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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Mental Health

Woman placed in male dormitory at psychiatric hospital

The breach in recommended practice took place at a hospital in Laois.

A WOMAN WAS placed in a psychiatric ward with men in St Fintan’s Hospital, Portlaoise.

The Mental Health Commission has said that inspectors found the woman in a ward with men when they made an unannounced visit to the Laois hospital in May.

In a report released yesterday, the Commission said that the woman’s dignity and privacy were “compromised”.

The document described the centre, which is one of the last remaining 19th century mental hospitals in the country, as having “long empty corridors, high ceilings and lack of privacy”.

However, it also noted that each resident at the centre had an individual care plan.

The report described the therapeutic activities available at the hospital as “excellent”.

It recommended that no further admissions be made to the centre, and that female residents not be accommodated in the male dormitory in future.

Children in adult wards

Another report released by the Commission found that 18 children were admitted to the Department of Psychiatry in Connolly Hospital in Dublin between January 2013 and February 2014.

The inspectors said that children were placed in the centre due to a lack of beds in appropriate hospitals.

The document stated that privacy was also an issue at the facility due to broken window blinds. The courtyard area for resident was described as “shabby and dirty”.

The report noted that security guards at the centre restrained patients – something that showed ”disregard” for official procedures.

A further 11 reports were published by the Commission yesterday.

Under the Mental Health Act 2001, inspectors are required to visit all approved centres for mental health services once a year.

Read: “We really need to ask ourselves as a society how are we failing young people”

Read: Here’s how many people were admitted to psychiatric units in Ireland last year

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