Dusty radiators posed fire hazard to patients at Mayo mental health unit

Mental health unit had no dietician and not enough psychology and social work staff

The 32-bed acute adult Mental Health Unit at Mayo University Hospital, had four critical risk ratings, an inspection report has found.

The 32-bed acute adult Mental Health Unit at Mayo University Hospital, had four critical risk ratings, an inspection report has found.

 

The radiators in a mental health unit in Co Mayo posed a fire hazard to patients because they had not been cleaned for six months, an inspection report has found.

The 32-bed acute adult Mental Health Unit at Mayo University Hospital, had four critical risk ratings, an inspection report has found.

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) has published three inspection reports, which identified four areas of ‘critical’ risk non-compliance, four areas of ‘high risk’ non-compliance and 29 areas of ‘excellent’ compliance across approved centres in Mayo and Cork.

In a statement, the MHC said the standard of developing individual care plans for residents at Mayo University Hospital was rated as a critical risk.

Other areas judged to be a critical risk were therapeutic services and programmes, staffing and consent to treatment.

The inspectorate found there were not enough therapeutic programmes in place to meet residents’ assessed and identified needs.

There was no dedicated occupational therapist and residents did not have access to a dietitian. There were not enough occupational therapy staff, psychology staff or social work staff.

While funding was available for vacant posts in these disciplines, difficulties occurred within the staff recruitment process.

Inspectors noted while there was a cleaning schedule in place it was not implemented adequately. The radiators were not cleaned for six months and posed a fire hazard.

Inspectors noted other hazards such as a broken rail in the toilet, a hole in the sink, a broken window lever, a broken information holder, and inadequate toilet door locations and designs.

Cigarette burns

At the time of the inspection, the paint on walls was chipped, carpets and floors had cigarette burns, window ledges were dirty, and a water dispenser holder was damaged.

The premises were not clean, hygienic, and free from offensive odours. Rooms were not well ventilated and some of the dormitories and toilets were malodorous at the time of the inspection.

Director of standards and quality assurance for the MHC, 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 to deal with all areas of non-compliance. In three months we will seek an update to ensure that plans are being implemented,” said Ms Smyth.

In a separate report published today, inspectors noted An Coillín in Castlebar, had a high level of compliance with regulations and codes of practice.

Thirteen regulations had an excellent compliance rating. Each resident had a multidisciplinary 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.

Another centre, Cois Dalua, a Specialist Rehabilitation Unit in Co Cork with four patients which opened in 2018, was compliant with 90 per cent of regulations and codes of practice. Six compliances with regulations were rated as excellent.

Cois Dalua was non-compliant with a high risk rating for individual care plans. Inspectors said this was because three of the initial care plans had been developed by nursing staff and not the multi-disciplinary team.

Commenting on all of the inspection reports published, Inspector of Mental Health Services Dr Susan 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.”