Inspector of Mental Health Services
The Mental Health Commission appoints the Inspector of Mental Health Services who is a consultant psychiatrist, as required by the Mental Health Act 2001. The Office of Inspector of Mental Health Services is made up of the Inspector of Mental Health Services and a team of assistant inspectors. The assistant inspectors are professionals from a range of backgrounds including nursing, social work, psychiatry, occupational therapy and clinical psychology.
The Inspector of Mental Health Services carries out a programme of inspections of mental health facilities.
Functions and powers
The Inspector's functions are:
- To visit and inspect every approved centre at least once a year. Approved centres are hospitals or in-patient facilities for the treatment of mental illness or disorder.
- To carry out a review of mental health services every year and report to the Commission on the quality of care and treatment given to people receiving mental health services and other aspects of the services.
The Inspector has various powers to enter and inspect premises, to obtain records, documentation and other information from the staff and to take evidence, relating to the inspection, under oath.
The Inspector may be requested by the Mental Health Commission to carry out an inquiry into:
- Any approved centre or any premises where mental health services are provided
- The care and treatment provided to a specified patient, whether voluntary or involuntary
- Any other appropriate matter.
ComplaintsIf you have a complaint about a mental health service, you should in the first instance contact the service provider who is required by law to have a clear complaints procedure in place under Article 31 of the Mental Health Act 2001 (Approved Centres) Regulations 2006.
If you contact any member of staff of the Mental Health Commission in relation to a complaint, you will be advised to contact the service provider as the Mental Health Commission does not handle individual complaints.
If you contact the Mental Health Commission in relation to a concern about a service, you will be directed to the Inspectorate of Mental Health Services if appropriate.
The Inspectorate logs all concerns that relates to mental health services and these are taken into account on inspections.