Press Release

Minister Moloney welcomes the publication of the Mental Health Commission’s Annual Report for 2009

Mr John Moloney T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children today (Wednesday 16th June 2010) welcomed the publication of the 2009 Mental Health Commission Annual Report which includes the Report of the Inspector of Mental Health Services.

The Mental Health Commission’s function is to promote, encourage and foster the establishment and maintenance of high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services.

Referring to the Inspector’s Report the Minister said “Overall the pace of change towards a modern, patient-centred, recovery orientated mental health service is slow. However, the Inspector’s Report acknowledges positive developments in services in 2009 including the positive attitudinal change of staff, in particular in the area of individual care planning; increased service user input; the publication of the Audit of HSE Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services; the re-investment of the proceeds from the sale of psychiatric lands. I particularly welcome the recommendation by the Inspector that all acute admissions should cease to St Ita’s, St Brendan’s and St Senan’s Hospitals and this should be progressed now as a matter of urgency by the HSE, together with the Mental Health Commission.”

The Commission’s report also identifies areas of concern. They include the Inspector’s findings that scarce Child and Adolescent Units are not being properly utilised and the under-utilisation of some day hospitals / clinics. The Minister said “We now have additional Child and Adolescent Beds in Cork, Dublin and Galway. These beds, together with the Commission’s Code of Practice on the Admission of Children under the Mental Health Act, 2001, which will prohibit the admission of young people under 18 years to adult units from 1st December, 2011, will greatly reduce and ultimately eliminate the inappropriate admission of children and young people to adult services.” The Minister also said that in these challenging economic times it is important that services and resources are properly and effectively used. “Day hospitals and clinics provide alternatives to hospital admission and minor mental health problems should be dealt with at primary care level”.

The Minister commended the Mental Health Commission for their continued commitment to the development and improvement of mental health services.

Additional Info

Code of Practice Relating to the Admission of Children under the Mental Health Act, 2001. In respect of the admission of children to an approved centre for adults the following applies:

  • No child under 16 years is to be admitted to an adult unit in an approved centre from 1st July, 2009;
  • No child under 17 years is to be admitted to an adult unit in an approved centre from 1st December, 2010; and
  • No child under 18 years to be admitted to an adult unit in an approved centre from 1st December, 2011.