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A structured process for reviewing the operation of the Mental Health Act 2001 in an Irish mental health service

  • M. Mulligan (a1), T. Maher (a2) and J. V. Lucey (a3)


This paper provides a description of a structured template which allows review of the operation of the Mental Health Act 2001 at St Patrick's Mental Health Services (incorporating St Patrick's University Hospital, St Edmundsbury Hospital and Willow Grove Adolescent Unit). These structured processes were implemented to ensure rigorous monitoring of all clinical governance activities associated with adherence to the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2001. The paper describes in detail the information contained in the St Patrick's Mental Health Services dashboard for 2012. The dashboard displays the key performance indicators that are monitored and the paper describes how these were reviewed by the Hospital's Clinical Governance Committee on a weekly basis for the three approved centres. The dashboard has also been used by the Clinical Governance Committee to provide ongoing education and engagement with staff in order to improve the operation of the MHA 2001. The use of this structured monitoring process has allowed the hospital to measure adherence to the MHA 2001 and also to measure activities that impact directly on the care and treatment of patients detained under the Act. The use of structured monitoring tools (i.e. the dashboard) to review the operation of the MHA 2001 allows for coherent observation of key events and issues which can cause concern in terms of the operation of the Act.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: M. Mulligan, Mental Health Act Administrator/Snr Administrator Clinical Governance, St Patrick's University Hospital, James’ Street, Dublin 8, Ireland. (Email


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