The Mental Health Commission (MHC) praised exceptional rates of compliance in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) on releasing reports from its 2021 inspections.
Set up in 2002, the MHC is an independent body with responsibilities to inspect and regulate all approved centres in Ireland. An approved centre is the name given to a service registered by the MHC to provide inpatient treatment to people experiencing mental ill-health. The MHC maintains a register of these centres.
At SPMHS, we have three approved centres for inpatient mental healthcare. Willow Grove Adolescent Unit treats young people aged 12 to 17, while mental health treatment for adults is provided in St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH) and St Patrick’s, Lucan.
The MHC awarded Willow Grove and St Patrick’s, Lucan 100% compliance following its annual inspections of the centres in 2021.
Willow Grove is an approved centre for children and adolescents, accommodating 14 young people and offering a teaching facility also. While it is based on the grounds of SPUH on James’ Street in Dublin, Willow Grove is a standalone unit, separate to adult services, with its own staff and facilities. As well as finding the highest standards of safety and governance, the 2021 MHC inspectors also found that Willow Grove provided care and therapeutic activities appropriate and responsive to young people’s needs, and that the services it provided were respectful of young people’s privacy, dignity, and autonomy.
St Patrick’s, Lucan (formerly St Edmundsbury Hospital) sits on extensive grounds in Lucan, County Dublin, offering 52 inpatient beds. As noted by the MHC in its report, as part of our response to COVID-19, the hospital closed for admissions in March 2020 but was set up to safely care for the physical and mental health needs of service users from SPUH who had suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Along with finding that all regulations were complied with, the MHC noted that mental health treatment of service users was based off individual care plans with the physical needs of service users being appropriately monitored, robust governance structures in place and the dignity and rights of service users being respected.
The Inspector of Mental Health Services, Dr Susan Finnerty, said “This is the second year in succession that both St Edmundsbury Hospital in Lucan and Willow Grove Adolescent Unit - both of which form part of SPMHS - have secured a 100% compliance rating on our inspection. This is a credit to the management and staff at the centre, and the standard of facilities and care they provide to service users.”
The MHC also awarded 97% compliance to SPUH in 2021, a very high rating above the national average of 87% across all approved centres. The hospital has 241 beds across eight wards, including a special care unit and an eating disorders unit, with 15 multidisciplinary teams delivering care. SPUH had one area of non-compliance in the inspections, which has subsequently been rectified. The report noted the “respectful and relaxed environment” of the hospital, its strong governance and safety standards, and its responsiveness to service user needs.
Our Chief Executive Officer, Paul Gilligan, stated:
“At SPMHS, we believe in the importance of empowering people to live mentally healthy lives. In 2021, we supported hundreds of people in Ireland in their mental health recovery, and we are delighted with the recognition of the high quality of the care and treatment we provide. We are committed to obtaining full compliance in all centres and work to address any issues identified immediately. We are very grateful to our staff for their tireless work and dedication, and to our service users and their supporters who are such a vital and active part of everything we do. We also appreciate the MHC for its work in promoting and fostering high standards and diligence in mental healthcare in Ireland.”