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St Brigid’s non-compliance issues on the rise again

St Brigid's Hospital, Ardee. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

A new annual review undertaken by the Mental Health Commission has found that instances of non-compliance of standards at St Brigid’s Hospital in Ardee continue to rise at the facility.

Representatives from the MHC found that the Ardee facility was non-compliant to standards across 14 of 33 areas inspected during the most recent visit to the Kells Road hospital. That is up from 12 from a visit paid by inspectors last year. The number has more than trebled in three years with just four issues of non-compliance of standards found in 2015.


St Brigid’s Hospital in Ardee has been in operation since 1933. In 2015, the opening of a psychiatric health centre at Crosslanes in Drogheda saw the acute admission unit at St Brigid’s close – leaving St Ita’s Ward as the sole remaining unit still operating at the facility.

The unit – which has a capacity of 20 beds and provides continued care and old age psychiatry care – had 16 residents during last year’s inspection.

In 2015 just four areas – including the storing and administering of prescription medicines and health and safety – were found to be non-compliant but in the space of three years that number has now risen to 14. St Brigid’s were found non-compliant in 10 regulations and four codes of practice. The facility was found compliant in 18 regulations.

Patient privacy, risk management, and the use of physical restraint were among the areas found not up to required standards of care in the facility in 2017. The inspection also found it was not documented if patients who were physically restrained had received a follow-up physical examination in the required three-hour time-frame by staff.

The MHC report also claimed ‘recreational activities were sporadic, limited in choice, and insufficient for residents’ needs.’ Additionally, bathroom and toilet areas were found to not be adequately cleaned or free of offensive odours’ whilst ‘other areas were not clean.’

The 2016 inspection had also found that ‘flooring and bathroom areas were not maintained to a clean standard’ and ‘the approved centre was not clean and hygenic’.

Of the 12 areas found non-compliant in 2016, four were improved to reach compliance this time around, They were – Clothing, Individual Care Plan, General Health and Provision of Information to Residents.

The 14 areas of non compliance in 2017 are as follows – Food Safety, Therapeutic Services and Programmes, Trasfer of Residents, Privacy, Premises, Staffing, Maintenance of Records, Risk Managament Procedures, Use of Physical Restraint, Guidance for Persons working in Mental Health Services with People with Intectuctal Disabilities, Notification of Deaths and Incident Reporting, Admission, Transfer and Discharge and Ordering, Prescribing, Storing and Administration of Medicines.

The six areas rated as excellent during the inspection are as follows – Identification of Residents, Food and Nutrition, Residents’ Personal Property and Possessions, Religion, Communication and Complaints Procedures.

The report in St Brigid’s in Ardee was part of an inspection into five state mental health facilities undertaken by the Mental Health Commission, an independent body that inspects mental health facilities and standards.

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