Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Mental Health, James Browne TD, has called the latest report from the Mental Health Commission shameful.

The report highlights a 57% increase in the use of seclusion and restraint techniques being used on mental health patients in the last 10 years.

Deputy Browne said: “These techniques include locking vulnerable patients in a room on their own or restraining patients so that they can’t move. This is a violation of patient’s basic human rights and is of no health benefit.

The Commission reported 4,765 combined episodes of physical restraint and seclusion in 2008. In contrast, there were 7,420 episodes of restrictive practices reported to the Commission in 2017, and 7,499 in 2018.

The report also noted that seclusion was used in 42% of centres in 2018, and that there were 317 episodes in 2018 where a person was secluded for more than 24 hours

“This is continuing to happen in part due to the failure of the Minister for Health to bring forward the much-delayed reform of our mental health laws.

“Patients should feel safe in our health services and not be subject to human rights abuses,” concluded deputy Browne