Commission urges hospital closure

MANAGEMENT at St Joseph’s psychiatric Hospital have been urged to close the facility in a damning new report by the Mental health Commission.

MANAGEMENT at St Joseph’s psychiatric Hospital have been urged to close the facility in a damning new report by the Mental health Commission.

The Mulgrave Street hospital - which opened in 1825 and accommodates 53 psychiatric patients - was the subject of an unannounced inspection by the commission, which found it was failing to reach standards in a number of key areas, including individual care plans for patients, the conditions of the premises and staffing.

Following an initial inspection in 2010, the Mental Health Commission revisited the four wards of the hospital after concerns were raised over a lack of team care planning, residents not having up-to-date physical examinations, and a lack of privacy around some bed areas.

Now, the Commission has described St Joseph’s Hospital is “unsuitable for the purpose of providing care and treatment to residents and should close.”

Inspectors also criticised management at the hospital for failing to introduce individual care plans for the residents there, while an urgent review of medication should also take place in the facility.

The Mental Health Commission does not have the power to force hospitals to close down. But following its recommendation three years ago that a closure plan be put in place, the HSE moved to close the centre to admissions.

According to the report, only three patients in the hospital’s St Mary’s ward had an individual care plan. No patient had their own individual care plan on the remaining wards, inspectors found.

An initial inspection by the commission found that St Joseph’s was not meeting its obligations in terms of general health.