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Positive report for Galway City mental health unit


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Positive report for Galway City mental health unit Positive report for Galway City mental health unit

A filthy outdoor garden was the only black mark for the HSE during an annual inspection of a residential unit for older people with mental health issues – the fourth year in a row it had failed in its upkeep.

The Mental Health Commission deemed that Woodview at Merlin Park Hospital had an overall compliance rate of 97% in 2023, up from 71% a year earlier.

Woodview had a high average compliance rate of 84% over the past four years, but in 2022 it had a condition attached to its registration after it was found to have failed to repeatedly maintain the garden adequately.

While some improvement measures had been undertaken last year – new outdoor seating and tables were added – inspectors pointed out that the outdoor garden area was still not clean for the fourth year in a row.

“A large collection of cigarette butts were found underneath three resident bedrooms, and many cigarette ends were intermeshed with gravel stones.

“Grass and shrubbery in the garden were littered with cigarette boxes, bottles and food wrappings. There was rotten wood present in sections of a wooden shelter in the garden area.

“There were weeds and briars growing into the wooden shelter. The stone water fountain in the garden area was fragmented and did not function as a water fountain and the top surface of a stone bench was split and broken,” the 2023 annual inspection report reads.

In 2022 it was also ordered to submit a plan to urgently address how to manage personal property of the residents.

They were now complying with this regulation, with secure facilities provided for the safe-keeping of the residents’ money, valuables, personal property and possessions.

Staff had compiled a detailed property checklist with each resident of their personal property and possessions which was updated as necessary.

The single storey mental health facility on the grounds of Merlin Park University hospital was at capacity with 15 residents, all but one living there for longer than six months and each with their own single bedroom but no ensuite facility.

Inspectors praised the good standard of the unit’s layout which met the needs of residents.

A new six-seater bus was purchased to bring residents on outings and to access amenities and new smart televisions had been purchased for both sitting rooms.

“Various redecoration and refurbishing initiatives had been undertaken since the last inspection including: the dining room was redecorated which created an inviting dining space, some bedrooms were newly painted and had new curtains, some bedrooms had new furniture,” the report stated.

Residents has access to a multi-disciplinary team consisting of a consultant psychiatrist, registered psychiatric nurse, psychologist, social worker and occupational therapist. A dietitian was accessible to residents on a referral basis. There were six monthly multi-disciplinary team meetings to discuss residents’ care plans.

“The numbers and skill mix of staffing were sufficient to meet resident needs,” the Mental Health Commission stated.

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