Administration of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in Approved Centres

Data Collection Type
National data collections of health and social care in Ireland

Mental Health Commission

Year established


Statement of purpose

The Commission was established in 2002. It is an independent body and its functions are set out by law in the Mental Health Act 2001. Its main functions are to promote, encourage and foster high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services and to protect the interests of patients who are involuntarily admitted. The MHC is responsible for regulating and monitoring mental health services. 

Data on the administration of electroconvulsive therapy are collected in accordance with provisions in the following: 

  • Code of Practice on use of ECT for Voluntary Patients (MHC, 2009) 
  • Mental Health Act 2001 
  • Quality Framework for Mental Health Services in Ireland (MHC, 2009) 
  • Rules Governing the use of ECT (MHC, 2009). 

Data are processed in adherence with the following legislation: 

  • Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
  • Data Protection Act 1988 
  • Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003 
  • Freedom of Information Act 1997.

National: all Approved Centres that administer ECT or refer a person to another Approved Centre for ECT treatment.


MHC collects demographic and clinical data in relation to the administration of ECT in Approved Centres nationally.

Data content

Service user initials; gender; date of birth; legal status; information regarding the programme of ECT.

Data providers

All Approved Centres. The definition of an Approved Centre is as follows: As per Part 5 Section 62 of the Mental Health Act 2001. A ‘centre’ means a hospital or other inpatient facility for the care and treatment of persons suffering from mental illness or mental disorder. An ‘Approved Centre’ is a centre that is registered pursuant to the Act. The Mental Health Commission establishes and maintains the Register of Approved Centres pursuant to the Act.

Data collection methodology

Data are extracted from registers in Approved Centres and returned on prescribed electronic data collection templates to the MHC on a quarterly basis. Data on administration of ECT without consent are returned in a statutory form at the time when the treatment without consent has been prescribed and approved. MHC enters data on receipt into an Access database.

Clinical coding scheme

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10).

Size of national collection

Approximately 350 records created on average annually. 

Publication frequency

Annual activity reports published on MHC website.

Accessing data

Annual reports — Administration of ECT in Approved Centres activity report and data requests.

Open data portal access


Email contact
Telephone contact