Mental Health

Galway dietetic-nursing team scoop prize at Irish Healthcare Awards

Mental Health

A dietetic-nursing initiative at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit in Merlin Park, led by Mairéad Doyle (Senior Dietitian) and Róisín Callanan (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse), has won an award at the recent Irish Healthcare Centre Awards.

The project entitled “Weight Management and Psychotropic Medication” won the Patient Safety Hospitals category at the awards which were held at Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. The ceremony was opened and hosted by Marty Whelan on the evening and was attended by healthcare professionals from around the country.

The initiative was launched in September 2015 and has been supported by CAMHS nursing staff on a daily basis. The aim of the initiative is early intervention to reduce severity of weight gain, secondary to psychotropic medication.

Antipsychotics in particular are known to promote significant weight gain which is likely to impact negatively on a patient’s metabolic and cardiovascular health. When an adolescent inpatient is prescribed one of these medications, the risk is flagged by the primary nurse and weight is monitored weekly. As soon as the young person is well enough, lifestyle advice including diet and physical activity is provided to the young person and family when possible. The focus is on active participation in a healthy lifestyle as a preventative means of weight management.

The Irish Healthcare Centre Awards promote the recognition of achievements and hard work being conducted by Healthcare professionals in Ireland.