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Portlaoise: ‘programme of work’ now under way

02 Dec 2016

Having ensured that any immediate safety concerns have been addressed, the HSE “is now working at all levels within the Mental Health Division on a programme of work to ensure that the services offered in Portlaoise are not only safe, but of the highest possible quality”, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee has said.

The hospital has taken a number of corrective actions. The policy on the Use of Seclusion has been updated to include provision for the frequency of training and it identifies appropriately qualified persons to deliver that training. There will be a daily review of seclusion orders by a second consultant psychiatrist. Seclusion training will be provided for all staff and all children will be admitted to a single room with 1:1 nursing care.

“There is daily and weekly monitoring of the HSE’s work at regional and national levels respectively. I am satisfied that the hospital concerned is making progress in relation to the issues raised in the reports,” said the Minister.

The Department of Health would continue to closely monitor the issues raised in the Mental Health Commission (MHC) report, in conjunction with the HSE, to ensure that the necessary corrective actions had been taken, said McEntee.

The MHC is charged with inspecting every approved mental health centre at least once a year and producing a report on this inspection. The Commission has now published a report on the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise. It found that this hospital was non-compliant in terms of Individual Care Plans and the administration of medicines.

To deal with these issues, the hospital had convened a multidisciplinary working group to develop a new Individual Care Plan template and appointed a pharmacist to oversee the administration of medicines, McEntee said in response to Dáil questioning by Independent Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice. The report had found that there were issues in relation to the admission of children and the use of seclusion in the hospital.

gary.culliton@imt.ie

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