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Eating disorder centre criticised for not having a psychiatric nurse on duty at all times

The facility was criticised for having no input from a medical specialist or medical facility.

Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

AN INSPECTION OF an eating disorder centre in Dublin found that it did not have a psychiatric nurse on duty at all times.

The latest review of Lois Bridges in Sutton Village also criticised the facility for having no input from a medical specialist or medical facility.

The gated premises provides care to up to seven adults with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. The majority of admissions at the centre are planned and voluntary, with the centre being  independently owned and managed.

While the Mental Health Commission found that staff were qualified for their roles and appropriately vetted, it ruled that the number and skill mix of staffing did not meet resident needs.

Despite Lois Bridges being a specialist eating disorder unit, there was not always a psychiatric nurse on duty, stated the report.

A psychiatric nurse was only rostered to work 25% of the time and was not in charge during daytime hours and night-time hours.

The commission said this issue was identified in last year’s review, but had not been rectified.

While the report found that food hygiene and safety at the facility was excellent, the medication management was not safe and was rated high risk.

“The layout of the approved centre and skills and expertise of staffing were not adequate for the care and treatment of a resident with severe mental illness. There was no admission criteria to ensure that residents were not admitted if too physically or mentally ill to be treated in Lois Bridges,” said the commission.

The inspector said the care and treatment of two residents in particular constituted a risk to their safety.

However, when interviewed by the inspector, four service users were complimentary about the staff and environment. All “highly praised the care they were receiving and said that the staff were supportive, approachable, and motivating”.

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