University Hospital Waterford
The HSE has welcomed the recent publication by the Mental Health Commission of its 2020 Annual Inspection Reports regarding both Department of Psychiatry and acute inpatient mental health facilities serving the South East.
The Mental Health Commission recorded 86% compliance to all regulations at the Department of Psychiatry located on the grounds of University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and 94% at the unit located on the grounds of St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny.
Regarding the 44-bed Department of Psychiatry in Kilkenny (which serves the Carlow-Kilkenny/South Tipperary catchment area), the Mental Health Commission reported a 21% rise in compliance there when comparing to its 2019 findings.
The comparative rise in compliance found by the Mental Health Commission at the 44-bed unit at UHW (which serves the Waterford/Wexford catchment area) was 29%.
Both units are in the remit of South East Community Healthcare (SECH), as the designated approved centres for acute mental inpatient services and where teams of professionals (including medical, specialist and other support staff) are in place to serve the needs of all those who require treatment and support.
Responding to the MHC’s findings, the head of service/mental health for HSE/South East Community Healthcare (SECH) David Heffernan said: “Patient care remains a priority focus for SECH throughout all the components of our service delivery. We strive at all times to adhere to the rules and regulations relating to provision of mental health services. We continue to work closely with the Mental Health Commission to ensure that the Department of Psychiatry in Waterford and Kilkenny comply with applicable guidelines.
“We always welcome observations made by the Mental Health Commission including when they outline challenges for our services, as would have been the case previously in regard to the Department of Psychiatry in Waterford and Kilkenny.
“Our dedicated staff, in both instances and during both non-Covid times and the difficult environment applicable since the declaration of the pandemic in March of last year, are very committed to the provision of a quality and safe mental health service to the population we serve. Consequently, it is heartening to see the highlighting of references in both these reports to ‘safe and dignified care in a clean environment’. That is our aim at all times.
“Over the last year, I am conscious that our quest to ensure compliance and the delivery of the best possible services within available resources occurred during what was a difficult period for our service users, our own staff and their families in both cases. These findings are a tribute to all concerned.
“Working with my colleague the chief officer of SECH Kate Killeen White and our diligent cohorts of mental health staff across community, residential support and inpatient settings, I look forward to continuing to meet the expectations set for us by the Mental Health Commission.”