A report by the Mental Health Commission says that four mental community based mental health facilities in Laois are unregulated, leaving people with severe mental illness at risk of abuse.
According to the report, less than half of community based mental health facilities are in good condition and almost 20 percent of them need urgent maintenance.
The Mental Health Commission inspected community based facilities for people with severe mental illness and intellectual disabilities.
Of these, seven are in the midlands – one in Offaly, four in Laois and two in Westmeath.
With 118 facilities being unregulated, the report states that this leaves 1,200 people with severe mental illness at risk of abuse.
The report found that less than half of these residences are in good condition and almost 20 percent of them need urgent maintenance.
It also found that 43 percent of residences have shared bedrooms and of these facilities, while 91 percent had no privacy between beds or within the bedrooms.
Susan Finnerty is from the Mental Health Commission.
She says that minimal progress has been made addressing issues with such residences.
“I cannot stress enough the need for these residences to be regulated to protect the safety of people who live in them.
“The residents of these homes are a vulnerable group of people who are at risk of abuse and yet the provision of their care and accommodation is not regulated.
“This is a serious deficiency, leading to the risk of abuse and substandard living conditions and treatment.”
In a statement, Minister with responsibility for Mental Health, Jim Daly, says he’s concerned about the findings of the report and he’s committed to amending legislation to regulate these residences.