Mental Health Commission will take action if patient rights not being observed

The head of the Mental Health Commission is warning that where people’s rights are not being observed the Commission will take action.

John Farrelly told RTE’s Morning Ireland that “a line is being drawn in the sand” in relation to what has to be achieved in the care of patients.

Integrated care is a minimum requirement, it is not aspirational or an option. “There is a hunger for decent mental health services,” he said.

However, it was unfortunate that the Inspectorate (Office of Mental Health Services) was still finding “dirty, smelly wards,” he added.

When asked about reports of patients being physically restrained, Mr Farrelly said there was no evidence anywhere that physical restraint or seclusion is in any way beneficial to patients.

“We have rules, compliance needs to improve.”

He acknowledged that there are not enough spaces for children requiring mental health services. “We need a capital investment in place for structured proper development.”

Mr Farrelly said there needs to be an emphasis on human rights along with respecting the dignity and respect of mental health patients.

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