19 Jan 2022

High compliance rate continues at Limerick Psychiatric Unit

Visiting restrictions at University Hospital Limerick still in place

University Hospital Limerick

A NEW REPORT shows that the Acute Psychiatric Unit 5B at University Hospital Limerick has kept up with the high compliance rate from 2020. 

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) have released their inspection reports relating to inpatient care at the facility. 

The unit has 42 beds and there were 34 residents at the centre at the time of inspection. 

The centre received a compliance rate of 85% - in line with last year’s rate of 86% - but there were five areas where risk was identified, including one critical risk and one high risk.

The inspection found that the centre did not have adequate fire safety structures and procedures and a major fire risk was identified in the form of a missing fire door.SZ

This was rated as a critical risk as the door was crucial to the centre’s use of separate zones in order to accommodate horizontal evacuation in the event of fire. 

Inspectors found that individual care plans for patients were unsatisfactory although staff did provide therapeutic activities.

Four individual care plans were not developed by the multi-disciplinary team, three individual care plans did not include appropriate goals, and four individual care plans were not updated by the full multi-disciplinary team.

However the report did have some positive feedback noting that a quality initiative had been put in place to reduce restrictive practices.

A change in culture, practice and environment resulted in a 50% reduction in both physical restraints and special observations from 2019 to 2020 and further improvements were observed in 2021.

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly, said: “we acknowledge that some centres are struggling to retain staff and support levels for patients, given the ongoing pandemic and the impact that this is having on our health services.

"However, there is no excuse for not having in place appropriate fire doors to protect patients, or not holding a standard fire drill once every six months, as required under law.

"These critical safety measures and procedures must happen as a matter of course. The regulation relating to risk management is there for a reason.”

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