have about your appointment: you'll find contact details here. An administrator will contact you on the day of your appointment to arrange payment by credit or debit card.

    All our day services are being delivered either online or by telephone. A therapist from your day programme will be in contact with you to advise you on how to connect. If you have an email address, please have that ready when they contact you.

    If you have any queries about your day service appointment, please contact Orlagh Hurley on 01 249 3571.

  • Can I get referred to your services at this time?

    Yes, we are continuing to accept referrals for our services.

    You can be referred through your GP, psychiatrist, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and others.

    If you are seeking care and treatment for your mental health but are having difficulty getting an appointment with your GP or would prefer not to visit your doctor’s surgery, you can get in touch with our Support and Information Line. This runs from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and can be contacted by calling 01 249 3333 or emailing

    Our team will be able to assist in processing your referral. If you need immediate mental health support or if you have an urgent query in relation to referrals or treatment outside of these hours, please call 01 249 3200.

  • Will I be able to be admitted as an inpatient at this time?

    Yes, we are continuing to accept referrals for inpatient care.

    Our award-winning Homecare Service offers high-quality, one-to-one support at an inpatient level, but provided to you remotely in your own home. Through this, you can receive daily or more frequent contact from a multidisciplinary team, while we also make arrangements with local pharmacies to safely organise supplies of medication if needed to support your recovery. Please contact our Support and Information Line for further information or talk to your GP.

    We are only physically admitting service users whose clinical mental health risk assessment indicates that they need to be admitted to hospital. A member of our Referrals and Admissions Service will contact you on the day before your admission, and will carry out a screening protocol against coronavirus. Any risk factors which may be identified will be discussed and considered with a doctor before your admission.

  • What infection control measures will I need to follow if I am on campus?

    Please check that you can attend our campus before making the journey, as a number of restrictions are in place to protect public health.

    If you are coming to one of our campuses, please identify yourself at the reception desk when you arrive. Our reception staff will ask you the questions below.

    • Have you travelled outside of Ireland in the past 14 days?
    • Are you a close contact of a confirmed or suspected case?
    • Are you experiencing any respiratory symptoms or breathing difficulties; fever; loss of smell; and/or loss or distortion of taste?
    • Have you been advised that you are required to self-isolate?

    If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, we cannot allow entry to the campus. If you pass this screening protocol, you will be asked to sign a document agreeing to:

    • perform hand hygiene before accessing the campus
    • practice cough and sneeze etiquette
    • maintain physical distancing of two metres.

    In addition, we have a thermal imaging camera installed at the main entrance to St Patrick’s University Hospital. This camera will take your temperature on your arrival. If your temperature is equal to or greater than 37.5 degrees Celsius, we will not be able to allow your entry into the hospital building.

    Having going through all the steps above, please follow the guidelines below when you are on campus.

    • Wash your hands thoroughly before you arrive
    • Use our hand hygiene gels at the entrance and throughout the campus
    • Observe hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette closely, as promoted by the HSE, throughout your time on the campus:
      • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
      • dispose your used tissues in a bin
      • wash your hands thoroughly after coughing or sneezing
      • wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the hospital.
    • Follow physical distancing measures throughout your time on the campus by keeping a distance of two metres from other people and avoiding physical contact.
  • Will I be able to attend a volunteer support group meeting?

    No, all volunteer support group meetings, hosted at both St Patrick's University Hospital (SPUH) in Dublin 8 and St Patrick's, Lucan (SPL), have been postponed until further notice. These include Alcoholic Anonymous, LifeRing, Orientation, OCD Ireland, Aware, AL-ANON and ANEW meetings.

Minding ourselves in a pandemic

Our team of mental health experts and service users have shared a lot of guidance and personal insight on looking after your mental health during the pandemic. Follow the links below to read or listen to more. 

Minding ourselves in a pandemic

Continue to…

Mental health experts share advice for managing loneliness, anxiety, bereavement and more over Christmas