Care & Treatment, Services

02 May, 2023

High rates of compliance awarded in 2022 inspections

A graphic illustration to demonstrate an inspection report, showing a magnifying glass sitting behind a report folder

Reports released by the Mental Health Commission (MHC) from its 2022 inspections of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ (SPMHS) approved centres show extremely high levels of compliance.

Established under the Mental Health Act 2001, the MHC is an independent body which aims to promote high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services in Ireland. It is responsible for inspecting and regulating all approved centres in Ireland. Approved centres are the services registered by the MHC to provide inpatient treatment to people experiencing mental health difficulties.

SPMHS has two approved centres for adults: St Patrick’s University Hospital (SPUH) and St Patrick’s Hospital Lucan. Our third approved centre is Willow Grove Adolescent Unit, which provides care for young people aged 12 to 17.  The MHC carries out annual inspections of all three centres.

In reports from the inspections of Willow Grove and St Patrick’s Hospital Lucan carried out in 2022, the MHC awarded these centres compliance ratings of 100% each. In its inspection report, SPUH received a 97% compliance rating. These results are consistent with those received from the 2021 inspections.

Inspection of Willow Grove

2022 marked the third year in a row that Willow Grove Adolescent Unit received a 100% rate of compliance in the MHC inspections.

Willow Grove provides care and treatment for young people aged 12 to 17, with 14 inpatient beds in the centre. While it is based on the same site as SPUH in Dublin 8, it is a standalone unit for adolescent care, with its own staff and dedicated facilities, completely separate to our adult services.

The 2022 inspection found Willow Grove to be meeting the treatment needs of service users: each service user had an individual care plan, with the therapeutic services and programmes provided to them addressing their assessed needs. Service users were provided with access to recreational activities on weekdays and weekends, appropriate to their group profile. Willow Grove was noted as having strong clinical and governance structures in place, with measures to protect young people being implemented, while service users also had access to advocacy services through Youth Advocate Programmes Ireland if needed.

See the 2022 report on Willow Grove here.

Inspection of St Patrick’s Hospital Lucan

St Patrick’s Hospital Lucan also achieved a 100% compliance rating for the third year in a row.

Based in Lucan, County Dublin, the hospital has, during the COVID-19 pandemic, been delivering care to service users admitted directly with detected or suspected COVID-19 and to inpatient service users from SPUH isolating due to COVID-19, as well as providing care through our Homecare and remote services.

While the report notes there were no service users in the hospital at the time of the 2022 inspections, it did confirm service users had received care there since the previous inspection. It found that there was a comprehensive schedule of therapeutic programmes available to all service users, with service users provided with remote access to care and to individual meetings with their multidisciplinary teams (MDTs). The report noted that the hospital operated safe practices which reduced risk of harm to service users, and that service users’ privacy, dignity and wishes were respected.

Read the 2022 inspection report for our Lucan hospital here.

Inspection of SPUH

For the second year in a row, SPUH achieved an overall compliance rate of 97% from the MHC in its 2022 inspection.

There are 241 inpatient beds available in SPUH across eight wards, with 14 MDTs in place at the time of the 2022 inspection. The inspection report noted that each service user in SPUH had a multidisciplinary care plan with clear goals and appropriate resourcing, which had been developed and reviewed in collaboration with them. It recorded the hospital’s good governance structures, and welcomed the emphasis on service user input through participation in surveys, focus groups, consultative forums, and a project advisory forum, and through representation in interviews, research, community meetings and more. The report also observed that Q Café, the canteen in SPUH, received the Gold Medal Award, which rewards excellence in catering and hospitality operations in Ireland.

The hospital had one area of non-compliance noted in the report, relating to furnishings, which has since been resolved.

Read the 2022 SPUH inspection report here.

High-quality care

For all three approved centres, the MHC found a number of quality initiatives in place. Quality initiatives are activities or processes which empower service users, protect their rights, and/or improve their experience of care and treatment.

These included:

  • Service users and staff being invited to attend the Mental Health Recovery: A Family Perspective webinar series; our series of informational webinars for families of people experiencing mental health difficulties
  • The practice of a proactive medicine reconciliation ahead of admission, or the creation of a full and accurate list of service users’ medication before they are admitted so as to reduce medication errors and improve prescribing
  • The establishment of a nursing quality initiative working group to monitor, analyse and improve nursing processes and improve healthcare outcomes.

and more.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Paul Gilligan, said:

“As an organisation, SPMHS strives to provide the highest quality mental healthcare and to empower people to live mentally healthy lives. 2022 was a very busy year across our services, and we are grateful to see that the high standards of care and treatment we deliver are being recognised. We are extremely thankful to our service users, their families and supporters for being such an integral part of all that we do, and to our staff for their continued hard work and commitment to delivering a rights-based service. We also thank the MHC for its essential regulatory role and for promoting the delivery of high quality, rights-focused mental healthcare for the people of Ireland.”

Learn more about our approved centres

Learn more about our approved centres

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Treatment model on managing overcontrol developed in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is implemented internationally