Admissions of Children to Approved Centres

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

Mental Health Commission (MHC)- Standards and Quality Assurance Division.

Year established


Statement of purpose

The Commission was established in 2002. They are an independent body and their functions are set out by law in the Mental Health Act 2001. Their 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 Mental Health Commission is responsible for regulating and monitoring mental health services.
Data on the admission of children to approved centres are collected in accordance with provisions in the following:

- Code of Practice on the Admission of Children to Approved Centres (MHC, 2006) and Addendum to the Code (MHC, 2009),
- Mental Health Act 2001
- Quality Framework for Mental Health Services in Ireland (MHC, 2009).
Data are processed in adherence with the following legislation:
- Data Protection Act 2018
- Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003
- Data Protection Act 1988
- Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003
- Freedom of Information Act 1997.

Data within scope is data relating to the carrying out of treatments nationally. Data that does not relate to this is out of scope.

Coverage (geographical and temporal)

National – all approved centres that admit children.

Collection started 01/11/2006 and is ongoing.


Admissions of children to Approved Centres are notified to the Mental Health Commission. ‘‘Child’’ means a person under the age of 18 years other than a person who is or has been married; Section 25 Mental Health Act 2001.

Data users

MHC Staff -
Corporate Team
Regulatory Team
Inspectorate Team
Tribunals Team.

Data content

Child ID; date of birth; gender; date of admission; legal status on admission; date of discharge; legal status at discharge.

Data dictionary

Yes, not online.

National-level identifier variables

Services are requested to provide unique service identifiers.

Equity stratifiers

Yes -

Data collection methodology

Data are extracted from medical charts or records in approved centres and submitted on a secure online system by clinicians or administrative with an individual user account. The secure online system is operated by MHC staff who also have individual user accounts.

Data collection occurs when information is submitted to MHC by clinicians or administrative staff in approved centres.

Staff in approved centres are required to submit this data within 7 days of admission to an approved centre and within 72 hours of discharge from an approved centre.

Clinical coding scheme

Not in use.

Size of national collection

450 average number of records created annually.

Publication frequency

Annual reports since 2006.

Accessing data

MHC annual reports and data requests.

Open data portal access


Email contact
Telephone contact