St Brendan's replacement opened

  • Deborah Condon

The new 54-bed mental health facility, which replaces the old St Brendan's Hospital in Dublin's Grangegorman, has been officially opened by Health Minister, Dr James Reilly and Junior Health Minister, Kathleen Lynch.

The €21 million state of the art facility, known as the Phoenix Care Centre, will provide patients with their own single bedrooms with en-suite facilities. It also has a psychiatric intensive care service and therapy and rehabilitation spaces.

The psychiatric intensive care service is aimed at people attending acute psychiatric units in Dublin, Wicklow and the North East, who are experiencing acute episodes of major mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. These patients ‘cannot have their needs met in local units because of associated difficult-to-manage behaviours', the HSE explained.

"The aim is to provide specialist multidisciplinary treatment within a setting of low therapeutic security, such that people may return to their acute units to complete their treatment and thereafter their homes," it said.

The HSE added that the opening of the new centre marks a ‘significant milestone' as it is the first major building project to be finished as part of the Grangegorman re-development project.

St Brendan's has been in operation for almost 200 years and was the first public psychiatric hospital in Ireland.

As with all new buildings, there are teething problems however. At the official opening ceremony yesterday, Minister Reilly and Junior Minister Lynch got stuck in a lift that failed to work when they entered. A lift engineer was required to fix the lift before those inside could leave.

However, patients and staff will not be moving into the new facility for another few weeks.


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