Mental health watchdog worried for patients in HSE-run hostels

Concern is being expressed for "hundreds" of people who have been moved from psychiatric hospitals to HSE-run hostels.

The Mental Health Commission has branded the facilities "mini-institutions" on the back of a report from the State's mental health watchdog.

The HSE supervises at least 115 of the hostels around the country which were set up to relocate patients from mental hospitals, but they are not covered by any regulations or guidelines.

According to the Irish Times, officials from the Inspectorate of Mental Health have reviewed the hostels and highlighted a range of problems.

They include limited access to care and therapy, poor living conditions in some buildings, and a major variation in the weekly rent charged to residents.

There were some positive aspects, in that individual care plans had been drawn up for residents in two thirds of the hostels.

However, just under half of residents did not have access to psychology services.

One official has described the hostels as being wards in the community with all the disadvantages of institutional care.

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