Buildings on the St Loman’s Hospital campus in Mullingar.

'High risk' violations found at St Loman's Hospital

Eight ‘high-risk’ violations of codes of practices or regulations were found at St Loman’s Hospital following an inspection by the Mental Health Commission.

The inspection was conducted by a team of six last November (14-17), at the Admission Unit and St Edna’s Unit.

It found the hospital did not comply with codes of practices around the use of physical restraint and the ordering, storing, prescribing, and administration of medicines.

High-risk regulation breaches were found in relation to individual care planning, therapeutic services and programmes, privacy, staffing, general health, and risk management procedures.

The overall compliance rate was found to be 64% at St Loman’s, a significant drop from 89% in 2018.

The Mental Health Commission requires corrective and preventative action plans from each of the services where non-compliance was found.

The hospital has 44 beds, of which 24 were occupied when the inspection took place, and they provide services for mental health care and drug and alcohol problems.

Three instances of patients being restrained were observed by the inspectors and one of those was found to have seriously breached the code of practice.

The patient was not informed why they were restrained, they were not debriefed within two days of the incident, and they were not given appropriate emotional support afterward.

Learning reports were issued to staff after the incident and a schedule of meetings was agreed upon to discuss preventative actions.

St Loman’s failed to comply with regulations on privacy after the bathroom doors of two patients were found to be without a lock.

Staff levels were found to be too short at times during the inspection and the “skill mix of staff” was not always appropriate to manage patients’ needs.

St Loman’s Hospital was noted as having introduced some positive activities, like an exercise programme, equine therapy, social farming, and kayaking

A statement from HSE Midlands Mental Health Services confirmed they are in the process of making “the necessary improvements” at St Loman’s.

“Some of the issues identified in the Annual Report 2023 were addressed immediately at the time of the inspection in November 2023 while other issues have been addressed in the period since the inspection,” they said.

“The issues of compliance which remain are being addressed through detailed Corrective and Preventative Actions Plans (CAPAs) which have been accepted by the Mental Health Commission (MHC).

“A robust auditing schedule is in place and reviewed on a monthly basis to promote and ensure the delivery of a quality service.”