A Cork mental health centre has been found to be non-compliant with rules around the use of mechanical means of bodily restraint.
A recent inspection by the Mental Health Commission found that the Cois Dalua centre run by Nua Healthcare was 97% compliant, but one high risk issue of non-compliance was identified in relation restraint of two separate residents.
The 16-bed centre is located in Meelin, approximately eight kilometres from Newmarket, Co. Cork, and provides continuing mental health care and rehabilitation. During the inspection from 5-8 July 2022, there were 13 residents at the centre, 12 of whom had lived there for more than six months.
The MHC inspector noted only one issue of non-compliance at the centre, in relation to the rules around the use of mechanical means of bodily restraint.
In two episodes of mechanical restraint of two different residents, restraint was only used where less restrictive alternatives were unsuitable, and to address a clinical need.
However, in both cases the mechanical restraint was not ordered by a registered medical practitioner (RMP) under the supervision of a consultant psychiatrist or by the duty consultant psychiatrist acting on his or her behalf, in breach of rules governing the use of such restraint.
In response to the non-compliance finding, the centre said it completed a review and put in place a Mechanical Restraint Pathway “to ensure there are clear guidelines for the introduction of a planned mechanical restraint”. This includes a Mechanical Restraint Pathway Form that ensures the introduction of any planned mechanical restraint identifies the duration and that it is reviewed in a timely manner.
Overall, compliance at the centre increased from 90% in 2021 to 97% in 2022, and there were no conditions attached to the registration of the centre at the time of inspection.
The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, Mr John Farrelly, praised the positive trend of increasing compliance ratings in all three approved centres inspected.
“There was a significant increase in compliance in all three centres ranging from a 3% increase in Galway, a 7% increase in Cork and an 8% increase in Waterford. The increase in overall compliance is positive evidence that regulation works in increasing standards in approved centres and quality of care for patients,” he said.