Press Release

Tánaiste announces immediate improvements for patients at the Central Mental Hospital

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., today (14 August 05) announced details of plans to immediately improve conditions for patients at the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum.

The Tánaiste visited the Hospital on 19 July. Following on from this visit, she asked officials at the Department of Health and Children, in conjunction with the HSE and the management of the Central Mental Hospital, to bring forward plans to make immediate improvements for patients at the hospital.

As from early September of this year, the practice of “slopping out” will be ended for all patients in all units at the Hospital. This will be done by redeploying existing staff so that they will be available to accompany patients on toilet visits where necessary.

At the new Unit B, all patient rooms will have in room sanitation.

From 01 September of this year, Unit 1 at the Hospital will be closed and the patients from this Unit will be moved to the newly completed Unit B at the Hospital. This will mean the closing of one of the oldest parts of the Hospital and the moving of the patients that had previously been accommodated there to new facilities.

The hospital will also immediately investigate the feasibility of erecting a new modular building to accommodate a modern 15 bed admission unit which will encompass admissions and challenging behaviour beds in order to replace the current function of the existing Unit 1.

The Tánaiste stated “ A decision has all ready been made to relocate the Central Mental Hospital to a new purpose built facility in the greater Dublin area. This was considered by the project team which examined the matter, to be the best and most appropriate option for the delivery of patient care, and which would provide therapeutic forensic psychiatric services for patients to the highest international standards, in a brand new state-of –the-art building.”

“ Obviously it will take some time to build this new hospital. In the meantime, the measures that I am announcing today are aimed at immediately improving conditions for patients in the interim and I am pleased that they can now be brought forward.”