An inspection of the psychiatric unit in University Hospital Kerry has found a resident had to sleep in an armchair for a night due to a shortage of beds.
Inspectors from the Mental Health Commission were told by staff this happened on one occasion as renovations were underway.
The unannounced inspection by the Mental Health Commission took place on April 14th last in the 39 bed Sliabh Mis Mental Health Admission Unit at University Hospital Kerry.
It followed concerns raised to the commission about overcrowding and privacy for residents.
At the time of the inspection Valentia ward was closed and in the process of being renovated which meant eight beds were out of use.
On the inspection day there was 29 residents but the report notes on 30 days from the start of the year to the inspection the centre exceeded bed capacity due to demand.
Inspectors found one resident had no storage for their clothes or personal belongings and one bed was beside the nurses’ station to alleviate overcrowding; screens were available.
The approved centre was not compliant with this regulation because extra beds had been used which impacted on residents’ privacy.
The admission policy for the unit was reviewed in March and management at the hospital says there will be a careful control and review of the bed numbers including a twice weekly meeting.
The completion of the renovations will ensure residents will be afforded privacy.