June 22, 2024

Kilkenny psychiatry unit shows ‘extraordinary improvement’ since embarrassment of court prosecution – report 

The Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s Hospital has received a glowing inspection report showing significant improvements on a recent report, for which it was prosecuted for potential critical risks at the facility.

The Mental Health Commission’s report on the Kilkenny facility shows marked improvements in many areas, including their overall compliance with rules, regulations, and codes of practice.

The Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s achieved an overall score of 94% compliance in the latest report, following an inspection last July.

The 94% mark represents a 21% improvement on the previous inspection mark of 73% in 2019, and a 43% improvement on the inspection prior to that in November 2018 – just a 51% rating at that time.

Following that 2018 inspection, in which a series of critical risks were identified – three critical risks out of 18 non-compliances, the MHC initiated legal proceedings against the HSE, who then pleaded guilty to several charges in February 2019 at Kilkenny District Court, accepting responsibility.

Speaking on the report, and the huge improvements demonstrated at the centre, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission, John Farrelly said: “The improvements that have occurred at St Luke’s since 2018 clearly demonstrate that our decision to initiate legal proceedings was undoubtedly the right call to make.

“While we will always seek to urge and support centres to eliminate all non-compliances, we must recognise that this is an extraordinary improvement by the centre in a period of 18 months and management and staff deserve to be congratulated for their efforts,” Mr Farrelly concluded.

The MHC report found the centre, which can care for up to 44 patients, to be clean, bright, and well-maintained and that resident areas appeared pleasant and comfortable.

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