Report finds mental health centres ‘struggling’ to meet standards


The Mental Health Commission has released its Annual Report for 2023. 

The aim of this report is to ‘promote, encourage and foster the establishment and maintenance of high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services’ around the country. 

During the report, 66 approved centres were inspected by the Mental Health Commission. 

Over the course of last year, it was found that some of these inpatient centres were ‘struggling to meet minimum regulatory standards’ in areas such as staffing and care planning. 

Of these centres, four regulations had compliance rates that were lower than 60%. These lower rates of compliance were seen in risk management procedures (56.06%), individual care plans (59.09%), staffing (39.39%) and the premises (27.27%).

The report also found that there were 46 recorded instances of overcapacity. This has risen compared to the 33 cases in 2022.

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly, spoke out following the release of the report to reveal, “With the service user at the centre of our work, we once again delivered a programme of regulation in 2023 which targeted risk and promoted quality and safety in services”.

“In his first report as Inspector of Mental Health Services, Professor Jim Lucey points to the fact that acute inpatient centres are an essential part of our mental health service and require planned, strategic investment”.

Farrelly continued, “Currently, a number of acute inpatient centre providers, particularly the HSE, are struggling to meet minimum regulatory standards in key areas of staffing, care planning, risk management and premises”.

“The Inspector has said that lower standards of compliance in these areas are associated with negative experiences for patients and staff alike and are not compatible with a human rights-based approach”.

“The Inspector and the MHC continues to call for a targeted funded strategic investment programme in our public mental health system”.