Concerns about the ‘high risk non-compliance’ with the rules and regulations of the Limerick Acute Psychiatric Unit


Significant concerns were expressed about non-compliance with certain rules and regulations at Unit 5B of Limerick University Hospital.

The Mental Health Commission – an independent statutory agency – released a report following an inspection of the acute psychiatry unit last September.

Although the inspectors found two areas of “high risk”, they noted an improvement in the overall compliance of the unit compared to previous reports.

The most important violation of the regulations relates to failing to ensure that each resident has an individual care plan. The report says five individual care plans were reviewed during the inspection last September and several issues were identified.

Four care plans did not identify appropriate goals for the resident. In addition, three care plans did not identify the care and treatment needed to achieve the identified goals, including the frequency and responsibilities for implementing care and treatment. Four also failed to identify the resources needed to provide the identified care and treatment.

“It is disappointing that the center has not complied with the regulations for individual care plans. Care planning is an integral part of treating a patient. Having plans that don’t mention any goals is unacceptable, ”said Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector of Mental Health Services.

In addition, the unit has been classified as “high risk non-compliant” in the rules governing the use of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). The inspectors found that the ECT prescription did not include the alternative therapies being considered and had been shown to be ineffective.

Additionally, there was no documentary evidence that a cognitive assessment had been performed prior to the ECT program.

While Unit 5B, a center licensed under the Mental Health Act 2001, achieved an overall compliance rating of 86%, a number of “ moderate ” concerns were also identified during the review. inspection, including a lack of proper practices for storing drugs in refrigerators.

Located on the campus of Limerick University Hospital, the unit includes dorms with four, five and six beds, as well as two bedrooms each containing two beds and three single bedrooms.

It has a capacity of 42 residents and there were 36 people in the unit on the day of the inspection.

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