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Psychiatric unit placed CCTV in patients' bedrooms

An inspection report also found that one care unit provided an “institutionalised and socially impoverished” environment for residents.

Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive

THE DEPARTMENT OF Psychiatry at Connolly Hospital in Dublin has been criticised over its use of CCTV in patients’ bedrooms in an inspection report published today.

The inspection report said that the use of cameras without adequate risk assessment and care planning for the individual residents was “unacceptable”. It also said that it infringed on their right to privacy and dignity.

However after the inspection, the department at Connolly reported that the CCTV in the bedrooms had been disconnected.


The report also found that the centre needed urgent maintenance and painting. This was echoed in its findings at Carraig Mór Centre in Cork which said it was “drab”.

“The continuing care unit provided an institutionalised and socially impoverished environment for residents; however, at the time of the inspection, a programme of re-painting was underway,” it said.

Four residents in the approved centre were, by their own choice, lying on their beds completely encased in blankets at the time of inspection. Staff paid no heed to this and had no comment to make in response to inquiry by inspectors. The dormitory accommodation was akin to that of another century.

In the male areas of the wards, the inspection found that there was no provision for privacy in the bathrooms or lavatories.

At the Jonathon Swift Clinic at St James’ Hospital in Dublin, the inspection found that the hospital was compliant in most areas but that medicine was not prescribed and administered in accordance with its own policies and procedures.


At the Acute Mental Health Unit at Kerry General Hospital, the inspection found that one resident who was secluded “was not afforded sufficient dignity in relation to clothing”.

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The resident was also observed to be at risk of injury from the furnishings in the seclusion room.

Bathrooms in the unit had no windows that could open and so were “stuffy and airless” – a problem that was also reported in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 inspection reports.

The report, which contained details of inspections of six centres by the Inspector of Mental Health Services, said that no conclusions can be drawn regarding the overall state of mental health services at a national level from these batches. However it did note that all six centres required further improvement.

Read the inspection report in full>

Read: Number of admission assistants for mental health patients halved since 2007>

Read: The ‘defacto detained’: How voluntary patients can be held without review>

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