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Compliance rate dropped at Galway mental health unit

Compliance rates with regulations fell in the last year at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) at Merlin Park despite the centre being less than half full.

The specially-built residential unit had nine residents at the time of the inspection by the Mental Health Commission even though it is registered to accommodate 20 patients.

While the Galway facility performed better than similar centres in Cork and Westmeath, its compliance rate decreased from 97 per cent in 2021 to 88 per cent in 2022.

“Most residents said they felt safe in the centre and most said they knew who their key worker was,” the report stated.

Where it fell down was mainly in the physical infrastructure. The inspector found that residents in seclusion did not have access to adequate toilet and washing facilities, as there was no shower in the seclusion area.

The facility was not in a good state of repair externally and internally, the report found.

“There were plaster cracks in the gym, stained paintwork, and three curtains were found to have paint stains. The flooring of the seclusion room had a hard surface,” it stated.

Not all staff had completed mandatory training in fire safety and the management of violence and aggression.

The young residents did not feel they were involved enough in setting goals for their individual care plans. They also complained about not having enough activities to engage them at weekends.

“Feedback suggested that some found it daunting attending their multidisciplinary team meetings.”

The Inspector of Mental Health Services, Dr Susan Finnerty, said it was disheartening to see the compliance rates with the regulations fell in centres in Galway, Cork and Westmeath by over a third collectively. “Our regulatory team have worked with these approved centres over the past number of months putting corrective and preventative action plans in place so non-compliances can be addressed and conditions for residents improved.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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