Services, Care & Treatment, Advocacy

07 July, 2021

Annual and Outcomes Reports for 2020 outline response to COVID-19 challenges

At St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS), we have published our latest Annual Report and Outcomes Report, which outline and analyse all aspects of performance in 2020

The reports show that, during a year in which we faced extraordinary challenges, our organisation’s commitment to our core objectives didn’t falter.

For many people, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that 2020 was marked by loss, illness and isolation, and our mental health and wellbeing came to the fore more than ever. By taking a proactive and agile approach to the pandemic, our services continued to grow and develop, with the necessary steps taken to protect our service users and staff and to provide quality and holistic mental healthcare.

Highlights from our Annual Report

You can read our Annual Report in full by clicking here, or find some key highlights below.

  • Service delivery

    Overall, 2020 was a busy year for our services. In March, our COVID-19 response saw us quickly pivoting to full multidisciplinary services online through the introduction of remote care delivery. Hospital admission for inpatient service users whose mental health risk assessment required it continued throughout the year.

    A total of 3,182 inpatient admissions of both adult and adolescent service users were made in 2020, an increase from 2,954 in 2019. This includes 686 admissions to our Homecare Service, which provides inpatient-level care to service users remotely from their own homes, and a further 64 which included both homecare provisions and hospital stays. Our day programmes ran entirely online from mid-March 2020, with the numbers of people attending falling to 69% of the level achieved in 2019. Meanwhile, 15,730 appointments took place through our community care network of Dean Clinics, an almost 4% increase on the previous year.

    The digital transformation which enabled remote care delivery was powered by investment in technology and digital security in recent years. It resulted in over 10,000 telehealth sessions taking place by video, and over 5,000 held by phone in 2020. A Service User IT Support (SUITS) service was set up to offer technical support to service users in accessing care remotely.

    Another significant digital development in 2020 came on 29 June with the launch of Your Portal, Ireland’s first online portal that allows service users to access, document, and share their own health-related information; by December, over 1,300 service users had registered their interest to sign up to use Your Portal.

    A particularly proud moment for the service came in June 2020 when the Mental Health Commission (MHC) awarded each of our three approved centres 100% compliance with all applicable standards and regulations. This makes our centres, as the MHC noted, the top three approved centres in Ireland from 2017-2019 inclusive, which is a true testament to our staff’s dedication and expertise.

  • Advocacy

    Although our normal calendar of events and activities was disrupted due to COVID-19, we made considerable progress in advancing our advocacy strategy in 2020. The strategy aims to realise a society where everyone has the opportunity to live a mentally healthy life.

    Our annual survey on stigma and attitudes to mental health in Ireland continued in 2020, finding that 45% of people were concerned about theirs or a family member’s mental health due to the COVID-19.

    During 2020, we contributed to 20 consultations, the highest number of submissions we have made in any year to date. These included submissions to several State departments, the Law Reform Commission, the Health Information and Quality Authority, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and more. We also became a member of the Global Mental Health Action Network, an international advocacy coalition with projects working toward joint targets based on the WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    July 2020 brought the launch of our #NoStigma campaign, with the aim of reframing mental health stigma and discrimination by imagining what a life without stigma in the home, workplace or community would look like. Its online launch event was attended by the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, and the campaign webpages received over 5,000 pageviews by the end of the year.

    Our ongoing Walk in My Shoes campaign, which promotes positive mental health for young people, also saw considerable activity in 2020. Milestones included its #MindYourSelfie Day breaking its own records for online engagement at over six million impressions on social media; the movement of its Transition Year Programme online to enable students to continue accessing a mental health placement with our staff; and the launch of WIMS Live, a week-long programme of online events and activities to mark World Mental Health Day which gained over two million impressions on social media.

    Membership of the Women’s Mental Health Network (WMHN), a joint initiative between SPMHS and the National Women’s Council, grew by 18% in 2020, with two online events taking place and four newsletters issued.

  • Research and education

    We are proud of our reputation as a national and international leader in clinical research and education. Working closely with the School of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), we engage in research that we believe has the potential to help people live mentally healthy lives.

    Along with a number of ongoing research projects, we began 10 new multidisciplinary research projects in 2020, covering areas such as the effects of COVID-10 on the mental health of nursing home staff; the antiviral properties of psychotropic agents (drugs which affect a person’s mental state); and historical treatment outcomes at St Patrick’s University Hospital from 1900 to 1950.

    Our Training Office continued to progress in 2020, delivering training to a wide range of mental health professionals, including those working in nursing, psychology, psychiatry, social work and occupational therapy, as well as postgraduates in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This training was provided together with several universities, including TCD, the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and the University of Limerick, with these partnerships and demand for their training opportunities continuing to grow.

  • Service user engagement

    We strive to ensure service users’ perspectives are integrated in a meaningful way as our services grow and expand.

    Membership of our Service User and Supporter Council (SUAS) grew to nine, with members adapting to online forums to take part in a total of 12 meetings in 2020. Mary Butler TD, the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, attended the SUAS meeting in November. SUAS members took part in staff interview panels, as well as informing and contributing to advocacy campaigns, like #NoStigma. They also presented eight morning lectures for service users and one Weekly Academic Meeting for staff to inform these groups about SUAS’ role and purpose.

    Our Service User Advisory Network (SUAN) aims to build on SUAS’ work by inviting current and former service users to join a network which provides input and get involved in our strategic development. 20 new members joined SUAN during 2020, bringing the total membership to 126. Through SUAN, we engaged with service users on the use of technology and telehealth to inform our delivery of essential services throughout the pandemic.

    A new Information Café for inpatient service users who are soon to be discharged launched in February 2020, with 14 sessions held throughout the year. A panel of six SUAS and SUAN members was formed to co-host these sessions. Seven SUAS and SUAN members also sat on and attended numerous meetings of the Service User Design Group, tasked with obtaining firsthand feedback to ensure Your Portal was developed in a user-friendly way. Meanwhile, SUAS developed a proposal for a new online peer-to-peer support service, Here4U, and formed a steering group to lead out its launch in 2021. 10 members of SUAS and SUAN took peer facilitation training in December as part of this. to be launched in January 2021.

    A Service User Engagement Guide was launched in September 2020 to provide staff with detailed information about the various mechanisms in place that can be used to increase the opportunities for engagement with service user groups.

Overview of our Outcomes Report

Overview of our Outcomes Report

Our 2020 Outcomes Report marks the tenth edition of an annual review and evaluation of the accessibility and efficiency of our services and programmes. For the first time, it includes outcomes from our Homecare Service and service user insights to our remote services, following the introduction of remote care delivery from March 2020. By measuring and sharing results from our programmes, along with gaining insight to service user experience, we hope to better understand what works well within our service and identify areas where we can continue to improve.

The full report gathers and analyses results relating to service accessibility, clinical governance, clinical outcome measures, and service user satisfaction in 2020. You can read the full Outcomes Report here.

A summary report is also available which shares highlights of clinical outcomes and service user feedback. Read the summary report here, or see some key findings in the tables below.

Download the reports

Download the reports

Find more information on our work

Find more information on our work

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